News

Tomatoes are a summer staple,and Craig LeHoullier details absolutely everything about the fruit in his book Epic Tomatoes: How to Select & Grow the Best Varieties of All Time. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel shares his review of this beautifully illustrated guide to cultivating tomatoes.

Purdue University’s Board of Trustees is considering changing promotion and tenure criteria for the first time in forty years.

Provost Deba Dutta says the changes will incorporate the results of the Gallup-Purdue Index, which found that Purdue alumni were less likely than other graduates to have felt mentored or cared for by faculty while in school.

Dutta told the Board Thursday the proposed promotion and tenure modifications would emphasize mentoring at-risk students, innovating teaching, and engaging undergraduates in research.

City of Frankfort

Frankfort mayor Chris McBarnes withstood a challenge from within his own party in May, but now will have to fend off a candidate to his right in November’s general election. On this week's Ask The Mayor, we talk a little more about how that race shapes up and about some of the things his opponents are saying about McBarnes’ future aspirations as he tries to become a two-term mayor.

Brandon Smith / indianapublicmedia.org/news

Governor Mike Pence Thursday proudly touted Indiana’s continued fiscal strength as he closed the books on the fiscal year.  But Democrats are wondering why Pence continues to order state agencies to cut their budgets.

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/

Wednesday‘s announcement of a nine-year commitment from the Future Farmers of America, or FFA, is Indianapolis‘s first big score in the convention market since the religious-freedom controversy.

But officials say they need more data before they can assess whether the RFRA storm has passed.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says he believes the city and state have taken the right steps to prevent more damage, with legislators following RFRA with a bill declaring it can‘t be used to justify discrimination.

Christian Schnettelker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/manoftaste-de/

Local governmental agencies are not very responsive to public records requests made via e-mail, according to an Indiana University study.

Indiana law requires government agencies to respond to a records request within seven days, even if they don’t have the requested information.

Flickr Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/underneath/3863614064

Earlier this month, Arlington Community High School officially became the first school under state takeover to return to its home district, Indianapolis Public Schools.

It’s been three years since the State Board of Education took control of the school and hired a charter school company to run it.

The company, Tindley Accelerated Schools, has faced criticism for its hard discipline and high dropout rates -- but changed the school’s culture.

Amazon Planning To Add 2,100 More Indiana Jobs

Jul 15, 2015
Scott Lewis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/99781513@N04/16278498935/

The online retailer Amazon is looking to hire more than 2,000 Hoosiers for full-time jobs in its warehouses. Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey says the company will host job fairs across the state to find candidates.

"We’re looking for candidates that are 18 year of age or older, have a high school degree or equivalent, and for many of these job fairs that we’re hosting throughout the area, they just need to bring a proof of education and a form of identification," Lindsey says.

U.S. Department of State / http://www.state.gov/

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, says he is “profoundly skeptical” of the nuclear agreement announced Tuesday between Iran and a group of nations led by the U.S.

Sen. Coats, who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says he will carefully review the details of the deal before rendering a final opinion.

He says the Iran agreement reminds him of a deal President Clinton made with North Korea, which ultimately resulted in that country obtaining nuclear weapons.

Massimo Catarinella / http://bit.ly/1Jia22V

A Department of Child Services case manager say she’s handling way too many cases, putting children’s lives at risk, because the agency won’t hire enough people.

The ACLU is taking the state to court over the issue.

Indiana law mandates that DCS must have enough caseworkers so that one employee doesn’t supervise more than 17 children at a time.

Case manager Mary Price says her caseload is 43 children — too many, she says, to effectively handle.

Theo Wright / https://www.flickr.com/photos/theowright/1240357277

More than a year after Indiana lawmakers legalized a so-called cash crop, the coffers are still empty. Legislation that was signed into law in 2014 approved the commercial growth and research of the versatile industrial hemp plant, which is a non-intoxicating form of cannabis. But, lack of federal approval has stalled the state from moving forward.

Jamie Petty, the founder of the Indiana Hemp Industries Association (INHIA), says the plant could be a boon for Indiana agriculture and manufacturing.

Indiana Senate Republicans

Congressman Todd Young's (R-9th) announcement he‘ll run for the Senate creates a second open U.S. House race in Indiana next year. Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says she‘s considering a bid for Young‘s seat. She was U.S. Senator Dan Coats‘ regional director before running for office herself last year, and was Ninth District Republican Party chair when Young wrested the seat away from Democrat Baron Hill.

Houchin says she doesn‘t have a timeline in mind for a decision, but says constituents have been encouraging her to make the race.

City of West Lafayette

Three groups of companies have signified their interest in working on the redesign of West Lafayette’s State Street.

Two groups include companies with a presence in Greater Lafayette. The Plenary Roads State Street team includes Rieth-Riley Construction and the Walsh Gateway Partners team includes Milestone Contractors.

Eric Bridiers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/us-mission/14721716270

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the justice department will rely on local police to help develop trust between minorities and the criminal justice system. Lynch spoke Monday at a law enforcement conference in Indianapolis.

The Justice Department is funding a nearly $5 million initiative aimed at improving relations between law enforcement and minority communities.

That initiative is starting in six pilot communities, including Gary, Indiana.

Indiana Schools Running Low On Teachers

Jul 14, 2015
Bob Cotter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gibsonsgolfer/

According to the most recent data available from the Indiana Department of Education, the state issued licenses to about 4,500 teachers during the 2013-14 school year. In 2010, that number was 5,500.

Teachers also need separate licenses to teach individual subjects, so the number of total licenses teachers are receiving has dropped more dramatically. The state granted more than 6,000 licenses to first-time teachers in 2013, as opposed to about 16,000 four years earlier.

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