Up to 7 inches of snow falls in southern Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Numerous crashes and slide-offs have tangled traffic in southern and central Indiana after several inches of snow.
No serious injuries or road closures were immediately reported Friday morning, although two people were killed in crashes Thursday night after the snowfall started. One death was in a crash on Interstate 70 near Richmond, with the other on U.S. 40 near Terre Haute.
The state highway department says it has more than 600 trucks clearing and treating highways.
The National Weather Service reports up to 7 inches of snow near Bloomington. There is about 5 inches near Columbus and Franklin, both along Interstate 65 south of Indianapolis.
WINTRY WEATHER-INDIANA-PLOW CRASH
Plow truck flips on side along SW Indiana highway
(Information in the following story is from: Greene County (Ind.) Daily World, http://gcdailyworld.com/)
BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (AP) - The roads in southwestern Indiana were apparently too slick for at least one snow plow.
The Greene County Sheriff's Department says the state Department of Transportation plow truck went off Indiana 45 and flipped onto its passenger side in a crash early Friday.
The Greene County Daily World reports that the driver was trapped inside the truck by his seatbelt for a time, but wasn't injured.
Police say there was about 2 inches of snow in the rural area about 15 miles southeast of Bloomington when the crash happened. The truck's load of road salt was spilled in the crash.
Fort Wayne officer charged with raping woman
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Prosecutors have filed rape charges against a Fort Wayne police officer, saying he attacked a woman he had arrested for drunken driving.
Allen County prosecutors added the two counts of rape on Thursday to the charges against Officer Mark Rogers. He had first been charged in September sexual and official misconduct.
The Journal Gazette reports the new charges allege Rogers stopped the woman and took her to a hospital for treatment because of her high level of intoxication. Prosecutors say that after she was released from the hospital Rogers took her to a city park and had sex with her.
ORANGE COUNTY STANDOFF
S. Ind. man arrested after 6-hour police standoff
PAOLI, Ind. (AP) - State police say a southern Indiana man has been arrested after a six-hour standoff that began when he fired several shots at family members.
Officers were called late Thursday to the rural home outside the Orange County town of Paoli (pay-OH'-lee).
State police Sgt. Philip Hensley says the gunshots drove family members from the house, but none were injured. He says that 54-year-old David Coleman barricaded himself inside the house some 40 miles south of Bloomington and refused to come outside until about 5 a.m. Friday.
Coleman has been jailed on preliminary charges of attempted murder and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.
VIGO COUNTY-CHURCH FIRE
Fire wrecks rural church in western Indiana
PRAIRIE CREEK, Ind. (AP) - Fire has destroyed much of a church in rural western Indiana that dated to the 19th century.
The fire broke out Thursday night at the Prairie Creek First Baptist Church in southern Vigo County, destroying the church's main sanctuary and its white steeple.
Pastor Kevin Dobson tells the Tribune-Star that no one was believed to have been inside the church when the fire started.
Renovation work was being done at the church, and Dobson says a large part of a new section being added to the church was saved from the flames. The church dated to the 1870s and about 100 people are members of the congregation some 15 miles south of Terre Haute.
The fire's cause wasn't immediately determined.
Kokomo mayor thanks volunteers for aid after storm
KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) - The mayor of Kokomo is thanking volunteers who provided help after the central Indiana city was hit by two tornadoes last month.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the city has been touched by the thousands of volunteers from across the Midwest who provided services during the city's time of need. He offered a special thanks to mayors of nearby cities that provided dump trucks, pay loaders and backhoes along with the crews required to operate the equipment.
Nearly 200 homes in Howard County were destroyed or have major damage after two tornadoes with winds of at least 120 mph hit Nov. 17. Goodnight says the next few months are going to be difficult for many Kokomo residents, but says they are made easier by those who helped.
Police warn of phone scam targeting grandparents
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State police are warning Indiana residents about a phone scam that has been reported in central Indiana where grandparents are swindled out of money by con artists who tell them about a fake emergency.
State police says the criminals call someone telling them their grandson is in trouble, usually in Canada, and needs cash wired immediately. The "trouble" calls have ranged from arrests to being hurt in a car crash and needing money for treatment.
The callers ask grandparents not to call mom or dad and let them know, so investigators warn people who receive such calls to always check. Police also advise people they should never give out personal information.
Police say victims have lost hundreds to thousands of dollars in this scam.
BLOOMINGTON LAKE REPAIRS
Bloomington lake refilling after dam repairs
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Dam repairs at a Bloomington lake have been completed and it is starting to refill with water more than a year after it was drained.
Work was completed last week on the Griffy Lake dam project, which included replacing concrete, fixing cracks and removing debris and sediment.
Bloomington utilities engineer Phil Peden tells The Herald-Times that quite a bit of water has already flowed into the lake. Officials don't know how long it will take the 109-acre lake to reach its normal depth.
Utilities Department spokesman Jon Callahan says the $1.4 million project was needed after heavy rains damaged the dam in 2008.
NEW INDIANAPOLIS HOSPITAL
Eskenazi Health hospital opens Saturday in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Eskenazi Health hospital will officially open for business in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday while nearby Wishard Memorial Hospital will begin to close.
The new $754 million hospital is scheduled to begin accepting patients 7 a.m. Saturday, which is one minute after Wishard will stop accepting patients. Moving patients from Wishard to Eskenazi Health also is scheduled to begin 7 a.m. Saturday.
Hospital officials say the move will be the first new complete public hospital campus relocation since Chicago's Stroger Hospital opened in 2002 to replace Cook County Hospital. The move will involve Naval Reserves, the Indiana National Guard, hundreds of volunteers and ambulance services from throughout central Indiana.
Construction on the 315-bed hospital began four years ago.
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