DNR will pay Hoosiers for certain tree seeds, nuts

VALLONIA (AP) — With fall approaching, Indiana forestry officials are reminding Hoosiers that they'll pay them for seeds from certain tree species.

The Department of Natural Resources says its Division of Forestry orchestrates a statewide seed collection annually with the goal of diversifying their seed source.

That diversification allows the agency to raise seedlings well adapted to grow into mature trees across Indiana.

The DNR pays seed collectors on the basis of "pure live seed" that meet DNR specifications, including being free of diseases and insects.

Some of the numerous tree species the DNR wants seeds for are black walnut, red oak, bur oak and shellbark hickory. The prices the agency will pay for qualifying seeds include 1 cent for each black walnut seed and 3 cents for each shagbark hickory seed.

Year remains on demolishing closed power plant

TERRE HAUTE (AP) — Crews still have another year of demolition work remaining on a western Indiana power plant that Duke Energy shut down in 2016.

The coal-burning Wabash River Generating Station near Terre Haute began operating in 1953 and was closed after Duke decided that upgrading with new pollution controls for current air pollution standards was too expensive.

The Tribune-Star reports the four-year demolition project has included removal of asbestos and 121,000 gallons of transformer oil. A 452-foot tall smokestack was imploded in January 2018.

Duke site manager Mike Wertz says work is being done to salvage some of the plant's estimated 60,000 tons of carbon steel. He says implosion of its 630-foot long main turbine house is planned for spring 2020.

Hill stalls BMV gender change rule

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the state's attorney general has stalled a measure that would allow people to change their gender on driver's licenses and IDs.

Bureau spokeswoman Susan Guyer tells The Journal Gazette that Attorney General Curtis Hill declined to sign off on the rule because the public wasn't sufficiently informed of the plan.

The bureau proposed the rule that would require a birth certificate or a special state Department of Health form to change gender on licenses and IDs. It was slated to become effective in October.

Hill's decision last week jeopardizes the department's plan to allow gender change on a birth certificate with a physician's statement.

The move isn't a formal rejection, but it puts the rule on hold while changes are considered.

New African American Heritage Trail dedicated in Evansville

EVANSVILLE (AP) — A new heritage trail has been dedicated in Evansville that traces the history of African-Americans in the southwestern Indiana city.

The new "African American Heritage Trail" opened Wednesday,

WEHT-TV reports that the trail provides a walking tour past Lincoln School, Liberty Baptist Church and the area's business district, with stops that include stories and landmarks.

The trail was dedicated by the Evansville African American Museum and Evansville's metropolitan development department.

Museum founder Sondra Matthews says that "history is just not a part of our education process" but also something that should be available "at home, in the churches, and in the community."

Brochures for the walking tour are available at the trail-head at the Evansville African American Museum.

Judge pleads guilty in fight that led to shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana judge has pleaded guilty to a battery charge stemming from a fight outside an Indianapolis fast-food restaurant in which he and another judge were shot and wounded.

Marion County court records show felony charges against Clark County Circuit Judge Andrew Adams were dismissed but that he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor battery charge.

Adams won't spend any additional time in jail as he was given a one-year suspended sentence.

A grand jury indicted Adams for his role in an argument that turned violent outside a White Castle early May 1. He and the other judge were visiting Indianapolis for a work-related conference.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Adams expressed remorse in court Monday, calling it "a regretful situation."

The alleged gunman is awaiting trial on felony charges.

Woman charged with strangling stepdaughter waives counsel

MARION (AP) — An Indiana woman charged in the strangulation death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter has waived her right to an attorney and says she will represent herself in court.

Thirty-four-year-old Amanda Carmack of Gas City made the waiver during her initial court appearance Monday in Grant Circuit Court on charges of murder, neglect, domestic battery and strangulation in the death of Skylea Carmack. A judge appointed a standby counsel.

A probable cause affidavit states that Carmack confessed to the killing Wednesday, four days after she reported Skylea missing. Police found Skylea's body hidden in a garbage bag in a shed behind the family's home.

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Carmack is jailed without bond.

Brown County switches on 'leaf cam' that eyes fall foliage

NASHVILLE (AP) — Brown County tourism officials have switched on their seasonal "leaf cam" that monitors the forested region's changing fall foliage.

The camera that's perched atop a cabin near the southern Indiana county's Bean Blossom overlook shows a panoramic view of the scenery nearby, and refreshes every 15 minutes.

The forested view of the county that's a popular tourist destination currently shows largely green leaves. But the foliage will be filling up with autumnal reds, yellows, oranges and browns in the coming weeks.

The Herald-Times reports that the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau says that between late September and early November the county's trees will put on a showy display with an array of colors.

Mid-October is usually the peak season for those colors. Weather can affect its arrival time.

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