General News

Top House Committee Leadership Jobs Open

Nov 21, 2016


Two significant House committees will have new leadership after their chairs left the chamber this year.

The House Public Policy Committee chair retired this year and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications chair moved to the Senate. Those two high profile positions now up for grabs in the House GOP caucus.

But political analyst Ed Feigenbaum says not to expect too much change in the direction of either committee.

The police report that serves as the basis for sexual assault allegations against four Purdue football players shows the interaction started with electronic messages sent by the women making the claims.

Two female Purdue students allege four football players engaged in unwanted sexual activity with them at an off-campus house in October.

But their interaction began with the women sending explicit messages to at least one of the players, including on Snapchat, a social media app where content disappears once it’s been viewed.

Unemployment Rate Lowest in 9 Years

Nov 18, 2016


Indiana’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest point last month in more than nine years.

The unemployment rate decreased in October by a 0.1 percent, down to 4.4 percent – its lowest level since May 2007.

One reason for the dip, the private sector added jobs for the seventh consecutive month, with 3,400 in October. And the Hoosier State’s unemployment rate is once again lower than its neighboring states – all of which saw an increase last month.

Top Health Groups Form Advocacy Alliance

Nov 17, 2016


Several of Indiana’s top health care organizations are joining forces to combat what they call the state’s “embarrassing” and “shameful” health record.

Indiana ranks 9th worst in the country for overall health issues. Community Health Network CEO Bryan Mills says Indiana’s health problems can’t be ignored.

“If you look at the healthiness of our state as compared to other states, unfortunately it’s embarrassing,” Mills says. “And it’s embarrassing year after year, after year.”

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the University of Notre Dame and other state private universities can keep police records closed to the public.

The justices say the school’s police were not government entities when ESPN filed the lawsuit in 2014. But a recent change in state law means newer records are fair game.

A group of Indiana lawmakers called this month to speed up emergency funding for the demolition of a lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, a Democrat who’s represented Northwest Indiana’s first district since 1985, says the town’s economy needs this assistance to recover.

East Chicago residents have asked a federal judge to let them be part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead and arsenic clean-up agreement with chemical companies.

Residents and their lawyers filed a motion in federal court last week to intervene in the EPA’s consent decree with Dupont and Atlantic Richfield.

That decree is basically a settlement, signed in 2014, saying Dupont and Atlantic Richfield will pay for the EPA to clean up the affected area.

With Jennifer McCormick’s defeat of current State Superintendent Glenda Ritz on Tuesday, the Ritz administration now has two more months in office. McCormick will be sworn in in January.

The unexpected election result came in the middle of huge education policy transitions in the state.  Responsibility for that will transfer from Ritz’s administration to a new, unknown administration under McCormick.

The creation of a new state assessment

South Bend will join a national coalition of cities working to use data and technology to improve public spending and services.

Bloomberg Philanthropies started the “What Works Cities” initiative last year. Now it’s more than halfway to helping 100 mid-sized cities use data to streamline how they serve and govern residents.

South Bend is one of the smallest cities in the program, with a population of around 100,000 people.


Republican Jennifer McCormick has ousted Democrat Glenda Ritz to become the state’s leading education official.

With 54 percent of the vote, the Associated Press reports McCormick has won the race for state superintendent of public instruction, with 84 percent of polls reporting .

“We have a lot of work to do,” McCormick says. “But we’re ready to get to work.”