INDIANAPOLIS (AP)-Indiana students won’t be taking a test this May that was meant to help transition to new education standards.
The State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to cancel the upcoming test.
Department of Education officials say the CoreLink test could prepare students for a new exam that will come with new education standards, but some board members worry it could cause unnecessary stress.
Indiana this year became the first state to drop use of the national education standards known as Common Core. The state is set to adopt new standards April 28.
Education officials are grappling with how to assess those new standards. The board delayed a decision on whether to use the 20-question CoreLink test later this year.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s denial of Indiana’s request for a major disaster declaration due to the winter storm that dumped a foot or more of snow on parts of the state and plunged it into subzero temperatures.
State officials are seeking federal grants for government and certain nonprofit organizations in 49 counties to cover costs from the Jan. 5-9 storm.
If approved, the public assistance grants would pay 75 percent of expenses for damages to roads, bridges and utilities, debris removal, damage to buildings and emergency protective measures like traffic control and rescue operations. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security would work with FEMA and local agencies to document costs that could be covered.
BOONVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A former teacher at a southwestern Indiana middle school has pleaded guilty to charges that he secretly video recorded students and teachers in bathrooms and locker rooms.
Thirty-two-year-old Andrew Emmons entered the guilty plea during a Warrick County court hearing Monday to charges of attempted child exploitation and voyeurism.
Emmons was charged after a female faculty member at Boonville Middle School found a recording device in a staff bathroom in 2012. Police say investigators found video on his computer of female students changing clothes in a locker room.
Defense attorney Anthony Long tells the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/PXPqZk ) that Emmons didn’t want the students to have to testify in a trial and that he’s been undergoing therapy for sexual addiction issues.
His sentencing is scheduled for May 22.
OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (AP) – A southwestern Indiana wildlife refuge is receiving more than $3 million in grants to help draw more waterfowl and to improve water quality and recreation.
The federal Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved $1 million for an expansion of the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge about 30 miles northeast of Evansville. The commission announced last week the project also has $2.1 million in matching grants.
The expansion is aimed at restoring and enhancing habitat within the 6,600-acre refuge. The work will include providing migration and breeding areas for waterfowl, helping rare and endangered fish and wildlife, improving water quality and providing recreation opportunities with local economic impacts.
PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) – A southwestern Indiana city’s old theater is coming back to life through a renovation that will transform it into a community theater with extra space for local events.
The Broadway Players community theater group owns the former Princeton Theatre, which received a $4 million Stellar Communities grant for the project.
Marketing director Robin Overby tells the Princeton Daily Clarion (http://bit.ly/1hsUjzG ) new seating will be installed in the auditorium, which will seat about 300 people when the project wraps in May 2015 about 25 miles north of Evansville. The existing stage will be expanded and fitted with a large drop-down screen for movies.
The theater’s marquee will be sent to Ohio to be refurbished before it’s reattached to the building. The marquee sign was damaged when a truck collided with it.
FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) – A Central Indiana ravine full of trash that had been dumped there since 1957 has been cleaned up.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management says an inspector who visited the site with a Johnson County Health Department officer last year found the ravine filled with household trash, old appliances, tires and other debris. The woman who lived there told officials she couldn’t afford to clean up the site, which has a ditch that carries a large amount of water when it rains.
The environmental agency says waste disposal company Republic Services offered to clean up the site in the county south of Indianapolis. Work crews finished cleaning up the site last month after using a backhoe to fill 30 roll-off trash containers.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Department of Transportation says the harsh winter has cost the agency an estimated $57 million.
Agency spokesman Will Wingfield told WIBC-FM on Thursday (http://bit.ly/1k4xGcu ) the estimate would be a record. It’s also about 67 percent more than about $34 million the agency spent each of the previous five years.
Wingfield says INDOT has used 437,000 tons of salt, more than 5 million gallons of salt brine and its trucks logged nearly 8.8 million miles. That’s equal to about 18 round trips to the moon.