General News

East Chicago is one of three Lake County cities receiving an extra $5.6 million from the state to tear down abandoned houses – but the city won’t be able to use the funds to demolish a lead-contaminated public housing complex.

The money comes from the state’s Blight Elimination Program, which distributed millions in 2014 to help towns acquire and demolish vacant homes.

 

East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland says a state of emergency should be declared in his city’s lead contaminated Calumet neighborhood.

Copeland met with a group of residents from the lead contaminated neighborhood Dec. 9 and announced he sent letters to Gov. Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb requesting the emergency declaration.

The neighborhood is a federally designated toxic clean-up site. Its soil is polluted with lead and arsenic left by former factories.

The Environmental Protection Agency has found unsafe levels of lead in the drinking water of some homes in East Chicago, Indiana.

The city is already grappling with high levels of lead and arsenic found in the soil around homes inside its EPA toxic waste clean-up site, or Superfund.

That contamination came from a former smelting plant in the area. But an EPA spokesman says it’s “not possible for lead from contaminated soil to get into your tap water.”

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

2016’s Statehood Day celebration looked a lot like those in years past: there was the choir singing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” an actor playing President Benjamin Harrison, and a student reading her winning submission from the annual essay contest.

This time, it was Jillian Stemler of New Albany, for her entry “Bicentennial Travels.”

“It was fun to celebrate Indiana’s birthday by traveling," Stemler says. "In the future, there might be a new state park to explore or maybe Indiana’s first female governor – me.”

Indiana Commemorates Bicentennial Statehood Day

Dec 9, 2016

 

Governor and Vice President-elect Mike Pence celebrated Indiana’s 200th birthday at the annual Statehood Day event at the Statehouse.

2016’s Statehood Day celebration looked a lot like those in year’s past: there was the choir singing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” an actor playing President Benjamin Harrison, and a student reading her winning submission from the annual essay contest. This time, it was Jillian Stemler of New Albany, for her entry “Bicentennial Travels.”

Indiana School District Is Going Completely Solar

Dec 9, 2016

Budgeting is one of those necessary evils. It’s tough, but you’ve got to do it.

And for school districts, with growing costs and fixed funding, it’s increasingly crucial.

So Sheridan Community Schools, a small, rural district in the heart of central Indiana, has taken a unique approach to managing energy costs: They’re now one of the state’s first completely solar powered school systems.

President-elect Donald Trump attacked the United Steelworkers union president who represents workers at Carrier in Indianapolis on Twitter Wednesday night.

Chuck Jones heads up Steelworkers local 1999, which includes the Indianapolis Carrier and Rexnord factories. Both have come under fire from Trump for sending some jobs to Mexico.

 

Michiana’s Native American tribe has begun construction on the first tribal casino in Indiana, just days after receiving sovereign status on 166 acres of land in South Bend.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians plans to build tribal housing and government facilities on its new land, too.

But tribal chair John Warren says the casino will play a central economic role when it’s completed in early 2018.

 

As part of its deal with President-elect Donald Trump to retain some Indiana jobs, Carrier pledged to invest $16 million dollars in its Indianapolis factory.

But that investment will go toward automation, according to Carrier parent company CEO Greg Hayes.

Fewer jobs will be saved at Indianapolis’ Carrier factory than originally announced.

The United Steelworkers union told members in a letter Monday that the number of jobs saved is actually 800, not more than 1,100 as President-elect Donald Trump said last week.

Steelworkers Local 1999 vice president Robert James says it means 500 union members will still lose their jobs.

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