Drug court participants could face prison time
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - The Indiana Supreme Court's suspension of a troubled southern Indiana drug court has left more than 70 people facing the possibility that they'll have to serve out the rest of their sentences in prison.
State officials are weighing whether participants in the Clark County Drug Court Treatment Program can complete the program under a temporary certification.
State Supreme Court outreach coordinator Sarah Kidwell tells The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., that "any particulars of moving forward are being carefully considered."
The state's high court last month suspended the drug court, which is facing a federal lawsuit over the mistreatment of participants. That includes some who were left incarcerated longer than ordered.
Those individuals agreed to enter the drug-treatment program to avoid incarceration.
Judge mulls sentence for man in witness beating
MADISON, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana judge is weighing what sentence he'll impose on a man convicted of attacking another man over testimony that led to his stepdaughter's arrest.
A Jefferson County jury convicted 48-year-old Garry A. Gibson of aggravated battery and criminal confinement for the attack.
The Madison Courier reports police say Gibson was one of two men who attacked a man in a retaliatory attack after information he provided police led to the arrest of Gibson's stepdaughter.
Prosecutors asked Circuit Court Judge Darrell Auxier during a Wednesday hearing to impose a 20-year sentence on Gibson. The Lexington man's attorney requested a six-year sentence, saying anything longer would place undue hardship on Gibson's family.
Auxier says he'll determine Gibson's sentence after reviewing the evidence from the hearing and his trial.
Man faces drug charge after pot falls from pocket
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Northern Indiana police say a man registering as a sex offender at a county jail is facing drug charges after a bag of marijuana allegedly fell out of his pocket in the jail.
Tippecanoe County Sheriff Detective Jason Morgan says 22-year-old Jacquez Lewis arrived Tuesday at the county jail in Lafayette to register as a sex offender for an Illinois conviction.
Morgan tells the Journal & Courier he asked Lewis for his identification to begin the registration process, but when Lewis reached into his pocket to get his license "a baggie of marijuana fell onto the counter."
Morgan says Lewis told him he'd found the marijuana. Lewis faces a preliminary charge of possession of marijuana.
Lewis was released from the jail after posting bond.
Man accused of stealing equipment from employer
DENVER, Ind. (AP) - A central Indiana man faces theft charges after police say he stole more than $10,000 worth of tools and other equipment from his employer.
Thirty-six-year-old Travis J. Greer of Peru was arrested Tuesday on two felony counts of theft. He was later released from the Miami County Jail after posting bond.
The Kokomo Tribune reports deputies say Greer stole tools, equipment, diagnostic instruments and merchandise from Raider Truck Repair, the Denver, Ind., business where he worked.
Deputies say they searched Greer's vehicle and found stolen property belonging to the business owner. Many of the stolen items have been returned to the owner.
Police began investigating Greer after the business' owner reported that he believed an employee had been stealing his equipment for an extended period of time.
Ind. senator in spotlight at annual CPAC meeting
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana state senator is getting attention from an annual gathering of the nation's conservative leaders.
Republican Sen. Jim Banks of Columbia City will be featured as one of the 10 rising stars at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
The meeting is often a proving ground for the nation's leading conservatives. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels headlined the event in 2011 and then-U.S. Rep. Mike Pence spoke at the 2010 meeting.
Banks has represented northeastern Indiana in the state senate since 2010.
STATE FOREST EXPANSION
Ind. nature trust expands Owen-Putnam State Forest
POLAND, Ind. (AP) - State officials say funding from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources expand a central Indiana state forest by 84 acres.
The agency announced this week the expansion to Owen-Putnam State Forest includes upland hardwood forest and an intermittent stream. The forest about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis offers hunting, a hiking trail, 6 miles of mountain bike trails, bridle trails and primitive camping.
The department says additional funding for the purchase came from Indiana Heritage Trust and the Indiana Wildlife Federation.
The Bicentennial Nature Trust is aimed at expanding trails, conservation areas and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana's 200 years of statehood in 2016.
WAR DOG'S RETURN
Retired sergeant reunited with war dog companion
BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (AP) - A retired Air Force sergeant from southern Indiana has been reunited with a military dog that served with him during the war in Iraq.
Harvey Holt wept Wednesday shortly after seeing Jackson, a 10-year-old Belgian Malinois who'd been his companion during their six months together in Iraq.
Holt tells The Herald-Times he thought he would never again see Jackson, whose image is tattooed on his left leg.
After the pair was reunited at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Holt drove back to Indiana in a rental car paid for by donations. His flight to the base was also paid for.
The canine will be living with Holt at his home in Bloomfield. Holt has been spoiling the pooch with dehydrated chicken treats.
INDYCAR-INDY 500 QUALIFYING
Indy 500 qualifying to be 3 rounds over 2 days
(AP) - The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 will include three rounds over two days and the pole-winner will be decided on what used to be Bump Day.
IndyCar will also award yet-to-be-announced points incentives with the qualifying results.
Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17 when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the "Fast Nine Shootout."
On Sunday, the previous days' times are erased and entries 10 through 33 will complete another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine starting positions. The fastest nine will then make one four-lap attempt to determine the prestigious pole winner and starting front row.
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