Around the Big Ten

News from the home cities (and states) of the Big Ten universities:

INDIANA: Backyard tents for homeless worry neighbors

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – A southern Indiana man is running afoul of his neighbors by letting several homeless people spend the night in tents he's set up in his backyard.

Hal Taylor erected the tents behind his Bloomington home about a week ago and says he's just looking to provide shelter for the homeless.

But next-door neighbor Mike Dyer tells The Herald-Times that the middle of a subdivision isn't the right place for a homeless tent camp. He says many in the neighborhood are worried about their safety with the eight to 10 people staying in the tents each night.

Mayor Mark Kruzan (kru-ZAN') said he didn't think a backyard should be used as a homeless shelter, but doesn't know whether Taylor is within his rights for using his property.

WISCONSIN: Doyle says he'll sign Indian mascot bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Jim Doyle says he will sign into law a bill that would allow the state schools superintendent to ban American Indian mascots and logos.

Doyle says it's clear that some Indian mascots that refer to a specific tribe and honor their history are not offensive. But he says others that perpetuate racist stereotypes are discriminatory.

Under the proposal, a school district resident could object to the use of a race-based nickname, logo, mascot or team name.

The state superintendent would investigate and then determine whether it is discriminatory. Schools could be fined for continuing to use the mascot or logo.

WISCONSIN: Smoking rooms at bars get help from Wis. lawmakers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a bill that will make it easier for bars to offer outdoor smoking areas for customers after the statewide smoking ban goes into effect in July.

The Assembly voted 60-33 early Friday for the bill sought by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, a powerful lobbying group that represents bar owners.

Rep. Mary Hubler, D-Rice Lake, says the bill will help taverns have patio areas with open windows where smokers can light up "in the dead of winter when it is 30 below."

The measure modifies the definition of unenclosed areas where smoking will be permitted.

Under the ban approved last year, a smoking room had to have at least two walls with openings that allow air in from the outside and were at least 25 percent of the walls' surface. Under the change approved Friday, rooms with open windows on two walls would qualify.

The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Doyle.

IOWA: Iowa City to consider panhandling ordinances

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City officials are to consider several measures dealing with panhandling.

Under the proposals, the city would take nine out-of-service parking meters and paint them purple. Authorities then would ask people to donate money in the meters instead of giving funds to panhandlers. The money in the parking meters would then go to organizations that help the needy.

A proposed ordinance also would ban soliciting for money in most areas in the city's Pedestrian Mall. Outside of the Pedestrian Mall soliciting for money would be banned within 10 feet of buildings and 15 feet crosswalks and other solicitors.

The City Council is to discuss the measures on Monday and vote on Tuesday.

PURDUE: University to offer scholarships to 2 Haitian students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Purdue University is teaming up with a nonprofit group to offer earth studies scholarships to two students from earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The two recipients will be chosen by a committee from the State University of Haiti for three years of graduate study paid for by Purdue and the Voila Foundation.

Purdue President France A. Cordova says the students will receive knowledge that will "make a difference in the future of their country" by helping it prepare for future quakes.

They'll begin studying this fall with Eric Calais (Cuh-Lay), a Purdue professor of geophysics who warned of the risk of a major quake in Haiti in 2008 – two years before a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake killed more than 200,000 Haitians.

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