Business news

MAAC Foundation awarded $11K grant

The Porter County Community Foundation has awarded an $11,000 grant to the Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC) Foundation to support its First Responders Mental Health Initiative, according to a release.

The funds will help integrate mental health resources into the existing MAAC Foundation campus including bringing military/first responder health and wellness advocate Travis Howze, author and motivational wellness educator, the release said.

Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression for firefighters and police officers are as much as five times greater than the general population, according to statistics posted by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the release said.

Ivy Tech department chair honored

Ivy Tech Community College’s Sarah Darrell, department chair for the School of Nursing and a professor, was honored recently with the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award by the American Association of Community Colleges, according to a release.

In 2012, Darrell, a 2005 graduate from Ivy Tech’s South Bend campus, began her career at Ivy Tech as an adjunct in the School of Health Sciences. In 2017, she became the Simulation Coordinator for the School of Nursing at Ivy Tech Community College Valparaiso campus. Darrell is currently involved with the college across several different committees and serves as president of the Valparaiso and Michigan City Faculty Councils and secretary of Ivy Tech’s Statewide Faculty Council, the release said.

The Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate profound passion for their students both inside and outside of the classroom, the release said. Darrell’s contributions to Ivy Tech Community College and its community will be celebrated in April at the upcoming AACC conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lake County Fair board elected

The Lake County Agricultural Society, which presents the Lake County Fair, has elected officers for 2024.

New officers are: Edward J. Hein, president; Barbara Craft, 1st vice president; Paul Carlson, 2nd vice president; Dawn Casey, secretary; John B. Laszlo, treasurer; Michael Fraley joins Michael Steffan and April Conno as North County director; David Monix joins Greg Pater and Matt Hayden as South County director. Tom Lump continues his position as past president, according to a release.

The 2024 Lake County Fair will be held Aug. 2-11 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S. Court St., Crown Point. Preview night is Aug. 1.

Geminus to hold conference on foster youth

Geminus Community Services, the family-service division of Geminus Corporation, will host its annual conference on April 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Avalon Manor in Merrillville. This year’s conference will focus on Older Youth Services: From Prevention to Intervention to Reinvention. The featured speaker for the conference is Gaelin Elmore.

To register for the conference, visit The conference fee is $25 which includes all featured speakers, breakout sessions, snacks during breaks, lunch and conference giveaways. Please register by March 15. For more information, contact Glenda Whickem at or call (219) 757-1822.

Surgeon joins Franciscan in LaPorte

Dr. Thomas Magill, an orthopedic surgeon, is now part of the Franciscan Physician Network and is accepting new patients in LaPorte, according to a release.

Magill completed his training at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago. His clinical interests are sports surgeries for upper and lower extremities, hand surgery, joint reconstruction of shoulders, knees and hips and fracture surgery, the release said.

He is accepting new patients at Franciscan Physician Network La Porte Health Center, 900 I St. in LaPorte. For more information, call 219-861-8161.