Ind. agency sued over cuts to program for disabled
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A lawsuit filed against Indiana's social services agency claims it wrongly barred a developmentally disabled woman from Medicaid waiver programs and left her without enough income to survive.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of 27-year-old Karla Steimel in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.
The ACLU says Steimel has cerebral palsy and other medical needs. The lawsuit says changes in programs run by the Family and Social Services Administration that help disabled people live independently have significantly reduced her benefits and forced her to be institutionalized.
One program now requires clients to need skilled nursing care. The ACLU says Steimel doesn't meet those criteria, but needs daily assistance with functions like eating and bathing.
An FSSA spokeswoman says the agency has no comment.
INDIANA DEATH SENTENCE-RELEASE
Ind. woman on death row freed
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 in the stabbing death of a 78-year-old Bible school teacher has been released from prison.
A Department of Correction spokesman says Paula Cooper was released Monday from a prison in western Indiana.
Doug Garrison says Cooper left the prison in a state vehicle with $75 and wearing donated clothes. Garrison declined to say where the now-43-year-old woman was taken.
Cooper was sentenced to death after stabbing Ruth Pelke 33 times during a 1985 robbery in Gary.
The state Supreme Court intervened to set her death sentence aside in 1988, ordering her to serve a 60-year prison term. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled it unconstitutional to execute anyone under age 18 or to sentence them to life without parole.
LAKE WAWASEE RESORT
N. Indiana lake resort opens after 5-year closure
SYRACUSE, Ind. (AP) - A lake resort in northern Indiana that shut down five years ago has reopened following an extensive renovation.
The first guests checked into the Oakwood Inn Resort & Conference Center at Lake Wawasee (wah-wah-SEE') near Syracuse last week. Inn manager Jeremiah Heierman tells the Goshen News the building was in good shape after being closed since 2008, but that flooring, wall coverings and fixtures were replaced in recent months.
The 27-acre resort first opened as a religious retreat center in 1893 and operated until financial troubles forced its closure.
The inn has about 80 rooms, along with two convention halls, 10 vacation homes and eight cabins.
Heierman says attention will turn to upgrading other parts of the resort now that the hotel and restaurant have reopened.
FIRE MUSEUM'S FUTURE
S. Ind. city might aid vintage fire engine museum
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana city might kick in $100,000 toward helping a museum that showcases vintage fire engines move to a new location.
Leaders of the Vintage Fire Museum and Safety Education Center are looking to buy a former New Albany church after considering a move to the nearby city of Jeffersonville.
The News and Tribune reports City Councilman Dan Coffey wants the New Albany redevelopment commission to give $100,000 to the project because it would lead to the reuse of a downtown building in the city just north of Louisville, Ky.
Museum board president Curt Peters says the former Baptist Tabernacle building's purchase price is $250,000, with needed renovations estimated to cost $300,000.
Ex-Dem gov candidate Gregg buys country store
SANDBORN, Ind. (AP) - Former Democratic Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg is getting into the grocery business.
Gregg announced on his Facebook page that he and his wife had bought Yagles Country Cupboard in southwestern Indiana's Daviess County. Gregg wrote he hopes the store about 15 miles from his hometown of Sandborn will help provide more services to the largely Amish community near the store and create a few jobs.
Gregg narrowly lost last year's governor's race to Republican Mike Pence. Since then he has continued working the Democratic fundraising circuit, leading to speculation he will run again for governor in 2016. But Gregg has said he is not ready to make any announcements yet.
ICE AGE CAVERN
S. Ind. cave that yielded fossils opens to public
CORYDON, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana cave that's part of 1 of the nation's largest cave systems has opened for the summer with the addition of a large chamber where explorers found a trove of ice age fossils.
Indiana Caverns opened Saturday boasting a series of new walkways that run through a big cave chamber where the fossilized bones of black bears, flat nosed peccaries, bison and other ice age mammals were discovered in 2010.
Indiana Caverns' chief executive officer Gary Roberson tells WLKY-TV he expects that the new chamber will attract more visitors to the cave just south of Corydon.
The cave now encompasses 36 miles of subterranean passageways. It's part of the Binkley Cave system, which is the 11th-largest cave system in the nation.
Football Writers honor Colts coach Pagano
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano has won the George Halas Award from the Professional Football Writers Association for overcoming adversity.
Early in his first season as Colts coach, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and took a leave of absence. The team began winning under offensive coordinator Bruce Arians while Pagano underwent treatment for 12 weeks. Pagano worked from his hospital bed on game plans and analyzing practices even as he was recovering from the disease.
After a Week 9 victory against Miami that he attended, Pagano gave an emotional postgame speech to the team. Indianapolis kept on winning and he returned to coach the final regular-season game, a victory over Houston that gave the Colts an 11-5 record.
The team began a CHUCKSTRONG campaign, with proceeds going toward leukemia research.
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