The Herald Bulletin

December 20, 2013

Local Briefs: Dec. 21

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Weekend weather could lead to flooding

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be on the lookout for high water and potentially slick road conditions due to changing weather patterns in the forecast.

Several inches of snow from the past week are now melting because of the above-freezing temperatures, and several inches of rain forecasted through this weekend are increasing the potential for high water on roadways. Drivers can monitor road conditions and traffic alerts across the state. Visit or dial toll-free 800-261-ROAD (7623) for INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service.

Pence OKs bonuses for state employees

INDIANAPOLIS — Some state employees will receive bonuses next month for meeting or exceeding their job expectations. Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to state employees Friday authorizing one-time bonuses for state employees once performance evaluations are completed in January.

Employees who meet expectations will receive a $500 bonus, those who exceed expectations will receive $750, and those rated outstanding will receive $1,000, Pence said.

BSU starting search for new president

MUNCIE — Ball State University's trustees have hired an executive search firm for $150,000 to help them find a replacement for outgoing school President Jo Ann Gora.

Gora announced in October that she planned to retire in June after 10 years leading the 18,000-student university in Muncie.

Zoeller urges Congress to extend tax relief

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined 41 other attorneys general recently to ask Congress to extend soon-to-be expired tax relief for distressed homeowners.

Under the federal Mortgage Debt Relief Act, in effect since 2007, mortgage debt that is forgiven after a foreclosure or short sale or through a loan modification may be excluded from a taxpayer's calculation of taxable income. This exclusion only applies to mortgage debt forgiven on primary residences, not second homes, and is set to expire on Dec. 31.

Soldier appears as Santa, surprises mother

BRUSHY PRAIRIE, Ind. — A northeastern Indiana soldier surprised his mother with an early return home, masquerading as Santa Claus as she sat on his lap at a school staff Christmas breakfast and rattled off a wish list of gifts.

When Prairie Heights High School math teacher Kim Harris told him her son was safely on U.S. soil at Fort Campbell, Ky., after a tour in Afghanistan, he asked her if she was sure of his whereabouts. Her son, Army Spc. Ethan Harris, then pulled down his fake beard and revealed his identity, eliciting a hug and tears from his mother.

Indiana cadet charged in child porn case

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — An Army cadet accused of distributing child pornography has been relieved of his responsibilities while his case is being prosecuted.

The U.S. Military Academy said Friday that it has imposed administrative leave on Cadet Ricky Patrick Hester of Granger, Ind. Federal agents arrested Hester on Thursday on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. He appeared in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., and was released on a $50,000 bond.

Fugitive married to Jalen Rose's brother

DETROIT — A woman who eluded Texas authorities for nearly four decades and who was arrested this week in Michigan is former basketball star Jalen Rose's sister-in-law.

The former Indiana Pacers and Michigan Wolverines star confirmed that Kathlyn Regina Huff is married to his brother, Kevin Rose, The Detroit News reported. Authorities say she evaded capture by leaving San Antonio, getting married and changing her name to Kathlyn Regenia Rose.