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GRIFFITH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Rhode Island-based laundry pickup and delivery service is growing its footprint with a move to northwest Indiana. HappyNest, which allows users to schedule the service via a mobile app, is partnering with Premier Laundry Solutions in Griffith.

The company says Premier Laundry Solutions is providing the service at two of its locations in the Lake County town. Premier owner David Gramke says adding the service is part an effort to stay at the forefront of the industry.

HappyNest founder and Chief Executive Officer John MacKrell says the demand for the service has “soared” over the last year as individuals and businesses look to save time and money. The company says laundry-heavy businesses such as Airbnb vacation rentals, hotels, and medical facilities are among its biggest users.

HappyNest says it has expanded into additional counties in Virginia and Texas. The service is also available in 19 additional states and the District of Columbia.

GRIFFITH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Lake Area United Way is investing more than $575,000 to assist working parents who will rely on e-learning, out-of-school care and child care this fall. The nonprofit says a portion of the funding will support a part-time, temporary e-learning and out of school care navigator to work with families and employers.

Lake Area United Way says parents must be employed, reside in Lake County, and meet income guidelines to qualify.

 “Our goal is two-fold,” says Lisa Daugherty, president of Lake Area United Way, “We want parents to be able to work if their children’s school closes, and we want kids to be safe, supported, and learning.”

Crossroads YMCA is developing the YMCA Out of School learning programs at two sites including the Griffith Family YMCA and the Hobart Family YMCA.

“The YMCA is looking forward to another partnership with Lake Area United Way,” says Jay Buckmaster, chief executive officer at Crossroads YMCA. “We joined together to provide Emergency Childcare at the beginning of the pandemic, and now we’re working to provide safe and affordable options for families through the YMCA’s Out of School Learning programs. We are proud to have a partner to make these options possible during challenging times.”

Beginning Sept. 8, the YMCA plans to offer enrichment and activities for children at each program site.

You can find more information about the Crossroads YMCA program by clicking here.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana is currently registering for its “In Club Virtual Learning” for school year fall programming in each of their clubs. You can register online by selecting your club location.

The Lake Area United Way says it is supporting working parents who enroll children in The Adventure Club, which offers full day e-learning support in Merrillville schools. The club provides before and after school care in Munster, Tri Creek and Lake Central school systems.

GRIFFITH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A dry bulk transportation company headquartered in Lake County is expanding its Midwest operations. Griffith-based Bulkmatic LLC has opened a new bulk transloading railyard in Kansas City, Missouri, though financial details were not immediately disclosed.

Bulkmatic says the location will be served by the Kansas City Southern Railway and provide shippers with a strategically-located central U.S. location. The new facility has storage and transload capacity for more than 100 railcars and the company says it is capable of handling all bulk commodities.

“We are excited to expand our railyard network to include the Kansas City market,” Chris Kravas, president of Bulkmatic U.S., said in a news release. “The new location will allow us to offer state of the art transload and bulk trucking services to shippers of plastics, edibles, chemical and mineral products.”

The company says the new facility will also increase capabilities for its current trucking operations in Atchison, Kansas and Omaha, Nebraska. It is not known how many jobs would be created as a result of the project.

GRIFFITH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Griffith-based hauling company Bulkmatic and Bulk FR8 LLC, a logistics firm from Seattle, have announced a joint venture to provide nationwide truckload capacity solutions for dry bulk shippers.

The partners say the new company, Dry Bulk FR8, brings together a large transporter of raw material with a company that specializes in logistics and freight management.

Since the 1960s, Bulkmatic has transported bulk shipments of raw material for agricultural, chemical, food and plastics industries throughout North America.

“We’ve provided dry bulk trucking and rail transload services for more than 50 years. We are happy to announce that we can now offer brokerage services by working with one of the best liquid bulk brokerages in the business and become a one-stop transportation solution for our customers,” said Chris Kravas, president of Bulkmatic.

Kravas says the joint venture will improve a shipper’s ability to handle dry bulk supply chain challenges.

Dry Bulk FR8 is headquartered at Bulkmatic’s corporate office in Griffith. The company says Bulk FR8’s employees have relocated from Seattle to Indiana.

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) – Some northwestern Indiana residents want their community to secede from the township it’s located within.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Sunday that a signature drive is under way in Griffith. It’s the second effort by some to secede from Calumet Township.

Signatures from about 1,300 residents are needed to ask Lake County to schedule a referendum that would allow Griffith residents to vote whether to stay with Calumet Township or join another one.

