General News

Bill Stanley

 This week, the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns conference in French Lick will cover how the state’s municipalities are balancing ways to provide services for their citizens while reducing spending.

IACT Executive Director Matt Greller says the issues are the same for every community--big and small.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A 3-megawatt energy park has opened in Crawfordsville.

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency -- a group started by cities such as Crawfordsville which own their own utilities -- has installed 20 acres of solar panels on the city’s northeast side. Crawfordsville proposed a good location, driving some of the cost down.

Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton says the park also helps the city’s tax base.

Lynn Friedman /

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in eight years last month.

The unemployment rate fell by one-tenth of a percent to 4.6-percent in August; that’s the lowest level since 2007. 

Yet the state’s private sector lost 5,500 jobs last month, the first drop since February.  Still, the Hoosier State remains at peak employment, with the most Hoosiers employed at any time in Indiana’s history. 

And the state’s labor force expanded – that’s the number of people working or actively looking for a job. 

Sean MacEntee /

Telecommunications companies are beginning a six-year push to make broadband connections more widely available in Indiana.

Four-percent of Indiana homes and businesses, mostly in rural areas in the southeast part of the state, don't have broadband.

Three telecom providers will receive $51-million a year from a new federal grant program earmarked for bringing broadband to hard-to-reach areas. They'll wire up 135,000 homes and businesses by 2020. That'll cut the number of homes and businesses without broadband roughly in half.

U.S. Department of Agriculture /

A new corn disease has been discovered in Indiana, and it’s the first confirmed case in the country.

The disease called "tar spot" is more commonly found in Mexico and Central America, but its presence in the Hoosier state should not cause any immediate problems.

Kiersten Wise, Purdue Extension Specialist for Field Crop Diseases, says a fungus causes the disease and it discolors crops in ways other pests do.

Indianapolis International Airport /

Indianapolis International Airport fell silent this morning to mark the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

Gov. Mike Pence stood silently facing the tarmac for five minutes, alongside four police officers bearing two memorial wreaths, a fire helmet and a police officer's cap, symbols of the first responders who died at the World Trade Center.

Pence told the crowd the anniversary is a time to remember not only September 11's victims and their families, but the police, firefighters and armed forces responsible for keeping the country safe from future attacks.

Purdue University

Purdue University has settled a dispute with its independent student newspaper over one of the paper's journalists allegedly being roughed up by campus police.

Neither the university nor The Exponent newspaper has disclosed terms of the settlement of the case that dates to paper’s coverage of the January 2014 murder of Purdue student Andrew Boldt by another student, Cody Cousins.

Aubree Kramer/Facebook

The National Guard has helped a Lafayette family reunite with their daughter who was killed in a car crash over the weekend.

Aubree Kramer had enlisted with the guard just days before a vehicle in which she was riding crossed the center line of a Florida highway, killing the 19-year old.

An online fundraising campaign and donations from the Lafayette hot dog stand where she’d worked have helped to raise money for Kramer’s funeral. The Guard paid for her body to be flown back to Indiana to be buried.

Rachel Elaine /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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.