Rick Howlett

Broadcast Managing Editor

Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years.   Most recently he’s been tracking the Indiana General Assembly and the region’s passion for sports, especially college basketball.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lawmakers: Decision Coming Next Week on Indiana Gay Marriage Amendment

Indiana legislative leaders expect to decide soon whether to take up a proposal during the current session to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma say they will make their decision after consulting with their respective caucuses next week.

Their statements follow reports from the Evansville Courier and Press that a majority of lawmakers on the House and Senate panels that would vet the ban want to wait until next year.

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Education
4:19 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Indiana Student Restraint Bill Gets Legislative Hearing

Wikipedia

An Indiana Senate committee heard public comment today  on a bill that would require  school corporations across the state to develop and publish a policy on the restraint and seclusion of children, typically involving youngsters in a special education setting.

Officials say most of the state’s school corporations have restraint policies, but they’re inconsistent and some are vague.

Senate Bill 345 would require them to include specific information, provide training for teachers and staff and publish the policies in a handbook.  

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Politics
2:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Hearing Delayed on Indiana Specialty License Plates Bill

Indianapolis Youth Group

An Indiana legislative committee has delayed a hearing on a bill that would place new limits on specialty license plates.

Rep. Ed Soliday's proposal would create an eight-member bipartisan panel to review requests from nonprofit groups and universities for specialty plates. The Republican says state roads are crowded with so many different plates that it's difficult for police to identify vehicles.

Soliday delayed a hearing of the House Transportation Committee Wednesday to review amendments filed to the bill.

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Local News
2:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

In Protest of Proposed Amendment, Bloomingon Mayor to Conduct Same-Sex Wedding

bloomington.in.gov/mayor

The mayor of Bloomington, Ind., plans to conduct a wedding ceremony for more than a dozen gay and lesbian couples this week to protest a proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The ceremony Thursday in Bloomington, presided over by Mayor Mark Kruzan, coincides with a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival.     It was first reported by the Indianapolis Star.

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Politics
1:42 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Indiana Bill Takes Aim at Synthetic Drug Sales

justice.gov

An Indiana Senate committee has approved a bill that would crack down on retailers who sell synthetic drugs.

Lawmakers have previously outlawed substances such as synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice or K2, and bath salts, but Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)  says some shops are still selling them.

"If it walks like a skunk, and it smells like a skunk and it looks like a skunk, it’s a skunk.   And what we have on retail counters today are skunks," Merritt said. 

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Politics
1:32 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Indiana Senate Panel Approves Bill Addressing Body Fluid Assaults

A bill intended to protect health care workers from assault by body fluid or waste has advanced in the Indiana General Assembly.

Bill sponsor Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), who also heads a hospital security team, says current state law does not cover employees at medical facilities who often have to deal with intoxicated or agitated patients.

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Local News
9:21 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Cards End Skid With Victory Over Pitt

In college basketball, the Louisville Cards snapped a three-game losing streak with a 64-61 win over Pittsburgh tonight at the KFC Yum Center.

U of L was without two players for the game.

Wayne Blackshear sprained his right shoulder during practice Sunday and is expected to be sidelined for what the team calls “a short time.”

Guard Kevin Ware has been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified reason.

Earlier today, the Cards fell to number 12 in the latest Associated Press men’s college basketball poll and are ranked 13th in the new USA Today coaches poll.

Local News
3:23 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Cards Drop in Polls; Blackshear, Ware Out for Pitt Game

The Louisville Cardinals have fallen to number 12 in the latest Associated Press men’s college basketball poll and are ranked 13th in the new USA Today coaches poll.

The Cards have lost three straight games since their first-ever regular season number one ranking two weeks ago.

Michigan took the top spot in the new AP poll; Kansas is number one in the coaches poll.  Indiana is ranked third in both surveys.

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Local News
11:30 am
Mon January 28, 2013

USA Harvest Founder Due in Court This Week

KET

After several delays, the founder of USA Harvest is scheduled to return to federal court this week to answer charges of misusing the charity’s funds.

Stan Curtis was expected to plead guilty last month, but his plea agreement was postponed because of questions about his competency.    His lawyer said Curtis had been hospitalized for an infection and was still too frail to enter the plea.

Curtis is charged with mail fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Local News
11:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Indiana Meetings Set on New Area Code for 812 Region

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has scheduled a series of public meetings on the addition of a new telephone area code in southern and south central Indiana.

The commission’s Danielle McGrath says because of cell phones and other devices, the region served by the 812 area code is running out of numbers.

"According to reports that we’re receiving, there will be no further numbers available by March of 2015," McGrath said. 

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