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Boy dies after being found in high school’s swimming pool

(Information from: The Times,

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy has died after being found unresponsive in a northwestern Indiana high school’s swimming pool.

Lake Ridge New Tech Schools’ superintendent says Curtis Walton was pronounced dead early Thursday at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Sharon Johnson-Shirley tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that Walton was found unresponsive at the bottom of a Calumet High School pool opened to the school’s football players following Wednesday’s practice.

Johnson-Shirley says trainers tried to revive Walton, who was a freshman member of the football team. He was taken to a Munster hospital before being airlifted to Chicago.

Johnson-Shirley says Walton’s death has devastated his family, school staff and students and “we’re just trying to make sense of what happened.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the boy’s death.



23-story hotel tower planned at South Bend casino

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A 23-story hotel is set for construction at the tribal casino in South Bend.

The Michigan-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians says it decided to build the hotel as business has been thriving at its Four Winds South Bend Casino since it opened in January 2018. The hotel’s 317 rooms will make it the largest in the South Bend area.

Officials expect construction starting before the end of this year and take about two years to finish.

The tribe is looking to reach an agreement with Indiana officials that would allow the South Bend casino to add live table games, such as blackjack and roulette, and sports betting.

Casino executive Frank Freedman says the hotel is being built regardless of how those negotiations turn out.


Indiana man charged in police dog’s death in fiery crash

(Information from: The Journal Gazette,

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana man has been charged in the death of a police dog that became trapped inside a burning police cruiser following a high-speed crash.

Thirty-one-year-old Clarence L. Shearer of Fort Wayne was formally charged Wednesday with causing the death of a law enforcement animal while operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood, resisting law enforcement and other charges.

The Journal Gazette reports that police were investigating an armed carjacking on July 10 when Shearer allegedly crashed into a Whitley County sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser during a pursuit.

The deputy escaped unharmed, but a police dog died inside the burning cruiser near Larwill, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Fort Wayne.

Court documents say Shearer tested positive for fentanyl and marijuana’s active ingredient following the crash.



Indiana man convicted in death of girlfriend’s 4-year-old

DANVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A suburban Indianapolis man has been convicted of murder in the November 2017 death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

A jury this week also found Michael P. Atkinson of Danville guilty of aggravated battery resulting in death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Defense lawyer Robert Alden says Thursday an appeal likely will be considered at a later date.

Danville police and firefighters responded Nov. 11, 2017 to a call about an unconscious boy in the town just west of Indianapolis. He died two days later at an Indianapolis hospital. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and found that the boy had died from blunt-force trauma.

Atkinson told police the boy fell in the bathtub and hit his head.


Man released from prison in January must finish his sentence

(Information from: The Herald Bulletin,

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana man who was released from prison in January is headed back behind bars to finish out his original sentence.

Forty-seven-year-old Robert Lee Engram of Anderson was sentenced to 85 years in prison in 2001 following his conviction on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and aiding, inducing or causing murder.

The Herald Bulletin reports that Engram allegedly conspired with another man to kill a woman in May 2000.

A Madison County judge released Engram from prison in January, placing him in a community transition program. But the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed that decision in June, ordering Engram to serve more than 21 years remaining on his original sentence.

Another county judge ordered Engram on Tuesday moved from the local jail to state correction officials’ custody.



Purdue University sees main campus record enrollment again

(Information from: Journal and Courier,

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University says it has set an enrollment record for the third straight year at its main campus in West Lafayette.

Purdue officials say the campus has 44,551 students for the start of the new fall semester. That’s up 2.6% from last year’s some 43,400 students, which topped the 2017 mark of about 41,600 students.

The (Lafayette) Journal & Courier reports Purdue President Mitch Daniels called the enrollment figures an affirmation of the school’s faculty and overall student experience.

Enrollment dropped about 2% combined at the Purdue Northwest and Purdue Fort Wayne campuses, with each just over 10,000 students.

Indiana University saw overall enrollment at its seven campuses drop nearly 1% from last year, including a slight decline to 42,760 students at its Bloomington campus.



Producers can contract to sell cattle on new online site

(Information from: Aberdeen American News,

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakotan has created a new online site where livestock producers can contract to sell their cattle.

Kim Ulmer owns a livestock and machinery marketing company in Huron. Ulmer says he created the American Mercantile Exchange in response to volatile market conditions.

The first contract sales on the American Mercantile Exchange were Sept. 3. Ulmer tells the Aberdeen News four loads of cattle were up for sale and all four sold.

Ulmer says sales will be limited to cattle that are close to sale weight until the mercantile has a larger database of buyers and sellers.

He says selling cattle through his exchange is different from an auction barn because it eliminates the need for farmers to take the cattle to auction and sell on a particular day.



History Channel drops out of planned Dillinger documentary

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The History Channel has dropped out of a planned documentary on John Dillinger that would have included the proposed exhumation of the 1930s gangster’s Indianapolis gravesite.

A&E Networks spokesman Dan Silberman says The History Channel is no longer involved in the Dillinger documentary.

Silberman says network officials won’t comment on why it has withdrawn from the project.

The planned exhumation of Dillinger’s grave has become the subject of a lawsuit. Crown Hill Cemetery officials objected to the exhumation, prompting Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C. Thompson, to sue the cemetery.

Thompson is one of two Dillinger relatives who obtained a state permit to exhume the gravesite, saying they have evidence that Dillinger’s body may not be buried there.

An Oct. 1 hearing is scheduled in the exhumation lawsuit.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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