Category: Newsmakers

VIPS — Developer plans $11M apartment project on city’s east side
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VIPS — Developer plans $11M apartment project on city’s east side

The first floor of the project calls for 6,100 square feet of commercial space, which TWG plans to lease to the new Indianapolis headquarters of Visually Impaired Preschool Services, which provides early intervention services for children with blindness and low vision.

Indiana Energy Company Mulls Major Switch From Coal To Renewables
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Indiana Energy Company Mulls Major Switch From Coal To Renewables

Steve Francis, chairperson of the energy committee for the Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter, says, “The retirement of all of NIPSCO’s coal-fired power plants by 2028 and replacement of all capacity with renewables, energy efficiency and demand management is an unprecedented commitment in Indiana to a forward-looking plan”

Sierra Club — Indiana utility’s $76 million solar project divides consumer advocates
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Sierra Club — Indiana utility’s $76 million solar project divides consumer advocates

Citizens Action Coalition has a history of supporting clean energy and fighting utilities over rate hikes. In this case, the Sierra Club agrees with it, arguing that the project’s biggest problem is that it’s too small.

Earth Charter, Overdose Lifeline — Grand Challenges initiatives providing useful tools for Hoosier communities
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Earth Charter, Overdose Lifeline — Grand Challenges initiatives providing useful tools for Hoosier communities

The online tool is unique among resource aggregation sites because it focuses on the Midwest and on small- and mid-sized towns.

Overdose Lifeline — Recovering Teens To Teach Others How To Use ‘Nonviolent Communication’
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Overdose Lifeline — Recovering Teens To Teach Others How To Use ‘Nonviolent Communication’

“We learn in nonviolent communication to listen at a different level and clarify what we’re kind of observiing and how we are affected with our emotions in what we’re observing,” Phillips says. “So that we’re not speaking from an emotional space but rather a compassionate space.”

Overdose Lifeline — Overdose antidote training set for 4 Indianapolis libraries
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Overdose Lifeline — Overdose antidote training set for 4 Indianapolis libraries

An Indiana University-led partnership is bringing training sessions to Indianapolis this week on how to administer a medication that can reverse potentially fatal overdoses from opioid painkillers and heroin.

Sierra Club — High fives for NIPSCO plant closure
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Sierra Club — High fives for NIPSCO plant closure

The Sierra Club said while closing the plant will be a boost for the environment, it must be done in a responsible way.

Overdose Lifeline — Overdose deaths decrease, antidote credited
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Overdose Lifeline — Overdose deaths decrease, antidote credited

In looking at opioid overdose deaths, Vigo County experienced 16 in 2014 and 15 opioid OD deaths in 2015, but then saw an alarming increase to 26 deaths in both 2016 and 26 in 2017.

CHIP — Advocates say amount of homeless teens in Indy may be underreported
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CHIP — Advocates say amount of homeless teens in Indy may be underreported

“That’s one in fifty young adults and one in one hundred youth,” said Alan Witchey, Executive Director of CHIP who compared local findings with national averages. “This may only be 20 percent of the total population in the city of youth and young adults who are homeless every year.”

