Hearing set for Blackford County smoking ban

Blackford County Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday to hear input on a possible smoking ban.  However, County Commissioner Fred Walker says there will not be a vote on the issue that night and the meeting is only to gather public input.  The forum is in response to a request by the Blackford County Board of Health to pass an ordinance to protect residents form second hand smoke.  The meeting will take place at the Blackford Circuit Court courtroom on the third floor of the Blackford County Courthouse.

New Castle man arrested, charged and convicted in less than one week

A New Castle man accused of stealing merchandise from a music store was arrested, charged and convicted…all within three days.  Police say 41-year-old Rodney Boatright took several instruments and stereo equipment from c and a music shop on Broad Street, Tuesday.  Approximately four hours after the robbery, Boatright tried to sell the merchandise at a nearby pawn shop where he was later arrested. On Thursday, Boatright pled guilty to five felony charges and Henry circuit court two judge Robert Witham took the plea as an underadvisdement and convicted Boatright.  A sentencing hearing has been set for April 30.

Indiana General Assembly pressing to make deadline

As the Indiana General Assembly heads into its final two weeks, work on major issues has intensified.  Legislators are working longer hours in order to get many of their initiatives through both chambers before next week’s deadline.  Democratic representative Sue Errington is hoping to have a bill passed that would support a new health care program for the working poor. Her plan is to reduce the amount of money a family would have to pay from five percent of their adjusted gross family income to two percent for individuals who are below 150 percent of the federal poverty rate.  If approved, the bill will return to the Senate for review of House changes.

Center for Media Design showcases digital technology April 10-11

Ball State’s Center for Media Design will showcase how digital technology promotes the exchange of information in educational and commercial environments.  A display will take place April 10-11 from 10-3 on the second floor of the Art and Journalism building and is free to the public.  Visitors of the showcase will be able to participate in several simulated research studies as well as use their cell phones to answer poll questions and win free prizes. For more information on the event, contact Chris Batz at 765-285-4321.

Former basketball player arrested in connection with beating, shooting

Two Ball State students are being held in relation to a beating and a shooting on Linden Street early Friday morning. A third suspect is being sought after as well.  One of the suspects is former basketball player Darren Yates. Police say the three men beat Anthony Lee at his home and left several gashes on his head after they pistol whipped him.  Lee says a few others were able to get the suspects out of his home, but that’s when police say one of the suspects fired a shot through the door, barely missing a female’s head.  Police say an altercation earlier in the night at a bar led to the incident on Linden Street.

Investigation continues on Purdue student's death

Purdue officials are continuing their investigation on how Wade Steffy entered a high-voltage utility room where he was found dead.  The door leading to the room was supposed to be locked; however no warning signs were posted.  University president martin Jischke says officials do not know if steffy opened the locked door, or if the door was inadvertently left unlocked.  Steffey was fatally shocked on January 13, but was not found until March 19.  Jischke says he will not elaborate on sSteffey’s death until the investigation is complete and a report is issued.

Peanut Butter maker pledges to make product safe

Con-Agra foods says a leaky roof and faulty sprinkler were the source of a salmonella outbreak that contaminated peanut butter at its Georgia plant last year.  The Omaha-based company conducted a two month investigation and is pledging to ensure that peter pan peanut butter is safe when it returns to stores in mid-July.  Con-Agra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs says the outbreak was linked to three problems at its Sylvester Georgia plant last August, after the roof leaked during a rainstorm and the sprinkler system went off twice because of a faulty sprinkler.

Billionaire makes offer to buy Chrysler at $4.5 billion

A $4.5 billion cash offer for the buyout of Chrysler has been made by billionaire investor KirkKerkorian.  The potential deal would put Kerkorian in charge of the company, ten years after he says he was tricked out of billions of dollars in the 1998 deal in which Daimler Benz combined with Chrysler. Kerkorian was the largest share-holder of Chrysler at the time of the 1998 merger and sued the company in 2000.  A federal judge rejected his claim that he was cheated out of billions of dollars after Daimler Benz completed the deal as a merger of equals.

Ku Klux Klan planning rally in Bloomington; no date set

A Ku Klux Klan rally is being planned to march through the streets of Bloomington.  But the group has yet to set a time and date.  The leader of the KKK says a march is planned with up to 300 Klansmen in full robe and hood.  City officials in Bloomington are hoping to unmask them.  Safe and civil city director Beverly Calneder says she is disappointed in the Klan’s plan to rally in an effort to recruit members in Bloomington.  The city council is considering an anti-mask law, in order to keep Klan members from being in full uniform.

$26 billion budget approved by Senate committee

A $26 billion, two year budget proposal to increase spending for schools, universities and prisons was endorsed by a senate committee Thursday.  The plan was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee along party lines.  The plan will also provide money to allow more schools to offer full-day kindergarten.  The proposed budget meets Governor Daniels’ desire to hold spending increases at four percent or below over the next two years.