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Indiana in Brief

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

*Sugarland depositions slated for next week

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Members of the country duo Sugarland will give video depositions from West Virginia next week in lawsuits over the Indiana State Fair stage collapse that killed seven people and injured dozens of others.

Attorney Ken Allen said Tuesday that Sugarland members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will give the depositions April 12 and 13 in Charleston.

The testimony will focus on whether Sugarland resisted delaying the start of their Aug. 13 concert despite threatening weather. The stage and rigging collapsed onto fans amid high winds.

A judge ordered the depositions last month in lawsuits against Mid-America Sound Corp., the company that owns the stage and rigging that collapsed.

Allen represents some of the plaintiffs in that case.

Mid-America denies it did anything to warrant the stage collapse.

* Project seeks volunteers to build tower for birds

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- An upcoming Earth Day event in Indianapolis is seeking volunteers to help build a special tower intended to provide housing for Indiana's dwindling populations of chimney swifts.

The native birds once found plenty of nesting sites in the chimneys of homes around Indiana. But new homes and most older ones now have caps over their chimneys to prevent animals from entering, cutting the birds' numbers.

To combat the chimney swifts' continuing decline, the Amos Butler Audubon Society and Indianapolis' Jewish Community Center will build a special tower April 22 that's designed to attract nesting pairs of swifts.

The public is invited to help build the tower on the grounds of the center during the group's Earth Day celebration.

Chimney swifts live in Indiana from April through September.

* Daniels leaves on private trip to Israel

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is spending a week in Israel on a private trip with an Indianapolis business leader.

Daniels' office announced that he left Tuesday and is spending eight days overseas. He plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and business leaders there. He will spend Easter in Jerusalem.

Daniels spokeswoman Jane Jankowski says the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis is paying his way but did not immediately know the cost of the trip.

Governors and other state leaders routinely go on trips to Israel. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is there this week on his first overseas trade mission. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn went there last year on a trip paid for by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

* Whirlpool to return $800K in Indiana incentives

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Whirlpool Corp. will return $800,000 to the state of Indiana to resolve tax credits and incentives it received to retain jobs in Evansville.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday that Whirlpool agreed in 2009 to preserve 260 full-time Evansville jobs so it could keep tax credits the company had previously been awarded. Whirlpool made the pledge after a major layoff at a refrigerator plant that the company closed the following year. Whirlpool still has a product development center in the southwestern Indiana city, but it employs only about 230 people.

Whirlpool recently moved some of the jobs it had retained in Evansville to its headquarters in Benton Harbor, Mich.

* Ex-Ind. Rep. Souder hospitalized after surgeries

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Former Indiana Congressman Mark Souder is recovering from surgeries he underwent in Iowa for gall bladder troubles.

The 61-year-old Souder tells The News Sun of Kendallville that he's not sure when he'll be released from the University of Iowa Medical Center in Iowa City after being in surgery for 21 hours.

Souder went to the emergency room with intense abdominal pain on March 23 while returning to his Fort Wayne home after a vacation to visit family members in Colorado.

Souder says he had gallstones that were attacking his pancreas and liver.

The Republican represented northeastern Indiana in Congress from 1994 until 2010. He resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a female staffer.

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