Broadcasters could face new fees

Publicly traded radio broadcast companies may soon see an added operating cost in the form of record royalties. While Internet and satellite broadcasters already pay royalty fees to record companies and artists, radio broadcasters have long been exempt and have only paid fees to songwriters. Previous attempts to force broadcasters to pay performance fees have failed as the broadcast industry has been able to demonstrate the benefits of radio exposure to recording artists and industry interests. The rise of illegal music downloads and lower CD sales are forcing the recording industry to reevaluate the relationship. Efforts are now underway with lobbyists from the recording industry and the broadcast industry both vying for Congressional hearing.

Project Leadership director leaving

Grant County based education consulting group Project Leadership will soon be without its director. Project Leadership director Jack Brady will vacate that role in August to assume a teaching position with Indiana Wesleyan University. As a former officer and coroner, Brady will lend his experience to teach criminal justice.

Iraqi police recruits killed in attack

Another suicide bombing in Iraq. At least 25 people were killed, and 50 wounded at a police recruiting center in Fallujah. US forces later engaged Al Qaeda suspects. 10 policemen were among those killed in the attack. The suspect was able to reach the third of four security check points when he detonated an explosives vest. The clashes continued in the afternoon, with reports that forces killed local Al Qaeda leader Haji Hameed.

Thompson vying to be President

Unofficially, he’s running. That’s the word from those close to former Tennessee Senator and actor Fred Thompson, who will seek the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. The official announcement isn’t expected until July, although Thompson’s exploratory committee could begin as early as tomorrow.

Trucker Pleads Guilty in Tayor University I-69 Crash

A Michigan truck driver charged in a crash that killed four university students and a staff member and sparked a weeks-long case of mistaken identity could avoid dozens of years in prison if a judge accepts his guilty plea.   38-year-old Robert F. Spencer  pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of reckless homicide and four counts   of criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury.  All charges are felonies.  Spencer pleaded innocent to the same charges last year and faced an August trial. If convicted, he could have faced as many as 72 years in prison.

Two New Hotels Coming to Muncie

Two new hotels are planning to build in Muncie, in the area of Bethel Avenue and Marleon Drive.   Both the Comfort Inns and Suites and the Hampton  Inns and Suites are planning new facilities in the same area.    Jim Mansfield, director of the Muncie Visitor’s Bureau, says the new rooms are needed, particulary in light of the closing of the downtown Roberts Hotel.   When the new facilities are complete, there will be about 1,000 hotel rooms in Muncie.

Car Salesman Threatened by Customer

A Hartford City car salesman was beaten by a would-be customer, when he was told that he either had to make a down payment on a vehicle he was test driving or return it.  39-year-old Craig Allen of Muncie was arrested Sunday on a variety of charge, including pointing a firearm, possession of cocaine, and carrying a handgun without a permit.

Anderson Has New School Board Member

The Anderson School Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire Wally Fitch, a 21-year teaching veteran of Anderson schools, to fill the vacancy left on the board by former member Doug Vermilion.  Fitch was selected from a pool that included five other candidates, all of whom were interviewed by board members at a public meeting that took place May 22.  Fitch said that he was educated at Ball State University and went on to teach for nine years in the Gary school system. After teaching there, he was the supervisor of a U.S. Steel mill also in Gary; he then served as a national representative for the American Federation of Teachers.

Anderson Projects Underway in Good Weather

Residents of Anderson will see several projects in progress as the Board of Public Works embraces the construction-conducive weather of summer.  On Tuesday afternoon, the board awarded contracts for curb work on 31st and Sycamore streets and for a sidewalk project on Vineyard Street. Bob Schuler, a member of the Board of Works, said the Vineyard Street project would help pedestrian traffic flow in the area of Community Hospital and Forest Hills Elementary School. The Board of Works also approved a contract for excavation of the former Prime Battery plant location. During the next two weeks, the city will acquire the land, which now belongs to the county, that was the Prime Battery plant and the former Delaware Street city dump site.