Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Hoosier Farmers Toil As Corn Harvest Drags On

Oct 24, 2017

Indiana grain farmers are hustling to keep up with harvest as fall progresses.

The soybean crop is on pace with the five-year average as of this week, according to the USDA. But corn is less than half harvested, which is well below average for this time of year.

That’s put large operations like White Oak Farms in Putnam County under the gun to get their corn out of the field before it spoils.

A new report finds the state’s public school districts still struggle to hire teachers despite efforts by the state to address the problem.

Of school districts that responded to Indiana State University’s survey, 94 percent say they’re experiencing a teacher shortage.

Poll: Majority Of Hoosiers Support Gas Tax Hike

Oct 23, 2017

More than half of Indiana residents in a recent survey say they support the recent gas tax increase approved by state lawmakers.

The interim study committee on education considered multiple proposals before formalizing recommendations for lawmakers.

One would have allowed students living in the U.S. without legal permission to pay in-state tuition at Indiana colleges and universities. Indiana is one of three states in the country that specifically prohibits that.

But the recommendation failed to garner enough votes.

Braun To Resign State House Seat Amid U.S. Senate Run

Oct 20, 2017

Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) will leave one elected office as he runs for another.

Braun announced Friday he will resign the seat in the Indiana House he’s held for three years as he vies for U.S. Senate.

Braun jumped into the Senate GOP primary in August. A wealthy business owner from Jasper, he poured $800,000 of his own money into his campaign in the last fundraising quarter.

Braun says he looks forward to serving Hoosiers in a different capacity as he steps down from his House seat. His resignation takes effect Nov. 1.

Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

On an afternoon in August at the Indiana State Library, a stately  limestone building usually home to genealogy conventions or history lectures, the Indiana chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, laid out a very distinctive welcome mat emblazoned with a familiar leafy plant.

Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death for middle-aged Americans but the number of people seeking care for the disease is increasing.

A newly published paper in JAMA Oncology was co-authored by Indiana University professor Kosali Simon, who says the Affordable Care Act is to thank for an overall 33 percent decline in uninsured new cancer patients.

She says the study begs questions about when a diagnosis is made.

Indiana’s unemployment rate increased to 3.8 percent in September, its highest level in six months. And the rise in the unemployment rate over the last two months is the biggest jump since the recession.

The unemployment rate jumped 0.3 percent last month, up from 3.5 percent. That’s after a 0.4 percent increase in August. The state hasn’t seen a two-month increase that big since April of 2009.

Indiana’s recommended rates for workers compensation insurance will continue a multi-year decline in 2018. Officials say the nearly 13 percent drop in their benchmark rate for insurers is due to fewer workers’ comp claims and on-the-job injuries.

Indiana companies have to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover medical bills and lost wages for employees who get hurt on the job. But different jobs have different risks – you’re more likely to get hurt at a factory than behind a desk.

CAFO Committee Finalizes Report To General Assembly

Oct 19, 2017

A legislative study committee opted Thursday to make limited recommendations to the General Assembly on concentrated animal feeding operations.

CAFOs are large barns that hold hundreds to thousands of animals and their manure. Critics say they diminish air and water quality.

The study committee’s report will recommend expanding public notice requirements for farmers seeking to build a CAFO, says committee chair Senator Sue Glick.

An Indiana study committee panel recommended Thursday the General Assembly explore ways to make voting and voter registration more accessible.

Elections Study Committee Chairman Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) says he will draft a bill next session to allow a person to register and vote on Election Day. Indiana’s current system cuts off registration about a month before.

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

Another Hoosier Health Leader Could Be Headed To D.C.

Oct 18, 2017

There are reports a former Eli Lilly leader tops the list of names President Donald Trump is considering to fill the position of Health and Human Services Secretary. Alex Azar would replace Tom Price, who left the job last month after a private plane scandal.

Azar would the take over the country’s highest health position if chosen, following a string of others leaving Indiana for the U.S. government’s health sector.

Indiana Receives Approval To Expand Lead Testing

Oct 18, 2017

Two Indiana state agencies received approval to use federal money to expand lead testing, particularly for low-income Hoosiers.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will be able to use $3 million a year for the next five years to provide lead testing and prevention services.

A study committee’s proposed recommendations on short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb include broad policy statements for the General Assembly to consider next session. But the recommendations don’t include specific legislative language, and likely don’t change debate on the issue.

Legislation last session to bar local governments from banning short-term rentals failed to pass.

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