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Indiana is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th largest by area and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis.
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A man was found dead in the 5000 block after neighbors reported hearing gunshots, police said. The post Neighbors stunned by shooting in ‘safe,’ ‘quiet’ Eagles Watch subdivision appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana...
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — The Eagles Watch subdivision on the city’s northwest side is home to dozens of families.
“It’s very quiet here,” said Irma Molina, who lives on Eagles Watch Drive.
The winding road is often touted as an oasis of safety, seemingly removed from the city’s crime crisis, according to Jeremy Layly, who lives down the street from Molina.
He walks his dogs through the neighborhood every night without worrying about what he’ll encounter in the dark.
On Thursday night, his walk led him toward flashing police lights and crime scene tape.
Detectives were collecting evidence from the scene of a shooting in the 5000 block of Eagles Watch Drive, less than a quarter of a mile from Layly’s home.
“I’ve heard gunshots [before] but not in the neighborhood,” he told News 8. “That’s intense.”
Officers arrived around 4 p.m. after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. An unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene.
No arrests had been made Thursday night. No suspect information was available.
The shooting appeared to be targeted and did not pose an immediate threat to public safety, police said.
“[Detectives are] working hard to solve these crimes and to prevent crimes,” said Michael Hewitt, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
Molina, whose home was within the police perimeter, ducked under the yellow tape to speak with News 8.
She and her son still feel safe living on Eagles Creek Drive, she said, but she is wary of rising crime in other parts of the city.
“It is very dangerous lately,” Molina said in Spanish. “Many crimes have happened.”
Anybody with information about the shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called about 10:50 p.m. to a Marathon gas station. The post Employee dies in shooting at gas station on near north side appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana...
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An employee was found shot dead inside a gas station and convenience store on the city’s near north side Thursday night, police said early Friday.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called about 10:50 p.m. to the Marathon gas station at 710 E. 30th St. That’s at the intersection with College Avenue.
Officers arrived to find a man dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside the gas station.
Police early Friday were not releasing additional information about the victim.
No suspect information was immediately available. It was not immediately known what may have led to the shooting.
The gas station and convenience store closes nightly at 11 p.m.
Also Thursday, a man died after an afternoon shooting in a residential area on the city’s northwest side, police said.
Oscar Sweetman, 31, says he's tried about every drug there is. The post Recovering addict hopes $342K ad campaign will save lives appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A friendly message that’s hitting the airwaves soon will be aimed at saving lives and reducing the stigma surrounding substance use disorder.
The title of the campaign from the Marion County Public Health Department is “What are friends for?” Its title hints at one of the key points: Everyone likely has someone in their circle of friends or family who is an addict with the disorder.
Oscar Sweetman, 31, says he’s tried about every drug there is. He’s got the heartbreak to prove it as well: a broken marriage, a year in jail, and an unfinished education at Hanover College. He came from a good family and got academic scholarships.
He describes substance use disorder in his life as getting on a hamster wheel where it will take extreme measures and intervention to get out. He said that’s because he would go to immense lengths to feed the pleasure center in his brain, more than the average person.
Now he’s in his second stint at Wheeler Mission as a servant leader in training, trying to help his peers beat their own demons.
“I think that an ad campaign aimed toward people in addiction especially seeking recovery, not taking that step yet but looking at it as a possibility, I think that would do a lot of good,” Sweetman said. “I think telling someone there is hope, telling them I’ve done everything you’re doing.”
For Sweetman, the turning point was when he lost all his safety nets from family and friends who loved him but just couldn’t help him anymore.
He also has a message of encouragement for others who are walking the path he’s on.
“I’ve chosen not to turn back from this. Whatever that takes, whatever measures I have to put into place, I’m going to take those. I’m gong to encourage guys and gals to do the same thing. For those who are still in it, for those who are chronic relapsers, haven’t been able to get this right, if you’re still here, there’s still hope.”
The campaign is paid for through a pair of grants totaling $341,873. Funding comes from the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Integrating Overdose Prevention Strategies at the Local Level grant.
The campaign will run from March-June, basically almost $90,000 a month for four months.
One part of the campaign is to remind everyone of the legality of naloxone, the drug which reverses an opioid overdose, as well as easy it is to get by anyone at a pharmacy in case they have to use it.
