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Ray Szmanda, TV pitchman for Menards stores, dies at 91

ANTIGO, Wis. (AP) – The enthusiastic television pitchman who told viewers they could “save big money” at Wisconsin-based home improvement chain Menards has died. Ray Szmanda was 91. Szmanda’s son, Charles Szmanda, says his father died Sunday in home hospice care in Antigo, Wisconsin, of congestive heart failure. Ray Szmanda …

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Illinois seeks talks on keeping Asian carp from Great Lakes

By JOHN FLESHERAP Environmental Writer TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Illinois says it will work with federal officials and other states on a strategy for fortifying a Chicago-area lock and dam to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan. Gov. Bruce Rauner has sent letters to his counterparts in the …

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Indiana special session to take up school takeover measure

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – An Indiana legislative council signed off on allowing a controversial school takeover bill to be considered when lawmakers gather May 14 for a special session. The council is comprised of leaders from both parties. Majority Republicans supported taking the bill up, while Democrats voted against doing so. …

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Woman pleads guilty in Evansville motel death of boyfriend

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – An Evansville woman accused with her brother of fatally beating her boyfriend has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The Evansville Courier & Press reports 55-year-old Cheryl Rumsey entered the plea Friday in Vanderburgh Circuit Court. She originally was charged with murder in the August death of …

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Woman pleads guilty to killing mother, claiming her baby

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) – An Indiana woman will spend decades in prison for killing a mother and then trying to pass off the woman’s baby as her own. Geraldine R. Jones pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Friday in the April 2015 stabbing death of 23-year-old Samantha J. Fleming. Prosecutors …

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South Bend ordered to pay $80K in retaliation case

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – A federal judge has ordered a city in Indiana to pay more than $80,000 to a former female police officer who alleged the department illegally retaliated against her for accusing a male supervisor of sexual harassment. The South Bend Tribune reports that the Thursday order …

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Suspect in officer’s death was wanted in another killing

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – Authorities allege in court documents that a man suspected of fatally shooting a Terre Haute police officer was wanted for questioning in another man’s shooting death at the time of Friday’s deadly shootout. The Tribune-Star reports court documents state 21-year-old Christopher A. Wolfe of New …

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State election systems still waiting for security checkups

By CHRISTINA A. CASSIDYAssociated Press With the midterm primaries about to go into full swing, the Department of Homeland Security is playing catch-up in helping to ensure that state election systems are secure against cybertampering by the Russians or others bent on mischief. The department says it has completed on-site …

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Holcomb asks flags lowered in 2 counties for slain officer

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – Gov. Eric Holcomb is directing that flags be lowered to half-staff at government buildings in two western Indiana counties on the day of the funeral for a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Holcomb also asked Monday that residents and businesses …

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Georgia Southern honors NFL player killed by drunken driver

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) – Georgia Southern University has honored Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, an alumnus killed by a drunken driver in February. News outlets report Jackson’s parents, Wesley and Mary Jackson, were presented with his honorary bachelor of science degree during Saturday’s commencement ceremony. Wesley Jackson yelled “Georgia” as …

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