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Short Takes

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on December 19, 2012 with No Comments

SUNSET HILL County Park Run

Northwest Indiana’s Crazy Legs Race Series is offering runners one last chance to hit the trails before “the end of the world” on Friday, Dec. 21. The 10K race will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 21 at Sunset Hill Farms County Park, located at 775 Meridian Road in Valparaiso, just south of the intersection of U.S. Route 6 and Meridian Road. Although prestigious organizations such as NASA and the University of California, San Diego are working to ease concerns that the world will end on Dec. 21, Crazy Legs Race Series race director Paul Stofko believes that runners will want to hedge their bets. “Runners love to run and if the end of the world is coming, real runners will want to get in some final miles,” Stofko said. “This will be a fun race and one last chance to win a medal before it all becomes meaningless. ” Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners and the top three finishers in each age group. The race will begin at 6 p.m. at
Sunset Hill Farm County Park. Headlights or flashlights are mandatory for all runners. Registration and additional information is available at www.imathlete.com. Race day registration will be at Sunset Hill Farm County Park beginning at 5 p.m. Arrive early if you are planning on registering on race day. All preregistered runners will receive a commemorative technical shirt. Race day sign-ups are not guaranteed a shirt. For more information, call Stofko at 219-873-6296.

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Students, make your season bright when you consider the impact of Indiana foods and farmers for the 3rd Annual Ag Essay Contest titled “Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers” sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities. There will be first and second place winners from each grade level.  First place winners will receive an Apple iPad and second place winners will receive a
Beatsby Dr. Dre Headphones. All winners will be invited to attend a special recognition ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse on March 5 in celebration of National Ag Day. Th essay competition includes three grade levels: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. The essays align with a number of state standards. A breakdown of the state core academic standards met by the essay contest is available on the Indiana’s Family of Farmers website. Entries must be received by Feb. 1. For the 2013 competition, the same question is asked of all
three grade levels: Describe how Indiana farmers nourish our families, our animals and our earth (soil). Please provide an example from each of the three areas. The contest is part of Indiana Humanities’ two-year Spirit of Competition initiative. Entry guidelines can be found at www.indianahumanities.org or www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com.

Area Real Estate Local Broker Reports

The latest real estate market data for single-family existing homes indicates that the market continued to be normal in both Lake and Porter Counties throughout November, reports Jeanne Sommer,
broker/owner of Century 21 Alliance Group in Valparaiso. “Lake and Porter Counties both continue to exhibit signs of a normal market, which is six months of supply, in spite of the holiday season,” said
Sommer. “While inventories are increasing slightly, that is to be expected this time of year.” Historically, the holiday season typically means fewer sales and a higher level of supply, but the numbers continued to improve in November with more homes selling for a higher price in a shorter amount of time. All data was
provided by the Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors and calculated from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 this year and compared to the same time period last year. The number of single-family existing home sales increased from 1,434 last year in Porter County to 1,661 this year and from 3,531 in Lake County to 4,152. The average sales price on single-family homes continued to climb from $175,699 to $182,554 in Porter County and from $130,465 to $134,887 in Lake County. In addition, the days a property is listed on the market were down in Porter County from 160 last year to 142 this year, while Lake County saw a decrease from 150 to 133. For more information, call Century 21 Alliance Group at 219-462-2090 or visit www.21alliance.com.

PROGRESSIVE OPEN HOUSE Duneland Chamber

This Thursday, Dec. 20, will be the final Duneland Progressive Open House, with holiday shopping sales at participating retailers (4 to 8 p.m.) and $5 food and drinkspecials at participating restaurants (4 to 7 p.m.). “This is a perfect opportunity to finish up last minute shopping, and enjoy $5 starters and drinks across town while you whittle away those holiday to-do lists,” said Heather Ennis, executive director of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce. “We often take for granted all of the unique, one-of-a-kind
shops, boutiques and restaurants that we have right here in Duneland. When you compare your holiday lists to what’s available locally, there’s really no reason to drive all over Chicagoland to do your shopping.” On Thursday, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, located at 220 Broadway in Chesterton, will be staying open from 4 to 8 p.m. Those interested in learning more about the event are invited to visit for hot cider,
cookies and maps, which include a suggested route for the shopping and dining tour. The first 10 guests to visit the chamber for tour maps will each receive a $5 chamber gift certificate, which may be redeemed for food, drink or products during the course of the evening. While shopping, guests are encouraged to look for retailers’ and restaurants’ “Shop Local” rack cards, which feature a QR code that may be scanned for a chance to win a $50 chamber gift certificate. Guests may scan codes at each location along the
shopping and dining tour, increasing the chances of winning the prize. For more information, contact the chamber at 219-926-5513 or info@dunelandchamber.org.

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KEEPING HOOSIERS HEALTHY Preparing For Flu Season

Wintertime is here and health wise that means one thing: flu season. State health officials are urging Hoosiers to be prepared and take preventative steps as influenza or the “flu” can be dangerous.
“Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. The vaccine also comes in a nasal spray for people who do not like shots. Individuals should also practice frequent, thorough hand washing and avoid touching  their eyes, nose or mouth without washing their hands.” The flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets from close contact with infected persons or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when influenza viruses contact the eyes, mouth or nose and possibly through inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough.  Currently, Indiana is having normal flu activity, but the Indiana State Department of Health is expecting to see an increase in flu cases as the season continues. Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of developing complications related to the flu, including hospitalization and death. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” said Larkin. “The best time is now, but Hoosiers can still get vaccinated through the winter months.” The Indiana State Department of Health suggests following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that everyone over the age of six months get the vaccine this year-not just those who are at the highest risk. For more information on influenza and the seasonal flu vaccine, visit www.in.gov.

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The Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) is extending the deadline for its annual Torchbearer Awards to Dec. 21. The State of Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women , Indiana Torchbearers are those women who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers to women’s full participation. Recipients will be selected from a pool of nominated candidates who have overcome obstacles, made extraordinary contributions to Indiana or to their communities or been pioneers throughout their lives.
Nominations may be submitted by email. Visit www.in.gov/icw/2334.htm to download the nomination form and guidelines. Submitted nomination forms are due on or before Friday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. EST. Recipients of the 2013 Torchbearer Awards will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on March 6. For more information, assistance or a printed copy of nomination form, contact Kristin Garvey at 317-232-6720 or info@icw.in.gov.

NOT JUST FOR SUMMER Winter Camp For Kids

A Winter Holiday Camp is set to take place from Wednesday, Jan. 2 to Friday, Jan. 4, at Sunset Hill Farm.
This camp will feature sledding, along with nature hikes, games, arts and crafts and more. The Winter Holiday Camp costs $60 per child, with a $5 discount for each additional sibling. “Kids should come prepared for outdoor adventure,” Camp FUNset Director Katie Rizer said. “We’ll hike through Murray Woods and, if the weather cooperates, take on the challenge of building some snow forts. We’ll also take time to build indoor forts, make winter crafts and play games.” Teens ages 13 to 16 can participate in the Leaders in Training Experience (LITE) program during the camp. Teens will work side-by-side with campn staff to learn what it takes to become a counselor. To register for the Winter Camp or LITE program, contact Rizer at 219-309-0680 or krizer@porterco.org. Space is limited, so sign up soon.

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Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Commissioner R. Scott Waddell today announced that license branches will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 22, Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Wednesday, Dec. 26. In addition, license branches will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Wednesday, Jan. 2. For more information, visit www.in.gov/bmv.

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