JCRC — DespiteEven as Indiana lawmakers from both parties continue to echo Gov. Eric Holcomb’s call for hate crime legislation, the deep divisions that foiled previous attempts to pass a bias-motivated crime bill appear to still be entrenched.  Monday, Holcomb announced his intention to get a hate crime bill through the Statehouse during the 2019 General Assembly session. He said he would be meeting with legislators, corporate leaders and citizens to find consensus so Indiana can join the 45 other states that have statutes regarding crimes motived by hate or bias.  “No law can stop evil,” Holcomb said, “but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced.”  Holcomb made his public statement of support for hate crime legislation following an act of vandalism at a Carmel synagogue over the weekend. An outbuilding at the Congregation Shaarey Tefilla was spray-painted with Nazi symbols.  Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature have since issued statements reiterating the governor’s view. But Democrats noted that while they have proposed and supported hate crime measures, their colleagues across the aisle have resisted and failed to take action in getting a bill passed.  “(The Democrats) have persistently pursued bias-motivated crime legislation in the Indiana Senate, and each year our legislation is ignored by the majority party with promises of future consideration,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson.  Incoming Senate president Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said he is pleased to collaborate with Holcomb and the House of Representatives to continue the work of crafting “legislation that mirrors our Hoosier hospitality.”  Conversely, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, voiced support for the victims but was noncommittal about passing a law.  “This summer, the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code will take another look at the issue of bias-motivated crimes and identify opportunities for legislative consensus,” Bosma said. “Indiana Judges already have the ability to enhance sentences based on a criminal’s motivation when presented with evidence of bias, but perhaps more needs to be done to clarify and highlight this existing provision.”  Also Monday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill released a 761-word op-ed also calling for the Legislature to pass a law that “criminalizes hateful conduct.”  However, his position mirrors the opposition to hate crime bills that these measures carve out special protections for select groups. The list of protected classes often included in the proposed legislation is seen as excluding individuals who are part of a majority.  “My proposal differs from many other so-called hate-crimes proposals in that it avoids entirely the exercise of separating ‘protected groups’ from ‘non-protected,’” Hill wrote. “Why should some groups receive greater protection from hateful conduct than others?”  For community organizations pushing for a bias-motivated crime bill, the removal of the specific protected groups would be unacceptable. David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, called it a non-starter.  Hate crime bills that have been introduced in the Indiana Legislature in the past have included a list of characteristics identifying the protected classes. The bills specify that individuals or groups could have their sentences enhanced if they commit a criminal act that targets others because of their religion, race, gender and ethnicity. Holcomb’s support, hate crimes bill lacks unity
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JCRC — DespiteEven as Indiana lawmakers from both parties continue to echo Gov. Eric Holcomb’s call for hate crime legislation, the deep divisions that foiled previous attempts to pass a bias-motivated crime bill appear to still be entrenched. Monday, Holcomb announced his intention to get a hate crime bill through the Statehouse during the 2019 General Assembly session. He said he would be meeting with legislators, corporate leaders and citizens to find consensus so Indiana can join the 45 other states that have statutes regarding crimes motived by hate or bias. “No law can stop evil,” Holcomb said, “but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced.” Holcomb made his public statement of support for hate crime legislation following an act of vandalism at a Carmel synagogue over the weekend. An outbuilding at the Congregation Shaarey Tefilla was spray-painted with Nazi symbols. Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature have since issued statements reiterating the governor’s view. But Democrats noted that while they have proposed and supported hate crime measures, their colleagues across the aisle have resisted and failed to take action in getting a bill passed. “(The Democrats) have persistently pursued bias-motivated crime legislation in the Indiana Senate, and each year our legislation is ignored by the majority party with promises of future consideration,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson. Incoming Senate president Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said he is pleased to collaborate with Holcomb and the House of Representatives to continue the work of crafting “legislation that mirrors our Hoosier hospitality.” Conversely, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, voiced support for the victims but was noncommittal about passing a law. “This summer, the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code will take another look at the issue of bias-motivated crimes and identify opportunities for legislative consensus,” Bosma said. “Indiana Judges already have the ability to enhance sentences based on a criminal’s motivation when presented with evidence of bias, but perhaps more needs to be done to clarify and highlight this existing provision.” Also Monday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill released a 761-word op-ed also calling for the Legislature to pass a law that “criminalizes hateful conduct.” However, his position mirrors the opposition to hate crime bills that these measures carve out special protections for select groups. The list of protected classes often included in the proposed legislation is seen as excluding individuals who are part of a majority. “My proposal differs from many other so-called hate-crimes proposals in that it avoids entirely the exercise of separating ‘protected groups’ from ‘non-protected,’” Hill wrote. “Why should some groups receive greater protection from hateful conduct than others?” For community organizations pushing for a bias-motivated crime bill, the removal of the specific protected groups would be unacceptable. David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, called it a non-starter. Hate crime bills that have been introduced in the Indiana Legislature in the past have included a list of characteristics identifying the protected classes. The bills specify that individuals or groups could have their sentences enhanced if they commit a criminal act that targets others because of their religion, race, gender and ethnicity. Holcomb’s support, hate crimes bill lacks unity

For community organizations pushing for a bias-motivated crime bill, the removal of the specific protected groups would be unacceptable. David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, called it a non-starter.