Short Takes – May 9, 2012

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Published on May 08, 2012 with No Comments


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Valpo Velvet ice cream shop could soon be named among the “Top 10 Indiana Places for Ice Cream,” and the Indiana Dunes is in the running for a spot among the “Top 10 Indiana Summer Must Do’s.” The Top 10 lists are being put together by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD). Both Valpo Velvet and the Indiana Dunes made the list of potential Top 10 places. Now, it is up to people who visit the state tourism website — www.VisitIndiana.com — to pick the Top 10 winners. Voting began May 4. A promotional image on the homepage takes users to the voting section. People can also click on the new “Best of” section in the main navigation. Voting closes at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 10. The Top 10 lists will be announced Friday, May 11 and will be published in the “Best of” section of . Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is encouraging area residents to support Valpo Velvet and the Indiana Dunes by visiting the state tourism website and casting votes for them. “We would like Valpo Velvet and the Indiana Dunes to get the recognition they deserve,” said Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism. “If Valpo Velvet and the Indiana Dunes make the Top 10 lists, it could also encourage people to visit and spend money in Porter County.” Valpo Velvet, located at 55-57 W. Monroe St. in Valparaiso, has been making ice cream the exact same way for 65 years by three generations of Brown family members. Although the five simple ingredients in the basic mix haven’t changed, unique new flavors have been added over the years. Valpo Velvet now makes 65 to 70 different flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and sorbet. As for the Indiana Dunes, it draws more than 3 million visitors each year. Dunes visitors can enjoy 15 miles of Lake Michigan beaches, towering sand dunes with breathtaking views of the lake and miles of wooded trails.


Campbell Street Café

During May, Campbell Street Café tips are adding up for Porter County Aging and Community Services (PCACS). The café, owned and operated by Pines Village Retirement Communities, will donate a month’s worth of patrons’ tips to PCACS. As a not-for-profit, Pines Village permits café employees to accept tips on behalf of charitable organizations. “Patrons of the café wanted to give tips for the service – that is just normal,” said Amy Page, director of public relations at Pines Retirement Village Communities. “This is our way of supporting organizations that have an impact on the lives of older adults, which is always part of our mission. “These are wonderful programs that are an asset to our community,” Page added. “It may not be huge dollar amounts, but it’s from the heart.” PCACS Executive Director Bruce Lindner said the agency is honored to be included in the café’s tradition. “We appreciate the continued recognition we receive through the café’s program,” Lindner said. “Beyond the donations, we are grateful to be supported and acknowledged by our community partners.”   To support PCACS through tips in May, enjoy breakfast, lunch or a snack at the Campbell Street Café from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The café is located in the Meridian Woods neighborhood off Campbell Street, 4245 Meridian Woods Drive, in Valparaiso. For more information or to view a menu, visit . PCACS’ mission is to extend a helping hand to seniors, those with disabilities and low-income residents by providing services to improve their quality of life, including transportation, nutrition programs, energy assistance and activity centers. For more information, visit .


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The Indiana State Fair will hold four incredible concerts at Bankers Life Fieldhouse over the course of its 17-day run, Aug. 3 through 19.  The shows include: Barry Manilow – Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Train – Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.; Journey with Pat Benatar and Loverboy – Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.; and Blake Shelton – Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets for all these shows include a ticket to the state fair good on any day of the fair, not just the day of the concert.  Tickets for the Barry Manilow show go on sale Friday, April 27 at 10 a.m.  Tickets for all the other shows go on sale Saturday, April 28 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices for the shows are as follows: Barry Manilow – $129.99, $89.99, $69.99, $39.99, $19.99 and $9.99; Train – $61, $50 and $40; Journey/Pat Benatar/Loverboy – $90, $70 and $45; Blake Shelton – $75, $55 and $40. Tickets can be purchased at the state fairgrounds box office and all Ticketmaster locations.  They can also be purchased through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  In addition, the fair will present the Indiana Fever vs. Atlanta Dream game on Aug. 18.  Any group that purchases 15 or more tickets to the game will receive the same number of tickets to the fair, also good on any day of the fair.  These tickets can be purchased at the state fairgrounds box office, through Ticketmaster or at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For more information, contact the Indiana State Fairgrounds Box Office at 317-927-7601 or visit .


