Statewide News

GOP Candidates Square Off In Second Primary Debate

23 hours ago
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Allen County GOP

The three candidates facing off for the Republican Senate nomination in the May 8 primary election held their second debate Monday night in Fort Wayne.

Policy Changes Coming To Foster Care System

23 hours ago
Legislation authored by Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) will increase the maximum number of children allowed in a foster home from five to six. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The rate of Indiana children in foster care is more than double the national average. It’s one of the issues identified by an independent investigation of the state’s embattled child welfare agency.

Advocates hope upcoming policy changes will aid the foster care system.

Vectren To Merge With Texas-Based CenterPoint Energy

Apr 23, 2018

Indiana-based energy company Vectren will be acquired by a Texas-based firm. It’s expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2019.

Vectren serves a significant portion of central and southern Indiana. Over the past few years, the company has had some of the highest rates in Indiana. The merger with Houston-based CenterPoint Energy will not have any impact in the short term due to rates already being set.

State Awards STEM Grants For Elementary Schools

Apr 23, 2018

The state is giving money to nearly a dozen school corporations to help them offer more science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education.

Lawmakers approved $1 million in 2017 for the State Department of Education to offer the grants. The department’s Chief of Workforce and STEM Alliances, Amanda McCammon, says the goal is to help schools begin, or build up existing STEM education in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“Schools are utilizing them for professional development for teachers, and then they’re also utilizing it for purchasing curriculum,” she says.

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Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County officials hope to start an addiction recovery program focusing on treating individuals while they’re in jail.

Inmates whose case is pending would apply to participate, then spend at least 90 days in a quarantined area where they’d receive intensive therapy, according to Dearborn County officials – who say their own such program has been a success.

Purdue University researchers Jean-Christophe “Chris” Rochet and Dr. Riyi Shi say their discovery of a key factor in the development of Parkinson’s disease could lead to new therapies. (Photo courtesy of Alex Kumar/Purdue University)
Jill Sheridan

Purdue researchers have discovered how a molecule plays into the development of Parkinson’s disease. The findings point to treatment that’s already on the market as well as new biomarkers.

The research focuses on a compound called acrolein that acts as a neuro-toxin, killing brain cells.  Extensive damage of these cells can result in Parkinson’s disease.

Donnelly Announces Support For Trump Nominee Pompeo

Apr 23, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says he had a productive conversation with Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo when they met earlier this month. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Monday he’ll support President Trump’s Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo.

The Senate is expected to vote on Pompeo’s nomination this week – and the former CIA director and Kansas congressman is likely to secure enough votes to replace former Secretary Rex Tillerson.

That’s as progressive groups work to oppose Pompeo’s nomination.

A lawsuit challenging Indiana's 2018 anti-abortion law marks the sixth suit Planned Parenthood has brought in federal court against the state since 2011. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU want a federal judge to strike down parts of Indiana’s new anti-abortion law.

The lawsuit challenges the 2018 law’s new abortion complication reporting requirements and mandated yearly inspections of abortion clinics. Under previous law, such inspections were optional.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to approve the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act that loosens regulations for community banks and credit unions. He met with various Indiana financial representatives Friday to tout rollbacks of banking laws that he co-authored.

West Lafayette Students Join National School Walkout

Apr 20, 2018
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Emilie Syberg / WBAA

Members of the group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, a national gun control advocacy group, convened on the sidewalk outside the school to write words of support up and down Grant Street in colorful sidewalk chalk. Messages included, “Thank you for speaking up”, and “Your parents are so proud.”

Provided

This week on "Lakeshore Update" we'll hear the about the indictment on former Lake County police commander Dan Murchek, Barbara Broscher has the latest on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Brandon Smith reports on Congressman Todd Rokita's plans to participate in an upcoming Senate GOP primary debate and Chris Nolte has a conversation with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch about the 2018 General Assembly Session. All of that, and more on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

Gov. Eric Holcomb nominated 156 "Opportunity Zones" to receive federal funding to attract investment into the areas.

