As of 31 Dec 2016 this Gary, IN news compilation is no longer being updated by GDYNets.

Also, due to a technical glitch, all postings subsequent to 14 Oct 2016 have been lost.

 Mayor     On the "Come Up" with Karen               City Seal GDYNets Logo
2016 Reports on matters pertaining to Gary, Indiana and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's running of the "Steel City"

Economics create a battle between the haves and the have-nots, and between the takers and the taken.
           - Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, 2013
"Gary, a city that is designed to provide the best government that tax dollars can buy."
                  - Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, 16 Jan 2014 [On selection of Gary as a Strong Cities, Strong Communities participant]
Gary, a community that seems to know its problems but can't figure out a way to solve them.
The shabbiness of the city, and the casualness with which it residents wield guns for self-protection, is shocking.

                  - Urban Decay in a City of Steel (CNN Photo Blogs)
"Da' Region:  A barnacle furiously clinging to Chichago's hull."
                    - nwiHumorist Jean Shepherd
"Ya see those guys?  They think dressin' up is changing socks!"
                    - An unnamed Gary prostitute to a Chicago Tribune Reporter, 7 Jun 1959
Gary is confident that its worst days are over and the best are yet to come.  "You have to look at Gary with the correct idea-that Gary is an easel on which is to be painted one of the great success stories of the 20th Century."
                   - Don Sullivan, Gary Business Development Commission 17 Apr 1988
"Gary is in continual decline.  I've been waiting for it to hit bottom for 50 years.  I haven't heard that thud yet."
 - Greg Reising, 2014
If a building can be abandoned a school, a church, an office complex, a hotel, a grocery store, an apartment building, a gas station it has been abandoned in Gary.
- Josh Noel, 2014 Tribune Travels
Employment at the mills is nowhere what it once was.  30,000 people worked at Gary Works alone, before everything became more automated.

Today, U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal together employ around 17,000 workers in the Calumet Region.  That's 5.3% of the total jobs held by residents in the Gary metropolitan area, according to Department of Workforce Development figures.

The steel mill jobs also are among the best-paying in the region.  Economic studies by the American Iron and Steel Institute have found a single steelworker job at the mill supports another seven jobs, such as at restaurants and convenience stores.  By that metric, the steel industry supports 119,000 jobs in Northwest Indiana, or about 37% in the Gary metro area.
                 - Joseph Pete, nwiTimes 2015

*** The July 2015 unemployment rate in Gary is 40%! ***
- Gary Crusader

"Gary is a great and storied city whose contributions to the state are too numerous to count."
                    - Gov. Mike Pence, 21 Oct 2015

Gary, Home of Gary Int'l:  "Chicago's third busiest airport!"
                    - Anonymous, 2016

   Go To:  ARCHIVES PORTAL  for access to all past Gary news reports (2008 to current)
  Go To:  JACKO JABBER (Reports on matters relating to the demise of Michael Jackson)

Well, here we go with the 2016 report on the running of the City of the Century - Gary, IN - by its elected officials.  This is the fifth year without Rudy at the helm, as well as the fifth year KF-W has occupied the Gary Chief Executive office.  There can be little doubt but Karen Freeeman-Wilson does indeed still have her work cut out for her!

Will Gary set another record for murders (53 in 2015 by GDYNets count)?
Will Gary Int'l. ever become a viable airport?
How many of the 10,000 vacant/abandoned Gary homes will KF-W get tore down?
Will the now closed Lew Wallace H.S. still be standing at the end of 2016?

Remember, you may access the earlier reports from the links appearing above, or at the bottom of, this page.

2 Teens Shot to Death in Gary
#36, #37 and Counting
Compiled From a Chicago Tribune Staff Report

Two teens were found shot to death in an apparent double homicide Thursday night in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood, police said.

Police were called to the 700 block of E 49th Av about 8 p.m. when someone reported gunshot victims in a vehicle, according to a release from Gary police.  A man and a woman were found inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds.

The man was identified as Zantrell Collins, 18, and the woman was identified as Koreen Ramos, 18, according to the Lake County coroner's office.  They died from gunshot wounds, and their deaths were ruled homicides.

Collins and Ramos lived in the 4900 block of Kentucky St in Gary, which is down the street from where they were found dead.

