PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) – Deputies with a southwestern Indiana sheriff’s department will soon be equipped with body cameras designed to collect potentially crucial evidence during police interactions with suspects.
The Gibson County Council last week unanimously approved allocating $20,000 in riverboat revenue funds to pay for 20 cameras and computer accessories for the county’s deputies.
Sheriff George Ballard told council members it was his job to bring the potential value of body cameras to the council’s attention in the wake of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer’s fatal shooting of a teenager that sparked days of rioting in that community.
Councilman George Ankenbrand says the $20,000 for the cameras is money well spent if it can prevent a big lawsuit. Ankenbrand is a former county prosecutor.
MADISON (AP)-The governors of Indiana and Kentucky are scheduled to attend a dedication ceremony for the new $103 million Madison-Milton Bridge next month.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will attend the Oct. 1 event.
The bridge was moved from temporary piers to its permanent spot in April. It took about 16 hours to slide the 30-million-pound steel truss. Highway officials say the truss, nearly a half-mile long, is the longest in North America to be slid laterally into place.
The bridge reopened to traffic on April 17. Work is continuing on a pedestrian sidewalk.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s top elections official and leaders of both political parties are working to get more residents to vote in the November general election.
Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson has launched a $750,000 nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort this year. Radio, television and newspaper ads focus on the value and potential decisiveness of each vote.
Now the May primary saw just 13 percent of Indiana’s nearly 4.6 million registered voters cast a ballot. The November ballot lacks marquee races, and officials fear that could lead to the lowest general election voter turnout in state history.
The report shows the Republican and Democratic parties are encouraging supporters to show up at the polls by going door to door and using social media.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence says he hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold Indiana’s right to enact marriage laws when the issue of same-sex unions reaches the high court.
Indiana law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled that law was unconstitutional. The court’s ruling affirmed U.S. District Judge Richard Young’s decision in June to overturn the ban.
The state says it will seek a stay of the ruling pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Lawmakers had pushed to amend the ban into the state constitution, but the measure was kept off the November ballot when they changed the language of the proposed amendment during this year’s legislative session.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz says she would like to see the state cover the costs of textbook rentals.
Ritz included the request in her proposed schools budget she submitted to the State Budget Agency on Thursday. She is also asking for a 3 percent increase in education spending.
Indiana is one of eight states to charge families for textbook costs.
Gov. Mike Pence is set to deliver a budget proposal to the General Assembly in January. Pence has typically favored spending and tax cuts over increased spending like Ritz is calling for.
Republican leaders say they strived to protect education from the deep cuts some other agencies faced through the recession. But Democrats still point out that schools took a $300 million hit during the recession.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld Indiana’s right-to-work law banning mandatory union fees in a split decision.
Two judges on the three-member panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the state law doesn’t wrongfully take property from unions and is constitutional. But Chief Judge Diane Wood dissented, writing that federal labor law “does not support such sweeping force for Indiana’s right-to-work law.”
The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday on a pair of cases challenging the law on state constitutional grounds. Indiana became the first Rust Belt state to approve a right-to-work law in 2012.
The legislative fight drew thousands of union protesters to the Statehouse in 2011 and 2012, in one of the state’s most divisive and drawn-out debates.
BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) – Visitors to the Hoosier National Forest can take a hike or watch a Dutch oven cook at a celebration scheduled later this month.
The Wonders of Wilderness Celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The event will be held Sept. 27 in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness.
Visitors can see the Hoosier National Forest’s mules and learn about the primitive tools used to maintain trails in the wilderness area. People can also try to cut a log with a crosscut saw.
The event also includes a search and rescue discussion and tips on how to remain safe when hiking in the forest.
Guided hikes on the rugged, six-mile Sycamore Loop Trail will start at 3 p.m.