News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 29, 2012

State pushing for convenience stores to make safety a higher priority

INDIANAPOLIS — In 2002, after New Mexico forced convenience store owners to put sweeping security measures into place for clerks working late-night hours, the number of robberies dropped by 92 percent. Assaults, murders and other crimes at convenience stores also dropped dramatically.

Now Indiana officials are hoping voluntary compliance with similar safety standards will bring about similar results.

The Indiana Department of Labor is getting ready to launch a major initiative aimed at convenience store owners who employ low-wage, hourly workers in what’s considered a highest-risk occupation.

The initiative, crafted with a convenience store industry association, may push store owners to adopt a range of security measures, from better lighting in their parking lots to bullet-proof enclosures for clerks.

Failure to do so may push legislators into considering mandatory measures like the ones adopted by New Mexico and a handful of others states and localities.

Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Lori Torres, who’s behind the effort, said there needs to be a “culture of safety” in the convenience store industry.

“No one should have to risk being killed at work,” Torres said.

The push to reduce that risk comes in response to a series of shootings that illustrate why convenience stores are deemed high-risk workplaces by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

An Indianapolis convenience store clerk who was shot in the head during a robbery last October had been robbed while on duty six times since 2008. In 2009, another Indianapolis convenience store clerk who was fatally shot while on duty worked at a store that had been robbed 32 times since 2000.

The 2009 shooting was at a store in a high-crime neighborhood; the 2011 incident was at a store in an affluent neighborhood on the northside of Indianapolis.

“The location doesn’t really matter,” said Rep. Ed DeLaney, an Indianapolis Democrat who’s pushing for stronger workplace safety standards at convenience stores. “People get shot and attacked in the loveliest of neighborhoods.”

Unlike the mining and construction industries — in which specific workplace safety standards are set out by law, the legal safety standards for convenience stores are minimal, Torres said.

In January, she began meeting with representatives of the convenience store industry, urging them to adopt their own “best practices” standards for keeping their workers and customers safe. She urged them to do so or risk having tougher standards imposed on them.

A working group of convenience-store safety managers, state labor department officials, police and others has been meeting ever since; they’re expected to release a report in mid-June that will outline the best safety practices that work. The hope is that it will spur voluntary action from convenience store owners.

Scot Imus, executive director of Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and part of that working group, said there’s plenty of research out there that shows what works.

Those measures include bright lighting inside and outside the stores; leaving windows clear enough of advertising signs and other clutter so passers-by, including police, can see inside the store; and providing a slotted safe in which clerks slip cash to keep the money in the register down to a minimum.

He’s not convinced that some tougher measures, including those adopted by New Mexico that mandate two clerks are on duty during high-crime times of the night, are needed for all stores.

He wants store owners to be able to choose for themselves what measures to take. “There is no one size fits all,” Imus said.

Imus is convinced many of the members of his association already have adopted better safety practices or will do so soon to ward off the state from imposing mandatory standards. But one of his concerns, shared by both DeLaney and Torres, is that only about half of the state’s 3,000 convenience stores belong to the association that Imus represents.

“I think the Department of Labor has done a good job raising consciousness about the safety issue,” DeLaney said. “But there’s always going to be somebody out there who doesn’t want to spend the little bit of extra money to keep their workers safe.”

Maureen Hayden is the Indiana Statehouse bureau chief for CNHI, the parent company of the Tribune-Star. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET070914 house exterior.jpg Historic Ohio Boulevard house inspired by 1948 Cary Grant movie

    Spurred in 1948 by a newly released movie staring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, coupled with a growing post-World War II housing market, General Electric partnered with Hollywood’s RKO Studios to build “dream homes” throughout the country.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • Detour ahead

    A panel of public and private officials is calling for $10 billion in projects to upgrade Indiana’s aging roads and bridges, but its members concede there’s no money to pay for it all.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 barrels.jpg MARK BENNETT: Making road work a barrel of fun for drivers

    We’re lucky orange barrels can’t talk.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • City Council to take up city finances tonight

    The Terre Haute City Council will have a chance in a special meeting tonight to delve deeply into the city’s financial health. However, council members are being asked to avoid raising the most controversial subject of recent weeks: The city’s use of Redevelopment Commission tax increment finance (TIF) money.

    July 9, 2014

  • Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

    Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Indiana’s ethics watchdog in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in the grade-change scandal that cost him his job as Florida’s schools chief last year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vermillion Jail trusties face new charges

    Two former inmate trusties at the Vermillion County Jail face new criminal charges after a recently discovered security breach at the jail.

