Statewide News

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Elliot Englert / for Side Effects Public Media

The public has weighed in on Indiana’s proposal to add a work requirement to its unique Medicaid program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0.  More than 40 people submitted their opinions to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as of July 18, showing overwhelming disapproval of the proposal.

Milk Bank Expands Services, Breastfeeding Support

Jul 18, 2017

The Milk Bank in Indiana will extend services beyond the donation of mothers’ breast milk, which has been its mission for nearly 12 years. In doing so, the organization can provide more ways to help mothers and infants in need.

The bank is the only donor human milk bank in Indiana with more 40 depot sites across the state where women can give their milk to help infants staying in hospitals.  An average 27,000 ounces of milk are dispensed every month at The Milk Bank.

Indiana workforce officials are convening dozens of groups of local education and business leaders across the state to improve training efforts for new workers.

It’s the next phase of the Indiana’s SkillUp program, which aims to help localize training efforts for the state’s estimated million job openings in the next decade.

After Defeat At The Statehouse, Redistricting Reform Advocates Look To Grassroots Support

Jul 17, 2017

Rally attendee Greg Bowes shows off House District 99, which he says is his favorite illustration of gerrymandering in the state. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


A bill that changes how the state draws its districts was quickly killed at the Statehouse this year. A few dozen people rallied at the Statehouse Monday to call again for redistricting reform. 

State To Appeal Ruling On Anti-Abortion Law

Jul 14, 2017

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Friday the state will appeal a federal judge’s recent ruling halting parts of the state’s new anti-abortion law.

Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker temporarily blocked three provisions of the controversial measure dealing with underage girls who seek abortions.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

This year’s Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is in full swing. The event is the Expo organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, which runs through Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center.

The choice of former state Sen. Beverly Gard to lead a commission on overhauling Indiana’s alcohol code is drawing praise from at least one side of a heated debate: the gas station and convenience store lobby.

The two-year study committee is tasked with finding ways to modernize Indiana’s complex rules for the sale of beer, wine and liquor. Legislative leaders want the panel to be free of any ties to the alcohol industry.

Indiana’s growing number of wineries and small vineyards want to make the Hoosier state synonymous with wine country.

Yet, a tricky climate limits what grapes they can grow in-state, and complex regulations limit where they can sell the resulting wines.

So these local wine destinations are finding other ways to make their marks.

At Two-Ee’s Winery near Huntington, the barrels and tanks in the production room are full of juice from grapes you’ve probably never heard of.

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Office of the Attorney General for Elkhart County

In Indiana, seven federal criminal investigations have uncovered over $1 million in Medicaid fraud, leading to the indictment of 15 individuals and two companies on various charges.

McCormick Responds To New Federal Graduation Rate Requirements

Jul 12, 2017

A new federal education law would make thousands of diplomas known as general diplomas no longer count toward a school’s graduation rate. It’s a move that Indiana’s schools chief says “blindsided” the state.

“Obviously the state recognizes those diplomas, employers are recognizing those diplomas,” says Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction. “This will just make it more problematic.”

Voter advocacy groups want to stop Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson from sharing voter information with President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission.

The lawsuit is led by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s School of Law, on behalf of local groups that include the League of Women Voters of Indiana and the Indiana chapter of the NAACP.

The Indiana University School of Medicine is getting $25 million from the Lilly Endowment to recruit new scientists to Indiana, and to pair them up directly with big Indiana companies.

Medical school research dean Anantha Shekhar says it aims to fast-track the creation of treatments from discoveries about cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more.

He says new technologies like gene sequencing are facilitating those applications faster than ever.

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courtesy Duke Energy

Kokomo saw more than 2,400 customers were in the dark, and Hamilton County had 2,200 buildings without power.

Duke is the primary electric provider for about the southern three-quarters of Indiana and saw outages as far north as Wabash County and as far south as the Ohio River city of Madison.

Former Senator Tapped To Lead Alcohol Law Study Panel

Jul 11, 2017

 

Indiana Senate GOP Leader David Long chose a familiar face to lead a new commission studying the state’s alcohol laws – former Republican Sen. Beverly Gard.

Gard served 24 years in the Indiana Senate. Her time there included committee leadership on regulatory and environmental issues.

If college students want a better chance at getting As in their classes, new research says setting goals at the beginning of the semester increases the opportunity to earn better grades.

Victoria Prowse is an associate professor of economics at Purdue University and helped conduct research on how goal setting affected the grades of college students. The study worked with 4,000 students at a large, public university, all taking a required class.

State election officials from around the nation sent a decisive message to the federal government about releasing private voter information.

Monday’s unanimous resolution comes after a recent, controversial request from President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity.

