Dept. of Homeland Security issues new standards for elevators

Going up? The state of Indiana is enforcing tougher standards for elevator safety in businesses and other public buildings.  Debra Jackson of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security says the new measures are needed for many hydraulic elevators made before the 70’s.  The new requirements will force owners of those buildings with outdated elevators to install a safety bulkhead to keep the machine from crashing.

New coal combustor draws criticism

Ball State University will spend 42-million dollars to replace their coal-fired plant with a cleaner advanced coal combustor.  The move is drawing criticism from environmental advocate John Blair.  The Ball State University graduate says the new system will still contribute to global warming.

Smoking ban takes effect Jan. 1st at Indy Airport

Smokers who plan on flying out of the Indianapolis International Airport will have to leave their cigarettes at home.  The Airport Authority voted on Friday to make the entire facility smoke free starting January 1st, making it the first in the country to do so.  However, a public smoking lounge will remain open through the end of the year.

North Korea issues stern warning on nuclear program

North Korea said Friday they might increase their “self-defense deterrent.” The country often uses the term to describe their nuclear program, even though a key factor for the nuclear disarmament for the country was being met.  The warning has raised concerns that North Korea might be looking for another reason to delay disarming.

MITS offers free bus rides on Thursday

Muncie motorists are being urged to ‘dump the pump.’ MITS assistant bus manager Mary Gaston says on Thursday, the local system will offer free rides on their regular buses as part of the national Dump the Pump Day. The promotion sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association encourages the use of public transportation to help conserve gasoline and protect the environment.

Fire chief believes smoke isn't life-threatening

Marion Fire Chief Steve Gorrell says he’s confident there is nothing life-threatening in the smoke coming from the remains of the burned Thomson plant.  IDEM public information officer Amy Hartsock says no chemicals were in the building as of 2005 and that the agency would advise fire officials on the removal of waste and debris from the building on South Adams Street.

$5,000 reward offered in horse slaying

A Mount Pleasant man is offering a five-thousand dollar reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing a seven-year-old horse on his property.  Keith Johnson says someone shot his horse, Twilight Smoky Sensation, in between the eyes on Tuesday night.  It’s the second time in six weeks that horse has been killed by gunfire in East Central Indiana.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 765-738-6547.

Vacant parking lot appraisal differs $245,000

A 245-thousand dollar appraisal difference in a vacant downtown parking lot initiated questions from city development officials. However, Delaware County Assessor James Carmichael says property value is assessed for its actual use, and not what the proposed use might be.  Mayor Dan Canan approved the 447-thousand dollar purchase of the lot to be turned into a greenspace area.