Columbus

Barbara Brosher / WFIU/WTIU News

 

The rain didn’t stop people from coming out to the first Pride Festival in Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown of Columbus Saturday.

The city closed off several blocks of 4th Street for the event, which featured information booths, Pride merchandise and live entertainment.

In Indiana, Vice President Pence's hometown has one of the top concentrations of skilled immigrant workers in the country. In Columbus, Ind., manufacturers and residents depend on open borders to move both products and people, but continued uncertainty over the Trump administration's immigration policies is leading to some anxiety there.

A new report says some Indiana cities could be among the most impacted in the country by a potential trade war.

The Brookings Institution says Columbus is just more than 50 percent dependent on exports – more than any other metro area in the country. Elkhart, Kokomo and Lafayette are also in the top 10.

 

A panel of judges have decided to continue the suspension of President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration after a hearing on Feb. 8. On Feb. 3, a federal judge halted the travel restrictions to seven countries.

Trump responded to the news by tweeting, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

In the meantime, Indiana towns with large immigrant populations are already grappling with its impacts.

President Donald Trump’s immigration order barring refugees, as well as immigrants and visa-holders from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, impacts businesses with many foreign workers – including Cummins Engine.

The Columbus-based manufacturer has many employees born in other countries, and more than half of its workers are based overseas.

Courtesy Cummins Engine

New census data puts Columbus, Ind. in the top 20 cities for start-up business growth nationwide.

The numbers, released earlier this month, show that companies less than a year old made up nearly 5 percent of the city's businesses in 2014. That’s a 1.1 percent increase from 2009.

Hoosiers Seek Answers To Questions About CAFOs

Apr 26, 2016
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 Residents from about 10 central Indiana counties were in Columbus Monday to hear from experts on the impacts of large confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOs.

The talk brought out concerned residents in Bartholomew and surrounding counties.

It was organized by Indiana CAFO Watch and the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project.

Retired University of Missouri agricultural economist John Ikerd was one of the speakers.

Conservative Groups Hope To Use RFRA To Quash Four Cities' LGBT Protections

Feb 3, 2016
Joseph Hren / WFIU

Four Indiana cities are facing a lawsuit challenging LGBT protections in their human rights ordinances.

The complaint alleges the local laws in Bloomington, Columbus, Indianapolis and Carmel violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act lawmakers passed last year.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop says the city stands behind its human rights ordinance.  

“The people that are suing us, they didn’t tell us, they told the newspaper, so I think it gives you a little bit of insight of what their motives are, but nonetheless, we intend to defend ourselves,” Lienhoop says.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA News

It appears there’s at least one Indiana county where early voter turnout wasn’t alarmingly low. In Bartholomew County, Clerk Tami Hines says the number of absentee votes is up almost 300 compared to the mid-term election four years ago and more than 600 votes compared to 2006.

Hines says the apparent enthusiasm also extended to poll workers this morning.    Mary Glasson, 92, was a poll worker for many years and retired.