HARDIN, Mont. (CNN) -- On a cloudy winter afternoon, a few dozen people stand outside the courthouse in Hardin, Montana, holding banners and signs bearing the photos of young Native American women. In below-freezing temperatures and against an abrasive wind, they read out the names of 24 women and girls they say have gone missing [...] The post Grieving Native American families shamed law enforcement over missing women and won action from President Trump appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis...
HARDIN, Mont. (CNN) — On a cloudy winter afternoon, a few dozen people stand outside the courthouse in Hardin, Montana, holding banners and signs bearing the photos of young Native American women. In below-freezing temperatures and against an abrasive wind, they read out the names of 24 women and girls they say have gone missing or been killed.
They read the names to remember and to honor, but also to shame local, state and federal officials whom they accuse of ignoring their women when perhaps they could have been helped.
Everyone in the group has had a loved one go missing or even found dead. And every one says there has been no help or explanation.
“They didn’t make it a priority. They blamed her,” says Paula Castro-Stops, mother of 14-year-old Henny Scott, who was found dead of exposure with alcohol in her system, weeks after she went missing.
“They really didn’t act on it,” Yolanda Fraser says of the disappearance of her granddaughter, Kaysera Stops Pretty Places. “She had just turned 18 a week before, on August 14th. And they said she’s probably just out with her friends or whatever.”
These families felt driven to set up their own searches, to ask their own questions. And even if they couldn’t save their loved ones, they fought to make it different for the next family. Their campaign made it to the desk of the President, and this year, there were finally signs of change.
There’s no question that life can be hard for both residents and police in Big Horn County, a little east of Billings, which includes parts of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. Law enforcement officials deal daily with a community deep in a substance abuse crisis, still impacted and traumatized by generations of systemic oppression of Native Americans, a crisis that too often manifests as physical and sexual violence that can break up families, research has shown
When called in, the officers face lack of funding and resources for searches across the vast and barren open spaces of eastern Montana.
But native families say those challenges have been used as an excuse for a lack of action. Or worse, that there is something unsolvable about why their women are lost or killed.
“There’s a lot of coverage of this issue that describes it as a mystery, like we don’t know what’s happening,” says Annita Lucchesi, a researcher and descendant of the Cheyenne tribe. “As if native women are kind of like a rabbit and a magic act, like we just mysteriously disappear and that’s not real.”
Native Americans are 6.7% of the population of Montana, yet they make up 26% of missing person reports.
Lucchesi, now studying for a doctorate at the University of Arizona, has collected data the federal government lacks to try to get a database of missing and murdered indigenous cases across the country. She says she has now tabulated more than 4,200 cases dating back to the 1970s for the Sovereign Bodies Institute, where she is executive director.
She says while each case is different, there are common threads, many pointing to centuries of discrimination that still hurt today.
Violence against indigenous women is “a result of colonialism and racism,” Lucchesi says. “And how that manifests in the justice system, in law enforcement departments, and even in other systems that contribute to high risk or targeting of native women.”
In her database are many instances of officials doing little or nothing when a woman needs help.
One is the case of Henny Scott, an athletic and artistic 14-year-old. When she went missing in the Northern Cheyenne reservation in December 2018, her mother Paula Castro-Stops says she called police and told them where she thought her daughter might be: near a house where other teens were partying that night, not too far from her own home.
But she was told her daughter’s case did not qualify for an AMBER alert, and for days no search party was formed by authorities. Castro-Stops and her husband got a group of volunteers together. It was those community volunteers who found the girl weeks later, just a couple of hundred yards from the house Castro-Stops had identified.
Scott had died of hypothermia, but there is much that is still unexplained for her mother, who keeps pottery decorated by her daughter in her living room.
“I think someone was chasing her for her to run this way,” Castro-Stops says, pointing toward a ravine in between two foothills. She still doesn’t believe there was no foul play, but there are no answers.
It’s a similar story for Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, who was 18 when she went missing in August 2019. Five days later, a jogger saw her dead in the backyard of a home in Hardin.
The medical examiner found no evidence of injury or illness but her body was already decomposing when she was found, and death by asphyxia could not be ruled out.
The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office did not return multiple calls and emails asking for comment on its cases. It’s unclear whether there was ever a search operation for Stops Pretty Places, according to the family’s lawyer, Mary Kathryn Nagle.
For Yolanda Fraser, the grandmother and legal guardian for Stops Pretty Places, there are no answers.
