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Here are some of today’s top stories…

A police chase on the south side ends in a fiery crash. Metro Police have responded Thursday morning to the scene of a police chase that ended in a crash near Shelby St and Troy Ave.  The driver of the car is a 23-year-old auto theft suspect. Beech Grove police spotted him, followed and he then crashed. They had to pull him from that burning car. He’s okay—they took him to jail.

A Lafayette police officer accused of pushing a paraplegic out of his wheelchair is suspended for 30 days and is being demoted. In a dash cam video released on Wednesday by Lafayette police, Lieutenant Tom Davidson is seen approaching Nicholas Kincade in the parking lot of Excel School and can be heard asking him to leave.  Kincade was shoved to the ground and arrested after running over Davidson’s foot. This was not the first time police encountered Kincade at the school.

Indiana employers say they’re having a tough time finding qualified workers, according to 40-percent of respondents in a new Indiana Chamber of Commerce Survey. They say the greatest unfilled need is in skilled trades like electricians, plumbers and engineering technicians. 

The Indiana Pacers may be one Indiana employer who has found a very qualified worker but they’re having a hard time convincing him to keep working for them. He’s Lance Stephenson. The team has offered the unrestricted free agent who just finished the season with them a five-year, 44-million-dollar deal to stay a Pacer. ESPN is reporting the team is at a stalemate with the shooting guard and Stephenson is continuing to talk with other interested teams including Charlotte, the L.A. Lakers and Chicago. Pacers President Larry Bird has said the team has a price for Stephenson and will not exceed it.

Looking to get your holiday underway early? Carmel’s Fourth of July festival kicks off at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The two-day Carmelfest celebration this year will have four stages of live music, more food trucks, kids’ games, and a beer garden for adults. The free festival winds down at 10:30 p.m. and starts back up Friday morning at 10 a.m. It ends with a fireworks show.  

Hours on the Monon Trail will not be extended for the Fourth of July. Cycling group IndyCog wanted the Parks and Recreation Department to keep the trail open until 2:30 a.m. Saturday for the people who are planning to ride their bikes downtown for the fireworks. Officials say, however, there are too many safety concerns.  IMPD says the trail is dark and there’s a lot of places for people to hide. 

Speaking of IMPD, Lieutenant Christopher Bailey says Metro police will be out in full force for Friday night’s fireworks. He says expect more event response group officers, along with extra foot and bike patrols. 

Entertainment promoters here in Indy are working to make downtown the place you’ll want to be this weekend. Events start at 8 a.m. Friday morning with the Firecracker-6 Run/Walk at City Market followed by a festival. All day events are planned at Victory Field, Georgia Street and Massachusetts Avenue, with a fireworks show launched from Regions Bank Tower capping the day. Fireworks begin just before 10pm.  To save you a couple of bucks on this high gasoline price weekend, meter parking is free. 

The ladies of the Indiana Fever got an 80-77 win on the road last night. They got one over the Mystics in Washington. They’re on duty this holiday weekend. The Fever faces San Antonio Saturday.

If you’re getting out of town for the holiday and traveling out east this weekend…Arthur is now a hurricane. The weather disturbance that had been a tropical storm is churning off the Atlantic coast with sustained winds of at least 75 miles-an-hour. The storm is creeping closer to the North Carolina shore and has already prompted beach closures and evacuations in some areas. 

For your weather back here in Indy:

Cooler today. Cloudy to partly cloudy skies, with a high of 76 degrees. On the 4th of July: Mainly sunny. The high, 79 degrees. Clear skies in the evening—perfect to see those beautiful fireworks, with a low of 57 degrees. Expect the rest of the weekend to heat up into the low to mid-80’s.

I’M KIM WELLS…

Make it a great day as you listen to us all day on Indy’s R&B Leader 106.7 WTLC and here online at tlcnaptown.com.

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kimwellsmedia Twitter: @kwellscomm 070314