Statewide News

Syringe Exchange Approved For Marion County

Jun 18, 2018
Syringes for exchange. (Photo: Jake Harper Side Effects)
Jill Sheridan

Marion County is the latest in Indiana to establish a syringe exchange program.  The Indianapolis program adopted by the City-County Council Monday is in response to a hepatitis C outbreak. 

The rise in cases, an estimated 1,000 new cases in 2017, prompted health officials to declare an epidemic last month.  

DCS Director Terry Stigdon, at left, and Gov. Eric Holcomb, right, discuss an independent evaluation of the embattled state agency. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday he'll spend $25 million from the state's surplus to help implement an independent evaluator’s recommended changes for the Department of Child Services.

Action on those changes comes after years of the state ignoring previous recommendations for the embattled agency.

South Bend Pride Week Ends With Block Party

Jun 18, 2018
Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

South Bend’s Pride Week 2018 wrapped up over the weekend with a downtown Block Party.

Vendors and non-profit organizations from across northern Indiana lined a block of Michigan street for the final event of South Bend’s 2018 Pride Week.

Jason Wilkinson is the executive director at the LGBTQ Center in South Bend. He says he’s proudest of all the young people that showed up during the week’s events.

The Sherco Generating Station in Minnesota (Credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons,
Rebecca Thiele

Bredhold says southern Indiana also has some of the largest coal plants in the country.

“We are a hub of large, super polluting coal plants that dominate the landscape,” she says.

Bredhold says state leaders need to figure out how they’re going to prepare Indiana for future coal retirements.

Zach Herndon / WTIU/WFIU

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says he will cosponsor the Keeping Families Together Act, saying he doesn’t support the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border.

Indiana Democrats Officially Nominate Statewide Ticket

Jun 16, 2018
Indiana Democrats running statewide in 2018: from left, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Secretary of State candidate Jim Harper, State Auditor candidate Joselyn Whitticker, and State Treasurer candidate John Aguilera. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith
Nathan Holth /

On this edition of "Lakeshore Update," with Dee Dotson, you'll hear about former President Barack Obama holding a secret meeting with a Hoosier Democrat, we'll hear the latest on the Noblesville Middle School shooting, Sharon Jackson reports on a deadline extension to apply for FEMA disaster recovery assistance, and Chris Nolte has a conversation with Jamie Williams from Ameristar Casino about their new landside gaming area; all of that, and more, on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

Indiana Maternal Mortality Focus Of Review

Jun 15, 2018
Photo courtesy of Riley Children’s Health


Indiana has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and efforts to find out why are underway.  Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the Maternal Mortality Review Committee bill recently. Side Effects Public Media reporter Lauren Bavis took a closer look at the issue and talked about it with Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jill Sheridan.

(File Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture)
(File Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Besides support for farmers and agricultural efforts, the recently passed Farm Bill also addresses the opioid epidemic in rural communities.

Funds to increase telemedicine treatment and training options will be available through the bill. 

Proposed ACA Changes Meet Opposition

Jun 15, 2018
Doug Jaggers / WFYI


The Affordable Care Act, ACA, is back in the spotlight after the U.S. Department of Justice said it will not defend parts of the law including pre-existing condition coverage.  In Indiana, opposition to the proposed changes is growing.

Indiana Unemployment Remains Unchanged In May

Jun 15, 2018
May marks the longest stretch Indiana’s unemployment rate has gone unchanged since October of 2012. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana’s unemployment rate held steady in May at 3.2 percent. That marks the longest stretch Indiana’s unemployment rate has gone unchanged since October of 2012.

The 3.2 percent rate held steady since February, again equaling its lowest level in nearly 18 years.

Sessions' Visit Draws Protests

Jun 14, 2018
Araceli Gomez-Aldana
Rebecca Green/WBOI News

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Fort Wayne Thursday afternoon to discuss the Trump administration’s immigration policies. During his remarks, Sessions strongly defended policies that separate undocumented children from their parents.

Climate Shifts Could Hurt Indiana Corn

Jun 14, 2018

A new study predicts the U.S. could lose nearly half of its corn by the end of the century due to climate. That could have detrimental effects in Indiana, the country’s fifth largest corn-producing state. 