    July 9, 2014

  • Lawrence police acquire armored military vehicle

    A central Indiana city has acquired an armored military vehicle for use in highly dangerous situations.

    July 9, 2014

  • Free carwash for law enforcement

    Mike’s Carwash locations in Central Indiana, including Terre Haute, will honor the sacrifice of IMPD Officer Perry Renn and thank all those who serve and protect our communities with a free carwash for police and emergency personnel today and Friday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana agencies told to ignore gay marriages

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s office is telling state agencies act as if no gay marriages had been performed during three days following a federal court order.

    July 9, 2014

  • State reports West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials confirmed the first signs of West Nile virus activity in Indiana for 2014. Mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus in humans in the state this year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana education board faces contentious meeting

    Indiana’s State Board of Education is gearing up for another showdown between Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s appointees and staff.
    The board is set to consider a pair of resolutions dealing with control of the board during a meeting Wednesday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 9, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on jail records.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana getting $849,000 for outdoor projects

    Indiana is receiving $849,000 to use toward outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

    July 9, 2014

  • Semi fire halts I-70 traffic in Putnam County

    A fire in a semi tractor-trailer temporarily closed eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Putnam County on Tuesday evening.

    July 9, 2014

  • I&M proposes five solar facilities in two states

    Indiana Michigan Power plans to seek permission to build five solar generating facilities in the two states it serves.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 voice four.jpg Hitting a high note

    A 17-year-old from Casey, Ill., won “The Voice of the Valley” Tuesday night, singing and shaking his hips and legs to an Elvis Presley song, then wooing the grandstand audience at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds with a country tune.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070814 STORM STAUNTON.jpg Clay County residents clean up debris, get power back

    Several power outages still affected hundreds of Duke Energy customers on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after storms and strong winds swept through west-central Indiana, leaving a swath of damage in the Staunton, Brazil and Center Point areas.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 052106 EVANBAYH ADDRESS.jpg Return to Indiana?

    Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planning under way for 2014 Downtown Block Party

    Wabash Avenue will be full of activity Aug. 23 as the 2014 Downtown Terre Haute Block Party takes over five city blocks in a celebration of music, food and events.

    July 8, 2014

  • MET 070814 CATHOLIC WARE.jpg Guys give food bank a lift

    A $14,000 donation Tuesday from Guys Who Give enables Catholic Charities to be at nearly 75 percent of its $2.5 million goal to purchase and operate a new, larger food bank near Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • wilson,robert.jpg ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A man sought by the Vermillion County Sheriff's Department has been nabbed by police in Indianapolis.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • eBus brings financial empowerment to town

    A 40-foot long mobile classroom is scheduled to roll  into Terre Haute today, carrying what its sponsors call “financial empowerment.”

    July 8, 2014

  • Elderly woman accused of killing 89-year-old husband

    An 83-year-old woman, described as "a loose cannon" by her landlord, has been arrested in this Buffalo suburb for beating her 89-year-old husband to death.

    July 8, 2014

  • wilson,robert.jpg BREAKING: ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A suspect police considered “armed and dangerous” is now in custody in Marion County.
    Robert Wilson is facing local charges there and has a hold on him for Vermillion County, according to Vermillion County Sheriff Robert J. Spence.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 051713 BAYH SMILE.jpg Former governor Bayh weighs decision to run again

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.
    Party loyalists longing for a political savior to retake the governor's office have been waiting on Bayh ever since he abruptly decided to leave the U.S. Senate and political life three years ago.

    July 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 8, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    July 8, 2014

  • Update: Silver Alert for Lawrence man canceled

    The city of Lawrence Police Department has canceled a Silver Alert issued earlier this morning.

    July 8, 2014

  • Thomas to resign as Indiana’s inspector general

    The only person to serve as Indiana’s top ethics watchdog since the position of inspector general was created in 2005 is planning to leave.

    July 8, 2014

  • Indiana 42 road washout.jpg Photo update: Indiana 42 washed out in Clay County

    A state highway in western Indiana has been closed after heavy rains washed out part of the roadway.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070714 CULVER PHOTO.jpg Maker of history

    A humble man with a heart for helping others is an apt description for Terre Haute resident Curtis B. Culver.
    Culver died July 2 at age 94, leaving behind a legacy of missionary work and social involvement.

    July 7, 2014 3 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans
NDN Video
Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter Joan Rivers Storms Out of Interview Watch: A turtle and dog play ball Yikes! This Jet is Way Too Close Late-Night Highlight: Ben Falcone Screwed Up His Proposal To Melissa McCarthy Jenny and Sherri Talk "View" Departure
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity