The Times from Munster, Indiana on June 3, 2007 · 3
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The Times from Munster, Indiana · 3

Munster, Indiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 3, 2007
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: - c i! I -f I ' ' ' Story tip or comment? Contact West Lake Editor Sharon Ross at 219.852.4328 or More local news, AIO BREAKING NEWS: WE SUNDAY . JUNE 3 . 2007 PAGE A3 mark kiesling times columnist Given ease remains a mystery After 26 years, the story can be told as to why no one has ever been charged with the murder of East Chicago political power-broker Jay Given. Given was shot as he was leaving a political fundraiser at the Jockey Club inside the East Chicago Elks building on the' evening of May 15, 1981, at which more than 500 people were in attendance. This being Lake County, no one saw a thing. Given, a lawyer, had made a small fortune on bond work for the city. He was shrewd, tough and he knew where all the bodies were buried, perhaps literally The ,45-caliber shell found in the lobby near the body was damaged while in police custody, and a special task force was assembled, led by Joe Van Bokkelen, now a U.S. attorney and in line to become a federal judge. The shell became a key clue. It had been fired from a Deton-ics, a rare and expensive handgun. East Chicago's former assistant police chief, John Car-dona, owned one and had been seen quarreling with Given minutes before the shooting. The trump card was when a gunsmith at the Detonics factory, who said he'd worked on Cardona's pistol, told investigators he had no doubt the shell in the lobby had come from the gun he had fixed. The stage was set for the net to drop on Cardona. But nothing ever happened, and the case dried up and blew away. Why? Because investigators did their job and took the facts wherever they led. "We decided to look at other guns repaired by this guy, and it established a pattern that almost proved that Cardona's gun was not repaired by him but by someone else. The work he had done was very crude, the one on Cardona's gun was very sophisticated," said Tom Vanes, a former prosecutor assigned to the Given task force and now Lowell town judge. "We went the extra step to make our case stronger, and it completely backfired," Vanes said. The shell found in the hallway virtually certainly did not come from Cardona's gun, Vanes said. With the gun evidence unraveling, the team also found itself with a potential witness telling them she had "heard a voice" telling her to leave the lobby and walk home rather than wait for her ride as she usualiy did. Witnesses who "hear voices" tend to flop with juries. Vanes said the team was so desperate they even asked the late crime syndicate figure James "Sonny" Peterson to talk to the woman, which he did to no avail. "Something scared her, someone intimidated her," Vanes said. "All she'd say is 'I got kids'." So did Jay Given. And they're still waiting for justice. The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at BY SUSAN BROWN 219.836.3780 HAMMOND The city's 1930s-era City Hall is the subject of a feasibility study that may serve as the prelude to relocating and consolidating city operations in downtown Hammond. Conducted by the Indianapolis-based firm of American Structure-point Inc., the results are expected within weeks, Hammond Corporation Counsel Joseph O'Connor said. O'Connor also is chairman of the Hammond Board of Public Works and Safety, which is empowered to approve the city's contracts. O'Connor said the expected study updates a previous report on the future cost and viability of the current City Hall. Obtained by The Times through the Indiana Public Records Act, the firm's proposal describes the project as a "renovations feasibility study." The cover letter indicates the document, dated Sept. 7, 2006, also serves as the contractual agreement for $15,840 in architectural services. The basic services include an assessment of the condition of the building, a cost estimate for renovation and upgrading and interviews with department heads to determine space and other needs. See CITY HALL, A4 Watching others give up motivated town's public works director J " g.' 1 4 JOHN LUKE THE TIMES Ed Robinson, the Cedar Lake public works director, will join others today in telling their stories of triumph over cancer during the University of Chicago Hospitals' annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebration at the Westin Hotel in downtown Chicago. The keynote speaker for the event is Patti LaBelle, who lost three sisters to cancer. IF YOU GO Patti LaBelle, whose three sisters died from cancer, will b'e the keynote speaker today for the University of Chicago Hospitals' Cancer Survivors Day Celebration in the Westin Hotel's Wellington Ballroom, 909 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The event, which welcomes the families, friends and children of cancer survivors, will include exhibit booths, refreshments and entertainment. Today, Robinson, who now is the Cedar Lake public works director, will join others in telling their stories of triumph over cancer during the University of Chicago Hospitals' annual Cancer Survivors Day See SURVIVORS, A4 A ligiting BY MELANIE CSEPIGA Times Correspondent CEDAR LAKE Two years ago, Ed Robinson, then the public works director for Dyer, experienced pain in his left side but was told by doctors it was simply lower back pain. Two months later - when he began having problems swallowing and a specialist said he might have a tumor - Robinson knew something was seriously wTong. "I've always been a fighter, but this scared me. It really did," he said. Expanded campus to house girls next year : Campagna to accommodate 2 48 more residents in facility - BY VANESSA RENDERMAN 219.933.3241 SCHERERV1LLE When its doors opened in 1947, Hoosier Boys Town was just that: a home for boys. In a little over a year from now, it will be a home for girls, too. The recent groundbreaking of a new residential treatment facility means girls will be able to live on campus for the first time in the 60-year history of the campus for at-risk youth. Over the years, programs and buildings have expanded. In 1997, girls were first welcomed on campus for the alternative day treatment program. Even the name changed to Campagna Academy, in honor of its founder, Monsignor Michael Campagna. But never before was there lodging for girls, said Bruce Hillman, CEO of Campagna Academy. Half of the living space in the new 41,500-square-foot building will be dedicated to adolescent girls, Hillman said. The facility, which has lock-down capability but is designed to look like a two-story apartment building, will have 48 more beds, with one or two residents to a room. It will include a computer lab, therapists' offices and four classrooms that will be used in connection with the academy's charter high school, Hillman said. "I'm excited," Hillman said. See CAMPAGNA, A4 Large crowd welcomes Main Square Park gazebo People gathered with blankets and lawn chairs on Saturday evening in Highland's Main Square Park as local officials rededicated the recently renovated gazebo. The park also sports a new concession restroom facility, street lights and walkways. . , v v - '. i St v- ." X ' - -jt-i - . :?-.rv- . ... .......... TONY V. MARTIN THE TIMES About 1,500 people attend new gazebo reded icat ion BY CHARLES F. HABER Times Conspondent HIGHLAND The only thing bigger than the giant ribbon-cutting scissors was the crowd that gathered to rededicate the Main Square Park gazebo at Fifth Street and Highway Avenue. About 1,500 people were there Saturday evening as town officials cut a long red ribbon to open the newly rebuilt gazebo. At 50 feet across, it is twice as large as the old one and sports a concrete dance floor in front. The park also has a new conces-sionrestroom building, streetlights and what Park Board President Thomas Arnold called "meandering walkways." "They did a wonderful job" on the walkways, said resident Mary Shelton. She was pleased they are wide enough for handicapped people. See GAZEBO, A4 f A A III V TAGHeuer WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF 1 1 y ...... 71 ' k. II , : . v A. '".' ." See ?f(Hi ft t(&ct'&! ALBERT'S DIAMOND JEWELERS 71 1 Mmii SdurcTvillf,. IN .Ift.WJ Hour: Mon.-fri.: 10am-8 pm; Sal.! 9om-6pm; Sun, ! lam-Spm

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