Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

@GovHolcomb/Twitter

Gov. Eric Holcomb unveiled his priorities for the 2020 legislative session Tuesday, and one item on his education agenda has been on teachers’ minds for most of this year helping spur protests at the Statehouse – and it isn’t higher pay. 

Courtesy of Weinzapful Campaign

The race for Indiana Attorney General has a new contender.

Former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced Tuesday he will seek the Democratic nomination for AG next year.

That office is getting increased attention in the 2020 election cycle after current Attorney General Curtis Hill was accused of sexual misconduct by five women.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb will push next year to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.

That initiative – which Holcomb calls "long overdue" – is part of his 2020 agenda, announced Tuesday. 

Health groups and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce have long pushed to raise the legal smoking age to 21, without luck. Holcomb says the sharp spike in vaping among young people helped convince him to push for the change now.

“It’s just horrifying to me that sixth graders are now vaping consistently, are addicted to nicotine,” Holcomb says.

New K-9 At Indiana State Police Toll Road Post

4 hours ago
Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police Trooper Brett Adair has graduated from K-9 Training School with his new partner, Zoia.

The duo worked on skills in tracking, building searches, obedience, handler protection and drug recognition. 

Zoia is a female Dutch Shepherd purchased in Berrien Center, Michigan.  Zoia is from Poland and is the first Dutch Shepherd to be used by the Indiana State Police.

Trooper Adair has been with ISP for four years. He is from St. Joseph County and patrols the Toll Road in LaPorte, St. Joe and Elkhart Counties. 

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

A proposal from state workforce agencies would cut funding for classes that teach nutrition, personal finance, and other skills. It has many Family and Consumer Sciences teachers across the state worried.

Under the plan being considered by the Indiana State Board of Education, schools could still offer family and consumer science classes, but they’d no longer receive state funding for them. 

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Trump administration is cutting off Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, for about 700,000 Americans.

Yet U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, visiting Indiana Monday, says Hoosiers won’t be affected.

Jill Sheridan/IPB News

The federal government announced a push last year to end the HIV epidemic.  The virus, which was once a death sentence for many, can now be managed and prevented through medical advances, but it will take more than a pill to stop the spread of  HIV.

A one stop shop model aims to help close the gaps in care for Hoosiers.

Sam McHenry has been a volunteer at the Damien Center in Indianapolis for more than 20 years. 

https://www.in.gov/bmv/2831.htm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana driver’s manual will be translated into four more languages in order to settle a federal lawsuit.

The agreement will have the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles provide the manual in Arabic, Burmese, Chin and Mandarin by March 2021.

That deal resolves a lawsuit filed last year by immigrant assistance group Neighbor to Neighbor of South Bend, which claimed the BMV was discriminating by providing the manual in only English and Spanish.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University officials have approved plans for new buildings on the West Lafayette campus that will house the school’s bands and data science programs.

Plans for the $20 million Bands and Orchestra Building will give dedicated space to Purdue’s more than 30 ensembles, concert bands and jazz bands.

Construction will be paid for with private donations.

The new $40 million Data Science Building will be four stories with classrooms and research space.

Samantha Horton/IPB News

Sales and marketing company Televerde celebrated the opening of its newest call center at the Madison Correctional Facility for women Friday. The company sees itself helping address the workforce shortage by preparing program participants and employees for professional careers after release.

Televerde trains and employs women while they are serving time to help provide opportunities after they leave the facility, with aims to reduce recidivism rates.

CEO Morag Lucey says with a growing workforce shortage, the company is tapping into an underutilized population.

FILE PHOTO: Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News

Enrollment in teacher preparation programs has dropped significantly over the past decade. According to a new national report, Indiana has fewer than half of the candidates as it did in 2008.

Holcomb To Unveil 2020 Agenda Tuesday In Terre Haute

Dec 6, 2019
FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb will unveil his legislative and administrative agenda for 2020 Tuesday.

It’s likely to build on the themes Holcomb’s focused on throughout his term.

Speaking at a recent legislative conference, Holcomb said his agenda will incorporate the idea of “One Indiana” – that the state’s focus must be collaborative between not just urban hubs but also small communities.

“Connect this network of our port system, our rail system, our road system, internet system,” Holcomb says.

Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

Budget cuts at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other state environmental agencies around the country are threatening public health. That’s according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. 

The group, which advocates for better enforcement of environmental laws, looked at Indiana’s budget over the past decade. Its analysis shows that while overall state spending grew by 17 percent, IDEM’s budget was cut by 20 percent.

Samantha Horton/IPB News

Indiana farmers can expect to see a plateau in farm income over the next decade, according to one agriculture expert.

With thin profit margins expected to continue into the coming decade, farmers may choose to consolidate farms or diversify their crops and livestock. Some may even take off-farm jobs, as have done in the past when the farm economy has been stagnant.

State Approves NIPSCO Rate Increase

Dec 5, 2019
Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

The state has approved the northern Indiana utility NIPSCO’s controversial rate increase. The utility will raise rates for residents while allowing industrial companies to buy potentially cheaper energy elsewhere. 

By March of next year, the average NIPSCO resident’s bill will go up by about $6 a month.

Even though that’s $5 less than the company had originally proposed, La'Tonya Troutman with the LaPorte County branch of the NAACP says it could have a big impact on low-income and minority residents.

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