Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

U.S. Steel Chemical Spill Threatens Lake Michigan

Apr 12, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to a chemical spill, which threatens beaches and the nearest public water intake, from the U.S. Steel facility in Portage.

US Steel reported Tuesday the wastewater spill into Burns Waterway, about 100 yards away from Lake Michigan. In a statement released late Wednesday, U.S. Steel says the spill resulted from an equipment failure and it has idled all production processes at the facility.

The Environmental Protection Agency and East Chicago’s mayor remain at a standstill over the future of a lead-contaminated public housing complex.

After Mayor Anthony Copeland doubled down on his insistence that the EPA clean West Calumet Housing Complex to a residential standard, the EPA has maintained it can’t move forward with cleanup until it gets more information from the city.

A bill headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk would allow governments to charge the public up to $20 an hour for public records searches.

If a public records request takes more than two hours to complete, Rep. Kathy Richardson’s (R-Noblesville) bill says the government agency can charge up to $20 an hour for the work.

Former governor Mike Pence vetoed such a bill two years ago.

The Senate made a change to the measure, exempting title records search companies from having to pay the fee.

House Sends Telemedicine Expansion Bill To Governor

Apr 11, 2017

House lawmakers voted to send a bill to the governor that expands Indiana’s telemedicine services, though some legislators are still uncomfortable with that expansion.

The telemedicine bill expands those remote care services to Indiana’s Medicaid patients. And it lifts a ban on prescribing certain controlled substances via telemedicine, such as Ritalin and Adderall.

 

A preference for one chamber’s version of the road funding bill has emerged as the public got what’s likely its last chance this session to testify on the measure.

During testimony from local officials, logistics and trucking industry representatives, union leaders, and others, a common theme materialized: they like the House version of the road funding bill better than the Senate’s.

Building and Construction Trades Council leader Pete Rimsans says the House bill creates a bigger return on investment.

Black Students With One Black Teacher More Likely To Graduate

Apr 10, 2017

There’s a new study out and it finds black students who have just one black teacher in elementary school are less likely to drop out and are significantly more likely to graduate high school.

The study’s major takeaways:

The Indiana Senate gave its final approval to a bill revamping the state’s net metering policy on Monday. The bill now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk, where solar advocates are hoping he’ll veto it.

The bill’s author, Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), says he’s comfortable with the changes made in the House, which the Senate approved 37-11.

“As I’ve said all along, I’m not opposed to solar, it’s just that the current subsidy is too lucrative considering the current state of affairs,” says Hershman.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act mandates how states’ hold their schools accountable.

This fall the Indiana Department of Education will submit its plan as required by the law for how to will improve graduation rates, increase English-language proficiency and offer help to the lowest-performing schools – among many other issues.

This Week At The Statehouse: Education Spending, ISTEP+

Apr 7, 2017

Amid uncertainty over the future of many education issues in Indiana, lawmakers were busy at the Statehouse this week.

Lawmakers in the House chambers dove into a controversy around “sanctuary campuses.” The Senate finished the week by placing its stamp on the House budget and two of the session’s most controversial proposals: an appointed superintendent and ISTEP replacement.

Senate Budget Increases Education Spending By 3 Percent

Dozens of families are still living in East Chicago’s lead-contaminated West Calumet Housing Complex, a week after the city had wanted everyone moved out.

In late March, the East Chicago Housing Authority assigned remaining West Calumet residents to temporary public housing units elsewhere in the city, as well as in Gary and Chicago.

Local officials say their piece of the road funding pie needs to be a lot bigger after a significant decrease in the Senate plan. The Senate proposal cut local funding by more than two-thirds from the House version.

And while local officials obviously aren’t happy with the funding decrease in the Senate roads bill, there are other provisions they’d also like to see changed.

 

Indiana’s total collected revenue last month was 0.02 percent above projections – putting the state about $170 million ahead of target through nine months of the current fiscal year.

Last month saw the fourth consecutive month of better-than-predicted sales tax collections – that comes after a 10-month streak of poor performances.

 

It’s just after 7:30 a.m in Andy Slater’s ninth grade science class. Students sit on their chairs in a circle – they play a few quick word games where they ask each other basic questions.

But there’s one catch.

“Come on in English, in Inglés,” Slater says.

Slowly the chatter in Spanish, Swahili and other languages dies down.  Then one student standing in the middle of the circle slowly says: “Big wind blows if you like school.”

Students jump up to move to an open seat if they agree with what the standing student says – sort of like musical chairs.

 

Legislation allowing police to collect DNA samples from anyone they arrest for a felony took a step closer to becoming law.

Backers of the legislation say DNA collection will help identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

Under the bill, if a person is arrested but not charged within one year, the DNA record can be expunged. The same is true if charges are dismissed or the person is acquitted.

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