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  • I&M proposes 5 solar facilities in 2 states Jul 9, 2014 6:06 AM
    Indiana Michigan Power plans to seek permission to build five solar generating facilities in the two states it serves. I&M is proposing building the facilities in the Muncie-Marion area in eastern Indiana, around South Bend in northern Indiana and in Michigan, although the locations have not yet been decided. The company says the Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project will have a combined capacity of about 16 megawatts, producing electricity equivalent to powering more than 2,500 homes for a year. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2016, with completion expected later that year. The estimated cost of the project is $38 million. The company said the project would result in less than a 1 percent increase in customer rates. The utility has more than 580,000 customers.

     
  • Indiana education board faces contentious meeting Jul 9, 2014 6:06 AM
    Indiana’s State Board of Education is gearing up for another showdown between Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s appointees and staff. The board is set to consider a pair of resolutions dealing with control of the board during a meeting Wednesday. Ritz said Tuesday that Pence’s staff is looking to “undermine” her efforts to maintain the state’s waiver from portions of the federal No Child Left Behind law. However, a spokeswoman for Pence’s education agency said that Ritz has jeopardized the state’s chances at keeping the waiver. The latest fighting follows conflicts within the board last fall. Ritz walked out of a meeting and sued other board members after they circumvented her on a key decision about the state’s “A-F” school grading system.

     
  • Indiana getting $849,000 for outdoor projects Jul 9, 2014 6:06 AM
    Indiana is receiving $849,000 to use toward outdoor recreation and conservation projects. The money is Indiana’s share of about $43 million that is being distributed nationwide by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The federal program has helped fund more than 40,000 local projects over 50 years. Revenue comes from offshore oil and gas leases. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for conservation and recreation projects. Since the fund’s inception, over $4 billion has been made available to state and local governments.

     
  • Gary to rename portion of road for late Mayor Clay Jul 9, 2014 6:06 AM
    The city of Gary is planning a ceremony to rename a portion of U.S. Route 20 the Mayor Rudolph “Rudy” Clay Memorial Highway. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson called the renaming ceremony set for Friday an important tribute to a man who paved the way for more African-Americans to serve in government. Clay served as a county councilman, a state senator and was Lake County’s first black Democratic Party chairman. He was appointed mayor in 2006 after the resignation of Scott King and was elected to a full term the following year. He died last year at the age of 77, two years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The event will be held on the front steps of Gary City Hall.

     
  • South Shore upgrading wire system Jul 8, 2014 6:14 AM
    The South Shore commuter rail line in northern Indiana will bus people between Michigan City and South Bend starting Monday until July 18 so crews can work on the overhead wires that power the trains. South Shore officials say the buses will not stop at the Hudson Lake stop. They say train service between Michigan City and Chicago will not be affected except on July 15 and 17, when the busing will be extended for some midday trains between the Carroll Avenue and Dune Park stops. South Shore officials say the work is needed because old rigid overhead wires are subject to failures that cause lengthy service disruptions. The new system will be identical to the one installed west of Michigan City several years ago.

     
  • 2 men wounded while on porch of Lafayette home Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    Police in Lafayette say two men were shot while on the porch of a home. The shooting happened Monday night at the house just north of the city’s downtown. City police Lt. Tim Payne says a 20-year-old man was shot in the foot and a 21-year-old man suffered a thigh wound. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment. Payne tells the Journal & Courier and WLFI-TV that police were seeking two young men who ran from the scene but that investigators were getting little cooperation from witnesses. Nearby resident Craig Shirley says he was on his front porch when he heard the shots and saw two people who weren’t grown men running away.

     
  • Crews searching South Bend river for woman Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    Emergency crews have been searching the St. Joseph River in downtown South Bend for a woman who was reportedly swept away. Boats were being used to search the river along a downtown park before dawn Tuesday. Crews were called to the site about 1 a.m. WNDU-TV and WSBT-TV report the woman was with a group of people at the park before she went into the river and began struggling in the current.

