Statewide News

Marguerite Topping (left) and Anne Laker (right) of the Indiana Forest Alliance stand outside the Garrison Ballroom at Fort Harrison State Park where the Natural Resources Commission held their meeting Tuesday. (Rebecca Thiele/IPB News)
Rebecca Thiele

Hoosiers won’t be allowed to hunt bobcats any time soon. The state's Natural Resources Commission decided not to go forward with two controversial proposals on Tuesday. 

There’s a new Indiana University study that details the cost of the opioid epidemic in Indiana. The report estimates the misuse of opioids has resulted in more than $43 billion in losses over the past 15 years. 

The study outlines an annual average of $3 billion in losses from indirect cost associated with loss of gross state product loss and underemployment due to addiction.  

The state department of education hosted a school safety roundtable Tuesday, with school safety specialists from across the country.

Controversial Issues Dominate 2018 Study Committees

May 15, 2018
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he's not sure hate crimes need to be studied further. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana lawmakers will consider a number of controversial issues in study committees this year – including hate crimes and the Department of Child Services.

Buttigieg Zoning Request Veto Upheld

May 14, 2018
ed95ba61-6847-4d9d-aa56-3c2c6fbaa841
Barb Anguiano / WVPE

 

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s veto of a zoning request from a pro-life, non-medical facility stands. In a packed room, which included both pro-life and pro-choice supporters, the city’s Common Council voted 5 to 4, missing the majority needed to override the veto.

The council cited five rezoning criteria they used to allow Women’s Care Center, a pro-life, non-medical facility to open an office next to Whole Women’s Health Alliance, which could soon become an abortion provider in South Bend.
 

Eli Lilly Acquires New Cancer Treatment Drugs

May 14, 2018

Within in one week, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly hopes two oncology purchases will boost its cancer drug portfolio.

Eli Lilly has purchased two smaller companies in the past week that have oncology drugs in development. The Indianapolis-based company hopes the investments boost its cancer drug portfolio.

Last week Eli Lilly announced a $1.6 billion buyout of California-based ARMO BioScience for an immunotherapy drug. Immunotherapy treatments – which train the body to fight disease – have gained momentum recently.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says some Hoosier taxpayers would have seen tax increases without legislation approved during the special session. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers approved two substantial tax measures during Monday’s one-day special session.

Many of the provisions sought to conform state tax laws with major policy changes made by the recent federal tax reform bill – which Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says is part of what made a special session necessary.

General Assembly OKs Controversial School Bill

May 14, 2018

Lawmakers approved a hotly debated school financial management bill during the special session Monday.

House Bill 1315 aims to prevent more school financial problems, gives Ball State University control of Muncie schools, and changes rules for those in Gary. Legislators failed to pass the bill during the regular session earlier this year.

Rod Bray Chosen To Become New Senate GOP Leader

May 14, 2018
The Senate GOP caucus elected Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville), right, to become the new Senate President Pro Tem. Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), left, will become the new Majority Floor Leader, replacing Bray. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Senate GOP caucus voted Monday to make Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) the new Senate President Pro Tem.

Bray will replace current leader Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne), who will retire this fall.

Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says the latest legislation builds on previous school safety investments. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana schools will now have access to a little more money to upgrade their safety infrastructure.

The new money is possible through legislation approved during Monday’s one-day special session of the General Assembly.

Red Wolf On The Brink Of Extinction

May 13, 2018
(B. Bartel/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Rebecca Thiele

The red wolf, once native to southern Indiana, could become extinct as soon as 2026. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a report last month stating that there are now only 40 left in the wild. 

School Safety Measure Revived For Special Session

May 11, 2018

Lawmakers will consider a revived school safety measure during Monday's special session.

Bloomington psychologist Dr. Albert Fink’s license was officially revoked Friday morning.

It’s been almost two years since Bloomington psychologist Albert Fink crashed his car in an attempt, he says, to take his own life because of the grief he felt for falsifying mental evaluations.

There is no evidence indicating Fink practiced at all after being charged in 2016 in Vanderburgh County, but his name remained in a state database of licensed mental health professionals.

3D Bioprinted Organ Research Advancing In Indiana

May 11, 2018
Indiana University School of Medicine Dr. Burcin Ekser (middle) and some of the team of researchers who work on organ transplant technology. (Photo courtesy Indiana University School of Medicine)
Jill Sheridan

Indiana scientists are on the frontlines of research that could result in organs for transplant created by 3D bioprinting. 

Indiana University of School of Medicine research on organ transplant technology will get a boost from a $9 million, four-year agreement with the company Lung Biotechnology.   

Lawmakers will meet for the first special session since 2009. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The General Assembly will meet Monday in a special session to consider school safety, tax, and school takeover legislation. Much of the controversy will focus on that last measure and how it might affect schools across the state.

Donnelly-Braun Race Shaping Up To Be Contentious

May 11, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and his Republican challenger Mike Braun. (Photos courtesy of the U.S. Senate and Indiana General Assembly)
Brandon Smith

The Senate race between incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Republican Mike Braun is fully underway as both men gear up for what’s likely to be a contentious campaign. 

