For sale: giant lab "gantries," slightly used, FOB Indiana

Indiana U is selling off a huge lot of lab equipment, including these space-pod-looking gantries. Winning bidder is responsible for dismantling and shipping. "To give someone an idea of how large these are, there are two pits that they sit in. Each of the pits are 28'x35'x10' deep." Read the rest

Immediately after Mike Pence's departure, reasonable Indiana Republicans began undoing his work

As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was significantly to the right of the mainstream, even for his own party -- so it's no surprise that in the days after his resignation (to become vice president of the USA), his successor and state Republican lawmakers: pardoned an innocent man who'd been locked up for 20 years (whom Mike Pence refused to help); allowed a town to declare a state of emergency; greenlit a needle-exchange; and overrode his vetoes, which would have allowed university cops to keep their records secret and which prevented strict environmental rules. Read the rest

Indiana's "educational achievement" bonuses: teachers in rich schools get 20x more than those in poor districts

Indiana is one of many GOP-led states that assume that the poor performance of schools in poor neighborhoods is the fault of bad teaching -- and not, say, systemic poverty, the absence of funds raised by rich parents, hunger, mass incarceration -- and so teachers are offered bonuses for "improving" their students' outcomes, which generally means their standardized test scores (since presumptively bad teachers can't be trusted to evaluate their students' qualitative improvements). Read the rest

A heartwarming story about a comic clerk who helped a "baby gay" teen customer come out through Supergirl comics

Mary (AKA @sapphicgeek) works in an Indiana comic shop, and Saturday, she met a customer, a distraught teen girl, looking for Supergirl. Read the rest

Homophobe-in-chief Mike Pence rented a house in DC, so his new neighbors are flying rainbow flags

VP-elect Mike Pence's political career has consisted of a series of attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people and women, and his new neighbors in the navy blue precincts of DC know it, and they want him to know that his medieval views are considered aberrant by good people, so they've festooned their homes with rainbow flags that he'll have to pass during the transition -- until he gets to move into the new VP's residence in the basement of Trump Tower. Read the rest

Abortion conviction quashed, but woman who miscarried still faces time for "neglect"

Purvi Patel was the first woman in America to be convicted of "feticide"—a euphemism for abortion—and jailed 20 years after suffering a miscarriage that prosecutors claim was induced by illegally-procured drugs. The feticide conviction was quashed today by an appeals court, but it affirmed the felony conviction for "neglect of a dependent."

The appeals court ruled that the state Legislature didn't intend for the feticide law "to be used to prosecute women for their own abortions."

As for the neglect conviction, we hold that the State presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that Patel was subjectively aware that the baby was born alive and that she knowingly endangered the baby by failing to provide medical care, but that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the baby would not have died but for Patel’s failure to provide medical care. Therefore, we vacate Patel’s class A felony conviction and remand to the trial court with instructions to enter judgment of conviction for class D felony neglect of a dependent and resentence her accordingly.

The neglect charge (Patel claimed stillbirth, prosecutors argued that the fetus was alive for a period of seconds after birth) is still serious; the statute book allows for six months to three years, though news reports suggest lenience is not unheard of.

From the original story:

According to Sue Ellen Braunlin, doctor and co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Purvi was most likely 23-24 weeks pregnant, although prosecutors argued Patel was 25 weeks along in the state's opening argument.

Read the rest

Homeland Security wants to subpoena Techdirt over the identity of a hyperbolic commenter

This week, Techdirt's Tim Cushing published a story about the Hancock County, IN Sheriff's Department officers who stole $240,000 under color of asset forfeiture. Read the rest

'We're Gonna Win Big-ly.' Trump wins Indiana Primary for GOP, Cruz drops out

The votes in the Indiana presidential election primary tonight are still being counted, but GOP Party chairman Reince Priebus has already declared Donald Trump the “presumptive GOP nominee” after Ted Cruz dropped out of the race.

Trump needs 1236 delegates to formally get the nomination, and he's well on his way. John Kasich hasn't ended his campaign, but he hasn't been seen as a credible contender for a while. Trump has dominated this election cycle in many ways.

Read the rest

Tea Party "family values" pol resigns after sending adulterous vid to entire address-book

After sending the sex-video to his entire contact list, Republican Indiana Rep Jud McMillin sent out a mass-text saying that his phone was stolen in Canada and had only just been returned; he asked recipients to "please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received." Read the rest

If Indiana legalizes homophobic discrimination, Gen Con's leaving Indianapolis

The chair of the 57,000 attendee conference has written to Indiana governor Mike Pence to say that the conference will pull out of the state if a bill passes that lets businesses discriminate against LGBT people if their religion tells them to be hateful fucks. Read the rest

Homophobic pastor arrested for squeezing man's genitals in park

The Praise Cathedral Church of God's Gaylard Williams, of Seymour, Indiana, was arrested this week when he allegedly massaged a stranger's genitals in a park and asked him for oral sex; police found pornography in his car (which he claimed was being delivered to someone else) -- Williams is a noted homophobic preacher whose sermons condemn homosexuals. Read the rest

Rustbelt ghost-towns: Ruins of Gary, Indiana

Many American rustbelt cities are contracting radically as we enter the second decade of life in a WTO world, where industrial production has moved to China, India, and other developing nations. This has created a new kind of American ghost-town, on the outskirts of once-thriving midwestern cities -- or, in the worst cases, in pockets right in the middle of town. David Tribby has documented some of the ruined areas of Gary, IN in a book called Gary Indiana | A City's Ruins. Dark Roasted Blend has a gallery of some of the photos from Tribby's book, along with a potted history of the town's rise and fall.
Gary, Indiana, back then, was still a good place, a productive place. Founded in 1906, it was a gleaming city built of, and because of, steel. Quite literally, in fact; while other cities may have been at the intersections of trails or roads, rivers and rivers, or where sea met land, Gary was built by and for U.S. Steel and even christened for that corporation's founder.

For decades, Gary was as tough and resilient as the metals it produced. It survived the Great Depression, it fought off the war years, and it forged and pressed through the 1950s. But during the 1960s, its gleaming life's blood—steel—proved to be its undoing when the industry began to wane, then almost totally collapse, due to cheaper manufacturing overseas.

Exploring the Ruins of Gary, Indiana (Thanks, Marilyn!) Read the rest