Short Takes

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Published on January 09, 2013 with No Comments


Exhibit Features Hoosiers

The Porter County Community Foundation in partnership with Valparaiso University is sponsoring the “Spirit of Competition” exhibit at the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts from Jan. 9 through Feb. 7.  Created by Indiana Humanities and designed in partnership with the Indiana Historical Society, the exhibit celebrates both unknown and well-known Hoosier competitors. “We’re really excited to bring this to Porter County. It highlights Indiana victories and inspires us all to excel in our own way,” said Barb Young, foundation president. “Putting forth our best efforts leads to outstanding achievements.”  The traveling exhibit includes engaging interactive opportunities such as a bicycle to match Major Taylor’s track speed, a chance to build John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, debate podiums, a mascot photo op and a scoreboard that shows statistics about where Indiana ranks in the world on a variety of topics.  It also includes short films on Hoosier competition-related stories. The exhibit is open to the public and the admission is free.  Clubs, organizations and school and youth groups are also welcome to visit the exhibit. Reservations for group visits are required. To reserve your date and time, contact the Porter County Community Foundation at 219-465-0294.  For more information, visit .


Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N. 25 East in Chesterton, will host a special Geocache Adventure on Saturday, Jan. 19. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Using GPS units, participants will travel the park and nearby duneland area while performing outdoor challenges.  A special aspect of this year’s event includes the “Spot of Soup Run.” Participants will be challenged to complete a special passport that requires sampling signature soups from well-known local restaurants. Try the soups, collect the stamps and race back to the park’s nature center by 4 p.m. The day will end with a chili dump in which participants are invited to bring chili to dump into a kettle that will be cooked over a fire at the nature center. Awards and door prizes will be given out during dinner. Participants can register and learn more about the event by going to geocaching.com and searching ZIP code 46304 to find the event listing. The program, including the soup sampling, is free after paying the park entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $10 per out-of-state vehicle. For more information, call 219-926-1390.


Place Smoke Alarms Properly

Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.  The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is reminding Hoosiers of the proper number and placement of smoke alarms in residences. “Every winter, firefighters across the state respond to thousands of home fires caused by improper heaters, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, etc.,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Properly placed smoke alarms will give families the most of the few minutes they have to react in a fire.” Smoke alarms should be installed on every home’s level and also should be placed near sleeping areas. Alarms that are hard wired need to be installed by a qualified electrician. Many fire departments will install smoke alarms and will provide assistance. Call local fire departments’ non-emergency phone number. Smoke alarms should be tested every month and the batteries should be changed once a year. There are two basic types of smoke detectors, Ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. Ionization alarms sound more quickly when flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. Special alarms that are a combination of these two are available as well. There are also special smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms often use strobe lights and/or vibration. Smoke alarms can be purchased at your local hardware, home supply, or general merchandise stores and some fire departments offer smoke alarms for little or no cost.  Learn more about fire safety at .


Valpo Parks

Golf season passes are available for both courses of the Valparaiso Parks Department.  Play unlimited golf in 2013 anytime during operating hours at either Forest Park Golf Course or Creekside Golf and Training Center.  Prices are as low as $735 or $560 for seniors.  For more information, call at 219-531-PUTT (7888) or visit .

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Eligible Hoosiers May File

Hoosiers eligible to receive federally extended unemployment insurance benefits will be able to continue filing for benefits. In order to receive payments on time and to make sure there are no issues with any claims or vouchers, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) advises all eligible Hoosiers to check their homepage on Uplink, Indiana’s online filing system, once a day for the next few weeks and respond to any links requiring more information for a claim or voucher. All links requesting further information must be completed before benefits can be paid. Those who have previously exhausted state regular unemployment benefits and the federally extended benefits (a maximum of 63 weeks) are not eligible for any further weeks of benefits. More information is available on DWD’s website, and in Uplink.


