General News

Rachel Elaine / https://www.flickr.com/photos/46434953@N07/9529996261/

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority is exploring ways to drive down housing and transportation costs, pairing with an Indiana-based energy technology consortium to try to craft energy efficiency solutions.

The IHCDA’s goal for low and middle-income Hoosiers is to ensure their housing and transportation costs don’t take up more than 45 percent of the household budget.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A series of texts to the Purdue community Saturday warning people of a suspicious package, an armed robbery and a sexual assault raised many an eyebrow. But when only one of those situations was updated with follow-up texts, some questioned how Purdue’s warning system is designed.

Columbian park
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Lafayette Parks and Recreation Board has signed off on plans for an ambitious multi-million dollar project that would give Columbian Park’s Memorial Island a makeover that officials say is a long time coming.

"Columbian Park is certainly the most used of all our parks," says Parks Superintendent Claudine Laufman. "It's been mentioned that improvements to Memorial Island certainly are a little overdue."

Indiana State Fair Attendance Drops Five-Percent

Aug 24, 2015
Kat Rowland / https://www.flickr.com/photos/krikketgirl/2765355106/

The Indiana State Fair has wrapped up its 17-day run, with a five-percent drop in attendance.

The fair drew about 900,000 visitors, about seven-percent below the record set in 2013. It's the third-lowest figure since the fair expanded to 17 days in 2009.

One of the two lower years was 2011, when a stage collapse which killed seven people prompted the cancellation of one day of activity.

Fair spokeswoman Lesley Gordon says the fair struggled to bring in people for a number of reasons.

Heiko Cuberider / https://www.flickr.com/photos/105731515@N05/14521380732

11:02 a.m. Update:

Duke Energy spokesman Lew Middleton says a squirrel entering an electrical substation around 7:30, caused this morning's two-hour power outage.  Power has been revived. The squirrel has not.

10:36 a.m. Update:

According to Duke energy's website, power has been restored to the West Lafayette area. Several WBAA listeners report their electricity has been turned back on. 

9:36 a.m. Update:

property exchange
Courtesy Brian Gossard / Lafayette Police Department

The Lafayette Police Department is hoping the creation of a “safe swap” area will make it less dangerous for area residents looking to unload their old couches or unwanted basketball tickets. The area, located at the city’s fire station at Union and Creasy Lane, will serve as a safe zone for people to complete transactions arranged through websites such as eBay or Craigslist or through more old-school means, like newspaper classifieds.

Christopher Penn / https://www.flickr.com/photos/financialaidpodcast/3001931281/

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging a law that prohibits sex offenders from entering schools to vote. 

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of a Blackford County man whose polling place is on school property.

Attorney Jen Mensz argues the new law that took effect last month and says sex offenders should vote via an absentee ballot is unconstitutional.

State Officials Begin Flood Damage Assessments

Aug 18, 2015
David Marsh / https://www.flickr.com/photos/rdmarsh/5296249836/

Officials from local governments, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and FEMA are conducting the damage assessments this week.

Based on what they find, the state could request federal aid that would pay up to 75-percent of expenses for damage to roads, bridges and other public facilities as well as for debris removal and rescue operations.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says they don’t know when or if that money might be made available.

Kevin Stanchfield / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sgt_spanky/9962445184/

The Crawfordsville American Legion plans to bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall back next August – if the post can raise the $10,000 or more officials think will be necessary.

With still a year before the Wall arrives, Post 72 member Mike Spencer says the rules for the event are already clear.

Spencer says there won’t be any commerce at the site and disrespectful behavior won’t be tolerated.

Sailors Hope To Spread Navy Awareness In Indy

Aug 11, 2015
U.S. Navy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/5643974271/

The U.S. Navy is showcasing sailors this week in Indianapolis.

Indy is the seventh of 12 cities the Navy has selected this year for Navy Week, a weeklong public-relations mission to showcase the Navy's role in national defense.

The state fair will feature demonstrations by dive and parachute teams, and performances by the Navy Band. Sailors will also take a turn helping Habitat for Humanity with its house-building project at the fair.

Lieutenant Javan Rasnake says Navy divers will be giving daily demonstrations all week at the state fair.

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 1 -- Moms

Aug 10, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Looking for a new job can be hard -- from updating a resume to networking with friends to making sure you have the skill sets to impress potential employers.

All of those things are especially difficult for mothers who have chosen to leave the workforce to take care of their children and now find themselves stepping back into the world of adults.

Keith Cooper / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cooperweb/8363160192

About half of Hoosier workers contribute to a retirement plan. That’s a better percentage than nearly two-thirds of the country.  Yet the amount of money they put into those savings is well below the national average. 

Indiana is middle of the pack when compared to the rest of that nation in a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. 

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/14738709658

Vendors are being asked not to sell or display the Confederate flag at next month's Indiana State Fair.

A spokeswoman says the fair "wants to be welcoming to all." She says vendor contracts contain language that allows the prohibition. The fair opens August 7th.

The Kentucky State Fair Board has also voted to prohibit the sale or giveaway of any item displaying the Confederate flag.

NASCAR is asking race fans not to bring the flag to the Brickyard 400 Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Tony Webster / https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/

12:45 p.m. Update:

Indiana State Police have reopened Interstate 65 in both directions following a fiery, multi-vehicle crash that killed five people overnight. A description of the crash's circumstances from state police can be found here. WARNING: description of the crash may  not be suitable for some readers. 

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6:00 a.m. Update:

Michael Marusin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/marusin/202386456

When a 19th Century songwriter mentioned a spot “where the buffalo roam,” he probably didn’t mean Kosciusko County in North Central Indiana. And yet, that’s exactly what startled neighbors there late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Sheriff’s deputies say a herd of nearly two dozen buffalo and bison escaped from a holding area and wandered toward a nearby highway.

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