Anderson Firefighters Return to Scene of Blaze

Anderson firefighters were called back to that 53rd Street home Wednesday evening after a fire from the previous night rekindled. Battalion Chief Sam Aleshire said firefighters were called back to the two-story home at 2931 W. 53rd St. at about 5 p.m. after small embers rekindled insulation in a wall. The rekindle did little damage, and firefighters were on the scene for only a short while, Aleshire said. He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but neighbors reported that the home was struck by lightning at about 10:30 p.m.

New Castle Welfare Worker Accused of Fraud

A former case supervisor at New Castle’s state welfare office is accused of stealing more than $35,000 in benefits by setting up bogus accounts in the names of her boyfriend and his mother. Julie L. Stanton, Richmond, is charged in Henry Superior Court 1 with two counts of welfare fraud, a Class C felony carrying standard a four-year prison term. According to a report by a special agent with the Indiana Office of Inspector General, Stanton in February 2006 opened a benefits account in the name of her boyfriend, Lawrance M. Hunter.

Sentence Reduced for Student Who Attacked Another

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reduced by five years the prison term of a teenager who cut the throat of a fellow Central High School student in an unprovoked knife attack.  Travis A. Marlett, now 19, had pleaded guilty but mentally ill to criminal confinement in August 2006. Three months later, he received a 20-year sentence, the maximum penalty for a Class B felony conviction, from Special Judge Peter Haviza of Randolph County.  Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney on Wednesday expressed frustration at the sentence reduction.

Power Outage in Randolph County

More than 4,000 Indiana Michigan Power customers in Randolph County lost power Wednesday afternoon after either an animal or tree limb crossed a transmission line. The outage was reported at 12:30 p.m. and lasted for more than three hours.

Autism Bill Moves Out of Committee

AA bill co-authored by Rep. Dennis Tyler that would provide training to emergency medical responders about how to deal with people with autism passed out of a Senate committee Wednesday. Tyler, a Muncie Democrat and retired city fire captain, testified before the committee, recalling how the Muncie Fire Department responded to a emergency involving an autistic individual in 2005. The responders did not know how to deal with the person, he said. House Bill 1171 would train public safety officers in special techniques used to deal with people suffering from autism.

Muncie Mayoral Election Materials Seized

Indiana State Police on Tuesday morning confiscated boxes of election materials in connection with an ongoing investigation into last November’s mayoral race. The boxes were moved from the Delaware County Building into a van.
Sgt. Darrell Thornburg, an ISP investigator, would not comment on exactly what authorities confiscated and where they were taking it, referring those questions to Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney.

Lightning Causes Anderson House Fire

Reports of a house set afire by a lightning strike brought out Anderson firefighters Tuesday night. The home was reportedly west of the intersection of 53rd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Early reports said the house, near the railroad tracks, was fully involved, although neighbors said they didn’t think the house was occupied at the time. Fire officials on the scene were attempting stop trains from traveling that length of track until the fire was contained.

Marion Teacher Negotiations Have Mediator

Marion Community Schools and its teachers union will have a state-appointed mediator on hand when contract discussions continue this morning. The mediator from the Indiana Education Employee Relations Board will help facilitate the negotiating sessions this year. Val Conner, local UniServ director who helps the Marion Teachers Association negotiate, said the mediator has a different perspective and brings different experiences to the table. The session will focus on two main issues: teacher health insurance and a salary schedule disagreement that’s still in court.

Hoosier Park Adding Hundreds of Jobs

The jobs coming to Anderson’s Hoosier Park range from barn attendants to bartenders, and there seems to be plenty of interest. Hundreds of people attended information sessions Tuesday at the Wigwam to hear about possible employment at the expanding gambling destination in Anderson. Hoosier Park will hire at least 500 more people before its casino opens later this year. About 80 percent of those jobs will be full-time, according to HR director Bonnie McDowell said. The positions include complete staffing for about 10 restaurants; casino and horse track attendants; a security team; and marketing, financial and technology offices.