PAOLI, Ind. (AP) – A southern Indiana man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder and other charges in connection with the drug-related shooting near Paoli in June that left two men dead and another injured.
49-year-old Elbert Brooks of New Albany was sentenced Thursday in Orange Circuit Court. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury on Dec. 30. A second count of murder was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
56-year-old Nicky Fields and 25-year-old Corey Michael Harris were killed in the June 23rd shooting. 29-year-old Daniel Smitson suffered a gunshot wound to the mouth. The shooting occurred just after 1 o’clock on June 23rd when Brooks and 2 other men charged in this case went to Fields’ mobile home in the 2300 block of Orange County Road 200 West to get meth.
The other 2 men, 36-year-old James Davidson and 35-year-old John Carpenter (both of Marengo), are still awaiting trial in Orange County on murder charges.
MUNSTER, Ind. (AP)- The health of Hoosiers continues to be a hot topic in light of recent reports.
An annual survey of U.S. health rankings puts Indiana at 41st in the nation for the third straight year. Although United Health Foundation’s new rankings keep Indiana at 41st in the nation, the state did make improvements in smoking and childhood poverty.
Some of the notable rankings in the Health Foundation’s report had Indiana 7th in immunization of adolescents and 13th in child poverty. The negatives include rankings of 39th in both smoking and diabetes, 42nd in obesity, and 47th in public health funding.
State health commissioner Jerome Adams says it will take a coalition of state and local officials and Hoosier themselves to make progress on some of Indiana’s greatest health challenges.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A deal to build a convention hotel in downtown Evansville has collapsed and taken down a $71.3 million plan that also included an apartment tower, parking garage and infrastructure upgrades.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced the development at a Thursday news conference with Old National Bank President Bob Jones.
Jones says a consultant to the bank found the value of naming rights for the convention hall long known as The Centre isn’t worth the money the bank was prepared to invest in the project. The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/13hKl4D ) the financing gap came to $6.5 million.
The bank last year pledged to be an investor along with developer HCW after the City Council set a $20 million cap on public financing.
Winnecke says he’ll keep working on the project.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The chairman of the State Budget Committee says the state’s revenue forecast for the next two years is “moderately positive” despite predictions that Indiana will have $129 million less to work with in 2015.
Republican Sen. Luke Kenley says he is cautiously optimistic after receiving a report Thursday that projected revenue growth of 2.4 percent in fiscal 2016 and 3.2 percent the following year.
The forecast calls for sales tax revenues to increase by $13.8 million for the current year, or 4.8 percent, then grow 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent the next two years. The forecast also projects gaming revenue will drop below 2003 levels.
Gov. Mike Pence says the numbers are encouraging but that his administration will use caution as it finalizes its budget recommendations.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana officials say a heavy equipment parts maker in Plymouth plans to create 475 jobs by 2017 and 15 other companies have pledged to create nearly 1,700 other jobs over the next decade in return for more than $19 million in tax credits and other incentives.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said Thursday that AMI Industries Inc. plans to create 250 jobs next year and 225 more by 2017 while investing $8.5 million to equip and improve production equipment for farm and automotive components. The state will provide up to $2.3 million in tax credits and $300,000 in training grants.
Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (PEE’-lath) expressed skepticism that all of the jobs will materialize. He says Indiana’s average household income fell 12 percent from 2002 to 2013.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana’s state health agency has won a $1.4 million federal grant to help it conduct an in-depth analysis of the factors behind homicides and suicides in the state.
The five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow the State Department of Health to gather critical data on Indiana’s violent deaths using the National Violent Death Reporting System.
That online system helps state and local officials understand when and how violent deaths occur by linking data from law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners, vital statistics and crime laboratories.
Indiana had 1,456 violent deaths in 2012, of which nearly 64 percent were suicides and 23 percent were homicides.
State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says that “to stop violent deaths, we must first understand all the facts.”
PETERSBURG, Ind. (AP)- The city of Petersburg has yet another new mayor.
Over the weekend, a Republican caucus selected R.C. Klipsch as the next mayor. He becomes the 3rd mayor of Petersburg since the beginning of last year.
On Jan. 1, he will take over for Frank Coleman Jr. Coleman, a retired Indiana State Police trooper, announced he was stepping down as mayor earlier this month.
The man who won his third term in the 2011 election, Jon Craig, resigned early in 2013 to become the deputy director of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Coleman was tabbed as Craig’s replacement in February of that year.
Klipsch has worked in the mayor’s office under both Craig and Coleman as the city code inspector.