General News

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.

Tippecanoe County Courthouse Dome In Need Of Repair

Jun 9, 2015
kdemerly /

Tippecanoe County could have a fairly sizable unexpected expense in its 2016 budget.

Commissioner Dave Byers told the county council Tuesday the courthouse dome is in need of repair.

He says the maintenance director alerted him to pieces of metal falling off the outside of the dome onto the roof of the courthouse.

FCC To Vote On Subsidies For Broadband Service

Jun 9, 2015
nrkbeta /

The Federal Communications Commission will vote this month on a plan to provide federal subsidies for high-speed internet access.

The proposal from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler would expand the Lifeline program that was created under President Reagan‘s administration in 1985, a program that provides monthly subsidies for low-income Americans to help them obtain home telephone service.

Corey Templeton /

The creation of food hubs, which connect local producers and buyers, could help boost Indiana’s economy and fulfill demand for local food products, according to an Indiana State Department of Agriculture a study released Monday.

Food hubs can be a broad term, but Agriculture Department Director Ted McKinney says people should think of the word “aggregation.”

It’s a way for farmers and food producers, often via a website, to connect with buyers.

Benson Kua /

LGBT advocates say they’re waiting on pins and needles for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling later this month on marriage equality.

But they say regardless of the outcome, there’s more work to be done.

Ohioan Jim Obergefell married his husband John Arthur in Maryland in 2013.

But when John died a short time later, Ohio didn’t allow Obergefell to be recognized as Arthur’s husband on the death certificate.

The ensuing court case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court and could ultimately legalize same sex marriage across the country.

Lafayette Planning Millions In Streetscape Improvements

Jun 8, 2015
kdemerly /

The city of Lafayette will spend up to seven-million dollars in the next several months to replace sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along several downtown streets.

Economic Development director Dennis Carson says streetscape improvements began in 2005, mainly around the courthouse square.

They’ve since expanded the projects to include more of downtown.

Carson says it’s a way to do more than just fix deteriorating infrastructure.

United Soybean Board /

A week after imposing a travel ban on poultry, Indiana‘s Board of Animal Health is turning its attention to what comes next.

Spokeswoman Denise Derrer says the board will take public comment online for the rest of the month about ways to again allow poultry shows in Indiana while minimizing the risk of spreading bird flu.

Chris Phan /

Just as Indiana begins a long-debated study of redistricting reform, the U.S. Supreme Court may throw a wrench into the process.

The high court will decide this month whether Arizona‘s redistricting commission is unconstitutional.

The case affects only congressional districts, but Common Cause Indiana‘s Julia Vaughn says a ruling striking down commissions would likely torpedo the chance of a creating a similar panel to draw Indiana’s state legislative districts.

cycleluxembourg /

As the city of Lafayette finalizes its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, officials in West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County are looking into developing similar documents.

Area Plan Commission Senior Transportation Planner Doug Poad says the county has started preparing to put a plan together, including noting the location of all existing sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and trails, based on satellite photography.

Kevin Harber /

Tippecanoe County officials have begun discussing an ordinance requiring a permit for businesses providing body piercings or tattoos.

Health Department Administrator Craig Rich says the state has guidelines to make sure these activities are done safely, but leaves it up to individual counties whether to establish ordinances.

tkamenick /

Drivers can expect even more delays when traveling around West Lafayette.

The intersection of Happy Hollow Road and River Road shuts down to all traffic starting today.

West Lafayette Public Works Director Dave Buck expects the closure to last nearly six weeks.

Buck says detours will be clearly marked in all directions, although many residents are used to having to find alternate routes in that area.

“Because the river often closes different parts of River Road anyway, we’re pretty sure that folks know what to do when there’s a closure going on,” he says.

Joe Hren /

State leaders celebrated last week over news that Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in seven years, while the total number of jobs surged to a near-record high. But some analysts say it’s not time to pop the champagne yet.

Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in April, reaching its lowest level since May of 2008.

But Indiana Institute for Working Families senior policy director Derek Thomas says he’s concerned that over the last three months, while the private sector added about 16,000 jobs, 18,000 people left the state’s labor force.

courtesy State of Indiana

Indiana is gearing up for a celebration of its 200-year history -- and former Congressman Lee Hamilton says the upcoming bicentennial party can’t just be about the state’s past, but also about its future. 

Hamilton – who co-chairs the Indiana Bicentennial Commission – says he wants the state’s Bicentennial Celebration to be about trying to make Indiana’s future a better one. 

Jim Grey /

Republican legislative leaders say a formal study on creating civil rights protections for the LGBT community won’t happen this year -- but they say they’ll be thinking about the issue regardless.

Republican leaders admitted earlier this year that controversy surrounding the religious freedom bill fast-forwarded the debate around adding LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights statute. 

Indiana Toll Road Under New Management

May 28, 2015

  The Indiana Toll Road is officially under new management Thursday as an Australian firm finalized its purchase of the previous operator, which went bankrupt last year. 

The Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, which took over operations of the toll road under a lease agreement in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in September of last year. IFM Investors, selected by the state from among four finalists, now assumes management of the 156 mile stretch of highway across northern Indiana.