Jim Merritt

The FDA has approved a device developed in Indiana that helps reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. The NSS-2 BRIDGE is a nerve-stimulating device placed behind the ear which sends electrical pulses to the brain.

It’s been shown to reduce severe effects of opioid withdrawal, such as nausea and vomiting. Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says the technology fills a gap in treatment.

 

A key Indiana state lawmaker wants to dramatically increase penalties for certain drug and gun crimes.

The General Assembly rewrote its criminal code in recent years. Its aim was to drive more nonviolent, mostly drug offenders out of the prison system and into local treatment programs. And part of that was by giving judges more discretion in sentencing – to be able to decide what’s best for an individual offender.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) wants to undo some of that.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton has found himself up against some powerful competition recently.

He appears to have prevailed in a battle against the world’s largest company, Wal-Mart, in a battle over a road near the big box chain’s Crawfordsville location.

But he may also be up against several cell phone companies – and the lawmakers they appear to be bankrolling.

This week on WBAA’s Ask the Mayor, we quiz Mayor Barton about what he’s learned from his recent skirmishes. 

Photo courtesy Lafayette Police Department

A new bill offered in the Indiana legislature would levy harsher penalties for crimes against public safety officials. It also strengthens penalties for crimes against their relatives.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

Executive Order Creates New State Drug Director

Jan 10, 2017
Trey Pennington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/treypennington/

Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order creating a position within his office to oversee all state agencies involved with drug prevention and treatment efforts.

Retired Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana CEO Jim McClelland will serve as the new Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. In that role, he’ll be in charge of overseeing the drug-related efforts of nine Indiana agencies, including the Department of Health, the Professional Licensing Agency and the Family and Social Services Administration.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/

The Indiana State Fair sold alcohol for the first time since the 1940s in 2014 – but only at a beer and wine exhibition closed to anyone under 21. And patrons couldn’t carry alcohol out.

The second year, the Fair added sales at concerts in the Coliseum.

This year, alcohol is sold at Free Stage concerts. Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany) co-sponsored the 2014 bill and says he trusts Fair officials to balance higher revenue with the right atmosphere.

“The balance is making sure that it stays family-friendly," Clere says.

Task Force Considers How Better To Screen New School Staffers

Jul 5, 2016
Justine Warrington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/j_dub_warrington/2103025046

Indiana’s largest teachers’ union says legislators should look at all school staff as they take steps to reduce sexual misconduct in schools.

The legislature created the committee after a recent string of high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving school staff. Indiana State Teacher’s Association President Teresa Meredith says she hopes it will study how predators enter schools.

Jake May / https://www.flickr.com/photos/44114501@N03/

A Colorado drug-enforcement official and anti-legalization advocate is urging the state to say no to making marijuana legal in Indiana.

Thomas Gorman, Director of the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, a federally-supported organization that coordinates drug prevention efforts, outlined his group’s stance that legalization has had a negative impact on public health and safety in Colorado. Gorman gave a presentation before the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement Treatment and Prevention Tuesday.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

Legislation to create a permanent Indiana drug task force heads to the House floor after a committee approved the measure Tuesday.  

The bill has support from both parties, but some Democrats want language to ensure diversity on the task force.

Pages