Author Archives: Cherie Wood

Afraid of needles? These start-ups are working on alternatives

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USA Today


Mike Feibus, Special for USA Today

As many as one in four Americans are afraid of needles. That’s led a handful of start-ups to develop alternatives to hypodermic syringes. This would be good news for health care: While needles provide an effective tool for vaccinations and treatments that the stomach’s digestive juices would neutralize if taken orally, needle phobia keeps many […]

Synthetic pot warning issued as number of users experiencing severe bleeding jumps to 32

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Chicago Tribune


Kate Thayer

State and local health officials have issued a warning about a synthetic pot in Illinois that has caused users to experience severe bleeding. On Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 32 people in the past few weeks visited emergency rooms with severe bleeding after using a synthetic cannabinoid product. That’s up from […]

Webb: K2 isn’t synthetic marijuana. But chemically, it’s a mystery

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Evansville Courier and Press


Jon Webb

So many people were vomiting, and emergency responders didn’t know why. Eight people between Second and Third avenues in Evansville were found sick, unconscious or a mix of the two last Thursday. Fearing some kind of mass overdose, the Evansville Fire Department administered Narcan, but it didn’t work. After speaking to the victims, police and […]

Youth Resources: Encouraging healthy self-esteem in young people

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Evansville Courier and Press


Jessica Fehrenbacher, Special to the Courier & Press

Our current world allows us many opportunities to showcase ourselves and our accomplishments. Social media has made it possible to share aspects of our lives that just years ago would have never been brought to light. As a youth worker (and a parent), we want young people to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas about […]

Webb: Here are the overdose stats for 2017. They’re bad.

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Evansville Courier and Press


Jon Webb

Steve Lockyear didn’t see this coming. Before this year, 2016 marked the busiest year the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office had ever seen. Drug overdoses spiked as heroin, fentanyl and scores of other opiates ripped through the community. So everyone stepped up. The coroner’s office, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s administration, local law enforcement, hospitals and community groups […]

Sheriff welcomes state’s jail demands

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Zach Evans

EVANSVILLE — It’s about time. That’s how Sheriff Dave Wedding feels after the Indiana Department of Corrections told Vanderburgh County officials they must address jail overcrowding and understaffing. Wedding made it a point in his first term as sheriff to call for major changes to the jail, which is now only 11 years old. He […]

CBD crackdown continued even after Indiana excise police announced enforcement moratorium

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Evansville Courier and Press (original article Indy Star)


Kaitlin L Lange

Even after excise police said they would no longer confiscate a cannabis extract from Indiana stores, they continued to threaten to punish retailers that carried the product. At least twice after the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission announced the moratorium on Aug. 12, excise police, the agency’s law enforcement arm, cited stores for potential violations […]

Police: Intruder shot to death after kicking open wrong door

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Indy Star


Vic Ryckaert,

A man thought his child’s mother was inside when he banged on the front door and demanded to enter a northeast-side apartment late Thursday. But it was the wrong address. When this angry man kicked in the door to that wrong apartment, he paid with his life. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said a resident was protecting […]

Summer Drive Sober effort to run til Labor Day

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Evansville Courier and Press


Tori Fater

Local police are starting a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign this month to crack down on drunk driving and other unsafe driving in Vanderburgh County. The Vanderburgh County campaign, which will involve at least one sobriety checkpoint as well as saturation patrols, is a joint effort of the Evansville Police Department, the Vanderburgh […]

ISP: It’s ‘very dumb’ to fire guns into the air on the Fourth of July

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Indy Star

July 3, 2017

Holly Hays

It’s exciting, isn’t it? The smell of charred meats. The crunch of the empty beer can under your feet. The freedom of a day off work in the middle of an Indiana summer. It’s America’s birthday, and it’s glorious. But celebrating these wonderful freedoms shouldn’t come at the cost of common sense. That means not […]

Why Easter cards were rejected in Indiana prisons this year.

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Original: Indy Star (Evansville Courier adn Press)


Ryan Martin ,

Indiana offenders have found some unusual ways to get their hands on drugs while in prison. Heads of lettuce have been hollowed and filled with drugs, and tennis balls have been thrown over fences into the yards. All have led to new procedures or inspections for the Indiana Department of Correction. A recent trend of […]

Todd Leary’s road back: From IU to prison to feeding the homeless

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Indy Star


Zak Keefer

Todd Leary knows the highs and lows. He was an Indiana All-Star and played in a Final Four game for Bob Knight. He spent time in prison for theft. And now he runs a thriving AAU basketball program called the Indiana Faith. The Chili Feed. His car trickles down the alley, and suddenly the city’s […]

Where does fentanyl come from? China is primary source in U.S., and much is ending up in Ohio

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The News-Herald NEWS


Andrew Cass

Fentanyl claimed the lives of 75 Ohioans in 2012, but by 2015 that number jumped to a staggering 1,155. Ohio is now the overdose capital of the United States in no small part because of the rise of fentanyl. Per the Drug Enforcement Agency, Ohio had 3,861 positive lab tests for fentanyl in 2015, more […]

