Coal mine to close this fall, costing 120 jobs

OAKLAND CITY (AP) — A Gibson County coal mine will close this fall, costing about 120 workers their jobs at the surface mine.

Peabody Indiana Services LLC says its Somerville Central Mine will close in early October. The mine opened in 2000.

The Princeton Daily Clarion reports the company says it's working with the affected employees "to identify comparable employment opportunities at four locations in Indiana and Illinois."

County commission president Steve Bottoms tells the Evansville Courier& Press that while many of the mine's workers will find other work, "they want to be coal miners."

The mine closure will be the second this year in the coal-producing region.

White Stallion Energy closed its Liberty Mine in adjacent Warrick County in April, idling about 80 workers.

Life in prison sought for man accused of smothering infant

BLOOMINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking life in prison without parole for a southern Indiana man who allegedly smothered his girlfriend's infant son with a pillow.

The 2-month-old child died July 30 as 19-year-old Dakota L. King of Bloomington was caring for him while his girlfriend was at work.

The Herald-Times reports that court documents say King told police he got upset when the baby spit up milk onto his clothes and he pushed the infant's face into a pillow until the child stopped crying.

King is jailed without bond on charges that include murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

A Monroe County judge appointed a public defender to represent King during his initial hearing last week.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with the county's public defender's office.

Police chief unable to answer questions about fatal shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis' police chief says he has doesn't know why a handgun was not found close to the body of a black man shot to death Friday by police.

Bryan Roach said Wednesday investigators are also trying to determine the circumstances of 45-year-old Deshon Downing's death.

Roach says the van Downing was riding in was stopped following a surveillance operation. He said the operation turned fatal when Downing reached for his waistband and began raising a handgun toward a police officer. Roach said two other officers at the scene shot Downing several times.

Department officials originally said Downing landed on a handgun after being shot. Roach said two handguns were found at the scene, one underneath the driver's-side seat, and another on the ground on the driver's side. Downing was on the passenger side of the van.

The driver of the van, who has not been identified by police, was unharmed and was not arrested.

Jewish sisters find swastikas in college's dorm room

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Indianapolis is investigating after two Jewish sisters from Israel found swastikas drawn inside their dormitory room just after arriving on campus for the fall term.

Michal Sasson said she and her twin sister, Shira, were still carrying their suitcases when they discovered two pinkish-red swastikas Monday night on a wall in their room at Roberts Hall. She said the shocking find "was like a kick in my stomach" and that she and her sister were scared.

"I just said: 'We're miles and miles away from home, and this is our home away from home,'" Sasson told The Indianapolis Star . "And at that moment, I felt even further away from my house. I just felt like I was excluded, and it was very painful."

The sisters, who are juniors, have attended the private university on Indianapolis' south side for the past two years. Both play basketball for the college, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

School officials said in a statement that they're "saddened and angered by this act of hate and bigotry" and are investigating.

"Although we do not yet know the source of this anti-Semitic act, we should all be reminded that the University of Indianapolis is a welcoming and inclusive environment, denounces actions such as these, and does not tolerate anti-Semitic actions or any behavior that is aligned with ideologies that promote hate," the statement says.

The university's probe will include tracking down everyone who rented campus housing over the summer or had access to the sisters' room.

School spokeswoman Sara Galer told The Associated Press that she didn't know whether the sisters were assigned to that same dorm room during the last school year.

Galer said the swastikas were apparently drawn with a type of pink eraser. "If you rub an eraser on a wall it leaves a mark. It was like that," she said.

Michal Sasson said the love and support she and her sibling have received from friends, family and school employees have made the situation easier. She said the university also booked them an off-campus hotel room for a few nights.

"I'm very pleased at the way they're handling it," she said.

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council said it appreciates the college's quick action and its statement condemning anti-Semitic acts.

"In these difficult times we ask that everyone continue to report hateful symbols and speech meant to intimidate or spread fear to the proper authorities," the council's assistant director, David Sklar, said in a statement.

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