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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Ivy Tech Community college is raising tuition.

It will go from $2,318 a semester this past year to $2,455 a semester in 2023-2024 for students taking at least 12 hours.

In 2024-2025, tuition will go to $2,577, and that price will include some fees that had been separate. Students will also pay $17 per credit hour for all textbooks.

News release

“Ivy Tech Community College Sets Tuition and Fees for Two Years

“Two-thirds of students will see overall cost reduction

“INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today, the Ivy Tech Community College (College) State Board of Trustees passed the College’s tuition and fees for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years. The end result will be lower tuition and fees for about two-thirds of the College’s students, and Ivy Tech remains the lowest tuition in the State of Indiana with the lowest overall cost of attendance.

“‘The College takes its commitment to student affordability seriously, and we look for ways to reduce overall college costs for students in a transparent and equitable way,’ President Sue Ellspermann said. ‘Our Ivy+ Tuition and Textbooks model saves students money by providing summer flex scholarships and leveraging our purchasing power to reduce textbook costs.’

“Ivy Tech uses a banded tuition structure, which means students enrolling in 12 or more credit hours pay the same tuition regardless of the number of credits in which they enroll. This structure encourages students to graduate faster, improve their academic performance, and reduce the overall cost of their education.

“Banded tuition and mandatory fees for 2023-2024 will go from $2,318.25 per semester to $2,455.76 for 2023-2024 and $2,577.11 for 2024-2025.

“Ivy Tech is changing the structure of two fees to be incorporated into the tuition rate for 2023-24; those include a $75 per semester mandatory technology fee and a $20 per credit hour distance education fee for select modalities including classes taught through IvyOnline. Students will no longer be charged separate fees for these.

“This fee structure will improve transparency in costs and provide equity in how tuition and fees are applied across student populations. This will create savings for many students as this fee had historically been charged to all students rather than being proportional to the number of credits in which a student was enrolled. The $20 per credit hour distance education fee for select modalities including classes taught through IvyOnline is also eliminated. This fee was charged to 75 percent of students in the past academic year.

“Ivy Tech has found many innovative ways to save students on the overall cost of college; some examples include frozen tuition and free textbooks for the past two academic years. For the 2023-2024 academic year, students will pay $17 per-credit hour for all textbooks and that cost will be reduced to $16.50 in the following year. This model will save Ivy Tech students more than $17 million dollars annually in textbook costs.

“Additionally, federal and state financial aid has been increasing, so students with the most financial need will still have free community college in Indiana. The federal Pell Grant provides students with up to $3,698 per semester ($7,395 per year), which is more than the proposed Ivy Tech tuition and fees. Additionally, the State of Indiana has generous financial aid programs for students, including the Frank O’Bannon award, which provides students at Ivy Tech with up to $2,350 per semester ($4,700 per year), the 21st Century Scholars Award, which covers full tuition and fees, the Adult Student Grant, and the Workforce Ready Grant. These programs combined with Ivy Tech’s commitment to affordability help four out of every five Ivy Tech students complete with no debt.”

News release from Ivy Tech Community College received 2:40 p.m. June 8, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The celebration of Pride Month on Thursday extended to The Garage Food Hall in downtown Indianapolis.

This year’s theme was “Rainbow Rhapsody.” Guests got to unleash their inner divas with karaoke and lawn games. They also had the chance to share their stories by creating and designing a canvas that will be added to a mural that shows the Garage Pride.

Key Zee Sitshebo, a supervisor at The Garage Food Hall, said, “So, we are just here to celebrate love. That’s all we are trying to do here with the whole community, bringing in the community and just showing them love, because, I mean, who doesn’t love being loved. Right?”

The Garage Food Hall hopes to hold other celebrations throughout the year to give the community more opportunities to come together.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A motorcyclist died Thursday night in a crash involving two other vehicles on the east side of Indianapolis, police say.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was called just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday to a possible fatal crash at East 34th Street at North Hawthorne Lane. That’s in an area with a church and homes a few blocks east of Emerson Avenue and next to Wes Montgomery Park.

Investigators think a vehicle — a news release from IMPD did not say what type of vehicle — was going east and turned north onto Hawthorne Lane when a westbound motorcycle going very fast struck the vehicle. The motorcycle landed in the eastbound lane, where another vehicle — also, the type of vehicle was not shared — hit the bike.

The motorcyclist, who has not been publicly identified, dead at the crash scene.

Other motorists involved in the crash remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

IMPD’s release said, “This is preliminary information and subject to change.”

(WISH) — A boy got a second chance at hearing.

Sensorineural hearing loss happens from damage to the inner ear, the place of origin of the nerve that runs from the ear to the brain, or to the brain. There are 66,000 new cases every year. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, worked on modifying the cochlear implant to save children’s hearing as early as possible.

That’s what happened with Corbin Lapso. Now, the 2-year-old is the life of the party.

Corbin was born with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, meaning he couldn’t hear anything, even with regular hearing aids.

