Charlotte Tuggle

Reporter

My name is Charlotte Tuggle and I'm a reporter at WBAA. For three years, I was a news intern at the station before graduating from Purdue and becoming a full-time staff member. During my last year as an intern, I was named the Indiana Student Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists. I'm very excited to stay and work with such an honest, dedicated team here at WBAA!

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Only 31-percent of registered voters in Tippecanoe County actually voted in last year’s general election. That anemic turnout was still double what the primary election registered. Both elections were in keeping with similar trends at the state level.

The Greater Lafayette League of Women Voters, the Hanna Community Center and the group Citizens for Civil Rights are trying to address those worrying statistics by pondering an age-old problem: how to get young and minority voters more invested in politics.

Sara Westermark / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarawestermark/4415600385/

After eight years of declining revenue, the Clinton County Health Department may have to raise service fees to make up for its losses.

The Clinton County Council recently increased the department’s loan cap to $65,000 -- $15,000 more than what it was allowed to borrow at the beginning of this year.

Health Department Administrator John Brannan says the department is asking for more grants from the state before taking money from the community.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

After public outcry over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and an attempt to satisfy LGBTQ groups didn’t hit the mark for everyone, Indiana will invest in a public relations firm to reshape its image.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Office of Tourism Development hired public relations firm Porter Novelli earlier this week.

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

  Law enforcement crisis training is closer to becoming a statewide requirement now that the House has passed a bill advising more funding for it.

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) says there isn’t currently enough training teaching police how to handle a crisis, such as a mental health issue or a diabetic attack. Stoops says the bill would make law enforcement communication safer and more effective.

“Treatment typically costs about a dollar for every six dollars we would’ve spent on incarceration. So it’s a very cost-effective approach as well,” Stoops says.

University of Sydney / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sydneyuni/

A bill that would fund more medical residency programs at Indiana colleges will come to a final vote before the Senate Tuesday, after some medical schools had trouble sending all of their graduates to residencies this year.

A hospital that establishes a medical residency program would match at least 25-percent of the funding given by the state.

House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says the start-up money for the fund is already available.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

An American Civil Liberties Union representative encouraged Tippecanoe County residents Wednesday to reject the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which she says could erase 60 years of civil rights progress in Indiana.

ACLU national organizer Liz Welch says the organization is working on an act that may be the solution.

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/3904663983

Nationwide scrutiny aimed at Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act may be making Arkansas legislators uncomfortable about passing their own religious freedom bill.

The bill, named the “Conscience Protection Act,” follows the same argument as Indiana’s religious freedom bill – that religious liberties are under stack and need protection. The bill awaits House approval on Senate amendments before going to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

yortlabs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/yortlabs/7364227082/

As the Religious Freedom Restoration Act awaits the Governor’s signature, convention holders say passage of the act could cost the state many millions of dollars.

On Tuesday, the CEO of gaming and fantasy convention GenCon said the potential discrimination he sees in the bill will make the convention’s attendees feel unwelcome in Indiana.

Shawn Smith works for a similar convention, Indy PopCon, which he says generates a few million dollars in economic impact each year. He says his organization shares GenCon’s concerns.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Second-generation West Lafayette farmer Kevin Underwood has three tractors he uses to farm 1,600 acres of land – one is several decades old, another he bought just a few years ago. But while his 30 year old tractor still works well, Underwood says the system taxing what that tractor produces does not.

“The bind we’re in at this point is we’ve got income level going down and taxes and input costs continuing to go up,” Underwood says.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

A bill that would create an initiative granting funding to collaborating groups in regions around the state is moving through the Indiana Senate.

The Regional City Fund would grant or loan regions money to improve the area based on a proposed growth plan.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Eric Doden says it’s similar to the state’s existing Stellar Communities grants, but the new initiative is more collaborative.

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