PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 23, 2020 


U.S. COVID-19 deaths double in last 4 months as total tops 200,000; poll workers in short supply as Texas registers a record number of voters.


2020Talks - September 23, 2020 


Mitt Romney supports putting a Supreme Court nominee to a vote. Plus, 20 million raised so far to pay court fees and fines for returning citizens to vote.

Indiana's Utility Shut-Off Moratorium Ends Today

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissions is requiring utilities to offer six-month payment plans for customers who have fallen behind on their bills during the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissions is requiring utilities to offer six-month payment plans for customers who have fallen behind on their bills during the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)
August 14, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS -- Unless the governor takes prompt action, some Hoosier households struggling in the pandemic could soon be faced with a utility disconnect notice.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission said it will not extend the emergency moratorium on utility shutoffs, which ends today.

President of the Indiana State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Barbara Bolling Williams, said with novel coronavirus cases rising and record unemployment, state leaders should not stop helping the most vulnerable.

"It has to be more than just sympathy and empathy," said Williams. "We need them to take action. We need them to say, 'We're not going to shut off utilities. We're going to give people as much support as we can; we're going to try to get people back to work as safely as possible.'"

The commission has required that utilities allow payment plans for customers for a minimum of six months, noting that the state is transitioning toward the recovery phase of the pandemic. Utility customers who are behind on their energy bills are encouraged to reach out to Indiana 211 for assistance.

Williams noted that with the summer heat, plus kids home for online learning and some parents working from home, energy bills are higher for many households. She contended the six month payment arrangement isn't reasonable for families whose incomes have taken a substantial hit.

"We have to be sensitive that if people had a two-month cushion, it's gone now," said Williams. "So, what are we doing for these four other months that they're still in the middle of all of this? "

The moratorium was originally set to expire June 29 but was extended until Aug. 14.

Duke Energy announced it won't begin disconnecting past-due customers until mid-September. Indianapolis Power and Light and Citizens Energy both have been offering payment plans for up to 12 months.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN