Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Indiana Dept. of Health

The newest map released by the Indiana Dept. of Health shows 66 Hoosier counties in blue, indicating the lowest level of COVID-19 spread. Among the blue counties locally are Laporte, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko and LaGrange.  

Statewide 25 counties are in yellow (the second best color-coded category.) Counties in yellow in the WVPE listening area include St. Joseph, Elkhart, Pulaski and Fulton. 

One county (Blackford County) is in orange this week. 

(Courtesy of the journal Environmental Science & Technology)

Hoosiers are already at greater risk for unsafe levels of arsenic in private drinking water wells than people in some other states — and a new study shows drought can make the problem worse.

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Leaders from Elkhart, St. Joseph, Marshall and Kosciusko counties came together on Tuesday to oppose state legislation they say would divert money from public schools.

Representatives from over 20 local school districts attended a collaborative event hosted by Strong Public Schools For Strong Communities, where local mayors, business leaders, chamber officials and community members took turns reading from a four-county declaration to Indiana legislators and Governor Eric Holcomb.

In a little more than a month, voters in the Elkhart Community Schools district will vote whether to pass a $122 million referendum. 

Speaking at the Kiwanis Club of Elkhart Tuesday afternoon, ECS Superintendent Steve Thalheimer said the referendum is necessary to improve teacher salaries and benefits, as well as to renew the district’s current transportation referendum.

 

(Provided by Indiana Department of Health)

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state will expand eligibility to all Hoosiers 16 and older on March 31.

(Screenshot of Facebook Live)

All Hoosiers age 16 and older can schedule COVID-19 vaccinations beginning March 31.

Photo provided by the State of Indiana

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that on Mar. 31 Indiana will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Hoosiers age 16 and up. 

Also as of April 6th he says that the state's face mask mandate will become just an advisory. However, in places like state buildings, vaccination sites and schools face masks will still be required.  

Also on Apr. 6th decisions about gathering sizes will no longer be limited by state guidelines. Decisions on that will go to the local level at that point. 

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Activists and faith leaders gathered at the Statehouse Tuesday for a vigil and call-to-action on the first anniversary of the state’s Stay-At-Home orders.

Osceola Dragway Closing After More Than Six Decades

Mar 23, 2021
https://www.facebook.com/OsceolaDragway

OSCEOLA, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana drag strip has closed its gates after more than six decades of playing host to drag races. The Osceola Dragway announced Friday in a Facebook post that it will not be opening for the 2021 season and that “after 63 years, our gates will be permanently closed.” Track officials said the coronavirus pandemic had impacted ongoing efforts that began in 2016 to sell the International Hot Rod Association-sanctioned track, which features a quarter-mile drag strip a few miles west of Elkhart.

(Courtesy of Boulder Police Department via AP)

A Colorado police officer killed while responding to a grocery store mass shooting was a Ball State University alumnus.  Eric Talley earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Muncie school.

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder and child molestation in the asphyxiation death of a 6-year-old girl in northern Indiana. The South Bend Tribune reports that St. Joseph County prosecutors filed a petition for delinquency in juvenile court Monday against the teenager. Investigators say Grace Ross was found dead March 12 in New Carlisle, about 75 miles east of Chicago, about two hours after she was reported missing.

Screenshot via Vimeo news conference

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is set to outline the state’s upcoming COVID-19 actions with a speech one year after he issued the statewide stay-at-home order during the pandemic's early days. Holcomb said last week he would talk during the Tuesday evening speech about vaccine distribution and further lifting of restrictions. Complaints from the public and some conservative state legislators have continued about the face mask mandate that Holcomb first issued in July. Holcomb’s current order continuing the mask mandate is set to expire April 1.

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Following last week’s shooting in Atlanta that left six Asian American women dead, local activist groups came together Monday to show support for the Asian American community.

Every Monday, members of the Michiana Peace & Justice Coalition picket on the corner of Main Street and Jefferson Boulevard in downtown South Bend. This Monday, though, they held signs that said, “We stand with our Asian brothers and sisters,” and “Stop Asian hate.”

 

Mike Schmuhl Will Lead Indiana Democratic Party

Mar 22, 2021
(Courtesy of Mike Schmuhl)

Former Buttigieg presidential campaign manager Mike Schmuhl is the new chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.

https://www.facebook.com/pokagonband/photos/a.222092171185810/596648273730196/

 

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is working to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all Native American groups living in Indiana. The tribe announced it will hold a mass vaccination clinic in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 27. 

Priscilla Gatties, Interim Health Director at Pokagon Health Services, said the health service has administered close to 3,000 doses to Pokagon Citizens, employees and family members.

