Government

Bill to open adoption records moves forward

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana has nothing to fear from abandoning long-established practice and following the lead of numerous states in order to allow some 350,000 adopted Hoosiers access to their birth records, a leading national advocate said.
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Trust proposal in Legislature would shield assets from creditors, permit perpetuity

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Assets could be shielded from creditors and passed down to numerous generations under a legacy trust proposal being considered by the Indiana General Assembly. The proposed estate-planning device would be exempt from the rule against perpetuities.
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House panel backs new rules after nursing home scandal

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has endorsed tighter rules on the conduct of lawmakers in the wake of an ethics investigation of a top Republican who fought privately to defeat legislation that would have hurt his family's business.
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Panel backs religion-based hiring by Indiana contractors

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislative panel has endorsed a bill allowing religious institutions that receive state and local government contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
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Kokomo sues state over proposed downtown baseball park

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The city of Kokomo is suing the state over its opposition to a proposed downtown baseball stadium.
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State union membership counters national trend

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
Indiana bucked a national trend in 2014 by experiencing an increase in labor union membership, new statistics released by the U. S. Labor Department show.
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Indiana Senate backs death penalty for beheading crimes

January 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A bill making intentionally decapitating someone a crime eligible for the death penalty has been approved by the Indiana Senate.
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Legislation increasing the service of process fee moves to the House

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday endorsed an increase in the fees sheriffs collect to serve court papers. The fee will nearly double from $13 to $25 under legislation sent to the House of Representatives.
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Bill opening birth records passes Senate

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday approved a bill that would open birth records to some 350,000 Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993.
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Committee advances bill raising non-panel limit in medical malpractice claims

January 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Medical malpractice claims of up to $50,000 would go directly to court under a proposal that cleared an Indiana Senate committee Wednesday.
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Renovation bids open for Vanderburgh County courthouse

January 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County officials have begun reviewing bids for the renovation of the third floor at the 126-year-old courthouse in downtown Evansville.
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House committee to hear magistrate bills

January 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Bills that would provide magistrates for three circuit courts in Southern Indiana are scheduled to be considered Jan. 21 by the Indiana House of Representatives Courts and Criminal Code Committee.
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Woman loses claim for additional retroactive retirement benefits

January 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A retired teacher is not entitled to an additional six months of retroactive retirement benefits from the Indiana Public Retirement System, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. Indiana law limits an INPRS member to only six months of retroactive retirement benefits.
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Meijer tax ruling may reverberate statewide

January 20, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
Big-box retailers could see their Indiana property-tax bills slashed in half because of a recent court decision that favored Meijer over Marion County.
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Pence's $51M prison expansion proposal met by skepticism

January 19, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence's proposal for expanding two state prisons is drawing skepticism from some legislative leaders as it comes just months after Indiana's criminal sentencing laws changed in part to reduce the need for more prison space.
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Service of process fees increase under proposal in Senate

January 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
Fees sheriffs collect to serve parties in civil lawsuits would nearly double under a bill that cleared a Senate panel last week.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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Senate panel advances bill to open adoption records

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Advocates of opening Indiana’s adoption records won an emotional first round Wednesday as a Senate panel advanced legislation that for the first time would open birth records of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.
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Pence troubled by report Guard mishandled domestic case

January 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence is troubled by allegations that the Indiana National Guard mishandled a domestic violence case and will review a Pentagon report on the matter, his spokeswoman said.
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Innovative networking tool connects lawyers across practices

January 14, 2015
Holly Wheeler
Some are good at networking, others not so good. With the development of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Indy Attorneys Network Section, lawyers old and new, those skilled at networking and those not as adept, have found there are always opportunities to meet and connect with colleagues and that doing so builds camaraderie and strengthens the local legal community.
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Senate panel passes bill for harsher beheading penalties

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Decapitation soon could be punishable by death in Indiana. The state Senate Criminal Law Committee unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for beheadings.
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Lanane to Pence: properly staff DCS caseworkers

January 12, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane said Monday that Gov. Mike Pence must add 77 new caseworkers at the Department of Child Services to comply with state law.
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Tennessee company sues Tippecanoe County over proposed quarry

January 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A Tennessee company has sued officials in Tippecanoe County, saying they didn't have the authority to pass an ordinance meant to block a proposed limestone quarry project along the Wabash River.
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Second Indy township official charged with embezzlement

January 9, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Federal prosecutors have charged a Center Township official in Indianapolis with embezzling tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security payments intended for disabled and elderly recipients.
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Bill would block local limits on large livestock facilities

January 9, 2015
 Associated Press
Local governments would be prohibited from placing restrictions on large livestock facilities in rural areas under a bill being considered in the Indiana Senate.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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