Statewide News

EPA Not Monitoring Asbestos In Midwest Schools

Sep 18, 2018

Indiana is one of many states that relies on the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure its schools are keeping kids safe from asbestos. In high doses, it can cause cancer and other diseases. But a new report by the agency’s internal watchdog shows the EPA isn’t making asbestos a priority. 

Stock Photo


Tuesday a list of allegations against Catholic priests and deacons in the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese was released by Bishop Kevin Rhoades.

WVPE Jennifer Weingart spoke to Tim O’Malley, the director for education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame about the list, and about being a Catholic right now.


Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush discusses the 2018 edition of the Supreme Court's annual report. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush says she’s encouraged by progress shown in a new type of specialty court.

There are several types of so-called “problem-solving” courts. They include drug courts to help with the state’s addiction epidemic and others aimed at military veterans. Rush says one of the newest types is family recovery courts.


Every day, Amanda Moller scoops powdered formula out of a can and shakes it up with water from her kitchen sink in University City, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. “It's like mixing a cocktail,” she said, "but not that much fun."

Jennifer Weingart


The Indiana Department of Health is reviewing a order from a judge that recommends a proposed abortion clinic in South Bend be licensed.


A map of articles reporting algal blooms across the country by the Environmental Working Group reveals a widespread problem. But that algae doesn’t seem to be contaminating Indiana’s drinking water as much as it is in other states. 

Bishop Kevin Rhoades at a recent press conference in Fort Wayne regarding the Pennsylvania grand jury report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
Rebecca Green / WBOI

Bishop Kevin Rhoades is expected to release the names of priests and deacons within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse tomorrow via the diocesan website.

School safety has been a hot issue after highly publicized shootings – including one in Indiana – this year. But so far, only a few school corporations have sought out loans through a new state program to fund safety improvements.

Report Ranks Indiana Near Bottom For Gender Pay Gap

Sep 14, 2018
(Trollbackco/Wikimedia Commons)
Lauren Chapman

The American Association of University Women’s 2018 gender pay gap report ranks Indiana 49th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A few Indiana school corporations will divvy up $9 million to improve mental health support, and while the number of schools receiving the money may be small, officials say they’ll influence efforts across the state.

Mental Wellness Focus At First Responder Conference

Sep 14, 2018
Brandon Dreiman led a session on mental health at the annual Indiana Emergency Response Conference. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

The annual Indiana Emergency Response Conference was held in Indianapolis and mental health was the focus during a number of sessions.

The Indiana commission tasked with a reform of the state’s alcohol laws will finalize its recommendations for the General Assembly at the end of the month. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana commission tasked with a reform of the state’s alcohol laws will finalize its recommendations for the General Assembly at the end of the month.

Researchers are worried about how climate issues will impact fish and other life in the water. The Purdue Climate Change Research Center released its latest report Wednesday. 

New Tools Help Cities Adapt To Climate Issues

Sep 13, 2018

Indiana communities now have new tools to help them adapt to the shifting climate. Mayors and representatives from about 18 Indiana cities heard more at the Climate Leadership Summit in Indianapolis on Thursday. 

The Indiana Supreme Court could overturn a state law that bars cities from charging more than $5 in annual fees to landlords for their rental properties. (FILE PHOTO: Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Supreme Court could overturn a state law that bars cities from charging more than $5 in annual fees to landlords for their rental properties.

Zach Herndon / WFIU/WTIU News

No one likes sitting in traffic - but what about sitting and watching it go by?

That's the premise behind a new park that opened this month on Virginia Avenue in Indianapolis.

Lauren Chapman

A new clinical trial in Indiana will study an alternative treatment for hypertension by targeting nerves that can raise a person’s blood pressure. 

Stress messages from the nervous system can result in high blood pressure.  A new study involving Franciscan Health doctors uses a catheter procedure to disable nerves in arteries near the kidney that send these signals. 

The state Water Infrastructure Task Force held its first official meeting Wednesday. Legislators created the group last year to study the state’s water systems and make a plan to tackle water and wastewater needs. 

