News

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Indiana’s new fiscal year got off to a slightly underwhelming start, continuing the streak of lackluster beginnings to its fiscal years under Governor Mike Pence.

In the four starts to a fiscal year during the Pence administration, the state’s tax collections came in less than projected each year.

It’s a slim margin this year – a little more than $7 million off the mark and less than one percent less than expected.

Individual income taxes did well in July, nearly $20 million better than projections.

WFIU / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfiupublicradio/

The Indiana State Board of Education this week will hold public hearings at two failing schools in Northwest Indiana to determine the future of the schools.

Beveridge Elementary School in Gary, and Joseph L. Block Junior High in East Chicago received five consecutive ratings of F on the state’s annual A-F grading system.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Purdue has hired a replacement for retiring Athletics Director Morgan Burke.

Mike Bobinski comes to West Lafayette from Georgia Tech, where he’s been the athletics director since 2013.

Prior to taking the Georgia Tech job, Bobinski led the athletics departments at Akron and Xavier.

Bobinski attended college at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team, and says he looks forward to getting back to a Midwestern college town.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Things are looking up for the quality of this year's corn and soybeans in Indiana and around the Midwest.

That's according to the latest numbers from the USDA, which could be good news for farmers in a year with a bumper harvest in the forecast.

That would mean more supply for the same demand, which might cause lower prices at the grocery store -- but could also mean less money for farmers.

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Indiana’s race for U.S. Senate between Republican Todd Young and Democrat Evan Bayh is going negative, with no end in sight.

Almost immediately after Evan Bayh entered the race a few weeks ago, the Young campaign and its national Republican backers began their attacks, focusing on whether Bayh lives in Indiana.

The negativity permeates the two candidates’ personal interactions.  Here’s Bayh and Young greeting each other at the State Fair last week.

Bayh: “Hey Todd, how are you?”

Young: “Did you just fly in this morning?”

Indiana Public Broadcasting

Educating young people about Indiana’s Lifeline Law has a new focus this year – text to 911.

The Lifeline Law provides immunity from underage drinking charges to minors who seek help for themselves or others. And it applies not just to those who call 911, but those who text it as well.

State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell – who chairs the Statewide 911 Board – says texting allows dispatchers to more easily follow up on 911 hang-ups, citing a recent example:

Courtesy Purdue University

A major new plant science lab at Purdue University has gotten funding approval from the state.

Researchers at the $6.25 million Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility will study how to make cash crops grow better in a high-tech setting.

Purdue already has a lab that studies the traits of plants -- from their visible parts down to their DNA.

But that lab is outside, at the school's research field -- which is what will set the new facility apart, according to phenomics director April Agee Carroll.

State of Indiana

Hoosiers have four weeks to help decide what the state’s next license plate will look like.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles unveiled three options for the design that will replace the Bicentennial plate.

One features the torch and stars from the state flag placed inside a blue image of the state.

The second simply has a yellow banner highlighting the words “Crossroads of America” at the bottom of the plate.

The third is the most colorful, with a green landscape beneath a covered bridge painted red, and blue sky above.  

James Brosher / Indiana University

In the United States, the last two weeks were a little smellier than usual.

More than 5,000 people flocked to a greenhouse at Indiana University last weekend to witness the brief, smelly bloom of the corpse flower, the largest flower in the world. The plant’s flower, when open, emits an odor akin to rancid, rotting flesh.

Sylvia Bao / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/

The value of Indiana farmland is seeing its biggest decline since the 1980s.

That's according to Purdue University's annual Farmland Value Survey, which says the drop is mainly due to low grain prices.

Indiana farmland values have been falling since 2014, but the estimated decline this year is especially steep -- around 8.5 percent statewide, putting the cost of an average acre of land at a little over $7000.

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