Griffith started its secession efforts 10 years ago.

Council President Rick Ryfa tells the newspaper that Griffith was forced then to give about $3.2 million annually in taxes to the township while only receiving about $15,000 in services. He says the current amount sent to the township is down to about $1 million a year.

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) – A northwestern Indiana high school basketball team whose bus overturned in March has been honored by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The Griffith team was traveling to a state tournament game March 19 when police say a car sideswiped the bus, which rolled over into a ditch near DeMotte. An assistant coach was hospitalized with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. The other 26 players and staff members on the bus were treated and released.

The game was rescheduled, and the team narrowly lost.

The (Munster) Times reports Pence was in northwestern Indiana on Wednesday to honor the team, saying at a gathering at the school that the team “resolved to play on, to continue.” He told the team their play was impressive, but their “heart,” ”character” and “resilience is even more impressive.”

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) Members of a northwestern Indiana high school basketball team say they want to play in the state tournament game that was postponed after their bus overturned in a crash on Interstate 65.

The Griffith team was traveling to its class 3A semifinal game against Marion on Saturday when police say the bus was sideswiped by a car and rolled over into a ditch near DeMotte. An assistant coach was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, while the other 26 players and staff members on the bus were treated and released.

The semifinal game is rescheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Lafayette.

“We want to play,” junior guard Al Ervin said at a community prayer service for the team Sunday. “We all started talking about it (Saturday) night.”

Coach Gary Hayes said he doesn’t expect to know until at least Tuesday night which team members can play because they all need clearance from doctors. At least one player suffered a possible concussion, while others had cuts and other injuries.

“We’re not taking a chance with anybody,” Hayes told The (Munster) Times. “If they’re not ready to go, they’re not going to play.”

Senior point guard Martin Schiele suffered a strained knee and was on crutches during Sunday’s prayer service at Griffith’s Central Park. He said he hopes to play Wednesday and compared Saturday’s crash to being in a washing machine.

Hayes, who had a 4-inch gash on the left side of his forehead, told the (Merrillville) Post-Tribune that freshman team coach David Garrett was upbeat on Sunday while he was hospitalized with a punctured lung and broken ribs.

The bus was carrying 20 students, three other coaches, the team trainer, a ball boy and the driver.

The winner of the rescheduled game Wednesday will advance to face Evansville Bosse in Saturday’s 3A state championship game at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Griffith reached the championship game last year, losing to Guerin Catholic.

“Once we get on the floor, we’ll be competitive like always,” Hayes said. “I don’t know how we’re going to be emotionally, but our kids will be there and give it everything we can.”

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) – A northwestern Indiana conservationist has created an endowment that will help pay for the stewardship of one of the state’s last remaining prairies.

Portage resident Myrna Newgent established the endowment with the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation to support long-term stewardship work to maintain the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve.

That 719-acre grassland in northern Lake County is owned and managed by the state Department of Natural Resources and is a remnant of northwestern Indiana’s once common prairie landscape.

The tract boasts a wealth of unusual and rare plants and is a top bird-watching site.

DNR Nature Preserves Director John Bacone says Newgent’s generosity will help keep the prairie in a natural ecological condition to allow visitors “to enjoy a piece of the ‘original Indiana,’ as it was in 1816.”

GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) – Authorities say a crudely made pipe bomb has been safely removed from a set of railroad tracks in northwest Indiana.

Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives spokesman Thomas Ahern says the pipe bomb was spotted in Griffith by Canadian National Railway employees Monday morning. The (Munster) Times reports an all-clear was given around 1:30 p.m. after the device was removed by Porter County officials.

Ahern says the bomb is believed to be an isolated incident, and that authorities had no suspects. He says the pipe bomb wasn’t very sophisticated, and the agency plans to analyze it.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Matt Holba scored a game-high 29 points and had 14 rebounds and Christian Munson added 12 points as the Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles defeated Griffith Panthers 62-56 Saturday in the Indiana Class 3A state basketball finals.

The second basketball championship will move the Golden Eagles up to Class 4A based on the IHSAA’s Tournament Success Factor.

The back-and-forth battle swayed Guerin’s way when Cameron Lindsey found a cutting Munson for the layup and a 55-53 Golden Eagles (22-8) lead with 2:08 to play.

A 3-pointer by Anthony Murphy with 50.2 seconds pulled the Panthers with three, but Holba made 3 of 4 free throws late to secure the six-point win.

Tremell Murphy led Griffith (19-11) with 23 points and Anthony Harris recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.