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This Hour: Latest Indiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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BP REFINERY-EXPLOSION-RELEASE

BP explosion causes sulfur dioxide release

WHITING, Ind. (AP) - BP officials have notified the state of Indiana that more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide were released into the air following an explosion at refinery in northwestern Indiana.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan Goldblatt says the agency is still preparing a report but the initial indication is that the release didn't cause any air quality problems.

BP spokesman Scott Dean says there's no indication the explosion had any environmental impact.

Dean says the explosion Wednesday night was caused by a compressor in one of the units of the refinery. He says the plant was continuing to operate Thursday. He wouldn't comment on whether it affected the production at the plant.

The plant is in Whiting, just east of Chicago, along Lake Michigan.

GREAT LAKES-NUCLEAR WASTE

Resolution to oppose nuke waste near Lake Huron

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - A member of Congress from Michigan says he'll sponsor a resolution opposing a Canadian power company's plan to bury waste from nuclear plants less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Democratic Representative Dan Kildee announced his plan Thursday during a boat trip on Saginaw Bay. His district includes a section of the lake's shoreline.

The nonbinding resolution will urge President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take up the matter with the Canadian government.

Ontario Power Generation wants to entomb radioactive waste from in rock chambers 2,230 feet below the earth's surface near Kincardine, Ontario.

The company says the facility would be safe and wouldn't leak. Opponents say there's no way to guarantee that for the thousands of years that the waste would remain radioactive.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER

Pence gets new workforce chief - for $31,000 more

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The first-term state lawmaker picked by Governor Mike Pence to lead Indiana's workforce development efforts will earn more than $31,000 more than his predecessor.

The Journal Gazette reports Republican state Representative Steve Braun of Zionsville will earn $150,000 per year as commissioner for the Department of Workforce Development.

The current commissioner is taking a demotion but getting a pay raise. Scott Sanders will become the agency's senior deputy commissioner overseeing the unemployment insurance division at an annual salary of $120,000. He now earns $118,565 as commissioner.

Pence's office says Braun intends to resign his legislative seat after the November general election and begin his new position on November 24th.

Sanders has led Workforce Development since April 2012, when he was appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

GARY COURTHOUSE FIRE

Fire closes Lake County Courthouse in Gary

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - The Lake County commissioners say a county courthouse in Gary will likely remain closed for a week after an electrical fire.

The Munster Times reports the commissioners issued a statement saying the courthouse was evacuated safely Thursday morning after the fire began. It says the fire caused severe damage to several pieces of the building's electrical system.

The statement says the building is unlikely reopen for business before Wednesday because of smoke damage and the need for extensive repairs.

The commissioners say all other county courthouses will remain open and follow their regular schedules. The county also has courts in Crown Point, East Chicago and Hammond.

An August 19th fire forced the closure of a building at the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point.

WIGWAM'S FUTURE

Plan saves Anderson's Wigwam gym from demolition

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - A plan to save the historic Wigwam gymnasium has been approved by Anderson Redevelopment Commission and the Anderson Community Schools board of trustees.

The Herald-Bulletin reported Thursday that barring any last-minute complications, Indianapolis-based BWI and Pinebrook Properties will close on and take control of the property next Tuesday.

The company that will operate under the name Wigwam LLC has agreed to maintain the gymnasium until at least 2030. It plans to convert part of the property into to multi-family housing and to find partners to develop uses for other parts.

The Anderson Community Schools have pledged $630,000 to the project and in return secured rights to use the facility rent-free 12 days per year.

Renovations are expected to being early next year.

DOCTOR-DRUG CHARGES

Ex-Bloomington pain doctor now on home confinement

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A former Bloomington pain management doctor has left federal prison more than a year early.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke says Kamal Tawari was released from prison August 8th and will be confined to his Bloomington home until November 11th, when he will begin three years on probation. Burke says Tawari is allowed to leave to leave his house to attend church and work, for doctor's appointments, to attend classes and to participate in certain family activities.

The Herald-Times reports Tawari's November 2015 prison-release date was moved up because he completed a substance abuse education course while imprisoned in Arkansas.

Tiwari was sentenced in 2012 to 3½ years in prison for prescribing addictive painkillers to known substance abusers and committing health care fraud.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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