Makaela Lapso, Corbin’s mother, recalled the doctor’s giving them the diagnosis. “I remember her saying, ‘It’s lifelong and permanent and can only be reversed with hearing technology,’ and, at that point, the room kind of went black.”

Pediatric audiologist Samantha Anne recommended Corbin undergo bilateral implant surgery at 7 months old to restore his hearing.

Anne said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval “for implantation for infants with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss is 9 months of age. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, we strongly believe that we should get these babies to hear as early as possible, as long as it’s done in a safe manner.”

Corbin has fully recovered. Anne said, “He is thriving. He is doing probably more than he should be at his age.”

His mother said, “For some, that was, like, the end of the journey, like, he was treated, he was ‘fixed.’ But, for us, that was just the start. You know, we were finally able to see what this little guy is capable of.”

Anne and her colleagues discovered through their research that the risks of performing the surgery earlier rather than later were the same, but the outcome was much better.

Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network. This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV.

(CNN) — Cuba has agreed to allow China to build a spying facility on the island that could allow the Chinese to eavesdrop on electronic communications across the southeastern United States, two sources familiar with the intelligence told CNN.

The U.S. learned about the plan in the last several weeks, the first source said, and it is unclear whether China has already begun building the surveillance facility.

The second source familiar with the intelligence says it suggests that a deal has been struck in principle but there hasn’t been any movement on building the facility.

It would not be the first time China has attempted to spy on the United States’ electronic communications, known as signals intelligence. A suspected Chinese spy balloon that transited the U.S. in February was capable of gathering signals intelligence and is believed to have transmitted back to Beijing in near-real time, sources told CNN at the time.

In that case, the U.S. took steps to protect sensitive sites and censor intelligence signals before shooting down the balloon. But it is unclear what the U.S. can do to stop the construction of a Chinese spying facility in Cuba.

“This report is not accurate,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “We have had real concerns about China’s relationship with Cuba, and we have been concerned since day one of the Administration about China’s activities in our hemisphere and around the world. We are closely monitoring it and taking steps to counter it. We remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home and in the region.”

Kirby initially told the Journal on Thursday morning that he “cannot speak to this specific report,” but that US officials are “well aware of—and have spoken many times to—the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes, including in this hemisphere.”

Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio denied the reports.

At a press conference in Havana on Thursday, he called them “totally untrue” and “slanders.”

“Slanders like these have been fabricated frequently by US officials,” he said, alleging that the reported spy base was being used to legitimize U.S. sanctions on Cuba.

“Fallacies promoted with the malicious intention to justify the unprecedented reinforcement of the economic blockade, destabilization and the aggression against Cuba and deceive public opinion in the United States and around the world,” de Cossio added.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the new intelligence about the facility.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, a Republican, released a statement expressing concern about the reports.

“We are deeply disturbed by reports that Havana and Beijing are working together to target the United States and our people. The United States must respond to China’s ongoing and brazen attacks on our nation’s security. We must be clear that it would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States, in an area also populated with key military installations and extensive maritime traffic. We urge the Biden administration to take steps to prevent this serious threat to our national security and sovereignty,” Rubio and Warner said.

The CIA declined to comment. CNN has reached out to the Chinese and Cuban embassies in Washington, D.C.

The first source familiar with the intelligence noted that while an eavesdropping base on Cuba would be concerning, China has already established footholds inside the U.S., namely, secret police stations that the Biden administration has begun to crack down on.

The US also conducts spying missions near China, using reconnaissance aircraft that routinely engage in electronic eavesdropping. One of those US planes was recently intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet, in what the US described as a dangerous and unprofessional maneuver.

But the revelation about the potential Chinese outpost in Cuba comes as U.S.-China relations have reached a low point, following the spy balloon incident and several aggressive maneuvers by Chinese aircraft and ships against US assets in the South China Sea.

The U.S. has been trying to mend the relationship, and dispatched CIA Director Bill Burns to Beijing last month for talks with Chinese officials. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also expected to visit China in the coming weeks.

But last week, China’s defense chief refused a meeting request by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and warned the U.S. to stop operating near Chinese waters and airspace.

“The best way to prevent this from happening is that military vessels and aircraft not come close to our waters and airspace,” Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu said in Singapore last week, referring to recent close calls between Chinese and U.S. planes and ships. “Watch out for your own territorial waters and airspace, then there will not be any problems.”

The Biden administration has done little to try to improve relations with Cuba and has only resumed limited bilateral conversations on matters like migration. Following rapprochement efforts under the Obama administration, relations plummeted due to the so-called “Havana Syndrome” illness that impacted U.S. diplomats posted in the Cuban capital and the Trump administration’s decision – during the final days of that administration – to re-list Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Two new hotels are coming to Westfield.

A Holiday Inn Express will be built on the southwest corner of U.S. and 191st street. It will have 97 rooms. It’s expected to open next summer.

Fairfield Inn and Suites will be on Grand Park Boulevard. It will feature 140 rooms. It’s expected to open in 2025.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a shortage of mental health workers across Indiana, according to a professor of family medicine at Indiana University.