Study: Crowdsourced Hospital Ratings May Not Be Fair

Sep 12, 2018
Hospital results at the federal government's Hospital Compare rating site. (Screenshot
Lauren Chapman

Though many websites offer non-scientific ratings on a number of services, two Indiana University scientists say judging hospitals that way likely isn’t fair.

US Education Official Praises Purdue Charter School For Innovation

Sep 12, 2018

U.S. Education assistant secretary Frank Brogan visited Purdue University’s charter high school in Indianapolis today as part of the department’s national back to school tour.

Department members are traveling to public, private and charter schools across the country this week in an effort to spotlight innovative teaching and management ideas.

Emily Forman/Side Effects Public Media

Nearly 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant in the U.S., but many will never get one. Instead they’ll stay on dialysis for the rest of their lives. A team of doctors in Philadelphia have found a possible solution to this problem, by infecting patients with a potentially fatal virus.

Advocates for human trafficking victims say the state needs a single point of contact to direct victims to the services they need. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Advocates for human trafficking victims say the state needs a single point of contact to direct victims to the services they need.

State lawmakers Wednesday debated the best way to set up such a system.

EPA Adds Anderson Site To Priority List

Sep 12, 2018

A site in Anderson, Indiana, has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List because of groundwater contamination.

Chemicals like trichloroethene, TCE, an industrial solvent and known carcinogen, and tetrachloroethene, PCE, a dry cleaning fluid, have been found in small amounts in treated water. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management says the water still meets safe drinking standards.

Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) was in a serious motorcycle accident in northern Michigan. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

One of Indiana’s top state lawmakers was involved in a serious motorcycle accident Wednesday morning.

Indiana officials say at least 70 percent of unwanted phone calls reported by Hoosiers are scams. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana officials say the vast majority of unwanted telephone calls reported by Hoosiers are scams.

And officials say that’s the problem with the state’s Do Not Call list – it wasn’t designed to prevent scams.

Indiana Deputy Attorney General Marguerite Sweeney says at least 70 percent of unwanted phone call complaints are about scams. And that’s in part why the Do Not Call list won’t stop them.

Hoosier Seniors And CBD: Stigma And Success

Sep 11, 2018
CBD products are sold at Davidson Greenhouse in Crawfordsville. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

Jeff Staker leads Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis. At the VFW in Kokomo, Staker has a stack of books about cannabis and health benefits.

The past few years he watched the debate on CBD.

"I think I was really frustrated because you hear the same story again and again and you think what is up with these politicians not listening," says Staker.

Teen First In Indiana To Recieve New Cancer Treatment

Sep 10, 2018
Kylee Sweat is Riley Hospital’s first ever CAR T patient and the first pediatric patient to start treatment in Indiana. (Photo Iu Riley Hospital)
Jill Sheridan

An Indiana teenager is the first in the state to receive a new type of cancer treatment for leukemia. CAR T cell therapy was just approved by the FDA last year. 

Do Larger Classes Mean Fewer Students Stay At Ball State?

Sep 10, 2018

Ball State University has found a curious correlation in its enrollment numbers over the last few years.  As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, school officials are now asking whether larger-than-normal freshman classes caused a downturn in how many of those students stayed for year two.

Last year’s freshman class at Ball State set a record – 4,002 students. And university student affairs officials say the Muncie school has seen an above-average class size for the past eight years.

Mental Health a Focus at School Safety Conference

Sep 10, 2018

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says mental health is an increasing part of the school safety conversation.

Thousands of school leaders and safety specialists gathered in downtown Indianapolis Monday for the School Safety Academy, the largest of such conferences to date. 

McCormick referenced the creation of a Social-Emotional and Behavior Wellness assistant director. The position in the Indiana Department of Education works across agencies at the state and local levels to encourage conversations about mental health in schools.

The state has released this year’s ISTEP scores to schools and corporations after running into grading issues late last month. The results were initially scheduled to be made public last week.

The State Department of Education sent out a statement Monday saying the fix for a 10th grade math question increased 27,813 student scores. A second issue dealing with data collection on some paper exams affected 115 students across grade levels.