The City of Muncie’s bank account is in much better shape than Delaware County’s. That’s what government records show for another year. City government has been able to maintain a healthy fund balance, while the county has struggled with its finances partly due to declining revenues. Deputy Auditor Donna Patterson says the ongoing difference between the city and county’s operating balances might be traced to when the city increased its taxes and kept more revenue in the bank.
Flanked by executives of 16 companies planning expansion in Indiana yesterday, Governor Mike Pence hailed the expected creation of more than 2100 new jobs for the state. The Democrats have been quick to respond by attacking the governor‘s focus. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson offers appreciation for job creation but he says “the real issue is raising wages and Hoosiers‘ standard of living.”
A top U.S. economist is weighing in on the state of Indiana‘s economy. IHS Global Insight Chief U.S. Economist Douglas Handler told a committee of state lawmakers that economic growth in Indiana remains higher than in neighboring states. Handler says employment, personal income and real gross state product will all show slight gains in 2015. He says unemployment should drop to 5.5 percent. However, he adds that employment growth will slow due to large numbers of aging workers leaving the workforce nationwide.
State Senator Karen Tallian will try again during the upcoming legislative session to legalize marijuana. She plans to focus on legalizing the drug for people with certain medical conditions. Tallian has introduced two bills in the past that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. They both died without a hearing. She says she is optimistic about her new bill because it will appeal to both parties.
Three Anderson teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of breaking into an Anderson gun store and stealing 10 handguns costing about 3,000 dollars. Ron Hinton, who is the manager of Gunslingers Gun shop, said surveillance tapes showed three juveniles jumping into the store after smashing the window and throwing a concrete block through a door. Police received a tip leading them to a house where two of the teenagers were. The Third teen was apprehended shortly after. A court date has not yet been set for the juveniles.
The Anderson Police Department has suspended the use of body cameras purchased by individual officers until a policy is set. Police chief Larry Crenshaw said several APD officers have purchased body cameras, and the department is in the process of forming a committee to develop a policy for their use. He said police are now gathering information and reviewing policies being considered by other communities.
An arresting officer described a Muncie Man as “belligerent” who grabbed his wife by the neck, spit in her face, doused her with a soft drink and pushed her down. Forty-two-year-old Charles Melvin Ramsey was arrested by Delaware County sheriff’s deputies on a charge of domestic battery. He was being held on a 5,000 bond in the Delaware County jail on Thursday.
The Madison County Election Board says it believes three members of councilman Ollie Dixon ‘s family have violated state election laws. The board alleges Ollie Dixon signed both the 2014 absentee ballot application and the return envelope for his daughter. Prosecutor Rodney Cummings says the Indiana State Police would be asked to conduct an investigation if necessary. Dixon maintains that his family has done nothing wrong.
Southside Middle School is overhauling its administration after the school failed to meet state academic standards three years in a row. Superintendent Tim Heller has named Kelli Turner as the school’s principal effective January 5. The current principal, Rebecca Thompson, is being assigned as assistant director at the Muncie Area Career Center. If the school receives another “F” grade next year, the state board of education would send in an expert team to make changes.
The Indiana Real Estate Commission Wednesday voted to extend the suspension of Roger Shoot’s real estate broker license for another 90 days. The 62-year-old Anderson businessman was arrested in June after the Madison County Prosecutor filed multiple counts of theft and forgery against him. The state’s original lawsuit alleges that he sold houses in Anderson, pocketing money that was to be used for tax and insurance payments. Shoot is scheduled to stand trial in February.