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Town bans public vaping, smoking

MUNSTER — A northwestern Indiana town has banned all tobacco and vaping products from public spaces and facilities in what a backer hails as one of the most comprehensive measures in the state.

The Munster council this month approved the ordinance that bans the smoking of all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes within 15 feet of a public space or entrance to a public facility in Munster. A first-time offense will be written up, a second violation will result in a $200 fine and ensuing violations carry fines that escalate to $1,500 for five within a calendar year.

Patients sue over disease exposure

GOSHEN — More than 1,000 surgical patients are suing a northern Indiana hospital after being notified that a sterilization failure could have exposed them to deadly infections.

The class-action suit was filed last week in Elkhart County Court against Goshen Hospital on behalf of patient Linda Gierek and others who had surgery between April and September. It alleges the patients were potentially exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.

Indiana State first in ‘social mobility’

TERRE HAUTE — For the second year in a row, Indiana State University ranked first in the state on an index that measures how well it helps disadvantaged students graduate and obtain good-paying jobs.

Created by CollegeNET, the Social Mobility Index “measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students [with family incomes below the national median] at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs.”

Pence plans three stops in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Vice President Mike Pence has scheduled three stops next week in western and southwestern Michigan.

Pence plans to visit Grand Rapids, Portage and Holland on Wednesday, with expected meetings with religious and community leaders. The former Indiana governor also will attend a campaign rally with Sarah Sanders, President Donald Trump’s former spokeswoman.

Judge sides with cities in lawsuit

NOBLESVILLE — A Hamilton County judge sided with Bloomington and three other Indiana cities in a 2015 case regarding human rights ordinances.

In a recent decision, Hamilton Superior Court 1 Judge Michael A. Casati ruled in favor of Bloomington, Indianapolis, Carmel and Columbus, which were sued by three religious groups over ordinances that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Indy police chief to retire at year’s end

INDIANAPOLIS — Chief Bryan Roach of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will retire at the end of the year after nearly three years as the city’s top officer.

Roach said Friday that his decision to retire after nearly 29 years with the department was “bittersweet.” He said he’s accepted a job outside of the police department and city government.

Roach was appointed chief of the 1,700-officer police department in January 2017 by Mayor Joe Hogsett.

The Associated Press

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