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Indiana Religious Freedom Law Crisis

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Get In the Know With Kim’s Thursday News & Sports Headlines

Education, Crime & Justice, Civil Rights, Political Wrangling and a ‘Scandal on Campus’ are all on tap on this ‘Throwback Thursday’ in local and national headlines as many get ready to go buy more Powerball tickets after another rollover…


Joe Hogsett

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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is getting an in depth look at the challenges facing the city’s school systems. On Wednesday, he met with superintendents from all nine of the city’s townships to talk about expanding pre-k, discipline, teacher recruitment and more.  Hogsett says he plans to hold more meetings like that one and wants to include officials from the city’s charter schools.

Metro police arrested a teen Thursday morning who they say stole a car and crashed it into a home on the city’s south side, and who then took off running. This happened around 6:30 a.m. in the 6500 block of Yellowstone Parkway, located near Bluff and Banta Roads.  That car erupted into flames shortly after the crash. IMPD used K-9 units in the search for the teenaged suspect whom they caught at the Kroger grocery store located at 1330 Southport Road.

A man already serving 40 years in prison for his involvement in the murder of a gas station clerk is now getting more time behind bars. Ryan Clark was sentenced Wednesday to an additional 104 years for his role in a home invasion and assault in September 2013. Clark was convicted last month of breaking into a family’s home on the city’s east side and sexually assaulting the woman at gunpoint in front of her husband and three children.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is going to start the debate on civil rights protections next week. The governor says he’ll talk about protections for gays and lesbians, and the state’s religious freedom laws during his State of the State speech. Lawmakers are struggling to find a compromise, even as new polls show more Hoosiers are okay with new civil rights protections.

Speaking of lawmakers and compromise…The Republican plan at the statehouse is now to rewrite Indiana’s religious freedom law.  The effort is led by Senator R. Michael Young, who is proposing this RFRA rewrite. His legislation adds “deference” to worship, free speech, and conscience.  But guns are also a hot topic. In this legislation, there’s also a deference clause for the right to bear arms.

Liquor sales on Sunday in Indiana, could this be the year that Indiana’s lawmakers finally get it done?  Maybe. Lawmakers at the statehouse are looking at another plan for Sunday sales. The last effort crashed and burned, in part, because of a turf war between grocery stores and the state’s liquor stores. Representative Tom Dermody says he’ll unveil his plan next week.

In National News:

The Powerball jackpot is now worth more than two-thirds of a billion dollars. No winners in Wednesday night’s big drawing means a record $675 million is now up for grabs in the next drawing on Saturday. The lump sum cash value would be just over $413 million.

Emergency crews are working Thursday morning to free 17 miners trapped in an elevator over 800-feet below ground at a salt mine in New York. Tompkins County officials say the miners are not injured and emergency crews have made radio contact with them. Local fire departments are on the scene.

The Texas trooper who arrested a woman who later died in jail is about to lose his job.  The Department of Public Safety in Waller County, Texas announced on Wednesday it will start termination proceedings against Trooper Brian Encinia after a Waller County grand jury indicted him on perjury charges.  Encinia is the trooper who pulled over Sandra Bland last July, then arrested her after claiming she assaulted him. That grand jury determined the trooper lied. There was no assault.

Donald Trump wants Ted Cruz to take it to a judge. The Republican presidential frontrunner told CNN on Wednesday the Texas senator’s citizenship is an issue, and that Cruz should ask a judge to rule whether or not he’s even eligible to run for the White House. Trump added that a judge’s “declaratory judgment” would protect Cruz and his eligibility.

In Sports:

The Pacers took on the Magic on the road and Colts’ head coach Pagano makes moves on his coaching staff. Get the latest by clicking HERE.


Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals is naming Kerry Washington as its 2016 Woman of the Year.  The Scandal star will be honored with a parade through Harvard Square followed by a roast by the Pudding crew on January 28. Hasty Pudding producer Kennedy Edmonds says they’re excited to honor her, but a “bit nervous” about putting the event together considering the on screen reputation of her Scandal character ‘Olivia Pope’. Read more about Washington’s ‘Scandal on Campus’ HERE.

Indianapolis Weather:

A mixture of sunshine and clouds today with a High of 44 degrees.

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