Woman accepts plea agreement in neglect case

A woman who allegedly did nothing to prevent the battering of her daughter at the hands of her husband has pleaded guilty to neglect charges. Thurma Conwell entered the plea in Delaware Circuit Court 4, as part of an agreement that will limit her sentence to no more that 10 years. Conwell was arrested with her husband, Aaron Conwell, in 2005 after a Child Protective Services investigation. The plea agreement has been taken under consideration, with a formal sentencing hearing set for May 30th.

Governor asks for statewide unity and support

As part of a nationwide moment to honor Virginia Tech shooting victims, Governor Mitch Daniels is asking all Hoosiers to ring bells at noon today. The Governor, along with all state executives across the nation, received letters on Wednesday from Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, asking for US citizens to unite to honor victims and to support survivors from the shooting massacre earlier this week.

Compliant open meeting reaffirms presidental vote at Ivy Tech

In spite of an earlier open door law violation, a confirmation vote was unanimous as the Ivy Tech Community College Board of Trustees confirmed Anderson’s Thomas Snyder as the new president for the organization. Snyder was earlier selected for the position in a March 22nd executive session. That session was closed to the public, and was later discovered to be a potential violation of state open door meeting law. Thursday’s trustee meeting including a renewed discussion of the job search, culminating with a public vote that saw Snyder officially confirmed. He will assume his duties on July 1st.

State ranks poor in Medicaid programs

A consumer watchdog group has given poor reviews to Indiana’s Medicaid programs. The state ranked last in the eligibility category and 45th in overall performance for health care for the needy. The ranking is based on sample data from 2004 and 2005, which was the first year of the current Mitch Daniels administration. Officials for the state’s Family and Social Services Administration are aware of the challenges and have commented that the agency is working to fix problems. In spite of the challenges, the state did receive high marks for the quality of care category, placing 16th. Nursing home care was also rated as strong.

State Fair expansion

You’ll have more days to enjoy the Indiana State Fair starting in 2009. That’s thanks to a vote of the State Fair Commission, who on Thursday voted to expand the fair from 12 days to 17 days. The expansion will add an additional weekend of activities, pushing the start date earlier in the month of August and adding the potential for greater revenue. There is broad support, as 4-H, fair vendors and other constituencies will have extra time for events and for weather contingency. The current plan calls for the expansion to last for three years, after which time officials will be able to evaluate what the proper length of the fair should be.

CATS waiting on funding

The Anderson CATS public transportation system is waiting on state approval on the request for a federal Congrestion Mitigation and Air Quality improvement grant. The City of Anderson Transit System plans to use the funds to cover 80% of the costs for replacement vehicles. The plans include seven buses, four Nifty Lift paratransit vehicles and one supervisor vehicle. The request, if approved, would enable CATS to replace it’s entire fleet, including one spare vehicle.

Alleged gang members charged

Two Anderson men allegedly associated with the East Side Crips are now facing charges in addition to other men already charged in the August beating of a man near 60th and Main Streets. The man, whose identity was not released, was beaten on suspicion that he was a snitch. Thomas Farmer and Galen McCallum join Allyn Swindell, Nathan Money and Mark Mezick in facing battery and gang activity charges. Both men have made initial appearances before Madison County Magistrate Stephen Clase and are being held on $20,000 bond.

Governor makes stops in ECI

Governor Mitch Daniels made two stops in East Central Indiana at two major events. The Governor was present for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Tomasco manufacturing site in Winchester where a major expansion will now get underway. Daniels later cut the ribbon on seven new miles of the Cardinal Greenway at Losantville. The Governor praised local leaders on both issues, stating that they are both related, major economic developers for the state. The Tomasco expansion will double the 130 person workforce of the Honda parts supplier. The Cardinal Greenway expansion completes 27 continuous miles between Losantville and Gaston, along with 8 additional miles between Jonesboro and Mario and two miles within Richmond. An additional 23 miles to connect segments will complete the Cardinal Greenway.

DNR looking at permanently allowing guns

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is soliciting public opinion on making an existing handgun rule permanent. Presently, people can carry a handgun on DNR property while hunting deer and turkey and while chasing possums and raccoons. However, that rule is temporary and will expire this year unless a current proposal is ratified. The hearings will address public concern on the rule change, and will be held on May 15th at the Miami County fairgrounds and May 16th in Mitchell.