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NWI Forum, Ports of Indiana formalize partnership • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

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NWI Forum, Ports of Indiana formalize partnership • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine


The Northwest Indiana Forum and the Ports of Indiana are partnering on multiple strategic initiatives to build the economic vitality of the Region.

The partnership will focus on trade expansion, economic development and environmentally friendly shipping projects in Northwest Indiana.

“We are excited to partner with the Ports of Indiana,” said Heather Ennis, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, in a press release. “Having a deep freshwater port in our area gives Northwest Indiana a competitive advantage. We look forward to strengthening the impact this asset can have as we grow the economy of the Region together.”

The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor’s economic impact tops $4.6 billion a year statewide.

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“This new partnership will help us chart a high-speed course for regional growth, port development and collaboration in Northwest Indiana,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “The Northwest Indiana Forum has been a tremendous resource for our ports and our state for many years, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnership and formalize our strategic objectives so that we can jointly tackle more complex challenges and bigger opportunities than ever before.”

The two groups also are considering new sites for economic development that would benefit from various modes of transportation.

Ports of Indiana is a member of the Forum and is committed to greater participation in the organization, along with a possible slot on the board of directors.

The Forum’s membership includes 140 organizations in the seven-county Region. The Ports of Indiana was established in 1961 and operates three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan.





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Kendall Brown leaves questions to be answered about Indiana Pacers roster after summer league

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Kendall Brown leaves questions to be answered about Indiana Pacers roster after summer league


LAS VEGAS — Kendall Brown was one of the more important players for the Indiana Pacers to monitor during summer league play, but his performances left more questions than answers.

The 21-year old wing is entering his third NBA season after being drafted by the Pacers in 2022. Back in March, he signed a new three-year contract with the blue and gold, though it is non-guaranteed for the upcoming season (many of the details were reported here in Pacers On SI). If Brown is still on the roster come opening night, $250k of his agreement becomes guaranteed.

That’s why summer league was important for Brown — he had a chance to prove that he should stick with Indiana into the regular season. Given the team’s proximity to the luxury tax for the 2024-25 league year, any wasted roster space or contracts are a hindrance. The front office needs to be certain in their moves.

“Just that I can do everything. Just my ability to pass, score, play defense,” Brown said when discussing what he hoped to show during summer league play. “Just run. My athleticism.”

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Brown’s play in summer sessions did little to provide clarity about his future. The Baylor product averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game while making 41.5% of his shots. At his best, he showed growth with his slashing ability. During his first summer league outing, he lived at the foul line and was efficient.

But when there were multiple bodies in the lane or there was less space to operate, Brown struggled. He coughed up more turnovers than he had assists, a disappointing outcome for a player who hoped to show passing improvement. He didn’t finish plays well despite being able to jump out of the gym. After his first outing, things were rough.

Across his last four performances, Brown averaged 7.3 points per game and knocked down just 36.7% of his shot attempts. He made one three in total during that stretch. His first outing can’t be overlooked — it was impressive and contained vital skills. But the young wing needed to be better and more consistent throughout summer league than he actually was.

“Just being able to attack, and then them cutting me off, and me being able to change direction and spin or get down hill. Just being able to finish,” Brown said after that first game of how he was hoping to combine his athleticism with ball skills. “I feel like that’s what I’m really good at. I can finish a lot of different ways.”

That never all clicked. The Minnesota native was solid in the second half of a win over the Phoenix Suns, but he didn’t put together another complete performance. Despite having unbelievable athletic tools, Brown didn’t stand out as much as other third-year players.

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“Just still showing my athleticism, my ability to pass, make my teammates better,” Brown said of his summer league hopes. He wanted to show that he’s still getting better.

Brown wasn’t appreciably better than he was in summer league back in 2023, where he scored slightly less but was far more efficient and pulled in more rebounds. He was coming off of any injury last year, though, so he was asked to do less. His assists numbers and free throw rate did climb significantly from year to year.

All together, Brown’s play during the five games in Las Vegas leaves questions about his contract status heading into training camp. He isn’t owed any money until opening night, so there is little reason for the Pacers to rush into any decision. But a strong summer league could have given Indiana proof that the young wing was still ascending heading into 2024-25.

Instead, the front office now has to decide if it is worth using a roster spot, and financial resources, on a forward with athleticism that may not be ready to contribute for another year. Brown would be behind Jarace Walker and Johnny Furphy in any hypothetical rotation, so minutes could be hard to come by anyway.

The Pacers don’t have to decide on Brown’s future right now. Waiving him today would be an early choice. Instead, they get to training camp and see how Brown looks before the season begins. In that setting, he will be playing in his role instead of a more challenging one on a summer squad with limited shot creation.

