HOUSE FIRE-SIX DEAD
Police: 6 dead after house fire in southern Indiana
VEVAY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana State Police say six people died following an early morning house fire in Switzerland County, along the Kentucky border. Authorities said Saturday that the bodies of six people were located inside the two-story home after the blaze was extinguished. One man was able to get out of the house uninjured. The identities of the deceased have not been released. Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office are leading the investigation into the fire, though officials added that foul play was not suspected.
7 more virus deaths, 290 illnesses reported in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials say seven more people have died of COVID-19 in the state. That brings Indiana's coronavirus death toll to 31 compared to three deaths a week earlier. The Indiana State Department of Health said Saturday that Indiana’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew by 290 to 1,232. The state’s number of confirmed cases has surged nearly 10 times what was reported a week earlier even as testing remains largely limited to those seriously ill and medical workers. The state health commissioner said Friday Indiana’s peak of coronavirus illnesses is expected in mid- to late April.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDIANA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Virus separating Indiana's governor, lieutenant governor
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s two top state officials have started working apart as cases of the coronavirus illness continue to grow rapidly. A spokeswoman for Gov. Eric Holcomb said Saturday that the governor and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch “mutually agreed to be in different locations to socially distance themselves." The spokeswoman says neither has been tested for the COVID-19 illness so far and both have been feeling healthy. Holcomb and Crouch both attended a Statehouse news conference on Wednesday. The governor's office didn’t immediately provide information about when the two officials were last together and whether Crouch remained in Indianapolis or had gone to her home in Evansville.
LAKE MICHIGAN-INDIANA EROSION
Communities urge Indiana to help fight Lake Michigan erosion
BEVERLY SHORES, Ind. (AP) — Leaders of several communities along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline are calling on Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to declare a state of emergency due to beach erosion. They want help as near-record high water levels continue sweeping away beaches that are important to tourism. The small town of Beverly Shores has already drained its reserves and spent nearly $365,000 on sandbags. The town's Council President Geof Benson says that efforts to fix the road and other problems will cost millions more. Holcomb's office says he will declare a disaster if shoreline damage meets the federal government's criteria.
TV program to spotlight unsolved killings of 2 Indiana teens
DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A television program that examines true-crime cases is putting its spotlight on the unsolved 2017 killings of two teenage girls who were slain after they went hiking on a northern Indiana recreational trail. Investigation Discovery will air an episode of "In Pursuit with John Walsh," on April 1 about the February 2017 killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams. They went hiking on Feb. 13, 2017, and visited an abandoned railroad bridge near their hometown of Delphi, Indiana. Their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, wooded area about a quarter-mile from that bridge.
Union seeks 'first responder' status for food workers
OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Louisville-based United Food & Commercial Workers Local 227 is trying to get “first responder” status for Kentucky and Indiana workers in the retail grocery, meat packing and food processing industries. Union spokeswoman Caitlin Blair tells the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that these workers are facing an increased risk of exposure to the new coronovirus. Being recognized as first responders would provide them with greater access to masks and gloves, better access to testing and quicker results, as well as other services like child care. The designation would put Kentucky and Indiana in the company of states like Minnesota, Michigan and Vermont that have already extended the designation.
FIERY COLLISION-DNA TEST
Coroner says DNA will ID victim of fiery Indiana collision
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana coroner says a motorist who was killed in fiery highway collision with a truck hauling a load of grain will have to be identified through a DNA test. Investigators believe they know the identity of the pickup truck driver who died in Wednesday’s crash on U.S. 231 near Lafayette. But Tippecanoe County Coroner Donna Avolt says officials must be positive before releasing the victim’s name. Police say the motorist turned in front of a semi hauling grain while trying to turn off U.S. 231.
LEAD CONTAMINATION-EAST CHICAGO
EPA OKs cleanup plan change for Indiana lead-tainted complex