The Mounds Mall in Anderson, Ind. has posted signs at entrances that instruct shoppers to lower their hoodies.
The signs state, "For the safety and well-being of everyone, please lower your hoodie” (video below).
“It was requested by local law enforcement," Mounds Mall general manager Braun Roosa told the Herald Bulletin. "It is for security and ID purposes only. We don’t ask them to remove the hoodie, just lower it.”
Roosa said the new rule is just like banks that ban sunglasses. He added that the hoodie rule has been in effect since 2004.
That came as news to shoppers, some of whom are offended by the hoodie signs.
“It is mainly the younger generations that wear hoodies,” mall shopper Ranny Hinton Jr. told INC Now. “I don’t think they should have it on there at all. There ain’t nothing on there about ski masks or beanies. Why does it matter about hoodies?”
Hoodies made headline news last year when unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, who wore a hoodie, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.
The mall also does not allow firearms, gang-related items or backpacks.
“It makes me question the security and what prompted them to put those kinds of signs up and what has this place turned into,” shopper Cynthia Potter stated. “They are being ‘hoodie’ specific. That is what the younger kids wear all the time.”
A 25-year-old Indiana mother pleaded guilty this week to selling her baby eight different times so a man could have sex with the infant.
Natasha Hillard faces a minimum of 30 years in prison for renting out her baby, who was between 4 and 16 months old at the time, for sex to 40-year-old Christopher M. Bour.
Hillard, who has two daughters, was reportedly in the room for seven of the eight sexual encounters. The eighth time she allowed the man to sexually abuse the infant without her supervision.
Federal officers were tipped off by a masseuse, who said she saw child pornography in Bour’s Gary home. He later asked the masseuse to take picture of him having sex with the infant, which he said he had Hillard’s permission to do.
"I was just seeing if u would hold the camera," he texted the woman, according to the indictment.
He described in graphic detail the sexual perversions he had planned and wrote the woman, “It’s the best sex I ever had.”
Hillard met Bour through a dating service in 2011, the New York Daily News reported. Federal authorities say she also let Bour take sexual photographs of her 3-year-old daughter.
Bour is expected to plead guilty at a federal court appearance on Thursday.
Josh Duggar, one of the 19 children of Jim and Michelle Duggar, first became known to the public on his family's reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting."
These days, the 25-year-old works as an Executive Director at the pro-Christian, anti-gay Family Research Council (FRC).
Duggar recently announced on the FRC's radio show "Washington Watch" that he would be hosting the program from the Indiana state capitol on Monday, one day before lawmakers vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment (audio below).
According to Reuters, the Marriage Protection Amendment would put gay marriage up for a statewide vote in November.
Indiana State Rep. Eric Turner (R) claims that his amendment would provide additional protection from court challenges (assumming the conservative state votes against gay marriage).
GoodAsYou.org notes that on "Washington Watch" today, Duggar tried to rally his listeners to support the anti-gay amendment in the friendliest way possible (audio below).
"I'll be hosting Washington Watch live from Indianapolis Monday," said Duggar. "We're going to be talking with a number of people about some really good things that are going on and ways you can be involved."
"We have a very important vote coming up at the Indiana state house," added Duggar. "And we want you to be aware of what you need to do."
But the FRC press release was a bit more bold, warning against "activist judges" and the "detrimental impact" marriage equality would have against wedding vendors and other religious folks:
The (FRC) news conference will feature national and state leaders who will call on legislators to support the amendment, unchanged, and protect the definition of marriage from activist judges. The leaders will speak to the consequences of redefining marriage and its detrimental impact on the freedoms and livelihoods of wedding vendors and those in other professions who for religious or moral convictions will not recognize the redefinition of marriage.
An Indiana police chief, who shot himself in the leg while he was shopping in a local gun store Saturday, says this isn’t the first time he accidently shot himself.
Connersville Police Chief David Counceller, who was off-duty at the time, shot himself with his own 40-caliber Glock handgun as he was putting it back in his holster.
“It got tangled in my clothing,” Counceller, 60, told the Indianapolis Star. “I was wearing a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket. I felt (the gun) go in the holster and I pushed it, but it was tangled in the material which caused it to discharge. The bullet went into my leg and then into the floor.”
“I need to pay more attention,” he said. “I know what the dangers are. It was pure carelessness on my part.”
Counceller said the first time he accidently shot himself was 15 years ago.
“I was working third shift as a captain. I was unloading (the gun) to take it to the gunsmith and I didn’t drop the barrel to see if there was (a bullet) in the chamber,” he said. “The shot hit my hand. That one really hurt.”
