1. HJR-3 passes Indiana Senate without sentence banning civil unions
After 45 minutes reviewing their positions on the issue Monday, Feb. 17, Indiana senators passed the latest version of HJR-3, which does not include the controversial second sentence that would ban civil unions.
The debate is over for now, though it may rekindle in 2015 or 2016, when the House and Senate must pass the proposed amendment once again. The soonest Hoosiers could vote on the proposal would be 2016.
2. Supporters of Elkhart's school referendum step up for students who walk to school
On Monday morning, Feb. 17, about 200 Elkhart Community Schools students, teachers and parents walked the cold, two-mile trek some kids take to and from class each day because there aren't enough busses to pick them up.
The gathering was a show of support for a referendum that would buy more busses for the district. If passed, it would also fund safety upgrades for its schools and repairs for its buildings.
The referendum will appear on local voters' ballots May 6.
3. Number of water customers with frozen water lines grows
After The Pierre Moran library closed Monday, Feb. 17, because of frozen water lines, we spoke with Elkhart's utility services manager Laura Kolo about how deep the issue goes.
Kolo said that as of Feb. 14, more than 100 residential properties and businesses had reported frozen water lines. When she checks the updated numbers Tuesday, Feb. 18, she expects them to have risen significantly.
The problem is being caused by this winter's prolonged cold spell, which has forced the frost line to plunge further underground than city pipes lie.
4. With no agenda items, Goshen cancels Feb. 18 city council meeting
After it became clear there weren't any items on its agenda, the Goshen City Council decided to call off its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18.
The council's next meeting will be held March 4.
5. Sheriff's department investigating hit-and-run accident in Elkhart
The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department is investigating a two-vehicle crash that sent a woman to the hospital Sunday night, Feb. 16.
According to a news release from the department, Mariana Avelino, 18, was driving east on C.R. 20 when a dark pickup truck pulled out of a parking lot on the north side of the road. It struck Avelino's car, which sent her spinning off the road and into a utility pole.
Avelino was taken to Elkhart General Hospital for minor injuries. The sheriff's department is continuing to investigate the incident.