Indiana News Digest at 4 p.m. All times EST.
If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call the supervisor at 317-639-5501 or 800-382-1582. For technical problems, call 800-457-6224. The AP technical center in Kansas City can be reached at 800-243-5752.
For reruns of stories, photos or graphics, use http://www.apexchange.com
NEW AND DEVELOPING:
INDIANAPOLIS — The stepsister of a Pennsylvania man arrested along with his wife after police found five of their children riding inside a moving truck's unheated cargo area during a cross-country move said Thursday she's deeply disappointed with the couple. Cynthia Balzomo of Las Vegas said she had no idea her 41-year-old stepbrother, David K. Detjen, and his 40-year-old wife, Rebecca S. Detjen, intended to make the dayslong trek from Pennsylvania to California with some of their children inside the moving truck's box- and luggage-filled cargo area — a space that included 18 cats in carriers. "They are good parents, but they made a very bad decision," Balzomo said. By Rick Callahan. Expanded version expected to move by 6 p.m.
With AP Photos NA101, INPD101-102.
— POWERBALL-INDIANA, from INDIANAPOLIS: The Hoosier Lottery says a northwestern Indiana man plans to help his mother, start a college fund for his daughter and take his girlfriend to Red Lobster after winning $1 million in the Powerball drawing.
— CULVER-TWO DEAD, from CULVER: Police have identified a man and a teenage boy found shot to death inside a home in a small northern Indiana town.
— INDIANA GOVERNOR-PENCE LOBBYIST, from INDIANAPOLIS: Gov.-elect Mike Pence has tapped a retired lawmaker with four decades of legislative experience to guide his agenda through the Statehouse.
— HONDA-DO-OVER — Honda has made a quick U-turn. By Auto Writers Tom Krisher And Dee-Ann Durbin. AP Photos MIPS101, MIPS103.
OTHER TOP STORIES:
INDIANAPOLIS — Republican Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma is facing some criticism for his decision to hire a Statehouse lobbyist as a top adviser for the upcoming legislative session. Bosma presided over the House during its organization day last week with former Rep. Matt Whetstone nearby as the new parliamentarian — a day after state records show Whetstone canceled his lobbyist registration. New. MOVED.
NEW ALBANY EXPLOSION
EVANSVILLE — State utility officials have ordered Vectren Corp. to pay a $100,000 fine and make safety improvements over a natural gas explosion last year that destroyed a southern Indiana home and injured six people. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission issued the order after the agency's review of actions leading up to the November 2011 explosion in New Albany. New. MOVED.
ST. LOUIS — A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades has worsened for a second straight week, after conditions had improved for more than a month. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows that 62.7 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 60.1 percent the previous week. By Jim Suhr. New. MOVED.
EXCHANGE-NATIONAL ROAD MARKERS
STILESVILLE — Rising Hall, one of the crown jewels of the National Road as U.S. 40 spans the width of Indiana, has added another gem. The historic two-story home on the south side of road, restored in the early 1990s by June Prosser and her late husband Walt, is now one of 15 sites with new interpretive panels placed along the Hoosier portion of the highway. By Eric Bernsee. Banner Graphic. AP Photos pursuing.
EXCHANGE-SOLDIER'S NEW HOME
BLOOMINGTON — It's taken Jake Hutchinson a while to get back on his feet. But after more than 20 surgeries, he is there. Returning to his Afghanistan base from a routine night patrol on May 18, 2011, the Mine Resistant Assault Protected vehicle he was riding in drove over a 120-pound bomb that exploded. Both of Hutchinson's legs were shattered below the knee, and his upper left arm was damaged as well. Now he has a mortgage-free home in Bloomington through a partnership between Chase bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation. By Laura Lane. The Herald-Times.
AP Photos INBHT101-102.
EXCHANGE-COST OF CRIME
GARY — Gary is the most "underpoliced" city in the nation, a new study released this month shows. "Over a quarter of people's income is lost due to crime. It's very big relative to other cities. It says something about the degree to which victimization affects people in Gary," Aaron Chalfin, an author of the study. By Lori Caldwell. Post-Tribune. AP Photos pursuing.
EVANSVILLE — In 2010, after decades in and out of the legal system because of alcohol and substance abuse problems, Leon Castillas was back in jail and facing a return to prison. But Castillas had a few things going for him: a burning desire not to go back to prison; the advice of a no-nonsense staff member at his substance abuse treatment center; and his years of service in the Army. Castillas, 53, is one of five veterans who completed the treatment program this year. By Mark Wilson. Evansville Courier & Press.
AP Photos INEVA101-103.
— NUDE FACEBOOK PHOTO, from LAFAYETTE: A woman who police say deliberately posted a nude photo of her teenage daughter on the girl's Facebook page faces charges of child exploitation and child pornography possession. New.
— I-64 PEDESTRIAN KILLED, from LYNNVILLE: A coroner says a man killed while walking along Interstate 64 in southwestern Indiana was making his way back home to West Virginia on foot. New.
— MONSANTO EXPANSION, from WACO, Neb.: Monsanto is investing more than $100 million to expand four of its seed processing plants in Nebraska, Iowa and Indiana. New.
— SPACE STATION-INDIANA, from SOUTH BEND: The Indiana native who's commanding the International Space Station says one of the things he misses most while in orbit is gravity. New.
— WOMEN VETS-HEALTH, from NEW HAVEN: The American Legion says it will host a town hall meeting for women veterans on the overall quality of health care at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in Fort Wayne.
SOUTH BEND — Veteran-laden Notre Dame will be seeking just its second win in its last 13 games against Kentucky when it faces the young, eighth-ranked Wildcats on Thursday. By Tom Coyne. Game starts 7 p.m. With hometown lead on losing team.
— BKC--IUPUI-UMKC. Game starts 8 p.m.
BKW--T25-NOTRE DAME-C MICHIGAN
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The 5th-ranked Notre Dame women's team hits the road, aiming for a 5-0 start at Central Michigan. Game starts 7 p.m.
SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is expected to talk about the upcoming BCS title game and his Heisman Trophy candidacy on Thursday. By Tom Coyne. Developing from 3 p.m. availability.
— FBC--LOTT TROPHY — 4 defensive players are finalists for Lott Trophy.
— FBN--NFL CAPSULE-COLTS AT LIONS.