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Fire guts several apartments near Purdue campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say several people were being treated after fire badly damaged an apartment building in a complex where many Purdue University students live near the campus.

West Lafayette police Lt. Troy Harris says those taken to a hospital were suffering from non-life-threatening smoke inhalation from the fire that rousted residents from their apartments about 5 a.m. Thursday.

Harris tells Journal & Courier that eight apartments were damaged in the three-story building. The flames burned through the roof and destroyed one end of the building a few blocks from the southeastern edge of the Purdue campus.

Red Cross officials tell WLFI-TV that several displaced residents were taken to a Purdue recreation building.

West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath said the fire's cause was under investigation.


Indiana man faces gun charge at NJ airport

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Police say an Indiana man tried to board a flight for Chicago with an assault weapon at New Jersey's Newark airport.

Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says Southwest Airlines notified officers as 23-year-old Adam Urbano tried to go through security in Terminal A on Wednesday night. He had told the airline about the gun.

Pentangelo says the Valparaiso, Ind., resident told officers he had purchased the weapon, which was in a soft case, and 70 rounds of ammunition, for recreational purposes.

Police arrested Urbano after they said he failed to produce the required legal documents.

He's held on $50,000 bail, charged with unlawful possession of an assault firearm and large-capacity ammunition magazines.


Bicyclist killed when hit by bus in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Police say a school bus hit and killed a man riding a bicycle on an Indianapolis city street.

Police tell Indianapolis media that no children were on the bus when the collision happened about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police say the bicyclist was in a bike lane when the bus hit him while going through an intersection on the city's northwest side.

The bus driver wasn't hurt. The driver was the only person on the bus and was being questioned by investigators. The identity of the bicyclist wasn't immediately released.


New ISTEP glitches worry some Indiana schools

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Some Indiana school officials are worried about a rerun of last year's computer troubles with ISTEP exams as students have faced disruptions this week while taking practice tests.

Zionsville schools technology officer Patti Bostwick tells The Indianapolis Star that students experienced computers freezing up Monday and Tuesday, but no problems were reported Wednesday.

A report found about 80,000 Indiana students had ISTEP exams interrupted last spring when server glitches from contractor CTB/McGraw Hill kicked them offline.

The Indiana Department of Education says fewer than 10 percent of more than 300 ISTEP calls this week have been related to computer difficulties. The agency says it is working to ensure the ISTEP exams can start next week as scheduled.

A CTB/McGraw Hill spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.


Southern Indiana set to build conference center

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - The University of Southern Indiana is preparing to start construction of a new campus conference center this summer.

The project for the Evansville campus is moving ahead after the State Budget Committee gave its approval on Wednesday. The university says $5 million in private donations is covering construction costs, with $750,000 in state money going toward building a parking lot and roads.

University vice president Mark Rozewski tells the Evansville Courier & Press that the center is needed because the nearly 10,000-student campus doesn't have enough meeting and event space. The 12,000-square-foot center is expected to open in late 2015.

The State Budget Committee also approved the school's plans for $1.2 million in upgrades to its Science Center and a $750,000 project at its Technology Center.


Some Indiana taxpayers facing ID test for refunds

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The Indiana Department of Revenue is asking some taxpayers due refunds to take an online quiz to verify their identities as part of an effort to stop criminals filing bogus tax returns.

Agency spokesman Bob Dittmer says the agency added the security step after discovering about 1,500 attempts to try to file fraudulent tax returns in the state last year.

The state has contracted with Lexis-Nexis to check whether basic identity information provided by taxpayers owed refunds matches information on various databases.

Dittmer says those that fall into the questionable category are asked to take the test that takes less than three minutes. Dittmer says the revenue department so far this year has stopped more than 2,000 attempts by bogus filers seeking to claim $3.7 million in refunds.

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