Statewide News

State leaders have joined a network in hopes of solving a projected employment gap.

The Markle Foundation’s Skillful State Network links Indiana with 19 other states. The network shares best practices among participating states to write a playbook for how to successfully fill 21st Century jobs.

Gov. Eric Holcomb says the Hoosier State needs to recruit high quality talent to fill an anticipated 1 million open jobs by 2025.

South Bend looking toward clean-up as river recedes

Feb 22, 2018
Water nearly reaches the arches under Jefferson Boulevard
Jennifer Weingart

 

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttitgieg said it’s going to be a while before the river falls back to normal.

“It’s going down slowly. We’re still going to be above 12 feet probably for the balance of the day and it will be the month of March before we’re out of flood stage.”

Bill Aims To Improve DCS Communication With Schools

Feb 22, 2018

A bill passed through committee this week that aims to improve communications between schools, courts and the Department of Child Services.

The first part of the bill would require DCS to outline efforts to coordinate with a foster child’s school system. Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) authored the bill and says a case from his county highlights the problem.

“This child was 7-years-old and weighed 20 pounds and the only communication they had with the school was, here is the child,” says Zay.

Genomics Advances Identifies Unexpected Cancer 'Cure'

Feb 22, 2018

Genomic sequencing maps your DNA and doctors and scientists can use this information to find the best treatment for a specific person. Some potential treatments are not as invasive as traditional chemotherapy – in fact, one may already be in your medicine cabinet.

Indiana scientists are reporting encouraging success with this precision medicine. Dr. Milan Radovich is genomics scientist and co-director of the Indiana University Precision Genomics Group in Indianapolis.

Lawmakers are giving mixed input on a bill about teacher licensing waivers, and members of a House committee shared concerns about the proposal during a meeting Thursday.

Senate Committee Approves Resolution On Autism

Feb 21, 2018

Students with autism in public schools could become the focus of a state study committee.

A senate panel adopted a resolution Wednesday urging lawmakers to study how prepared schools are to work with students on the autism spectrum. RJL Solutions director of advocacy and client affairs, Jenn Kersey, testified in support of the resolution.

Redistricting Standards Bill Unlikely To Advance

Feb 21, 2018

Legislation to create redistricting standards in Indiana law looks unlikely to pass this session.

House Elections Committee Chair Milo Smith said Wednesday he won’t give the bill a hearing.

The bill creates parameters lawmakers would have to follow when drawing Indiana’s district lines. For instance, the measure says map makers should ignore where incumbent lawmakers live and avoid dividing neighborhoods.

A House panel made changes Wednesday to legislation regarding guns in houses of worship on school grounds.

Current law allows guns in churches but largely bans them on school property. That means licensed gun owners are barred from carrying into church if it shares property with a school.

The legislation would change that, legalizing guns in churches on school property during worship services if the house of worship allows it.

House Committee Rejects Some Changes To Abortion Bill

Feb 21, 2018

A House committee rejected attempts Wednesday to scale back some new reporting requirements created by an anti-abortion bill.

Former state lawmaker Mike Braun and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) traded barbs while Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) tried to stay above the fray in the first debate of the 2018 Republican primary for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

Rokita set the tone early, using his opening statement to jab his opponents with oft-repeated claims: that Braun is new to the Republican Party and Messer doesn’t live in Indiana.

House Committee Makes Big Changes To Sex Ed Bill

Feb 20, 2018

The House Education Committee approved a controversial sex education bill Tuesday, and some members say a few key changes could make them more receptive to the legislation.

A group of U.S. representatives billing themselves as the “Make It In America Tour” visited Indianapolis Tuesday. The tour aims to connect Democratic leaders with community and business leaders to discuss national infrastructure needs.

The discussion suggested recent state efforts to increase funding are not being felt at the local level.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) joined Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) in his district to discuss transportation with community and business leaders.

Sen. Todd Young Outlines Agenda, Kicks Off Series Of Roundtable Discussions

Feb 20, 2018

For the first stop in a series of roundtable discussions, Sen. Young  met with community and business leaders in Indianapolis to talk about the government’s role in tackling big issues. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


Indiana Republican U.S. Sen. Todd Young is travelling the state to hear from Hoosiers, an effort to help shape his agenda in office. It comes more than a year after Young was sworn into office.

Young calls it his Fair Shot Agenda, and it outlines four key areas: opportunity, safety, health, and better government.

The Indiana State Board of Education will host a public forum Thursday at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend - seeking public input on proposed revisions to school accountability grades.

 

This is one of four public forums throughout the state that gives Indiana residents the opportunity to weigh-in on proposed changes to school accountability grades.
 

