Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

The Indiana Department of Education announced the top 10 finalists for the 2018 Teacher of the Year Thursday.

The teacher of the year is picked by a committee including, former recipients, department staff, educational and community leaders, and higher education representatives.

The Indiana Farm Bureau will emphasize rural broadband and federal agriculture legislation in 2018.

The Indiana Farm Bureau lobbies for farmers all over the state; it also sells insurance. Delegates from all of Indiana’s 92 counties met at the end of August to determine the organizations policy positions for next year.

Katrina Hall, the farm bureau’s director of public policy, says without broadband internet access, farmers are working with one hand tied behind their back.

Activist Rally To Oppose 2018 Federal Budget

Aug 31, 2017

Faith leaders and community activists gathered Wednesday evening to rally against the federal budget soon up for consideration in Congress. The group is worried about deep cuts to federal health care programs.

Members of Congress will return to Washington next week to consider the 2018 budget.  And about 250 people who attended an Indianapolis rally urged them to reject plans to slash health care spending over the next decade. The Rev. Derrick Slack is one of the attendees.

State lawmakers are discussing whether to a change a 2011 law that prohibits young people brought into the country illegally from accessing in-state tuition at public colleges.

Indiana is one of only three states in the country that specifically makes immigrant students who can not prove state residency or who don’t qualify for a federal program to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate.

A pregnant woman in prison typically has 48 hours with her baby after it’s born before it’s taken away: an intensely painful experience for the mother and child alike that additionally has the potential to damage the baby’s development.

Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao met with Indiana leaders on Tuesday in the Michiana area to open Indiana’s toll road and discuss details of the South Shore Train expansion and double tracking project. Chao touted the public-private partnerships used in the two projects.

She said Indiana’s work on the toll road and South Shore rail line should be viewed as models for the rest of the country.

Ag Study Committee Talks CAFOs

Aug 29, 2017

In a meeting of the agriculture and natural resources study committee that featured very little new information, state lawmakers Tuesday heard from experts and state regulators on animal agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Committee members heard an overview of the state’s CAFO permitting process from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

And CAFO legislation expert Carolyn Orr told legislators big farm operations aren’t necessarily bad ones.

New regulations for how big farms handle raw produce won’t affect the hundreds of vendors that sell at Indiana farmers markets.

But small-scale growers still have plenty of rules to follow.

In a trailer at the Lafayette Farmers Market, Graham Rider digs through a freezer stuffed with plastic packages of frozen meat. His family owns Thistle Byre Farm in Burnettsville.

“Here’s our thermometer,” Rider says, pulling it out from beneath totes of ground beef and lamb. “Oh, good. It’s below 20.”

The state of Indiana filed a lawsuit Monday to allow it to collect sales tax from online sellers who don’t have a presence in Indiana.

New state legislation that prompted the lawsuit means the state could collect those taxes if the courts rule in its favor.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that online retailers don’t have to collect and remit sales tax if they have no physical connection to the state.

Indianapolis-based shopping mall developer Simon Property Group is suing Starbucks over the coffee chain’s plans to close Teavana stores in malls nationwide.

The lawsuit argues Starbucks doesn’t have grounds to break its leases on 78 Teavana stores at Simon-owned malls, including five stores in Indiana.

Four years after buying the mostly mall-based tea brand, Starbucks said in July it would close down its 379 Teavana stores.

Most of the stores in Simon malls have years left on their leases, according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 21 in Marion County Superior Court.

 

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday it can’t force the Department of Child Services to comply with caseload requirements in state law.

McCormick Will Seek Legislation To Lower School Age

Aug 28, 2017

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick will push to make Hoosier children start attending school at a younger age in the upcoming General Assembly session.

She wants to lower the compulsory school age from 7- to 6-years-old.

It’s an effort that has stalled in the past even as Indiana is one of 16 states with a compulsory school age of 7 or older.

Indiana’s Republican majorities have not favored reducing the compulsory age or making kindergarten mandatory.

The Indiana chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or NORML wants legalized medical marijuana to become a substitute for opioids in pain treatment. The group has been hosting a series of town hall style meetings across the state to educate the public about the benefits of legalized medical cannabis, in the midst of a stronger push for legalization.

 

State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick called for more accountability on charter schools and private schools using taxpayer-funded vouchers during a forum Saturday.

The first-term Republican schools chief says her department is “pushing back” against the state’s free-market style of school choice that lawmakers began approving in 2009. McCormick wants all schools receiving tax dollars to face the same academic and financial scrutiny as traditional public schools.

A trucking company moving from Illinois to Indiana is the latest of dozens of companies that have made that switch in recent years.

It’s a boon to struggling northwest Indiana economies that Indiana officials say is thanks to their state’s business-friendly tax and regulatory structure.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says at least 55 companies have moved some or all of their business from Illinois to Indiana in the past two years. They say that will create more than 5,500 jobs and $610 million in investment.

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