Abandoned Indianapolis School Reclaimed

Indianapolis, IN – A pastor is leading the charge of reclaiming an abandoned school and creating a community-and-trades center on the east side of Indianapolis. Pastor Denell Howard’s vision of The Evolve Education Center is slowly coming to fruition after years of planning, praying and a community effort to fix the building up. Requiring about a half million dollars to get the lights turned on, the center needs the help of the broader community to generate enough resources together.

A volunteer named Stan, who spent months cleaning up the building, gave Unicorn Riot a tour of the reclaimed school in July 2021. We heard from Stan and Pastor Howard about their vision for the center and the work they’ve done up to that point.

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Doctor Fights To Let Pharmacists Prescribe Birth Control

Indiana – People love the pill. As a pediatrician and a researcher who studies access to contraception, I speak to patients from all walks of life, and, even if they choose not to use the birth control pill themselves, most people support making it affordable and easy to access for everyone.

Its near-universal support is not surprising: Birth control can improve people’s lives by giving them the freedom to plan their families, allowing them to delay pregnancy until they decide they are ready. Still, for many people, getting to a doctor to get a prescription for birth control isn’t as easy as it should be.

That’s why I support and advocate for legislation that would make Indiana the 20th state to expand access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to directly prescribe and dispense the birth control pill and patch.

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Demonstrations In Bloomington During 300-Mile ‘Walk For Licenses’

Undocumented immigrants, immigrants and allies of the community passed through Bloomington Thursday on day six of their seven-day, 300-mile “Walk for Licenses” through Indiana, according to a press release from Cosecha Indiana.

The goal of the walk, which started Saturday in Gary, Indiana and East Chicago, is to bring attention to the need for drivers licenses for undocumented Indiana residents, according to the release. The walk will end in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Cosecha Indiana, which organized the walk, is a part of a national movement, working towards permanent protection, dignity and respect for all immigrant workers, according to their Facebook page

The group started in Switchyard Park before marching to Sample Gates and then to the Islamic Center of Bloomington.

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3 Police Officers Indicted For Using Excessive Force And Attempted Cover-Up

Accused of severely beating arrestees and attempting to cover up the repeated use of excessive force, three Indiana police officers were recently indicted on 12 counts. One of the officers is the former police chief’s son. On Friday, the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury in Indianapolis, Indiana, charged Muncie Police Officer Joseph Chase Winkle, son of the former police chief, with nine felony offenses.

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Pipeline Spills More Than 8,000 Gallons of Jet Fuel Into Indiana River

A pipeline spilled more than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel into an Indiana river, The Associated Press reported Sunday. The affected river was St. Marys River in Decatur, which is a town of 9,500 people about 100 miles from Indianapolis. Cleaning the spill could take weeks, Decatur Mayor Kenneth L. Meyer told the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Journal Gazette. The spill was first reported Friday night in a safety warning issued by the Decatur Police Department urging residents to avoid the area around the spill, local news outlet WANE reported Saturday. Houston-based Buckeye Pipe Line Company, L.P., which owns the pipeline, confirmed the spill to WANE Saturday. Company officials said there had been a failure Friday evening that had caused the spill.

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More Than 200 Protest Deportations At Gary Airport Under Eye Of Armed SWAT Officers

For Richard Aguirre, protesting the deportations of people who have entered the country without permission from the Gary/Chicago International Airport was a natural extension of his work that stopped a proposed Elkhart County detention center last month. Gary activists had reached out, providing support and assistance for the effort, Aguirre said. He wanted to return the favor. “We feel connected to them, because they were with us when we started our struggle, so we want to be here as they continue their fight against these flights,” said Aguirre, co-coordinator of the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Center. Shouting cries including “love, not hate makes America great,” more than 200 protesters came to the Gary Jet Center on Friday where a busload of people who had entered the country illegally were expected to be boarded onto a plane for Texas, then deported.

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Indiana Governor Passes Anti-Solar Bill: Death Blow To The Industry?

By Danielle Ola for PV Tech – The financial benefit currently available to solar users will be sharply curtailed over the next few years, after Indiana governor Eric Holcomb signed SEA 309 into law yesterday. Ignoring pleas of the industry, who beseeched Holcomb to keep the current financial incentives for residential solar, the Republican elected not to veto the bill. “I support solar as an important part of Indiana’s comprehensive energy mix. I understand the concerns some have expressed, but this legislation ensures those who currently have interests in small solar operations will not be affected for decades,” he said of his decision. The bill will now drastically reduce the rate of compensation for excess solar power over five years. It does allow anyone who installed a PV system after June but before 2022 to be grandfathered until 2032, but anyone after the 2022 cut-off point would only receive a lower financial rate for their power. By 2046, solar users are likely to receive little more than the wholesale rate for their power – a difference of around US$0.08/kWh – as well as a US$0.25 premium. Yesterday was the last day Holcomb could veto or sign the bill, which critics contend is part of a broader nationwide push by utilities to seize control of the emerging solar market.