Police did not give any details of what might have happened, but termed the incident a "double homicide" in the email.


Driver Shot after Trying to Run Down Officer
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Sarah Reese
[14 Oct 2016]


GARY — A police officer shot and wounded a driver accused of attempting to run down the officer early Friday while the officer was investigating a report of suspicious vehicle, a police spokeswoman said.


The Gary police officer, a 10-year veteran of the department, was dispatched about midnight to the area of W 15th Av and Colfax St, Lt. Dawn Westerfield said.

At some point, the driver attempted to run the officer down with a vehicle and the officer fired his gun, police said.  The driver was wounded and listed in critical condition early Friday, police said.

In accordance with its policy, the Gary Police Department has asked the Lake County Sheriff's Department to handle a review of the officer-involved shooting, Westerfield said.


Man Shot to Death in Violent Week on Gary's East Side
#35 and Counting
Compiled From a nwiTimes Staff Report
[13 Oct 2016]

GARY — A man was killed early Thursday in the third shooting on the city's East Side in less than a week, officials said.

Police were dispatched about 4 a.m. to a gas station in the 1000 block of E 21st Av for a shooting, a report shows.

The man, who has not yet been identified, suffered gunshot wounds in a homicide, according to the Lake County coroner's office.  The man was pronounced dead at 4:50 a.m. at the scene.

The shooting occurred within blocks of two other shootings since Saturday in the same area.


Great Lakes Steel Output Slides to 666,000T
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Joseph S. Pete
[13 Oct 2016]


Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region fell to 666,000T last week, down from 671,000T a week earlier, a decrease of 0.7%.


Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, fell to 495,000T last week, down from 512,000T the previous week, a 3.3% drop.

Capacity utilization nationwide was only 66.8% last week, the fifth straight week it’s been mired under 70%.  Overall U.S. steel output dropped by 26,000T last week to 1.58 million tons, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the sluggish 2015 pace by about 1.3 million tons, a decline of 1.9%.  In 2015, during the worst import crisis in more than a decade, steel output in the United States declined by 10.5% from the year before, according to the World Steel Association.

Year-to-date steel output in the United States has been 68.7 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 71.7%, compared to 70 million net tons at a capacity utilization of 71.7% at the same time last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.


County Gives Griffith Green Light for Secession Poll
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Bill Dolan
[12 Oct 2016]


GRIFFITH — Lake County elections officials on Tuesday allowed Griffith to ask its voters Dec. 20 whether to move out of Calumet Township and away from the tax burden of supporting Gary’s indigent population.


Justin Murphy, county elections board chairman, said the bipartisan elections board voted to reject a complaint by Cal Twp Trustee Kimberly K. Robinson that Griffith officials weren’t following state law.

Town Council President Rick Ryfa said Tuesday he has successfully argued the 2013 state law permitting Griffith to leave Cal Twp is constitutional and town officials properly framed their petition drive to put the question on the ballot for a special election.

Ryfa had earlier said the town would have sued if the decision went against them.  Now, he is preparing for a court challenge from Robinson’s lawyers.

Merrillville lawyer Alfredo Estrada said afterward Robinson "is exploring all her options."  Robinson couldn’t be reached Tuesday for comment, but said earlier she might sue to stop the special election.


Police ID One of Two Gary Shooting Victims
#34 and Counting
Compiled From a nwiTimes Staff Report
[8 Oct 2016]

GARY -- Two 29-year-old Gary men were found shot, with one pronounced dead on the scene, Saturday morning in an alley south of 20th Av and Virginia St, according to police.

The Lake County coroner's office identified the deceased man as Akeem Oliver, 29 of the 4200 block of 20th Av., Gary.  Police declined to name the other shooting victim Saturday.

Gary police were dispatched to the area at approximately 8:30 a.m. after receiving a call of shots fired.  Enroute to the scene, the call was upgraded to gun shot victims, police said.

Police discovered a vehicle in the alley upon arrival, with one of the gunshot victims found outside it, according to a news release.  He was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Oliver was found inside the vehicle with a gunshot wound.  He was later pronounced dead on the scene by the Lake County Coroner's office.


