Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita says he doesn’t believe the COVID-19 stats his own state releases. In a South Bend WSBT-TV interview on Friday, Rokita said he doesn’t believe any numbers anymore and that COVID-19 has been politicized since day one. Rokita said “I think the best advice is don’t listen to politicians, listen to your doctor.” Indiana reported nearly 3,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Dec. 21,the latest date for which data is available on the Department of Health dashboard. This latest surge has surpassed the numbers seen in the fall Delta surge, and is nearing the levels reached last winter.
In the Camillia Bowl game where Georgia State dominated the rushing game, the Ball State University Cardinals suffered a 51to 20 loss to the Georgia State Panthers. In the third quarter, Georgia State outscored Ball State 28-0. The Indianapolis Colts fared much better after winning 22-16 over the Arizona Cardinals—even after the Colts lost a total of 8 players in 4 consecutive days leading up to and including game day to positive COVID-19 testing.
The Muncie paper reports a home along Delaware County Road 300-W south of Ind. 67 was severely damaged by a blaze on Thursday. Todd Lewis, chief of the Daleville-Salem Township Fire Department, estimated as much as 70 percent of the split-level home had been destroyed by the fire.The occupants of the Monroe Township house — who had moved into the home only this week — escaped without injury. They reported seeing flames near a fireplace according to Lewis.
The national weather service has issued a Flood Warning of moderate severity for the Mississinewa River near Ridgeville, affecting Delaware and Randolph counties. Recent rainfall has led to a rise on the Mississinawa River that will see a crest above flood stage of 12.3 feet before falling back below flood stage sometime this morning. Flood stage is 10 feet.
Ivy Tech Community College will no longer withhold transcripts from students who owe the school money. Under a previous policy, some students who wanted to transfer to another school were unable to do so because Ivy Tech refused to issue transcripts to students who owed any money. Some students were denied access to their transcripts over as little as $5, according to one school official. Ivy Tech has ended that policy and will now make transcripts available to all students. The change affects approximately 80,000 students at Ivy Tech campuses across Indiana.
Republican state lawmakers are reintroducing legislation to let Hoosiers carry handguns without a permit. Representative Jim Lucas says it’s an “infringement of constitutional rights” to require someone to get fingerprinted and pay a fee in order to carry a gun. The proposed “constitutional carry” measure would still prevent felons from owning a gun. Last session, a bill to end the requirement for handgun carry permits passed in the Indiana House, but did not get a committee hearing in the Senate.
In a media release, the Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers that a special tax provision will allow more Americans to easily deduct up to $600 in charitable donations on their 2021 federal income tax return. Ordinarily, people who choose to take the standard deduction cannot claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. But a temporary law change now permits them to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations. Nearly nine in 10 taxpayers now take the standard deduction and could potentially qualify.
A judge is ordering school leaders in Pendleton to recognize the local gay/straight student alliance. Pendleton Heights High School had classified the school’s alliance as an ‘unofficial’ student group. The judge’s order means the district not only has to recognize the group, but the district now has to allow the alliance to sponsor events and use school dollars just like all other school groups. The ACLU filed a lawsuit on the group’s behalf to force the school to treat the alliance equally.
Shannon Layne from Yorktown, and 17 other women have been named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2022 Silver Anniversary Team, based on outstanding accomplishments as a senior basketball player 25 years ago. You can see the complete list of honorees at www.hoopshall.com
The 26th annual Art & Soul celebration returns this February, showcasing Black art and music in Indianapolis. The Popular annual festival will focus on Black Health & Wellness, returning live to Indianapolis Arts garden after going virtual in 2021. The festival annually attracts more than 2,000 visitors and is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. Each Saturday in February the festival will highlight a different genre, and take place from noon to 2 p.m.
A New Year’s party may not be the best idea, say doctors who are worried about the spread of the coronavirus. With the Omicron variant spreading, doctors are asking you to be cautious and to do what you can to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Number one: don’t go to gatherings beyond your immediate social bubble, if possible. Number two: mask up, vaccinate and booster. Number three: wash your hands, a lot. And as much as it may hurt, you should avoid hugging and kissing, which are easy ways to spread any illness.
Pigasus Pictures is accepting entries for “Project Pigasus,” its annual Indiana high school screenwriting contest. The winning screenplay will be fully produced by Pigasus Pictures in the hometown of the winning screenwriter, and will be screened in Indiana theaters, submitted to film festivals across the country and made available for online streaming. The competition is open to any high school student in Indiana. Submission deadline is February 5th and submissions should be made at www.projectpigasus.org
Additional criminal charges have been filed against former Summitville Fire Department Chief James “Randy” Sizelove, alleging the theft of more than $140,000, according to the Herald Bulletin. The new criminal charges against Sizelove, 57, were filed Thursday by the Indiana State Police and are a Level 5 felony charge of theft in excess of $50,000 and two Level 6 felony charges of official misconduct and conflict of interest by a public official.