Pence keeps up opposition to land-based casinos
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Gov. Mike Pence says he remains opposed to allowing more land-based casinos in Indiana despite a push from Evansville officials worried about declining revenue from the city's riverboat.
Evansville City Council President John Friend told Pence during a public meeting Wednesday that that Tropicana Evansville could potentially spend $100 million on a new facility if allowed to move from its Ohio River dock.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports city officials expect a $600,000 decline in tax revenues from Tropicana for next year.
Pence said he has "no interest" in expanding gambling in Indiana but wants to keep the status quo.
Many Indiana casinos have sought permission for in-land sites for several years amid greater competition from surrounding states, but haven't been successful in the General Assembly.
Charter school to close after cheating revealed
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis charter school will close its doors next month after an investigation found widespread cheating on 2013 and 2014 ISTEP+ tests.
Mayor Greg Ballard's office said Thursday that it asked the Indiana Department of Education to investigate Flanner House Elementary after the school showed extraordinarily high gains in its standardized test results.
The DOE probe found an unusually high number of wrong answers had been changed to correct answers and identified repeated examples of adult handwriting on the 2013 test. It also found that students had been given test questions before the 2014 exam was administered and that teachers edited student responses to real ISTEP+ questions before administering the 2014 test.
The school is scheduled to surrender its charter and close Sept. 11.
Man pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A court official says a man accused in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow Purdue University student has pleaded guilty to murder.
Cody Cousins of Warsaw, Indiana, made the plea during a Tippecanoe County court hearing Thursday. He has been jailed since his arrest soon after the Jan. 21 attack that killed 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, inside a Purdue classroom.
Cousins' defense attorney said in May that he would pursue an insanity defense. Tippecanoe Superior Court bailiff Brenda Rody says the judge will decide the issue of Cousins' mental state during a sentencing hearing set for Sept. 19.
Cousins and Boldt were both electrical engineering students at Purdue.
Purdue offers to post disputed video on website
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue University has offered to post on its website a surveillance video that college newspaper editors say shows a staff photographer being roughed up by police when he entered the building where a student was fatally shot and stabbed.
Purdue attorney Steven Schultz tells the Journal & Courier he presented the proposal during a Tippecanoe County court hearing Wednesday.
The incident occurred in January after authorities say 23-year-old Cody Cousins entered a basement classroom filled with students and killed 21-year-old Andrew Boldt.
The Purdue Exponent and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana contend the university erroneously labeled the video recording as evidence of the crime scene and should have released it. Police say the video shows the photographer tried to flee from officers.
Hundreds attend vigil for missing SW Indiana women
BOONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A few hundred people gathered at a prayer vigil for women missing in southwestern Indiana, including a 27-year-old mother of two children who was last seen nearly a week ago.
Many in the crowd outside the Warrick County Courthouse in Boonville lit candles and wore ribbons during Wednesday evening's vigil.
Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse tells the Evansville Courier & Press that investigators don't have an explanation for the disappearance of Kristy Kelley of Boonville. She was last seen leaving a Boonville veterans lodge about 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Friend Randy Beard tells WFIE-TV that Kelley's family is overwhelmed by the community support in the search for her.
Police say they don't have evidence linking Kelley with other disappearances such as that last month of 30-year-old Joelle Lockwood of Evansville.
COLTS OWNER ARRESTED
Colts owner's trial on DWI charges postponed
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's trial on two misdemeanor charges stemming from a March traffic stop has been postponed for two months.
Irsay's trial had been scheduled for next week, but Hamilton County court records show it's been rescheduled for Oct. 30.
Irsay was arrested March 16 near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel after he was spotted driving slowly, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal. Officers said he had trouble reciting the alphabet and failed other field sobriety tests.
A police report said various prescription drugs were found in his vehicle, along with more than $29,000 in cash.
Irsay was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in his body.
Judge apologizes for remarks some found offensive
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A northeastern Indiana judge is apologizing for saying during a retirement reception that one of the women could have a lucrative second career as a phone-sex operator.
Allen Superior Court Judge Stanley Levine used a microphone to make the comment Friday at an event attended by family, friends, co-workers and some children.
Levine told The Journal Gazette he has apologized to the woman for his inappropriate remarks and to the judges and others present.
In an email Wednesday to courthouse staff, the Allen County Board of Judges said they found Levine's comments to be inappropriate and that some people found his comments offensive. The email reminded all courthouse staff that anyone who feels he or she has been harassed has the option to report the conduct.
NE Indiana farm worker dies after tractor pins him
(Information in the following story is from: The (Auburn, Ind.) Star, http://www.dekalbstar.com)
BUTLER, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say a northeastern Indiana farm worker has died after a tractor dropped into a manure pit and pinned him.
DeKalb County Sheriff Don Lauer tells The (Auburn) Star that Ignacio Casillas of Ligonier died at the scene of the accident at Irish Acres, a large, commercial dairy farm near Butler and about 30 miles northeast of Fort Wayne. Casillas' age wasn't available.
Lauer says a co-worker found Casillas and called emergency responders early Thursday.
The sheriff says Casillas was working alone at the time, so there were no witnesses and it's not clear exactly when the accident occurred.
INDIANA FIREFIGHTER KILLED
Cause not found for blaze that killed firefighter
NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (AP) - Investigators say a northern Indiana business where a firefighter was killed in a roof collapse was too badly damaged for them to determine what caused the blaze.
The state fire marshal's office said Thursday that the Aug. 6 fire at K-Fex Inc. in New Carlisle has been ruled as undetermined and that accidental causes couldn't be ruled out.
Firefighters were working to set up a hose inside the trucking business when the roof collapse killed 41-year-old New Carlisle assistant fire chief Jamie Middlebrook. Another firefighter suffered a broken leg.
State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says foul play isn't suspected in the blaze about 15 miles west of South Bend, but investigators couldn't find enough evidence to list the fire as accidental.
US 31-SOUTH BEND
New US 31 stretch near South Bend opens to drivers
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - State highway officials have opened a new stretch of U.S. 31 between South Bend and Plymouth to traffic.
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Deitchley says the 20-mile section of divided, four-lane highway was opened to vehicles Thursday morning. He is advising motorists to drive carefully as they adjust to the unfamiliar section of road.
The $221 million section going around the small towns of Lakeville and LaPaz is part of a reconstruction project for U.S. 31 linking Indianapolis and South Bend. Other major parts include the new bypass around Kokomo and highway upgrades being done in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis.
Highway officials say some lane restrictions will remain near South Bend and Plymouth through the end of the year.
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