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Preseason games could matter, too, and Brown will have to produce. He may have had some wiggle room to struggle or look stagnant in those outings if he had a dominant summer league. But instead, the young forward came up short and still needs to show he has added skill.

Indiana could opt to move Brown’s contract guarantee date and pay him on a prorated basis when the season starts, but his guaranteed money number is so low that such a move has little benefit. There is no advantage to moving on from the young forward now, either, so Brown’s unimpressive summer league has left the blue and gold in their current reality where the best option is to wait.

Financial flexibility could matter for Indiana this season. Brown has to prove he is more valuable than that, and after a down summer league, he is running out of time to do it.



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Mistrial declared in case of Indiana man accused of fatally shooting 5, including pregnant woman

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Mistrial declared in case of Indiana man accused of fatally shooting 5, including pregnant woman


INDIANOLIS — A judge declared a mistrial in the case of an Indianapolis man accused of fatally shooting five people, including a pregnant woman, after a witness verbally confronted the defendant in front of the jury.

Mistrial declared in case of Indiana man accused of fatally shooting 5, including pregnant woman

Marion County Superior Judge Chris Miller declared the mistrial Tuesday in the trial of Raymond Ronald Lee Childs III, who faces six counts of murder in the January 2021 slayings in an Indianapolis home.

Childs, 20, was arrested a day after the attack and accused of killing his father, stepmother, two teenage relatives, a woman nearly due to give birth, and her unborn son.

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The mistrial came after a key witness in the case, Elanso Valez, testified that in the hours after the killings, he had picked up Childs and drove him around Indianapolis. He said Childs later covered his eyes and wept while laying on a bed at Valez’s home in Plainfield, just west of Indianapolis.

“Y’all remember that?” Valez asked Childs from the witness stand, WXIN-TV reported.

The defense and prosecution teams quickly sought to cut Valez off, and the judge tried to intercede from the bench, but Valez continued, asking: “Why did you do it, Raymond?”

The judge admonished Valez for his comments in front of the jurors and sent them from the courtroom so he could speak with attorneys and then each juror individually.

Miller then declared a mistrial, saying he’s “firmly convinced that Mr. Childs cannot get a fair trial.” He set a status conference for Monday with the attorneys.

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The killings followed an argument over Childs, who was 17 at the time, staying out late, according to court records. Prosecutors said Childs methodically went from room-to-room, shooting the victims.

The attack killed Childs’ father, Raymond Childs Jr., 42; his stepmother, Kezzie Childs, 42; the couple’s daughter, Rita Childs, 13; son Elijah Childs, 18; and Elijah’s 19-year-old girlfriend Kiara Hawkins, who died at a hospital along with her unborn son.

Childs’ 15-year-old brother also was shot but survived after fleeing the house to escape the gunfire.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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Indiana students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements

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Indiana students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements


The Indiana Youth Institute said enhancing educational opportunities means more resources for underfunded schools, to help bridge learning gaps for all Indiana students. Photo by Adobe Stock.

By Joe Ulery
Indiana News Service

As students in Indiana head back to school, they will encounter some stricter classroom rules, including new reading requirements and a tighter absenteeism policy.

Advocates believe the new laws, enacted this year, will enhance the lives of young people.

Tami Silverman, president and CEO of the nonprofit Indiana Youth Institute, said a notable new state law mandates students who fail a reading assessment must repeat the third grade.

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“Senate Bill 1, ‘Every Child Learns to Read,’ and really thinking about that third-grade literacy,” Silverman explained. “How are we going to continue to build a foundation so that all of our kids — particularly our youngest ones — get those strong early reading skills?”

The 2024 Indiana Kids Count Data Book revealed only one-third of Indiana fourth-grade students were reading at or above proficiency levels, marking a four-percentage-point decrease from the 2019 rate of 37%.

Also starting this fall, schools are required to report students who have 10 or more unexcused absences to the local prosecutor’s office. The new law may result in legal action against parents whose kids miss too much school.

Looking ahead to the 2025 Indiana legislative session, Silverman noted there is discussion to improve mental health services to address growing concerns among students and educators.

“We’ll continue to look at youth mental health and the services that are needed,” Silverman emphasized. “Many of our kids are suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies or contemplation, so we do know there’s already a lot of discussion about that.”

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Silverman believes the changes could have a profound impact on the future of Indiana’s youth, providing them with more tools and support to succeed. She added her organization will continue advocating for changes aimed at creating more equitable environments for all children in the state.

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