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Union says they will not interfere with Super Bowl festivities

(Indianapolis)  — Indiana AFL-CIO union president Nancy Guyott says its members will not disrupt the Super Bowl festivities this Sunday and instead take its fight against the right to work bill signed into law this week to the ballot box in November. On Wednesday, Gov. Mitch Daniels made Indiana the 23rd state to ban labor contracts requiring workers to pay union fees.  Thousands of union members protested outside the statehouse and then marched into Super Bowl village hours after Daniels signed the legislation. Union protesters had threatened work slowdowns and traffic jams near Lucas Oil Stadium.  An estimated 150,000 Super Bowl fans are expected downtown for the game Sunday. Protesters say they will hand out anti-right-to-work pamphlets in the Super Bowl Village.

Colts quarterback has been cleared to play

(Indianapolis) —  ESPN is reporting this morning that doctors have given Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning the green light to begin playing football. Manning missed the entire 2011 season due to a  neck injury and two surgeries. Colts owner Jim Irsay stated on Twitter early this morning that Manning has not passed the team’s physical nor has he yet been cleared and says he will issue a statement later today. Manning told Eyewitness Sports News earlier this week that his rehab was going well and that he had no plans to retire. Meanwhile The Colts owe Manning a $28 million option bonus due on March 8th.  If the team decides against paying him, Manning will become a free agent. Irsay says he expects to address the issue of Manning’s roster bonus next week. The Colts have the top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and are expected to take Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the top overall selection.

Super Bowl spending estimated to be in the billions 

(Indianapolis)  — Super Bowl 46 is predicted to be a huge winner for the economy.  The National Retail Federation expects Sunday’s game to add about $11 billion dollars to the economy with the average game watcher spending about $64 dollars on related merchandise, apparel and snacks; that figure is up about five percent from last year.  Also, the big game is expected to draw a record television audience of 173 million people.  The NFL’s Super Bowl matchup between the New York Giants and New England Patriots happens this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Pacers ending road tour

(Dallas, TX)  —  The Indiana Pacers wrap up a brief two-game road swing tonight against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.  The Pacers have won three games in-a-row to improve to 15-and-6 on the season, coming off a 109-99 victory at Minnesota on Wednesday.  Indiana opens up a two-game homestand tomorrow evening against the Orlando Magic.

Police release the name of woman killed on I-69

(Fishers) —  An identity has been made on a woman killed Wednesday afternoon in what investigators say was a suicide.  Linda Jackson, 44, of Indianapolis, was reported by witnesses as running in front of cars along Interstate 69 in Hamilton County. Jackson in ran in front of a semi-trailer around 2:30 p.m. near the 9 mile marker and fell into a ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Before the accident, police received numerous calls about a female running in front of vehicles. The incident remains under investigation. The semi driver was not injured in the incident.

Man faces charges for battery against patient

(Richmond)  — A man is facing charges this morning, accused of fondling a patient while visiting his mother at a mental health facility. “The Palladium-Item” reports Billy J. Ward, 40, of Hagerstown was arrested last Saturday on two counts of sexual battery. Court documents contain statements from a female patient at the English Manor mental health facility who says Ward inappropriately touched her and removed his pants and forced her to touch his genitals. The victim also reportedly said that on separate occasions in early 2011, Ward also involved her in the viewing of inappropriate material and inappropriately touched her body.