Hannah Maxey says the consequences of untreated mental illness are far-reaching, and they’re impacting Indiana citizens and communities.

“They can be seen in homelessness and unemployment as well as incarceration rates and low graduation rates. Perhaps most alarming is the impact that untreated mental illness may be having on our youth. Recent reports suggest that more than half of Indiana youth aged 12-17 that report having depression also report that they have not received any treatment for it.”

Maxey says she and her colleagues at IU are working on a project to strengthen Indiana’s behavioral health workforce by aligning the training pipeline and Indiana’s behavioral health service needs.

Mental health resources

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A $36 million, affordable-housing development is coming to the west side.

City leaders broke ground Thursday on The Plaza at Central Greens. The five buildings will be built on the former Central State Hospital campus in the 3000 block of West Washington Street.

The development will feature 122 housing units and amenities including a fitness area and outdoor playground. The campus also will have career counseling and education opportunities.

Rusty Carr, director of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, said during the groundbreaking, “This site is a great site for affordable housing because it sits on Washington Street in a future (IndyGo bus) Blue Line transit-oriented development corridor. So, it provides access to a number of amenities as folks need them. So. that’s really why this is a great site for affordable housing.”

Rent will range from $800 to $1,400 per month. Housing will have income restrictions.

The project is expected to be done by late 2024.

T&H Investments and Radiant Communities Development Corp. are part of the housing project.

(WISH) — Video from Indiana State Police shows a wild, high-speed chase between Indiana law enforcement and a stolen school bus.

News 8 brought viewers the story when it happened last week.

Police say it started when Chad Murdock stole the bus in Cincinnati. They say he drove it into Indiana, going through several counties.

Video shows him driving through fields trying to evade police. Officers finally got him to stop in a field in Shelby County, just southeast of Indianapolis.

Police arrested Murdock for resisting, criminal recklessness, and possession of stolen property.

Washington (CNN) — Prospective home buyers in the middle income levels in the United States are finding little on the market to buy, even if they can qualify and afford a mortgage.

These would-be buyers face the most severe housing shortage of any other income bracket, according to a new analysis from the National Association of Realtors and that found the market is short more than 300,000 affordable homes for these buyers.

The report defined a middle-income home buyer as someone in a household earning up to $75,000 a year, the median household income in the United States. Given that income, these buyers can purchase homes valued up to $256,000 without being overburdened with housing costs.

Plus, there are a lot fewer homes in this category than a few years ago.

Middle-income buyers can afford to buy less than a quarter — only 23% — of listings that are currently on the market. Five years ago, this income group could afford to buy half of all available homes, according to the report.

“Middle-income buyers face the largest shortage of homes among all income groups, making it even harder for them to build wealth through homeownership,” said Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of real estate research.

At the end of April, approximately 1.1 million homes were available for sale, an increase of 5 percentage points from one year ago — but only a fraction of those are available to middle-income buyers. Nearly 51% of households earn $75,000 or less. In a balanced market, these households would be able to afford to buy 51% of the homes available for sale.

But that’s not the case.

“Even with the current level of listings, the housing affordability and shortage issues wouldn’t be so severe if there were enough homes for all price ranges,” Evangelou said.

The report found the United States needs to add at least two affordable homes for middle-income buyers (priced up to $265,000) for every home listed for upper-income buyers (priced above $680,000).

And while the housing shortage hits all incomes, at higher levels, the gap is much narrower. For instance, buyers earning $250,000 a year can currently afford to buy 85% of the listings, close to but shy of the 93% required for a balanced market.

“A two-fold approach is needed to help with both low affordability and limited housing supply,” Evangelou said. “It’s not just about increasing supply. We must boost the number of homes at the price range that most people can afford to buy.”

Places with more affordable homes

Among the 100 largest metro areas in the United States, three Ohio metro areas — Youngstown, Akron and Toledo — have the most homes that are affordable for middle income home buyers.

In a balanced market, buyers earning $75,000 can afford to purchase 66% of the listings in the Youngstown metro area. However, these buyers can currently afford to buy 72% of the listings. This means there are about 70 additional listings with a price lower than $250,000 than what a balanced market needs.

At the other end of the spectrum, the cities with the fewest affordable homes for this cohort are El Paso, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington.

In Boise, buyers earning $75,000 can afford to buy just 2% of home listings. However, these buyers would be able to afford to buy more than 50% of the listings in a balanced market. Currently there are about 2,120 fewer listings that these buyers can afford to buy in Boise.

“Ongoing high housing costs and the scarcity of available homes continues to present budget challenges for many prospective buyers, and it’s likely keeping some buyers in the rental market or on the sidelines and delaying their purchase until conditions improve,” said Danielle Hale,’s chief economist.

“Those who are able to overcome affordability constraints may be increasingly drawn to newly constructed homes or to the suburbs and beyond, both of which may offer buyers more realistic opportunities for homeownership in the near term,” she said.