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This Hour: Latest Indiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Body found in western Indiana trailer identified

LADOGA, Ind. (AP) - Indiana State Police say DNA results have confirmed the identity of a body found in a trailer in western Indiana last month.

They said Tuesday the deceased male has been identified as 41-year-old Shane Sowers, whose last known address was in Clinton.

The cause of his death remains undetermined.

The trailer was located in a rural area near the Montgomery County town of Ladoga, about 35 miles west of Indianapolis. Police say the body was discovered June 15 by someone trying to dismantle the trailer to salvage scrap metal. They say the trailer had been moved to the Ladoga site from Clinton five days earlier.

Police say the investigation is continuing.


Skeletal remains found in Bloomington wooded area

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say they're trying to identify skeletal remains that have been discovered in a wooded area in Bloomington.

Capt. Troy Thomas of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office tells The Herald-Times ( ) the remains found Monday on the city's east side are believed to be those of a missing person whose case the office was working on.

Bloomington Police Sgt. Pam Gladish says the remains appear to those of a male but investigators won't be certain until medical examiners have finished their work.


Lawmakers approve pair of new license plates

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A panel of state lawmakers approved new license plates recognizing the Indy 500 and Abraham Lincoln under a new system clamping down on the number of special license plates on the road.

Members of the Legislature's transportation study committee submitted their recommendations to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Tuesday afternoon. Lawmakers approved a cap of 125 special group plates during their 2013 session and set a one-year moratorium on approving new plates while they studied the issue.

Special group plates have caused some consternation for state lawmakers and officials in the past. The American Civil Liberties Union fought the state in court off and on for four years trying to win special plates for the Indiana Youth Group, a support group for gay teenagers.


Accident kills director of SW Indiana youth camp

WASHINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A tree-clearing accident has killed the director of a southwestern Indiana Christian youth camp.

The Daviess County Sheriff's Department says 60-year-old David Ira-Mitchel Bean died Monday at Camp Illiana, about 50 miles northeast of Evansville.

It says Bean and another camp staffer had cut a large, dead tree at its base and were attempting to pull it down when a rope connecting the tree and a front-end loader snapped, causing the tree to sway and a large limb to fall and strike Bean in the head.

Camp Illiana officials said no campers were in the area at the time of the accident.

The Washington Times-Herald reports ( ) that Bean, as director of the camp, had worked with churches and Christian organizations across southern Indiana and other states.


Body of Hammond man recovered at NW Indiana lake

MOROCCO, Ind. (AP) - The body of a Hammond man believed to be a drowning victim has been recovered from a northwestern Indiana lake.

Indiana conservation officers say Kentland firefighters on Tuesday morning recovered the body of 24-year-old Saul Lopez from J.C. Murphey Lake at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area.

Officers say Lopez disappeared Saturday evening after jumping off a rubber raft at the lake about 45 miles south of Gary.

Officers say the raft had begun losing air and that Lopez and another person aboard it tried to row back to shore before Lopez jumped into the water to try to push it. Witnesses said Lopez swam for a short while before disappearing under the water and didn't resurface. He wasn't wearing a life jacket.


Ponzi schemer's accountant settles with Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Secretary of State's office says an Indianapolis accounting firm has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit over its work for a convicted Ponzi schemer.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says the accounting work by DeWitt & Shrader PC lent credibility to the scheme by Fishers money manager Keenan Hauke, and it had a responsibility to check his work before issuing client account and tax statements.

Hauke was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2011 for securities fraud.

Lawson says the DeWitt and Shrader settlement will go toward repaying Hauke's victims, who lost $9 million. She says 97 investors have already recovered $1 million, and her office is working to recover more.

A telephone message seeking comment was left with DeWitt and Shrader.


Indiana chooses 5 counties for preschool program

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana's three most populous counties are among five picked for the state's pilot program that will allow low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool.

Gov. Mike Pence's office announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties were selected for the pilot program from among 18 counties that submitted applications.

Marion, Lake and Allen counties have the largest populations in Indiana.

State lawmakers passed a bill this year calling for the state Family and Social Services Administration to pick five counties for the pilot program for 4-year-old children from low-income families.

Under the plan, those families will receive vouchers for public or private preschools. The program will become Indiana's first state-funded preschool program.

The governor's office says the program is on track to begin early next year.


Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Attorneys for same-sex couples challenging Indiana's gay marriage ban are objecting to the state's request that all 10 members of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hear the case.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Lambda Legal and a private law firm argue in a brief filed Monday that a three-judge panel is enough.

Indiana has asked the full court to hear the case. Wisconsin has made the same request.

Federal judges have struck down bans in both states. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago consolidated both states' appeals two weeks ago.

Indiana argues the issue is important enough to warrant a hearing by the full court. The gay couples' lawyers say four other appeals courts have handled the issue with three-judge panels.

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