Indiana Senators divided on dead immigration bill

Indiana Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar were split over the revived immigration bill that died in the Senate yesterday.  The Republican Lugar voted on a failed effort to move the overhaul of immigration laws towards the final passage, while the Democrat Bayh went with the majority.  Bayh says the bill wasn’t tough enough on making sure illegal immigration was controlled before a guest worker program could be set up, as well as a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

ECI Delphi plants could be affected by UAW deal

Two Delphi plants in ECI could be affected by a possible deal between the UAW and the GM Company.  The UAW is expected to have their final votes tallied later today on an agreement that would cut wages for many longtime workers.  If the deal is approved, the Delphi plant in Anderson would shut down, while the Kokomo plant would remain open.

GM agrees to $5.6 billion sale of Allison Transmission

An agreement was reached yesterday by General Motors to sell its Allison Transmission commercial and military business for roughly 5.6-billion dollars.  The sale was a joint purchase between a private equity firm, The Carlyle Group and Canada’s Onex Corporation.  GM says they hope to raise money and focus on its core business to compete with Asian automakers.

Anderson Murder Trial Underway

37-year-old Kathy Ward, went on trial Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court before Judge Fredrick Spencer.  She is charged with murder after allegedly shooting to death her husband inside the couple’s home in December 2006. If convicted, Ward faces 45 to 65 years in prison.  During opening statements, Ward’s defense team of Bryan Williams and Jeffrey Lockwood said Ward feared violence from her husband as their marriage deteriorated. Lockwood said John Ward threatened his wife, who had previously sustained a brain injury, with a hammer.  The couple appeared to be on the verge of separation, with Ward preparing divorce papers and her husband apartment hunting.

Lawsuit Targets BMH and Eaton EMTs in Death

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of an Eaton man against Ball Memorial Hospital and Eaton’s Emergency Medical Service.  The suit alleges that Jack Capper’s death was caused by injuries suffered when he was dropped off a stretcher, after being transported to the hospital by Eaton EMTs in May, 2004.  The injuries were listed on the death certificate as a contributing factor in his death.  The family is seeking $1 million.

Anderson Police Shooting Ruled as Justified

The five-member Anderson Police Department shooting review board has ruled Officer Lincoln Brooks was justified in using deadly force when he shot to death 27-year-old Cheyenne Miller in April.   According to the report,  Miller was given every opportunity to resolve the situation peacefully  As evidenced by dispatch recordings, Officer Brooks clearly believed that his life was in danger and he had given clear warning to the suspect.

State Education Department Releases Kindergarten Grants

The state Department of Education released grants Wednesday to help school systems pay for full-day kindergarten, an education initiative being pushed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.  Every school system in Madison County applied for the grants and will get an estimated $665 per pupil, according to the state. Grants were given only to school systems that applied, of which there were 263. The money will be used for the 2007-08 school year.

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Grant County Commissioners Nix Their Own Pay Raise

The Grant County commissioners will not ask for a 6 percent pay increase for themselves after all.  They will, however, request a 6 percent increase for their staff for the 2008 budget. The commissioners’ budget request was approved Tuesday with some changes. Commissioner Jeremy Diller said that originally they had asked for a 6 percent increase for themselves to go along with the staff increase because it would be easier to ask for the increase across-the-board.  After reconsideration, Diller said the pay increase is “not that big a deal ultimately” and that the Grant County Council will make the final decisions on budgets in September.  Diller said in 2005, commissioners’ pay was lowered by about $1,000. They voluntarily took that pay cut, Diller said, to transfer the money to the Economic Growth Council.