Politics & Government
4:54 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Coats Wants Bipartisan Nominating Commission

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats proposed a new commission for filling judicial vacancies Wednesday.
Credit Courtesy / Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats says he wants to take the politics out of appointing federal judges, proposing a bipartisan commission to fill vacancies. Indiana’s federal system has three vacancies, with another on the way.

To fill judicial vacancies at the federal level, U.S. Senators submit recommendations to the president, who then submits a candidate for nomination to the Senate. 

Senator Coats says the system is fraught with politics, particularly when, as in Indiana, the two senators are from different parties. 

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Public Health
2:37 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Number of HIV Cases in Scott County Grows to 153

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams.
Credit Courtesy / State of Indiana

Scott County is the epicenter of an ongoing HIV outbreak. Health officials have tracked down 153 new HIV cases just since December, the majority of which have been caused by injection drug use.

To combat the outbreak, Gov. Mike Pence authorized a temporary needle exchange in the county. Scott County officials are taking steps to legalize the exchange long-term.

Under new legislation passed just a couple weeks ago, any county in the state can go through a formal process to legalize exchanges. And Scott County has already gotten the ball rolling.

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Arts & Culture
1:58 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Mikautadze Dance Theatre Puts "Abstractions in Motion"

Mikautadze Dance Theatre's company readies for "Abstractions in Motion", a multi-media collaboration.
Credit Courtesy/MDT

Mikautadze Dance Theatre is celebrating its third full-length season as company-in-residence at IPFW's College of Visual and Performing Arts this year.

The group's latest show, Abstractions in Motion, features collaborations across artistic elements, individual artists, and genres.

WBOI's Julia Meek met with MDT directors Elizabeth and David Mikautadze, to discuss the finer points of translating abstraction in the art of dance.

Event Information:

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Tallian Announces Bid for Governor

Indiana Sen. Karen Tallian announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Unlike the 2012 campaign, John Gregg won’t have an uncontested path to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  State Senator Karen Tallian Tuesday announced her candidacy for governor.

A ten-year veteran of the Indiana Senate, Karen Tallian says she’s been considering a gubernatorial run for two years.  The Northwest Indiana attorney says the Statehouse has been under one-party control for too long.

“And I, like, looked around at our party and said, ‘Who’s going to do this?’” Tallian said. “Somebody has to speak for the progressive point of view.”

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4:25 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Banks Announces Run for Congress

Jim Banks announced his candidacy at the Allen County Republican headquarters alongside his wife Amanda, and Senate President Pro Tem David Long.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Columbia City Republican Senator Jim Banks announced Tuesday he’s running for congress in Indiana’s third district. The seat is being vacated by Marlin Stutzman, who’s stepping down to run for U-S Senate. 

Banks asked his supporters to help send him to Washington just three weeks after he returned home from an eight-month mission to Afghanistan.

The Navy Reserve officer was deployed last September. His wife Amanda took his place in the General Assembly for the 2015 session.

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4:21 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Report Finds Rampant Problems Within BMV

Credit Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Hoosiers will be getting more refunds from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles over the next couple of  months as further overcharges surface. An outside assessment of the BMV revealed rampant problems within the embattled agency.

The BMV, in the wake of lawsuits over fee overcharges and millions handed out in refunds, hired  consulting firm BKD to evaluate the agency.  BKD’s report, released Monday, uncovered numerous  issues, including problems with the BMV leadership structure, a complex fee system, and a lack of  internal controls and effective oversight.  

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4:13 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Southwest Allen County Schools to Limit Bus Routes

Fort Wayne Community Schools bus fleet.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Southwest Allen County Schools will enforce and expand its no transportation  zones for some of its schools this fall.

SACS says limiting its bus routes could save  the district $200,000 per year.  Deer Ridge Elementary, Woodside Middle and Covington Elementary schools will  join the five existing Southwest Allen schools with transportation limits.   

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4:05 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Ridesharing Service Uber Arrives in Fort Wayne

App-based transportation service Uber launched in Fort Wayne on Thursday.

Uber has become a transportation staple in major cities across the United States, and now the ridesharing service has gone live in Fort Wayne.

Using Uber is a lot like calling a cab, but the entire transaction – from scheduling, to tracking the vehicle, to payment processing – is done through an app on your smartphone.

App-based transportation companies have courted controversy in recent years because of regulatory concerns and opposition from taxi cab companies that say such services are unsafe and infringe on their business.

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Riverfront Development
3:00 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

$6 Million in Legacy Money Approved for Riverfront Development

The three rivers in downtown Fort Wayne offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Phase one of Fort Wayne’s riverfront development is one step closer to being  funded. 

The Legacy Joint Funding Committee approved $6 million for the project Wednesday. That money will join $3 million from the Community Foundation, and another $3 million from the Capital Improvement board to be used over the next  two years. 

A key element of the first phase of development is property acquisition. But City  officials say the first steps will be to care for the vegetation along the river banks,  and to complete a comprehensive environmental study.

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1:54 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

State Board of Ed Approves School Accountability Language

Indiana Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz praised the new school accountability system approved by the state board of education Thursday.
Credit Courtesy / IDOE

State education leaders have been crafting a new school accountability system over the past two-and-a-half years – and Thursday, the State Board of Education approved a final framework.

A vote to approve final rule language for the new A-F school grading system had been on the original agenda for Thursday’s meeting, following months of discussion and opportunities to hear public comment on the proposed changes.

But, the Department of Education presented about 20 additional edits Thursday morning – edits that some board members say they hadn’t seen before. 

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