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Let us do our jobs. That was the message on Thursday morning from the road crews after a Winter blast dumped snow on Central Indiana Wednesday evening and throughout the night in some areas across the state. Also…Another of President Trump’s hotly contested cabinet picks is confirmed to be the nation’s number one lawyer. Check out these and other headlines below.
Good Day to you…
Plow drivers and salt trucks operators were asking motorists for a bit of patience and lots of space Thursday morning on commuter’s drive to work. State crews and Indianapolis Public Works drivers simply asked drivers to slow down because many of the roads in and around the city were slick. They got on top of it quickly, however in the metro area. However, state transportation managers said some county highways and interstates in northeast Indiana were still snow covered and slick throughout the morning.
The weather caused a few delays. Notably here in the city, Scecina Memorial High School opened two hours late Wednesday morning and in the northeast part of the metro area in Anderson, the school district there, Anderson Community Schools, also were on a two hour delay.
Police investigators are looking for the triggerman in a northeast side shooting that sent a local man to the hospital. IMPD officials say the shooting happened Wednesday night in the 3700 block of Forest Manor Avenue just before 8 p.m. The victim was taken to an area hospital where he was still listed in critical condition.
An Indianapolis man is going to spend most of the rest of his life in prison for his role in the death of his girlfriend’s child. On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Diquan Williams to 65 years behind bars for striking the two-year-old girl and causing her death. Williams will serve 55 years in state prison and ten years in Marion County’s jail.
In a follow up to a deadly auto crash last November in the 1600 block of North Illinois Street that captured headlines because of the high profile car involved and how it burst into flames, a new report has been released by Indianapolis Metro Police that says both the driver and passenger were intoxicated during that fiery crash of a Tesla electric car. IMPD Public Information Officer Jim Gillespie told the press that 27-year-old Casey Speckman, 27, and Kevin McCarthy, 44, died from injuries of the impact and the resulting fire. A coroner’s report revealed that Speckman had a blood-alcohol level of .21-percent and McCarthy’s was .17–both, more than twice the legal limit. This crash brought scrutiny to the car’s manufacturer after firefighters had an extremely difficult time extinguishing the blaze because of how the car was manufactured. Tesla representatives say they don’t believe the car’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system was activated that would’ve kept the vehicle’s speed under 35 miles-per-hour.
Indiana lawmakers are close to the next step in raising the price at the pump. A House panel this week forwarded the Republican-backed plan to add ten cents to the state’s gasoline tax, charge drivers a $15 vehicle registration fee, and create a $150 electric vehicle fee. A vote in the House could come as early as next week. The hope is to use the tax and new fees to raise about a billion dollars a year to pay for road work across the state.
Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions is the new U.S. Attorney General. Sessions is a veteran lawmaker and a former federal prosecutor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Sessions fair, principled and well-qualified. Democrats disagree. Throughout the confirmation process, they raised questions and provided evidence to the contrary about Sessions’ views on civil rights, including LGBTQ rights. Their evidence included testimony and a nine-page letter written by the widow of Dr. Martin L. King Jr., in which Coretta Scott King opposed Sessions’ advancement to a federal judge seat 30 years ago because of his record. In it, King wrote, advancing him to the federal bench would “irreparably damage the work of my husband” and “Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts…” Sessions is President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Justice Department and be this nation’s chief legal officer and he has been confirmed. After the vote, he announced his retirement from the Senate and called his next job a special honor.
Back in Sessions’ home state, Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley moved quickly to replace Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Bentley appointed Alabama state Attorney General Luther Strange to fill Sessions’ seat. Strange is 63 years old, has been Alabama’s attorney general since 2011. Bentley praised Strange’s work in coordinating litigation for Gulf states after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Strange is a graduate of Tulane University.
President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court is reportedly not happy about comments the president made about judges. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says Judge Neil Gorsuch told him Trump’s negative tweets about the federal judge who suspended his controversial travel ban are “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” An appeals court may rule as early as today on whether to reinstate the ban. Trump, in the meantime, suggested in a tweet this morning that Blumenthal was misrepresenting what Gorsuch said. Trump said Blumenthal got it wrong, and also criticized his military record.
At least 2,300 flights are canceled so far as a winter storm closes in on the Northeastern U.S. It’s expected to affect a stretch from Pennsylvania to Maine and to dump a foot of snow on the New York and Boston areas. Most major carriers are waiving change fees for travelers affected by the weather. Schools, universities and businesses are closed today because of this storm, which is an odd shift in temperatures. On Wednesday, the temp was 62 degrees in New York City.
We’ve been keeping you up to date on the going’s on in the Indiana Statehouse, but it’s also worth taking a peek at the legislatures around the nation. In Mississippi, lawmakers are considering bringing back the firing squad, the electric chair or the gas chamber as a way to execute criminals. The state’s House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow those methods to be used, should a court ban the use of lethal injection drugs. Right now, lethal injection is the only allowable method of execution.
Fifteen points. That’s the lead the Pacers had at one time over LeBron James and the Cavaliers Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. But that faded to dust when then the defending NBA champs turned up the heat. The Cavs pushed past the Pacers in power move, after power move, to a victory of 132-117. James had sat out prior meetings here in Indy, but he came to play in this one. In the defeat, Paul George ended with 22 points and eight rebounds. Before this loss, the Pacers had won its previous seven games, and is now 29-and-23 on the season. The Pacers will return to the road Friday night to play in Washington against the Wizards.
Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley faces three misdemeanor charges after being dragged out of Madison Square Garden Wednesday night by security guards. Witnesses say Oakley was seated near Knicks owner James Dolan (who the star has reportedly had issues with) and was asked to leave the arena. They say he then got into a scuffle with the guards who were hauling him from his seat.
While much of the Northeast and Mid Atlantic parts of the country are bracing for the severe Winter weather in store for them today…here in Indy we’re looking at mostly sunny skies today with temperatures falling to a High of only 24 degrees.