Muncie Schools Dismiss Early Due to High Temps

Because several city schools are undergoing construction and are without air conditioning, Muncie Community Schools will dismiss early Wednesday and Thursday as forecasts predict high temperatures and high humidity, Supt. Marlin Creasy said.  Because of child-care concerns throughout the school corporation, the early dismissal will be for all schools in the city school system. Elementary schools will dismiss after lunch about 1 p.m., with middle schools and high schools following. 

Protests at Mt. Pleasant Township School Board Meeting

There was controversy and protest at last night’s Mt. Pleasant Township School board.  The system’s budget was being discussed, and many people appeared to protest the $17.2 million figure.   Some protestors were wearing shirts with anti-property tax slogans.  Many disagreed with Supt. William Roberson’s statement that the Department of Local Government Finance recommends that school officials advertise a higher budget amount than what they will get. Once a budget figure is advertised, schools can’t go back to add more money into the budget, but the state does determine the budget amount — usually less than what schools request.

Delaware County to Charge Sex Offenders to Register

Delaware County is going to start charging a fee to sex offenders who are required to register.  The funds would shift some of the cost of maintaining an offender registry from taxpayers to those who register.   There are 173 such offenders in the county, and they will be charged $50 each to register.  The ACLU opposes the fees, saying they might discourage offenders from registering at all.

Driver Sought in Traffic Crash that Injured Elementary Student

City police are searching for a man who fled from the scene of an accident that critically injured a Grissom Elementary School student.   Seven year old Andrew J. Lackey remained in intensive care Tuesday at Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis. The boy suffered a ruptured spleen, according to police reports, and was taken to Ball Memorial Hospital and later transported to Riley.  The accident happened  Monday evening at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Centennial Avenue.  The man being sought by police turned in front of a car driven by 30 year old James M. Liming, causing the vehicles to collided, witnesses told police.    The child was a passenger in the car.

Blackford School Board Approves Budget

The Blackford County School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposed $24 million budget for 2008, with an anticipated tax $2.39 tax rate.  But Dave Bowman, the district’s business manager, said the rate is not final, and that state officials will determine that figure when assessed value numbers are completed, though he’s still waiting for official figures for this year’s budget. Schools can’t increase a tax rate after it’s been approved by the state, so the rate is routinely advertised higher, and then reduced by the state, according to Bowman.  The 2007 budget’s tax rate was $2.47, and in 2006 the rate was $2.69 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Madison County Needs Loan

Madison County must take on more than $5 million in debt just to get through the year.  Tuesday morning, the Madison County Board of Commissioners signed documents authorizing a temporary loan from the Indiana Bond Bank. That afternoon, the Madison County Council acted upon that authorization and approved an ordinance to accept a $5.4 million loan.  Local property tax collections have been delayed because of a new market-based assessment system known as “trending.” Madison County is one of 11 Indiana counties still awaiting a tax rate from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

Anderson Child Injured

Anderson police are investigating how a 1-year-old infant suffered what they’re calling “suspicious” head injuries Tuesday evening. Detective Joel Sandefur, Anderson Police Department spokesman, said the boy was brought to Community Hospital shortly before 6 p.m. The child was expected to be transferred to Methodist Hospital via helicopter that evening due to the extent of his injuries.  Sandefur said a “person of interest” had been taken into police custody for questioning, but as of late Tuesday a formal arrest had not been made.  The extent of the child’s injuries wasn’t immediately available.

Another Major Fire at Walnut Manor Apartments

A morning fire nearly destroyed one apartment building at the Walnut Manor Apartments, located off north Walnut street, north of McGalliard.  This is the second major recent fire at the complex.   About 16 families were displaced by the blaze.   Fire Chief Alan Richards indicated the construction of the buildings contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze.   The Hoosier Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross was also present at the scene, providing food and water to firefighters, and helping the homeless residents find accommodations.

BSU Students Back: Alcohol Charges Mount in 1st Weekend

Over 70 people were arrested over the weekend in the Ball State University area on alcohol related charges.  60 minors were charged with possession of alcohol, being in a package liquor store, and having drug paraphenalia, another other related charges.   In addition, nine adults were arrested on charges of furnishing alcohol to minors.   Others were charged with public intoxication.