 

https://www.in.gov/dor/tax-forms/2020-individual-income-tax-forms/

Indiana will delay its state tax filing deadline to conform with delays announced earlier for federal income tax filing. 

One Year Of COVID-19 In Indiana

Mar 22, 2021
FILE PHOTO: LAUREN CHAPMAN/IPB NEWS

It's been nearly a year since Indiana reported its first case and first death from COVID-19, and we're still in the middle of our "new normal." We asked Hoosiers across the state to share their stories with us – the people we've lost, the triumphs, the recoveries, and the changes.

And you did.

INDIANA BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says five more languages will be added in the coming months to those available to prospective motorists for taking their state driver’s license written exams. American Sign Language, the first of five new languages, will be available March 29. Four additional languages — Hindi, Croatian, Serbian, and Tagalog — will be added in the coming months as translations and peer reviews are completed. Written exams, formerly offered on paper, have been completed on computer terminals since 2013.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has released information on a case that started in Goshen where a person fled from police. After a car chase that ended at Cleveland and Bittersweet in St. Joseph County, the man being pursued ditched the car and ran. Police say the suspect encountered an armed homeowner in the 11600 block of Anderson Road in Granger and was shot. The suspect was taken to the hospital.

(COURTESY OF MIKE SCHMUHL)

Former Buttigieg presidential campaign manager Mike Schmuhl is the new chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.

United States Department of Justice)

A federal judge ruled Friday, Jon Schaffer, the Indiana man accused in January’s insurrection at the United States Capitol, will remain in federal detention due to his perceived community risk.

U.S. attorneys said Schaffer was “radicalized” and brought “a dangerous weapon inside restricted grounds.”

Showing a video interview of Schaffer from a November rally for former President Donald Trump, attorneys argued Schaffer contemplated violence before he engaged in the insurrection.

Indiana Utility Fined $1.1M For Pipeline Safety Violations

Mar 20, 2021
FILE PHOTO: TYLER LAKE/WTIU

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — State regulators have fined Northern Indiana Public Service Co. more than $1 million _ the largest in Indiana history _ for pipeline safety violations. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ordered the Merrillville, Indiana-based natural gas supplier on Wednesday to pay $1.138 million in civil penalties for violations related to the company's failure to locate or mark pipelines, as required, within two days of gas line excavations. The commission says the fine is the third time since 2017 that NIPSCO has received a substantial fine for similar violations.

Park Authorities Plan Four Spring Fires For Indiana Dunes

Mar 20, 2021
JUSTIN HICKS/WVPE

CHESTERTON, Ind. (AP) — Authorities plan four prescribed fires at Indiana Dunes National Park this spring, totaling more than 900 acres. Authorities say prescribed fires are used to restore the park. Exact dates have not been announced yet. The National Park Service says humidity and wind speed and direction must be ideal to complete each planned fire. The northwest Indiana park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of beaches, woods, prairies and marshes.

 

MANDEL NGAN / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

 

The Indiana Dept. of Health has announced another lowering of the age of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Monday Hoosiers who are 40 and older may sign up for the shot. 

(Courtesy of IU Health)

The Indiana Department of Health will hold a mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Elkhart County Housing Authority next week.

State health officials announced earlier this week that mobile clinics would be headed to counties with limited access to the vaccine and high percentages of minority or vulnerable populations.

 

Rate Of Fully Vaccinated Hoosiers Climbs To 14%

Mar 19, 2021
MANDEL NGAN / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials say more than 900,000 Indiana residents have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while the state’s pandemic death toll is nearing 13,000.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says an infrastructure plan expected soon from President Joe Biden will offer a “once in a century” opportunity to remake transportation in the United States, with cars and highways no longer king. Buttigieg made his comments at the South by Southwest conference in Texas. He compared the new possibility to the creation of an interstate highway under President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s and a transcontinental railroad under President Abraham Lincoln a century before that. He said the U.S.

Drugs, Guns & Cash Seized In Granger Raid

Mar 19, 2021
Photo provided by St. Joseph Co. Police

St. Joseph Co. Police have released information about a drug raid in Granger earlier this week that resulted in seizures of drugs, guns and cash. So far no arrests have been made. 

Last month, an Indiana House bill that would allow a local St. Joseph County township to leave the South Bend School system caused a shouting match between Black lawmakers and their Republican colleagues at the Statehouse. Proponents say the bill is about convenience, while some opponents say it could harm urban school districts.

To understand House Bill 1367, you have to go back to 1979, when the South Bend Community School Corporation was planning to reorganize.

 

Gen Con Postpones 2021 In-Person Convention To September

Mar 18, 2021
(Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Gen Con will be returning to Indianapolis this year about a month later than usual.

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