Man Pleads Guilty in Anderson Shooting

An Indianapolis man involved in the triple shooting at the Anderson Fraternal Order of Fire Fighters Lodge over the summer pleaded guilty Tuesday and could face eight years in prison. Jamaar E. Patton of Indianapolis was charged with two counts of criminal recklessness, one count of battery, and dangerous possession of a firearm. Patton opened fire with an SKS assault rifle, similar to an AK-47, into a crowd of people gathered outside the hall during the early morning hours of July 28. The lodge had been rented out for a private party.

Indiana Senate Passes Illegal Immigrant Bill

The state must crack down on companies hiring illegal immigrants because the federal government is not doing so, lawmakers said Tuesday as the Senate passed a contentious immigration bill. The GOP-led Senate voted 37-11 for the proposal, which would only affect workers hired after Sept. 30, 2009. The bill would set up a three-tier punishment system for employers who knowingly hire illegal workers after that date. With three violations in 10 years, a company could lose its business license.

Muncie Mayor Attends State of Union Speech

Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley, who attended the State of the Union address as the guest of U.S. Rep Mike Pence, late Monday called the event “very impressive.” McShurley said her position in the U.S. House gallery gave her the opportunity to observe first-hand the reactions to the president’s comments from some of the leading contenders to succeed him. The mayor said she supported Bush’s remarks concerning support for U.S. troops and military veterans.

Expert: BSU Police Violated Universally Accepted Police Procedures

Ball State University police violated universally accepted police procedures before, during and after the fatal shooting of BSU senior Michael McKinney, an expert testified on Monday. Then rookie police officer Robert Duplain is facing a multi-million lawsuit in the matter. within seconds of seeing McKinney, Duplain did nothing to avoid shooting the student twice in the back at a distance, the criminal investigator and consultant said.

Man Wins $1.5 Million Lawsuit

A 42-year-old severely mentally disabled man was awarded $1.5 million in damages Monday for suffering first and second-degree burns to his lower body when he was placed in a bath of scalding hot water while living at an Anderson assisted-living facility in 2000. It took the six-person jury slightly more than two hours to rule in favor of Audrey McGhee’s estate against Connersville-based Residential CRF and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Residential CRF, a for-profit corporation, provides services to the developmentally disabled through an agreement with FSSA.

Passenger Involved in Car-Train Crash Dies

A passenger in a car that was struck by a train last week at a near-eastside crossing in Muncie died Sunday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Bobby English,suffered massive head injuries in the accident, at the CSX crossing on Vine Street about 4:15 p.m. Thursday. English’s 24-year-old son, Bobby Griffin, was driving the car when it pulled in to the path of the oncoming locomotive. Griffin was also badly hurt and remained hospitalized at Methodist on Monday, although his condition had been upgraded to fair.

Taxpayers Tell Township Trustees to Streamline Government

Taxpayers looking to streamline government squared off with township trustees Monday at the Delaware County Commissioners meeting. Both sides debated the merits of a resolution creating a committee that would study consolidating township operations with county government. Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal are behind the efforts to consolidate township government in Delaware County. Efforts are also under way in the Indiana Legislature to eliminate township property assessors.

MPD to Have More Ranking Officers, Despite Wishes of Chief

More ranking officers will be patrolling city streets in the latest reorganization of the Muncie Police Department. Despite a recommendation by outgoing Police Chief Joe Winkle to reduce the number of ranking officers, the Muncie Police Merit Commission recently filled a captain’s vacancy with Lt. Joe Todd, and then promoted two other officers into vacant lieutenant’s and sergeant’s positions created by that promotion. Winkle had wanted to reduce seven ranking positions since manpower had dropped to 110 in recent years from 120.

County Sheriff's Pay Funding to be Reduced

Sheriffs could be paid no more than what a full-time county prosecutor makes under a bill approved by the House today. The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Larry Buell of Indianapolis, passed 55-35 and now moves to the Senate. An Indiana policy allows sheriffs to subsidize their salaries with fees for collecting overdue taxes. Under the bill, any such fees or extra pay for meal allowances that raise a sheriff’s salary above what is allowed for prosecutors would be placed in that county’s main checking account. The legislation was prompted by a newspaper article that revealed that in 2005, Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson made nearly $268,000 from fees on tax collections on top of his salary of about $100,000. Anderson returned a separate $50,000 increase to his salary in response to negative public reaction, according to the Star.

Madison County Schools Could Lose Major Funding

Madison County schools could lose more than $3 million in 2010 because of proposed “circuit breaker” legislation in the Indiana Statehouse. In total, Indiana schools stand to lose more than $150 million in 2010 because of proposed caps on property taxes, with urban school districts being hit hard, leading Senate Democrats said Monday as they called for the state to make up for the shortfall. Rick Muir, president of the Anderson Federation of Teachers, said “(The senators) were right on target,” Sen. John Broden, said school districts losing revenue because of the caps should get state general fund money to make up for the reduction.