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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 1:00 am


Concert hall set for Brown County

associated press

NASHVILLE – A performing arts center is set to open this summer in a southern Indiana tourist mecca a decade after an arson fire destroyed the Little Nashville Opry.

Brown County Music Center officials said Monday country singer Vince Gill will perform Aug. 24 in the first show at the new 2,000-seat indoor venue in Nashville.

Executive Director Dana Beth Evans told the Indianapolis Star the $12.5 million concert hall will have beer and family gardens and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

Brown County attracts more than 3 million visitors each year to the rustic county.

Prosecutor guilty of confinement

A suburban Indianapolis prosecutor has pleaded guilty to criminal confinement and other charges for allegedly injuring a woman his home.

State police say Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper pleaded guilty Monday in Hancock County to criminal confinement, identity deception, official misconduct and domestic battery.

Under state law, the convictions remove Cooper from office. Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council spokesman Zach Osowski says Cooper's chief deputy prosecutor will serve as acting prosecutor until a Republican caucus picks a new prosecutor. Cooper has been prosecutor since 2009.

Court documents allege Cooper struck a woman and confined her without consent March 4 at his Trafalgar home. He also allegedly pretended to be the woman in electronic messages he sent to someone else.

IU bringing back sloth skeleton

Indiana University is building a replica of a giant ground sloth's skeleton that was once a star attraction in its natural history collection but was removed to make room for students during an enrollment surge following World War II.

The Herald Times of Bloomington reports that Indiana Geological and Water Survey official Gary Motz calls the removal of the skeleton “a mixed tale of regret and loss.” Some bones from the 101/2-foot tall skeleton that were tossed along with skeletons of a mastodon and a mammoth have been found.

This summer, the sloth's remaining bones will be recreated using 3-D printing and the missing ones will be cut from cardboard with a laser to reconstruct the skeleton for a traveling exhibition tied to IU's bicentennial year.

Man wins $35 in lunch break claim

A northern Indiana man who sought wages for lunch breaks he didn't take has won his claim, although a judge awarded him just $35.

Joe Lehman was seeking $3,543 he said Thor Industries' Postle Aluminum division owed him for lunch breaks he didn't take while working as a truck driver for about a year and a half.

The Elkhart Truth reports that an Elkhart County magistrate ruled Lehman's favor, but granted him a judgment of only $35, plus $125 in court costs.

The magistrate expressed frustration that both sides weren't able to present more evidence.

9 drug arrests at Indianapolis shelter

Police on Monday said they arrested nine people as part of a crackdown on alleged drug dealing outside an Indianapolis homeless shelter.

Police say the enforcement efforts are part of their continuing work to curb illegal narcotics use, overdoses and drug dealing in the city. They say drug dealers have been targeting homeless people near Wheeler Mission Ministries, offering heroin, crack/cocaine and synthetic marijuana.

Officers last Thursday raided several locations and seized guns, a bullet-resistant vest, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash.

IU digitizes plant specimens

Indiana University has wrapped up a 5-year project that digitized its collection of more than 160,000 preserved plant specimens.

The project launched in 2014 provides online access to the IU Herbarium's complete plant collection, including more than 72,000 specimens of Indiana flora.

The herbarium's director, Eric Knox, says digital photographs were obtained of the collection's plant specimens. Those images and other data are now available to researchers around the globe.

Purdue Northwest honors donor

A building at Purdue University Northwest is being named in honor of a former professor who left about $8 million from his estate for student scholarships and professorships.

The Purdue University Board of Trustees recently approved the official naming of the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building, which is under construction in Hammond and is set to open in fall 2020.