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This Hour: Latest Indiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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NASCAR-STEWART

Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR's Tony Stewart

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) - A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York.

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Tuesday that after reviewing evidence collected by sheriff's investigators, he has decided to present it to a grand jury. Tantillo could have determined there was not enough evidence to support charges and dropped the case.

Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt-track race in Canandaigua on Aug. 9. The 20-year-old had climbed from his car after it had spun while racing alongside Stewart.

Stewart issued a statement saying he looks forward to the process being completed and will continue to cooperate.

BMV OVERCHARGES

BMV announces overcharges of about $29 million

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has announced about 180,000 people will be getting excise tax refunds because their vehicles were improperly classified during registration over the past decade, leading to a total overcharge of about $29 million.

BMV Commissioner Don Snemis says the agency will work the Indiana Department of Revenue to issue the refunds. He says people affected should receive a letter within a month.

Under Indiana law, vehicles are placed in a tax classification based on value determined by using the price of the vehicle and applying an adjustment factor based on Consumer Price Index data related to increases in new automobile prices. In some circumstances, the BMV's computer system did not apply the adjustment factor, which caused some vehicles to be misclassified.

TOYOTA-INDIANA FACTORY

Toyota adding 180 jobs at Indiana factory

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) - Toyota says it plans to add 180 full-time production jobs to its southwestern Indiana factory over the next five months.

Toyota officials say the first 60 of those workers will come next month from among employees of its temporary staffing company Aerotek.

The Princeton Daily Clarion reports Aerotek will have a job fair Sept. 27 for those interested in working at factory the near Princeton, about 25 miles north of Evansville.

Toyota spokeswoman Kelly Dillon tells the Evansville Courier & Press the hiring comes because of strong sales for the Highlander and Sequoia SUVs and Sienna minivans from the 4,700-worker factory.

Toyota announced last month it would spend $100 million to boost Highlander production at the Princeton factory, with plans to add 300 workers in the next couple of years.

INDIANA WORKPLACE DEATHS

Indiana reports increase in 2013 workplace deaths

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State officials say the number of workplace deaths in Indiana was up in 2013, but it was still the third-lowest number of fatalities recorded in the past 22 years.

The Indiana Department of Labor reports the state had 123 worker deaths last year. That's up from the record low of 115 reported in 2012. The high came in 1994 when the state had 195 deaths.

The Labor Department reports 58 fatalities last year resulted from transportation-related incidents with 32 of those happening on roadways motorized vehicles. Deaths in Indiana's construction industry decreased 32 percent from 22 in 2012 to 15 during 2013.

The preliminary review of 2013 workplace fatalities shows the No. 1 cause of worker fatalities in Indiana was vehicle crashes.

LAWRENCE COUNTY SLAYING

Teen pleads guilty in southern Indiana slaying

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana teenager has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the beating death of a man in his rural home.

Eighteen-year-old Austin Curtis of Bedford pleaded guilty to a murder charge in a Lawrence County court Monday for the February death of 43-year-old Rodney Allender.

The Times-Mail reports the plea agreement calls for Curtis to testify against 19-year-old Taylor Flynn of Bedford and a 16-year-old boy. They were arrested on murder warrants in the southern Ohio city of Ironton a couple days after Allender was found dead in his home about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.

A tearful Curtis testified he couldn't express how sorry he was for what he called a "catastrophe."

Authorities say money and guns were taken from Allender's home.

I-65 CRASH

State police say I-65 north closed near Seymour

UNIONTOWN, Ind. (AP) - State police say northbound Interstate 65 is closed about five miles south of Seymour because of a multi-vehicle crash.

Police say the interstate is closed at 43.5 mile marker, about 2.5 miles north of the Uniontown exit. They say emergency crews are on the scene, but they have no estimate of when the interstate will reopen. Southbound I-65 remains open.

DRUNKEN DRIVING-DEPUTY

Test finds Indiana deputy drunk after crash

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Police say preliminary test results show that a central Indiana sheriff's deputy had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit to drive when he was involved in a weekend crash.

A Muncie police report says a blood test on Delaware County Deputy Todd Daily found a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.39 percent. The state's legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Muncie police Sgt. Michael Engle tells The Star Press it could be a few weeks before official test results are available.

The 46-year-old deputy faces preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated. Police say he drove into a stopped car Saturday on Indiana 32 near Muncie, starting a four-vehicle crash that hurt two people.

Daily has been placed on administrative leave. He doesn't have a listed phone number.

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION

Rural Indiana district exploring consolidation

MODOC, Ind. (AP) - Leaders of one of Indiana's smallest school districts are going to explore consolidating with a neighboring district.

The Union School Corp.'s board voted 4-1 Monday night to move ahead with consolidation talks for the 340-student district in southern Randolph County.

Board President Todd Holaday said that after years of declining enrollment and tax revenues he believes the state's fourth-smallest district must be careful in picking a partner for consolidation.

Board member Christa Ellis told The Star Press she voted against the motion because she disagreed with the premise that students weren't being well prepared by the schools in the town of Modoc.

Holaday says the district's state funding is dropping by $200,000 and that more spending cuts wouldn't be appropriate.

MILITARY SCHOOL'S FUTURE

Indiana military school sells summer camp site

HOWE, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana military school that faced closure this year has sold its summer camp property along a nearby lake.

Howe Military Academy operations manager Tyler Osenbaugh says it was a difficult decision to sell the camp property the school had owned and operated since the early 1930s. He says the sale allows Howe leaders to concentrate on running the school.

The News Sun of Kendallville reports the 30-acre waterfront property was sold in seven sections for $622,000. The land is along Cedar Lake near the LaGrange County town of Howe about 40 miles east of South Bend.

Howe officials announced in May the 135-year-old academy would close unless it raised $2 million by June. The school was effectively saved when 1939 graduate Thomas Parker donated that amount.

INDIANA RAIL UPGRADE

Indiana rail upgrade decision expected this fall

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) - Officials are expecting a decision from a federal agency by the end of October on plans for upgrading 106 miles of railroad tracks through southern Indiana.

The proposal from Louisville & Indiana Railroad and CSX Transportation would allow the line between Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky, to handle larger and faster trains.

The companies had expected a decision from the federal Surface Transportation Board during the summer. Louisville & Indiana Railroad president John Goldman tells The Republic construction would start next year if approval is granted this fall.

Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown says she remains concerned about an increase in train traffic causing more delays for drivers and emergency vehicles.

Goldman says the project would allow trains to get through crossings much faster.

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