General News

Kristin Malavenda/WBAA News

Greater Lafayette-area bicyclists are calling on local officials to make the roads safer for them.

The issue of bikes and cars sharing the road has been at the forefront recently with the city of Lafayette’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan nearing completion, and officials in West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County looking into establishing similar documents.

But a recent accident has caused cyclists to ask for quicker action to improve conditions.

Gretchen Frazee / indianapublicmedia.org/news

Governor Mike Pence this evening will officially announce his reelection bid at the state Republican Party’s spring fundraising dinner.

Joe Donnelly

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, says the Export-Import Bank, which provides financing to help companies ship products overseas, is critical to the health of the U.S. economy.

Donnelly says he’s fearful a group of what he calls “ideologues” will prevent its re-authorization in Congress.

Opponents of the Export-Import Bank, including Tea Party Republicans and conservative groups such as Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity, decry it as corporate welfare.

They says it’s a gift of taxpayer dollars to bolster big companies.

State of Indiana

The state agency charged with investigating allegations of financial fraud in the government has created a new position to help its efforts.

The State Board of Accounts recently hired Andy Shank as Director of Special Investigations.

He says the goal is to prosecute public officials if the Board of Accounts uncovers criminal activity.

"Because we know that if you don't hold these people accountable for their thefts, they're just going to go somewhere else and do the same thing again."

Katelyn Prentice / http://iedc.in.gov/

Indiana is launching its second trade mission to China in six weeks.

Barely a month after Governor Pence returned from China, Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann will leave Monday on a 12-day trip.

But while Pence was focused on industrial exports, Ellspermann will be promoting Hoosier agriculture, highlighted by an Indiana booth at the Beijing Food Show.

She will lead an 18-member delegation promoting Indiana pork and duck, two staples of Chinese cuisine.

KEVIN HARBER / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevharb/

A new ordinance requires all tattoo and body piercing shops in Tippecanoe County to obtain a permit.

Officials say the new rules are for the health and safety of both the artists and their customers.

Area shop owners appear to be in favor of the ordinance in theory.

But some acknowledge it could establish a financial burden that some may find difficult to shoulder.

The new ordinance lists requirements a business must meet to be able to provide tattoo and piercing services.

City of South Bend / http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/

Fellow Democrats and LGBT leaders are heaping praise on South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as he became Tuesday what’s believed to be Indiana’s first openly-gay mayor.

In an essay published in the South Bend Tribune, Buttigieg, who’s been mayor since 2012, announced he is gay, saying that while he’s “instinctively private” about such things, he realized being more open about it, in his words, “could do some good.” 

courtesy Duke Energy (Flickr)

Repairs at Duke Energy’s Edwardsport plant could increase ratepayers’ bills by $3.60 a month, if the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rules the fixes are necessary maintenance.

The process the plant uses to gasify coal creates acidic gas, which leads to pipe corrosion. Duke hopes to implement a 3-percent rate increase to cover the cost of fixing the pipes.

The Office of Utility Consumer Counselor argues the repairs are startup costs because they were needed in the first year of the plant’s operation.

Tippecanoe Courts Making The Switch To E-Filing

Jun 15, 2015
OZinOH / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/

Tippecanoe County is taking another step toward doing all of its court business online.

Clerk Christa Coffey says a memorandum of understanding was reached with the state Friday and approved by county commissioners Monday to switch over to the Odyssey integrated case management system.

She says initially it won’t be much different than the CourtView system the county currently uses.

Sand Dune Where Boy Was Trapped Open For Ranger-Led Tours

Jun 15, 2015
Ralf Huelsmann/WIki Commons

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park rangers have begun leading tours of a dune that was closed to the public two years ago.

The limited access tours of Mt. Baldy are the first for the park since a sinkhole trapped a 6-year-old Illinois boy for more than three hours in 2013.

The boy miraculously survived.

Park Ranger Bruce Rowe says the trail has been cleared by a team of scientists that have been have been mapping the openings, depressions and anomalous features of the dunes.

WFIU / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfiupublicradio/

The director of the Tippecanoe County Highway Department says more than 80 miles of county roads are in need of repair.

Opal Kuhl says in a normal year, crews will fix only about half that many.

She says road conditions are the worst she’s seen in 25 years.

As a result, she says it won’t be possible this year to address all the roads that need work.

And Kuhl isn’t sure yet if her department will need an additional appropriation from the County Council to repair the roads that need it most.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

One of Lafayette’s most historic properties has finally been sold after many months on the market. The Moses Fowler House had been owned by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, which couldn’t afford to maintain it any longer.

It’s now owned by a recently-created not-for-profit called the 1852 Foundation – named for the year the home was built.

Purdue-Zoo Partnership Aims To Save The Hellbender

Jun 11, 2015
Rob George / https://furmangreenscene.wordpress.com/

North America’s largest salamander is disappearing, but Purdue scientists are trying to save it from extinction.

The university is spearheading a conservation effort which involves raising the amphibians in captivity for a few years before releasing them into their natural habitat.

In 2013, a team from the university’s Aquaculture Research Lab collected hellbender eggs from the Blue River in southern Indiana -- currently the only location in the state where the salamander is found.

indianapublicmedia.org/news

Indiana Agriculture Commissioner Ted McKinney predicts a recent egg price spike will also raise the cost of products that use liquid eggs, like salad dressings or breakfast sandwiches. He says the flu epidemic is not the only reason prices have gone up, but it’s certainly played a role.

He hopes the flu outbreak will raise awareness about the importance of keeping food supplies secure and livestock safe from contamination.

"Keeping one’s birds contained, isolated, looked after, is probably the biggest thing," McKinney says.

Summer Food Program Combats Hunger And Learning Loss

Jun 10, 2015
Kristin Malavenda/WBAA News

Nearly half of all public school students in the United States receive a free or reduced price lunch.

That’s according to the latest Kids Count survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

But during the summer, kids don’t have access to those meals.

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