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AP-US-ELECTION-2020-BUTTIGIEG-RECORD

Buttigieg's rocky record on race gets a closer look

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing a more intense spotlight on his past leadership on issues of race and policing as he tries to translate his strong showing in Iowa and New Hampshire into support in looming contests in more diverse states. Buttigieg, who spent eight years as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has in recent days tripped up at times as he was grilled about his record, including the racial disparity in marijuana arrests in South Bend and decisions that led to him having no African American leaders in his administration during a crucial stretch of his tenure.

ELECTION 2020-LIMBAUGH

Limbaugh draws bipartisan criticism for Buttigieg remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is drawing bipartisan criticism for saying the country won't elect openly gay Democrat Pete Buttigieg because it's not ready for a president who 'loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage." Limbaugh is a Trump ally and made the remarks Wednesday on his nationally syndicated radio show. Buttigieg has finished near the top in Democrats' first two presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says Buttigieg has honor and courage. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he doesn't think a candidate's sexual orientation would hurt his or her chances.

SUV-POND DEATHS

Probe finds 911 dispatchers bungled fatal Indiana pond crash

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — An investigation has determined that two 911 dispatchers made mistakes during emergency calls about a driver who had veered into a frozen northern Indiana pond with her three young children. The South Bend Tribune reports that one of the errors delayed the response of a dive team to the crash location. The St. Joseph County dispatch center's director says in a report released Wednesday that the two dispatchers have resigned since the New Year's Eve crash in Mishawaka, but they likely would have been disciplined if they hadn't. Brooke Kleven and her 3-month-old daughter survived the crash, but two of her other young children drowned.

ONLINE SCHOOLS-DISPUTED ENROLLMENT

Audit: 2 Indiana online schools misspent nearly $86 million

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new state audit report says two Indiana online charter schools accused of inflating their enrollments inappropriately paid nearly $86 million to companies linked to the schools’ founder or his associates. The State Board of Accounts review found that the Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy wrongly received $68.7 million in state payments by improperly claiming about 14,000 students as enrolled between 2011 and 2019. The report says those students had no online course activity. The report also says its findings had been given to federal and state authorities for possible criminal violations. The U.S. attorney’s office in Indianapolis declined to comment.

RICHMOND-COMPANY EMBEZZLEMENT

Indiana woman allegedly embezzled $327K from her employer

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana woman who seemed upset when her employer offered her a promotion is now accused of embezzling more than $327,000 from the business following an audit by suspicious company officials. Fifty-five-year-old Denise Eileen King faces one count of felony theft for her alleged embezzlement from a Richmond freight transportation company. The (Richmond) Palladium-Item reports that company officials conducted an audit after the promotion offer led King to resign. Court documents allege that King allegedly deposited over $327,000 in fraudulent checks into a bank account she had created and emptied that account by diverting those funds into her personal account and three other accounts.

FETAL REMAINS-DOCTOR

Fetal remains found at Illinois properties buried in Indiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — More than 2,000 sets of fetal remains found last year at the suburban Chicago garage of one of the Midwest's most prolific abortion doctors have been buried at an Indiana cemetery. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill presided over a service following Wednesday's burial, telling about 100 people who gathered that the remains' discovery was “horrifying to anyone with normal sensibilities.” The 2,411 sets of fetal remains were found in a garage and a car owned by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer after he died in September. Hill said that Klopfer had “ghoulishly packed up" the remains and stored them at his properties.

POLICE-GHOST EMPLOYMENT

Seymour police officers charged with ghost employment

SEYMOUR, Ind. (AP) — A former southern Indiana police chief and one of his top officers face ghost employment and other charges for allegedly working other jobs while on duty. Indiana State Police say former Seymour Police Chief William Abbott and Capt. Carl Lamb also were arrested Wednesday on official misconduct and theft charges. Police say a four-month investigation determined Abbott while on-duty also was paid by a hospital to schedule off-duty officers to provide security. It also found Lamb, while on duty, was paid by a security company to schedule off-duty officers to work in a highway construction zone. Both men were released from jail on bond.

INDIANA LEGISLATURE-EDUCATION

Governor signs bill delaying penalties from new Indiana exam

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana schools and teachers won’t face any penalties from lower student scores on the state’s new ILEARN standardized exam under a proposal that's been signed into law. The bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Eric Holcomb grants a two-year delay on schools receiving a lower A-F state rating based on scores from the 2019 or 2020 ILEARN exams. The delay comes after fewer than half of Indiana students met expected achievement levels when the exam was first given in the spring of 2019. Holcomb says the delay will ensure that students, teachers and schools have the time they need to successfully adjust to the new exam.