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Jurors selected in 2 murder trials

ANDERSON — Opening statements in Michael D. Wayne Fleming III’s murder trial are scheduled for Tuesday. Jurors were selected Monday in Madison Circuit Court 3 and ordered to return to the courthouse at 8:30 a.m.

The 20-year-old Anderson man is charged with two counts of murder, Level 1 felony attempted murder and two counts of Level 2 felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the 2018 death of Bryce Patterson.

Jurors were also selected on Monday in the Ryan Ramirez murder trial in Madison Circuit Court 4, but proceedings are not scheduled to resume until Wednesday morning.

Ramirez, 30, is charged with murder and Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent in the 2018 death of 23-month-old Paisley Hudson. Prosecutors are seeking life without parole in the case.

Tea party meets Thursday

PENDLETON — The Madison County Tea Party will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Community Building at 299 Falls Park Drive.

Danny Niederberger and Chuck Dietzen, two of the candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives District 5 seat currently held by Susan Brooks, will speak.

Candidate Kelly Mitchell is scheduled to speak on March 12. Andrew Bales and Micah Beckwith will speak April 9.

Man gets 55 years for mother’s slaying

FORT WAYNE — A Fort Wayne man who pleaded guilty to stabbing his mother to death was sentenced Monday to 55 years in prison by a judge who called her slaying “a horrific crime.”

Cordell Hughes, 41, pleaded guilty to murder in December in the February 2019 killing of his mother, Carmen Hughes, 60, inside her apartment in the northeastern Indiana city.

Memorial food drive to honor girls

DELPHI — Relatives of two teenage girls slain in northern Indiana in 2017 are holding a food drive and a pet supply donation drive to mark the three-year anniversary of their unsolved slayings.

The donation drive will be held Thursday evening at Delphi United Methodist Church, according to the (Lafayette) Journal & Courier. Abigail Williams, 13, and Liberty German, 14, were killed in February 2017 after they went hiking near their northern Indiana hometown of Delphi.

The Herald Bulletin and Associated Press

Smithsonian exhibit in northern Indiana

BRISTOL — A traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit on life in rural America will be on display at northern Indiana’s Elkhart County Historical Museum until mid-March.

The exhibit, “Crossroads: Change Comes to Rural America,” includes photos depicting farms, forests, small towns and rivers from Alaska to New Hampshire. Visitors can also hear residents talk on video about their experiences.

Judge: Agency violated rules

EVANSVILLE — Indiana’s environmental agency broke its own public comment rules when it issued an air pollution permit for a planned $2.5 billion coal-to-diesel plant, an administrative law judge ruled in siding with the plant’s opponents.

Environmental Law Judge Catherine Gibbs agreed with the opponents’ appeal that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, did not respond to a public records request before the 30-day public comment period ended for Riverview Energy’s proposed project, the Evansville Courier and Press reported.

Charles McPhedran, an attorney for Earthjustice who prepared the appeal on behalf of Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life and Valley Watch, said the judge has not issued an order yet that would require IDEM to reopen public comments on the permit. The order might not come until after the appeal hearing on June 29.