Board member asks for old Indiana school standards
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A State Board of Education member is calling for a proposed overhaul of Indiana's education standards to be ditched and that the state's old benchmarks be reinstated in classrooms this fall.
Board member Andrea Neal said Friday that state education leaders working to replace the contentious Common Core standards are considering an inadequate replacement. She instead wants to reinstate old benchmarks used before Indiana adopted the national standards in 2010.
The Education Roundtable that includes many business and education leaders is expected to vote Monday on the proposed new standards.
A law signed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence in March gives the State Board of Education until July to approve new guidelines, but a final vote is scheduled for April 28.
FATAL FIRE-SANTA CLAUS
1 dies after fire guts southern Indiana house
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) - State police say one person has died after a house fire in the southern Indiana town of Santa Claus.
The Friday morning fire burned through the roof of the one-story ranch style house and left much of it gutted. WFIE-TV reports the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene in the Spencer County town about 40 miles northeast of Evansville.
One person was flown from the scene by medical helicopter but it wasn't immediately clear whether that was the person who died.
TIPPECANOE COUNTY FIRE
Cause of fire that killed 2 boys still unknown
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A central Indiana sheriff says investigators are continuing to work on what led up to a house fire this month that killed 3-year old twin brothers.
Tippecanoe County Sheriff Tracy Brown says county detectives and a state fire investigator are evaluating witness statements and evidence in what he called a complex case.
Deputies pulled Landon and Liam Abbott from inside the burning home in a rural area southeast of Lafayette on April 5 but they died soon afterward. They were staying with their father, who escaped with burns.
The Journal & Courier reports court documents say officers found drug paraphernalia in the house, prompting a search for items the boys could've used to start the fire or signs of a possible power overload.
101-year-old hurt in fire at home near Muncie
SELMA, Ind. (AP) - A 101-year-old woman suffered burns and possible smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in her home near Muncie.
A neighbor helped Catherine Jane Leach from her burning house Thursday evening and she was sitting in a lawn chair on the neighbor's property in the town of Selma when firefighters arrived. She was taken to a Muncie hospital for treatment of injuries to her head, hands, neck and arm.
Liberty Township Fire Department inspector Rick Compton tells The Star Press that the cause of the blaze wasn't immediately known. The house where Leach has lived for about 30 years had a rear family room gutted by the flames.
Neighbor Jason Ingram says the rear door was melting as he helped Leach down the steps.
SOLAR FARM-SUPERFUND SITE
Largest solar farm on Superfund site goes online
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The nation's largest solar farm built on a federal Superfund site is now generating power above a stretch of Indianapolis tainted by a long-shuttered plant's wood-treating operations.
The 43-acre Maywood Solar Farm went online last month and is feeding 8 megawatts of electricity into Indianapolis Power & Light's grid.
Property owner Vertellus Specialties Inc. worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, solar panel maker Hanwha Q CELLS, IPL and other partners to develop the solar farm.
EPA spokesman Francisco Arcaute says it's the country's largest solar farm on a Superfund site. A plant that closed in 1972 had treated railroad ties with the toxic chemical creosote for decades.
Vertellus President Rich Preziotti says the project has put idle land into productive use generating renewable energy.
PORT OF INDIANA
Ocean ships arrive at Indiana's Lake Michigan port
PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) - Oceangoing ships are cruising into Indiana's main port along Lake Michigan now that this year's international shipping season has launched.
The first two ships of the season on Thursday brought shipments of steel from Holland to the Port of Indiana in Portage for use at Midwest manufacturers.
The captain of one ship told The Times of Munster that it encountered thick ice along the journey from the Atlantic Ocean, becoming stuck for hours in ice under a bridge in Ontario, Canada. The other ship's captain, Arkadiusz Sienkiewicz, says the trip from Cleveland to the Indiana port typically lasts two days, but took a week because of ice.
Bloomington mayor vetoes preserve deer hunt plan
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - The mayor of Bloomington has vetoed an ordinance that would allow sharpshooters to thin the deer heard at a city nature preserve.
Mayor Mark Kruzan (kroo-ZAN') says he can't support the proposal and that he also opposed the start of deer hunts in Indiana's state parks while he was a state legislator.
The plan approved by the City Council in a 6-2 vote last week would have the parks department hire sharpshooters to hunt in the 1,200-acre Griffy Lake preserve on the city's north side.
Supporters say research shows an overabundance of deer in the area is causing ecosystem damage.
Councilman Dave Rollo tells The Herald-Times he expects the council will vote next week on whether to override Kruzan's veto. Six votes would be needed for that step.
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