Thumbs up: Kibosh on Purdue coal boiler
After loads of negative press attention (including in this paper), a committee of Purdue's Board of Trustees passed a resolution nixing plans to install a new "clean-coal" boiler inside its Wade power plant. School leadership cited financial changes for killing the boiler, Purdue's sixth. Without making any firm commitments to sustainability, vice president of physical facilities Bob McMains did say Purdue would begin restructuring its energy plan for the future, seeking out a permit to install a greener-but-not-exactly-sustainable natural gas boiler instead. The Boilermakers' namesake legacy lives on.
Thumbs up: Checking up on Doctors
Indiana patients may soon be able to rest easy knowing their health care professionals have a clean record. How this requirement wasn't already a given is beyond us, but the state's Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill last Thursday allowing medical boards to suspend, deny or revoke licenses of those who fail criminal background checks. Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis) backed the bill, questioning the honor code policy that the medical world currently employs. Opponents voiced concern about violating due-process rights. A valid point, but we still prefer our gynecologists rap sheet-free.
Thumbs down: Again with them gays
State lawmakers made discouraging progress in banning gay marriage this week. Joint Resolution 13, which would amend the state constitution to declare that marriage is solely between one man and one woman and would prohibit civil unions was approved by a House committee on Monday. If passed by the House, it moves on to the Senate; ultimately, voters may see it on the ballot in 2014 should it gain approval again in 2013. There's still time to stop the campaign in its tracks — just give us a second to wrap our heads around why Republicans are pushing so hard on anything besides easing the state's financial woes.
Thumbs down: Bat plague comes to Indiana
An ecological epidemic sweeping the nation's bat population has made its way to Indiana. The state's Dept. of Natural Resources made public last Tuesday that a brown bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome was found inside Endless Cave in Salem, Ind. The fungus is responsible for killing more than a million bats in the eastern United States since 2006, according to MSNBC. Adding insult to injury, experts suggest that spores of the fungus enter the bats' environment on our clothes. State caves have been closed to the public for the last two years, but it seems DNR efforts to stem the bat plague have been in vain.