Neighbors briefs - December 22, 2016

Courtesy of Chicago Tribune • December 22, 2016

Free Christmas dinner Friday in Gary

The Gift of Warmth, a collaboration between Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and SS Monica and Luke Church, will hold its annual free Christmas dinner for those in need from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the church, 645 Rhode Island St., Gary. In addition, all children who attend will receive a new winter coat, courtesy of that was purchased by the Brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi.

Coat giveaway Saturday in Gary

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is holding its annual Christmas coat giveaway from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Williams School, 1320 E. 19th Ave., Gary. Organizers said other cold weather items — including hats and gloves — will be distributed to children and families in need. For more information, call 219-680-0160.

Texas Corral hosts free Christmas dinner Sunday

Texas Corral restaurant in Merrillville will open its doors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday to provide a free Christmas dinner to individuals and families in need. In lieu of the regular Texas Corral menu, the Merrillville restaurant, 312 81st Ave., will be offering turkey and ham dinners, traditional holiday side items, desserts and drinks. Many restaurant staff members will be volunteering their time on Christmas day to help serve meals and share the holiday with those in need. Texas Corral locations across Northwest Indiana have also been holding a monthlong toy drive leading up to the Christmas Day meal. Santa will be on hand to pass out toys and presents to any children attending the Christmas Day meal with their families.

Sheriff department warns of telephone scam

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has received reports of a telephone-based scam in which an individual impersonating a police officer attempts to collect money. A man identified himself to at least one individual as “Officer Scott Davidson” and said he was calling from the Brooke Police Department. He instructed the victim to buy a gift card in the amount of $2,000 and provide the card number over the phone in order to post bond for the victim’s relative. The scam is associated with the phone number 204-209-0508. Law enforcement agencies advise if you receive a call from someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer asking for money, advising that there is a warrant out for your arrest, telling you someone you know is in jail and requires bond payment or otherwise asking for payments, it is a scam. Record the number from which it came and contact your local police department.

Holiday closures listed in Portage

In observance of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the city of Portage’s offices will be closed Mondayand Jan. 2. For both weeks, trash and recycling routes will be delayed one day. More information is at 219-762-5425.

Sidewalk snow removal reminder

The Munster Police Department reminds residents that within 24 hours of a snow or ice event, the owner and/or occupant of any dwelling is responsible for clearing the sidewalk of the property, according to town ordinance. More information is at 219-836-6630.

PNW schedules winter break robotics class

Purdue University Northwest will host a free Robotics World Discovery and Adventures Camp for high school students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 3 to 5 in the Anderson Building, Room 220, on the PNW Hammond campus, 2200 169th St. Presented by the PNW College of Technology’s Engineering Technology Department and sponsored by the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, the camp is intended for students in grades 9 through 12 who want a hands-on experience in robotics, robot programming and virtual reality. Participants will take part in robotic activities, games and competitions and explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics related educational opportunities. Registration deadline is Dec. 30 at More information is with Maged Mikhail at 219-989-2280 or

Childbirth classes slated at Methodist Hospitals

Prepared Childbirth Classes are offered throughout the year at Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville. The next four-week course will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 8701 Broadway. The classes are designed to educate parents-to-be about labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period. The first three weeks focus on relaxation and breathing during labor, and breast feeding. Week four offers parenting topics. Registration is at 800-909-3627.

Ivy Tech welcomes new associate director

Ivy Tech Community College has named Ofelia Valdez associate admissions director at its East Chicago campus, 410 E. Columbus Drive. Valdez earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business management from Robert Morris University, where she also worked for 13 years as an admissions counselor then as director of admissions. A native of Chicago, Valdez has been a resident of Hammond since 2008.

— Staff report