Indiana State Trooper Killed Friday on I-69

An Indiana State Trooper was killed Friday on I-69 after being hit by a car Fort Wayne police were chasing. 50 year old James Bailey died later at a hospital. Indiana State Police officials said Bailey was helping other troopers with a traffic backup from weather-related crashes on the interstate, just south of Auburn.  Bailey began deploying stop sticks when he was struck by the suspect’s vehicle. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. Donations can be made at, or through Venmo: @indiana-fallen-heroes.

The Bloomington Herald-Times reports Indiana University President Pamela Whitten has announced musician and artist John Mellencamp is donating a collection of his life and work to IU. The collection will have items related to his music, art, social activism and philanthropy with original creative works, photographs, instruments and other memorabilia. Whitten said in the announcement that the collection “will be an incredible resource for arts scholars” and will be a “clear source of inspiration to our students. Besides the collection, Whitten also announced a sculpture honoring Mellencamp’s artistic legacy will be commissioned for the Bloomington campus.

Indiana State Police have arrested a Winchester man accused of possessing child pornography. 44 year old Robert E. Puckett Jr. was preliminarily charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, a Level 5 felony carrying up to six years in prison according to a StarPress report. A Lynn man convicted of child molesting was also sentenced this week to 20 years in prison. 43 year old Jimmy L. Bilbrey had pleaded guilty to a Level 1 felony carrying up to 40 years in prison. Bilbrey was arrested last May.

Here’s more from the Muncie Mayor’s State of the City report… The mayor said his administration lowered the Muncie Redevelopment Commission’s debt by $5.56 million.  He said he was proud of that and thanked comptroller Craig Wright, and deputy comptroller Matt Wagley for their work in that regard.

Indy Parks has announced that their Spring Bulb Show is running now through March 10th. You can see a special display of tulips and other seasonal flowers, along with the conservatory’s standard offerings. After the event ends, you will have the opportunity to buy some of the blooms on March 11th. The event will run during the conservatory’s normal hours of operation. You can get in for $5, or, if you go with your family, you can get in for $12 as a group.

Cardiologists might have just offered the incentive you need to take a vacation. Dr. Kyle Harry – cardiologist at Ascension St. Vincent Heart Center – says vacations can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health, which in turn benefits your heart. A press release from Ascension St. Vincent says more frequent vacations can lower your risks for cardiovascular disease, by lowering the risks of metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms. So, take that long overdue vacation for yourself.

The StarPress reports Muncie city Councilman Troy A .Ingram is suing the Delaware County Election Board, claiming fellow Republicans acted to kick him off the primary ballot because he too often sides with Democrats on city council rather than for his failure to completely fill out his CAN-42 candidate filing form. The lawsuit asks that Ingram’s name be restored to the Republican primary ballot, but the available time to do that is short. The first day of early voting is April 4th. Ingram’s complaint said he was wrongly taken off the ballot because local Republican Party leaders don’t like the way he votes on council.

Friday night, the Ball State Mens basketball team lost against a formidable Toledo Rockets team, 87-81 in the final regular season home game at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals will play No.5 Ohio on Thursday at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland in the first round of the MAC tournament. The Ball State Women’s basketball team won over the Miami Redhawks 77-68.

Governor Eric Holcomb announced Friday the Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to test all East Palestine, Ohio train derailment toxic waste for dioxins before it heads to Indiana. Samples of soil already dumped at Heritage Environmental near Roachdale were tested Saturday, and results should be back soon. Holcomb says he’s happy that local, state, and federal officials are now on the same page.

First Lady Jill Biden will visit Valparaiso Indiana today to “highlight the Biden Administration’s commitment to creating pathways to well-paying jobs through career-connected learning.” The First Lady was scheduled to visit Valparaiso last month, but her trip was postponed.

Here’s more from the Muncie Mayor’s State of the City report…The mayor said Muncie has 270 housing units that are “either already open or will soon to be open.” The mayor said, some of them are workforce housing, some of them are affordable housing which is income based, and some are market.” He said the projects are spread throughout the city and fit well into the TogetherDM plan announced in 2021.  

Lawmakers are halfway through the legislative session, and the Indiana Hospital Association is calling on them to step up and provide relief for hospitals that are dealing with staffing challenges according to WRTV-6. House Bill 1460 is making its way through the statehouse that would help. The bill would change the way licenses for health care professionals are issued. A temporary permit could be given to registered and licensed practical nurse applicants, which would allow them to get to work right away. House Bill 1460 passed the House unanimously and has its first reading in the Senate later today.

The Indiana State Police has received several concerns from citizens reporting an apparent phone scam. The scammer is using a Caller ID showing “Indiana State Police” from the number “317-232-8248”.  The scammer then identifies him or herself as an Indiana State Police Trooper and tells them they have drug charges pending in Texas.  The scammer then threatens the citizen with arrest if a payment is not made. The Indiana State Police would NEVER call and ask for or demand any sort of payment for any reason whatsoever.

The Indiana Capital Chronicle reports a bill that would have let Hoosier communities decide if local school board elections should be partisan died in the Indiana House after lawmakers failed to vote on the measure by Monday’s deadline. That means school board races will stay non-partisan — at least for now. Language from the bill could still crop up in other bills before the end of the current legislative session.

Shafer Leadership academy in Muncie will be offering their 8-week training opportunity titled “Emergence” from April 4th to May 23rd. The course is for those interested in enhancing their leadership skills. To register visit slash “emergence.”

Here’s more from the Muncie Mayor’s State of the City report… Ridenour said over 730,000 tons of new sand has been added to the Prairie Creek beach and that beginning this summer, using the beach will be FREE. The mayor also said that new for this year, they will be installing new “floating boat structures.” Instead of all dock’s going all along the bank, there will be floating structures that will be easier for the city to maintain. More bank space will be also be available for fishing.

Waterfalls are something every state can celebrate, including Indiana. CBS-4 reports Cataract Falls in the Lieber State Recreation Area has been named Indiana’s best waterfall by Travel+Leisure Magazine. The waterfall is part of Mill Creek, which in turn is part of Cagles Mill Lake in southern Indiana.