News

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A years-long Purdue University experiment is testing whether ginseng can be cultivated by Indiana farmers.

Ginseng, commonly used as an herbal remedy, grows wild in most of Indiana. The Purdue Department of Forestry is trying to grow the plant in what’s called a “simulated wild grow.”

Purdue Extension Forester Lenny Farlee says ginseng has been over-harvested in the past, so the department aims to add to the ginseng supply and help cultivate native growing.

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Across the nation, non-white students are underrepresented in accelerated learning programs, and Indiana is no exception. But narrowing the so-called “achievement gap” requires more than getting children into a gifted classroom.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, even though non-white students make up close to 30 percent of enrollment in Indiana public schools, only 19 percent of that demographic is enrolled in gifted education.

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Indiana’s fiscal year is off to a slow start, with its first two months coming in below expectations.

August tax collections came in more than $25 million less than expected – following a July return of more than $7 million below projections.

That leaves the state already 1.5-percent off the mark through the first two months of the new fiscal year.

Corporate taxes fared well in August, more than 40-percent better than expected.

But individual income taxes scuffled after a strong July and sales taxes performed poorly again, more than $20 million off the mark.

Dan Jeffrey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjeffrey/5182805581

Residents who live near the site of an old lead smelter in Indianapolis heard details Thursday night of plans to remove tainted soil from as many as 100 homes starting later this month.

For decades, the smelter in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood reclaimed lead from car batteries and other industrial waste.

Ten years ago, the EPA forced its owners to clean up contaminated soil from hundreds of homes around the site.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The United Auto Workers union is criticizing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Young for his past comments on the auto industry bailout.

UAW officials gathered in three union halls around the state Thursday to publicly attack Young.

The events coincide with a new ad from the Evan Bayh campaign. Both criticize Young for comments he made during his first congressional run in 2010, calling the federal auto industry bailout a “waste.”

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Earlier this week, the Lafayette City Council passed a controversial ordinance amendment offering additional protections to transgender residents.

But should the discussion have been allowed to go as far as it did?

Data via IDWD

 

Department store Kohl's announced this week it will open a distribution center in a large warehouse near Indianapolis International Airport next year.

 

It'll be part of Indiana's most steadily growing logistics sector: The Department of Workforce Development predicts the state will add 5- to 6,000 warehousing jobs within the next decade.

 

For its part, Kohl's plans to hire 300 full-time and 600 part-time workers at the new warehouse in the All Points industrial park in Plainfield.

Cavale Doom / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cavale/

Indiana public health officials are hoping a handful of housing initiatives spearheaded by the USDA will eventually help recovering addicts in rural areas transition to healthier lives. But it may take a while for some solutions to arrive.

The USDA, through its rural housing services, makes thousands of Indiana homes available to low-income residents through guaranteed and direct loans. The agency also owns a number of foreclosed homes.

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The West Lafayette City Council has passed an ordinance mandating that any animal coming to a shelter be implanted with a microchip.

The chips work as a kind of barcode that can be scanned by shelter employees when an animal is lost or injured.

Almost Home Humane Society executive director Stacy Rogers says the Humane Society has implanted more than 12,000 microchips in the past nine years.

She believes that is directly related to West Lafayette’s high, 87-percent return-to-owner rate for lost dogs.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA News

Both the Tippecanoe County Commissioners and the Lafayette City Council voted Tuesday to add protections for the transgender community to existing human rights ordinances.

The commissioners must still vote once more this month to make their move final, but the Lafayette vote was the last in what's been a charged debate.

After a lengthy and spirited public debate, the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an amendment adding gender identity protections to the city’s human relations ordinance.

GREEN VS. WHITE

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