Legislative studies often precede tough action
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana lawmakers have only a few more days before they wrap up the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn't mean they're totally done for the year.
A handful of top issues being debated this session are on their way to "summer study," as the Statehouse lingo goes. Such studies often motivate lawmakers to take action on tough issues that would otherwise stagnate.
It took a study last summer of religious daycare operations for lawmakers to draw close this year on new rules.
Republican Governor Mike Pence could have the most to gain or lose. Lawmakers are set to review his call for business tax cuts and preschool vouchers over the summer.
The session is set to end no later than Friday. Then come months of pondering.
GRAIN BIN RESCUE
Eastern Indiana man OK after grain bin rescue
CENTERVILLE, Ind. (AP) - An eastern Indiana man is alive after corn buried him to his shoulders in a grain bin.
The Palladium-Item reports 68-year-old George Staley of Richmond, Indiana told rescuers he was fine after being freed Saturday.
Malcolm Merkamp, who farms near Centerville, 60 miles east of Indianapolis, said he and Staley were loading a truck with corn from the bin when the auger became stuck. After Staley went inside to work on the auger, corn started rolling over him. Merkamp said he was able to turn off the auger before corn completely buried the other man.
Firefighters cut holes in the bin to release the corn. The rescue took about two hours.
Merkamp says Staley refused additional medical care after being freed from the bin and checked by medical personnel.
HOUSE FIRE-THREE DEAD
Survivor of fire that killed siblings goes home
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - A young southern Indiana girl who survived a fire that killed three siblings has been welcomed home from the hospital with a ride in a fire truck and a reception.
The News and Tribune and WLKY-TV report police cars, other fire trucks and dozens of other vehicles participated in a short parade Saturday to celebrate the homecoming of 5-year-old Tat'yana Hughes.
Tat'yana was released from an Indianapolis hospital Friday after sustaining severe injuries in the January 4th house fire that authorities say began when a man fired a flare into the home where the family was spending the night.
Among the more than 100 people who gathered at New Albany's Griffin Recreation Center to greet Tat'yana was Fire Department Sgt. Bob Hannon, who pulled the girl from the burning home.
Police identify body found in White River
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police say a body found in the White River belonged to a 15-year-old boy.
Sergeant Kendale Adams tells The Indianapolis Star there were no visible signs of injury on the body of Matthew Grover of Indianapolis. His body was found Friday night.
Authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before releasing the cause and manner of the boy's death.
The boy's father, Kevin Grover, says his son had been missing since December. He tells WTHR-TV that Matthew ran away after an argument just before Christmas. He says nobody, including friends, had heard from Matthew since then.
BAND STUDENT FOUND
Texas student on band trip found miles away
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A 15-year-old boy from Texas has been reunited with his mother after going missing for about 36 hours while on a band trip at Butler University.
Indianapolis Police Officer Kendale Adams said in a release Saturday that a passer-by saw Stephen Colbert of Wiley, Texas at a Steak n' Shake in Mooresville and called police.
Mooresville is about 20 miles from the university, where Colbert was attending the Music for All National Festival with other students from Wylie High School. Colbert had last been seen at a concert on campus at about 7 p.m. Thursday.
Adams told the Indianapolis Star that investigators had spoken with Colbert, who said he didn't know how he ended up in Mooresville.
Wylie district spokesperson Ian Halperin told WFAA-TV that several chaperones on the trip.
HUNTINGTON JAIL IMPROVEMENTS
NE Indiana jail upgrades include better cell doors
HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Improvements at a northeastern Indiana jail include tamper-free doors that will prevent prisoners from leaving their cells in the middle of the night.
Huntington County Jail Commander Jeff Kyle tells WANE-TV the old cell doors could be popped open with combs and inmates at times would leave their cells after "lights out" and take showers, roam around cell blocks or fight others.
The new doors are among $520,000 in improvements at the jail about 20 miles southwest of Fort Wayne. Others are more security cameras and a digitized control panel that allows staff to access cameras on their desktop computers and to remotely operate doors to cell blocks.
Kyle said the upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of March.
The jail was built in 1983.
State defends new tourism slogan as good branding
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana officials are defending the state's new tourism slogan from critics who say it's too folksy and could hurt efforts to market Indianapolis as a vibrant destination.
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development unveiled the slogan "Honest to Goodness Indiana" in February.
Executive Director Mark Newman tells the Indianapolis Business Journal that the slogan won because the other two finalists "felt more like campaigns than sustainable brands."
But critics contend the slogan doesn't have anything to do with travel or tourism and reinforces stereotypes of Indiana residents as unsophisticated bumpkins.
Newman says the "Honest to Goodness" platform is an attempt to "represent all areas of the state."
The campaign rolls out this month and will ramp up from May to September.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.