News

Kenneth Spencer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kendo26/5606710714

Crawfordsville’s mayor is organizing an informal social media campaign to put pressure on railroad operator CSX to pay more attention to the city.

Mayor Todd Barton, speaking Thursday on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, encouraged Crawfordsville residents to phone CSX to complain about trains clogging intersections in the city.

But he says the idea of an angry phone call may be passé.

Scott / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skippy/

The Indiana Supreme Court will consider the future of Indiana’s personalized license plates after the state and the ACLU each had their say over a lawsuit challenging the program.

Greenfield Police Officer Rodney Vawter, with approval from the Fraternal Order of Police, had a license plate that read “0INK.” 

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles revoked it, calling it inappropriate.  The ACLU of Indiana, on behalf of Vawter, sued the BMV, saying its policy violates free speech rights. 

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

There’s an argument to be made that getting the Stellar Communities designation was the easy part for Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we’ll find out from him whether the toughest parts – gathering money and implementing an ambitious plan -- are yet to come, and whether that puts significantly more pressure on him to deliver meaningful change during his second term in office.

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

Indiana law enforcement and municipal officials caution lawmakers Wednesday against a broad policy of releasing police body camera videos to the public, citing both privacy and due process concerns. 

Indiana’s public access law doesn’t specifically mention police body camera footage.  But it does have what’s called an “investigatory record” exception – meaning that law enforcement can indefinitely withhold information if it’s involved in an investigation, even after the investigation is over.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A series of texts to the Purdue community Saturday warning people of a suspicious package, an armed robbery and a sexual assault raised many an eyebrow. But when only one of those situations was updated with follow-up texts, some questioned how Purdue’s warning system is designed.

Purdue University

Mitch Daniels has tried to make his time as Purdue President about student affordability – so this month in our regular conversation with him, we ask about the plans from three people who’d also like to be president – of the United States.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the former Republican governor doesn’t have rave reviews for education savings plans from the top three contenders for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Farmers Say New EPA Water Proposals Unfairly Target Them

Aug 26, 2015
Ron Nichols/NRCS

Most people agree clean rivers and streams are vital to our health. The divide comes when the conversation turns to who should make sure those waterways are kept clean, who should regulate them and whether they should be regulated at all.

Later this month, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to implement a new set of rules that expands its reach -- allowing it to regulate not only major rivers, but also the tributaries that flow into them.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Just one year after Indiana’s comprehensive criminal code overhaul took effect, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council wants to increase drug dealing penalties. 

Indiana’s criminal code reform, which took five years to craft, was aimed largely at reducing penalties for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses in an effort to focus more on treatment and reduce recidivism. 

But a year into that reform, Prosecuting Attorneys Council head David Powell says he wants to add more teeth to the state’s drug dealing sentences.

OZinOH / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/5120258926/

Frankfort city and Clinton County officials have each set aside $13,000 to enter a regional planning organization. The group of counties would approve, then fund, projects using local contributions as seed money for grants.

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says his county needs to make itself seem bigger and more populous to potential investors.

Third Street Suites
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

 West Lafayette residents objected after the Tippecanoe Area Plan Commission last week recommended approval of an apartment complex aimed at students to be built northwest of campus. However, the university’s plan to increase enrollment could mean more such battles are on the horizon.

Columbian park
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Lafayette Parks and Recreation Board has signed off on plans for an ambitious multi-million dollar project that would give Columbian Park’s Memorial Island a makeover that officials say is a long time coming.

"Columbian Park is certainly the most used of all our parks," says Parks Superintendent Claudine Laufman. "It's been mentioned that improvements to Memorial Island certainly are a little overdue."

Indiana State Fair Attendance Drops Five-Percent

Aug 24, 2015
Kat Rowland / https://www.flickr.com/photos/krikketgirl/2765355106/

The Indiana State Fair has wrapped up its 17-day run, with a five-percent drop in attendance.

The fair drew about 900,000 visitors, about seven-percent below the record set in 2013. It's the third-lowest figure since the fair expanded to 17 days in 2009.

One of the two lower years was 2011, when a stage collapse which killed seven people prompted the cancellation of one day of activity.

Fair spokeswoman Lesley Gordon says the fair struggled to bring in people for a number of reasons.

Boston Public Library / https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/8094088202

Donald Trump would be the first presidential nominee with no political or military experience since the last Hoosier nominee.

Elwood native Wendell Willkie was a utility executive who'd gained national prominence through his clashes with President Franklin Roosevelt over the Tennessee Valley Authority.

At the 1940 Republican convention, spectators roared their support for Willkie, and a grassroots campaign of thousands of "Win With Willkie" telegrams vaulted Willkie into the lead on the fourth ballot. He clinched the nomination two ballots later.

Heiko Cuberider / https://www.flickr.com/photos/105731515@N05/14521380732

11:02 a.m. Update:

Duke Energy spokesman Lew Middleton says a squirrel entering an electrical substation around 7:30, caused this morning's two-hour power outage.  Power has been revived. The squirrel has not.

10:36 a.m. Update:

According to Duke energy's website, power has been restored to the West Lafayette area. Several WBAA listeners report their electricity has been turned back on. 

9:36 a.m. Update:

Tom Dermody / http://www.indianahouserepublicans.com/members/leadership/tom-dermody

The chairman of one of the most powerful committees at the statehouse won't run for a sixth term next year.

House Public Policy Chairman Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) says Republicans have talked to him about other offices, and doesn't rule it out in the future. But he says it's time to step aside for now after 10 years, especially since his son will be a senior in high school next year.

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