Charlotte Tuggle

Reporter

My name is Charlotte Tuggle and I'm a reporter at WBAA. For three years, I was a news intern at the station before graduating from Purdue and becoming a full-time staff member. During my last year as an intern, I was named the Indiana Student Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists. I'm very excited to stay and work with such an honest, dedicated team here at WBAA!

Eric Norris / flickr.com/photos/sfxeric/3964596491

West Lafayette is gearing up to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors – joining a long list of U.S. cities going after painkiller producers in the courtroom.

More than a dozen manufacturers are to be named in the lawsuit, including Johnson & Johnson, Allergan and Purdue Pharma. They’re some of the companies responsible for such drugs as Norco and Oxycontin. The city will allege those companies, in its words, “deceptively marketed” opioids.

Opiate distributors will also be named in the lawsuit, alleging those parties failed to report and stop high-quantity orders.

Tex Texin / flickr.com/photos/textexin/3612094774

In March, the Frankfort Police Department will begin to treat every drug overdose as a crime scene in an effort to find and convict drug dealers.

According to new overdose guidelines, officers will first respond to the overdose in a medical sense. And if an opioid was involved, they’ll administer the overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

Then, officers will collect evidence and statements from the scene to help build criminal cases against drug dealers.

Deputy Chief Scott Shoemaker says he’s confident most victims won’t cooperate, so police will dig deeper.

https://tippecanoein.gtlvisitme.com/app

Law enforcement officials are revamping the Tippecanoe County jail’s visitation system, beginning next week.

A web portal will allow scheduling of onsite visits with an inmate and a remote visit function, via a Skype-like video feed. A video-chat will cost $4 for ten minutes or $10 for 25 minutes. Visitors can register a “visit” online or via kiosk in the department lobby.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Many Indiana county jails struggle with overcrowding, so a common practice is to transfer inmates to another jail that has available space. That process can cost local law enforcement thousands of dollars a month, as sheriffs are effectively renting cell space from each other.

In Wabash County Sheriff Bob Land’s office, there’s a sign hanging above his desk that reads, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them."

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County Health Department officials report a 93-percent syringe return rate among recurring participants during the first six months of the county’s needle exchange program.

A total of 138 people – most between the ages of 30 and 40 – have participated. The department has distributed about 11,000 needles in that time.

County Health Officer Jeremy Adler says the department has also focused on connecting participants with resources including substance abuse treatment, mental health services and Hepatitis C and HIV testing.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A major flood warning is in effect for the area around the Oakdale Dam, just south of Monticello, where heavy rain has flooded the Tippecanoe River.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources officers spent Wednesday morning out on boats, helping residents to evacuate. Several mobile homes along the water are submerged, and houses downstream flooded.

Conservation officer Dan Dulin says many residents opt to wait out the floods, but he’s concerned about more rain expected later this week.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County is one of four in the state selected to start a data-collecting pilot program on drug overdose deaths.

The Tippecanoe County Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team would report to the state health department who is dying from drug overdoses, circumstances surrounding each death and any commonalities between cases.

Deputy Prosecutor Jason Biss says the team’s job is to examine each overdose beyond the autopsy.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

This week marks one year since St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer announced it would be suspending operations. School officials say the college – as it was – is dead. And it’s still uncertain if – or how – the college might reopen.

Just a year ago, students were shuffling to and from class under the towering chapel on the St. Joseph’s campus. It’s since fallen silent.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Days after West Lafayette’s Unitarian Universalist Church was vandalized with posters bearing threatening language, the community gathered to show unity Wednesday evening. Many say it’s just the first step to prevent threats in the future.

Government officials condemned those responsible for the racist and homophobic language by calling it cowardly behavior, and an act of attention-seeking. Religious leaders praised the community, and some spoke of the familiarity of the type of attack.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

SECOND OF A TWO-PART SERIES

Universities are seeing success in recruiting more women to their computer science programs, but making sure they want to stay in the major is a different challenge. And colleges can struggle to make sure the environment is as inclusive as possible.

For example, in the computer science department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, there’s only one bathroom.

The building only has room for one, and for a while it was men-only.

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