AP Exclusive: Turner had more than $4M on line
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner made close to $8 million selling nursing homes the last two years and is poised to make upward of $1 million on each new project following the defeat of a proposed construction ban this year.
Republicans with direct knowledge of the discussions say Turner lobbied in private during the final days of the legislative session to kill a moratorium that would have cost him and other Mainstreet Property Group investors millions.
A financial document obtained by the Associated Press shows Turner owns 38 percent of the company through holdings in Mainstreet Capital Partners. Turner has previously acknowledged his ownership stake but hasn't said how big his share was.
Turner's lobbying is the focus of a House Ethics Committee hearing next week.
Environmental groups sue to stop Illiana tollway
CHICAGO (AP) - Environmental groups are suing to try to stop a proposed $1.3 billion tollway linking northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana.
The Environmental Law amd Policy Center announced Thursday that it filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of the Sierra Club and Openlands.
They contend that the Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't have authority to continue developing the proposed 47-mile Illiana Tollway.
The lawsuit names the Illinois Department of Transportation and a metropolitan Chicago planning agency that approved the proposed project, even though its board had rejected it. Environmentalists claim board approval is necessary, so the approval is illegal.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Indiana Governor Mike Pence say the roadway would promote economic development. Critics claim it is unneeded, and would destroy important farmland and wildlife habitat.
Proposed Ind. school standards get mixed reviews
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Reviews on the proposed learning standards set to replace the Common Core in Indiana's classrooms are mixed among education experts and officials.
Indiana in March became the first state to drop the Common Core national standards guiding student learning in each grade. The State Board of Education is racing to finish new guidelines to replace them by the end of June. Officials are pushing for a vote April 28th.
Some praise the proposed new standards for clarity and depth of knowledge, while others say they are an incoherent jumble and a complete mess.
A panel of education and business leaders will vote Monday on whether to send the standards to the State Board of Education for final approval or to ditch them.
Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis airport spokesman says a Southwest Airlines flight has safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat.
Spokesman Carlo Bertolini says Southwest Flight 362 requested the emergency landing and landed without incident Thursday afternoon at Indianapolis International Airport. The flight with 138 passengers and a crew of five aboard originated in Baltimore and was headed to Indianapolis already. The emergency landing means the flight was met with emergency vehicles.
Bertolini said he didn't know the nature of the threat.
He says airport police cleared the aircraft and luggage without finding anything amiss. Passengers were bused to the terminal.
The airline issued a statement saying it wouldn't discuss the nature of the threat.
A message seeking comment was left with the Federal Aviation Administration.
INDIANAPOLIS POLICE-DOMESTIC SHOOTINGS
Indianapolis police officer kills ex-wife, self
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Authorities say an Indianapolis police officer shot and killed his estranged wife, also an officer, and then turned the gun on himself.
Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite identified the two dead officers as Sergeant Ryan Anders and his ex-wife, Officer Kim Carmack.
Hite said at a news conference Thursday evening that the shootings occurred hours earlier at Carmack's home on the city's far west side. He says it appears Anders forced his way into her home through a rear entrance.
Hite says Carmack had a protective order against Anders and that Anders had been placed on administrative leave.
Indiana man pleads guilty in teen's rape, murder
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to the rape and killing of a 17-year-old southern Indiana girl.
Forty-nine-year-old Richard Hooten of Clarksville pleaded guilty Thursday to rape, murder and other charges stemming from the March 2013 slaying of Tara Willenborg.
Hooten had previously confessed during a news conference to killing Willenborg in the Clarksville apartment where she had lived with her boyfriend.
Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Hooten if the case went to trial. But with his guilty plea, Hooten will receive life in prison without parole for the murder charge, a 50-year sentence on charges of rape and being a habitual offender, and 20 years for a criminal deviate conduct charge.
Hooten is scheduled to be formally sentenced next month.
Court says local judge must seal man's record
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Court of Appeals says judges can't deny a valid request by a former convict to have his criminal record sealed under a 2013 state law.
The court on Thursday reversed a Lake County judge's ruling rejecting a Valparaiso man's request to have a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor sealed.
The state court says Jason Taylor met the requirements of a law enacted in 2013 that allows expungement of low-level felonies or misdemeanors. The court says the local judge didn't have discretion to deny his request because the law makes expungement mandatory under such circumstances.
The charge against Taylor was reduced from a low-level felony to a misdemeanor in 2006 after Taylor completed probation.
The law shields certain offenders from background checks by potential employers.
Jaguars WR Tandon Doss arrested in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis police have arrested Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Tandon Doss on a disorderly conduct charge, but he will not be prosecuted.
A police report says the 24-year-old Doss was "out of control" and arrested during a disturbance with another man Wednesday afternoon. The report provided no additional details on the incident. Police spokesman Sergeant Kendale Adams said he also had no details.
Adams said the Marion County Prosecutor's Office declined to file charges.
A telephone message seeking comment was left with Doss' agent, Jared Fox.
Doss was a fourth-round draft pick out of Indiana by the Baltimore Ravens in 2011. Jacksonville signed him as a free agent last month.
Doss attended Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
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