The program was created in 2017 by the GOP tax bill passed late last year to provide federal support to help low-income urban and rural communities attract private investment. These zones will remain in place for ten years to try to create long-term investments that help low-income and rural communities.

Students across the nation and state walked out of school Friday as part of a national movement protesting gun violence in schools, but efforts will likely need to shift to keep up the momentum.

Hundreds of students in the state participated in the latest nationally-organized walkout, but some chose not to this time around, in part due to ISTEP testing.

A recent report says Indiana needs to drastically improve state funded preschool, but state officials say it ignores significant improvements to the program.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie, left, and ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk discuss their latest legal victory over the state of Indiana in an abortion lawsuit. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana Planned Parenthood and ACLU leaders cheered Friday another legal victory against the state’s anti-abortion laws.

Republican Leaders Set Parameters For Special Session

Apr 20, 2018
Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), left, and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) discuss the details of the 2018 special session. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana lawmakers will consider five bills in their May 14 special session – without public testimony or amendments.

Four of those five bills are measures that failed to pass when lawmakers ran out of time in their regular session last month.

March Unemployment Holds Steady, Labor Force Grows

Apr 20, 2018

Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady last month at 3.2 percent, remaining at its lowest point since December 2000. The rate hasn’t increased since July last year.

The state’s private sector helped it hold steady in March – adding 4,300 jobs, including a big boost in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

A 2016 protest at the Statehouse over Indiana's controversial anti-abortion law. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

A federal appeals court once again struck down part of an Indiana anti-abortion law. The latest ruling concerns a 2016 measure that banned abortions because of a fetus’s characteristics.

The Indiana Public Access Counselor says Carmel Clay Schools should have explained why it placed its superintendent and another senior staffer on a three-month paid-leave last year that ended in their resignations.

Carmel Superintendent Nicholas Wahl and Human Resources Director Corrine Middleton were placed on paid administrative leave by the school board in October for alleged management issues.

The second round of federal funding to address the opioid epidemic in Indiana has been announced. The state will receive $10.9 million from the 21st Century Cures Act.

Last year, Indiana received the same amount of funding from the law and put it towards efforts including expansion of residential treatment centers, an anti-stigma campaigns and enhancement of the state’s prescription monitoring program. 

These new grants will be administrated through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

A national addiction policy group launched an Indiana chapter this week with an aim to create more resources for families and individuals struggling with addiction.

The Addiction Policy Forum works to raise awareness and improve policy related to the opioid and addiction crisis.  

Activism among students and teachers has skyrocketed in recent weeks with strikes and walkouts across the country, and so far Indiana educators don’t have plans to join a growing number of movements in several states.

But Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith says the widespread demonstrations are getting people’s attention.

“Most of the calls though are about 'what are we going to do, and when are we going to do it,' and so when I ask them why they’re asking the question, the responses vary,” she says.

DCS Director Terry Stigdon addresses a crowd of child advocates at the Statehouse celebration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana leaders celebrated National Child Abuse Prevention Month Thursday amid controversy at the state’s child welfare agency.

(Photo courtesy of americansfortaxfairness.org)
Lauren Chapman

President Donald Trump’s recent budget proposal includes making cuts to infrastructure, education, affordable housing and healthcare, leading one watchdog group to speak out in concern about the potential impact those cuts could have.

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Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office today released the review results of nearly 400 untested Sexual Assault Examination Kits or SAEKs. The review comes after an Indiana State Police audit of untested kits in every county in December 2017.

 

Indiana has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. (Photo courtesy of zerosuicide.sprc.org)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children wants to help spread a nationally-recognized suicide prevention program to as many health care providers across the state as possible.

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline to file taxes until midnight April 18, following a system outage Tuesday morning. 

The Indiana Department of Revenue announced it will also extend its deadline. 

People attempting to file their taxes electronically were still able to on Tuesday, but those making payments weren't able for most of the day. 

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter in a statement. 

In the first three months of the year, law enforcement got 72 hits from felony arrestee DNA samples, including an unsolved rape from 2016. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

A 2017 law that took effect in January allows police to take DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony. And police already got more than 70 hits from such samples that could help close unsolved cases.

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