Fraser believes the fact that her granddaughter had gone missing before was a factor in the way law enforcement responded to her disappearance.
“I feel really angry about it. I feel helpless because I can’t control anything that they do or decide not to do,” Fraser says.
What she and the other grieving relatives found they could do was bind together and force a spotlight on the issue, through social media campaigns, marches and protests.
Now there are three task forces established specifically to look at the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. President Donald Trump signed an executive order last November setting up a federal interagency task force, and the state of Montana and Big Horn County have their groups, too.
The response to missing women cases is already different, even if the result hasn’t changed yet.
When Selena Not Afraid was reported missing on New Year’s Day, new plans were put into action. A drone equipped with a camera was flown; so, too, was a helicopter to look for her. The sheriff’s department was there, teams of people walking the landscape to try to find her. The FBI showed up, too.
“Hers was the first case where, a missing and murdered indigenous women coordinator was deployed and the first case where we deployed the FBI rapid deployment team,” said Kurt Alme, US Attorney for Montana. “It was the first case where the attorney general’s initiative and some of the resources he brought to bear were deployed.” Alme welcomed the White House involvement and said could bring more standardized responses across jurisdictions.
Not Afraid’s body was found about a mile from a rest stop between Billings and Hardin, the last place where she had been seen alive.
When the coroner found she had died from hypothermia, it seemed the sheriff’s department was ready to close the case. But in another break from the past, the county attorney made it clear the case was open and active.
The task forces and new attention have been welcomed by the indigenous residents of Big Horn County. But for many, there remains a lack of trust in government to work for them.
The community thinks they only got this far by bonding together to scream their outrage. And they believe they will have to continue to use their voice to demand action for — and maybe save lives of — their young women.
Lucchesi says she has an aunt who describes the women she is fighting for as warriors. “They gave their lives so that we could fight for a better world here,” she says. “And we’re here as their helpers, they send us to where we need to go.”
The post Grieving Native American families shamed law enforcement over missing women and won action from President Trump appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.
The Boilermakers made their last six free throws to seal it. The post Purdue holds off late Indiana charge, wins 57-49 appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue got 19 points from Trevion Williams and 17 from Eric Hunter Jr. and held off a late charge from in-state rival Indiana for a 57-49 victory.
By snapping a four-game losing streak, the Boilermakers kept their teetering NCAA Tournament hopes intact.
Devonte Green led the Hoosiers with 11 points. Their two-game winning streak ended with a seventh straight loss to Purdue.
The Boilermakers took advantage of Indiana’s shooting woes to take a 16-point lead early in the second half. But Indiana cut the deficit to five with less than a minute to play.
The Boilermakers made their last six free throws to seal it.
The post Purdue holds off late Indiana charge, wins 57-49 appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.
Health advocates have long criticized Indiana’s Republican-dominated government for paying scant attention to public health. The post Pence’s handling of 2015 HIV outbreak gets new scrutiny appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana...
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — President Donald Trump’s choice of Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the nation’s response to the new coronavirus threat is bringing renewed scrutiny to the former governor’s handling of an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana when he was governor.
Pence reluctantly agreed to authorize a needle exchange program in Scott County in March 2015 after the epidemic centered there saw the number of people infected with HIV skyrocket, with nearly 200 people eventually testing positive for the virus that year.
Despite his own misgivings — Pence worried about how the exchanges would affect “anti-drug policy” and had misgivings about providing clean needles to addicts — he initially issued an executive order allowing one in Scott County before later signing a law allowing the state government to approve them for counties on a case-by-case basis.
Greg Millett, director of public policy at amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, said Indiana’s HIV outbreak would have been “entirely preventable” if Pence had acted earlier in response to data that was available to Indiana public health officials and clearly showed an outbreak was imminent.
The outbreak primarily infected intravenous users of the painkiller Opana in an impoverished, rural area with few health resources. The needle exchange Pence finally approved for Scott County successfully curbed the epidemic’s spread by providing clean needles to IV drug users to reduce needle-sharing that spreads HIV, hepatitis C and other diseases.
Pence took credit for the needle exchange during an interview Wednesday with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity. “We worked the problem early in the year from a law enforcement standpoint, from a health standpoint,” he said. “I don’t believe in needle exchanges as a way to combat drug abuse, but in this case we came to the conclusion that we had a public health emergency, and so I took executive action to make a limited needle exchange available.”
