Governor signs bill 'pausing' reading, math standards
INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed a bill that will "pause" Indiana's adoption of a national set of reading and math education school standards.
Pence signed the bill Saturday, two weeks after lawmakers approved the measure that suspends implementation of Common Core State Standards in more grades for a year while new state reviews are conducted.
Pence said in a statement the law "hits the pause button on Common Core so Hoosiers can thoroughly evaluate which standards will best serve the interests of our kids."
The State Board of Education must make a final decision on Indiana's academic standards before July 1, 2014.
The standards developed by a national group have been adopted by 45 states and are currently being used in Indiana's kindergarten and first grade classes.
Indianapolis, federal officials team up to fight crime in 'hot zones'
INDIANAPOLIS | Federal officials are teaming up with Indianapolis police and prosecutors to combat gun violence that has surged in five high-crime areas of the city.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said that it would be "immoral" for federal officials to stand by and not do anything to help reduce violent crime.
Indianapolis Public Safety Director Troy Riggs has targeted five areas near downtown as part of an initiative that aims to identify the causes of violent crime and the most dangerous people in those areas.
Hogsett says a mix of drugs, guns and gangs has created a deadly atmosphere in the "hot zones." About half of all city homicides in the last six years have occurred in or near those areas.
Indiana may remove peregrine falcon from endangered list
INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana wildlife officials could remove the peregrine falcon from the state's endangered species list this summer after what wildlife officials say has been a successful recovery.
Nearly 300 nesting pairs of falcons are living in the upper Midwest today, just 50 years after use of the pesticide DDT eradicated the species east of the Mississippi River.
Wildlife experts say the birds' comeback is due in part to their adaptability.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologist John Castrale said the birds have traded traditional nesting sites in cliffs and bluffs along riverbanks for skyscrapers in cities like Indianapolis and South Bend.
The Indiana Natural Resources Commission will vote on removing the falcon from the list at its July 16 meeting.
Woman, boy rescued from burning New Haven apartment
NEW HAVEN | Northeastern Indiana authorities say a woman and a young boy were rescued from a burning second-floor apartment by police and firefighters.
Flames were shooting from a front window of the New Haven apartment when police arrived about 2:30 a.m. Friday and the woman lowered the boy to an officer from a back window.
The Journal Gazette reports firefighters soon arrived and put a ladder up to the window and helped the woman down. Officials said the woman and boy were not hurt.
Fire officials said the fire was caused by candles the woman had lit and left unattended in her apartment. Most of the damage was contained to one apartment and part of the building's attic.
Anderson Marine's family mark decade since his death
ANDERSON | Family and friends of a U.S. Marine from Indiana who died in a 2003 Humvee crash in Kuwait have marked the 10th anniversary of his death.
Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Smith's mother said during Friday's gathering at his grave at Anderson Memorial Park that she treasures her memories of him. But Patricia Smith tells The Herald Bulletin that even after a decade "the pain doesn't ever really numb."
Smith was a radio operator for the 4th Force Service Support Group out of Peru. He was 21 when he died on May 10, 2003, in a Humvee crash during a military convoy in Kuwait.
Smith died only days after writing his mother to tell her he was coming home. She learned of his death on Mother's Day 2003.