     
  • State highway washed out in western Indiana Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    A state highway in western Indiana has been closed after heavy rains washed out part of the roadway. A thunderstorm hit the area around the Clay County city of Brazil on Monday, with strong winds knocking down trees onto some power lines and houses. The state highway department says the rain caused the westbound lane of Indiana 42 to collapse near its intersection with Indiana 59 about 15 miles east of Terre Haute. The department says an inspection is planned to determine what repairs are needed. Clay County emergency management director Bryan Husband tells the Brazil Times no injuries were immediately reported from the storm. Duke Energy reported more than 5,000 homes and businesses lost electricity from the storm. Some 1,700 outages remained early Tuesday.

     
  • Pence awards MacAllister state’s highest honor Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    Gov. Mike Pence is awarding a veteran Indianapolis philanthropist and Republican donor the state’s highest honor. Pence announced Monday that P.E. MacAllister is the 2014 recipient of Indiana’s Sachem (SAY’-chem) award. Pence said that MacAllister “embodies the character, industriousness and generosity” of the award. MacAllister was first president and later board chairman of his family’s Caterpillar dealership in Indianapolis for decades. The governor credited him with developing the city’s cultural and arts areas as well. MacAllister previously ran the city’s powerful Capital Improvements Board, which is tasked with building and maintaining its sports stadiums. MacAllister is also a routine donor to the state’s Republicans. He’s given $16,000 to Pence and thousands more to others.

     
  • Police say they’re keeping eye on anarchist group Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    A West Lafayette police detective says he’s watching an anarchist social networking group calling itself the “765 movement” started after a Pine Village man was arrested. West Lafayette police Detective Sgt. Matt Coddington tells the Journal & Courier that statements posted so far appear to fall within the bounds of constitutionally protected speech. The group with nearly 100 members was created less than a week after 22-year-old Samuel Bradbury of Pine Village was ordered held without bond on charges of willfully threatening the use of explosive materials and to extort and threaten interstate communication after saying he ran an anarchist group that commanded a couple to kill two Las Vegas police officers. He later said he had never heard of the pair before the shootings.

     
  • Environmental group opposes dam on White River Jul 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    The Hoosier Environmental Council has added its name to the list of environmental groups opposing a proposed seven-mile long reservoir along the White River in central Indiana, saying it would have harmful and long-lasting consequences. Madison County officials last year proposed the Mounds Lake Reservoir near Anderson, saying it would boost economic development, improve flood control, create prime real estate for waterfront housing and increase property values. Hoosier Environmental Council senior policy director Tim Maloney is calling for an alternative that doesn’t include damming the river. He says a free-flowing river and adjoining natural lands can provide a novel approach to sustainable economic development. Maloney says the council is against replacing a free-flowing river ecosystem with an artificial reservoir.

     
  • Crawfordsville to gain 300 book publishing jobs Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    Book publisher Penguin Random House LLC has announced plans to consolidate a major portion of its U.S. distribution and fulfillment operations in the west central Indiana city of Crawfordsville, creating up to 313 new jobs by 2016. The New York-based company will expand its Crawfordsville operations by 350,000 square feet to 1 million square feet total. The expansion scheduled to be operational by October will allow the company to double annual book shipments. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says it offered Penguin Random House up to $700,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. The city of Crawfordsville approved additional incentives at the request of Montgomery County Economic Development Inc. The company plans to begin hiring in August.

     
  • Northwestern Indiana officials hope images help ID victim Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    Northwestern Indiana police are hoping newly-created renderings of the face of an unidentified young woman found dead in Gary seven years ago can lead them to her family. The homicide victim’s body was found in February 2007 in an abandoned garage. The black woman in her late teens to early 20s died from blunt force trauma to her face and upper torso and asphyxiation. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created images of the victim’s face that Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey released last week. Frey tells The Times of Munster she’s optimistic someone will recognize the woman from the facial reconstruction and she hopes the woman’s relatives come forward. Authorities have the woman’s DNA on file for a genetic comparison that could confirm her identity.

