@kwellscomm PraiseIndy.com News & Sports —
Good day to you on this Winter Solstice…the first day of winter.
In breaking news Wednesday morning Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Troy Riggs will be leaving the force at year’s end. According to WISH-TV, Hogsett released this statement…
“At the end of this challenging year, Chief Troy Riggs will be leaving the City of Indianapolis to pursue other opportunities. While we are grateful for the innovative ideas that Troy brought to the table over the last eleven months, I have already begun the process of assembling a new IMPD leadership team that will build upon our efforts to reduce violent crime and protect our neighborhoods. I remain more confident than ever in the dedication and bravery of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform of IMPD, every single day. “
An officer with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department has been involved in a crash Wednesday morning on the city’s northeast side. It happened in the early 6 o’clock hour near 38th Street and Franklin Road. Though there are injuries in this crash, police say the IMPD officer involved wasn’t injured. Others aren’t believed to be seriously injured either. WRTV-6 reported the other driver attempted to flee the scene but was quickly caught.
IMPD is trying to track down a man accused of raping a woman on the city’s southwest side. The victim told police she was attacked on September 19 by a Hispanic man who approached her from behind while she walking on Whitcomb Avenue. He’s described as possibly in his late 20s or early 30s with a short beard and black hair that’s shaved on both sides. He had a muscular build and his height was approximately five-two to five-three.
A former school counselor in Indianapolis Public Schools may be ready to plead guilty to having sex with students. Lawyers for Shana Taylor announced Tuesday she wants to change her plea. Taylor pleaded not guilty earlier this year to having sex with two students. She’s due back before a judge to change her plea next month.
Monserrate Shirley will spend 50 years in prison for her role in the deadly Richmond Hill explosion. The 2012 blast killed two people—a young married couple next door—and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in that subdivision on the city’s south side. Shirley was sentenced Tuesday, receiving the maximum sentence allowed. Shirley cooperated with authorities and testified against her conspirators in the case—a former boyfriend, his brother and two others. Prosecutors say the blast was part of scheme to collect insurance money on the house.
Former Indiana legislator Larry Borst is dead. Hoosiers received word in an announcement Tuesday that he had passed away at the age of 89. Borst served 36 years in the Senate, representing southern Marion County and northern Johnson County. As a politician, Borst was very popular, particularly in the Greenwood area. He was the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel in which all tax legislation and the budget had to pass.
Kids in Noblesville will soon have plenty of places to play sports. The city’s council last night okayed a $15-million youth sports complex. The plan is for five basketball courts, batting cages, and indoor fields. Taxpayers are on the hook for about $6-million of the cost.
Kudos to IMPD Officer Scott Charleswood. He’s the officer that found seven newborn pups over the weekend when Indy’s highways and byways were an ice rink and it was bitterly cold outside. Someone placed those puppies in a bag and left them in a dumpster. When Charleswood got the call, he went through the trash pulling through bags found one pup and then the others. Thanks to IMPD, those pups are now in the care of Every Dog Counts Rescue who, according to various media reports, has been bottle feeding them and has gotten them all under a vet’s care. If you’d like to help with these little cuties, log on to the rescue’s website HERE. They will be up for adoption. But you may have to stand in line behind their rescuer, Officer Charleswood to take one home.
Investigators are sifting through the ashes and rubble of a Mexican fireworks market where at least 29 people died in a series of explosions. At least 72 people were injured in the blast at an outdoor marketplace north of Mexico City Tuesday. The governor of the State of Mexico says 53 people are missing.
President Barack Obama is moving to ban offshore oil and gas drilling in large parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. A sweeping executive order involves U.S.-controlled waters in the two oceans. The White House says Canada has agreed to take parallel actions to protect a “sensitive and unique ecosystem.”
A new poll points to concerns about President-elect Donald Trump. About 54 percent of those surveyed in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll say they are either uncertain, pessimistic or worried about Trump’s presidency. Roughly 45 percent call themselves optimistic and confident or satisfied and hopeful. Those numbers are a lot lower than expectations for Barack Obama and George W. Bush in 2008 and 2000.