Hobart Family YMCA

Registration is underway at the Hobart Family YMCA for several fitness classes. Stroll and Tone is a 45-minute fitness class designed for parent and baby. By using resistance of the stroller and baby, you will get an allover work out.  Parent and child swim classes are also available.  There is also Middle School Yoga (ages 8-13), Kid Yoga (ages 3-6) and Taoflow Yoga for Moms on the Go.  Zumba and Zumba Gold classes are also available.  Stop by the YMCA and feel free to try a class. Classes start the week of Jan. 7.  The Hobart Family YMCA is located at 601 W. 40th Place. For more information, call 219-942-2183 or visit .


Indiana DNR Advises

There are many ways to recycle Christmas trees, but tossing them on a frozen lake to create fish habitat may not be the best idea … and may require a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Fish attractors tend to bring fish and fishermen together,” said Bill James, chief fisheries biologist for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “They provide cover but don’t necessarily grow more fish.” Better options include taking the tree to a designated Christmas tree recycling site in your community, tossing it in the backyard to provide shelter for wintering birds, running it through a wood chipper to create your own mulch, chopping it up for firewood. Discarding a Christmas tree on a private pond is at the owner’s discretion, but doing so on public freshwater lakes is governed by the Lake Preservation Act and Indiana Administrative Code. These laws require a license from the DNR to construct or place a fish attractor in a public freshwater lake. To qualify, the fish attractor must be anchored to ensure proper setting and must not be placed in a channel, a beach area, near the lake surface or in an area that would adversely affect public safety and navigation, or adversely affect the natural resources or natural scenic beauty. Three DNR divisions – Fish & Wildlife, Law Enforcement, and Water – have a role in reviewing and approving a permit request for placement of a fish attractor. If approved, the permit carries a $100 fee and requires the permit holder to remove any portion or portions of the fish attractor that become unattached.  For more information, visit .


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Housing Opportunities and Rainbow International of Northwest Indiana Restoration and Cleaning have partnered together for a local food drive. When booking a service through March 1 with Rainbow International of NWI, a customer may donate any item on the Housing Opportunities list to receive a $1 off their services up to $10 (10 items).  This offer can also be used with any current specials or coupons.  Rainbow International of NWI will pick-up the donated items at the customer’s location at the time services are taking place and will then deliver them to Housing Opportunities food pantry. Rainbow International of NWI’s contributions of canned goods, paper products, and cleaning supplies will help Housing Opportunities to assist children and families with everyday essentials.  The clients can then focus their energy on improving their housing situation or work on personal goals, rather than worry about feeding their kids, said Amanda Maynard,  resource development director for Housing Opportunities.  The Housing Opportunities food pantry currently serves an average of 1,500 Porter County residents a month with food to nourish their families and other household items. Forty-five percent of individuals served through the pantry are children under 18. Food costs take a big bite out of the limited income of clients. Even those who are eligible for food stamps have a hard time getting the essentials not covered by food stamps, like laundry detergent, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.  For more information on Housing Opportunities, visit .

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking to recruit 38 volunteers to work on trails this summer at four state parks for the Indiana Heritage Corps (IHC) program.  IHC is an AmeriCorps program administered through the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. IHC volunteers receive on-site housing, a living allowance of $340 per month, an education stipend ($1,468 before taxes) and hands-on experience, as well as a chance to earn college internship credit and live at a state park. The state parks that will have IHC are Pokagon (Angola), Fort Harrison (Indianapolis), Brown County (Nashville), and O’Bannon Woods (Corydon). IHC members will clean, restore and construct 25 cumulative miles of trail in the four parks. IHC candidates should be at least 17 years old, U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, be able to pass a strict FBI background check and be able to make a three-and-a-half-month commitment (Monday–Friday, May 13–Aug. 16) to the program. IHC, which started in January 2012, is funded through Indiana’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Interested and qualified candidates should email a résumé and cover letter to indianaheritagecorps@dnr.IN.gov. More information is at .

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Senior Art Exhibit

Local artists 55 and older may submit up to two pieces of media to the Portage Library, 2665 Irving St., through Jan. 23 for inclusion in the Senior Art Exhibit.  Art will be displayed throughout the month of February, with an artists’ reception on Feb. 16.  Sponsored by the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Senior Services.  For more information, call the library at 219-763-1508.

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