Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Indiana is partway into a record-setting cash crop harvest – but months of uneven weather conditions have put some farmers behind.

The state’s soybean crop is 42 percent harvested as of this week, about the same as average. But the corn crop lags at just 24 percent.

Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen says wet weather earlier this year forced some farmers to plant late or replant their crops, and cool August temperatures lengthened the growing season.

Members of a State Board of Education committee tasked with proposing new ways for students to qualify for graduation began sketching their plan Tuesday.

There’s still a lot for the dozen-plus members to sort out before their last meeting next month.

But a list of nine alternative ways students could become eligible for a diploma has begun to take shape. It includes: earning industry-recognized credentials; passing the military entrance exam plus enlisting; and work-based learning with job experience.

Indiana has second highest rate of parental incarceration in the nation and that time lost can be one of the hardest parts of being incarcerated.

One program in Indiana is being used as a model to connect inmates and their loved ones with resources before their release. The aim is to break the cycle of incarceration through continuity of care.

When someone is released from prison this often means a chance to restore relationships.

 

A key Indiana state lawmaker wants to dramatically increase penalties for certain drug and gun crimes.

The General Assembly rewrote its criminal code in recent years. Its aim was to drive more nonviolent, mostly drug offenders out of the prison system and into local treatment programs. And part of that was by giving judges more discretion in sentencing – to be able to decide what’s best for an individual offender.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) wants to undo some of that.

HPV Vaccine Part Of Plan To Reduce Cancer Deaths

Oct 9, 2017

There’s a strategic planning effort underway at the Indiana State Department of Health to reduce the number of cervical cancer deaths. It’s prompted by legislation from the 2017 session. The plan includes a push to increase the number of young people who get the human papillomavirus vaccine.

HPV is the single greatest risk factor for cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine can help prevent that cancer but ISDH cancer control director Keylee Wright says less than half of all youth were vaccinated in 2016.

EPA Moves To Repeal Clean Power Plan

Oct 9, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent nationwide in an effort to slow man-made climate change.

Indiana and 27 other states previously sued the EPA over the Obama-era rule.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the rule from going into effect in 2016, a move that met the approval of industry groups such as the Indiana Coal Council.

The NAACP will teach East Chicago, Indiana residents how to use lead testing kits this week. The training comes as residents continue to cope with lead contaminated soil and water.

The Calumet neighborhood in East Chicago is part of a federal toxic waste cleanup site contaminated with lead and arsenic. The neighborhood is also having a problem with lead leaching out of drinking water service lines.

Wind, Solar Focus Of Legislative Committee

Oct 6, 2017

Indiana lawmakers prompted debate at the Statehouse Thursday over potential conflicts of interest for local officials who approve large wind energy projects.

County commissions and planning boards approve wind farm developments in Indiana. Rep. Dave Ober (R-Albion) says in some cases, those commissioners have also signed lease agreements with developers and would benefit from a project’s approval.

“I see a very large issue with that and I hope we can work on that issue next year,” Ober said to start the hearing.

A fiscal conservative group will spend more than a million dollars on an advertising campaign to target Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) on tax reform.

Americans for Prosperity will launch ads in three states – Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin – to put pressure on Democratic senators to back the GOP tax reform effort in Congress.

The 30-second ad, which starts running Friday, emphasizes the need for tax cuts.

An Indiana death row inmate says the state can’t use its current lethal injection drug because it didn’t follow the proper rulemaking procedures to choose it.

A trial court sided with the state; the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled for the inmate, which brought the case to the state Supreme Court.

The Department of Correction chose a new lethal injection drug cocktail in 2014 – a combination that’s never been used in this country.

Manufacturers across Indiana are hosting groups of high school students in their factories this week as part of an industry push to connect young people with manufacturing careers.

Students from Carroll Junior-Senior High School visited Ball Manufacturing in Monticello and Subaru of Indiana Automotive.

They finished their day at Kirby Risk in Lafayette. Workers there make electrical systems – miles of colorful wires, twisted by hand across plywood panels and through braiding machines.

Indiana’s top agricultural official will become the nation’s first undersecretary for foreign agricultural trade.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ted McKinney to the newly-created Department of Agriculture post Tuesday.

In a statement, USDA secretary Sonny Perdue says McKinney will “wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets.”

2017 Indiana School Grades: More As, Fewer Bs

Oct 4, 2017

The State Board of Education approved school A-F grades for the 2016-2017 school year Wednesday. It reports an increase in the number of schools receiving As and fewer receiving Bs.

Yet the overall percent of schools that received As and Bs is the nearly the same as last year.

Hoosier advocates for legislative redistricting reform hope a U.S. Supreme Court case on the issue will spur action in the Indiana General Assembly.

The case at the U.S. Supreme Court centers on what’s called partisan gerrymandering, or the manipulation of legislative districts to benefit a political party.

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration or FSSA recently launched a campaign to reduce stigma surrounding opioid addiction, focusing on three ideas.

The first thing to understand, says FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall, is that addiction is a neurological disorder, a disease.

“That doesn’t make it good or bad, it just makes it what it is, a disease process,” says Walthall. “The second correlate to that is there is treatment.”

The third part of the message is that recovery is possible.

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