RAILROAD BRIDGE-CLOSE CALL
2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A video camera captured the terrifying plight of two women who became trapped on an 80-foot-high railroad bridge in Indiana when a freight train surprised them as they walked along the tracks.
Indiana Railroad spokesman Eric Powell told WTHR-TV on Tuesday the incident happened earlier this month on a bridge northeast of Bloomington.
The engineer of the 100-car, 14,000-ton coal train activated its emergency brakes when he saw the women.
But the women had few choices - jumping from the tracks would have seriously injured or killed them. One woman lays flat between the tracks immediately, while the other stumbles before doing the same.
Monroe County deputy prosecutor Jeff Kehr told the Herald-Times newspaper that Indiana Railroad officials have turned over evidence to the sheriff's department, which is investigating.
INDIANAPOLIS HOUSE EXPLOSION
Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A judge has granted a change of venue in the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion.
Judge Sheila Carlisle granted the request for Mark Leonard Wednesday after prosecutors withdrew their objection to the change of venue request. A spokeswoman for prosecutors says they stipulated to the change out of caution.
Leonard's attorneys sought the change because of extensive publicity over the case. It wasn't immediately clear whether the trial would be moved to another county or a jury imported to Indianapolis, or whether venue also would change for two other defendants.
Leonard, ex-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley and brother Bob Leonard face murder, arson and conspiracy charges in the November 2012 blast that killed two people and destroyed or damaged dozens of houses on the city's south side.
Indianapolis mayor backs tax to hire more officers
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is seeking a tax increase to pay for hiring more police officers as part of a wide-ranging response to the city's recent surge in deadly violence.
Ballard told city and community leaders Wednesday he'll seek an increase in the city's public safety income tax to hire 280 additional police officers by 2018. He also wants more preschool funding and tougher curfew rules for youth.
Ballard says none of his proposals will be an overnight fix for Indiana's capital, which has seen 80 homicides so far this year, but they'll help address crime's root causes.
The mayor also wants up to $10 million more for Marion County's government, including county courts and community corrections and says he'll continue lobbying state lawmakers for tougher sentences in gun-related crimes.
Indiana sheriff linked to prostitute taking leave
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana sheriff will take an administrative leave of absence after being charged with providing a prostitute with a deputy's badge and uniform.
Defense attorney Larry Wilder said Wednesday that going on paid leave was Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden's decision and takes effect immediately.
The announcement comes the day after a federal indictment was unsealed charging Rodden with lying to FBI agents and advising the prostitute to destroy the badge and uniform, which could be used as evidence against him. Authorities say Rodden provided the materials so she could get hotel discounts.
Wilder says Rodden wasn't forced to take the leave and will pay for his own legal fees.
Chief Deputy John Kahafer will head the department in Rodden's absence.
Firm hired to find fairgrounds coliseum sponsor
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A marketing firm has been hired to help find a sponsor to buy the naming rights to the newly renovated Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment says the coliseum is an outstanding opportunity for a company since it is expected to attract more than 1.5 million visitors a year.
The 75-year-old arena was known as Pepsi Coliseum from 1991 until the soft-drink company's contract ended in 2012. A $63 million renovation was completed in April on the arena, which will be the home for IUPUI's basketball teams and the new Indy Fuel minor league hockey team.
The coliseum is hosting concerts and other activities during the state fair that starts Friday.
MEDICAID FRAUD REPORT
Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A federal agency says the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years.
A report from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general's office found state officials didn't notify the agency within 30 days in about 25 of its 105 convictions between fiscal years 2010 and 2012. In 11 of those cases, the federal government wasn't notified at all.
The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/1AykuCa ) the director of Indiana's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit blames the delays on the office not always being updated by county prosecutors.
Federal officials say Indiana's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is performing well overall, recovering more than $110 million in civil and criminal convictions between fiscal year 2010 and 2012.
DOUBLE LOTTERY WINNER
Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis man has won two $1 million lottery prizes in the past three months.
Hoosier Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won $1 million from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at an Indianapolis convenience store. His other big winner came in April in western Indiana's Jasonville while traveling to a conference.
Hamilton says he used his first prize to pay off debts, buy a home and invest in his business. He now plans to buy a motorcycle.
The lottery says Hamilton's tickets are among eight top prizes for its $120 Million Cash Spectacular Scratch-off game. Lottery officials say the odds of winning a top prize from the game are one in 2.1 million.
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