NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND-INDIANA
Feds approve Indiana 'No Child' waiver for 1 year
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has approved a one-year extension of Indiana's waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind education law after the state addressed concerns over how it monitored low-performing schools and evaluated teachers and principals.
Federal officials announced the extension Thursday. The state was told in April that its waiver was in jeopardy over its failure to follow through on promises made in its initial waiver plan.
The initial plan was submitted by former Republican schools Superintendent Tony Bennett. His successor, Democrat Glenda Ritz, submitted a revised waiver.
The waiver plays a critical role in determining how much say the state has in how millions of federal Title I dollars are spent.
Indiana was one of 10 states to receive a waiver from the law in 2012.
Fort Wayne officer pleads guilty to rape charge
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A Fort Wayne police officer has pleaded guilty to raping a woman who prosecutors say he had arrested for drunken driving.
Forty-six-year-old Mark Rogers pleaded guilty to one count each of rape, sexual misconduct and official misconduct charges during an Allen County court hearing Thursday. The Journal Gazette and WANE-TV report that prosecutors are dropping another count of rape and a false informing charge.
The rape charge to which Rogers pleaded guilty states that the woman was so mentally disabled she was unable to consent to sex.
Authorities said Rogers stopped the woman in September 2013 and took her to a hospital for treatment of a high intoxication level. Prosecutors say Rogers took her to a city park after she was released and had sex with her.
VALERO ENERGY-INDIANA PLANT
Indiana ethanol plant restarts after 2012 shutdown
MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) - An energy company has resumed production at an Indiana ethanol plant along the Ohio River that was shut down more than two years ago by its previous owner.
Officials of Valero Renewable Fuels say the plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon has about 65 employees as it restarts following its 2012 closure during a decline in the ethanol market.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports local and state officials joined in an event this week marking the restart of the plant about 20 miles west of Evansville.
Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper says Valero's investment in the plant will have an economic impact throughout the region.
San Antonio-based Valero bought the plant in March from Pekin, Illinois-based Aventine Renewable Energy.
MEAT PROCESSING PLANT
Meat processing company plans new Indiana plant
NEW CASTLE, Ind. (AP) - Officials say a meat processing company will build a plant in central Indiana where it could have 200 workers within the next few years.
New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. President Corey Murphy says the project by Boar's Head Meats includes an initial investment of $80 million.
The Courier-Times reports the company is buying nearly 65 acres of land in an industrial park near New Castle, about 40 miles east of Indianapolis. The Florida-based company processes deli meats and has been looking at the New Castle location for the past few months.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER
Pence picks new workforce development commissioner
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Gov. Mike Pence has picked a first-term state legislator to become Indiana's new workforce development commissioner.
The governor's office announced Thursday that current workforce development Commissioner Scott Sanders is stepping down to become the agency's senior deputy commissioner overseeing the unemployment insurance division. Sanders has been the agency's leader since being appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012.
The new commissioner will be Republican state Rep. Steve Braun of Zionsville. He is unopposed for re-election in November. The governor's office says Braun intends to resign his legislative seat after the election and begin the new position on Nov. 24.
Braun is a self-employed business consultant.
The Department of Workforce development oversees job-training and employment program and runs the state's unemployment benefits system.
INDIANAPOLIS BABY SEARCH-MOTHER
Mother pleads for return of abducted baby
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis mother is pleading for the safe return of her 6-week-old son reported abducted from his father during a daylight armed attack.
Twenty-two-year-old Taniasha Perkins sobbed as she asked Thursday for whoever has Delano Wilson to return him.
Indianapolis police issued an Amber Alert for Delano, saying they were searching for a white man and a Hispanic woman who were last seen with the infant in an early 2000s blue Ford Taurus car after Wednesday's attack in a neighborhood just west of the city's downtown.
Perkins told reporters that Delano's abduction has "ripped a hole" in her heart. She says she and Willie Wilson work hard to provide for the baby.
Police say Wilson was arrested Wednesday night on an unrelated drug charge.
FORT WAYNE-RIVER BODY
Body of missing man found in Fort Wayne river
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Law enforcement officials in Fort Wayne have recovered from a river the body of a man who had been reported missing.
Officers say the body was recovered Thursday morning from the St. Marys River. His name was not immediately released.
Indiana conservation officers on the scene tell The News-Sentinel the man was reported missing earlier this week.
WANE-TV reports a witness told authorities he heard a splash in the river Tuesday night. Crews with the Fort Wayne Fire Department searched the river Tuesday night but didn't find anyone.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources crews using sonar and drag strips joined the search Wednesday.
I-55 crash trucker charged with reckless homicide
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - An Indiana truck driver involved in a crash that killed five people on an interstate southwest of Chicago has been charged with reckless homicide.
The indictment also alleges 51-year-old Francisco Espinal-Quiroz of Leesburg, Indiana, had physical conditions preventing him from driving safely, including a complete loss of vision in one eye.
The Will County state's attorney's office announced the new charges Thursday.
Earlier charges accused Espinal-Quiroz of falsifying entries in a logbook tracking the number of hours spent behind the wheel. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
The crash happened July 22 on Interstate 55 near Channahon (SHAN'-uh-hahn). The semi-truck struck several vehicles stopped in a construction zone.
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