Saturday, May 25 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:56:19 GMT
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis. The woman was hit on E. 34th Street, between Gladstone and Colorado, around 9:45 p.m. Friday.More >>
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:46 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:46:54 GMT
Tamika Catchings and Shavonte Zellous each scored 19 points and the Indiana Fever opened defense of their WNBA title with a resounding 79-64 victory over the depleted San Antonio Silver Stars on FridayMore >>
Tamika Catchings and Shavonte Zellous each scored 19 points and the Indiana Fever opened defense of their WNBA title with a resounding 79-64 victory over the depleted San Antonio Silver Stars on Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:00 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:00:53 GMT
If you waited until Friday to drive your RV to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you likely paid more to fill it up. "If you have to worry about the price of gas," said Hoosier race fan Steven Isaacs,More >>
This Memorial Day, gas prices are about where they were last year, instead of being up again.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:47 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:47:15 GMT
The Indiana Pacers are trying to even the Eastern Conference finals in Miami. Indiana has opened up a 12-point lead late in the first quarter. Roy Hibbert leads the Pacers with eight points. LeBron JamesMore >>
The Indiana Pacers have evened the Eastern Conference finals in Miami.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:18 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:18:05 GMT
Several Indiana teachers put their lives on the line just a year ago when two F-4 tornadoes hit Henryville and destroyed the elementary and high school. When Henryville Elementary School Teacher KristiMore >>
Several Indiana teachers put their lives on the line just a year ago when two F-4 tornadoes hit Henryville and destroyed the elementary and high school.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:41 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:41:45 GMT
A couple from Elwood face charges after police say they found a marijuana growing operation in their basement. Stephen Stookey, 70, and Marilyn Stookey, 69, were arrested after police raided their homeMore >>
A couple from Elwood face charges after police say they found a marijuana growing operation in their basement.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:04 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:04:40 GMT
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon. Police say officers were investigating an incident in the 3200 block of Boulevard Place when a suspect failed toMore >>
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:55:55 GMT
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate. Rodney Vawter has owned the personalized Fraternal Order of Police license plate "0INK" for the past three years. A class actionMore >>
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate after it was revoked by the BMV.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:32 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:32:12 GMT
One of our city's best-known landmarks could soon see some changes not just in the way it looks, but in the way it's used. Friday's Memorial Day service is one of many events that takes place on MonumentMore >>
One of our city's best-known landmarks could soon see some changes not just in the way it looks, but in the way it's used.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 5:30 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:30:44 GMT
Fans headed to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend will face increased security aimed at keeping them safe. The eyes are on the cars, the part and the people at IMS. This year, more than everMore >>
Fans headed to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend will face increased security aimed at keeping them safe.More >>
Indianapolis - Despite bright sunshine and blue skies, tornado sirens blared across Indiana this morning as communities participated in a statewide drill to prepare for severe weather season.
But while sirens screamed throughout Indianapolis, downtown Kokomo was quiet.
Kokomo is one of many communities still unprotected by tornado sirens. The city does not own a single siren, which explains why many residents in Indiana's fifteenth largest city didn't even realize the state was holding a tornado drill.
"I didn't hear much of anything," said resident Ed Grant, who was also unaware that Kokomo has no emergency warning sirens. "Considering the seriousness of tornados and how many we get, I think it should be a big priority."
From cities like Kokomo to more rural areas across the state, tornado sirens are considered a luxury many towns simply cannot afford, meaning hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers don't hear a warning siren when severe weather approaches.
It's a problem 13 Investigates first showed in 2006 after tornados and strong winds pounded central Indiana. Eyewitness News' "Cause for Alarm" investigation revealed tornado sirens in Indianapolis failed to work thousands of times -- many were broken beyond repair -- and about 200,000 people in the metro area lived where there were no sirens at all.
Since then, things have gotten much better -- at least, in some places.
In the 9-county Indianapolis metro area, communities have added 68 sirens and at least a dozen more will be installed by the end of summer. The 416 current sirens represent a 20% increase from the 348 metro-area sirens available in 2006.
During Marion County's tornado drill Wednesday morning, the siren system worked perfectly, and it should. Following WTHR's investigation, Marion County spent millions to replace or upgrade every siren and to fill in dead zones where sirens couldn't be heard.
"We now have 168 sirens in the ground. They cover 97% of the county," said Marion County Emergency Management coordinator Debbi Fletcher. "We're doing pretty well, much better than the majority of the state because we are so densely populated. We want to make sure we can notify people."
While Marion County has 168 sirens, Shelby County has just nine. That's two more than it had in 2006 but still leaves just nine tornado sirens to cover 413 square miles.
Brown County doesn't have any tornado sirens at all. Officials there say the county's sparse population and hilly terrain are not conducive to emergency warning sirens.
