VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) – A major renovation of the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Center at Indianapolis International Airport is expected to begin next month and last about a year
Vincennes vice president for financial services and government relations Phil Rath says improvements on the 90,000-square-foot building will include a new roof and heating and cooling system, new hangars, remodeled classrooms and restrooms, and improved floors, hallways and entry doors.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/1btG9zq ) the approximately $6 million project is being funded by the state.
Rath said the Aviation Technology Center also is home to Vincennes’ aviation flight program, but its primary focus is aviation maintenance, a program that offers about 120 majors.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana’s education battle between Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence has escalated consistently in a series of tit-for-tat allegations akin to something out of Dr. Seuss’ “The Butter Battle Book.”
Ritz expressed dismay last week upon releasing an internal Pence education memo that she said called for stripping her control of the State Board of Education. Pence’s staff fired back by saying he had already dismissed the idea, and he had told her about it.
The fight over control of Indiana’s education system seems to be escalating unabated.
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis says lawmakers may step in, if needed. But meanwhile, he and Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long will continue working behind the scenes to cool down both sides.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence is set to provide more details about his second-year agenda he says will focus on education, road construction and other economic issues.
Pence is scheduled to speak Thursday at a legislative conference put on annually by the Indianapolis law firm Bingham Greenbaum Doll. He has already said he plans spending his second session with the General Assembly pushing for a range of issues broadly focused on improving the state’s economy.
Included in his second-year agenda is a measure that would expand the number of charter schools. Others would search for ways to pay for new road construction and consider recommendations on improving career preparation among students.
Pence had moderate success pushing through his initiatives during his first legislative session this year.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A Democratic elections lawyer is suing the State Board of Education for allegedly violating the state’s open meetings law.
Bill Groth (GROTHE) alleges the 10 gubernatorial appointees on the board held a serial meeting when they emailed plans in October to move calculation of the state’s school grades to a legislative department.
Groth filed the suit Wednesday on behalf of four plaintiffs including a former Lafayette schools superintendent.
Indiana’s public access counselor determined last month the board didn’t violate the open meetings law but had come close to doing so.
A Marion County judge dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, ruling she must have approval from the attorney general before suing other state officials.
BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (AP) – One of two men accused of killing a 19-year-old southwestern Indiana woman and dumping her body in a lake has pleaded guilty in the case.
Under a deal with prosecutors, 26-year-old Jordan Buskirk of Jasonville pleaded guilty Tuesday in Greene Superior Court to charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape and criminal confinement in the death of Katelyn Wolfe of Linton.
Authorities say Wolfe was reported missing by her father on June 6, a day after she was last seen in Linton, about 30 miles southeast of Terre Haute. Her body was found four days later in a rural lake.
Buskirk has agreed to testify in the May trial of 25-year-old co-defendant Randal Crosley of Jasonville.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and other members of the Indiana State Board of Education are meeting with a mediator called in to help with the state’s ongoing education battles.
The group planned to meet Wednesday morning with officials from the National Association of State Boards of Education. Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence agreed last week to bring in the national leaders after disagreements escalated.
Ritz stormed out of a board meeting last month after a Pence-appointed member pressed a measure Ritz said would shift power from her office. She previously sued other board members alleging violation of the state’s public access laws.
Ritz is chairwoman of the education board, but the other 10 members have been appointed by either Pence or former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.
PAOLI, Ind. (AP) – A southern Indiana ski slope is hoping the cold weather being forecast will allow it to open up for skiers in a couple weeks.
Paoli (pay-OH’-lee) Peaks spokeswoman Lauren Grenier says its crews are planning to start up its snow-making machines this weekend, with plans to start its ski season on Dec. 14.
The forecast for the Paoli area about 70 miles northeast of Evansville calls for some snowfall and temperatures below freezing through the weekend.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/1bd0at9 ) that Paoli Peaks’ ski season typically runs from mid-December through mid-March. But that can vary widely depending on the weather.