Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Lauren Chapman/IPB

 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill aimed at improving the way authorities handle sexual assault evidence has won Indiana Senate approval.

The measure by Republican Sen. Michael Crider of Greenfield passed Tuesday on a 48-0 vote.

It calls for a study of the best way to track and process evidence so it's handled in a timely fashion.

An audit last year revealed more than 2,500 so-called rape kits are languishing at police departments and in evidence rooms across the state.

Ivy Tech Community College's construction plans are being put on hold and it will face a state review of its programs over concerns about low graduation rates and declining enrollment.

Ivy Tech was the only one of Indiana's public colleges that didn't receive money for any major building projects in the new two-year state budget that takes effect July 1. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley says he wanted a time out on Ivy Tech projects. He points to a 25 percent drop in Ivy Tech's enrollment over the past three years. 

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Gov. Mike Pence says Indiana has received nearly $4.7 million in federal grants so far to help the state and local governments recover from the Jan. 5-9 winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in some places and brought the state its coldest temperatures in two decades.

Pence said Tuesday that 30 counties mostly in central and northern Indiana were granted federal public assistance, snow assistance or both.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

Pages