INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The state school superintendent says school districts could make up some snow days by having longer school days or having online instruction on a Saturday.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz says she will soon outline options for districts across the state that have canceled numerous days this winter because of heavy snow and extreme cold.
Ritz tells The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1fZa8AM ) that a district could add an additional hour to six school days to make up for one lost day. Schools with the proper technology could provide weekend instruction over the Internet.
Ritz says districts would need to seek a waiver from the Department of Education from the state’s requirement of 180 school days.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Senate has approved a measure that would increase the amount that disabled veterans receive in property tax reductions.
The measure authored by Sen. Doug Eckerty and Sen. Travis Holdman would increase the property value that qualifies for a reduction from $143,000 to $195,000. The measure now heads to the House, where Rep. Woody Burton is the sponsor.
The Senate voted unanimously in favor of the bill Thursday.
Eligible veterans must meet certain disability ratings set by the various military branches and be at least 62 years old. Roughly 17,000 veterans qualified for the reduction last year and the number could grow by 25 percent under changes approved by the Senate.
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – A magistrate has entered a not-guilty plea for a Purdue University student charged with murder in the shooting of another student in a classroom.
Twenty-three-year-old Cody Cousins of Warsaw appeared at a hearing Thursday at the Tippecanoe County Jail to face a murder charge in the death of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis.
Court documents say Boldt suffered both gunshot and knife wounds when he was fatally attacked around noon Tuesday in Purdue’s Electrical Engineering Building. Several other people were in the classroom at the time.
Prosecutors asked that Cousins be held without bond and defense attorney Robert Gevers II didn’t contest that, so Magistrate Sean Persin ordered that Cousins remain in custody.
Cousins sat composed with his hands on his lap for most of the 10-minute hearing.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Hemp plants could start appearing in Indiana fields if a state Senate bill to allow growing the crop gains support from lawmakers.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will discuss the bill Friday afternoon. Indiana would need to apply for a federal permit to grow the crop that’s used to make paper, clothing and building materials.
Hemp is similar to marijuana but has a much smaller amount of the latter’s psychoactive compound.
The bill also would declassify industrial hemp as marijuana in Indiana.
Kentucky passed similar legislation to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp crops last year.
WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) – Family members of an engineering student shot and killed at Purdue University are expressing gratitude for prayers and support as they deal with the death of the 21-year-old man.
Andrew Boldt was killed by a fellow engineering student in a basement classroom at Purdue’s Electrical Engineering Building Tuesday. In a statement issued by their church, Saint Francis Cabrini Parish in West Bend, the Boldt family asks for privacy and says there will be public opportunities to pray together in the days ahead.
Boldt was graduated from Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. School president, the Rev. Warren Sazama, remembers Boldt as likable, kindhearted and a gifted student. He says Boldt’s mother told him a person doesn’t just wake up in the morning expecting her son to be the victim of a one-in-a-million tragic shooting.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered on the Purdue campus last night for a vigil in Boldt’s memory. The suspect in the shooting (23-year-old Cody Cousins) was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder.
Police say they believe Cousins targeted Boldt but are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.
MADISON, Ind. (AP) – An original Milton-Madison Bridge pier is scheduled to be demolished this week as workers prepare to slide the 2,400-foot-long bridge into its new location across the Ohio River.
Transportation officials in Kentucky and Indiana say the 92-foot-tall pier will be toppled above the water line with a blast scheduled for 4 p.m. EST Thursday, weather permitting. The bridge will be closed for about 10 minutes because of the demolition.
A second blast later this week will fracture portions of the pier under water so they can be taken out and hauled away.
Three other original piers have been strengthened and are being reused, with the bridge to be slid onto the refurbished piers in coming weeks. The pier being demolished has been replaced with a new land pier in Madison.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Attorneys for two men who were with a 20-year-old Indiana University student before she went missing in 2011 contend in court filings the men were not responsible.
The parents of Lauren Spierer filed a lawsuit last June in U.S. District Court against former IU students Jason Rosenbaum and Corey Rossman, saying they owed her a “duty of care.” The Indianapolis Start reports (http://indy.st/1hJPy89 ) attorneys for Rosenbaum and Rossman deny the allegations in documents filed Monday.
Rossman and Rosenbaum point blame at Spierer and the bar where was seen drinking hours before she disappeared, although the bar is not a party to the Spierers’ lawsuit.
Rossman said he “had no control or right of control” over Spierer, who disappeared June 3, 2011, after partying with friends in Bloomington.