Free iPhone App

The Valparaiso Police Department is announcing a new free iPhone App to report suspicious activities in neighborhoods, drug activity and general crime tips to the police. The new iPhone app now provides citizens with three different methods to report suspicious crimes or crime tips to the department. Citizens can log onto the department’s website and report crime tips. Tips can be sent through texting on their cellular phones by texting 847-411 then entering “Valpo” as their keyword before sending the text.  All tips are received anonymously and immediately by the department.  Community members with iPhones are encouraged to visit the Apple App Store and searched “VPD Tips” or visit the department’s website at www.valparaisopolice.org and click on “anonymous tips” and log onto the App Store link at the bottom of the page. When citizens get involved and report suspicious activities it helps keep their neighborhoods safer. In 2011, the Valparaiso Police Department received 74 tips from the Tip 411 Program (text tips), and from those crime tips officers made 17 arrests. The new iPhone app now makes reporting crime tips even more convenient for community members. For more information, call 462-2135 or visit .


Portage Fire Department

The City of Portage and the Portage Fire Department are accepting applications for firefighters.  Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 35 and an Indiana Certified EMT at the date of hire.  All new firefighters are required to enroll in and complete an Indiana Certified Paramedic Training Program as a condition of employment.  Application forms are available at the Portage Fire Station located at 3401 Swanson Road in Portage.  Applications will be available through May 16.  All applications must be turned into Station 1 by 4:30 p.m. on May 16.  Upon completion of the application phase, which includes a written exam, a swim test, a physical ability test and an interview, applicants will be placed on a hiring list that will be in effect from February 1, 2012 until January 31, 2013. The Portage Fire Department protects the City of Portage which covers 27 square miles and 37,000 citizens.  They answer 4,000 calls for service each year.  The Portage Fire Department staffs two advanced life support engines, one advanced life support ladder and two advanced support rescues out of three stations.  The City of Portage and the Portage Fire Department are equal opportunity employers.  For questions, contact the fire administration at 762-7404 or e-mail to .


Clean Water Indiana

For the 2012 Clean Water Indiana Grant Cycle, the State Soil Conservation Board (SSCB) voted to award $1.078 million to Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).  These 21 grants involve more than 60 Districts from across the state.  “All of these approved projects require a 2-3 year commitment and partnership with at least one district,” said Larry Clemens, State Soil Conservation Board chair. “They are also encouraged to find other organizations to participate and that extends the pool of resources to maximize the impact of these grant funds.” The 2012 Clean Water Indiana grants address at least two of the state priorities of the State Soil Conservation Board’s Business Plan. These are:  soil quality degradation including the loss of top soil due to erosion, the depletion of organic matter, as well as soil compaction and other soil biology impacts that degrade soil quality; water quality impairments including sediment, nutrients, pesticides, E-coli and other non-point sources of water pollution found in our streams, rivers and lakes; and other soil and water-related natural resources concerns including forest lands, wildlife habitat areas, pasture and forage lands, and air quality. The Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Program was established to provide financial assistance to landowners and conservation groups. The financial assistance supports the implementation of conservation practices which will reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution through education, technical assistance, training, and cost sharing programs. The CWI fund is administered by the ISDA Division of Soil Conservation under the direction of the State Soil Conservation Board. For more information on Clean Water Indiana, visit .

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Preschool Inclusion Summer Camp

Registration is now available for preschool aged children with disabilities for the “Let’s ALL Play” Preschool Inclusion Camp. The main goal of the camp is to provide a fun-filled camp while meeting the needs of all campers that attend. Preschool campers, with and without disabilities, will enjoy activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, friendship building, story time and more. Campers do not need to be independent in physical skills such as sitting up or walking or in self-help skills such as toileting or feeding. The program runs from July 23 through August 3 from 9 to11:30 a.m. at the Hobart Family YMCA. The “Let’s ALL Play” Preschool Inclusion Camp is a seven-year collaboration between Hobart Family YMCA, Center for Possibilities and The National Inclusion Project. The National Inclusion Project had designated this camp as a “Let’s ALL Play” Legacy Partner and will continue to provide curriculum, training and expertise on including children with and without disabilities in an inclusive setting. For more information, contact the Hobart Family YMCA at 942-2183 or Center for Possibilities at 962-5751.


IUN Introduces

Indiana University Northwest (IUN) faculty member and lecturer Angel Goins will introduce the works of Margaret Truman with “Mad About Mysteries” at the Westchester Township History Museum, 700 W. Porter Ave., Chesterton. The “Mad About Mysteries” presentation will take place on Wednesday, May 9 and repeated on Saturday, May 12, both at 2 p.m.  Refreshments will be served.  Group discussion will follow the presentation. Truman, only child of former President Harry S. Truman, wrote her first book, “Souvenir: Margaret Truman’s Own Story” in 1956.  She went on to write 10 non-fiction books and author a popular series of murder mysteries set in Washington D.C.  The museum is an educational and cultural service of Westchester Public Library and is free and open to the public, Wednesday through Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment.  For more information, call the museum at 983-9715.

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