John Dennis

Eric Norris /

West Lafayette is gearing up to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors – joining a long list of U.S. cities going after painkiller producers in the courtroom.

More than a dozen manufacturers are to be named in the lawsuit, including Johnson & Johnson, Allergan and Purdue Pharma. They’re some of the companies responsible for such drugs as Norco and Oxycontin. The city will allege those companies, in its words, “deceptively marketed” opioids.

Opiate distributors will also be named in the lawsuit, alleging those parties failed to report and stop high-quantity orders.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis has talked frequently about how what he calls “market forces” dictate which stores and shops locate in his city, more than any recruitment effort ever could.

So as the city council tries to grapple with the impending closure of the only full-service grocery store on the Purdue campus, we’ll ask Mayor Dennis what that says about an area whose economy is supposed to be booming.

Quinn Dombrowski /

The West Lafayette City Council approved plans Monday to set physical and operational boundaries for new businesses along the Wabash River.

The so-called “riverfront” district now expands past River Road, up State Street and along Fowler Avenue. The council voted to support applications for liquor licenses in the district so long as the business' sales are at least 67-percent food (i.e. not more than one-third alcohol) or it stays open no longer than from 11 a.m. to midnight.

City of West Lafayette

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor with West Lafayette’s John Dennis, we talk about things getting thrown away.

A listener wants to know how recycling in the city really works – can he be sure his plastic bottles are going to a landfill?

Also, there’s new data about the county’s syringe exchange program, which Mayor Dennis is against, along with his police chief and their counterparts across the river. About half the needles given out so far haven’t come back. So where are they ending up?

city of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s mayor wants to give people more places to have an adult beverage – as long as those new establishments follow some stricter rules than most West Lafayette bars currently do.

It’s allowed under a law in which mayors whose cities have so-called “riverfront districts” – as Lafayette and West Lafayette do – can authorize liquor licenses.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

The city of West Lafayette has canceled its plan to block off State Street and Northwestern Avenue after blowback from local businesses.

After the announcement of the closure, dozens of State Street business owners signed a petition to stop the closures that would’ve taken place on Purdue’s homecoming game day.

The owners, including John von Erdmannsdorff of Von’s Shops, say it would’ve made customers avoid the area.

He says it would be plausible for a special outdoor event like a festival, but not for Purdue’s homecoming football game.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s State Street partially reopened, on time, last month, and drivers have begun getting used to the new traffic patterns.

They’ve had a lot of time to do that because the new architecture leaves them idling in the road for much longer than the old setup did.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A group of about 50 City of West Lafayette employees, all clad in blue tee shirts, flanked the city’s redesigned State Street Monday, welcoming Purdue students back to campus. WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski walked along with Mayor John Dennis and City Clerk Sana Booker and sent an audio postcard.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

On one side of the corner of Pierce and State Street, construction on West Lafayette’s signature redevelopment project is ongoing. On the other, a crew is working to finalize repairs after an old gas line was broken Wednesday.

West Lafayette city engineer Ed Garrison says the gas line was disturbed during minor improvements to curbs and sidewalks on Pierce.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Gov. Eric Holcomb rolled out a regionally-specific portion of the state’s five-year infrastructure plan Thursday during a stop in West Lafayette. The governor and INDOT officials say interstates and bridges will be hit hardest with orange barrels.

INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness says one of the big priorities is adding lanes to I-65 and I-70 – he says he’d like to see a minimum of three lanes run each direction.

McGuinness says overpasses are also targeted in the plan.