Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 27, 2013

Public eye - Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013

Someone else’s back yard

During a stop at the Kokomo Tribune last Thursday, Mike Rucker, the CEO of juwi Wind Energy’s North American operations, was asked if he personally lives near a wind farm.

His company is in the process of developing the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, a project slated to install up to 94 turbines in Prairie and Liberty townships in northern Tipton County. Most of the opposition to the project is coming from homeowners who say they simply don’t want to live next to 300-foot tall windmills.

As it turns out, Rucker does not live near or in the midst of windmills.

Rucker said he currently resides in Boulder, Colo., and he said from his office can see the wind turbines at the National Wind Technology Center, which is about 7 miles away.

Rucker said he lived near a wind farm at a previous address in California.

Opponents of the juwi project are citing a loss of property values, noise from the turbine operation and shadow flicker from the turning turbine blades.

Done with that idea

When Republican Mitch Daniels was governor a repeated topic of discussion by members of the Indiana General Assembly was government reform based on the Kernan-Shepherd Report which advocated elimination of township government and the streamlining of county government offices.

During the Third House session last week local lawmakers were asked if local government reform would return to the front-burner during the first legislative session of Gov. Mike Pence.

State Rep. Heath VanNatter said “no” in reference to the plan as it existed during Daniels’ tenure.

“Merging townships has not been popular,” he said.

State Sen. Jim Buck said it’s a divisive issue among lawmakers.

“It will create a large bureaucracy,” he said.

State Rep. Mike Karickhoff said no bills have been filed and none were likely to be introduced during the 2013 session.

“Local voters rejected township consolidation,” he said in reference to last year’s local referendum vote on a plan to consolidate six Howard County townships into two units.

More of the same?

When the recession hit in 2008, Daniels rescinded a $300 million annual school funding increase the Legislature had already voted on, saying the state didn’t have the money. It wasn’t a cut, but rather a flatlining of the schools’ funding for the next two years. Two years later, the Legislature continued that flatline budget, while simultaneously finding money for school vouchers. Now newly elected Gov. Mike Pence is proposing a 1 percent increase for K-12 public education for the next two years and expanded vouchers.

By the end of the next biennium, that plan would mean school funding (as separate from full-day kindergarten) will have been essentially frozen for six years running. Pence is also calling for the Legislature to fund a $790 million state income tax cut.

We asked Karickhoff what he thought of a 1 percent increase in school funding for another two years.

“It’s too early to tell,” Karickhoff said. “I just got a 144-page summary of Gov. Pence’s budget plan, and I’m going to look at it. I don’t want to offer an opinion right now.”

Back on the agenda

VanNatter, as expected, signed on as a co-author of a bill to require welfare recipients to be drug tested. The idea is wildly popular among VanNatter’s ultra-conservative base in District 38, but is viewed as unconstitutional and mean-spirited by opponents. It went nowhere last year; we’ll see how it fares this time.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff. The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

  • Indiana Veterans Hall of Fame seeks nominations INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new hall of fame for Indiana military veterans is seeking nominations for its first class of inductees. The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame says it expects to induct the first honorees around Veterans Day at Fort Benjamin

    July 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers approve pair of new license plates INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers approved new license plates recognizing the Indy 500 and Abraham Lincoln under a new system clamping down on the number of special license plates on the road. Members of the Legislature's transportation

    July 23, 2014

  • Ivy Tech job fair Jobs for the future With an aging workforce, Duke Energy Corp. finds itself in a precarious position.The primary electrical power provider for Kokomo and adjacent counties, Duke Energy is the first line of defense when residents are left in the dark after storms and oth

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG Bunker Hill councilman Ryan Ledbetter arrested for firing gun

    BUNKER HILL — A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru.Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill t

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indian Heights fire 01 [Duplicate] Fire engulfs Indian Heights home

    Josh Justice left his house and went to get a haircut Tuesday afternoon. When he came back, his house was destroyed. Firefighters said it was likely a propane-tank explosion inside an RV parked beside his house that caused severe fire damage to Justi

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Apollo 11 program at library Kokomo High School graduates Greg McCauley and Dave Hudson will present a 60-minute, graphic-rich multimedia lecture called Earth to the Moon: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The lecture will be at the

    July 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries