Local

Goshen City Council approved the purchase of a piece of land along a creek Tuesday night to prevent it from being developed. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana lawmakers are moving quickly with a measure to avoid penalizing schools for a drop in student scores on the state’s new ILEARN test, with both the House and Senate having moved the hold harmless bill through committee just days into this year’s legislative session. 

Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

Indiana environmentalists held a rally and met with lawmakers on Tuesday to demand better renewable energy policies in the state. 

State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says one of his goals with the state’s Energy Policy Development Task Force is to promote solar on homes and businesses.

He says having multiple solar power sources spread throughout the state would make Indiana’s energy grid more resilient to a possible cyber attack from Iran.

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana's Department of Workforce Development is looking to help displaced Celadon employees find jobs with a second virtual job fair on Wednesday.

The online job fair is only for former Celadon employees who lost their jobs when the company declared bankruptcy in early December. 

Dave Shatowski is organizing the job fair for the the Department of Workforce Development. He says it will focus on non-driving positions in logistics, dispatch and mechanics.

DOJ files lawsuit against Community Health Network

Jan 8, 2020
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Community Health Network alleging the central Indiana health care system submitted false claims to Medicare.

The DOJ alleges the network paid physicians well above market value for referrals and paid bonuses to physicians if they referred a certain number of patients to the hospital.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

House Republican committee members rejected an attempt Tuesday to spend excess state surplus dollars on teacher pay bonuses.

The Ways and Means Committee voted instead to spend the money on cash payments for university building projects.

Indiana collected nearly $300 million more in the last budget than expected. Republicans want to use that money to pay for building projects at state colleges and universities with cash, rather than through bonding.

The Latest: Pence Briefs Congress On Iranian Strikes

Jan 7, 2020
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Vice President Mike Pence has briefed top Democrats in Congress on the Iranian strikes on installations in Iraq holding U.S. forces.

BREAKING: Iran: Missiles Fired At Iraqi Air Base Housing US Troops

Jan 7, 2020

Iran state TV says Tehran has launched "tens" of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq's Ain Assad air base housing U.S. troops over America's killing of a top Iranian general.

Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group is launching a 2020 ballot initiative to expand Michigan's civil rights law to include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Fair and Equal Michigan submitted petition language to the Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday.

Once it's approved, the committee of business, political and philanthropic leaders will try to collect 340,000 signatures to place the initiated bill before lawmakers.

If the Republican-led Legislature doesn't adopt the legislation, the initiative would go to a statewide vote in November.

Indiana Panel Rejects Proposed $291 Million Teacher Pay Hike

Jan 7, 2020
Michael Conroy/AP Photo

An Indiana House committee has rejected a Democratic proposal to direct $291 million in unexpected state tax revenue toward one-time teacher pay bonuses.

The Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines against the proposal, going along with GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb's request that the revenue go toward paying cash rather than borrowing money for several planned college campus construction projects.

Democrats argued the money would be better spent on addressing the state's lagging teacher pay.

All IN: How Are Libraries Changing?

Jan 7, 2020
Terry Kearney / Creative Commons

What were once quiet spaces full of books, card catalogues, and microfilm archives are now active, vibrant public spaces. There are still plenty of books, but many libraries are now host to fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and family activities.

We talk to the Indiana State Librarian about what changes he’s seen at libraries in recent years, especially when it comes to technology.

Juan Constantino

Plymouth is considering a program that would offer a secondary form of ID cards to its residents. 

These cards do not replace a passport, valid driver’s license or in-state ID. Instead, its meant to help residents who have trouble getting a form of identification.

Photo provided by St. Joseph Co. Jail

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office has announced that an arrest has been made following a weekend homicide in South Bend. 

MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE VIA AP

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is considering adding an alternative to the male or female designation on driver's  licenses.

Such a designation might be an "X." Fourteen other states that offer an option other than male or female.

Erin Knott is with Equality Michigan. 

She says it would help people who are transgender or who don't conform to traditional gender roles.

"It's saying that all Michiganders, including members of the transgender community, deserve to live with dignity and respect," Knott says. 

Federal Prosecutor Appointment In Michigan Being Held Up

Jan 7, 2020
David Eggert/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the top federal prosecutor in Grand Rapids is being held up by Michigan's two Democratic senators.

The Detroit News reports former state House Speaker Tom Leonard's nomination, announced in August, is being blocked after Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters declined to meet with him.

Typically, a nominee isn't confirmed without two positive blue slips from his or her home-state senators - but the Republican-controlled Senate has approved some appeals court nominees anyway.

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