Federal prosecutors say former Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols went to great lengths to hide his crimes and deserves a lengthy sentence. The 40 year old will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Indianapolis on wire fraud and money laundering charges to which he pleaded guilty. Among the allegations against Nichols, that he used his company, Advanced Walls and Ceilings, to steal $81,000 from the city.
Forbes ranking “America’s Best Banks,” for 2019 and First Merchants Bank takes home the number two spot. The rankings are done based on average tangible equity, return on average assets, net interest margin, efficiency ratio and net charge-offs as a percent of total loans. First Merchants, ranked fourth in Forbes’ 2018 list.
The state’s jobless rate held steady between November and December. The rate, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, remained at 3.6 percent, three ticks below the national average. Theh state’s unemployment rate has stayed below the national rate for more than five years. The labor force gained about 1,500 jobs in December from November.
Authorities say the parents of a 4-month-old boy charged in his death, turned themselves in Friday. 28 year old Daniel Jones and 29 year old Tiffany McNutt of Alexandria are charged with neglect after the boy died in February of heroin intoxication. An arrest warrant had been issued for the pair after they failed to surrender earlier in the week, as expected.
The David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) presents a special opportunity to view more than 90 works of art by Muncie’s most important Impressionist painters. “Impressions of Love: J. Ottis and Winifred Brady Adams, a Ball State University Centennial Exhibition” is on view from January 24 through May 19. ‘Impressions of Love” celebrates the art and marriage of the noted painters, whose art was fostered and collected by the Ball family.
Today is day 28 of the partial government shutdown. President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have not spoken since that contentious meeting on January 9, which ended after just 14 minutes. President Trump responds with a letter of his own after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked that the State-of-the-Union speech be postponed because of the government shutdown. Trump writes to Pelosi “your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed.”
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch. Beginning late tonight winds are expected to gust up to 35 mph, 5-8 inches of snow accumulation are anticipated with heavier amounts possible in some areas. Driving will be hazardous.
In anticipation of weekend snow, the City of Muncie is asking that all vehicles parked on downtown streets be removed and parked in another location. If the vehicles are not removed by this afternoon they’ll be towed to the parking lot at the corner of High and Jackson Streets.
Indiana State Police will begin clearing abandoned vehicles from Interstates, State Roads and U.S. Highways in advance of the approaching winter storm. The plan is to begin removing vehicles at the conclusion of this afternoon’s rush hour. ISP says it’s common practice for incoming winter weather.
INDOT took advantage of Thursday’s above-freezing temperatures by working on equipment and performing maintenance to make sure the fleet is in good shape for this next round of winter weather. An INDOT spokesperson says they’re prepared for whatever happens in the coming days.