Roundup: Lawmakers advance legislation on road funding, pre-K and others

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Evansville Courier and Press


Kaitlin Lange

With more than 1,000 bills flooding the Statehouse this legislative session, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Here’s what you may have missed this week: •Legislatures undo some of former Gov. Mike Pence’s decisions: Representatives voted to override two of Vice President Pence’s vetoes Thursday. One bill would allow private university […]

Report: Indiana has 2nd most gun background checks

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Indy Star


Joe Tamborello

Indiana ranks second for the most gun background checks per capita, according to a new report by security company GetSafe. Over a five-year span, only Kentucky finished ahead of Indiana for the amount of firearm background checks per 100,000 residents. Nearly 17 background checks were performed per 100,000 Hoosiers. That falls behind Kentucky’s 51. Background […]

Domestic violence victims fight fear on road to independence

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Indy Star


Maureen Gilmer

Yin Walker couldn’t take the abuse any longer. The 42-year-old Indianapolis woman called The Julian Center, a shelter and resource center for domestic violence victims. She left her husband and moved into the facility, where she stayed for several months before moving into transitional housing. Today, she is one of nine women enrolled in a […]

Indy women accused in human trafficking case involving a teenager

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Indy Star


Holly Hays

Three Indianapolis women were arrested and charged earlier this week in connection with a human trafficking investigation. Ciera Beauchamp, Brandi Beauchamp and Ashley Breedlove were charged Tuesday with one count of promotion of human trafficking of a minor and promoting prostitution, both felonies, according to court documents. Ciera was also charged with contributing to the […]


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Punxsy Weekday News Headlines


The rash of “clown” sightings around the state and the country finds Knox Boro police not clowning around. According to our newspartner, Knox Boro Police have issued a warning following several reports of clown sightings within the borough. They note they have received several complaints of clowns within the borough and have issued a […]

Abuse against women: The secret no one wants to talk about

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Indy Star


Maureen C. Gilmer ,

‘We keep this issue of domestic violence as if it was a lover in our bedrooms. No one wants to talk about it.’ The speaker asked for a show of hands. How many in the audience had suffered abuse? First, one hand, then another and another. A quick glance around the room revealed maybe 20 […]

Why ITT closing hits veterans hardest

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Indy Star


James Briggs

9:28 AM UPDATE: ITT Tech announced Tuesday it was shutting down all it’s campuses. Earlier: Matthew Pecoraro doesn’t know how ITT Technical Institute got his phone number. But he was glad to take the call. Pecoraro had left the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007 and had military education benefits to use. He was looking for […]

‘How come we can afford a new hotel, but we don’t have money to help homeless people?’

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Evansville Courier and Press


Jessie Higgins

When Aurora’s Homeless Outreach van arrived at the United Caring Shelter on Friday morning, Robert Payne and his two little girls hurried forward. His daughter went immediately toward the group’s cooler for a water bottle to pour over her head, while Payne waited for his turn to speak with the caseworker. He hoped that the […]

7 things to know about local human trafficking

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Lexy Gross

What is human trafficking? Does it happen in the U.S.? Why don’t victims come forward to get help? These questions and dozens more were addressed at a conference held at Indiana University Southeast on Friday. Local and state experts, as well as active social workers, gathered to talk about ways to recognize and combat human […]

Indy hosts national forum outlining police-community relations

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Indy Star


Jill Disis

The police are the community, and the community are the police. That mantra was repeated throughout a national public safety forum Wednesday at the Indianapolis Central Library Downtown. The event, officials said, was intended to foster discussion about trends and challenges facing police and community relations across the country. Experts from Michigan, Colorado and elsewhere […]

Pseudoephedrine, captive hunting bills advance

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The Journal Gazette


Niki Kelly

INDIANAPOLIS — The House Public Health Committee voted 6-5 Monday to tighten access to pseudephedrine, a key ingredient used to make meth. The committee essentially put language that passed the House from House Bill 1390 into Senate Bill 80. Nothing would change for Hoosiers with an existing relationship with a pharmacy. They could still buy […]

Congress: drugmakers planned price hikes to boost profits

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Associated Press


By Matthew Perrone And Tom Murphy, The Associated Press

Two drugmakers have made a practice of buying and then dramatically hiking the prices of low-cost drugs given to patients with life-threatening conditions including heart disease, AIDS and cancer, according to excerpts from thousands of documents released by federal lawmakers. A congressional review of more than 300,000 pages from Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals reveals […]

Another shot at Sunday alcohol sales is likely.