Mayor Pete To Get Married On Saturday

Jun 14, 2018
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
City of South Bend



South Bend Mayor Pete Buttiegieg will be skipping the Indiana Democratic Party Convention this weekend and will instead be getting married.

Who Decides How To Protect LGBTQ Student Rights?

Jun 14, 2018

School policies across the state to specifically address the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) students vary, and advocacy groups say those can have a long-term impact on kids.

Contractor Chosen for INDOT Tolling Research

Jun 14, 2018

The Indiana Department of Transportation chose a contractor to conduct research and create a strategic plan for potential statewide interstate tolls.

INDOT spokesperson Scott Manning says HNTB Indiana Inc. will investigate options for all-electronic tolling, the current condition of Indiana’s Interstate System, and potential construction plans.

"They will be at a high level, researching how a statewide interstate tolling plan could work," says Manning. 

Indiana Democratic Party delegates will officially choose their candidates to run for statewide office at this weekend’s convention. (Indiana Democratic Party)
Indiana Democratic Party delegates will officially choose their candidates to run for statewide office at this weekend’s convention. (Indiana Democratic Party)

Indiana Democratic Party delegates will officially choose their candidates to run for statewide office at this weekend’s convention.

Two of those candidates signed on to run less than two weeks before the party’s big meeting

A fifth of all Hoosier registered voters cast a ballot in last month’s primary election. (Steve Burns/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

A fifth of all Hoosier registered voters cast a ballot in last month’s primary election. 

Turnout normalized this year after historically poor turnout in the last midterm primary.

Judge Approves First Client For New, Less Restrictive Alternative To Guardianship

Jun 13, 2018

When a person loses the ability to make important life decisions, a guardian is sometimes appointed to help. But many who regain some of that ability become stuck in a restrictive system that is no longer needed.

A county judge on Wednesday approved a first-of-its-kind case in Indiana that represents a new option for people in that situation.

Jamie Beck has an intellectual disability, and was placed into a nursing home at age 19 after both her parents passed away. A legal guardian was appointed.

Retaliatory Chinese tariffs have impacted trade of recycled material from Indiana and elsewhere. This problem could create an opportunity for Indiana – but at a cost.

Walmart Opens Indiana’s Newest Milk Facility

Jun 13, 2018
Araceli Gomez-Aldana

Walmart announced plans to build a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne back in 2016. Now the big box retail chain is opening the doors to Indiana’s newest milk processing facility. 

The state’s first set of coalition schools received approval from the State Board of Education Wednesday. The group of districts will waive some state requirements to change how they offer career and technical education, or CTE.

Judge Blocks WOTUS In Indiana, 10 Other States

Jun 13, 2018
Rebecca Thiele

Attorney General Curtis Hill approves of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia's decision to block the Waters of the United States rule or WOTUS in Indiana and 10 other states — Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.

Cal Montgomery, ADAPT organizer was arrested in Indiana after a protest. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

Muncie residents heard passionate answers from hopeful applicants for the future Ball State University-appointed Muncie Community Schools board Tuesday night.  As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, 20 finalists were asked to appeal to a public that won’t get to directly vote them in.

The Muncie Central High School auditorium looked like the set of an academic quiz bowl – with 20 candidates ready to go.  But instead of buzzing in answers, they had a chance to introduce themselves and make a case on why they should help run Muncie Community Schools.

Nearly three weeks after a student shot his teacher and classmate at a Noblesville middle school, district leaders Tuesday announced new building safety enhancements and increased mental health supports.

Funding is in place for some items, but leaders say they must seek additional finances to cover current and future measures, including state and federal grants or possibly try a property-tax increase referendum on the November ballot.

Purdue University Professor Doug Samuels led the study. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)
Jill Sheridan

A patient’s self-evaluation of mental health problems may be more accurate than previously thought according to new research out of Purdue University. 

State's Virtual Schools Committee Holds First Meeting

Jun 12, 2018

A new state committee focused on virtual charter schools met for the first time Tuesday. It marks the beginning of an investigation into those schools by state officials.

U.S. Senate Takes Up Farm Bill After House Bill Fails

Jun 12, 2018
Produce from local farmers is unloaded at the Lafayette-based Food Finders. (FILE PHOTO: Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

After the farm bill failed in the U.S. House last month, it’s the Senate’s turn to take the legislation up. Wednesday's Senate hearing is unlikely to be as controversial.