Other counties say they simply cannot afford it.
"We're just trying to survive," said Howard County Emergency Management Director Larry Smith. He estimated the county would need to spend nearly $500,000 to buy enough sirens to cover all of Howard County, which has been hit hard by layoffs and declining revenues. Kokomo is the county seat.
But some towns are finding a way to get the sirens they need. Monrovia, for example, just received three new sirens that will be installed by early April. The town of about 1,000 people set aside $65,000 to buy the sirens, which many residents consider essential.
"We didn't have any and we feel we're in the area some call ‘Tornado Alley.' That's why we think it's very important we do this for our citizens," explained Monrovia town council president Bob Marley. "We're excited about them and this time of year, everyone starts thinking about storms."
Emergency management officials say it's important to remember that tornado sirens are only meant to be heard when you're outside. When you're indoors -- especially at night when you're sleeping – you should not rely on a tornado siren to provide adequate warning.
"We really want people to have a NOAA weather radio because that's far more reliable when you're inside," said Fletcher. "It will literally wake you up to tell you severe weather is coming."
WTHR is partnering with Walgreens to make NOAA weather radios easy to get. Check wthr.com in the coming weeks for details about the promotion.
March 19th update
Since our story aired, several Howard County residents have raised doubts about the accuracy of our report. We followed up on their questions. Here is an update.
13 Investigates again spoke with Howard County Emergency Management Director Larry Smith and Kokomo City Attorney Derek Sublette about sirens in the city of Kokomo and throughout Howard County. The city of Kokomo does not own or operate any outdoor severe weather warning sirens.
This afternoon, the city attorney confirmed there are no sirens in Kokomo. He said the Kokomo Common Council turned down a proposal to spend $150,000 of economic development taxes on sirens for the city. He said it was a decision based on how best to distribute the resources the city has and outdoor sirens are not the main priority at this time.
Other towns in Howard County do have severe weather sirens. There are 2 sirens in Russiaville, 2 sirens in Greentown and the Taylor Township Volunteer Fire Department operates a siren in Indian Heights. Haynes International has 3 industrial sirens at its facility for use in case of an industrial emergency at the plant. Those sirens could be used for a weather emergency if needed. But those sirens have a smaller sound radius compared to most tornado sirens.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:46 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:46:25 GMT
A woman faces sentencing Friday for her part in the shooting death of a female basketball star. The shooting happened last July at Ben Davis Park on the city's west side. Witnesses say Vincennes UniversityMore >>
A woman faces sentencing Friday for her part in the shooting death of a female basketball star.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:19 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:19:14 GMT
Police are seeking criminal charges against two missing campers who were found on the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury. Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19More >>
Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19 and 20, were found Wednesday after a ground and air search for several hours by police officers and soldiers of the Atterbury grounds near Edinburgh.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 5:02 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:02:40 GMT
A pedestrian was seriously hurt after being struck by a police officer on the east side of Indianapolis. The accident happened around 9:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of 42nd Street and EmersonMore >>
The family of Richard Allen Moore told Eyewitness News that he was killed in the accident.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:29 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:29:00 GMT
Authorities say a cat might have started a central Indiana house fire by knocking over a lamp. The fire happened Thursday in the town of Chesterfield just east of Anderson. Chesterfield deputy fire chiefMore >>
Authorities say a cat might have started a central Indiana house fire by knocking over a lamp.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:22 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:22:46 GMT
It will likely be months before a judge rules on whether a new trial should be granted to a man convicted of killing an Indiana University student who disappeared during a 2000 bike ride. A Morgan CountyMore >>
It will likely be months before a judge rules on whether a new trial should be granted to a man convicted of killing an Indiana University student who disappeared during a 2000 bike ride.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 20:20:10 GMT
One of Indiana's largest health systems says it's cutting an undisclosed number of jobs by June 30 because of increasing economic and competitive pressure on the health care industry. Indianapolis-basedMore >>
One of Indiana's largest health systems says it's cutting an undisclosed number of jobs by June 30 because of increasing economic and competitive pressure on the health care industry.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 3:37 PM EDT2013-05-24 19:37:35 GMT
An act of credit card fraud has been traced back to a downtown Indianapolis restaurant. Some workers upstairs love walking downstairs for a bite at Ike and Jonesy's downtown. But they say the bite isMore >>
The owner of Ike & Jonesy's downtown says he is working to find out how the credit and debit cards of several customers and employees could have been compromised.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:26 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:26:01 GMT
Officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tell Eyewitness News that 35 runners from the Midwest who did not complete the Boston Marathon because of the tragedy there will be finishing that race atMore >>
The Speedway invited runners to cross the finish line on race day morning before the start of the race. They will be running from Turn Four across the historic Yard of Bricks.More >>