Gary Man Stabbed to Death
#33 and Counting
Compiled From a nwiTimes Staff Report
[8 Oct 2016]


GARY — Police responded to a call in the 2000 block of W 5th Av at 5:10 a.m. Saturday and found a 25-year-old man with a stab wound.


The man was taken to the hospital for treatment and was later declared dead, according to police.


88 People With City Jobs Do Not Live Here
Compiled From a Post-Trib Report by Gregory Tejeda
[7 Oct 2016]


In pursuing information for Gary's annual budget, a member of the common council said she's discovered 88 people who have jobs with the city but don't live within its boundaries as required.


Gary Common Council member LaVetta Sparks-Wade, who tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to have all people appointed to positions by the council be city residents, said the 88 workers receive salaries totaling $2.85 million.

"It's obvious we're not enforcing our residency ordinance," said Sparks-Wade, who represents the city's 6th district and chairs the finance committee.  She spoke following a committee session during which Gary Redevelopment Commission Joe Van Dyk admitted that two of his staffers don't live in Gary.  One, he says, lives in Portage, and the other has an address in Gary along with a primary residence in Chicago.

Sparks-Wade said requiring city agency directors to provide the names and addresses of their employees as part of the budget process has been interesting.  She's found a common way city officials get around the residency ordinance is to hire them on contracts as private consultants.  "The problem is that we have too many people, including many department heads, who are on contract," she said.

Sparks-Wade was particularly critical of the Gary Public Transportation Corp., where she said that seven of the top 10 ranking officials do not live in Gary.  She said two of those officials – General Manager Daryl Lampkins and Deputy Manager George Neal -- live in South Holland and Country Club Hills, both in Illinois.  Neither was available to comment.

Sparks-Wade conceded that the Gary-based bus company, which also operates bus routes in surrounding communities such as Merrillville, Hobart and Crown Point, differs because it receives much of its funding from the federal government.   "It's not strictly a Gary agency, but I think having that many people living elsewhere is wrong," she said.

Whether anything can be done to change the situation will depend on how stringent Sparks-Wade and other common council members want to be.  She has previously said she would like to withhold funding for any city agency or program that hires people who don't live in Gary, conceding that it would affect virtually every program.

"It's decision-making time for us," she said of the council, which could give final approval to the 2017 calendar year budget as soon as the next meeting on Oct. 18.  "I'm prepared to follow through with my previously-expressed enforcement, but we will have to decide together."


Gary Roosevelt Leaders Tell SBOE About Improvement
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Carmen McCollum
[7 Oct 2016]


INDIANAPOLIS — Gary Roosevelt school leaders said the school is continuing to make strides with students, improving academics and attendance, and reducing the number of suspensions.


The Roosevelt College and Career Academy is a turnaround academy operated by EdisonLearning, a Tennessee-based private management company.  The Indiana State Board of Education approved turning over the failing high school to EdisonLearning in 2011 to improve academics at the school.  While the school has made some improvements, it continues to get a failing grade from the Indiana Department of Education.

Gary Roosevelt Superintendent Sabrena Davis and Principal Donna Henry provided a slide presentation and made a report to the Indiana State Board of Education by telephone Wednesday.

The pair said there are 606 students in grades seven through 12 at the school.  They said the number fluctuates due to new enrollments and transfers.

Davis said they have reduced the number of suspensions from year-to-year and month-to-month.  At this time last year in September, there were about 83 suspensions compared to 55 this year.  "Our referrals are also lower," she said.  "The security staff is working with administrators to ensure we have proper protocols in the classroom."  Davis said they’ve been able to create a healthy and safe school environment for teachers and students.  She said the student attendance rate is currently above 90 percent.

Davis said school corporations across the state have been challenged to find and retain quality teachers.  "We have maintained a high percentage of staff retention," she said.

Henry said they are seeing improvement in student test scores as a result of an extra math lab that students are taking.  She said the focus is on teaching students the concept and process for solving problems.

Davis outlined some of the goals including setting high expectations for all students and staff by ensuring student work is intellectually challenging and demonstrating mastery of skills and ensuring that all students receive meaningful feedback.  Davis said administrators have outlined professional development priorities for teachers and all staff.

