Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Lowell man’s child molesting conviction overturned ]]>

The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a Lowell man who was sentenced to 30 years for child molesting. The appeals court on Friday vacated the conviction for Scott A. Wright, 43, after finding that the removal of a juror who had voted to acquit Wright was improper and ordered a new trial. About two hours after the jury began its deliberations in August, the judge received a note that indicated they were at a standstill. “We are 11 out of 12 guilty. One is voting not guilty and is not willing to change his mind,” the … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:10:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Memorial bricks in disrepair at Hobart park ]]> Lead story image

HOBART — The paved walkway at Lakefront Park is in need of major repair, with memorial bricks bearing a loved one’s name and brick pavers breaking and collapsing as the sandy ground underneath crumbles along a portion of the path. Some of the memorial bricks have been replaced or moved by the parks department; vandals have chucked some into the lake, Parks Superintendent John Mitchell said. The damage primarily is limited to the area along the green railing stretching about 500 feet from behind Chase Bank to the Clock Tower. The matter was brought up at a recent Park Board … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gary’s Sheraton demolition dealt brief setback ]]> Lead story image

GARY — Plans to demolish the overhead bridge, or walkway, between the Sheraton Hotel parking garage and Hudson-Campbell Sports Center on Sunday hit a brief snag when officials learned Friday they needed more documentation to complete the job. Workers bustled about the walkway Friday preparing for what they presumed was Sunday’s demolition, heralding the beginning of the end for the landmark eyesore on Broadway. City spokeswoman Chelsea Whittington said the new demolition date for the bridge is July 25. She said Massachusetts Street between 4th and 5th avenues will be closed during the demolition. Windows have already been boarded up … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 17:36:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Methodist Hospitals plans national search for CEO ]]> Lead story image

Methodist Hospitals will conduct a national search for its new president and chief executive, the board of directors has decided. Current president and interim CEO Michael Davenport will continue in his current role during the search, which is expected to take up to six months, according to a news release. A search committee consisting of representatives from the board of directors, medical staff and community members will work with an executive search firm to find candidates for the position, the release said. Davenport took over last year on an interim basis after former president and CEO Ian McFadden left after … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:02:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dyer man fatally struck by truck ]]>

A Dyer resident was killed when struck by a truck Wednesday while walking near his home, authorities said. Brian Alvord, 45, was hit in the 8000 block of Rhode Court and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where he died at 8:58 p.m., the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy Thursday found that he died of multiple injuries and ruled his death an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office. Dyer police could not be reached Thursday night for comment on the accident. Sun-Times Media Wire … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:03:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ 30 years for Gary man in child molesting case ]]>

A Gary resident was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for sexually molesting a young girl over a 20-month period in Hobart. Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell issued the sentence to Kenneth R. Barnett, 49, who was convicted by a jury June 10 of two counts of child molesting for the abuse that occurred between November 2007, when the girl was 10 years old, and June 2009. The trial was the second for Barnett on the charges. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict during his first trial in February. The girl’s mother told Boswell that Barnett … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:04:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Looking for work, hundreds attend Gary job fair ]]> Lead story image

GARY — Sheila Stuckey and Maigeane Tucker counted themselves lucky to have waited in line for only an hour and a half. While the mother-daughter duo from Gary spoke with recruiters from different companies upstairs, thousands of job seekers crowded the front door of the Genesis Convention Center and wrapped around the building nearly to the Adam Benjamin Metro Center parking lot across 4th Avenue. “I didn’t think the line would be around the block,” said Tucker, adding she was looking for a full-time job with the city’s building department. “Everybody needs a job.” “I’m glad I got in myself,” … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:02:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Griffith school clerk named after funds went missing ]]>

