Indiana Governor Not Yet Backing Attorney General Challenger

Jan 21, 2020
AP Photo/Tom Davies

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb isn't yet throwing his support behind a top official of his administration in challenging the state attorney general who is awaiting the outcome from an investigation into allegations of drunkenly groping four women.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio/File

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined to take a case stemming from the 2014 water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Approximately 25,000 people have sued over the crisis, in which a change in the source of the city's water resulted in lead contamination.

The case the justices turned away without comment Tuesday involves a lawsuit against the city and water regulators.

The lawsuit claims the officials failed to protect residents from a foreseeable risk of harm.

FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation to allow speed cameras in highway work zones didn’t get a vote in a Senate committee Tuesday. And its future this session is in doubt.

The proposed bill would only allow Indiana State Police to issue tickets if a driver is caught on camera going at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in a highway work zone, while workers are present. It also requires signs alerting drivers beforehand and only allows pictures of the rear license plate – not the driver’s face.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Legislation changed and approved by a Senate committee Tuesday makes an incremental step to give more time to prosecute child sex crimes.

But the original bill went a lot further.

The St. Joseph County Police Department created a new position designed to help people struggling with mental illness.

During 2019 more than 1,000 people in St. Joe County were court ordered into mental health treatment or monitoring, according to the Clerk’s office.

MSU May Give Students A Day Off On Election Day

Jan 21, 2020
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University is considering a fall break next school year, which could give students Election Day off.

But some think the schedule change could undercut efforts to encourage student voting on campus.

Classes could be canceled on Monday, Nov. 2, and Tuesday, Nov. 3, which is Election Day.

Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A technology change is forcing Michigan's corrections department to spend about $4.6 million to fit more than 4,000 parolees and others under state supervision with new ankle monitors.

Michigan Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Chris Gautz says the change is necessary because the 3G-enabled monitors won't work because Verizon is upgrading its network from 3G to 4G.

He says the process of swapping out devices for those wearing the ankle bracelets is expected to take about 45 days.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A report from Ball State University shows the Republican-backed law to cap Indiana property taxes forced most local governments to face tough financial choices.

The policy brief reveals how property tax caps affected cities and towns across Indiana showing how local revenue declines led to decreased public services.

Property tax caps took full effect in 2010. They were put in place in response to local governments raising rates to fill in funding gaps from the state during the Great Recession. 

Michigan State Park Fees Will Rise $1 Starting In March

Jan 20, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Annual fees that allow unlimited access to Michigan's state parks is rising by $1.

Starting March 1, it will cost $12 for the Recreation Passport when it's bought with one's license plate registration renewal.

It's the first fee increase in seven years.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources attributes the fee change to a provision in the law that ensures the funding source keeps pace with inflation.

Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate At Its Lowest In 6 Years

Jan 20, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Officials say Indiana saw the biggest decrease in its infant mortality rate in six years.

According to The Indianapolis Star, the state had one of the highest rates in the nation; 559 infants died in 2018 compared to 602 the previous year.

The Indiana state health commissioner says it's a culmination of a number of years of very intensive efforts from multiple state agencies and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

South Bend organizations in workforce and education got a boost from the Office of Career Connection and Talent and the governor’s office on Friday. They were the fifth in Indiana to earn the title of “21st Century Talent Region.”

At the announcement, Career Connections and Talent Secretary Blair Milo credited the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership with organizing programs that will create new workers and then connect them to jobs. 

Meg Kinnard/AP Photo

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has rearranged his schedule to make room for events in early-voting South Carolina that honor Martin Luther King Jr. Buttigieg’s campaign said in a statement Saturday night that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, “looks forward to being with the citizens and leaders of Columbia” as they celebrate the federal holiday that commemorates the late civil rights leader.

Door County Jail via AP

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — The interim president at Indiana's Franklin College is a longtime administrator who has won more than 500 games as basketball coach.

Kerry Prather was appointed after the arrest and firing of Thomas Minar.

Minar is charged in Door County, Wisconsin, with crimes related to enticement of a minor.

Prather says, “There is no shortage of things to do.”

Franklin College has an enrollment of about 1,000 students and is located in Franklin, about 20 miles south of Indianapolis.    

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

An Indiana state senator wants to get rid of primary elections for U.S. Senate races.

Sen. Jim Buck’s (R-Kokomo) legislation was heard by the Senate Elections Committee, though its passage seems unlikely.

Instead of primary elections for U.S. Senate, Buck’s bill would have state party conventions choose the major party candidates. For comparison – more than 500,000 people voted in Indiana’s 2018 Republican primary. The state GOP convention had less than 2,000 delegates.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) says nine more Hoosiers have died from flu-related illness. ISDH confirms a total of 31 flu-related deaths this season in a report released Friday.

15 cases were people age 65 years or older. ISDH says children under five, adults over 65 and people with chronic diseases like asthma or diabetes are at higher risk.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box says the flu season is well underway and she expects it will likely get worse in coming weeks.