4 couples sue Indiana over same-sex marriage ban
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Four couples from southern Indiana are asking a federal judge to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
The couples are suing the state of Indiana in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in New Albany that seeks to overturn an Indiana law that declares same-sex marriages void, even if another state recognizes the union.
The plaintiffs and their attorneys met with reporters Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky and said the recent debate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Indiana spurred their suit.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of multiple rulings around the nation striking down same-sex marriage bans in states ranging from Texas to Kentucky.
GAY MARRIAGE-INDIANA-ATTORNEY GENERAL
Zoeller will defend Ind. marriage law against suit
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Attorney General Greg Zoeller (ZEL'-ur) says he is ready to defend the state's marriage laws against a federal challenge filed by four gay couples.
Four couples from southern Indiana filed suit in federal court Friday looking to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage and the refusal to recognize gay marriages from other states. The legal team that successfully challenged Kentucky's refusal to recognize same sex unions from out of state is representing the four couples.
Zoeller said he was prepared to lead any defense in trial court and on appeal. Zoeller also filed a "friend of the court" brief last year looking to uphold the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's marriage ban.
Tax collections drop after winter storms
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Severe winter weather is being blamed for a sharp drop in tax collections by the state.
The State Budget Agency reported Friday that tax collections came in $54 million less than expected in February. Sales tax collections fell $19 million below expectations, largely because of the polar vortex that hit the state.
The drop in collections comes as Republican Governor Mike Pence is seeking approval for new spending in a handful of areas, including early childhood education. Senate Republicans have expressed apprehension about approving new spending this session, in part because of the state's budget constraints.
The tax numbers for February follow a few months after Pence was forced to cut agency budgets and put the state plane up for sale because of a roughly $300 million budget downturn.
IND STORM-FEDERAL AID
Ind. seeks fed storm aid for cities, non-profits
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Governor Mike Pence is asking for federal grants for government and certain non-profit organizations in 49 counties hit hard by an early January storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in some places and brought the state its coldest temperatures in two decades.
Pence said grants are being sought for 49 counties, saying they would help replenish local government funds and directly alleviate further burden on local taxpayers. If approved, the grants would pay 75 percent of eligible expenses including debris and snow removal, emergency protective measures such as search and rescue, and damage to buildings and equipment.
The counties where the state is seeking assistance stretch from northern Indiana to the southern part of the state.
Funeral for Indianapolis family that died in fire
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Hundreds of people attended a funeral service for a family of six killed in an Indianapolis house fire nearly two weeks ago.
WRTV reports family and friends paid respects to the Guerra family during the funeral service Friday at New Crown Cemetery on the city's southeast side. Forty-seven-year-old Lionel Guerra, 33-year-old Brandy Mae Guerra and their four children, ages 6 to 14, died as a result of the fire last month.
Family members said they took solace in knowing the Guerras were organ donors. At the service, officials took time to recognize the lives that have been saved because of those donations. Authorities have said the family provided organs that will benefit as many as 85 people.
Purdue shooting suspect's murder trial postponed
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The murder trial of a Purdue University engineering student accused of killing another student on campus has been postponed for six months.
The trial date for 23-year-old Cody Cousins was rescheduled for October 6th during a hearing Friday in a Tippecanoe County court. It had been scheduled to begin April 22nd.
The Warsaw resident has been charged with murder in the January killing of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis.
Prosecutors and police say Cousins attacked Boldt around noon January 21st in Purdue's Electrical Engineering Building on the campus in West Lafayette. Court documents say Boldt suffered both gunshot and knife wounds and that several people were in the classroom and witnessed the attack.
Court documents have not cited a possible motive for the slaying.
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