Government

Midwest rappers, others charged with fraud

October 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Members of an Indiana-based rap group called RACK Boyz and other suspects from Illinois made hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bank fraud scheme that included wooing participants through social media and Internet videos, federal and state authorities said Wednesday.
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Man convicted in Purdue shooting found dead

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
State correction officials say an Indiana man who fatally stabbed and shot a fellow Purdue University student earlier this year has been found dead in his prison cell.
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Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Judges affirm DOE can counterclaim for repayment of student loans

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that the U.S. Department of Education’s counterclaim for loan repayment, filed in a man’s lawsuit seeking to not have to repay his student loans, is not barred.
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Man charged with stalking Indiana legislator

October 28, 2014
 Associated Press
A man running as an independent for an Indiana House seat faces charges that he stalked the district's current representative.
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Texas prosecutor: Indiana suspect's history unknown

October 28, 2014
 Associated Press
Texas prosecutors may not have offered a suspected serial killer such a lenient prison sentence in a 2009 sexual assault case had they known about his conviction on a similar charge in Indiana five years earlier, a district attorney's spokesman said Monday.
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Indiana Legal Services still planning to hire new executive director by year’s end

October 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Still set on hiring a new executive director by the end of the year, Indiana Legal Services Inc. has narrowed it search to six candidates.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Indiana rejects fired DCS workers' appeals

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A state agency has rejected the appeals of two former Indiana child-welfare workers fired following the death of a paralyzed young woman.
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AG’s office: Same-sex marriage fight cost state about $7,000

October 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
Responding to requests from Indiana Democrats, the Office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday afternoon released records arguing the state’s defense of statutes banning same-sex marriage cost the state about $7,000.
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Wabash alumnus calls for reasoned and thoughtful political speech

October 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While the supporters of the Citizens United decision claim greater spending can energize the public to participate in the political process, First Amendment attorney David Kendall maintains the result has actually been less-thoughtful political speech and an influx of Congressional members who are more concerned with fundraising than setting policy.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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Zoeller details casino millions funneled to E. Chicago pols

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana Democratic Party chairman and a longtime Lake County political activist enriched themselves with millions of dollars in casino revenue, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday, closing the book on long-running litigation that resulted in a $154,042 settlement payment to the city of East Chicago.
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Indiana responds to convicted ex-officer's appeal

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has responded to a former Indianapolis police officer's appeal of his convictions in a fatal drunken driving crash.
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SCOTUS denial of cases opens door to new same-sex-couple issues

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, the courts will have to settle issues and questions that will arise in other areas, such as family law.
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Attorneys debate impact of reality crime TV shows on the judicial process

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The reality television show “Cold Justice” linked Earl Taylor to the 1975 murder of his first wife, Kathy Taylor. Dennis Majewski, Earl Taylor's attorney, said the TV program carried by the TNT cable network, and a follow-up newspaper article that told viewers the episode was available on YouTube, led him to doubt he could find an untainted jury in Vigo County.
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Lawmakers in no rush to fix Marion County’s judicial selection process

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique power-sharing judicial-election system won’t be fixed anytime soon, even though a federal judge has ruled the four-decade-old system is unconstitutional.
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When municipal growth clashes with property owners, the result is annexation headaches

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 644-acre swath of rural Hancock County land is at the heart of a contentious annexation battle that illustrates what municipalities say is the need to get control of property before development happens. The case also brings to light what may be a shift in the judiciary’s attitude toward remonstrators.
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Public-private partnerships’ popularity peaking

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
In an era of tight lending for construction, public-private partnerships are a solution to get desired projects funded and under way. Attorneys who represent parties in such deals say nuanced negotiations hold the key for deals with a shared vision but sometimes competing interests.
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Judges participate in public forum asking ‘Is Indianapolis the next Ferguson?’

October 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A public forum in Indianapolis between law enforcement and the community meant to discuss ways the Circle City could avoid exploding like Ferguson, Missouri, instead highlighted the distrust local residents have of police officers.
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St. Joseph County gets $399,000 grant to fight elder abuse

October 21, 2014
IL Staff
St. Joseph County will receive a $399,000 Department of Justice grant for training and services designed to combat violence against elderly and vulnerable populations.
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Pain clinic head faces prescription investigation

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
State officials want the medical license suspended for a doctor who runs a string of Indiana clinics over his prescribing of pain medications.
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Indiana panel not making ethics suggestions

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A state legislative panel isn't making any recommendations on ethics rule changes that the General Assembly is expected to consider during its upcoming session.
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Finding victims in Gary case a lengthy process

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Investigators in two states are reviewing unsolved murders and missing person reports after the arrest of an Indiana man who police say confessed to killing seven women and hinted at more victims over a 20-year span.
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Attorneys general target Internet trafficking

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Two years after a federal judge struck down a Washington law that targeted websites like Backpage.com, new state and federal efforts are again calling for more oversight of sites that offer "adult services," in the hopes of curbing sex trafficking.
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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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