Federal Judge revokes 1998 law

Citing unconstitutional vagueness, a federal judge struck down the 1998 Child Online Protection Act yesterday. US District Judge Lowell Reed’s ruling points to harmful First Amendment restrictions within the law and the availability of filtering software that can be installed by parents to protect children as underlying reasons to strike the law.

State Police advise against driving through high water

Heavy rains overnight and throughout the day have caused several areas of flooding.  Several motorists were stranded in high waters earlier today, including two that were completely submerged at the Madison Street Underpass and at Bunch Boulevard and Jackson Street respectively.  Indiana State Police Saergent Rod Russell is advising motorists to avoid areas of high water on roadways and to not attempt to drive through those areas.

Property assesment changes delay May billing

Property assessment changes will mean spring property tax bills won’t be mailed in May. Final tax rates and budgets are still pending from the Indiana Department of Local Government, which means local property owners likely won’t see their bills until June or July, although this also means that the deadline for homestead and property tax exemptions will also be extended to June 10th. Assessments hit the mail this week. Property owners have 45 days to make appeals on assessed values.

Muncie elementary school approved for partial reopening

The north end of South View elementary school has been approved for usage. That end houses the gymnasium and cafeteria. A roof in the south end of the building collapsed after a February snow storm. Muncie Community Schools officials closed the building and shuffled students to other elementary schools within the Muncie system. Officials are now evaluating returning after-school programs, childcare and other activities to the facility. Long term plans are in place for the facility to reopen entirely by the August start of the next school year.

TIF district and community gateway planned

Yorktown is planning for a new tax increment financing district in a recently annexed high growth area along county road 600-W. The area includes a new home center for TK Constructors and the new AccuTech Systems facility. The town council also plans to build a gateway to the community at the intersection of County Road 600-W and State Road 332.

Yorktown Superintendent to retire

Mount Pleasant Township Community Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Irwin will retire June 30th. The School Board accepted her retirement, which comes a year earlier than her 2008 contract expiration. In spite of the contract difference, officials are hopeful that the 2007 departure will be in a time of stability for the school corporation, with no election cycle again until next year.

David Letterman guest comic "Melman" dies

Calvin DeForest, also known as Larry “Bud” Melman to David Letterman fans, has died. The 85 year old DeForest appeared for twenty years on Letterman’s Late Night and Late Show programs as the eccentric Melman character. He had made appearances at Letterman’s alma mater Ball State University, including a Homecoming talent show appearance.

Smoking ban at former school site

A smoking ban has been implemented at the former Jones Middle School building in Marion, but only within the building. Outside smoking will be permitted at the site, which has been leased to Affiliated Computer Services, which will use the site to run a call center for the Family and Social Services Administration. Due to the leased nature of the site, the Marion School Board instituted the policy to allow for outside smoking. The policy does not change smoking policies at other school properties, where all smoking is banned across all premises.