FEBRUARY 26, 2020 NEWS BRIEFS

Indiana  Attorney General Curtis Hill Tuesday announced the launch of a bipartisan, multistate investigation of Juul Labs.  A 39-state coalition is investigating Juul’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding the risks, safety and effectiveness of smoking cessation devices.  While traditional cigarette use has plummeted among youth, vaping is skyrocketing, undermining national progress towards reducing unhealthy habits.   A recent study from the CDC found that 99% of e-cigarettes sold in assessed venues in the U.S. contained nicotine, which is the addictive drug found in regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

The individual tax season is upon us and while that may sound scary, dealing with a ghost tax preparer is downright frightening.  Ghost tax preparers are individuals who pose as trusted tax professionals, but mislead innocent taxpayers to unknowingly commit tax fraud.  Most tax preparers are highly-qualified and provide great service to Hoosier taxpayers. However, we always recommend customers to do their homework to ensure they are using a professional and trusted preparer, according to the Indiana  Department Of Revenue.  Ghost preparers often Require payment in cash only and refuse to provide a receipt in order to leave little to no paper trail.

State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) offered an amendment to Senate Bill 194 that would allow the use of medical marijuana for terminally ill Hoosiers. House Republicans, however,  blocked all debate on this critical issue on the House floor.  Medical marijuana is currently legal in 34 states.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is releasing its 2020 construction plan for  I-70 and I-65 in Central Indiana.   Construction projects have been split into three major sections. Work is planned through the construction season, starting in April through December.  Motorists in East Central Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts any time via Facebook, Twitter, and indot.carsprogram.org.

Congressman Greg Pence (IN-06) today shared details of the annual Congressional Art Competition.  Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our Congressional District. The deadline to submit artwork is April 15th, 2020.

RNR Tire Express has struck a deal with an unidentified investor to open up to 25 RNR Tire Express locations in Indiana over the coming five years.  The first locations will open in Anderson and Muncie, Ind., this spring, RNR said, with stores in Kokomo, Marion and Fort Wayne to follow.

Last week, detectives from the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post arrested a man and woman in connection with a fraudulent home repair scam that had been taking place in the Bluffton (Wells County) area. Two individuals were taken into custody and booked, charged with felony offenses related to the alleged home improvement scam.  If you think that you may have been the victim of a recent home repair fraud, or if you as a care giver or family member of a person that may have been victimized, you are urged to contact detectives at the Indiana State Police. Your information may prove valuable in preventing others from falling prey to these types of scam artists.

Volunteers from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will gather at the Indiana State House on March 4 for CASA Day to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA. CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children whose families are involved with the child welfare system. GAL/CASA programs advocated on behalf of 24,340 abused and neglected children in 2019.

Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-05) has introduced a resolution in support of the live-saving work of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI). The resolution highlights twenty years of success in saving the lives of children in the world’s poorest countries by improving access to new and underutilized vaccines, and affirms the United States’ continued support for GAVI’s work to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

The Muncie Animal Shelter is hiring for the following part-time positions: – Animal Control Officer – Office Clerk/Secretary – Cat Tech – Dog Tech $10.10 an hour. Must be able to pass a background check and drug screen. More information and applications at City of Muncie Human Resources Department, 2nd Floor City Hall.

The Herald Bulletin recently shared a story about Clarence Swain II, 66,  who’s  hoping to leave a lasting legacy for some of the unsung African Americans who contributed to the history of the city and Madison County.   Swain has started the Anderson 100 project, a series of biographies chronicling the contributions of the city’s trailblazers.  After being gone from Anderson for almost 50 years, Swain decided to return about three years ago. To date, he has recorded the stories of about 20 people.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is releasing its 2020 construction plan for  I-70 and I-65 in Central Indiana.   Construction projects have been split into three major sections. Work is planned through the construction season, starting in April through December.  Motorists in East Central Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts any time via Facebook, Twitter, and indot.carsprogram.org.