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Indiana Teachers Sit-In Demanding Young Recuse Himself From DeVos Vote

By Paulina Firoz for The Hill – A group of teachers in Indiana held a sit-in at the office of a senator they say should recuse himself from the vote to confirm President Trump’s pick for secretary of Education. The teachers say Betsy DeVos gave Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) $48,000 in donations last year, according to a report by local news outlet WTHR, which they say make his vote a conflict of interest. “Why would she pay so much, with so much desire to have this job if she were unqualified for it?” said one teacher said to WTHR at Thursday’s sit-in. Young is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is scheduled to hold an executive session to vote on DeVos’s nomination on Jan. 31.

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Indiana: A Snapshot of Inequality

By Sheila Kennedy for Inequality – Let me start with a few facts that should “afflict the comfortable” and motivate citizens of good will to “comfort the afflicted.” According to the latest Census numbers, more than 1 in 3 Hoosiers remain below self-sufficiency despite increased employment, 21.5 percent of Indiana’s children live in poverty, and the number of Hoosiers in poverty consistently hovers around one million.

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An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint

By Alex Zielinski for Think Progress – Akeeshea Daniels first suspected something was off when her two toddlers came down with scarlet fever. It was 2004, and she just moved her family into a spacious public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana. “I looked it up. Scarlet fever hasn’t been a problem since the ‘50s,” she said. “It was something straight out of a history book.” But when she brought her concerns to the East Chicago Housing Authority — the manager of her public housing complex— she was brushed off.

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Cop Block Founder Arrested On Chalking Warrant From Indiana

By Carlos Miller for PINAC – When Cop Blockers Adam “Ademo Freeman” Mueller and Brian Sumner kicked off their Mobile Accountability of Cops tour last month, they knew there would be a strong chance of them landing in jail. Not that they planned on openly breaking any laws, but they did plan on video recording traffic stops, chalking sidewalks in front of police stations and basically do all they can to remind cops that badges don’t grant extra rights. And as many of us have learned, that runs the risk of landing in jail. But even they were caught off-guard when a cop in Kansas arrested Mueller Friday night for a felony warrant out of Montana.

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Backlash To Anti-Gay Laws Not A Movement, But The Result Of One

There was a showdown this week in Indiana and it had nothing to do with the Final Four — well, almost. Last Friday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Senate Bill 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. While most of the bill’s language consisted of relatively benign legal protections for religious groups, it also would have safeguarded small businesses and corporations alike in refusing business to customers based on their sexual orientation — providing a claim, as well, in lawsuits brought by private citizens. The bill’s definition of religious freedom was so broad as to allow individuals to declare a religion of one and use it as legal grounding in court. A similar law, HB1228, was passed on Tuesday in Arkansas, and drew similar — if less acute — ire.

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Building A Fusion Politics-Based Movement

All of a sudden Indiana has been thrust onto the national stage. Governor Mike Pence in a closed meeting signed the newly minted Restoration of Freedom of Religion Act (RFRA) passed by the state legislature. Despite efforts of Pence and supporters to deny that the new law allows state government support for discrimination, especially based on sexual orientation, the supporters of the law, its language, and the track record of the legislators and the governor all point to the real motivation of the law: to authorize the right to limit public accommodations to groups of Hoosiers.

The outrage from well-meaning people in the state and across the country is justified and should be encouraged. The exuberance of the protests–rallies, petitions, economic boycotts–is a cause for hope for those who are concerned about deepening economic, political, racist, sexist, and environmental threats to the country and its states.

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Indiana Religious Freedom Law Rewrite A Victory Over Discrimination

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) and state Republican leaders have been playing damage control this week, claiming that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not a law that enables anti-LGBT discrimination. Meanwhile, however, the conservatives who advocated for the bill have been spurning this attempted walkback, asserting in the process that the goal was ensuring discrimination all along.

At the forefront of the conservative reaction is Micah Clark, who serves as executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana and who stood right behind Pence as he signed the bill. Speaking Monday to Tim Wildmon, head of the national American Family Association, Clark explained that conservatives should oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination. “That could totally destroy this bill,” he explained.

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Indiana Activists Protest Anti-Gay Law

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, to rally against a new law that opponents say could sanction discrimination against gay people.

Republican governor Mike Pence signed a bill on Thursday prohibiting state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” includes religious institutions, businesses and associations. The measure will take effect in July.

Saturday’s crowd chanted “Pence must go” and held signs reading “I’m pretty sure God doesn’t hate anyone” and “No hate in our state”.

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