Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

New Website Compiles Opioid Epidemic Resources

Oct 3, 2017

The state has launched a new website to fight the opioid epidemic. The Next Level Recovery Indiana site has state data, facts, current initiatives, and ways for people to get involved in combating the opioid epidemic.

Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement, Jim McClelland, says up until now it’s been hard for Hoosiers to find the information they need.

A legislative study committee this week will examine how a controversial law passed earlier this year that changes the affordability of solar panels affects schools.

Senate Bill 309 made changes to the state’s so-called net metering rules. Starting next year, people with new solar panels will receive less money for selling energy back to the electric grid.

The state awarded a three-year, $43.4 million contract to a nonprofit assessment and research company Monday to design the replacement of the ISTEP exam.

The Indiana Department of Education announced the Washington, D.C.-based company was chosen among proposals from five vendors.

The company will create the new I-LEARN exam for students in grades three through eight and a new version of the third-grade reading test called I-Read.

The new tests will be given during the 2018-2019 school year.

State lawmakers want to figure out how to identify and help school corporations before they fall into financial distress.

Monday a study committee heard about possible ways to evaluate a district’s income and debt.

CHIP Expires: What That Means For Hoosier Children

Oct 2, 2017

Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire over the weekend. The program that provides health insurance for nearly 100,000 Hoosier children has reserves to continue normal operations for now.

Jointly funded by the federal government and the states, CHIP has covered Hoosier children for 20 years.

The Affordable Care Act increased funding and brought the state’s expenses down. Covering Kids and Families public policy director Mark Fairchild says Indiana has rollover money that will help cover as federal funding goes away.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wants insurers to revise policies he says contribute to the opioid epidemic plaguing the state and the country. Hill joins a coalition of 37 states asking insurance companies to encourage non-opioid pain management options.

In many cases, it’s still easier for patients to get opioids than other pain medications or alternatives. A recent letter from attorneys general – including Hill – urges health insurance companies to consider different policies that would prioritize opioid alternatives.

The herbicide dicamba has damaged large swaths of Midwest crops in the past year. But Monsanto, one maker of the weed-killer, says it’s a small-scale problem for a powerful tool.

The agritech giant’s CTO Robb Fraley addressed the issue during a recent talk at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom tech conference.

Fraley basically invented genetically modified crops – mainly, ones that kill pests or tolerate certain chemicals.

To director Ti West and actor James Ransone, no amount of money can overshadow integrity. HBO veteran Ransone ("The Wire", "Treme") is adamant he will "back an artist over the money any day." And when triple threat writer-director-editor West is asked which of those three stages of production he would give up if he had unlimited funds, he says he "won't do it! ...That's the price of integrity." In fact, it was during a conversation about integrity during the pair's first meeting that sparked both a successful working relationship, and a friendship.

A public health study committee addressed the state’ provider shortage at the Statehouse. The issue is far-reaching and widely varied in Indiana.

The state ranks near the bottom when it comes to physicians per capita and the problem is only expected to increase as more providers retire and people live longer.

In rural Indiana, it’s difficult to retain doctors and nurses.

Hanna Maxey, Director of Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research says the state should consider the shortage as a development opportunity.

Ownership of beach property on Lake Michigan is in the balance in a lawsuit heard before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. The case centers on the question of public versus private property, and it could have far-reaching consequences.

The board of the chronically failing Hoosier Academies Virtual School voted Tuesday not to seek renewal of their charter, a decision that will cause the school of 2,000 students to close in June.

John Marske, Hoosier Academies board president, told WFYI News in an email Wednesday that the school had until Oct. 1 to submit a renewal application.

 

Starting next year, students will have a new way to qualify for high school graduation.

What it will be, or how many options they can choose from, is still unknown.

A committee of lawmakers, education leaders, lobbyists and others are trying to hash out new, so-called “pathways” for students to earn a diploma.

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Indiana State Fairgrounds Wednesday to give President Donald Trump an unwelcome greeting to the Hoosier State.

Not allowed inside the fairgrounds gates, the protesters stood along the street outside, holding signs that featured messages protesting anything from health care to tax cuts for the wealthy.

Joseph Feasel traveled from Fort Wayne. He was enthusiastic about what he viewed as the protest’s diversity.

A proposed traffic amnesty program would help Hoosiers pay back debts and reinstate suspended licenses. It could allow more than 400,000 Hoosiers to become legal, licensed drivers once again.

Nearly one in 10 Hoosiers have suspended licenses because of financial reasons – not safety violations – according a report from students at Indiana University.

President Donald Trump called the GOP’s tax reform plan a “middle class miracle” as he rolled out details in a speech in Indianapolis Wednesday.

Trump said tax reforms passed in Indiana before and during Vice President Mike Pence’s time as governor should be a model for national change.

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