6179a6f9-55c1-4c9e-b0ec-76dabb622c94
Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

President Donald Trump unveiled his new slogan,"Keep America Great” at his campaign rally yesterday in Elkhart to a welcoming crowd. Protesters across the street however, had other thoughts about the president’s impact.

 

President Donald Trump’s supporters waited outside of the Elkhart middle school venue for hours before the rally. And they got an earful of chants against the president.
 

Religious leaders and protesters gathered before the meeting where a merit board will decide whether or not to fire two officers responsible for the 2017 death of an unarmed black man, Aaron Bailey.

Ahead of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department decision, faith leaders held a vigil to pray Indianapolis will not become what they call another failure of justice.

Several Factors Fuel Increase In Gas Prices

May 9, 2018

Indiana gas prices have been steadily increasing over the past couple weeks. According to American Automobile Association, AAA, Indiana has felt the biggest increase in gas prices – about 66 cents a gallon -- since the beginning of the year.

AAA Hoosier Motor Club spokesman Greg Seiter says even if prices stay high, they’re likely to fluctuate.

“Specifically in the Midwest and the Great Lakes Region, we tend to see the most volatile gas prices in the country,” Seiter says. “Unfortunately at this time of the year, this is really going to be a rollercoaster ride for us.”

Former Union Leader Talks Jobs Under President Trump

May 9, 2018

Retired union leader Chuck Jones believes President Donald Trump has not kept his promises to Hoosier workers. Jones’s statements come ahead of the president’s Thursday visit to Elkhart, a city that depends heavily on manufacturing jobs. 

According to Jones, Indiana residents don’t have to look further than the lost jobs at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis to see the President’s impact on Hoosier jobs.

While Jones said he appreciated the president making jobs a central campaign issue, he argues not much more has been done for workers since.

The state has now brought in more than $100 million less in corporate taxes than even updated, pessimistic projections predicted. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana tax collections are still behind the state’s budget plan – by a small amount – as the final quarter of the fiscal year began.

Total revenues are about $26 million less than planned through 10 months of the current cycle. That’s a small miss – only about two-tenths of a percent off the mark. It was helped by a strong April, which brought in about $42 million more than expected.

President Donald Trump reportedly agreeing to allow year-round sales of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol could be food for Indiana corn growers, but environmentalists aren’t thrilled. 

Tritch Takes Dem Primary To Challenge Banks

May 9, 2018
8bb3400e-77bb-445a-8e4f-7fac9168e92c
Rebecca Green

The Democratic primary race for Indiana's 3rd Congressional District helped drive voter turnout in Allen County, more than tripling the number of the previous primary.

 

State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) won the 4th District Republican primary Tuesday. (Indiana House Republicans)
Brandon Smith

State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) scored a surprise victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for Indiana’s 4th Congressional seat – the seat opened by Rep. Todd Rokita’s (R-Brownsburg) Senate run.

25e98a02-735a-4279-9e51-311df62a4df8
Rebecca Green

Indiana’s GOP field for November’s election appears to be in place.

 

Mike Braun won the three-man battle to unseat Joe Donnelly in the US Senate, earning 41.1 percent of the vote in Allen County over opponents Rep. Luke Messer (R-6th) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4th).

 

Despite the testy nature of the race, Allen County GOP chairman Steve Shine says he hopes the three can set aside their differences, and for Braun to have support as he now looks to take Donnelly’s seat.

 

Two State Lawmakers Lose Primaries In Upsets

May 8, 2018
Rep. Dick Hamm (R-Richmond) and Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger) lost their primary races. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Most incumbents in state House and Senate races sailed to easy victories Tuesday – with two exceptions, including one of the longest-serving members of the current General Assembly.

Voters Across Indiana Approve More School Funding

May 8, 2018

Every one of the 12 school funding measures on the primary ballot passed this week.

Anderson Community Schools had two measures on the line, for school operations and construction. Both passed with around 60 percent of voter approval.

Goshen Community Schools also had two measures up for consideration, but the margin of victory was a bit closer – both passed with a little more than 50 percent of the vote.

Democrat Tobi Beck and Republican state Rep. Jim Baird will face off in November to fill Todd Rokita's seat in the U.S. House. Rokita’s departure made for a wide and competitive race. Seven candidates sought the Republican seat and six for the Democrat spot.

A judge will decide whether to throw out a lawsuit regarding a proposed Cass County wind farm this week. Two landowners claim a county wind ordinance would violate their property rights. 

Familes Push For Early Child Development Services

May 8, 2018

Working families from all 50 states, including Indiana, visited Washington D.C. to ask Congress to invest more in early childhood services. This is the second year for the Strolling Thunder event organized by non-profit Zero to Three.

Families are asking lawmakers for a national paid family leave program, more quality affordable childcare and more money for Early Head Start programs.

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the chief policy officer with Zero to Three, says it’s important for babies to bond with family and get a healthy start.

Pages