Proposed changes include a higher significance on student standardized test performance and school graduation rates.
 

Police can use a drug dog to search your vehicle during a routine traffic stop if you voluntarily admit to past drug possession. That’s the ruling of the Indiana Court of Appeals in a recent decision.

Legislation unanimously approved in a Senate committee Tuesday aims to strengthen Indiana’s human trafficking laws.

The bill makes several changes to current statute. It separates out labor trafficking and sex trafficking and better defines them both.

Holcomb Stops In Anderson On Workforce Development Tour

Feb 19, 2018

Gov. Eric Holcomb has been on a workforce development tour of Indiana. He stopped in Anderson at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute Monday.

During his visit, Holcomb placed the back bumper onto the model car in the automotive manufacturing simulator.

He says he hopes to take success stories from different regions to train more people to take the estimated 96,000 available jobs in Indiana.

One of the first bills headed to the governor’s desk this session will allow Indiana students to easily carry and apply sunscreen at school.

That’s as some lawmakers grumble about why the bill was necessary.

Lawmakers Weigh New School Coalition Pilot Program

Feb 19, 2018

School coalitions could become a new feature of the state’s education system, as lawmakers consider another pilot program to better prepare students for life after high school.

Indiana lawmakers may codify some existing practices when it comes to cleaning up the state’s voter rolls. And legislation unanimously approved by a Senate committee Monday deals with a part of Indiana law that’s subject to a pending lawsuit.

Indiana uses a multi-state database to find voters who’ve moved. If the Indiana voter’s name and birth date match another state’s records, the state digs further, looking at information such as Social Security number and zip code.

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Flickr

The Indiana Task Force on Public Defense is touring the state to hear from attorneys, social workers, and citizens about strains on the public defense system.

About 11 percent of Hoosiers have diabetes and an estimated third of the state has pre-diabetes.  A new start-up company will breed a rare type of pig used to study diabetes treatments and look for a cure.

The new business partnership between Purdue University and Indiana University School of Medicine scientists will produce the Ossabaw pigs which are predisposed to diabetes.

Gary Emergency Manager Plan: Close High School, Reconfigure Grade Levels

Feb 16, 2018

The state-appointed manager of the Gary Community School Corporation told state officials Friday the district faces an $18 million annual deficit and a proposal to close two buildings is only the start of cutting costs.

Gary Schools emergency manager Peggy Hinckley asked the state’s Distressed Unit Appeal Board Friday to let her close the Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy and the district’s central office, formerly the Lincoln School, this summer.

GOP Senate Candidates Set For First Debate

Feb 16, 2018

Indiana’s three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate – former state Rep. Mike Braun, U.S.Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) – will meet this week in the campaign’s first debate in the lead up to May’s primary.

The GOP primary’s tone has been described by some as nasty and rancorous. University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Merrifield Wilson says that’s unlikely to change in the debate.

Indiana lawmakers want to create a new crime to dramatically increase penalties for drug dealers if the buyer overdoses and dies.

Under current law, if you give a friend a small amount of Adderall or Ritalin and they overdose and die, you could get up to two and a half years in prison. If proposed legislation passes, you could get up to 40 years.

Senate Education Committee Delays School Finance Bill Vote

Feb 15, 2018

An Indiana Senate committee has decided to postpone voting on a controversial school financials bill because of its effect on Muncie and Gary schools. Some committee members say the bill too radically changes plans lawmakers approved last session.

Last year, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) singled out Gary and Muncie schools for their financial debts, putting emergency management processes in place.

READ MORE: Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

Maternal Mortality Bill Moves Forward

Feb 15, 2018

A bill to create a maternal mortality review committee passed a House committee this week. It seeks to determine the reason for Indiana’s high maternal mortality rate – when a mother dies during pregnancy or in childbirth.

These rates are on the rise in many states, including Indiana. Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) proposed a bill this session to investigate the cause.

“Our death rate for moms having babies in our state is twice that of the national average,” says Leising.

House Committee Hears Testimony On Sex Education Bill

Feb 15, 2018

The House Education Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would require schools to make sex education instructional materials available to parents and require parents to opt-in to instruction.

Suspect Identified in Mishawaka Pipe Bomb Cases

Feb 15, 2018
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Elkhart Police Department

Jacob Ryan Underwood, 22, from Elkhart has been charged by criminal complaint with possession of a destructive device in an arrest that may have a connection with the pipe bombs found in Mishawaka in late January.

 

Underwood is also accused of watching two other pipe bombs be made and later throwing them out of a car window in Mishawaka.  


A bill to open up the industrial hemp industry in Indiana passed a Senate panel, even as supporters face pushback from some skeptical lawmakers.

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