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Two Indianapolis firefighters are recovering from injuries sustained battling flames at an abandoned apartment building on Indy’s northeast side—a fire that officials now say was intentionally set. On Wednesday night, crews were called to the location at East 42nd Street and North Brentwood Drive around 8:30 p.m. where they found the building ablaze. They brought the fire under control about 50 minutes later. Fire investigators have confirmed arson was the cause of the blaze, according to various media reports. One of the injured firefighters was treated and released at the scene, while the other was taken to Indiana University-Methodist Hospital for treatment.

Apartment residents of an Indy west-side complex have awakened to drama early this Thursday morning. Their cars were smashed in a hit-and-run overnight in their apartment’s parking lot. This incident happened, according to WRTV-6 shortly after 1 o’clock at Wildwood Village Apartments near the 3400 block of Timbersedge Drive. Witnesses report the driver of a gray sedan plowed into several parked cars and a fence, then fled on foot. Metro police are investigating.

Flashing Lights on Police Car

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IMPD is also searching for a suspect wanted for battery on a 15-year-old at a Motel 6 on Indy’s north side in the area of Castleton Mall. They answered the call Thursday morning around 3:30 a.m. The suspect is believed to be a man in his 50’s who abandoned his car and fled on foot according to WTHR. The teen wasn’t seriously hurt and the relationship between this teen and suspect is unknown. This is also an ongoing investigation.

An IMPD officer is now on paid leave as an investigation is underway into the beating of his wife. This happened Tuesday morning in their Greenwood home. Joseph Taylor’s wife was treated at IU-Methodist Hospital for broken bones in her face, bruises and internal injuries.  Greenwood police are heading up the investigation, but no charges have been filed at this time by the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office. Taylor has been on the force with IMPD for seven years.

 

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TODAY: The trial for Mark Leonard, who’s accused in the November 2012 Richmond Hill house explosion continues today in South Bend where jurors will hear from more of the neighbors about what they saw and experienced that tragic evening. Leonard is considered to be the mastermind in the explosion that killed two and damaged or destroyed 80 homes. He’s the first of five people to go to trial to face charges, including homeowner Monserrate Shirley.

TODAY: It’s a sad day for Ben Davis High School as its community is preparing to say goodbye to one of its own. Senior Savannah Bettis was killed last Thursday in a crash on Ronald Reagan Parkway, north of U.S. 36 in Avon.  It was her last day of high school. Bettis’ viewing will be held today at Chapel Rock Christian Church in the 2000 block of North Girls School Road. Her funeral is set for Friday.

Indiana is at the bottom of the list of states that made economic gains last year.  A federal report says it grew less than half-of-a-percent. The national average was 2.2 percent. Only six states ranked behind it. Analysts say much of that could be due to its heavy reliance on manufacturing.

TODAY: Governor Mike Pence is working on the state’s economics today by targeting business in Connecticut. Indiana is the latest state to take aim at Connecticut and the latest round of taxes approved by their lawmakers. According to NBC Connecticut, The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has taken an ad out in the Wall Street Journal Thursday. The full page ad in the East Coast edition calls on Connecticut-based companies to move to Indiana because “friends don’t let friends pay higher taxes.” The jab is related to the state’s $40 billion budget that includes two new taxes on businesses. After the budget passed, several companies threatened to leave Connecticut and Indiana is attempting to seize on the opportunity of what some perceive is an economic stumble.

Strawberry Shortcake

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TODAY: One Indianapolis church is working on its own economics this humid Thursday so they can continue to fund outreaches, camps and other programs in the community.  In what has become a gateway event to summer in Indy, the 50th Annual Strawberry Festival is going on until they run out of goodies today on Monument Circle downtown. This is an annual fundraiser of Christ Church Cathedral where you can purchase strawberry shortcakes made with homemade—or churchmade—biscuits, strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream (or a combo thereof). The tasty goodness got underway from the church basement at 8:30 a.m., moved out to the Circle with plenty of seating at 10 a.m. and will end when there’s no more tastiness to consume.

President Obama is sending 450 more military advisers to Iraq to train security forces for the fight against ISIS. Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said the additional deployment of trainers should help bolster the capabilities of Iraqi forces. The deployment will bring the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to roughly 3,500.

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IN SPORTS:  The NBA Finals continue tonight in Cleveland as the Cavaliers host the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena.  LeBron James carried the Cavs to a 96-91 Game Three victory on Tuesday night. Tip for game four is at 9 p.m. Eastern and it can be seen on ABC. Game Five is back in Oakland on Sunday.

THURSDAY’S INDIANAPOLIS WEATHER:  Partly cloudy skies. Humid. High of 92 degrees. (Perfect for hanging out outside at the Strawberry Festival.)

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