     
  • Lawrence police acquire armored military vehicle Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    A central Indiana city has acquired an armored military vehicle for use in highly dangerous situations. The Lawrence Police Department in Marion County acquired the 48,000-pound, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle through a federal military surplus program. Lawrence’s is the latest Indiana law enforcement agency to obtain one of the 12-foot-high vehicles, designed for use in combat zones. Other departments that have acquired the vehicles include sheriff’s departments in Johnson, Morgan and Jefferson counties, and the West Lafayette, Merrillville, Mishawaka and Terre Haute police departments. Lawrence police Capt. Gary Woodruff tells The Indianapolis Star the six-wheeler could be used by SWAT teams in cases of mass shootings or bomb threats. The vehicles cost more than $700,000 new, but the military refurbishes them and donates them to local police agencies.

     
  • INDOT suspends high road work for holiday weekend Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    The Indiana Department of Transportation has told highway crews to suspend road work during the Fourth of July weekend to try to improve the flow of traffic. INDOT officials say the road work moratorium begins at noon Thursday and will run through Monday morning. Contractors have been told to pull back barrels and barricades to the safest extent possible, although some closures and restrictions will remain in place on larger projects that cannot be safely opened to traffic. Transportation department officials are urging drivers to comply with speed limits, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid driving aggressively.

     
  • Pence picks 8 for public university boards Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    Gov. Mike Pence is filling the boards that oversee Indiana’s public universities. Pence appointed eight trustees to four university boards Wednesday. Gary Lehman and Bruce White were reappointed to the three-year terms on the Purdue University Board of Trustees. Amy MacDonell, John Dunn and W. Harold Calloway were all reappointed to four-year terms at the University of Southern Indiana. Pence’s new appointments include Andrew Mohr and Michael Mirro, who will serve three-year terms on the Indiana University board. Pence also picked Mark Michael to serve one year as the student trustee at Vincennes University. The trustees occasionally find themselves at the center of controversy. Critics at Purdue University protested when the trustees appointed by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels picked him to be the next college president.

     
  • INDOT: Most of US 30 reopened Jul 3, 2014 6:03 AM
    The Indiana Department of Transportation says it has reopened most of U.S. 30 sooner than expected after repairs to power lines damaged by recent severe weather were completed quickly. The department said in a statement issued around 12:30 a.m. Thursday that all of U.S. 30 was open to traffic except at the intersection of State Road 55. That area could remain closed through the early morning. Officials said earlier that a nine-mile stretch of the road between Interstate 65 and U.S. 41 was to be closed beginning at 10 p.m. for 12 hours. Many drivers use the road commuting to Merrillville and the Chicago area. The statement says NIPSCO’s repair of damaged power lines was completed “much earlier than expected.”

     
  • Indiana woman sentenced for throwing infant Jul 2, 2014 10:12 AM
    A northeastern Indiana woman has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to throwing her infant daughter against a wall because the child wouldn’t stop crying. An Allen County judge sentenced 28-year-old Ashley A. Strong to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, but ordered that four years be served on probation. Strong had pleaded guilty to felony battery and neglect of a dependent.

     
  • Federal grants to help homeless vets in Indiana Jul 1, 2014 1:01 AM
    Three Indiana groups are receiving more than $650,000 in grants to provide homeless veterans with job training. The grants are being awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program. Nationwide, more than $36 million is being handed out to provide more than 12,000 veterans with training to help them succeed in civilian careers. In Indiana, more than $260,000 is going to the Crossroads Rehabilitation Center in Indianapolis. ECHO Housing Corporation, which provides homeless shelters in southwestern Indiana, will receive more than $130,000. HealthNet Inc., which operates health care clinics in Indianapolis, will receive about $250,000. The grants announced last week will also provide job placement, career counseling, life skills and money management training, along with help in finding housing.

     
  • Man gets probation for slashing Ball State tires Jul 1, 2014 1:01 AM
    A Muncie man who pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for slashing the tires on dozens of vehicles owned by Ball State University has been sentenced to two years of probation. A Delaware Circuit Court judge last week also ordered 38-year-old Brian R. Huckelby to pay Ball State more than $7,800 in restitution for slashing 67 tires on school-owned vehicles in May 2009. Huckelby was originally charged with institutional criminal mischief, a Class C felony, but his plea agreement reduced that charge to a Class D felony. The Star Press reports Buckley’s attorney, Lon Bryan, characterized his client’s actions as “an act of retaliation.” A police report suggested Huckelby was angry because school authorities placed a wheel clamp on his vehicle following an alleged parking violation.

     
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