News

Federal Bureau of Prisons

It could be years before convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is brought to the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute to be executed.

Tsarnaev was moved earlier this week to a maximum security penitentiary in Colorado.

If Tsarnaev’s death penalty is carried out, he will eventually come to Terre Haute, which is home to the only federal prison that conducts executions.

There’s little or no indication, however, of when Tsarnaev could be brought to Indiana, says Indiana State University criminologist Mark Hamm.

Pence Inks Pair Of Broadband Access Bills

Jul 23, 2015
Payne Horning / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence ceremonially signed two bills into law Wednesday that aim to expand broadband Internet access across the state. 

The new Broadband Ready Communities Development Center will team with local governments to encourage and approve communications projects that expand Internet access.

A related law prohibits local and state governments from imposing taxes on the use or access of Internet service. That ban will only go into effect if the federal law that currently prohibits access taxes expires later this year.

Doug Waldron / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougww/625434149

Indianapolis officials predict some of the country’s most notable politicians will likely make stops in the city next June as it hosts the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Visit Indy and Mayor Greg Ballard announced Tuesday that the Circle City had won the rights to the conference. Ballard says the conference is often a popular stop on the presidential campaign trail.

Eric Castro / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecastro/8707389519

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and two other administrators are at the White House today for a conversation on school discipline. Reducing suspension and expulsions rates is a priority of the Obama administration.

In the past year at IPS, student suspensions, expulsions and arrests have been dramatically cut.

The reason? The district is focusing more on helping students understand and control why they act out instead of kicking them out of school.

Payne Horning / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Only one sitting Indiana governor has lost a reelection bid since the state amended its constitution in 1972 allowing governors to serve consecutive terms. Some believe Governor Mike Pence could be the second.

One of those people is Kevin Warren, an Indianapolis realtor. He said he had never considered himself politically active, but that changed after Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act this spring.

Study: Number Of Hoosier Kids In Poverty Increasing

Jul 21, 2015
Flickr Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/light_seeker/6279956208

It’s a mixed bag in terms of economic well-being for Indiana’s children. The Hoosier State worsened in two of four areas in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2015 KIDS Count report.

In 2013, 30-percent of Hoosier kids’ parents lacked secure employment, compared to 28-percent in 2008. That’s despite the state’s unemployment rate dropping to pre-recession levels.

KASL / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaslradio/4427894406

After an early success, a push by animal rights groups to ban pig wrestling at Indiana county fairs appears to be losing steam.

The Delaware County Fair Board voted in May to cancel pig wrestling at this month's fair after five years of holding the event. But at least five other fairs have moved forward.

An electronic petition drive on change.org zeroed in on Whitley County and collected 23,000 signatures, but the event took place as planned Monday night. The Monroe and Allen County fairs will follow suit next Wednesday.

Flazingo Photos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/124247024@N07/

The Hoosier State’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.9-percent last month, the first time it’s been below 5-percent since February of 2008. 

June marks the fifth consecutive month the rate has declined, and since January of 2013, only one other state – Rhode Island – has decreased its unemployment rate more than Indiana. 

Yet for the first time in four months, the state’s private sector lost jobs, shedding 3,800 people last month. The biggest loss – 3,600 jobs – was in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors. 

Lauren Clark / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is making his first bid for federal office, announcing Monday he will join a crowded field seeking to replace Ninth District Congressman Todd Young.

Zoeller says as Attorney General he’s repeatedly battled what he sees as overreach by the federal government, defending Indiana’s right to make its own decisions on everything from EPA regulations to the Affordable Care Act. 

The southern Indiana native says he’s running for Congress to continue that battle.

The play “Lincoln” will be presented Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m. at Thomas Duncan Community Hall in a benefit performance for the Linden Depot Museum. WBAA’s Jan Simon has this preview.

Indiana Farm Bureau

About a month after he announced his plans to retire as President of the Indiana Farm Bureau, it seems Don Villwock may not be out of agriculture politics just yet.

Villwock, who’s led the Indiana chapter for 14 years, says he’d planned to return to his family farm in Knox County, but was encouraged by a number of southern Farm Bureau leaders to try to succeed Bob Stallman as president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Villwock will run against the presidents of the Oregon, Arizona and Georgia Farm Bureaus and says he thinks it’s a win-win proposition.

Richard Rutter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/clagnut/2850718628

Missouri is home to two of the nation’s least accessible cities - St. Louis and Springfield. A group named WalletHub gathered information to compile this list of accessible cities. And one criteria it used was how easily people with disabilities can move around. Or, in the case of these cities, can’t.

Governor Mike Pence has ordered enhanced security measures for Indiana’s National Guard in the wake of a shooting at a military installation in Chattanooga. 

Pence’s executive order directs the new head of the Indiana National Guard, Major General Courtney Carr, to work with the State Police, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement to beef up security at all National Guard facilities across the state, including recruiting storefronts. 

Ball State Artwork Now Party To Smuggling Investigation

Jul 20, 2015
David Owsley Museum of Art

A piece of art at a Ball State University museum is now involved in a controversial international theft investigation. The bronze sculpture is more than 1,000 years old and depicts the Hindu god Shiva and his bride, Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love.

But the U.S. Justice Department alleges the dealer, Subhash Kapoor, is one of the world‘s top art smugglers and temple raiders. He is currently targeted by a Justice Department investigation. Ball State Museum Director Robert La France says he’s already talked with federal authorities, but can't say much about the investigation.

Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/2150874047

Indiana’s new A-to-F school letter grade model was given final approval Friday when Attorney General Greg Zoeller and others signed off on its use during the 2015-16 school year.

For the past two years Governor Mike Pence, Superintendent Glenda Ritz and others debated how to change the formula that calculates whether a school earns an A-to-F grade for student academics.

Current grades are based mostly on ISTEP pass rates. Now student performance and student test score improvement will be weighed equally in calculating a school’s grade.

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