PNS Daily Newscast - January 17, 2020 

Govt. Accountability Office rules that Trump administration violated federal law on aid to Ukraine; and racial disparities in health care.

2020Talks - January 17, 2020 

Just a couple weeks out from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, four Senators are being pulled off the campaign trail for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Indiana Energy – Rising Rates and Anonymous Assistance

October 19, 2011

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - As Indiana and Michigan Power asks state regulators for a rate increase, an anonymous donor in St. Joseph County is helping offset what will likely be deep cuts to federal home-energy assistance programs which help poor families pay utility bills.

Dawn Chapla with United Way of St. Joseph County says the charity has received a major gift for the program called "Team Heat."

"An anonymous donor here in our community who really feels passionately about people staying warm and no one going without heat."

Recipients must take a free budgeting class, Chapla says, and pay $50 a month toward their utility bill to get a $50 match.

Kerwin Olson, who heads the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, says I&M has other rate requests pending besides the latest filed in September.

"They failed to mention the nearly $1.5 billion pollution-control project that they're undertaking at their Rockport power plant, that will drastically affect consumer rates, as well as a soon-to-be-filed case dealing with their Cook nuclear power plant that will be in the neighborhood of $2 billion."

Olson says I&M's customers are not alone in having to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for utilities.

"Customers in southwest Indiana that are serviced by Southwest Indiana Gas and Electric - otherwise known as Vectren - have seen their rates nearly double in less than a decade. Customers up in northwest Indiana have seen a significant rate hike from NIPSCO as well."

Meanwhile, customers of I&M are waiting to see if state regulators approve its latest request. It would hike electric rates nearly 23 percent for residential customers and 9 1/2 percent for commercial customers.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN