• Web Exclusive: Domestic violence shelters see fewer calls, more severe cases in pandemic

    The silence was deafening. Little to no calls were coming in to the Middle Way House’s domestic violence help and crisis line in the months after Indiana’s stay at home orders, leaving Debra Morrow in a panic. “It got deathly quiet, and to us, that was horrifying. We were worried about those who couldn’t reach out.”

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  • Saying goodbye: Baker to retire after more than 40 years as a judge

    It wasn’t quite the retirement he expected. With COVID-19 forcing most of the population to work from home, Court of Appeals Judge John Baker quietly visited the Indiana Statehouse in early June to pack up his chambers. Though he won’t officially retire until July 31, he decided to close out his Indianapolis office early, without the usual pomp and circumstance of a sendoff. “I wanted to work from home,” Baker said with a laugh, “but I didn’t mean for everyone else in the world to have to do it.”

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  • Web Exclusive: ‘Low bono’ clinic seeks to fill access-to-justice gap

    Growing up in a five-person home, Bloomington attorney Jamie Sutton’s family had an on-again, off-again relationship with welfare and social assistance programs. His firm, Justice Unlocked, offers “low-bono” services — representation on a sliding fee scale that low- to middle-income individuals who earn too much to qualify for pro bono services can afford.

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Articles

Infection rates soar in college towns as students return

Just two weeks after students started returning to Ball State University last month, the surrounding county had become Indiana’s coronavirus epicenter. The Muncie infection rate at the Muncie school has since declined, but university towns nationwide, particularly Bloomington, are seeing much higher rates of cases than their states overall.

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Unprecedented August 2020 bar exam yields passage rates from the past

The overall passage rate for the Indiana August 2020 bar exam reached 74%, about 10 percentage points higher than the overall pass rate for the previous four July bar exams. Likewise, 84% of those taking the test for the first time passed while 53% of the repeat takers were successful, the highest rate for repeaters since 54% passed the February 2015 bar.

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Appeals court upholds judgment for 4 cities in RFRA lawsuit

A lawsuit challenging Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act will not proceed, for now, after the Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reverse summary judgment for four cities with nondiscrimination ordinances. The appellate panel found that the conservative organizations challenging the RFRA “fix” lacked standing to challenge the ordinances on free speech and religious exercise grounds.

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IU, Purdue fraternities quarantine; Notre Dame to resume in-person classes

Members of eight Greek houses and students living in two other houses off the Bloomington campus of Indiana University have been ordered to quarantine because of positive COVID-19 tests. Meanwhile, fraternities at Purdue University also are dealing with outbreaks while the University of Notre Dame plans to resume in-person classes next week that were suspended due to a spike in cases.

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