The resolution says the National Association of Secretaries of State is committed to ensuring election security. But it also emphasizes that the U.S. Constitution grants the states autonomy to administer elections.

Indiana’s Connie Lawson will lead the National Association of Secretaries of State for the next year.

The Hoosier Secretary of State was officially installed as president Monday as the group wrapped up its annual conference, held this weekend in Indianapolis.

Lawson says her new role in the organization is an extension of her commitment to Hoosiers.

“I mean, it’s important, obviously, for Indiana to have a seat at the table. If you don’t have a seat, you don’t have a voice, so it’s important for us to have that voice on the commission,” Lawson says.

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courtesy Indiana House Republicans

State Representative Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) has been named to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission – a group advocating for train travel in the nation’s midsection.

Indiana To Change How It Calculates Graduation Rates

Jul 7, 2017

Indiana’s general diploma will no longer be considered when calculating school and district graduation rates, state officials announced Friday.

In a memo to principals and superintendents, the state said it will also no longer count students who earn general diplomas in the state’s A-F rating system.

The world’s only normal breast tissue bank marked its 10th year collecting and researching healthy women’s breast tissue last week.

Nearly 5,000 women have donated tissue to the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center since 2007, helping advance the search for a cure.

The bank was founded in response to a call from scientists for healthy tissue to aid in comparative research, explains Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo, the cofounder and executive director of the bank.

Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly

On this edition of the podcast we'll get more information on Indiana's top growing cities from Annie Ropiek. Brandon Smith tells us how education legislation could change this fall, and Jill Sheridan reports on five new opiod treatment programs that are being used to combat the epidemic. All of that, and more on this edition of Lakeshore Update.

In Education Funding, Kenley Valued As Frugal Moderate

Jul 6, 2017

The future of education legislation at the Statehouse could change with Senate budget architect Luke Kenley retiring this fall.

As one of the people in charge of crafting the state budget, Kenley is known for being frugal and a moderate voice when it comes to financial choices in a Republican super majority.

The Indianapolis suburbs are growing, while rural areas of the state lose residents.

That trend isn’t new, but it deepened in 2016 census data analyzed this summer by the Indiana Business Research Center.

The data shows Indiana’s fastest-growing city is Whitestown, in Boone County. It’s topped that list for six years running, as its population has more than doubled.

Indiana will add five new opioid treatment programs (OTP) across the state to help combat the ongoing drug abuse epidemic and the initiative will also includes coverage of the treatment drug methadone.

The announcement came Wednesday at the Valle Vista treatment center in Greenwood. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Jennifer Walthall says the center is being added to the state’s OTP efforts and will offer methadone.

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Indiana GOP Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/indgop/

The Indiana Republican party may have gotten more than it had bargained for after it invited users to share their “Obamacare horror stories” in a Facebook post earlier this week. The GOP account was inundated with thousands of replies from Affordable Care Act supporters from across the country.

Mounds Greenway Hits Potential Hurdle In Anderson

Jul 5, 2017

The Mounds Greenway is generating support from some — but, importantly, not all — local public officials in east central Indiana.

The mayors of Westfield, Carmel and Noblesville joined the mayor of Muncie in voicing public support for the Mounds Greenway, a proposed 17-mile trail that would run along the White River between Muncie and Anderson. The Hoosier Environmental Council wants to see the trail eventually extend west past Anderson into Hamilton and Marion counties.

Julie Thurston Photography / Getty Images

On this edition of Lakeshore Update we'll get an update on the battle for Long Beach property on Lake Michigan from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Nick Janzen. We've got good news for your gas tank for this holiday weekend with Sharon Jackson, and Megan Fernandez provides fireworks safety tips and lets you know the state laws for fireworks, to keep you safe, and legal. All of that, and more, on this edition of Lakeshore Update.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says she cannot fully comply with a request from President Donald Trump’s newly established Commission on Election Integrity.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the presidential commission’s vice chair, requested voter information from Secretaries of State around the country. Kobach is reportedly seeking names, addresses, birth dates, and social security numbers, as well as the voting history, law enforcement record, and political party of each voter.

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courtesy National Cancer Institute

As he prepares to exit the job he’s held for the last two years, interim National Cancer Institute Director Doug Lowy visited Purdue Thursday as part of a survey of Indiana college research initiatives.

State Exec. Branch To Stop Asking For Criminal History On Job Apps

Jun 29, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb says a range of state agencies will no longer ask job applicants if they have been arrested or convicted of a crime.

The executive order, issued Thursday, aims to give Hoosiers with criminal records more chances to become state employees.

Right now, applicants for state job openings have to self-report any criminal history.

Holcomb’s order says this can make it hard for people with records to “have productive lives because of the stigma of their past.”

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