Concerns? Maybe rightfully so when noted Nazi sympathizers are being entertained by his people. Trump’s pick for national security adviser is raising eyebrows. Retired Lieutenant General Mike Flynn reportedly met with the head of an Austrian party originally founded by Nazis. He had a meeting with leader of the anti-immigrant Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache (Pronounced: “Hye-nz Christian STRAH-hay”), weeks ago. Strache announced the meeting on his Facebook page, while also announcing a cooperation pact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Former State Department official Daniel Serwer says the Freedom party has Nazi sympathies. The Freedom Party’s first leader was a supporter, and later an official, of the Nazi government. Strache has been vocal about the “risk of Islamization,” while Flynn has warned of the dangers of Islam and called the religion a “cancer.”
Speaking of the President-elect, Donald Trump has agreed to personally pay $25-million to settle class action lawsuits against his now-defunct Trump University. That’s if the real estate seminar program doesn’t come up with the money by January 18, which is two days before Trump’s inauguration. A federal judge signed off on the deal Tuesday night. Four million dollars will go to settle a lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general. The rest will go to people who spent between $1,500 and $35,000 for the Trump program. The refunds will amount to about half of what they paid, so they won while still taking a loss. Trump and Trump University admit no wrongdoing in the case.
A new study reports that black men are nearly three times more likely than whites to be killed by police. The study released Tuesday says Native Americans and Alaska Natives also are three times more likely and Hispanic men are twice as likely to die by police use of force. Researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia found that white men accounted for the largest number of deaths overall, but the number of deaths per million in each demographic group was higher among black and Hispanic men. White men make up the biggest number of deaths because they make up a bigger part of the country’s population. This new study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Last-minute shoppers are going to have fewer options on Christmas Eve this year. Walmart has announced that it will close early on Saturday. The retail giant has previously kept stores open until 8 p.m. the night before Christmas but says, “We know that getting home on Christmas Eve to spend time with families is important. That’s why this year we’ll be closing at 6:00 p.m.”
Regardless of the playoff reality…two Colts are heading to the Pro Bowl. The team announced Tuesday wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and punter Pat McAfee are part of this year’s AFC Pro Bowl team. The game will be played on January 29 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points to help push the Knicks past the Pacers 118-111 Tuesday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner each scored 21 points for the Pacers, which was outscored 34-to-24 in the fourth quarter. The Pacers had won their previous two and are now 15-and-15 on the year. They return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to hit the court Thursday night hosting the Boston Celtics. Tip will be 7 p.m.
A former member of the Buffalo Bills is one of the victims of a deadly shooting in Detroit. Robert Eddins, 28, played for the Bills in 2011. He and another man were found shot to death in a house in northwest Detroit Tuesday night. Police say both men were shot several times, and it appears someone tried to cover up the crime. No arrests have been made.
NBA MVP Stephen Curry is auctioning two pairs of his specially designed shoes to raise money for the victims of the deadly Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Curry wore one pair of the “Under Armour Curry 3” shoes on the court during his pregame warm up Tuesday night, and the second pair during Golden State’s win over the New York Knicks last week.
It is now, officially, winter here in the U.S. The winter solstice is today, which means here in the Northern Hemisphere it’s the shortest day of the year. After today, the days will get increasingly longer until the summer solstice on June 20.
In Indianapolis…Chilly today, but still warming up slightly. Today’s high: 39 degrees. Tonight’s low: 26 degrees.
In addition to the first day of Winter, it’s also “Crossword Puzzle Day.” The observation makes me think of a civic leader here in the city—Indy’s own Mickey Maurer—the chairman of the IBJ Corp which publishes the Indianapolis Business Journal and is a board member of Indiana Black Expo. Maurer is a big crossword guy. He’s a regularly published contributor to The New York Times Crossword Puzzle. So if you have time today at lunch or during some downtime, you may want to knock one out at work. Crossword puzzles are active brain exercise.
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