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Early voting begins Oct. 6. Voters can cast ballots at any of 11 locations:

• The Lake County Government Center elections board office, Room A-205, 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point

• East Chicago’s county courthouse, 3711 Main St., East Chicago

• Gary’s county courthouse, 15 W. Fourth Ave., Gary

• Hammond’s county courthouse, 232 Russell St., Hammond

• St. John Township assessor’s office, 9157 Wicker Ave., St. John

• Schererville Town Hall, 10 E. Joliet St., Schererville

• Winfield Town Hall, 10645 Randolph St., Winfield

• Munster Town Hall, 1005 Ridge Road, Munster

• Wicker Park Social Center, 8554 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland

• Lowell Town Hall, 501 E. Main St., Lowell

• Hobart Police Community Center, 705 E. 4th St., Hobart.

Voting hours for the Crown Point location are: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as Saturday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 31. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Voting hours at the other 10 locations are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as Saturday Oct. 6 and Saturday Oct. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The final day for early voting will be Nov. 2. Voters can use the Crown Point office 8:30 a.m. to noon and the other 10 locations 9 a.m. to noon on that day. All locations are closed Oct. 12 in observation of Columbus Day. Voting will take place 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3, at all 361 precincts across Lake County.

From The Northwest Indiana Times


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Indiana health officials are warning residents to take coronavirus precautions seriously over the Labor Day weekend. new statewide COVID-19 risk ratings show most counties have minimal or moderate virus spread.

However, officials are urging people to wear masks and avoid crowds during the Labor Day weekend after large gatherings around the Fourth of July contributed to an increase in coronavirus cases during July and August.

The Trump administration is ordering a halt on evictions nationwide through December for people who have lost work during the pandemic and don't have other good housing options.

The new eviction ban is being enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order "presents a historic threat to public health."

Housing advocates and landlord groups both have been warning that millions of people could soon be put out of their homes through eviction if Congress does not do more to help renters and landlords and reinstate expanded unemployment benefits.

East Chicago residents living in the West Calumet, Calumet and East Calumet neighborhoods are fighting in Federal Court to keep the lawsuit they filed in 2017 alive. The suit claim polluters DuPont/Chemours and Atlantic Richfield severely contaminated their neighborhoods. Residents say they suffered health and emotional distress because of the contamination that was found in their yards and homes.

The companies are trying to have the lawsuits dismissed. They say the statute of limitations protects them from being sued because of the long-ago manufacturing operations. They also site that the EPA is currently cleaning the sites.

The residents are being represented by David Chizewer, attorney with Goldberg Kohn, a Chicago law-firm that is working pro-bono on behalf of the residents.

A 50-year-old Munster man was scammed out of $700 by a person who falsely claimed to represent the Social Security Administration, police say.

The man reported Friday that the suspect told him his social security number had been compromised, and that an arrest warrant was about to be issued for him, according to Munster police.

Police say the man and his daughter then went to a local Target and purchased two gift cards worth $700, then gave the cards' redemption codes to the suspect.

Police remind the public that government agencies will never request payment through pre-paid cards. Anyone who is contacted by a potential scammer is urged to call their local police department.

Effective Tuesday, September 8, 2020, Gary Public Transportation Corporation (GPTC) will begin a new and improved bus schedule, providing more service with fewer transfers for Northwest Indiana.

The Broadway Metro Express will have three additional stops, which include

· Lake County Government Building

· Adam Benjamin Jr. VA Outpatient Clinic

· and Purdue Research Park/Ivy Tech Campus

With the new schedule, it is now just one trip from Gary to Crown Point and from Crown Point to the South Shore Line, and the Ivy Tech South Broadway Shuttle will be suspended as a separate route.

Trips on the Broadway Express will run every 30 minutes and will increase to every 20 minutes as ridership grows.

Lake County Finance Director Scott Schmal said as the county begins to work through the 2021 budget, the income tax revenue and casino revenues are taking a hit due to COVID-19.