GRIFFITH – A former extra-curricular activities clerk with Eldon Ready Elementary School is on the hook for $34,062.53, according to the State Board of Accounts. Kelly Blackard, of Griffith, who worked at Ready from July 1, 2011, to Dec. 17, was found by the SBOA to have neither deposited nor recorded $5,085.77 in handwritten receipts and $2,455 in textbook rental receipts, a revised audit issued by the agency June 30 said. Scholastic Book Fair receipts totaling $1,214.75 also weren’t deposited. Additionally, $7,820.40 in collections from fund-raising activities and field trips remain unaccounted for, the audit said, making the total unaccounted … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:39:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hundreds expected to attend funeral  for slain patrolman ]]> Lead story image

GARY — Several hundred law enforcement officers from across the U.S. are expected to honor slain Gary Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield at his Monday funeral by laying white carnations with a red dot on his casket — a gesture that signifies a good life and career but one cut short by bloodshed. Westerfield was found shot to death in his squad car shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday — a couple of hours after he followed up on a domestic disturbance call near 26th Avenue and Van Buren Place. Police have a suspect in custody, but charges had not been filed as … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:01:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Residents in area where officer was slain report crime on the rise ]]> Lead story image

GARY — Despite a heavy police and press presence this week, the West Side neighborhood where a veteran Gary police officer was shot to death Sunday morning always has been a quiet one, longtime residents said Thursday. But some said forces beyond their control appear to be at work — new residents who are changing the area and not for the better. Officer Jeffrey Westerfield, 47, was found dead about 6 a.m. Sunday in his squad car in the 2600 block of Van Buren Place. It’s a street that resembles much of Gary — occupied single-family homes mingled with a … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:00:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dem treasurer candidate stumps across the region ]]> Lead story image

MERRILLVILLE — Mike Boland, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, said his campaign may lack financial resources but he will not be outworked in his effort to take the office away from Republicans. Boland has been making his way around the state in his “Boland-mobile,” a Chevrolet Malibu hybrid driven by his wife, Pat — spreading the word that he represents change. In a swing through Northwest Indiana on Thursday, he rattled off a list of stops on his most recent tour, including South Bend, Warsaw, Wabash, New Albany, Seymour, Shelbyville and North Vernon. On Thursday, he visited Valparaiso, Merrillville … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:02:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lake County Courts: 14-year prison term for coke deal ]]>

A Hammond man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by three years in Lake County Community Corrections, an alternative sentencing program, for dealing in cocaine. ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:07:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Memorial ride honors slain Gary officer ]]> Lead story image

GARY — The procession’s roar could be felt for blocks as the motorcycles filed in, one after another, to the Gary Police Department parking lot. More than 300 motorcycles and at least 50 cars, including many from law enforcement agencies, took part Wednesday in the Indiana Patriot Guard’s procession to honor Gary Officer Jeff Westerfield, who was found Sunday morning shot to death in his police car on 26th Avenue near Van Buren Place in Gary. Westerfield, who turned 47 on Sunday, was the first Gary officer to die on duty since August 2007. Lake County sheriff’s police are conducting … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:11:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Prison terms ending for 2 pols ]]>

Two of Lake County’s more colorful and storied politicians are nearing the end of their prison terms. Thomas Philpot, who served as Lake County’s coroner and clerk and ran four county sheriff, was released Wednesday from the PACT Bradley Center, a halfway house in Michigan City, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons website. His release marks the end of his 18-month sentence for felony theft and mail fraud. Philpot, 56, of St. John, who also has degrees in podiatry and law, started his sentence at the federal prison in Milan, Michigan. He couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. Meanwhile, … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:08:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bids opened again for E-911 tower ]]>

CROWN POINT — A second attempt to obtain pricing for the construction of the E-911 communications tower at the Lake County Government Center has proved successful. In a special meeting Wednesday, Lake County commissioners opened four bids for the construction of the county’s primary new communications tower needed for the consolidation of its dispatch services. The bid opening was a second go-round after there were no bidders in June. Officials also opened eight bids for the E-911 build-out at the Lake County Government Center. Bids varied widely for the communications tower, while bids for the build-out all were very close. … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:08:15 -0500