The Northwest Indiana Gazette | Citizen Journalism in Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties

Citizen Journalism in Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties

Saturday, April 19, 2014

FBI Week in Review 4/18


HAMMOND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in federal court: Indictments: Jeremiah Ellis, 28, and Ashley Patterson, 24, both of East Chicago, Indiana, were charged with the bank robbery of the First Merchants Bank in East Chicago and with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Chicago Police Department. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga. DeCarlos Frazier, 30, of Chicago, Illinois, …continue reading

IL Man Indicted for Stealing from TIF Fund

CHICAGO—A Chicago real estate developer was arrested today on federal charges alleging that he defrauded the south suburban Village of Riverdale of public funds provided for the redevelopment of the now closed-Riverdale Marina. The defendant, John Thomas, allegedly fraudulently obtained approximately $370,000 for himself from $900,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) payments in 2012 and used the public funds to repay personal loans and debts, legal fees, rent, and other personal expenses. Thomas, 51, of Chicago, was charged with three counts of wire fraud in a federal grand jury indictment that was returned Wednesday and unsealed today after his arrest. …continue reading

Soderquist Indictment Details Theft, Gambling Losses

Mayor Keith Soderquist of Lake Station will surrender to Federal authorities on Thursday April 17, 2014

by Ken Davidson See the Charging Documents Here: Indictment for Keith and Deborah Soderquist brakleyindictment The above indictment of Keith and Deborah Soderquist details gambling losses of over $100,000 in three years. According to Federal Prosecutors, the Soderquists used campaign funds as their personal piggy bank to fund these losses. On at least two occasions, they even took money from the Lake Station Food Pantry account to use for a gambling trip. According to the indictment: KEITH SODERQUIST AND DEBORAH SODERQUIST’S personal use of the funds donated to the Food Pantry Account included, but was not necessarily limited to, gambling …continue reading

Truck Driver Involved in Fatal Hit and Run
Released Without Charges


According to a statement released by the Indiana State Police, the truck driver involved in yesterday’s fatal hit and run accident in Whiting has been released without charges: State police detectives from the Lowell Post are currently looking at video footage that was obtained from local businesses that may help answer some of the questions surrounding the accident. Detectives questioned the driver of a semi tractor trailer last night who was suspected as being involved in the hit and run accident. The driver has since been released by the state police and at this point no charges have been filed …continue reading

IU School of Optometry study: New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University researchers have detected new early-warning signs of the potential loss of sight associated with diabetes. This discovery could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, potentially impacting the care of over 25 million Americans. “We had not expected to see such striking changes to the retinas at such early stages,” said Ann Elsner, professor and associate dean in the IU School of Optometry and lead author of the study. “We set out to study the early signs, in volunteer research subjects whose eyes were not thought to have very advanced disease. …continue reading

ISP Release Name of Hit and Run Victim

Lake County – Around 3:15 p.m. today officers with the Whiting Police Department responded to the area of 119th Street and Indianapolis Boulevard in Whiting for a crash involving a semi truck and a child pedestrian. The Indiana State Police are investigating the crash at the request of the Whiting Chief of Police. Officers arrived at the scene to find a young Hispanic male that reportedly had been struck and killed by a north bound semi truck as he attempted to cross Indianapolis Blvd. just south of 119th St. The child has been identified as 11 year old Angel Villafuerte. …continue reading