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City of Hammond's Monster Mash

OCT. 20, 5-9 p.m., Jean Shepherd Community Center, 3031 J.F. Mahoney Drive, Hammond. 219.554.0155. gohammond.com. With costume contests, games, music and more, this Halloween dance offers fun for all ages.

HELPING THOSE VISITING PURDUE UNIVERSITY NORTHWEST

Purdue University Northwest students and staff and others visiting the Hammond campus may have a safer time navigating between different parts of the campus in the future.

The city is looking into constructing a "refuge island" by the Hammond campus as part of its 173rd Street improvements between Woodmar and Ontario avenues.

The refuge island is an area in the center of the street where pedestrians can wait if they are unable to cross the roadway safely at one time.

City Engineer Dean Button said the safety improvement could be installed either late next year or early in 2019.

IMPROVING OUTDOOR AREA FOR SENIORS

Gary's Redevelopment Commission is working on a joint project with the Gary Housing Authority to improve an area across the street from the Genesis Towers at 6th Avenue and Broadway.

Currently, the vacant lot has just a few benches that have seen better days in an empty lot for the seniors to sit on during the day. The joint project will involve grading and seeding the lot with grass and putting in new landscaping. New benches for the seniors to sit on during sunny days will also be installed.

HAMMOND  STREET LIGHTING

One of the bright spots in Hammond neighborhoods this year is the extensive lighting programs that have been taking place. The city is preparing to install some more new streetlights this fall from the 6500 to 6800 blocks of Illinois and Idaho streets, according to Button.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM

The New Salem M.B. Church Inc. is planning a community outreach program from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 28 at 452 Sibley Street. Food and blankets will be provided to the homeless during that time.

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Ed has been with The Times since January 2014. He previously covered government affairs for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Florida. Prior to Scripps, he was with the Chicago Regional Bureau of Copley News Service.