Marion fire an accident

The fire at the closed Thompson television picture tube plant in Marion has been ruled accidental. Investigators report that workers using propane torches to remove power boxes from the facility ignited insulation. Although workers thought the ignited insulation was put out, it rekindled into flames later in the day. The fire destroyed nearly a fourth of the 1 million square foot facility, which has been floated as a potential site for other companies and still has some interest from prospective buyers even after the fire.

Purdue Provost takes Iowa job

Purdue University Provost Sally Mason is the new president for the University of Iowa. The announcement ended a period of some anxiety for two Indiana colleges, with IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz also among the finalist pool. Mason is departing near the same departure date of retiring President Martin Jischke, leaving the two top administrative positions of Purdue as vacant.

Local schools obtain big grants

The US Department has awarded separate grants that will help to institute two major programs at area school corporations. The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities has received a $378,000 grant to be used to for a Chinese language program to be phased in at the school over the next three years. Anderson Community Schools received a Teaching American History grant worth nearly $1 million dollars to be used in history education within the school system, with an emphasis on teachers not just teaching history, but also having the tools to be historians themselves to further their students’ experiences.

C.A. Beard Superintendent departs

C.A. Beard Memorial School Corporation David McGuire will leave his post for a new job in Elkhart. McGuire will serve as supervisor or curriculum and instruction at Elkhart Community Schools affective July 1st. He served as the superintendent of schools in the Knightstown community for one year.

Local car dealer now offering some plate and title services

Grimm Pontiac in Winchester will be one of the first car dealers in the state to offer BMV services within the dealership. Under new policy instituted after the closure of many BMV branches in 2005, dealerships can offer a limited selection of services including issuance of titles and plates for vehicles they sell. The BMV services are limited to customers who purchase vehicles at dealerships, and only for those who have current and accurate information stored in the state’s database. Grimm is one of nine dealerships in the initial round of offerings, with five more dealerships around the state working to complete training and interfacing with the state’s database.

Yorktown schools face lawsuits

Mount Pleasant Community Schools faces two unrelated lawsuits filed within a week of each other. A former student, Erica Murray, alleges in her suit that the school violated her rights when she was detained from her own home following an allegation of drinking alcohol during a school event. Former teacher Charles Newman is suing to have his job and tenure reinstated after he was dismissed from his contract during an abuse investigation in 2006. Newman alleges restrictions placed upon him during an initial phase of suspension from his job duties were unreasonable and led to his contact being cancelled.

Crash kills Muncie man

A 21 year old Muncie Southside graduate died in a head-on collision with a dump truck north of Eaton-Wheeling Pike on State Road 3 yesterday afternoon. Jeffery Dills was traveling southbound in a Pontiac Sunfire when he crossed the center line and struck the dump truck. The dump truck swerved out of control and struck a parked Airstream trailer and a parked pickup truck, both unoccupied vehicles, before coming to rest atop the crushed pickup. The dump truck driver, Hartford City resident Paul Oswalt was transported to Ball Memorial Hospital for observation, although he was not believed to be seriously injured.

Birthdays for Friday, 6/22/07

Birthdays for Friday, 6/22/07

Todd Rundgren 59/singer-guitarist-producer, Hello It’s Me

Cyndi Lauper 54/singer, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Meryl Streep 58/actress, Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer

Lindsay Wagner 58/actress, TV’s The Bionic Woman

Carson Daly 34/host, NBC’s Later

Illegal student policy passing reading

The proposed South Madison Community School Corporation plan to remove students who attend school illegally, as first reported yesterday, passed an initial reading at the school board meeting last night. The policy targets students who live outside of district boundaries but who do not pay tuition fees. School growth is cited as a cause for the policy, which would also require repayment of tuition for students who are found to have been attending illegally.

Super 70 near half-way mark; changes coming soon

Commuters who use Interstate 70 to traverse Indianapolis’s east side and downtown will see a new side of the Super 70 project soon. With new westbound lanes nearing completion, engineers will soon begin diverting construction traffic off the eastbound lanes and onto the new westbound lanes. Lane configurations will swap several times over the initial three week period as engineers secure the transition. Some previously closed exit ramps will reopen for the first time in the project. The project is near its half-way point and is on target to finish in November. Commuters can track plans and changes via the Department of Transportation’s project website at