Report: New law will boost Ind. prison population
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A new report on sweeping changes lawmakers made this year to Indiana's sentencing guidelines in hopes of reducing pressures on the state's prisons concludes that the changes will have the opposite effect.
Atlanta-based consulting firm Applied Research Services Inc. was hired by a legislative panel to analyze the revised sentencing guidelines set to take effect next July.
Its report concludes the sentencing changes will increase Indiana's prison population over the next decade.
Applied Research Services' co-founder, John Speir, told lawmakers Tuesday the new law's requirement that inmates serve at least 75 percent of their sentences will offset changes lawmakers made in reclassifying offenses and setting new sentencing ranges.
Indiana's current law allows most inmates to be released after serving half or less of their sentences for good behavior behind bars.
Cheney raising money in Ind. marriage battle
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Opponents of placing Indiana's gay marriage ban in the state constitution are looking for a shot in the arm from the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Mary Cheney will speak to supporters of Freedom Indiana at a fundraiser Wednesday night in Indianapolis. She's married to another woman and travels the nation supporting gay marriage.
Mary Cheney recently got in a public clash over the issue with her sister, who is running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. Liz Cheney reaffirmed last month that she opposes gay marriage.
Indiana lawmakers will take up the question next month of whether the state constitution should be amended to limit marriage to being between one man and one woman.
NW Ind. county council opposes Illiana Expressway
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - A northwest Indiana county council has passed a resolution stating its opposition to a proposed 47-mile tollway would Interstate 65 with I-55 south of Chicago.
The Times of Munster reports the Lake County Council voted Tuesday against the proposed Illiana Expressway even though it has no say in the matter. But Council member Christine Cid of East Chicago will be one of the people on the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission casting a vote on Thursday. She voted against the proposal.
Cid questioned why state officials are willing to pour $1.5 billion into the Illiana to relieve truck traffic congestion while failing to rebuild the Cline Avenue Bridge, which Cid said has led to truck traffic through East Chicago neighborhoods.
14 Indiana counties share in $314K in timber sales
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Rural and volunteer fire departments in 14 southern Indiana counties are getting a boost from a share of more than $314,000 generated by the sale of trees felled in some of the state's forests.
The state Department of Natural Resources says Brown County will get the largest portion of the money, or more than $69,000.
The DNR'S Division of Forestry allocates 15 percent of timber sale revenue from state forests to counties where the harvests occur.
Each county must share half of that money with rural and volunteer fire departments that have cooperative agreements with the DNR's Fire Control Headquarters. The DNR says 110 rural and volunteer fire departments will benefit from this year's funding.
Those departments are encouraged to use the funds to improve their wildland firefighting abilities.
Accused had items from other Craigslist robberies
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Police say two Indianapolis brothers accused of killing a National Guardsman shot while trying to buy an iPad advertised on Craigslist also had property belonging to others who said they were robbed while answering ads they saw on the website.
Nineteen-year-old Tryon Kincade and 18-year-old Tyshaune Kincade were formally charged Tuesday with murder and robbery in the Dec. 4 shooting death of 32-year-old James Vester of Lizton, 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The brothers appeared in court on Tuesday and told a judge they planned to hire their own attorneys.
Police says the brothers denied a cell phone used to set up the meeting with Vester and other victims belonged to them. But police say their mother said it was Tryon Kincade's number.
Ex-Indy church worker accused of stealing $177K
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A woman who worked for more than 12 years at an Indianapolis church is accused of stealing more than $177,000 from there.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry says Stephanie Hicks was charged Tuesday with one count of theft and two counts of forgery for the unauthorized, personal use of a credit card and checking account while working as the office manager at the Pleasant View Lutheran Church.
She is accused of using the money to make purchases at department stores, shops, restaurants and other businesses. She is accused of stealing as much as $13,479 in one month.
Hicks was being held Tuesday at the Marion County Jail. Court records did not indicate whether she had hired an attorney. An initial court date has not been scheduled.
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