Davis said administrators are working with community members, including the Purdue University Extension Program, which provides nutrition classes for pregnant/parenting teens and supports those teens for two years after the child’s birth.

Earlier this year, the State Board of Education extended the contract with EdisonLearning to operate Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary for an additional year.  The contract extension allows EdisonLearning and the Gary Community School Corp. an opportunity to finalize plans to work together and operate the school, transitioning it into a transformation zone/innovation network.


Interfaith Group Slams Gary’s Daley Deal
Compiled From a nwiGazette Report by Ken Davidson
[5 Oct 2016]

The Northwest Indiana Federation of Interfaith Organizations has issued a scathing critique of the City of Gary contract with MaiaCo.  MaiaCo is a Delaware corporation created by former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.  The corporation received an exclusive contract to engage in redevelopment in the City of Gary in a special meeting on July 29, 2016.

According to the Interfaith Group, the agreement "will be like paying for a private shadow government."  Interfaith chastises the Freeman-Wilson administration for the lack of transparency in the negotiation and presentation of the 40 year contract:

What is missing is oversight, accountability and transparency.  Without an outside Community Enforcement Mechanism, Gary will become the colonial creation of neo-liberal big money Chicago interests.  A suburb of Chicago???  Will the history, traditions, culture and creations of Gary people be stripped away, replaced by gentrified housing and commercial interests unappealing to Chicago?  Will the people of Gary, called in this document "legacy residents," be pushed aside and sent packing?  Gary has turned over the reigns of the City to a Mayor and his ilk who drove 65,000 African Americans out of Chicago to make way for "redevelopment."

Interfaith notes that the citizens of Gary learned about the project only through the Peter Ellis Youtube video.


Great Lakes Steel Production Rises by 35,000T
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Joseph S. Pete
[5 Oct 2016]


Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region rose to 671,000T last week, up from 636,000T a week earlier, an increase of 5.5%.


Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, dropped to 512,000T last week, down from 541,000T the previous week, a 5.3% drop.

Capacity utilization nationwide was only 68.9% last week, the fourth straight week it’s been mired under 70%, well below the 90% that many analysts say is healthy.  Overall U.S. steel output rose by 6,000T last week to 1.61 million tons, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the sluggish 2015 pace by about 1.2 million tons, a decline of 1.8%.  Year-to-date steel output in the United States has been 67.1 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 71.8% compared to 68.4 million net tons at a capacity utilization of 72.1% at the same time last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.


Body Pulled From Little Cal in Gary
#3? and Counting
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Giles Bruce
[3 Oct 2016]

GARY — Police are trying to identify the remains of a man found Monday in the Little Calumet River.

Two fishermen came upon the man’s body in the river along the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Drive and contacted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Gary Police Department at around noon.  Lake County coroner’s officials declared the person dead on the scene.  The Gary Fire Department assisted in recovering the body.

Both the identity of the person and cause of death are under investigation.


Gary Man Victim in Midtown Shooting
#32 and Counting
Compiled From a nwiTimes Report by Joseph S. Pete and Sarah Reese
[2 Oct 2016]

A 43-year-old man was shot dead Saturday night in Midtown Gary, and his car was gone.

Gary police found Samuel Moore, of Gary's East Side, with a single gunshot wound about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1300 block of Harrison St.  The area is about a block east of Norton Park and five blocks north of the Michael Jackson Home.  No one else was reported injured in the shooting, police said.

Moore was pronounced dead at 10:32 p.m. at the scene, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Police later discovered his vehicle was missing, and are investigating the death as a homicide.  "Investigators are pursuing all avenues in this matter and any updates will be released as they become available," Lt. Dawn Westerfield said in a news release.

The homicide is the 27th* in Gary so far this year.  In 2015, Gary had a total of 50 homicides.

* There are discrepancies among the various reporting agencies of the total number of Gary murders.  My higher number is based solely on my compilation of homicide reports from all available sources and does include homicides that occur in unicorporated Cal Twp.  By any measure, the actual number of murders in Gary is appalling!

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Go To:   ARCHIVES PORTAL  for access to all past Gary news reports (2008 to current)
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Created 6 Jul 2016 - 11:47:23 Hrs. 

© Copyright 2016, G. David Yaros.  All rights reserved.