Big teachers rally prompting many school closings

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — School days are being called off for tens of thousands of Indiana students as their teachers make plans for attending a union-organized Statehouse rally.

Some school district officials say so many teachers are taking personal time off for the Nov. 19 rally that they wouldn't be able to find enough substitute teachers to cover classrooms. But they also say they support the push by teachers for a bigger boost in school funding.

The president of the Indiana State Teachers Association says at least 4,000 teachers have registered for the Statehouse lobbying effort on the day legislators are gathering for organization meetings ahead of their 2020 session starting in January.

The union says more than 30 school districts have canceled classes or are having students work online from home that day.

1 vote gives Democrats council control in Pence's hometown

COLUMBUS (AP) — Democrats will hold a City Council majority in Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana hometown for the first time since the 1980s if a candidate's one-vote victory margin holds up.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's local election show Democrats winning a 4-3 Columbus City Council majority as they defeated two Republican incumbents. The Republic reports that Republican Councilman Dascal Bunch might seek a recount of the 260-259 tally favoring Democrat Jerone Wood.

Bartholomew County Democratic Party chairman Bob Hyatt says that the council victories came from young candidates stepping up and wanting to make a difference.

Republican Mayor Jim Lienhoop was unopposed for reelection. He says city leaders have worked across party lines for a long time.

The county clerk says Democrats last won a City Council majority in the 1983 election.

Gary official charged with kidnapping teen after car theft

GARY (AP) — The president of the Gary City Council faces charges alleging he kidnapped a 14-year-old boy he believed was involved in stealing his car.

Ronald Brewer was charged Thursday with kidnapping, criminal confinement and intimidation.

Prosecutors have told The (Northwest Indiana) Times that the boy in question isn't believed to have been involved in the September theft.

Police have said Brewer tracked down his stolen vehicle in East Chicago, firing a gun at the teens inside it and taking the 14-year-old boy against his will into Gary.

Since his arrest following the incident, Brewer has maintained his innocence, and his attorney and other supporters have said he had the right to make a citizen's arrest. Critics say he should have let police handle the matter.

Brewer was re-elected Tuesday.

County settles mistreatment suit by ex-jail inmate

SOUTH BEND (AP) — A northern Indiana county has settled for $2,000 a lawsuit filed by former jail inmate who alleged he was improperly treated.

Larenzo Brockington claimed in a filing in U.S. District Court that he was denied access to the St. Joseph County Jail's day room, commissary and laundry service last year while he was in the medical care unit with a tibia fracture.

Brockington was being held while awaiting trial on charges of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and aggravated battery. He was shot in the leg while allegedly trying to steal a man's handgun. He was acquitted in January.

In a letter to county commissioners, attorney Peter Agostino wrote it's rare for the county to settle cases stemming from an inmate complaint. However, he said it makes sense in Brockington's case.

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