2:22 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Ask The Mayor: West Lafayette's John Dennis

The mayor says he doesn't think he can ask the city council for more Amtrak funding.
Credit City of West Lafayette

Some questions for the mayor on this month's program:

Since we spoke last month, it seems the mayors of the cities along the Amtrak corridor from Indy to Chicago have gotten noticeably more pessimistic about its future. Todd Barton told me two weeks ago on this program he thinks it’s dead in October. Is that now your thinking, too?

Your office is moving, at least temporarily, to Morton Center. Are you doing a site comparison between there and the mold-ridden city hall?

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4:53 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Donnelly's State Fair Hearing Warns Of Senior Scams

Rep. Andre Carson (D-7th) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) speak Tuesday at the Indiana State Fair about the proliferation of scams targeting seniors.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senator Joe Donnelly is working with groups such as AARP and the Indiana Attorney General to help seniors identify scams aimed at stealing their savings and identities. 

Donnelly serves on the Senate Special Committee on Aging and Tuesday he took a hearing on the road, holding a meeting at the Indiana State Fair. 

Several organizations, including the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Attorney General and the Secret Service participated, with a goal of helping empower seniors to identify financial predators. 

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4:49 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

West Lafayette Budget Offers Raises, Forecasts Big Insurance Increase

Health care costs are estimated to rise as much as ten percent, year-over-year.
Credit Keith Cooper /

The West Lafayette City Council will take a first vote on the proposed 2015 budget Monday night.

The $19.2 million dollar spending plan represents a nearly a 4.5-percent increase from the current year.

It includes a 2-percent pay hike for city employees.

Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes says the biggest cost drivers in the new plan are providing services to areas the city annexed last year and an anticipated 10-percent increase in health care costs.

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3:20 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Drowning Prompts Frankfort To Write Safety Rules For City Pool

Overcast conditions will be monitored more closely at Frankfort's TPA Pool starting next season.
Credit Jenny Spadafora /

Frankfort’s mayor has announced changes to the city’s swimming pool that he hopes will make it safer when it reopens next summer.

In a press release Monday, Chris McBarnes laid out a three-pronged safety plan instigated by the death of a 15-year old swimmer last month.

Topping the mayor’s priorities is the creation of a written safety plan for the pool which will replace oral rules taught to lifeguards upon their hiring.

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10:17 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Evan Bayh To Lead CIA Panel

The Indiana Democrat will wade into a spying allegation that has his former Senate colleagues irked.
Credit courtesy Evan Bayh

Retired Indiana senator and former governor Evan Bayh will chair an accountability board for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Evan Bayh’s appointment comes after an internal investigation showed agency personnel improperly gained access to Senate computers.

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10:11 am
Wed July 30, 2014

State Looks To Local Government For Corruption-busting Ideas

If the program works as the attorney general describes, ideas will come to the statehouse from local leaders.
Credit Jim Nix /

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the state’s Public Integrity Coalition is developing strategies from the local level up to state government aimed at curbing public corruption.  Those strategies could include new legislation.

The Public Integrity Coalition, formed three months ago, brings together groups such as the Attorney General’s office, the State Board of Accounts – which is responsible for auditing all levels of government in the state – the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and law enforcement groups around the state.

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3:34 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Indy Smoking Ban Upheld, But Will Be Appealed To State Supreme Court

No matter the outcome at the appellate level, the case was likely to find its way to the state's highest court.
Credit Raul Lieberwirth /

A judge has upheld Indianapolis' smoking ban in a ruling that will be appealed directly to the Indiana Supreme Court.

In a ruling issued Monday, Marion County Superior Court Judge James Osborn ruled against a lawsuit filed by two members of the Tavern League of Indiana - The Thirsty Turtle and the Whistle Stop Inn.

Their attorney, Mark Small, had asked Osborn for an immediate ruling against the smoking ban after the state Supreme Court struck down Evansville's ban.

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12:19 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

State Senator's Wife To Seek His Seat While He's Deployed

State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) has been called up to active duty by his U.S. Naval Reserve unit.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Amanda Banks announced Thursday she’ll seek to keep her husband Jim’s state Senate seat in the family when he’s deployed to Afghanistan this fall. 

Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced earlier this month that, starting in September, he'll be deployed to Afghanistan in his role as a Naval Reserve Officer. 

Banks is unopposed in November’s election and the seven month deployment means he will miss the entire 2015 legislative session. 

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6:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

State Halts Healthy Indiana Plan Enrollment

The state will still process pending enrollments, but won't take new customers for the time being.
Credit Kreg Steppe /

Indiana is cutting off enrollment in the Healthy Indiana Plan after the program reached this year’s funding limit.

When the federal government reauthorized HIP, the health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, last year, it required Indiana to lower the income eligibility ceiling from 200-percent of poverty – about $47,000 a year for a family of four – to 100-percent – roughly $23,000 dollars a year. 

The state pays for the program through the tobacco tax, limiting its size to a monthly average of 45,000 people. 

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2:34 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton

Crawfordsville's mayor says there's likely to be a lull in seven-day-a-week rail travel as the state grapples with funding the Hoosier State line.
Credit courtesy Crawfordsville mayor's office

Crawfordsville’s mayor says he believes Amtrak’s Hoosier State rail line will cease operation in October unless the state – not just the cities along the route – kicks in more money.

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