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Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Indiana in Brief

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

* Fumes sicken 13 workers at State Fairgrounds

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- More than a dozen people were taken to Indianapolis hospitals Tuesday after they were sickened by fumes from gas-fueled power-washing equipment at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Fairgrounds spokesman Andy Klotz said 15 workers were power-washing floors at Exposition Hall when two contract workers complained of feeling lightheaded. The 13 contract employees were taken to hospitals for treatment. Information on their conditions wasn't immediately available. Two fairgrounds employees weren't affected.

Klotz said the 74,000-square-foot building's doors were open, but there was little wind to provide ventilation.

"Normally (opening the doors) creates enough airflow to keep that air moving and keep it from being stagnant," Klotz told The Indianapolis Star. "But that didn't happen today."

An official with the contractor, OnDemand, didn't answer his phone when The Associated Press called seeking comment.

Klotz said fair officials are examining what happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. He said this was the first time they've had problems with using the procedure to clean floors in the building.

Officials might examine whether to use power washers at all, use fewer of them, set up portable fans or find alternative cleaning methods, he said.

Klotz said the building will be tested for carbon monoxide before people are allowed back in.

* Ind. study committee discusses future of IPFW

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Current and former officials from the joint campus run by Indiana and Purdue universities in Fort Wayne say that IPFW could increase its independence without splitting off from its parent schools.

The Journal Gazette reports a legislative study committee heard testimony Tuesday at the Statehouse.

Northeastern Indiana legislators have maintained for years that the funding and support IPFW receives from Purdue's main campus in West Lafayette is inadequate.

Purdue University acting provost Vic Lechtenberg says IPFW benefits from the recognition it receives from its affiliation with the larger schools. Purdue administers the regional campus, with students able to get degrees from both Indiana and Purdue.

IPFW is one of the largest public universities in Indiana, with nearly 14,000 students this year.

* Ind. woman sentenced in abuse of older woman

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- An Indianapolis woman's caretaker convicted of binding the 68-year-old with duct tape and leaving her to die has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Forty-nine-year-old Alice Howe declined to apologize in court Tuesday as she was sentenced after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted murder.

WRTV-TV reports the undernourished victim was found bound, gagged and duct-taped from head to toe in September 2011. Police say Howe told her she would kill her, chop her body up with a chainsaw and bury her behind her apartment building. Howe allegedly told her that no one would notice because no one cared about her.

Prosecutors say Howe was the sole beneficiary of the woman's life insurance policy and had power of attorney over her financial matters.

* Indianapolis Zoo starts work on orangutan center

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Orangutans will be able to travel around the Indianapolis Zoo on an overhead cable system that's part of new exhibit designed to raise public interest in saving the endangered primates, officials said Tuesday as they broke ground for the International Orangutan Center.

Zoo officials, donors, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard were among about 200 people who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony. The $21.5 million center is expected to open in May 2014.

"We are creating something remarkable," Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the zoo, told The Indianapolis Star. "The orangutans will be able to travel on an overhead cable system above the zoo, completely unconstrained by cages or walls."

Visitors will be able to view the primates from above in an aerial gondola ride.

The center will house eight orangutans, which are native to the forests of the southeastern Asian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.



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