Indiana B-M-V unveils new designs for license plates

Four possible designs for the state’s new standard license plate will be unveiled later today by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The designs are based around the state flag. Hoosiers can vote for their favorite design on the B-M-V’s website, at license branches or at public libraries.  The results will be released in May and the new plate will gradually be put into circulation next year.

House Committee to vote on gay marriage amendment

A House Committee is set for a showdown over a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on Tuesday.  Rules committee chairman Scott Pleath says there will be a vote on the issue, but he has not decided if the amendment will be altered first.  Eli Lilly is one of several companies against a part of the amendment banning civil unions saying it could keep their company from offering domestic partner benefits.

Hydrant fee faces city council vote tonight

Muncie mayor Dan Canan could be forced to attrition firefighting forces if the Muncie city council votes down a proposed fire hydrant fee tonight.  The hydrant fee would add about $1.75 per month to the average residential water bill.  However, city council members are in disagreement over the fee, saying it would “double tax” people for fire hydrant costs.  If approved, the hydrant fee would allow the city to have an extra $600 thousand to use on other fire protection services.

Ground contamination unknown until demolition complete

Environmental contamination at the New Venture Gear plant on West Eighth Street won’t be known until demolition is complete.  Muncie resident Ray Caine says he’s heard reports of ground contamination all the way to Kilgore Avenue.  Former employees at the plant say there are underground storage tanks beneath the old Delco battery plant should be cleaned up.  Demolition of the building is set to begin this spring and will include the destruction of the Chevrolet smokestack and the Warner Arc Lamp building.

UAW merging three unions in Anderson

Three Anderson labor unions are on the brink of merging.  United Auto Workers International union officials confirmed plans to merge U-A-W locals 662, 663 and 1963 into a new local 1963.  The merger comes after more than 20 thousand automotive jobs left the Anderson area and Christine Moraski of U-A-W International says the merger process was already underway.

Muncie man killed in power line accident

A Muncie man trying to erect a television antenna yesterday was killed after the antenna struck a power line in Royerton and another was injured.  21-year-old Christopher Grove was helping a friend put the antenna up when a gust of wind blew the antenna into a power line. Charles Roberts was also injured in the accident and was being treated at ball memorial hospital. Delaware county deputy prosecutor Clarence Brooks says Grove was helping his girlfriend’s father erect the antenna at the Royerton home.

Owners to get little compensation for pet deaths

Pet owners looking individually sue pet food-maker Menu Foods over the death of a dog or cat will likely get little compensation.  Under most state laws, pets are only considered personal property.  University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias says pet owners will only get the value of the property and no emotional damages are paid.

Fire destroys five building in Union City

Five buildings and a home were destroyed by fire in Union City yesterday.  Fire departments from five Indiana cities and a few Ohio towns were called to fight the blaze at the former Triangle Pacific Building.  The former cabinet manufacturer closed in 1996 and has since been used for storage.

I-69 costs almost double to $230 million

The cost of the southernmost I-69 extension project will be almost twice as much as what planners originally thought.  State transportation officials expected the cost of the overall project to rise because of increasing construction costs, but are rejecting critic’s statements that the total cost is skyrocketing out of control.  The first leg of the project is now expected to cost nearly $230 million, rather than $122 million when first projected in 2000.  The first portion of the extension will run from Evansville north to Oakland city.  It is the shortest and least expensive part of the extension.

Attempted robbery caught on tape

A Spiceland man accused of breaking into a storage shed was allegedly caught on video tape.  Police say 49-year-old Tony Gosser has a long arrest record and was arrested march 27 when another spice land resident saw Gosser in the act of breaking into a neighbor’s shed.  Gosser has nine prior convictions in Henry County and was most recently relased from prison on February 20 according to court records.