This Time, Pence Wears A Mask As He Tours Indiana Plant

Apr 30, 2020
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

WASHINGTON (AP) — This time, he wore a mask. Vice President Mike Pence donned a face covering as he toured a General Motors/Ventec ventilator production facility in Indiana on Thursday. He had come under fire for failing to wear one earlier this week at the Mayo Clinic. Pence on Thursday toured the General Motors facility in Kokomo, which has already manufactured hundreds of the units. The visit came hours after Pence's wife, second lady Karen Pence, defended her husband's decision to not wear a mask during a Tuesday visit to the Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 31 additional deaths on Monday, bringing the state’s total to 844. The state announced nearly 16,000 total confirmed cases, with more than 84,000 Hoosiers tested.

Photo provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — General Motors in Kokomo is hiring for more than 1,000 full- and part-time workers in Kokomo to help it meet demand for medical ventilators during the coronavirus outbreak. GM has said it wants to produce 30,000 ventilators by the end of August. The starting wage for the temporary positions starts at $16.67 per hour. The work is for a minimum of eight to 10 hours per day.  Part-time employees will work 16-32 hours per week. A virtual job fair will be held at 11 a.m. May 6 to help applicants learn more about the opportunities.

Pence To Visit Kokomo GM Plant To Highlight Ventilators

Apr 22, 2020
Photo provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Kokomo next week to highlight the production of ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic. Pence’s office announced Wednesday that the former Indiana governor on April 30 will visit a General Motors electronics plant that has been retooled to make the medical devices. Additional details will be released later. On March 18, GM began working with Seattle-area ventilator maker Ventec Life Systems to increase the company’s production.

Photo provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

President Donald Trump ordered General Motors on Friday to accelerate ventilator production under the Defense Production Act. 

A week ago, GM announced it was partnering with Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed that a worker at a Kokomo transmission plant tested positive for the coronavirus. The company says production will continue normally. 

Employees at the transmission plant were notified Thursday that one of their coworkers has a confirmed case of COVID-19. The employee has been hospitalized and nearby workers are being quarantined for 14 days. Still, some are wondering if it’s safe to come to work.

Samantha Horton/IPB News

Fiat Chrysler Automotive Thursday announced details on its plans to convert a once-idled transmission plant in Kokomo to build engines. 

The $400 million investment will allow the company to move production of one of its engines for the U.S. market from Italy to Indiana.

The engine is currently an option in the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, but FCA North America COO Mark Stewart says new technologies will make it more widely relevant to the company’s future.

The plant is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2021 and add about 200 jobs.


KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana councilman whose predecessor resigned after posting Islamophobic comments online says he will not step down following backlash for sharing similar views on Facebook.

The Howard County Republican Party selected Roger Stewart to replace Greg Jones on the Kokomo Common Council. Jones resigned Jan. 17 after his Islamophobic and homophobic Facebook posts from 2015 came to light.

Stewart shared a post on his Facebook that said Muslims can leave the country if they don't follow the law.

Indiana Councilman Says He Regrets Remarks About Muslims

Jan 15, 2020

An Indiana city council member who made insulting comments about Muslims on social media in 2015, years before he was elected, says he regrets posting those remarks and no longer holds those views.

Greg Jones is a Republican member of the Kokomo Common Council.

The Kokomo Tribune reports he posted incendiary remarks about Muslims and their religious beliefs on Facebook in June 2015, four years before he was elected to the council in the city about 40 miles north of Indianapolis. 

Hemp-Processing Plant Opens In Kokomo To Dry, Process Crop

Nov 18, 2019
Claire Harbage/NPR

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — A hemp-processing plant has opened in central Indiana to turn the state’s first legal crop into a market-ready product.

'All IN' - Reflecting On The Legacy Of Ryan White

Oct 29, 2019
AP Photo

Tuesday on All IN on 88.1 WVPE, the program focused on the saga of Ryan White. It's been more than 30 years since the Indiana boy was diagnosed with AIDS at a time when it wasn't fully understood. Ryan lived in Kokomo and attended school there, until he was barred from classes in the mid-1980's. Ryan was infected through a blood transfusion. As some parents in his local Indiana community fought to keep him out of school, celebrities came to his defense. 

United Way Helps UAW Members On Strike

Oct 12, 2019
Samantha Horton/IPB New

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors is approaching one month and one local organization is preparing for an increase in needs from union members.

With bills and other expenses continuing, UAW workers on strike are feeling the pinch. Strike pay offers only $250 a week if picketing requirements are met.

Cheryl Graham is the Howard County United Way AFL-CIO director. She says union members did prepare for the strike, saving money and cutting unnecessary costs, but that will only help to a point.

City of Kokomo

The developer of Westfield’s Grand Park Sports Complex is planning a $77-million youth sports and commercial development in Kokomo.

Henke Development wants to build Championship Park off U.S. 31 and Markland Avenue. It would include eight multi-purpose fields, office, retail, and restaurant space, along with new hotels.

Westfield and Kokomo are about a 30-minute drive apart.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the two facilities won’t be competing for the same crowd.

Justin Hicks

County unemployment numbers for April seemed to indicate that the Kokomo area became Indiana’s most unemployed region almost overnight. There may not be an employment crisis, but instead a statistical anomaly.