Fall colors and the science behind why leaves change

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)–As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop fall color is beginning to pop around the state.

According to New England’s fall foliage interactive website much of the northern U.S. is experiencing peak conditions. Parts of New England and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are already past peak.

Indiana is beginning to see some fall color. The northern part of the state is seeing near peak conditions while central Indiana is experiencing patchy color. Areas in the southeastern part of the state hasn’t seen much change yet.

While weather does have an impact on the fall colors the length of day is what really helps the leaves to change color. The lack of sunlight helps to break down chlorophyll in the leaves. This is what makes the leaves green.
Once the days become shorter and chlorophyll becomes less vibrant red, yellow and orange colors come out.

Weather conditions do make a difference in how long fall colors last or how vibrant they are. An early frost and drought have negative impacts on leaves changing color. While moderate to heavy rain and near normal temperatures allow colors to really pop.


2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.