Indiana News

New law eliminates “R” word from Indiana code

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The governor conducted a ceremonial bill signing Friday for a law that makes the Indiana code more politically correct.

This is all about the “R” word.

It’s a term that was once considered appropriate, but is no longer: retardation.

“No one wants to be called retarded,” said Melody Cooper of Self Advocates of Indiana. “Nobody.”

Cooper says it happened to her in high school and earlier this year she testified in favor of the new law.

As a result, she got to introduce Mike Pence at the bill signing.

“I wanna be able to celebrate with all of you,” said the governor, “that your voices have been heard.”

The new law means that retardation will be replaced in the Indiana code by two words: “intellectual disabilities.”

And the bill signing is the end of a process that included unanimous support in the General Assembly.

“Because people with disabilities,” said Kim Dodson of the Arc of Indiana, “really want the respect that every citizen in the state of Indiana has.”

“And they wanted to change it to something that made them feel more positive about their disabilities,” said Betty Williams of Self Advocates, “and made them feel more like they had capabilities.”

That is, something that isn’t considered an insult.

Advocates say that the state of Indiana has been good about passing bills to protect the rights of the intellectually disabled and to give them educational and economic opportunities.

State law now reflects that progressive approach.


Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.