Developer to fund Muncie wetland preserve

A Hendricks County developer has agreed to fund 15 acres of a wetland preserve in Muncie.  Heritage hills LLC, of Plainfield will spend $170 thousand to renew a portion of the John Craddock wetland nature preserve. The company is funding the Muncie preserve in order to compensate for filling in two-and-a-half acres of state and federally regulated wetlands for a 245 acre housing addition near Avon.

Experts say uninsured Hoosiers affect insured residents

The growing number of Hoosiers who don’t have health insurance may also pose problems for people who are covered.  State director of covering kids and families David Roos says the increasing number of un-insured Hoosiers affects the whole state by increasing insurance premiums, as well as emergency care and eventually loss of job opportunities.  A study conducted by Emory University shows an Indiana family with health insurance paid an additional $953 in premiums in order to cover medical costs of un-insured Hoosiers in 2005.

Companies offer $2 billion up front for lottery operation

Two companies say they are willing to pay the state more than two billion dollars up front to operate the Hoosier Lottery.  Governor Mitch Daniels says the companies will then pay $200 million a year afterwards for the lease of the lottery.  However, that number is more than twice amount Daniels originally gave in December when he first proposed leasing the lottery to a private company.  Lawmakers will have until April 29th to decide if a privatization plan will go through the legislature and become law.

Convicted kidnapper, killer sentenced to life in prison

An Indianapolis man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of a 12-year-old girl.  Jeffery Voss originally asked for the death penalty, but instead will serve the Remainder of his life in prison without the possibility of parole under the terms of a plea agreement.  Voss was convicted for the 2004 kidnapping and murder of Christina Tedder on Christmas Eve as the girl was walking to a neighborhood convenience store.  The girl was found strangled to death and found in a creek bed seven days later.

Marion County judge relases man to home detention

A man convicted of killing a truck driver by tossing concrete from a highway overpass will spend less time in prison.  Marion Superior Court Judge Grant Hawkins initially sentenced 20-year-old Robert K. Roberts to 10 years in prison in December of 2005 for overpass mischief. On Friday, however, Hawkins ordered Roberts’ release to home detention for two years, followed by four years of probation and 320 hours of community service. Authorities say Roberts tossed a 10-pound piece of concrete over an I-70 overpass in April of 2005, striking a truck driver in the chest.  The driver died from injuries two days after the incident.

Man falls off bridge, rescued from White River

An Indianapolis man was saved by rescue crews from the white river after he fell from a bridge.  Authorities say the man fell from the bridge at 10th Street and White River Parkway.  Indianapolis Fire Captain Gregg Harris says the man was walking along a train trestle and fell off into the river.  Rescue crews initially had trouble reaching the man because he fell in the middle of some brush underneath the bridge.  The man was dragged into a rescue boat and taken to an ambulance after rescuers had spent 20 minutes trying to reach him.

Two infants die in unrelated incidents

Authorities in Marion County are investigating two separate deaths of two-month-old infants on Friday.  They say the babies may have suffocated due to sleeping arrangements.  Avery Joseph Harmon was pronounced dead at community east hospital after he was brought from his home by rescue workers.  The mother, 27-year-old Kristin Harmon says she fed her son around 5:30 a.m. and then fell asleep with the boy on her stomach. She then woke to find him not breathing.  The other infant, Abigail Bontreger, was said to have died from asphyxiation at an in-home day care in Indianapolis.

Mansfield rethinks decision, will participate in debate

Democratic mayoral candidate James Mansfield, Jr. says he will participate in a debate hosted by the mayor’s youth council.  Mansfield originally said he would not participate in the debate, saying primary elections are more about “party politics.” The Executive Director of the Muncie Visitors Bureau says he was obligated as a public servant to be in the debate.  The event will take place April 30 at the city hall auditorium at 7 p.m.

Baker Pool to hold groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday

A ground breaking ceremony will take place this Wednesday in New Castle for a new public swimming pool.  City officials will meet at the Baker Pool bathhouse to break ground on a new pool at 11:30 a.m., despite controversy over the $1.9 million cost of the project.  New Castle City Park Board President Connie Trout says demolition of the old pool should begin soon and the new pool could be open later this summer.  Baker Pool has been closed for the last two summers.