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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

IN partners with truckers to raise human trafficking awareness

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Thursday, January 11, 2024   

Truckers and other commercial drivers see a lot while crisscrossing Indiana, which is why they are partnering with law enforcement this week to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The partnerships make sense, as more than a million trucks pass through the "Crossroads of America" every day. When the big rigs stop at interstate inspection stations, drivers receive educational handouts about human trafficking.

Kimberly Hill, commercial enforcement district coordinator for the Indiana State Police, said truckers are learning to spot traffickers and alert authorities.

Traffickers are quick to seduce people -- especially young adults -- often lured into the shadows under false pretenses with modeling gigs or other glamorous jobs. Too many times, they are lies which draw victims into sex or labor trafficking.

"I would be remiss if I didn't mention Truckers Against Trafficking," Hill noted. "We partner with them especially for this week. We do this initiative, distributing material to the commercial vehicle industry, because they are the eyes and ears of America."

Hill pointed out that human trafficking is not only a problem in North America but around the world. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is another tool getting results. Since its inception, it has identified more than 1,000 cases and more than 2,300 victims in Indiana.

While the initiative focuses this week on truckers, everyone can help. Hill stressed if you see something, say something. In other words, watch for things that simply don't appear to be right.

"A young person being controlled by a nonfamily member, or maybe they're not dressed appropriately for current weather conditions," Hill explained. "A lot of times they're not allowed to speak for themselves, or whoever is controlling them will do all the speaking for them."

The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be accessed online, by calling 888-373-7888 or by texting 233733.


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