Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Indiana’s ports had one of their best years ever in 2016, moving nearly 11.3 million tons of cargo.

That included rising grain and coal exports, the kind that could see major changes under Trump administration trade reforms.

From Pre-K To Prayer: Education Bills That Could Become Law

Mar 3, 2017

So far this year, Indiana lawmakers have been debating, tweaking and analyzing a slew of education bills that could become law. They cover a range of topics: from preschool expansion, to school funding, to prayer in school.

This week was the halfway point for this year’s legislative session, and the Senate and House each passed the bills they are advancing to the next chamber. We’ve been following along.

Here’s what you need to know:

A Modest Pre-K Expansion Advances Out Of Senate

 

Around 1,000 years ago, Native Americans in the Midwest built large settlements, like Cahokia near St. Louis and Angel Mounds in southwest Indiana.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis scientist Broxton Bird says the growth came with warmer, wetter weather.

“And it’s at that point that they adopted corn and their populations expanded,” Bird says.

Fast forward 500 years and the researchers found a colder, drier climate. That’s bad for corn, says Jeremy Wilson, another IUPUI scientist who co-led the study.

For the first time the number of Hoosier students using publicly-funded vouchers to attend a private school reached 3 percent of statewide enrollment, according to a new report.

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program hit a record 34,299 students this academic year using the controversial tuition support but the overall growth of the program appears to be slowing down.

For the first time the number of Hoosier students using publicly-funded vouchers to attend a private school reached 3 percent of statewide enrollment, according to a new report.

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program hit a record 34,299 students this academic year using the controversial tuition support but the overall growth of the program appears to be slowing down.

The Choice Scholarship Report, released by the Indiana Department of Education, also shows only a 5 percent increase of new students in the program for the 2016-17 school year compared to 2015-16.

State, Local Split Of Road Money Unlikely To Change

Mar 3, 2017

 

Nearly 90 percent of Indiana’s roads are maintained by counties, cities and towns, yet those local units get less than half of the state’s primary road funding dollars.

And that’s unlikely to change in this session’s road funding plan.

 

Lead contamination has been making headlines lately: in East Chicago, Indiana, or South Bend or Bloomington. Many towns across Indiana are grappling with lead contamination, and dozens have aging, lead-based water infrastructure.

But how does a town know if it has a lead problem?

David Konisky, a professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University, says there’s not one single process.

Eugene Peretz/Flickr

A new study from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis has found that restricting opioid prescriptions may have an unintended side effect: more overdose deaths involving heroin and fentanyl. The study also shows that Indiana’s reports don’t reflect the actual number of overdose deaths in which opioid drugs are present.

Data Shows Hoosier Infants At Risk, Despite Progress

Mar 2, 2017

The Indiana Youth Institute’s annual Kids Count Data Book finds Hoosier infant health assessments remain below the national average.

Hoosier medical and public health professionals aim for more awareness and access.  Co-medical director for Riley Newborn and Health Dr. David Boyle says infant mortality rates reflect public health.

“Really the best way to try and reduce infant mortality is to improve the health of or citizens in Indiana,” Boyle says.

State Rep. To DeVos: Hire More Educators On Your Staff

Mar 2, 2017

Indiana Rep. Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Thursday, asking for DeVos to hire more educators on her staff.

Wright’s letter asks DeVos to hire a deputy secretary with extensive experience in public schools. She says this request follows up on concerns expressed during Betsy Devos’ confirmation hearing: Devos has no experience in public education, which she now oversees.

Lawyers Request EPA Intervention For Lead In East Chicago Water

Mar 2, 2017

A group of lawyers is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to issue an emergency order about lead contamination in drinking water in East Chicago, Indiana.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, worked with residents and their lawyers to file the petition for emergency action with the EPA .

In East Chicago, Indiana, federal officials have approved a plan to allow involuntary relocation of families who remain in lead-contaminated public housing beginning on April 1.

These would be considered “emergency transfers” to units that have been inspected for lead in East Chicago and, in Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. Families would stay in these units while they kept looking for permanent housing, still using the same rent vouchers and other HUD-provided counseling and resources.


 

With some federal lawmakers aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, state legislative leaders say the future of Indiana’s health care program, HIP 2.0, is uncertain.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) visited the Statehouse last week. And State House Speaker Brian Bosma says one of the things Young talked about was federal health care reform.

Indiana To Investigate Lead In Public Schools' Water

Mar 1, 2017

The Indiana Finance Authority will offer free drinking water tests at all of the state’s public schools.

The program, which was launched last week, will allow interested school districts to apply to the authority for lead testing in water sources. Water sources may include drinking water fountains, ice machines, food-preparation sinks, and other fixtures that provide water for human consumption.

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