Millett said Scott County had averaged five new HIV cases annually between 2004 and 2013, but between November 2014 and Jan. 11, 2015, it suddenly saw 13 new cases in just over two months.
Quick implementation of a needle exchange program could have stopped that escalation, but new cases continued to surge without one, he said.
“This would have been entirely preventable if Indiana had acted fast with a syringe exchange,” he said. “To have some 200 people become infected over such a short time period was unprecedented.”
Millett, who worked as an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1999 and 2013, doing HIV research, said the CDC later determined that Indiana’s outbreak resulted in infections that will amount to $100 million in health care costs — expenses he said could have been reduced or avoided by a quicker response.
Despite his reservations about Pence, Millett said he’s encouraged by the vice president’s announcement Thursday that Debbie Birx, the administration’s global AIDS coordinator, will serve under the vice president as the White House coronavirus response coordinator. Millett called Birx an effective and respected public health leader.
“She’ll bring in people who are experts in infectious diseases who can mount an effective response,” he said.
But Steven Thrasher, a Northwestern University journalism professor who has studied Indiana’s outbreak as part of his research into HIV and LGBTQ health issues, said Pence’s response as Indiana governor raises real questions about whether he’s the best person to helm the response to the virus.
Thrasher said that while HIV cases were mounting in Scott County — which lies about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Louisville, Kentucky — Pence told local officials wondering whether he would approve a needle exchange “that he was going to pray on it.”
“His background shows that he brings religion, a lack of science and a budgetary mindset to public health matters. In a time of emergency, those are not the safest ways to be approaching what could become an epidemic,” Thrasher said.
Pence’s state health commissioner at the time of the HIV outbreak, Jerome Adams, is now U.S. surgeon general and is widely credited with helping persuade Pence to accept the needle exchange program that now operates in nine of Indiana’s 92 counties.
Pence’s office, when asked for comment by The Associated Press, referred a reporter to Adams. He defended Pence’s actions Thursday, saying the then-governor worked closely with him in responding to the outbreak, including implementing the syringe exchange program “that helped change the scope of the unprecedented crisis.”
“As a result, our efforts became a model for how other states and localities respond to similar crises,” Adams said in a statement.
Joey Fox, who was legislative director for the Indiana State Department of Health during the HIV outbreak, said Thursday that the criticism of Pence is unfair because Indiana’s response to the HIV outbreak went far beyond just authorizing a needle exchange program.
Fox said the state’s response included bringing HIV testing to the small city of Austin — the community at the heart of the outbreak — at a “one-stop-shop” office where the county’s needle exchange was initially based. At that office, people could get tested, enroll in Medicaid to begin HIV medical treatment, get state identification cards and birth certificates and receive other services.
“It’s unfair to criticize the governor,” Fox said. “He was personally engaged with the public health and the public safety of Scott County, and the Indiana government was engaged from day one on the HIV outbreak.
“Before Mike Pence syringe exchanges were illegal in Indiana. When he left office there were programs around the state.”
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington urged Trump on Thursday to reconsider the choice of Pence, citing his “lack of public health experience and record of putting ideology over science” and his “leadership failure during the Indiana HIV outbreak.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she spoke to Pence on Thursday morning and “expressed to him the concern that I had of his being in this position.” Pelosi said that while she wants to work with the White House, she told Pence she was wary of his leadership after his track record in Indiana.
Indiana’s needle exchange debate in 2015 was complicated by opposition from law enforcement groups who worried that such programs would enable drug abuse.
Scott County’s current health administrator said the county’s exchange — through which participants swap used needles for clean ones to stem the spread of diseases through needle-sharing — had a dramatic impact on the outbreak.
Since the county’s needle exchange began in early 2015, the number of new HIV cases tied to the outbreak has declined each year, said Michelle Matern, administrator for Scott County’s health department.
“I think the data speaks for itself, that it’s decreasing the transmission of infectious diseases,” she said.
In 2015, there were 187 new HIV cases linked to the same HIV strain involved in the outbreak. Cases plunged to 27 in 2016, 12 in 2017 and 10 in 2018, with a preliminary count of seven new cases last year, Matern said.
Health advocates have long criticized Indiana’s Republican-dominated government for paying scant attention to public health, with the state ranking 47th in public health funding, according to a 2019 study by the United Health Foundation.
Associated Press Writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.
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