News Minute: Here is the latest Indiana news from The Associated - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

News Minute: Here is the latest Indiana news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. EST

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PORTER, Ind. (AP) - A northwestern Indiana land trust has donated more than 17 acres of protected natural lands to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Shirley Heinze Land Trust's donation consists of four parcels adjacent to the park's boundaries the nonprofit says will reconnect fragmented natural areas while adding to a buffer zone for the national lakeshore's holdings. The 13,000-acre national lakeshore spans a strip of Lake Michigan beaches, dunes and marshes.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - A former northwestern Indiana sheriff has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison on convictions of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from towing businesses. A federal judge ordered the sentence Tuesday for John Buncich. He was removed from office as Lake County sheriff after a jury convicted him in August of bribery and wire fraud charges. He denied all wrongdoing.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Advocates say Indiana has a reputation for intolerance that will continue unless the state Legislature approves a hate crimes law. Bill targeting hate crimes have failed in recent years and the state is one of just five without laws against crimes motivated by biases, such as race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma have both expressed a willingness to consider it.

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana firefighter who rushed to save a 5-year-old girl after she picked up a makeshift bomb hidden in a retail store was surprised during his retirement party to be reunited with the now 34-year-old woman. Firefighter John Moriarty was shopping at a Kmart store when the girl picked up a bomb that had been fashioned inside a toothpaste container in 1989. The explosion blew off the girl's left hand an eye. Moriarty and a medical student used store supplies to save the girl's life.

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