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Indy Star


Amy Haneline and Tony Cook

The battle over Sunday alcohol sales for carryout is likely to return this year to the Indiana General Assembly. House Public Policy Chairman Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, told IndyStar on Wednesday that he has crafted a bill that will be revealed next week. He is waiting on final drafts. “I do believe there is an opportunity […]

Lifeline Law could be extended to include illegal drugs

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December 1, 2015

By Zach Osowski

INDIANAPOLIS — Expanding Indiana’s Lifeline Law beyond alcohol offenses will be one of Gov. Mike Pence’s legislative priorities during the 2016 session. Pence released more directives based on recommendations from his Drug Task Force aimed at helping Indiana battle drug usage. Among the directives was a promise to support three bills from Sen. Jim Merritt, […]

Indiana Supreme Court rules against officer’s ‘0INK’ plate

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Evansville Courier and Press


Brian Slodysko

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s highest court ruled Friday that state officials had the right to deny a police officer an “offensive” vanity license plate that said “0INK.” The unanimous Indiana Supreme Court decision found that messages on state-issued license plates amount to government speech, not constitutionally protected personal speech. It cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court […]

Indiana Supreme Court upholds arrest, felony charges in ‘spice’ case

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October 8, 2015

Michael Anthony Adams

Decisions strengthens Indiana’s ability to control dangerous synthetic drugs, Marion County prosecutor says. The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 2012 arrest and felony charges of a retail store owner accused of selling synthetic drugs has strengthened Indiana’s ability to control dangerous and constantly evolving synthetic drugs such as “spice” and “bath salts”, Marion […]

Appeals court rules Marion County judicial elections unconstitutional

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Indy Star


Kristine Guerra

7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds prior ruling against system of ensuring a seat for judicial candidates slated by their parties. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a previous ruling that deemed unconstitutional Marion County’s system of electing judges, a rare process in which judicial candidates who get party nominations for […]

Pence cancels BMV contract, asks for ethics investigation

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Associated Press


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has canceled a contract the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with private license branch operator Express MVA and an investigation into a former government official. The Indianapolis Star reports a BMV official took a job at Express MVA after allowing it to charge customers a “convenience fee.” A Star […]

ACLU: RFRA must let sex offenders worship at churches with schools

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Indy Star


Stephanie Wang

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit Wednesday invoking the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act to contend that not allowing serious sex offenders to attend churches with attached schools is an undue burden on religious rights. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two unnamed sex offenders, challenges another new state law […]

Intent To Run For Elected Office

As a reminder, The Intent to Run forms must be sent to POPAI Election Committee Chair Cherie Wood by July 17th (postmarked, emailed or faxed). By August 17th, Cherie will send out the election slate to the POPAI membership. The Intent to Run form may be found on the POPAI web site. The election will […]

Reminder – Intent To Run For Election


Cherie L. Wood

As a reminder, The Intent to Run forms must be sent to POPAI Election Committee Chair Cherie Wood by July 17th (postmarked, emailed or faxed). By August 17th, the election slate will be sent to the POPAI membership. The Intent to Run form may be found on the POPAI web site and the election will […]

Justice center developer offers scaled-down plan

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Indy Star


John Tuohy

The developer of a proposed justice center on Indianapolis’ Near Westside is offering a scaled-back version that would cut the price of construction by $17.5 million. But the leader of the Democrat-controlled City-County Council quickly dismissed the plan as an insufficient and desperate last-ditch plan to save the complex. WMB Heartland Justice Partners, the group […]

Flakka, synthetic drug behind increasingly bizarre crimes

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Evansville Courier and Press


Journal Media Group

One man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor. Another ran nude down a busy city street in broad daylight, convinced a pack of German shepherds was pursuing him. Two others tried separately to break into the Fort Lauderdale Police […]

Indiana Legislature nearing deadline with unsettled issues

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Associated Press


Indiana lawmakers face decisions on the new state budget and some other contentious issues with less than two weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session. Legislators return to the Statehouse on Monday still looking for agreements on topics such as whether to allow needle exchange programs in more counties in response to an HIV outbreak […]

States Move to Ban Powdered Alcohol Before It Hits the Market

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Food Safety News


Dan Flynn

Lawmakers in several states want to ban a new powdered alcohol product before it’s even available on the market. “Palcohol” is the brand name for the new powdered alcohol that, when mixed with water, becomes a cosmopolitan, mojito, margarita or lemon drop cocktail. It’s the invention of Arizona entrepreneur Mark Phillips, whose company hopes to […]

United Way: Support 2-1-1

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Evansville Courier and Press


Carol Braden-Clarke

Every hour of every day, people need essential human services. In the 2015 State Legislative session, lawmakers will be considering HB 1010 authored by Representative Jud McMillan to provide $2 million in state funding for the Indiana 211 Partnership for funding the 2-1-1 Information and Referral service. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember number that […]

Texas prosecutor: Indiana suspect history unknown

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Evansville Courier and Press

October 27. 2014

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas prosecutors may not have offered a suspected serial killer such a lenient prison sentence in a 2009 sexual assault case had they known about his conviction on a similar charge in Indiana five years earlier, a district attorney’s spokesman said Monday. Darren Vann, who last week confessed to killing seven […]

Synthetic drugs pose challenges for parents, schools

Full Article by Summer Ballentine 10:09 p.m. EDT August 10, 2014 Sam Motsay’s place as forward on the Center Grove junior varsity basketball team was on the line. Friends say he wanted to dip into the world of LSD, a drug of 1970s fame that users say bathes reality in a rainbow of colorful hallucinations. […]