Councellor, who is a Republican candidate for Fayette County sheriff, drove himself to the hospital Saturday and was treated for a flesh wound to his thigh.
“If anyone says this could never happen to them, they’re mistaken,” Counceller added. “You have to keep your guard up at all times. Some candidates are out there doing things for kids to try to get elected. Me, I shoot myself. What a way to get publicity.”
An Indiana town has rallied around a woman whose home was bought during a tax auction for $43 without her knowledge. The Town Council of Cedar Lake, Indiana, voted unanimously to attempt to purchase the land from Clayton Pullins, the man who purchased the home in the auction.
The land was previously owned by a church, but the woman, 67-year-old Dolores Pittman, had lived there since she was 12. The house was put up for auction after the church failed to pay taxes on it, and upon becoming the new owner, Pullins attempted to charge Pittman $300 per month for rent. Prior to the tax auction, Pittman’s family had paid $10 per month to the church for the property, leasing it for several years.
Town treasurer John Petalas claims that a lack of communication is responsible for the reclaiming of the house.
“For some reason nobody told this lady and/or anybody else the land was on a tax sale, consequently the man who bought it only paid $43 for land,” Petalas said.
Town Council President Randall Niemeyer explained that the council wanted to ensure that Pittman would be able to stay in her home without any further problems from tax collectors or the local government. To do so, they plan to offer her a “life estate” on the building.
“Mrs. Pittman has lived there a long time, and this is an arrangement that, to me, serves the public interest, and a human interest. She’ll be able to stay there for the rest of her life,” Niemeyer told the Chicago Tribune.
According to the Daily Mail, Pittman “lost her eyesight to a degenerative disease 30 years ago.” Her condition as well as her unfortunate circumstances regarding the loss of her house have led her to donations from those that have seen her media coverage, which Pittman planned to use to rent a nearby house if she has to give up her current location. She claims that she’ll use the donations to undergo renovations to the house if the town council’s plan does go through. There has been no recent comment from Pittman, who is legally the current owner of the building.
The Buttery Shelf Eatery in Lafayette, Ind. has been serving a free meal to people every Thursday for years. This was especially helpful in recent years, as Tippecanoe County’s soup kitchens were overwhelmed with more folks in need.
According to the Lafayette Journal and Courier, some businesses near the Buttery Shelf Eatery didn't like the poor people congregating at the restaurant on Thursdays and recently shut down the giveaway.
Even though there have been up to 70 people at a time during these free meals, there have been few incidents and no one has been arrested.
Jerry Kalal, owner of K. Dee’s Coffee and Roasting Co., led the opposition against the free lunches, which Kalal said were scaring away customers. He claimed to lose $500-$800 per week.
“I said, ‘You do this little soup kitchen, but you’re closing down all the other businesses,’” recalled Kalal. “I’m not against helping people, but when it hurts my building and other businesses, I go off.”
Buckley continued to serve poor people, but Kalal called the police to complain about the Buttery Shelf Eatery.
An anonymous caller once told police that people were doing drugs behind the Buttery Shelf Eatery, but there was a police officer watching the scene already and stated people “were just standing there waiting for the place to open.”
Another time, police were called because a line of poor people for the free lunches blocked some traffic.
Eventually, Buckley grew tired of the "bullying" by local businesses and ended the free lunches.
The Buttery Shelf Eatery posted on its Facebook page on Nov. 28:
We appreciate your support. But it is what it is and most people will not change how they feel. We too hope that one day we will be able to feed the community again.
Also, the comment that Mr. Kalal made "if he had to buy the Buttery Shelf then he would." Let's understand that will not be happening. Ms Buckley is not selling the restaurant to anyone & especially not him. She lives to help everyone feel equally as important as the next person. We ask that each person pray for peace.
Not every local business was happy to see the free meals end.
“I just hated to see the Thursdays shut down,” stated Ivan Brumbaugh, owner of Main Street Cheese and Wine. “I hate to think that one person in this town or on this block has enough power to shut things down or to make it so rough, people are afraid to do it. It’s not right.”
An Indianapolis hospital has raised the tricky legal question of whether or not romantic partners should be allowed visitation rights without the approval of the patient’s parents and family. Sarah Bray, 34, recently attempted to visit her partner, who was taken to a hospital for a drug overdose, where she remains unconscious. Bray’s partner’s mother, however, refused to allow Bray to be in the room. After Bray had been visiting for some time, her partner’s mother arrived and forced her to leave the hospital.
