Pharos-Tribune

State News

January 19, 2014

Statehouse considering tornado siren bill

Bill would set statewide standards for storm sirens.

INDIANAPOLIS – When a potent weather system moved through Indiana last November, bringing 28 tornadoes, it was up to local officials to decide if and when to trigger their emergency warning systems.

Some sounded their outdoor storm sirens as soon the National Weather Service issued a tornado “watch.” Others waited until the more urgent tornado “warning” was issued. In hard-hit Kokomo, no sirens were sounded because the city doesn’t have them, relying instead on weather radios and the media.

Proposed legislation in the Statehouse would change that, mandating that all communities follow a statewide emergency-warning protocol established by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. It would cover both storm sirens and the new technology-based “mass notification” systems like the one Kokomo recently adopted, that sends automated warnings to cell phones, landlines and other devices.

Cost to the state of implementing the legislation, including monitoring counties to make sure they comply, may run as high as $400,000, according to a fiscal impact statement from the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. Its unknown what the potential cost may be to local communities.

The bill was filed by a lawmaker who fears confusion over what the storm sirens mean since there is no uniform standard for when and how they’re used.

“If you’re in Lafayette and you hear a weather siren go off, it might have an entirely different meaning than in Greenwood where I live,” said Republican state Sen. Brent Waltz. “I don’t care what the standards are, as long as citizens know what a siren means when it goes off.”

Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, who chairs the House Local Government Committee where the bill has been assigned, has set a hearing on the legislation for Wednesday.

Some similar legislation, authored by then-Sen. Connie Lawson of Danville (now Secretary of State), was passed in 2008: It required the state Homeland Security Department to gather information on existing storm sirens, establish minimal technical standards for new sirens and to define when those sirens should be activated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Clark County sheriff charged in prostitution probe NEW ALBANY (AP) — A southern Indiana sheriff who authorities say gave a prostitute a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then paid her for a sex act, has been charged with lying to FBI agents investigating the case. A federal

    July 29, 2014

  • Arrest made in slaying of woman found in field GREENFIELD (AP) — An Indianapolis woman has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a woman found dead last week along a central Indiana road. Twenty-seven-year-old Amanda Gonzalez was formally charged Monday with murder and assisting a cri

    July 29, 2014

  • Madison County voting records sought in US probe ANDERSON (AP) — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed Madison County voting records after absentee ballots cast in Anderson's 4th Ward determined the winners of several races. The subpoena issued by federal prosecutors seeks several records from the Ma

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana U. commemorating WWI centennial in 2014-15 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana University plans to spend the upcoming academic year exploring the lingering impact of World War I. "The Great War" began 100 years ago. Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton are joining a round-

    July 29, 2014

  • Coroner rules Lafayette toddler's death a homicide LAFAYETTE (AP) — A coroner has ruled as a homicide last week's death of a 14-month-old Lafayette girl who succumbed to a traumatic head injury. The Marion County Coroner's office reported Monday that the cause of Skylar Foster's death was blunt force

    July 29, 2014

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • 65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire WARSAW (AP) — Thousands of chickens have been killed in a fire on a northern Indiana farm. Approximately 65,000 chickens died in a fire that broke out at Egg Innovations early Monday morning. The Atwood Fire Department responded to the Warsaw busines

    July 28, 2014

  • Ebola American Doctor [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Mother: Doctor with Ebola sought to be missionary INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis woman whose son contracted Ebola while working in Liberia says family members are praying for his recovery. Dr. Kent Brantly is the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan's Purse in t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Accident at NE Indiana factory kills contractor GARRETT (AP) — A northeastern Indiana coroner says a Fort Wayne man died from a head injury he suffered when a scissor-lift toppled inside a factory as he was installing a safety feature on a crane. DeKalb County Coroner Jeff Warner says 54-year-old

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Indiana synagogue to get historical marker LIGONIER, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana museum that originally served as a synagogue for a thriving Jewish population will receive a state historical marker next month. The marker honoring the 125-year-old former temple will be unveiled Aug. 31 in t

    July 28, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.