Author

Casey Smith

Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Smith has had internships and fellowships at the Investigative Program in Berkeley, California, The Indianapolis Star, the Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post, National Geographic, USA Today and other publications. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

Study: Indiana’s growing refugee population needs language services, housing, job access

By: - August 26, 2022

Language services, affordable housing and access to jobs are among the top needs of Indiana’s growing refugee population, according to a new report published this week by Indiana University researchers. Researchers at IU’s Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy (CRISP) used interviews with local refugees and employees at refugee-serving agencies in Indiana to […]

Indiana launches new statewide grant program to provide tutoring for low-income Hoosiers

By: - August 24, 2022

A new statewide grant program will provide low-income Indiana families with funds to support tutoring for students who are struggling to recover from academic setbacks spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials announced Wednesday. The Indiana Learns program will provide qualifying families with up to $1,000 to spend on high-dosage tutoring for math and English/language […]

Applications open for Indiana grant program that enables students to help their communities

By: - August 23, 2022

A statewide initiative that enables high school students to act on ideas to improve their communities announced a new round of funding and a call for applications. Five cohorts of students across Indiana will be chosen to participate in the My Community, My Vision program, which provides four months of workshops, planning, and fundraising for […]

Indiana Gov. Holcomb visits Taiwan, South Korea amid increasing foreign tensions

By: - August 23, 2022

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday to kick off a privately-funded economic development trip in Taiwan and South Korea. The Republican governor’s visit comes at a time when relations between Taiwan, China and the U.S. are notably tense. Holcomb arrived in Taiwan Sunday evening for a four-day visit that […]

Many Indiana students have to pay for school lunches again — which could increase debt

By: - August 22, 2022

After two years of receiving free school lunches, thousands of Hoosier families will have to pay for them again this fall, including at dozens of eligible Indiana schools that could continue offering free food but chose not to. Federal child nutrition waivers were offered as a form of COVID-19 relief starting in March 2020, enabling […]

Indiana, Lilly Endowment to invest $111M towards improving Hoosier students’ literacy

By: - August 18, 2022

ANDERSON, Ind. — Indiana will make its largest-ever financial investment in literacy after statewide standardized test scores showed that nearly one in five Hoosier third graders this past spring did not master foundational reading skills. Up to $111 million in combined support from the Indiana Department of Education and the Lilly Endowment is intended to […]

Indiana GOP announces major change in Senate majority leadership

By: - August 17, 2022

The Indiana Senate announced a major leadership change Wednesday in the GOP-dominated chamber, although it’s not clear what prompted the switch. Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, named Sen. Chris Garten, R-Charlestown, as the new majority floor leader of the Senate’s majority caucus in a written announcement. Garten replaces Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, who […]

Indiana Sen. Mike Braun pushes for more spending on agriculture research, development

By: - August 17, 2022

LEESBURG, Ind. — Indiana Sen. Mike Braun said increasing government spending on agriculture research should be a top priority for the federal government as lawmakers in Congress craft their ongoing response to food security issues. The Republican senator met with agricultural industry leaders, including from Bayer and Purdue University, during a panel talk on Tuesday […]

farm bill

Indiana farmers adopting more cover crops, but more still needed

By: - August 15, 2022

Indiana reported a record number of cover crops this year to help absorb nutrients and reduce runoff, but scientists and environmental activists say more should be done to help improve water quality locally and regionally. Hoosier farmers planted cover crops and small grains on 1.5 million acres of farmland in late 2021, matching a record […]

More Hoosier students finishing college degrees on time, early data shows

By: - August 12, 2022

An increasing number of Indiana students who start college are finishing their degrees, but state officials say they still want to see more Hoosiers earning higher education credentials overall.  Preliminary data released Thursday by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) showed the on-time college completion rate for 2021 graduates continued a five-year improvement trend. […]

New test scores show Hoosier third graders slightly improved, but reading skills still lacking

By: - August 10, 2022

Nearly one in five Hoosier third graders this past spring did not master foundational reading skills, according to new standardized test results released Wednesday. While Indiana’s younger students have improved, the test results still lag behind pre-pandemic reading fluency.  New data reveals 81.6% out of the 65,000 third graders at public and private schools in […]

Indiana governor calls special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski

By: - August 9, 2022

Indiana’s governor on Tuesday formally called a special election to fill the congressional seat made vacant after U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, was killed last week in a car crash. The special election to complete Walorski’s unexpired term will be held concurrently with the general election on Nov. 8, according to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive […]