WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Indiana’s seed commissioner has asked the federal government for permission to allow Hoosier farmers to begin growing industrial hemp under new state regulations.
Seed Commissioner Robert Waltz said Thursday that industrial hemp cannot be legally grown in Indiana until the state obtains federal approval.
Although the Legislature approved a measure allowing hemp to be grown in the state, Indiana still needs permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Waltz says the approval process could take several months, and even then hemp growers and handlers will need a license and have to adhere to stringent state regulations.
Hemp is marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin but it cannot be grown under federal law without permission. Many products made from hemp, such as oils and clothing, are legal.
PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) – A coal company says a worker has been fatally injured at a southwestern Indiana mine.
Gibson County Coal says 41-year-old Timothy Memmer of Princeton died from the accident about 2 a.m. Tuesday at the mine in a rural area outside the city of Princeton.
The company tells the Evansville Courier & Press and WFIE-TV that Memmer and another employee were doing maintenance work on a piece of underground mining machinery when he was injured by an unexpected movement of the equipment.
The company says the other worker wasn’t hurt.
County emergency personnel and the county coroner were called to the mine about 30 miles north of Evansville.
VONORE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials in East Tennessee say they have found wreckage from an aircraft that was reported missing and the pilot, who was the only person aboard, is dead.
The aircraft — a single-engine World War II-era de Havilland DHC-1 — was reported missing Sunday evening after it didn’t arrive in Canon, Ga. The flight originated in French Lick, Ind.
Officials with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told media the wreckage was found in the Cherokee National Forest in an area that is not easily accessible by vehicle. Crews were able to access the area by air.
An investigation into the crash continues.
VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) – A congressman is throwing his support behind a proposal to build Indiana’s first simulated coal mine for miner safety training.
Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon (boo-SHAHN’) represents southwestern Indiana’s coal country and joined coal industry, utility and other government officials Friday at a Vincennes University coal summit.
Bucshon says the goal of the simulated coal mine is to enhance safety without having to train miners on the job.
Currently, the closest simulated coal mines to Indiana are in Madisonville, Ky., and Rend Lake, Ill. Vincennes University has pledged $250,000 for the project.
But Bucshon says the money needed to develop a simulated coal mine for safety training in Indiana will come from a combination of federal, state, industry and university money.
CROTHERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Conservation officers say a southern Indiana woman is recovering after being rescued from her pickup truck that became stalled in a river’s flood waters.
Officer Jim Schreck says 43-year-old Teresa Hilton of Crothersville was treated for possible hypothermia at a Seymour hospital after other conservation officers plucked her from the roof of her pickup Saturday evening.
The truck had stalled in high water from the Vernon Fork of the Muscatatuck River about 2 miles northeast of Crothersville. Schreck says intermittent flood waters in the area hampered them but they were able to deploy an airboat and rescue Hilton.
The National Weather Service posted flood warnings for the Muscatatuck River and other streams in southern Indiana after they became swollen from snowmelt and heavy rains on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s governors sound every bit as divided as Washington lawmakers on how best to help the nation’s economy.
Democratic governors such as Maryland’s Martin O’Malley and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy are making pitches to raise the minimum wage as the nation’s governors meet in Washington for their annual conference.
Meanwhile, Republican governors such as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Indiana’s Mike Pence are calling for more freedom from federal regulations and the opening of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Appearing Sunday on CNN, Malloy says the vast majority of people earning a minimum wage are trying to raise a family, and the minimum wage needs to keep up with inflation.
Jindahl told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that delaying mandates included in President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul would boost the economy.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An Indiana House committee has approved a bill supporters say is needed to protect the rights of Hoosier farmers, but opponents say would give special protections to big agribusinesses.
The House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee passed the bill Thursday on a 12-1 vote, sending it to the full House for consideration.
The measure passed the Senate last month and includes language stating Indiana law “shall be construed to protect the rights of farmers.”
The Hoosier Environmental Council says that language has legal ramifications and would shield agribusinesses such as livestock farms that produce large amounts of manure from legal liability, “regardless of the harm those practices cause.”
Republican state Sen. Carlin Yoder of Middlebury says his bill simply lets judges know “the General Assembly stands with our farming communities.”