The county is projected to lose a little over $3 million from the shut down of casinos in the spring. He also said the state is projecting that the county will see at least a 10% reduction in income tax revenue.

Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and the Hammond Legal Aid Clinic are pleased to announce that beginning in September the Clinic will be offering legal services relating to immigration and DACA.

Alfredo Estrada, Partner at Burk Costanza & Carberry LLP, will be teaming with the Clinic to provide immigration legal services for qualified Hammond residents.

In order to receive services from the Clinic, you must be a resident of the City of Hammond for the last nine months and meet the economic guidelines for your household size. For more information please call the Clinic at 853-6611.

Testing at some Indiana University fraternity and sorority houses found infection rates above 50%, according to a statement released by the school, but university officials said Thursday that they were unaware of any infected students who needed hospitalization. The shared bathrooms and living spaces in those houses make preventing virus spread difficult.

The county health department has already ordered 30 of the 40 houses to quarantine due to the coronavirus. University officials said they can’t order the houses to close because they’re owned by the fraternity and sorority organizations, but they urged everyone living in them to move out.

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Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Three Northwest Indiana chambers – Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, Duneland Chamber of Commerce and Gary Chamber of Commerce – discussed the resources they provide to their members and how they themselves are adapting as a chamber during this pandemic.

By: Rocio Villaseñor

Northwest Indiana chambers of commerce are still adapting to the changes the pandemic has brought.

According to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce business impact survey findings released on April 23, 56 percent of nearly 1,400 business leaders ranked the impact on their own business at eight, nine or ten on a scale of one to ten. The biggest effects from the survey findings were: revenue loss at 80 percent, cash flow concerns at 51 percent, suspended operations at 34 percent and employee layoffs at 32 percent.

Gary Chamber of Commerce

Charles “Chuck” Hughes, the president and chief executive officer of Gary Chamber of Commerce, said they had a small response from their members to the business impact survey. Hughes said they also do surveys periodically to see what their members “thoughts and ideas are because the membership makes the chamber.”

Gary Chamber of Commerce has about 80 to 100 members. Hughes said the chamber is on their annual renewal process right now. “We are hopeful that we’ll gain some members. We hope that we can maintain those that we have because of the pandemic.”

Hughes said some of the members have gone out of business, but did not say how many. He did say they are trying to assist the ones who have managed to hold on.” He does not know how many of his members have received COVID-19 relief, but said “several have utilized.”

Even before the pandemic, the chamber has been offering financial training workshops to the members. Hughes said the chamber is collaborating with the Indiana Black Expo since it was awarded millions of dollars by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb to support small businesses in the state. Hughes said the chamber is in the process of contacting a list of businesses in the community to let them know about financing available.

The chamber also offers economic development and business community. “We offer financial planning, financial services, and how to start a business.” He said they are “trying to find avenues of support” to keep the businesses open.

The chamber is located inside the Majestic Star Casino, so their operations were shut down because of the stay-at-home rule. Hughes said they are in the process of reorganizing themselves but are fully operational now. In the chamber’s July newsletter, it was mentioned that individuals have to call beforehand if they plan to visit the chamber.

“Nothing will change our goals,” Hughes emphasized. “We try to do whatever we can within the chamber’s purview in order to assist them to keep them operational.”

The networking events like lunches and special events have impacted the chamber since large crowds are against the law right now Hughes said. The chamber still services their members by offering them advice, suggestions and information when they call. They also still assist their members with open houses, events and activities that they choose to do.

According to the chamber’s August newsletter, the “economic/business development committee hosted U.S. Senator Todd Young and his staff in a virtual conversation to hear different perspectives from Northwest Indiana business owners, community leaders and concerned citizens. The Zoom event allowed those in attendance the opportunity to share the many concerns as a community with Senator Young and find a positive solution.”

“The chamber is working hand-in-hand with the city because we are interested in maintaining a business base here in Gary which will help the tax base [and] help this city be able to meet many of its needs,” Hughes said. He added that the Mayor Jerome Prince is encouraging members to become members of the chamber.

Read about Crossroads Regional Chamber and Duneland Chamber.

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