Former Bloomington official charged in scheme
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A former Bloomington projects manager who federal prosecutors allege stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds has been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy.
The U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis said Wednesday that 43-year-old Justin Wykoff faces 24 counts of embezzlement for allegedly approving fraudulent invoices, often for concrete work that was never done. He also has been charged with one count of conspiracy.
He could face up to 10 years on each count if convicted.
Prosecutors say Wykoff received kickbacks of about one-third of the amounts paid for the fraudulent work over a 2½-year period.
Public records don't say whether he has an attorney.
Federal agents arrested Wykoff at his home early Wednesday.
Two other men have also been charged in the scheme.
Indianapolis leaders tout plan to curb violence
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis mayor and other leaders say they plan to beef up social services and work for harsher penalties for gun crimes as part of a plan to curb violence in the city.
Officials said Wednesday the plan is to put young black men on a better path before they turn to crime. Indianapolis had more than 25 homicides before the end of February.
Pastor Charles Ellis says the city must work to stop "black-on-black violence," but that the problem is society wide.
Mayor Greg Ballard says help is available, but many in need don't know about it. The new push is aimed largely at bringing attention to those social services.
Public safety director Troy Riggs says the city is also asking state legislators for stricter gun crimes penalties.
Ala. man pleads guilty to killing son in Indiana
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) - An Alabama man has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his 2-year-old son at a relative's home in central Indiana.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Micah Harrison of Robertsdale, Ala., made the plea to a murder charge Wednesday in a Hamilton County court on the day testimony in his trial was scheduled to start.
Authorities say Harrison stabbed his son, Michael, in January 2013. Police say Harrison had driven with his three children to his parents' home in Noblesville and that the children's mother said he had taken them without her permission.
Prosecutors say Harrison said he feared someone was trying to kill him when he stabbed Michael in the chest with a kitchen knife and in the forehead with a nail-pulling tool.
The other children weren't harmed.
WINTER WEATHER-INDIANA OUTAGES
Storm causes scattered outages in northern Indiana
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The heavy snowfall in northern Indiana has caused numerous power outages scattered across in the area.
Major utilities report about 30,000 homes and businesses were without electricity late Wednesday morning throughout the state's northern tier from the Gary area across to Fort Wayne.
Indiana Michigan Power says it has about 8,000 outages in Allen County, which includes Fort Wayne. Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has several thousand outages in northwestern Indiana's Lake and Porter counties, along with many in largely rural areas southeast of South Bend.
The National Weather Service office says up to 6 inches of snow fell by late morning in some parts of northern Indiana.
Snowfall prompts northern Indiana travel warnings
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - About a dozen northern Indiana counties have asked people to stay off the roads for non-essential travel because of the area's heavy snowfall.
The National Weather Service says the Fort Wayne area had about 6 inches of snow by late morning Wednesday, with similar snowfall totals in LaPorte. The Indianapolis area is seeing less snowfall as temperatures stayed above freezing until midmorning.
The weather service issued a winter storm warning for roughly the northern third of Indiana, with up to 10 inches of snow possible in some spots.
Police have reported many crashes and slide-offs on snow-covered roads but no serious injuries. Major utilities have some 30,000 power outages across the state's northern tier. Many school districts also called off classes for Wednesday.
FORT WAYNE FLIGHTS
Incentives planned to boost Fort Wayne flights
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The city of Fort Wayne is going to kick in up to $600,000 in incentives over two years for an airline to offer daily flights to an East Coast travel hub.
Negotiations are underway with United and American airlines for twice-daily flights from Fort Wayne International Airport to either Newark, N.J., or Philadelphia.
Airport Authority director Scott Hinderman says that the incentive payments will be reduced if the flights are full.
The Journal Gazette and The News-Sentinel report City Council members approved Tuesday night the city's contribution toward a $2.5 million incentive package. Others directing money to the package include Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the Airport Authority and the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
The Fort Wayne airport now offers nonstop daily flights to Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Dallas.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.