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    This year will represent a landmark year on a number of fronts. The state of Indiana will celebrate a bicentennial. The National Park Service will mark its centennial.

      We are all familiar with our interstate highway system. Launched by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and spanning nearly 48,000 miles, it serves as one of the greatest infrastructure projects in world history. Love it or loathe it, the system provides critical, mostly prompt connections t…

        Last week I had the pleasure of attending a trails conference in Iowa. Yes, Iowa – that state many might give a passing glance out their window while flying over to Chicago, or either coast. However, there is a lot going on in the Hawkeye State, and much we can learn from in our fair region.

          Ah, sidewalks. They represent both a blessing and bane of our communities. A blessing in that they afford safe, non-motorized access throughout a community, and a bane in regards to their maintenance responsibility. The issue is complex for reasons I shall unpack herein.

            Back in June, I introduced our latest planning endeavor — the Greenways + Blueways 2020 Plan. This document aims to combine conservation, recreation and nonmotorized transportation into a cohesive vision for the NIRPC region of Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

            A suburban Chicago teen accused of fatally shooting his 17-year-old girlfriend, a 9-year-old girl and the child’s father has been told a grand jury has indicted him on three charges of first-degree murder. Seventeen-year-old Byrion Montgomery of Bolingbrook went before a Will County judge Thursday and was informed that the grand jury indicted him in the March 5 slayings. Judge Dave Carlson also told Montgomery he will be transferred to the Will County Jail after he turns 18 on April 27.  Currently he is being held at the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Joliet. The victims have been identified as 40-year-old Cartez Daniels, 17-year-old Samiya A. Shelton-Tilman and 9-year-old Sanai Daniels.

            The Florida Senate is passing a bill to repeal a law requiring a unanimous jury recommendation for the death penalty. The approval comes in response to the life sentence handed to the man who massacred 17 people at a Parkland high school. The bill passed on a 29-10 vote Thursday and will allow the death penalty with a jury recommendation of at least 8-4 in favor of execution. The House still needs to approve the bill. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis says he supports the proposal. The bill was proposed after a divided 9-3 jury spared Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz in November from capital punishment.

            Police in central Illinois have shot a man suspected of stabbing a woman after he charged at them while armed with a knife. Decatur Police Chief Shane Brandel says two officers were responding to a domestic vioplence call shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday and discovered a 34-year-old woman had been stabbed in her back, an arm and a hip and had a cut on her chest. Brandel says she was released from a hospital Thursday. Brandel says the man was shot in both hands and his right arm. The man was taken to a hospital. Brandel identified the man as 43-year-old Steven Hirstein.


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