Sunday, May 26 2013 1:38 AM EDT2013-05-26 05:38:58 GMT
Scattered showers make for a less than ideal Indianapolis 500 forecast. Confidence is high on rain to be on Live Doppler 13 Radar during the race… but there is a great deal of uncertainty on whether showersMore >>
WTHR coverage of the Indy 500 begins at 5am. Gates open at 5:30am. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:12pm. More >>
Sunday, May 26 2013 12:24 AM EDT2013-05-26 04:24:07 GMT
A dedicated race fan who's been attending the Indy 500 for decades received the ride of a lifetime at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His friends surprised him with a ride in a two-seater with Mario AndrettiMore >>
A dedicated race fan who's been attending the Indy 500 for decades received the ride of a lifetime at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:48 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:48:38 GMT
Kyle Busch dominated at Charlotte Motor Speedway again Saturday, racing to his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the season and record seventh career win at the track. Ten years and a day after his NationwideMore >>
Kyle Busch dominated at Charlotte Motor Speedway again Saturday, racing to his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the season and record seventh career win at the track.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:40 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:40:27 GMT
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the IndianapolisMore >>
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the Indianapolis 500.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:09 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:09:39 GMT
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway. Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer told The Herald-Times that 22-year-old Joshua Burton of Bloomington died atMore >>
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:05:14 GMT
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington. D.C. police say the collision occurred late Friday night at the intersection of 23rdMore >>
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:02:27 GMT
The National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly from calm and inviting to rough and dangerousMore >>
National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:58:35 GMT
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired. The Evansville Courier & Press reports ChiefMore >>
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:46:57 GMT
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county, alleging he provided incompetent counsel that kept her from running for re-election. TheMore >>
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:41 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:41:11 GMT
The force is with the Indiana State Museum. The Indianapolis Star reports an exhibition called "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" opened at the museum this weekend. The exhibit lets visitorsMore >>
The force is with the Indiana State Museum.More >>
As students and teachers head back to school, state health officials have implemented tougher indoor air quality requirements for Indiana classrooms. The new rules bring immediate changes for schools across the state, and they come on the heels of an Eyewitness News investigation showing serious air quality problems inside hundreds of Indiana schools. 13 Investigates shows you what schools are now required to do, and how it will impact students, teachers and even parents.
13 Investigates found classrooms across Indiana have an invisible problem.
They are filled with high levels of carbon dioxide, which can have a big impact on students.
"Higher levels of carbon dioxide make a person sleepy and it also decreases their learning ability," said David Gettinger, a facilities manager who monitors CO2 levels for Perry Township Schools. "More carbon dioxide means there's not enough oxygen in the classroom and you don't think as straight."
Ron Clark, who conducts school indoor air quality inspections for the state health department, says elevated CO2 levels are one of the most common problems he finds in schools.
"It means they aren't bringing in enough fresh air for students," Clark said. "It would impact their education and their learning level."
For most students and teachers, high levels of CO2 won't make them sick, but it signals a problem with a school's air circulation, and the consequences can be devastating.
Students and teachers suffering
Students with asthma struggle to breathe in classrooms filled with high concentrations of carbon dioxide and often miss many school days as a result.
Poor air quality in schools takes a toll on many teachers, too.
"I go past a school building and I'll think there are people in there and they're having class and they're working. Why aren't I doing that?" asks Arlana Smith.
Smith taught adult education classes for Indianapolis Public Schools for 20 years before taking a medical disability leave three years ago. She says high levels of mold and pesticides tainted her classroom and destroyed her health.
"I've been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity disorder, asthma, auto immune dysfunction, I have chronic pain, chronic fatigue," explained Smith, who spends much of her week traveling to doctor appointments. "I miss the students. I miss everything about having a normal life."
Smith's story is not unique.
Eyewitness News obtained state indoor air quality inspection reports for schools all over Indiana. They show many schools have elevated levels of bacteria and fungus, even visible mold. And 66% of Indiana schools inspected by the Indiana State Department of Health have too much carbon dioxide.
Even when problems are found, 13 Investigates discovered some schools go years without fixing them.
"We can't require them to fix what we find," Clark told WTHR in January. We make recommendations, but they're not enforceable."
New rules finally here
Indiana lawmakers ordered the state health department to change that two years ago, requiring the agency to establish new rules for school indoor air quality. The rules were supposed to be in place by summer 2010. After WTHR exposed a statewide problem with school indoor air quality earlier this year – highlighting health department delays in implementing tougher air quality standards – ISDH officials finally issued new rules, and they'll impact students and teachers right away.
