Porter Novelli

Just two-and-a-half months after hiring global public relations firm Porter Novelli to combat the negative impact of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Thursday cancelled its contract with the company. 

The IEDC hired Porter Novelli in April in the wake of backlash over the RFRA controversy to “remind the world that Hoosiers welcome everyone.” 

City of West Lafayette / http://westlafayette.in.gov/

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is assured of a third term in office after no one filed to run against him by this week’s deadline. So this month on our conversation with Mayor Dennis, we talk about leadership in Indiana – and about its intersection with ambition. If he believes he’s doing a good job here, why not go for more?

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we also address the latest delay to Amtrak service through Greater Lafayette – and how much the cities in the area might have to pay to keep it going, even though there’s now more money from the state.

Christopher Ayers / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Founded amidst controversy over the state’s new religious freedom law, Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis Wednesday hosted its inaugural service on the same day the law went into effect.

The worship opened with a house band playing about 30 minutes of music, mostly funky tunes with veiled or direct references to marijuana—the illegal plant Church founder Bill Levin says is his congregation’s holy sacrament.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

Pro-LGBT groups say they’re going to organize a voter registration drive as part of their push to obtain civil rights protections for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Ninety-seven days after Indiana’s religious freedom bill was signed into law, the controversial measure known as RFRA took effect Wednesday.

Pro-LGBT activist Rick Sutton says some of its negative impact was undone through a legislative “fix” back in April.

What's Causing A 20% Drop In Indiana's Abortion Rate

Jul 2, 2015
Alice Harold / https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicejt/4195310965

Abortion rates are on the decline  across the country.

A recent Associated Press survey revealed abortion rates on average dropped 12-percent nationally. In Indiana the decline was even more dramatic. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports on what’s likely causing the decline and what that means for young women in Indiana.

Jan Simon talks with Larry Paarlberg, Executive Director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum about the author of Ben Hur, upcoming events, and the restoration of the Study and Museum.

Rachel Morello / indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact

The Indiana Department of Education released a list of options for calculating school accountability grades for the 2014-15 school year. 

This was a year of big change for Indiana schools. The state rolled out an entirely new set of academic standards and an updated ISTEP+ test to match. Student scores are often low the first year an exam is introduced – which has many Hoosier leaders concerned over how schools would be held accountable.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act's tax subsidies was a major victory for the Obama administration. The healthcare law is now two-for-two surviving challenges before he nation’s highest court. Butother lawsuits that could gut the bill still loom -- including a challenge out of Indiana.  

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Transportation officials say they don’t know when the Hoosier State Amtrak line will transition to operation by Iowa Pacific, but they do know it won’t be this week.

INDOT and Iowa Pacific officials had been working to make the switch on July first, but contracts between the state, the company and the cities served by the line haven’t been finalized yet.

Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

Indiana physicians and public health experts say Governor Mike Pence would be irresponsible if, as he’s pledged, he opposes the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The proposed regulations would call for a 20-percent reduction from Indiana’s 2005 carbon emission levels by 2030.

In a letter to President Obama, Governor Mike Pence vowed not to comply what he calls the “ill-conceived and poorly constructed” Clean Power Plan unless the EPA makes significant improvements.  But IU School of Medicine professor Steve Jay says it’s the Pence administration’s position that needs improvement.

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WBAA Public Affairs

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Why Regional Cities Money Might Not Flow

Next week, Crawfordsville is set to celebrate the rebirth of the Hoosier State Amtrak line – assuming that comes to pass. On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with Todd Barton about how the city is preparing to embrace the trains – and whether their new operators still have work to do before residents can truly embrace mass transit. Shortly after the new Amtrak service begins, site selectors from the lieutenant governor’s office will visit Crawfordsville to judge whether it’s worthy of a...
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Arts And Culture

WBAA Arts Spotlight: General Lew Wallace Study and Museum

Jan Simon talks with Larry Paarlberg, Executive Director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum about the author of Ben Hur, upcoming events, and the restoration of the Study and Museum.
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