General News

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

 While many Central Indiana towns are using Community Crossings for paving projects in traffic-heavy areas, one is using the money as a stepping stone to revamp an entire section that’s become somewhat of a horror attraction.

Battle Ground Town Council president Steve Egly says the damage to Northgate Drive is environmental. But that’s not why people avoid it.

There is only one property on the several grassy lots – an abandoned Days Inn, which he says is scaring both commuters and property owners away from the area.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A week after two tornadoes tore through Kokomo, more than a dozen people are still housed in the city’s emergency shelter and officials don’t yet have an estimate of how much cleanup will cost.

Mayor Greg Goodnight says that’s in part because some damage is still being discovered.

Goodnight says he met with one man who thought his property had only lost a few trees, with his home emerging from the strong winds unscathed.

Andreas Johannsen /

Indiana’s unemployment declined in July, the third consecutive month the rate went down. The rate is now the lowest it’s been since the start of the year:

More than 11 thousand Hoosiers found jobs in the private sector in July, pushing Indiana’s unemployment rate down to 4.6percent. The rate has dropped .2 percent the last three months. That’s the longest period of sustained decline since the first half of 2015.

July’s employment gains were boosted largely by the professional and business sector, while leisure and hospitality jobs saw a significant drop.

City of West Lafayette

The many different moving parts of West Lafayette's State Street redesign continue to turn, but one project has been delayed by two years. 

Russell Street, on the Purdue campus, has been converted from a one-way to a two-way street as expected. And excavation work is underway to relocate a segment of Todd's Creek, just west of Airport Road. 

Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette /

One piece of a community-wide dream to develop public space along the Wabash River is close to becoming a reality in Lafayette, thanks largely to private donors. 

If the promenade project stays on track, pedestrians could be strolling along the riverfront promenade in the fall of 2017. 

The city has advertised for subcontractors to bid on the construction of the promenade, a public walkway that will start at Riehle plaza on its north end and stretch south to the South Street and Columbia Street bridges. 

Michael Coghlan /

The ACLU of Indiana is suing the Boone County jail on behalf of a Muslim inmate, alleging the jail refuses to serve him meals that conform with his faith.

Gannon Thomas is a practicing Muslim and follows a Halal diet. Pork is not allowed and other meats must be slaughtered in a specific way.

In a federal complaint, Thomas says the jail frequently serves him pork and other non-Halal meals despite his request for a special diet.

The Indiana State Fair sold alcohol for the first time since the 1940s in 2014 – but only at a beer and wine exhibition closed to anyone under 21. And patrons couldn’t carry alcohol out.

The second year, the Fair added sales at concerts in the Coliseum.

This year, alcohol is sold at Free Stage concerts. Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany) co-sponsored the 2014 bill and says he trusts Fair officials to balance higher revenue with the right atmosphere.

“The balance is making sure that it stays family-friendly," Clere says.

State Fair 2016: More Tech, Room For Pigs

Aug 4, 2016
Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Friday morning kicks off the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Indiana State Fair.

A new smartphone app for Apple and Android devices will help State Fair-goers find their favorite food vendors, animal competitions, and even their own car. Media Manager Leslie Gordon said she thinks it will change how visitors interact with the fair.

“It gives you a personalized itinerary, so you can schedule that, share it with your friends," she said. "I think the coolest thing is gonna be being able to drop a pin where you park, so you don’t get lost.”

Indiana Department of Child Services /

Indiana’s Department of Child Services says it’s doing all it can to comply with caseload requirements in state law and that a court can’t order it to do more.

Lawyers for the agency made that case Wednesday before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Indiana law says the Department of Child Services must provide enough caseworkers so that the average caseload doesn’t exceed 17 children.

All but one of the 19 regions in the state exceeds that standard. Caseworker Mary Price oversees 43 children.

Valentina Powers /

A federal judge Thursday ordered the state to include the names of both mothers on the birth certificate of a child born to a lesbian couple.

Indiana birth certificates list only the mother and the father.

Eight lesbian couples sued, seeking the right to include both mothers: the birth mother and her partner.

They argue the state’s current system sometimes denies them the right to give the child both last names and denies parents – and the children – certain rights and access to benefits.