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'My Miller Beach' Photo Contest winners named
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'My Miller Beach' Photo Contest winners named


The newly formed Miller Beach Tourism Bureau named the winners of its "My Miller Beach Photo Contest," which attracted 375 submissions to

“Our new online presence floods the world with positive stories and images about this ‘the secret gem of the Indiana Dunes,'” said Peggy Blackwell, President of the Miller Beach Tourism Bureau. “Our mission is to be a year-round tourism destination and bring more customers into the great restaurants and boutiques in our historic downtown. Our beaches have been reviewed in the Top 10 by magazines like Coastal Living, Parents, and National Geographic Traveler.”

Susan Kelly won first place with "Lagoon in the Mist," a picture of fog hanging over the Calumet Lagoon. Pat Bytnar took second place with "A Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem," a photo of a fisherman gutting his catches, and Thomas Semtsy came in third with "Mural Painting," a picture of graffiti artist Felix "Flex" Maldonado painting a mural of a dog in a boat in an alley behind Lake Street in Gary's lakefront neighborhood. Mary Lyman’s photo “Child’s Play” won the People's Choice 1st Prize after getting the most votes online.

“Miller Beach is where the Indiana Dunes national park begins - our continuous buffer of natural dunes creates a stunningly beautiful Lake Michigan experience on our 6 miles of sugar sand beaches.” Blackwell said. “The national park is part of our DNA - Miller Woods is a hub of activity with the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education and West Beach drawing thousands every year.”

Submissions of photos flooded in from all over the country.

“There were plenty of pictures of the beaches, but I was glad to see other parts of the neighborhood represented. Miller Beach is so much more than just beaches and woods," said Sam Love of the Calumet Artist Residency, which judged the submissions. "The cottage homes in our historic downtown district, plus hundreds of lovely mid-century modern homes are what truly define Miller’s character.”

The all-volunteer Miller Beach Tourism Bureau plans to include photos in a Visit Miller Beach Calendar that's expected to be released before the holidays.


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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