"I think it's possible there will be more inspections because of the new rules," said Jennifer House, who oversees indoor air quality issues for ISDH. She says the new rules mean state inspectors can now act more quickly to investigate problems.
"Parents or teachers who are concerned about the quality of air don't need to actually fill out a specific complaint. Now if we get word that there could be a problem we can act, go in without someone putting their name to a piece of paper that they're complaining," House said.
--Implement a policy to limit vehicle idling when you pick up and drop off your kids at school.
--Implement policies to reduce allergens in classrooms such as air fresheners, chemicals and live animals.
--Implement a policy for routine cleaning of heating and air conditioning equipment, carpeting and furniture within each school.
--Fix all water leaks and mold problems identified inside the school within 48 hours.
--Tell students, teachers and parents exactly who's in charge of air quality within each school building.
"It gives [schools] a basis for what they need to be done to provide the right environment," House said.
Forgotten committee meets
The state health department is also going a step further. After years of delays and inaction, ISDH is reconvening a committee to help schools improve their air quality.
Lawmakers mandated the School Indoor Air Quality Panel in 2003 to help keep kids safe. Earlier this year, 13 Investigates discovered most seats on the committee were vacant and the group hadn't met in almost seven years.
13 Investigates contacted most original appointees of the 12-member panel. Nearly all of them expressed interest in meeting to discuss strategies that would improve air quality in schools, but all said the state health department had not contacted them in years.
"I haven't heard anything," panel appointee Jay Potesta said in March. "I think the health department was the wrong department to put in charge of this. Frankly, they haven't done much and we still have sick schools."
"There's been no communication whatsoever," added Mary Tanis, a teacher in the Lake Central School Corporation who was also appointed to the air quality panel. "For years, I tried e-mailing the governor. I wrote letters to him saying this was really important for schools and I never heard anything. I tried writing letters to the health department and finally I just gave up because it was not a priority."
13 Investigates obtained internal emails from ISDH that suggest state health officials were not eager to convene the committee. An August 2008 e-mail from John Ruyack, who was then serving as the health department's chief of indoor air quality, stated "there are not any issues [for the panel] to discuss," and efforts to implement a new indoor air quality rule for schools was not a high priority. "The rule is apparently on the back burner," he wrote. Ruyack told panel members he would schedule a panel meeting for early 2009, but there are no written documents to show that attempt ever happened.
Three years later -- soon after WTHR's investigation -- the health department officially reconvened the state's indoor air quality panel. The group met in May, although only five panel members attended and five of the panel's twelve seats had not been filled. The governor's office, health department and State Department of Education have yet to fill all of the vacancies left by disillusioned committee members who resigned during the past seven years.
"Really good progress"
Indoor Air Quality Panel members present at the May meeting approved a set of guidelines to help schools assess and improve their indoor air quality. The guidelines are supposed to be sent to all Indiana schools, and the panel is scheduled to meet again this fall.
Efforts of the panel combined with new, tougher air quality rules for schools should help teachers, parents and students breathe a little easier in classrooms all across Indiana.
"We're making some really good progress, but there is still a lot of room for improvement," Tanis said. "There is a lot more Indiana can do."
If you believe there might be an air quality problem inside your child's school, contact the ISDH indoor air quality program at (317) 351-7190. If you file a complaint (written or verbal), health inspectors are now required to conduct an inspection, and they must keep your identity confidential unless you advise them otherwise.
Saturday, May 25 2013 5:53 AM EDT2013-05-25 09:53:25 GMT
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. The Anderson Herald Bulletin reports that Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna confirmed that Charles "Chuck" Everson,More >>
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. 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 >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 11:10 AM EDT2013-05-25 15:10:36 GMT
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district. Terry Spradlin of Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education PolicyMore >>
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district.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 >>
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 1:44 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:44:05 GMT
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up onMore >>
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up on a remote beach there.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 16:45:20 GMT
Floats and bands are beginning to line the streets Saturday morning for the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Eight of the 12 floats scheduled to appear in the parade were judged Thursday evening. The 2013More >>
More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the two-mile parade route to see the 33 starting drivers of the 2013 Indianapolis 500®, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and giant inflatable balloons.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:42 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:42:48 GMT
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway. The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says 21-year-old Dwayne Davis of Parker City, 19-year-oldMore >>
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway.More >>