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To attend
Select Commission on Education: 1 p.m. today, Indiana House Chamber; watch live webcast at
Criminal Code Evaluation Commission: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Room 431, Statehouse, Indianapolis
Tox-Away Day: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, International Truck and Engine parking lot, 2911 Meyer Road
The week ahead

Sentencing study

Efforts to reform Indiana’s criminal laws – which Gov. Mitch Daniels has supported – have largely failed in the past two legislative sessions. So a legislative study committee begins hearings on the issue this week.

Much controversy from the Daniels administration’s original plan centers on the proposal to sentence many defendants convicted of non-violent, low-level crimes to county jails or local alternative sentencing instead of prison. More than half the inmates in state prisons are convicted of the least severe felonies.

The proposal also called for shorter sentences for possession of small amounts of cocaine and making the theft laws more flexible to reflect the value of what was stolen.

Prosecutors complained the proposal was too lenient, and some county-level officials were concerned about the costs of supervising convicts locally.

Committee members are expected to hear the results of a new study by The Center for Criminal Justice Research, which is expected to support some of the positions held by opponents to the reform measure.

University of Fort Wayne?

The discussion takes place in Indianapolis, but the topic is all about Fort Wayne today as the Indiana Select Commission on Education learns about Purdue University’s oversight of IPFW.

Auburn Republican Dennis Kruse, an IPFW graduate and co-chairman of the commission, has raised the suggestion that the regional campus, with administrative oversight by Purdue, might fare better as an independent institution.

“One idea is to rename the college ‘Fort Wayne University,’ ‘Fort Wayne State University’ or ‘University of Northern Indiana,’ allowing IPFW to become its own entity but keep its affiliation with Purdue and IU,” Kruse wrote in a Senate Republican Caucus news release.

“Another proposal would have the school separate itself completely and become an independent university.”

The agenda lists testimony from numerous northeast Indiana and Purdue officials: Kruse; Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City; Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne; IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein; Vice Chancellor Steve Sarratore; faculty senate leader Andrew Downs; Chancellor Emeritus Michael Wartell; Vice Chancellor Walt Branson; Peter Dragnev, Purdue faculty representative; Michael Nusbaumer, IU faculty representative; Tim Sands, acting president of Purdue; Victor Lechtenberg, acting vice president for academic affairs and provost; and John Applegate, executive vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy at IU.

Season opener

A major drama opens in New York on Wednesday.

Nah, we aren’t talking about theater. It’s the National Football League, which year after year offers fans not only the games, but also dramatic conflicts with larger-than-life characters and occasionally comedy.

At 8:30 p.m., the NFL starts its regular season with a game between teams whose rivalry comes and goes, depending on how good they are.

One of the teams is the New York Giants. Or, to some commentators, the New York football Giants. The people who use that phrase are drawing a distinction between the football team and the New York baseball Giants, a team that has not existed for more than 50 years.

The other team is the Dallas Cowboys, once America’s Team. Now that they’re not very good, they have to settle for being Dallas’ team.

It will be the 100th regular-season game between these teams. The Cowboys lead the series 56-41-2.

The Indianapolis Colts open at 1 p.m. Sunday against the Bears in Chicago.

Tox-Away Day

Allen County residents’ annual opportunity to dispose safely of unwanted toxic substances cluttering their garages, basements and kitchen cabinets is Saturday. Tox-Away Day, sponsored by the Allen County Solid Waste Management District, allows residents to dispose of household cleaners and chemicals affordably and safely.

For a small fee residents can dispose of most toxic household substances. It’s an easy way to get rid of unwanted items while ensuring those substances don’t end up in the local landfill.

Residents can bring household cleaners, health and beauty products, batteries, pesticides, herbicides, items containing mercury, oil-based paint, pool chemicals and fertilizers to the event. Radioactive, medical and industrial waste will not be accepted. For more information about fees and what will and won’t be accepted at Tox-Away Day, go to