Whitney Downard

Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

Indiana’s dismal maternal mortality rate increases

By: - September 28, 2022

Women giving birth in Indiana die at alarmingly high rates that only seem to be worsening, as detailed in the latest state report reviewing maternal mortality deaths in 2020.  In its third annual report, the Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee reported its highest pregnancy-associated death rate yet, with 117.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births […]

Federal government approves EV infrastructure plan

By: - September 27, 2022

The federal government approved Indiana’s funding plan for a statewide electric vehicle (EV) charging network under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. The state will receive nearly $100 million over the next five years to incentivize EV chargers. Under the program, the direct current EV chargers must located along a major roadway, like an […]

Black Hoosiers meet with DOT, call for racial equity in EV charging plan

By: - September 27, 2022

With over $100 million of federal money earmarked for electric vehicle infrastructure in Indiana, a group of Black Hoosiers met with federal Department of Transportation representatives Monday, urging the agency to reject the state’s plan in favor of one more equitable to communities of color.  Denise Abdul-Rahman, the environmental and climate justice chair for the […]

Lawmakers weigh in on next budget session

By: - September 26, 2022

Democrats and Republicans on a recent budget panel showcased different approaches to Indiana’s next two-year spending plan — from saving and paying down debt to one-time vs. ongoing investments.  Indiana’s revenues continue to outperform projections, bolstering swollen coffers as stakeholders prepare to draft the 2023 budget amid ongoing inflation and economic concerns. The state’s savings […]

Supreme Court weighs jurisdiction of juvenile gun case

By: - September 23, 2022

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in the case of a young boy who admitted to dangerous possession of a firearm shortly before the jurisdiction of such offenses was upended by the same court. “It’s not whether you can ever prosecute it, it’s where you can,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush said.  The 14-year-old defendant, […]

Legislators hear testimony for, against legalizing marijuana

By: - September 21, 2022

Lawmakers considered the advantages and shortcomings of legalizing certain cannabinoids Tuesday, potentially as a precursor to legalizing the plant itself for recreational use. But the research offered frequently conflicted and the committee abruptly ended, with discussion expected to continue next month. Over the course of four hours, committee members from the interim health committee heard […]

More female voters ready to cast a ballot in November

By: - September 20, 2022

More female than male Hoosiers registered to vote or updated their voting information in Indiana following the leak of the Dobbs’ decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in May.  The trend mirrors a national surge of women registering to vote after learning about the ruling that would overturn abortion access to millions of women, including […]

Morales campaign mum on candidate’s military service records

By: - September 19, 2022

Republican candidate for Secretary of State Diego Morales isn’t responding to questions surrounding his military service with the Indiana National Guard, even as confusion mounts over his records. Last week, IndyStar columnist James Briggs and Politico correspondent Adam Wren released Morales’ discharge forms which indicated that Morales didn’t fulfill his eight-year commitment. The Morales campaign […]

Indiana governor defends state’s abortion law as legal challenge against the ban heats up

By: and - September 16, 2022

Indiana’s Republican governor continued to defend the state’s near-total abortion ban after the new abortion law took effect on Thursday, saying he’s not concerned about possible economic repercussions or impacts on the state’s ability to retain and attract skilled workers. The Hoosier state is the first in the nation to approve abortion-restricting legislation since the […]

Holcomb appoints Veleta to IURC

By: - September 15, 2022

Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed David E. Veleta to fill a vacancy on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) left by the resignation of David Ober on June 21, 2022. Veleta’s term will end January 31, 2024. “David is well-respected in the utility industry, by the IURC Commissioners and staff members,” said Holcomb in a release. […]

All the information Hoosiers need to participate in democracy

By: and - September 15, 2022

Our newsroom doesn’t take democracy for granted, and we hope you don’t either. This story is part of a collaboration called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms nationwide are drawing attention to threats to democracy. We hope it reminds us all to value our democracy and work to protect it. Below, learn about the mechanics of […]

Holcomb names Foley Indiana Court of Appeals judge

By: - September 14, 2022

Morgan County Judge Peter Foley will succeed Edward W. Najam, Jr. as a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals after Gov. Eric Holcomb’s appointment Thursday. Najam upcoming retirement and the appointment of his successor had implications in the search for a judge to hear the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana lawsuit against the […]