Many smokers are stockpiling cigarettes before the new 44-cent increase in the cigarette tax goes into effect Sunday. In a state where 27 percent of the adult population lights up, cigarette retailers across the state are seeing an increase in sales and said they expect to see even more business before the tax goes up to 99.5 cents. Demand is so high, some retailers worry they might be forced to hang “sold out” signs for some of brands. Lawmakers passed the tax hike in this year’s legislative session primarily to pay for a new health insurance plan for 132,000 of the state’s working poor and to pay for childhood immunizations.
The Delaware County Council needs to borrow $3.5 million to accommodate spending until the property tax collections begin in August. Much of the money is needed to cover $1.8 million in bills for Family and Children’s Services, accoring to official Jacqueline Fisher. Some of those bills have been waiting for payment since March.
Prisoner transfers to the New Castle Correctional Facility may begin again in July. The Arizona Department of Correction says that date may be premature, however. A list of required improvements has ben submitted to the New Castle facility, in light of the April 24th riot at the prison. There are currently about 540 Arizona inmates housed there.
A drugstore robber who pleaded guilty but mentally ill after holding up a pharmacy, 30-year old Carl Gibson will spend no more than eight years in jail, following a plea agreement reached Monday. Gibson plead guilty to robbing the CVS store on east Jackson Street on February 6th. He was later found in a nearby gas station restroom, after overdosing on those drugs.
A man escaped from Ball Memorial Hospital on Monday, but was arrested later the same day when police found him driving his wife’s car. 26-year old Thomas Charles Miller was initially arrrested Sunday on charges of possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana. Miller was arrested at a thrift store on Monday, when he was in the process of selling knives and jewelry, according to Muncie Police. A marijuana cigarette was also found in plain view in the car. An additional charge of escape was filed against Miller.
The Indiana State Fair is removing all trans fat-laden cooking oils from its deep fryers in what is believed to be the first policy of its kind for any fair in the country. Similar bans have been announced by KFC, Taco Bell, New York City restaurants and others. Fair officials say the move should have no effect on the taste of some of the more popular treats people buy at the fair, including elephant ears or “king taters.” The foods use Amaizing NT made by Bunge Oils, which was developed in partnership with Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences. Several studies showing that consumers prefer the taste of foods cooked in their Omega-9 Canola and Sunflower Oils compared to those prepared in other traditionally used, partially hydrogenated oils.
Starting Friday, July 6th, the Grant County council will have an informal meeting to allow citizens to raise concerns about property taxes and ask questions. More such meetings may follow if enough interest is shown in the first meeting. The council will hear concerns directly from the public, and people will be able to learn how the council makes decisions about money. Residents may also feel free to bring up other topics of concerns, such as the Grant County Courthouse renovations or road repair.
Anderson Police Department officials expect to release today a report detailing the investigation into the shooting death of 27-year-old Cheyenne Miller. Anderson Police Chief Frank Burrows said he received the report late Tuesday but hadnt yet had a chance to review the document. The report, written by the departments shooting review board, is expected to detail whether Officer Lincoln Brooks use of deadly force against Miller was justified, not justified or accidental. Burrows has 10 days to either accept or reject the shooting review boards determination. Police have said Brooks shot Miller after Miller pulled a knife that resembled a gun when officers cornered him inside a darkened garage in the 400 block of West 34th Street on April 11. Madison County Coroner Ned Dunnichay officially ruled Millers death a homicide. He said Miller died of two shots each to the chest and abdomen. Dunnichay said Miller had a blood-alcohol content of 0.209 percent when he died, more than double what is considered legally intoxicated in Indiana.
Madison Circuit Court Judge Fredrick Spencer denied a change of venue request from attorneys representing a Pendleton woman charged with murder. Spencer also declined to import a panel of out-of-county jurors for Kathy Jo Wards murder trial, and jury selection occurred as normal Tuesday morning. The judge declined to comment on his reasons for turning down the defense motion. Opening arguments in the case are expected to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Kathy Jo Ward, 37, is charged with murder for allegedly shooting to death her husband, 43-year-old John W. Ward, while he slept inside the couples home in December. Ward told her parents she shot her husband, and confessed during police questioning, according to the probable cause affidavit filed with the charge.
The Anderson Plan Commission Tuesday evening approved three petitions that will rezone areas surrounding Hoosier Park. The first petition would allow for specific areas on East 38th Street, South Rangeline Road and East 41st Street to change to a B-3 zoning, which is for planned neighborhood convenience shopping. Bob Schuler, member of the Plan Commission, was worried about the amount of traffic these changes would put on 38th Street. The second petition would allow specific areas along East 41st Street, South Rangeline Road and East 53rd Street to be zoned at B-4, which allows larger community shopping centers. The final petition would change shops and business across the street from the Southtown Center and Wal-Mart on South Scatterfield Drive from a B-6 zone to a B-1 zone, making the restrictions slightly less stringent on incoming business.