The legality of the situation is not entirely certain. Although Barack Obama signed a memorandum in 2010 that allowed hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners, Indiana does not recognize same-sex partnerships. Also, next-of-kin individuals are given priority visitation rights, and have the legal right to convince doctors why an individual should be banned from visiting. That reason, however, has to be determined to be valid by doctors.
“You’d have to have a good reason. It would have to boil down to a medically necessary decision,” Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis professor Jennifer A. Drobac explained to the Indianapolis Star.
Simply being a same-sex partner does not constitute “a medically necessary decision,” LGBT rights supporters believe.
Speaking with USA Today, GetEqual Indiana spokesman David Stevens explained that the issue had broad implications for LGBT hospital visitors.
“This is a clear violation of LGBT hospital visitation rights,” Stevens said.
A 32-year-old man paralyzed in an accident on Saturday chose to not continue life support when he heard his prognosis and he died on Sunday.
Newser reports that Tim Bowers made the decision after learning that he would never walk again and might be on a ventilator for the rest of his life. The Indiana man was left paralyzed from the shoulders down after falling 16 feet from a tree while deer hunting.
Bowers’ spine had been crushed and surgery reportedly would only ever allow him to sit up and that he wouldn’t be able to walk ever again.
When doctors informed Bowers’ family of the prognosis, the family asked if Bowers could be brought out of sedation to hear it and make the decision on what he wanted to do, according to ABC News.
“We just asked him, ‘Do you want this?’ And he shook his head emphatically no,” said Bowers’ sister, Jenny Shultz.
Newser also notes that Bowers — who got married in August and whose wife is pregnant with a child he would never be able to hold — never wavered from his decision, family members say.
Shultz said her brother wanted to speak, but couldn't because the ventilator tube was still in place. If the tube were removed, she told him, doctors were not sure how long he would live. However, when she asked if he wanted the tube reinserted if he struggled, Bowers shook his head no. Doctors reportedly asked him the same questions and got the same answers and then removed the tube.
Medical ethicists say it is rare for someone to make such a decision so quickly after the prognosis, but it is important for patients to have the right to self-determination.
The last five hours of Bowers’ life were spent with family and friends as about 75 of them came together in the hospital waiting room.
“No outcome was ever going to be the one that we really want,” Shultz said. “But I felt that he did it on his terms in the end.”
A high school teacher in Indiana is out of a job and faces time in prison after he allegedly took students to a strip club and served them alcohol at his home.
Travis Lechien faces three Class A misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Records show that the charges were filed Oct. 7, according to NBC Connecticut.
Documents reportedly indicate that the now former chemistry teacher at Hanover Central High School allowed students to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages at his home and took some of them to a strip club to celebrate a student's birthday.
According to information in an affidavit, several students said they often "hung out" at Lechien's house and sometimes drank beer and hard liquor as well as used flavored tobacco from a hookah the students said belonged to the teacher.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that Lechien had been a teacher for 10 years with the Hanover Community School Corp. and was initially suspended without pay back on Sept. 10.
Superintendent Tom Taylor noted that a teacher reported that another teacher had been involved in inappropriate activities with students.
"There were rumors among the students," Superintendent Tom Taylor said. "The administration and a school resource officer made the decision to investigate. A teacher was suspended immediately when we confirmed some of the details of the investigation. We cannot discuss what the teacher did. Our next step is following the legal advice of our attorney."
Lechien is scheduled for an initial hearing in front of a judge on Nov. 19.
An Indiana man has been arrested following an extreme case of road rage this weekend in Kentucky.
Indiana State Police arrested Perrin Dobyns at the Branchville Correctional Facility in Branchville, Ind., where Dobyns reportedly was working, according to WKYT. Over the weekend, Dobyns was caught on camera rolling down the passenger side window of the car he was driving and pointing a gun at the person taking the video.
"I was concerned for everyone's safety. I could get his plate and report it to police and let them follow up on it. I didn't expect to get shot at in the process," said David Kollar, the camera operator who said he saw the man, later identified as Dobyns, driving erratically.
WLEX reports that state police say Dobyns may have even fired the weapon, but no one was hit.
"Road rage can be a very dangerous situation," Kentucky State Police trooper Robert Purdy. What is uncommon in this case is it escalated where someone allegedly fired a pistol."
The video was taken on Sunday afternoon on I-75 near mile marker 97. Kentucky State Police say the victim called them after the incident. In the video, you can see a man in a black sedan pulling up, rolling down the window, and pointing the gun at the victim.
Dobyns is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment, which is a felony. He will be extradited to Kentucky to face the charge.