News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

January 6, 2014

Our legislators sound off

TERRE HAUTE — EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tribune-Star sought input from Wabash Valley lawmakers on their legislative priorities for the 2014 General Assembly. Three state representatives — Bob Heaton, Clyde Kersey and Alan Morrison — and state Sen. John Waterman responded. Multiple attempts to reach District 38 Sen. Tim Skinner, D-Terre Haute, were unsuccessful.

Now more than four decades old, Indiana State University’s Hulman Center is in need of extensive renovation, according to one former Sycamore basketball player who now serves in the Indiana Legislature.

Rep. Bob Heaton, R-Terre Haute, told the Tribune-Star that he will file a bill this session to create a sports development area, which would allow the collection of sales tax to help fund renovation of the facility built in December 1973.

It is one of several bills that will float or sink during the Indiana General Assembly’s short session, which was to have started Monday. Weather delayed the opening gavel. It’s unclear if the delay will affect the scheduled closing of the session on March 14.

Heaton said his proposed bill would create a Professional Sports Development Area (PSDA) tax, which is a combination of state income tax, local income tax and sales tax from businesses and employees in the designated PSDA area.

Evansville, Fort Wayne and South Bend all have PSDAs, said Heaton, who represents House District 46.

South Bend’s PSDA was formed in 1997 and expires in 2027. The PSDAs capture of state sales and income taxes ends in 2018. The Indiana Department of Revenue collects the taxes and remits them on a monthly basis to St. Joseph County, which issues a check to the city of South Bend.

The PSDA in South Bend collected $339,059 in 2002 and $409,020 in 2011, according to South Bend’s 2011 annual financial report.

The idea is to help fund refurbishment of Hulman Center, a project Heaton said could cost about $35 million. The PSDA can be used to improve a community-used facility, he said. Hulman Center would be designated as a convention center for the city.

“This could provide up to a maximum of $5 million per year,” Heaton said. A nine-member panel would be formed to oversee the funds; the state of Indiana would have a final say in any spending.

Heaton indicated he would have more details on the proposed bill once it is filed.

Legislators have until Monday to file bills for the 2014 session, unless that deadline is extended because of the delayed opening.

Heaton also plans to:

• file a resolution to honor Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Lee Davis, who now resides in Freedom, a small town in Owen County. Davis’ family moved to Indiana in his junior year of high school. He joined the U.S. Army in Indianapolis in 1965 and was awarded the Congressional Medal in 1968, for actions in combat the previous year. Davis gave his fellow soldiers cover fire, operating both a machine gun and artillery cannon, and rescued several soldiers as well.

The Open Door

Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-Terre Haute, said he will file a bill to amend the state’s Open Door Law. Under Kersey’s proposal, email could no longer be used to announce a public meeting.

“This would not allow official action to be done by email,” he said. “You can’t call a meeting or take official action by email. This bill will allow more transparency.”

The issue has been sparked, he said, from conflict between the Republican-controlled Indiana State Board of Education, whose members were appointed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, and Glenda Ritz, a Democrat and the elected state superintendent of public instruction. A lawsuit filed by Ritz against the State Board of Education, alleging a violation of the Open Door Law for making decisions without advertising public meetings, was dismissed by a state judge in November.

“It is easy to leave someone off an email list,” said Kersey, who represents House District 43. Notification, under the proposed bill, would be done on public announcement boards and through regular mail, he said.

Another bill suggested by Kersey would require a county assessor to justify any increase in the assessment of property.

“Right now, a taxpayer has to prove why the assessor is wrong. My bill would make an assessor have to justify any increase in property assessment. The assessor has to do that now if the assessment increases more than 5 percent, but this bill would eliminate the 5 percent and make the assessor justify it for any increase in assessment,’ Kersey said.

The bill, if approved and signed by the governor, would also limit increases in assessed values of land to 5 percent a year. Currently, there is no limit to how much the assessed value of land can increase.

School safety measures

School safety is the focus of two bills Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Terre Haute, intends to put forth.

One Morrison bill would allow school districts to conduct a ballot referendum on creating a local property tax levy to fund school safety improvements. ”It will categorize about six different school safety-related issues that schools can spend revenue on,” he said.

“The idea behind it is an increasing need for school safety, not just school safety specialists or school protection officers, but also technology and improving buildings and entrance ways to buildings and offices. There is so much needed for the whole universe of school safety, and a lot of schools don’t have  the financial means to make that happen,” Morrison said.

So far, no set benchmarks have yet been established for the maximum rate that could be considered in a referendum, said Morrison, who represents House District 42. “It would be the same formula for operational budgets… . It will follow the same set of rules,” he said.

Morrison also intends to introduce a bill to permit a half-day — out of the 180-day instructional school days — designated for teachers and staff to take part in a simulated school attack training with law enforcement and first responders. Morrison said he has met on the issue with Ray Azar, director of student services for the Vigo County School Corp.

Morrison also plans to:

• file a resolution to re-name a portion of Indiana 59, between Indiana 42 and U.S. 40, in honor of Orville Redenbacher, whose name became synonymous with the brand of popcorn that bears his name. Redenbacher was born in Clay County and attended the former Brazil High School.

Maintaining history

Sen. John Waterman, R-Shelburn, said that while issues such as eliminating a business personal property tax will be forefront, he hopes to undertake other important issues.

Waterman, District 39, is concerned with the preservation of historic barns. “A lot of the old mill house barns are getting torn down, because the assessment on them is so high. I will have a bill to give a tax incentive to get those barns back up into their original shape. They have to be over 50 years old to get this, but this is to preserve history. We are losing the history of many of these old barns,” Waterman said.

The legislator from Sullivan County also hopes to address a safety issue related to the Wabash River.

The issue of broken glass came to the forefront in October, when eighth-graders participated in a raft trip down the Wabash River. It was the 13th year for the river trip.

“The problem is broken glass, especially on sand bars in the river where people will camp. People will take a cooler and then start busting the bottles. This is a hazard to anyone using the river,” Waterman said. “The bill would require the use of plastic bottles if on a sand bar or along the river.

He indicated that most state parks already prohibit glass in beach areas.

Waterman said he also hopes to file a bill regulating abortion clinic billing when a woman backs out of a procedure at the last minute. “Right now, a clinic can charge for that, even if nothing is done,” he said. “This bill would prohibit any charge for anything not actually done.”

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET073114griffin markers.jpg Trail blazers

    Blake Griffin remembers when he and his brother, Dale, would ride their bikes along wooded trails in the wilderness area of Fowler Park.

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Officials say city ‘overspent’

    Two Terre Haute councilmen told the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County Thursday they think the city is overspending, but they gave no solutions to reduce expenses.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET073114sinkhole korenski.jpg Block downtown to close for repairs

    A sinkhole is forcing the temporary closure of a major downtown street beginning Monday.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 012312 MICK NEWPORT.jpg Wave of retirees at Vigo schools

    Valarie Bailey has worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for 26 years in roles that included at-risk counselor, school social worker, assistant student services director and curriculum coordinator.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire house to fire dept.

    A legal battle has been resolved to restore ownership of the community fire station in Fayette Township.

    July 31, 2014

  • Road Closings

    14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.

    July 31, 2014

  • August Fire Safety Tip

    Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety

    July 31, 2014

  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
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
Real Estate News