News

Purdue University photo/Mark Simons

Purdue Bands & Orchestra will host the 27th annual Purdue Jazz Festival through January 21st. The weekend will feature concerts and clinics from esteemed jazz musicians as well as competitions for 95 high school and middle school bands and combos. John Clare spoke with Mo Trout and Tim Coffman about the 2017 Festival.

Brad Perkins / https://www.flickr.com/photos/br5ad/17080942598

Small Indiana cities struggling to fight back against blight and deadbeat landlords may get another tool this legislative session.

Last year, lawmakers allowed the use of so-called “land banks” for medium-size, or Class II, cities. But smaller Class III cities were not afforded the same right. A similar bill this year would change that.

Land banking lets cities scoop up delinquent properties in hopes of selling them to developers who will take care of the land and make it profitable again.

Cartoon books are becoming increasingly popular among new readers, and Kevin McCloskey is just one of many breaking into the genre. His two books We Dig Worms! and The Real Poop On Pigeons! bring the common animals to the forefront. Both worms and pigeons are featured as interesting species with lots of little-known facts, all depicted through beautifully illustrated storyboards. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

City of Frankfort

Frankfort Police spent a lot of extra effort interdicting drugs and cracking down on suspected drunk drivers in 2016.

It’s resulted in nearly 50-percent more DUI citations and a rise in drug arrests as well.

So is this the tip of the iceberg or do these numbers represent the start of a solution that gets at the core of both problems?

C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

In light of the ongoing antitrust trial playing out in Washington, Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem has extended the deadline to complete a merger with Connecticut-based Cigna until April 30th, according to a form filed this week to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger between the two healthcare giants originally had a deadline of January 31st. However, the agreement left the door open to extending it three more months.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

The newly-reformed Crawfordsville Commission on Human Rights is looking to tackle what the city says is a growing number of issues concerning diversity in the Montgomery County community.

The 12-person commission is intended to serve as an advising body to the mayor and city council on affairs concerning diversity and human rights in the community. The commission was officially created in 1979 but involvement had lapsed in recent years.

courtesy NASA

The last man to walk on the moon – NASA astronaut and Purdue University graduate Gene Cernan -- has died.

Cernan became the answer to a trivia question when he was the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface as part of the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.

But historian John Norberg, who’s written about Purdue’s connections to the space race, says Cernan wouldn’t want today’s students to think of him that way.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/6168273244

Approximately 1,000 Hoosiers showed up in Indianapolis Sunday to protest congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The rally was organized by a coalition of local and state-wide organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Indiana Democratic Party and the state chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Rallies across the U.S. were spurred in part by Senator Bernie Sanders (who was not in attendance at the Indianapolis event).

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On his first day of office, Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order creating an Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.

The new director, Jim McClelland, is a former CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. He takes a firm stance that addiction should be understood to be an illness.

In his new role, he will coordinate drug-related efforts across state agencies such as the state health department and the Family and Social Services Administration.

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