Statewide News

Former state representative Mike Braun is one of three candidates running for a chance to face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Indiana’s three Republican U.S. Senate candidates – Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, and businessman Mike Braun – will meet Monday evening for the final debate before the May 8 primary.

That's amid controversy that’s swirled around the event hosted by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Last month, Rokita said no to the Indiana Debate Commission. Commission President Gerry Lanosga says he was surprised.

Firefighter Aims To Catch Cancer Early

Apr 26, 2018
FACEs and LAM are exhibitors at the annual firefighters conference in Indianapolis. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

A new non-profit and an Indiana laboratory have teamed up to promote early cancer detection for firefighters.  The group of emergency responders faces a greater risk of cancer.

Chris Conner founded Firefighters Against Cancer and Exposures, FACEs, to support firefighters going through cancer treatment.  Firefighters encounter more cancer-causing chemicals than they used to. 

Trauma Informed Care At Work In Indiana

Apr 26, 2018
Children at the Brain Kitchen learn to make fresh pasta. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

A growing number of education and treatment programs support children and adults with what’s called “trauma informed” care – where caregivers, social workers and teachers recognize that childhood trauma can manifest in behavioral and mental health challenges.

One Marion-based afterschool program has adopted this motto: assume trauma before drama.

I-69 Ohio River Crossing Bridge To Be Tolled

Apr 26, 2018
People attend one of the open houses earlier this year in Evansville to learn about the three corridors being considered. (FILE PHOTO: Samantha Horton/WNIN)
Samantha Horton

Officials are expected to pick from one of three Interstate 69 bridge routes across the Ohio River by the end of this year – but to pay for it, drivers will be charged.

Global Tech Firm Announces Expanded Indiana Jobs Plans

Apr 26, 2018

Global tech firm Infosys announced Thursday it will create more Hoosier jobs than originally planned – now 3,000 in total at its North American training center, based in Indianapolis.

Vice President Mike Pence attended the announcement after a central Indiana political event on tax reform was postponed until after the state’s May primary election.

Panel Analyzes Challenges For Micropolitan Areas

Apr 25, 2018
Wrapping up the Wednesday forum, national and local leaders spoke at a policy roundtable about how to put theories into policy. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)
Samantha Horton

Most people are familiar with metropolitan areas such as those around Indianapolis, Chicago or New York. But the Indiana University Public Policy Institute hosted a conference at IUPUI focused on the economic development in Indiana’s micropolitan areas – those places with between 10,000 and 50,000 people.

Prescription Drug Program Aims To Prevent Teen Misuse

Apr 25, 2018
Attorney General Curtis Hill talks with Perry Meridian School Leaders and students attending an event at the school.  (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan


Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill recommends more schools adopt a new drug abuse prevention program.                

Perry Meridian High School recently launched the program. Junior Sarah Burton says she valued the scenario simulation part of the course. 

"What you can do as even a bystander and what I can be doing?" says Burton. 

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

Erika Fierro immigrated to the U.S. when she was 5-years-old and has two U.S.-born children. Last month, despite no criminal history, she was arrested by immigration officials outside her home.

Religious leaders in Indiana accompanied Fierro to her mandatory immigration check-in Tuesday and held a vigil to protest her situation.

Her pastor and the Catholic Archbishop of Indianapolis Charles Thompson attended her immigration check-in for both support and out of concern that Fierro would be immediately detained.

GOP Candidates Square Off In Second Primary Debate

Apr 24, 2018
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

Apr 24, 2018
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.

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.

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
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.”


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.

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.