MITS Late Night Trolley Returns Again…

It’s baack!   After downtown businesses no longer could fully fund the $720 weekly cost of the Late Loop trolley service, Ball State University’s Student Government Association stepped in.  Now, the service will resume this weekend, beginning tonight from 9:50 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.  New to this weekend’s route, which extends from downtown into The Village and neighborhoods east of campus, is a fare of $1 per one-way trip.  SGA treasurer Zac  Davis said SGA is using funds from its discretionary account to financially support the trolley following an outpouring of student response after the shuttle stopped running. The service last was provided on Sept. 14.

Monroe Central School Board to Have Hearing on Construction Project

The Monroe Central School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. today to have a state-required 1028 hearing on a proposed $3.7 million construction project. The meeting will be in the junior-senior high school cafetorium.  The work would include improvements to the elementary and junior-senior high buildings. This project and price tag have been scaled down from the original proposal, which amounted to a $13 million deal that would have included a 550-seat auditorium and a wellness center. Taxpayers said last spring that the they couldn’t afford and wouldn’t support a project that large.

Middletown Utilities Superintendent Dies While Working

Rick Westrater, the superintendent of Middletown’s utility department, died early Wednesday morning while working to restore power disrupted by thunderstorms.   According to police chief Randy Wray, Westrater suffered some kind of medical problem, perhaps a heart attack.   Westrater had worked for Middletown utilities for 35 years.

New Call Center Announced for Anderson

Two hundred jobs will come to Anderson by year’s end, state and city officials announced at a news conference Tuesday, as the Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services Inc. moves forward with plans to build a call center in the city. Affiliated signed a lease Monday night for a 26,000 square-foot office building at 2710 Enterprise Drive,  said Greg Dodge, vice president of human resources of the company.  Affiliated provides “business process outsourcing and information technology solutions” to many companies. Dodge said the jobs will average $10 an hour, and employees will serve Affiliated clients in the health care and computer industry. No specific clients were named.  Governor Mitch Daniels arrived by motorcycle to attend and help make the announcement.   Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith indicated this is another step forward for the city.  The company plans to roll out its hiring in three phases. Affiliated says it will hire 200 workers by the end of the year, another 200 by December 2008 and the rest by the end of 2010. The company previously said it might hire as many as 700 people, but has made a definitive commitment to 500.

Murder Charges to be Filed Against Anderson Man

The Madison County Prosecutor’s Office is expected to file a formal murder charge today against Jesse Lee Pitts in the beating death of 14-year-old Amanda Brinker.  Pitts is being held without bond in the Madison County Jail on suspicion of murder  Madison County Prosecutor Thomas Broderick Jr. said late Tuesday he expected to file a formal murder count Wednesday. He said his office asked for the extension to file charges last week to give detectives extra time to investigate the slaying.

Anderson Woman Injured in I-69 Rollover Crash

An Anderson woman suffered minor injuries after she crashed the vehicle she was driving on Interstate 69 Tuesday morning.  Indiana State Police Sgt. Rod Russell said Jessica D. Parton was driving southbound on I-69 near the 40-mile marker in Delaware County shortly after 10:30 a.m. She was in the driving lane, about to change into the passing lane, when she noticed another vehicle was already in the lane. Parton overcorrected to the right, lost control and then traveled across both lanes. She went into the median and the car rolled over twice, totaling the vehicle.  Parton was wearing a seat belt and was not ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Community Hospital in Anderson for treatment of minor injuries, Russell said. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Bond Decrease to be Decided for Battery Suspect

A Madison County judge is expected to decide today whether to lower the bond for an Anderson man accused of fatally injuring a 17-month-old boy in August.  Cody D. Marling asked Madison Superior Court 1 Judge Dennis Carroll on Monday to lower his $50,000 cash bond, saying there was no way either he or his family could raise the amount.  Marling was charged with battery resulting in death, a Class A felony, after 17-month-old Noah J. Brown-Smith died Aug. 22 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis from severe head trauma. The charge against Marling carries a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Over 600 Attend Delaware County Taxpayers' Meeting

Over 600 people attended a meeting on property taxes last night at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.   Speakers  speakers advocated modernization, privatization and consolidation of local government.   The group is known as Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax repeal.   They are embarking on a four year plan.   One of the coordinators of the group, realtor Tom Parker, indicated that so far there has been a lack of response from public officials regarding tax concerns.

Muncie Schools Budget Approved

The Muncie Community School board approved its 2008 budget last night.  The total amout is about $77,900.   There was little protest at the meeting.   One resident asked the cost of the new entrance to Muncie Central High School.   He was told is cost $280,000.   The advertised property tax rate is $2.01 — 27 cents lower than the 2007 tax rate of $2.28. Once the Department of Local Government Finance receives an accurate assessment for Center Township property, Business Manager Mark Burkhart expects the tax rate will be around $1.60.

Wednesday Evening Storms Cause Power Outages

A strong thunderstorm moved through East Central Indiana on Tuesday night, putting more than 650 Indiana Michigan Power customers in the dark throughout Delaware County. Among them were Muncie firefighters manning the downtown station; they used flashlights to man first squad and rescue companies that made several runs for downed lines. Power was restored after 9 p.m.  Other transformer problems were reported in Yorktown and Middletown with lighting suspected as a cause. Downed trees caused other outages.