GreatNews.Life offers thanks, support to partners who have suspended operations

GreatNews.Life offers thanks, support to partners who have suspended operations
By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: March 20, 2020

In the wake of state regulations relating to COVID-19, dozens of local businesses have made the difficult decision to cease operations altogether until the dust settles. 

As many of the establishments are local favorites, the news is sure to disappoint. Many of our business partners at GreatNews.Life have closed their doors for the time being. As a strong and positive-minded community, we stand solid in our support and look forward to our continued partnership with them and for their successes in the future. These businesses are part of the GreatNews.Life fabric, and we thank them for their service and commitment to their staff and community during this time.

Among these partners are Albert’s Diamond Jewelers

“In light of growing concerns, the health & safety of our customers, employees and community is our top priority. As a result of the current COVID-19 developments, we have decided to temporarily close our two locations,” stated Albert’s in a recent Facebook announcement.

“Please text us at 219-322-2700, email us at customerservice@albertsjewelers.com or Facebook message us with any questions.”

Two of our restaurant partners, Blackbird Cafe and Fiddlehead, count themselves among those that have closed their doors for now.

Blackbird Cafe announced its plans to suspend operations on March 18, closing its doors that same day.

“We intend to open for business on April 1st. We will miss all of our patrons over the shutdown. Hopefully, we will all get through this stressful time peacefully and in good health,” Blackbird Cafe shared via Facebook.

Fiddlehead chose to suspend operations after Friday, March 20. 

“We have absolutely no plans to close indefinitely, but until times are a bit more certain it is in our best interest to stop service for now,” Fiddlehead announced on their Facebook page.

As a grand send-off, Fiddlehead is offering a special on Friday.

“Friday, to show our appreciation to all our valued guests we will offer 50% off our entire menu. We will be open at 12pm for curbside pick up and delivery, and will close when we run out of food!”  

The restaurant plans to reconvene service once the pandemic slows down, and extended some warm wishes to its community.

“We are overwhelmed with the love and community support we have received through all of this,” Fiddlehead said in the post. “We love being a part of Michigan City and we look forward to brighter days in our future.”

Kelsey's Steak House has said they will close after dinner on March 20. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

According to its website and social media pages, Blue Chip Casino’s doors are closed until further notice.

“The Governor of Indiana ordered the closure of all entertainment venues in the state as a precautionary measure,” Blue Chip said in a press statement. 

Blue Chip anticipates to open again by April; follow their Facebook page for updates.

Four Winds Casinos echoed with a similar statement.

“In consideration of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and requests from both federal and state governments, the Pokagon Gaming Authority has decided to close all of its Four Winds Casinos locations in Michigan and Indiana beginning at 3 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 17. The timeframe of the closure is until March 30th pending reevaluation at the end of the closure period,” the statement said.

All scheduled entertainment at Four Winds Casinos through April 4 is being postponed and will be rescheduled. Ticket refunds are being offered at the point-of-sale. Follow the Four Winds social media pages and website for further updates. 

Mascot Hall of Fame’s doors will be closed until further notice to protect its employees and patrons. Visit their website and social media pages for updates.

Our educational partners have made campus closures, and some have made the incredibly difficult decisions to continue remote education through the remainder of the spring semester, including Valparaiso University and Calumet College of St. Joseph

“This is not the way any of us hoped to finish the semester, especially members of the Class of 2020. So much of the Valpo experience is grounded in the communal bonds formed on campus. Yet, these bonds extend well beyond the physical boundaries of our campus and will endure even in these uncertain and disconcerting times,” said Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler in a statement. 

“Given the current guidelines around large gatherings, the traditional graduation ceremony will not take place on May 16th. Creative efforts are underway to celebrate our seniors and recognize their accomplishments, so more information will be shared with graduating students. For all students, it is important to remember that the semester isn’t over, and that structure in your day is important and communication with your faculty and classmates is essential,” said Calumet College of St. Joseph President Amy McCormack.

Ivy Tech Community College will offer online resources until further notice, and will continue to monitor the pandemic.

“This is a difficult decision to make, but one that will continue to help keep each of you and our communities safe. Know that we are committed to continuing to serve our students as the state’s Community College during these difficult times,” said Ivy Tech Community College in a statement.

Purdue University Northwest provides updated information about their COVID-19 plan here, including a message from Chancellor Keon with updates about commencement, student housing, fitness centers, telework, and more. “At Purdue University Northwest, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests is our top priority. Follow this page for official updates on how PNW is responding to novel coronavirus/COVID-19,” the University said on their page.

Indiana University Northwest is providing campus updates regularly on their website here.

Saint Paul Catholic School hopes to reopen its doors by April 13, and will continue to offer online learning in the meantime.

“Additionally, this time frame will allow the best opportunity to continually assess the situation and make the most informed decisions to ensure the safety and well being of staff and students,” said Principal Gina Wagenblast. Follow the Saint Paul Catholic Facebook page for further updates.

Until further notice, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana (BGCNWI) will be closing all Clubs’ doors.

“Our organization’s protocols are to follow the closures of school districts. Our Clubs will remain closed for the length a school district is closed,” said a BGCNWI statement. Follow their website and social media pages for updates.

The La Porte County Family YMCA has elected to close to the public at least until March 31. "We understand that closing our facility will affect many of our members, and this decision did not come lightly," said Laurie Halaska, CEO, via a letter to members posted on Facebook. "The La Porte County Family YMCA has been a pillar of the community for more than 110 years, throughout both good and challenging times. The decision to close our facilities was made to ensure the safety of everyone in our community." Updates can be found on YMCA's Facebook page and website.

Region theaters have closed their box offices and canceled their current showings, upcoming events, and rehearsals amidst the COVID-19 regulations, including Chicago Street Theatre and Memorial Opera House.

“Covid-19 has presented many artistic establishments with extreme financial hardship. We have internationally seen the closure of thousands of upcoming productions which has impacted the theatrical community greatly. If you are able to donate the cost of your ticket or make a donation to the well-being of our theatre, we would be incredibly grateful,” said a recent Chicago Street Theatre Facebook post.

“It is Chicago Street Theatre’s mission to connect with the creative spirit of the community through the experience of live theatre and we look forward to our next opportunity to share art with you,” the post said.

Check back with both theaters’ social media pages and websites for updates.

The staff at Lubeznik Center for the Arts has closed galleries to the public until at least April 6, and will re-evaluate the situation then. They also have made the difficult decision to close the spring classes and workshops. On Facebook, they said: “Please check back here and our website for updates. To reach us, please call (219) 874-4900 or email us at artinfo@lubeznikcenter.org. Let’s all work together to stay safe and healthy!”

The Center of Workforce Innovations continues to post up-to-date resources for those who may be temporarily unemployed during this time. Please visit their Facebook page for these notices.

We at GreatNews.Life have a deep appreciation for all our partners and are looking forward to celebrating our vibrant communities at these local landmarks again soon. We’ll continue to update this listing as more updates arrive.