Indiana

Indiana Town Considers Water Utility Sale

Apr 19, 2017

 

Lake Station, Indiana, is treading water.

“We have no money whatsoever in this city,” says Bill Carrol, who manages the Ace Hardware in town.

Lake Station’s operating budget is $2 million overdrawn. Because of the city’s debt, the state is forcing budget cuts. So, Lake Station is considering selling its drinking water utility to a private company, Indiana American Water.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this story was published, federal officials have said that West Calumet families with nowhere else to go will now have until Monday, April 3, to appeal their temporary housing assignments before they’re forced to move. This story has been updated to reflect this change, and we’ll keep following the situation as it develops. 

 

Child neglect is defined as a type of abuse where people can lose custody of their children because they can’t provide the necessary care. Zoey Meisberger’s parents couldn’t care for her because of their addiction.

In 2015, there were 17,491 Children In Need of Services, or CHINS, cases filed in Indiana. This is a nearly 23 percent increase over the previous year and a 97 percent increase over the past 10 years.

Senate Changes Road Funding Bill, Adds New Fees

Mar 28, 2017

Senate lawmakers put their own stamp on this session’s comprehensive road funding bill while keeping the measure’s primary tax increase intact.

After amendments in a Senate committee, the road funding bill still increases the gas tax by 10 cents. Now, that increase would happen over two years – 5 cents a year. The diesel fuel tax would only go up six cents, instead of 10, also over two years.

The new $15 annual fee for all vehicles is unchanged; the Senate added a $100 annual fee on all commercial vehicles and a $5 fee on all new tire purchases.

Indiana schools stand to lose about $56 million for teacher training and after school programs for low-income students, under proposed budget cuts by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, says the proposed budget would be “a big hit” to the state. She says cuts would hamper efforts to attract teachers, stifle new programs under a new federal education law and reduce programs for low-income students.

Huntington UTEC Employees Feel Forgotten

Mar 15, 2017
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Courtesy/Jenni Lobdell

Layoffs have now started at the United Technologies Electronic Control factory, or UTEC, in Huntington, Indiana. Although its parent company United Technologies announced more than a year ago that UTEC and its sister company Carrier would move to Mexico, the first round of layoffs just started last Friday, according to a company spokesperson.

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Eugene Peretz/Flickr

A new study from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis has found that restricting opioid prescriptions may have an unintended side effect: more overdose deaths involving heroin and fentanyl. The study also shows that Indiana’s reports don’t reflect the actual number of overdose deaths in which opioid drugs are present.

flick.comphotos7776581, Nels Olsen

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, in Tippecanoe County are learning to identify youths who are at-risk of becoming human trafficking victims. They’re also learning how to talk about the issue when red flags appear.

County CASA Executive Director Coleen Connor says human trafficking may not yet be a significant problem, locally. But she wants to prepare the volunteers for what’s likely to come in the future.

Millions of dollars are on the line for Indiana school districts, as a national credit agency threatens to downgrade Indiana school debt “by as much as several notches.”

 

A panel of judges have decided to continue the suspension of President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration after a hearing on Feb. 8. On Feb. 3, a federal judge halted the travel restrictions to seven countries.

Trump responded to the news by tweeting, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

In the meantime, Indiana towns with large immigrant populations are already grappling with its impacts.

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