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ST. JOHN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A northern Indiana nonprofit focusing on sustainable transportation is expanding its efforts to cover the entire state. South Shore Clean Cities, headquartered in the Lake County town of St. John, says it was chosen last year by the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in a statewide Clean Cities coalition pilot program.

The DOE operates the national Clean Cities initiative and selected South Shore Clean Cities to manage Indiana’s statewide program, beginning earlier this month.

The organization says it intends to expand various aspects of its business model, including the Green Fleet program, which is designed to improve the environmental performance of business and government vehicle fleets. The program is already being used by the Michiana Area Council of Governments and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

South Shore Clean Cities says it was able to assist stakeholders in acquiring more than $9 million in grant funding last year for more than 175 vehicles and equipment such as fueling and charging stations. 

“The credit for this move to lead a statewide organization goes in large part to our members and partners in Northern Indiana who have so enthusiastically embraced sustainable transportation fuels, vehicles, equipment and their fueling and charging infrastructure,” said Don Hadley, president of the South Shore Clean Cities Board of Directors. “We often say our success is your success and that has never been more evident than in this selection for statewide designation.”

The nonprofit says it expects to change its name in the near future. However, its headquarters will remain in St. John and an arrangement with the Purdue Research Park is in place to implement operations throughout the state.

ST. JOHN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Publicly accessible charging stations throughout the NIPSCO territory are being deployed in a program from South Shore Clean Cities. The company is working with governments, schools, universities and non-profits within NIPSCO’s service territory to seek funding through the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Progam for Level 2 charging stations, with proposals due September 23.

The grant program is offering entities up to $9,000 with a 90% match reimbursement and nonprofit organizations up to $8,000 with an 80% match reimbursement for Level 2 charging stations. NIPSCO is offering a cash match of up to $500 for each successful grant application meeting certain requirements.

“NIPSCO is proud to be partnering with South Shore Clean Cities to support new charging stations across our service area,” said Kevin Kirkham, NIPSCO New Business Manager. “We are looking forward to helping our customers make environmentally-focused decisions while making it easier to help get them where they need to go.”

Project Plug-IN eligible applicants must be NIPSCO electricity customers and members of the Northern Indiana Green Fleet Program. All applications for the program are due to South Shore Clean Cities by Sept. 9.

St. JOHN, Ind. (AP) – Authorities in northwest Indiana say a 59-year-old man was shot to death where he worked.

St. John Police Chief Fred Frego told The (Munster) Times Christopher Badten was shot about 6 a.m. Wednesday at Eagle Creek Machining Co. The Lake County coroner’s office said he died of multiple gunshot wounds about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Frego said when police arrived they found a 47-year-old man armed with a gun. He said police negotiated for about half an hour before he surrendered. He is being held in the Lake County Jail pending criminal charges.

Frego said detectives are still investigating the motive for the shooting.

St. John is about 35 miles southeast of Chicago.