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  • Listening is key to health care compromise
    If the first feedback from their Hoosier Healthcare Tour is any indication, congressman Larry Bucshon and state Rep. Tim Brown aren’t likely to change their views on the Affordable Care Act.
  • Lots of smoke but little fire to reduce Indiana’s smoking habit
    State officials are appealing a $63 million reduction in Indiana’s share of tobacco master settlement payments. But even without the penalty, Indiana’s tobacco prevention and cessation efforts are sputtering.
  • State continues its struggle with tax-burden balance
    If you’re mailing a check to the Indiana Department of Revenue today, you might already have pondered the disconnect between how much you’re paying in state and local taxes and the tax-cut boasting you hear from state officials.

Weekly scorecard


Allen County SPCA: The local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found homes for 819 pets in 2012 – up a whopping 74 percent over 2011. Not coincidentally, Jessica Henry took over as director in 2012.

Sales: Retailers report December holiday shopping was up 4.5 percent over last year, while auto sales surged 13 percent for the year.

122nd Fighter Wing: With presidential approval of the defense budget this week, the mission and staffing levels of the local Air National Guard base will remain steady for at least another year.


John Boehner: The Republican speaker successfully gets the fiscal cliff prevention vote through the House, and is re-elected to the top House position. But he refuses to allow a pre-New Year’s vote on aid for Hurricane Sandy victims, and he drops the F-bomb – twice – on Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.


Fructose: Scientists find that this form of sugar can be worse than glucose and other sugars because it does not trigger a feeling of being full.

Cinemark: Texas-based theater owner offends survivors of Aurora, Colo., massacre by inviting them to participate in reopening of the theater where their loved ones died. Invites to the Jan. 17 event arrived two days after Christmas.

Crooks: Authorities make an arrest in the attempted holdup of a local post office because the suspect left behind his cellphone. In an unrelated case, police nab two men suspected of robbing a pizza deliverer by tracking their muddy shoeprints.

Child pornographers: Federal agents arrest more than 200 people across the nation on child pornography charges, including four Hoosiers.


Ann Helmke: The director of Vincent Village since 1991, Helmke retires after overseeing tremendous growth of the city’s first shelter for homeless families.

Background checks: Soaring gun sales in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre result in 2.8 million background checks in December, according to the FBI. The number was up nearly 50 percent over December 2011.

New Hampshire: When the newly elected U.S. representatives and senators were sworn in this week, the state became the first with an all-female congressional delegation. Plus the state’s governor, speaker of the House and chief justice are all women.

Patti Page: Upon the singer’s death at age 85 this week, many obituaries emphasized her success with “Tennessee Waltz,” perhaps the first hit to cross over from the pop charts to country as well as rhythm and blues. But we remember another of her hits – “(How Much is) That Doggie in the Window.” She was also known for being one of the first singers – perhaps the first – to overdub her own voice.