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Indiana briefs: Officer on trial; GOP seeks to have legislature compile A-F school grades

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 11:53 am

Officer: Bisard worried about vodka

An Indianapolis police officer facing charges in a fatal crash told a colleague he was concerned that traces of alcohol were still in his blood because he had “several” drinks of vodka at home the night before.

Officer Dan Ryan testified that David Bisard was not so worried about exceeding the legal limit for being drunk but with having enough alcohol still in his system to get him in trouble with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Bisard, 39, is facing nine charges in the collision that killed 30-year-old Eric Wells and left two others seriously injured.

Among the charges he faces are driving and causing death with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher, reckless homicide and criminal recklessness.

A blood test conducted about two hours after the crash indicated Bisard's blood-alcohol content was 0.19 percent, more than twice Indiana's limit of 0.08 percent. But the Marion County prosecutor at the time, Carl Brizzi, later threw out drunken driving charges because he said the blood draw was flawed.

But the Indiana Supreme Court eventually found that the test was done properly, and new prosecutor Terry Curry refiled the charges.

Bisard's defense is expected to dispute the validity of the blood-alcohol test during his trial in Allen Superior Court, where the case was moved because of publicity.

GOP seeks to have legislature compile A-F school grades

INDIANAPOLIS – The battle for control of Indiana's education policy escalated Friday when top Republican lawmakers shifted calculation of school accountability grades for the 2012-13 school year from the Department of Education to the legislature's bill-drafting shop.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) signed off on a request from Republican appointees to the State Board of Education.

The board members crafted a letter Wednesday questioning why Superintendent Glenda Ritz has yet to release the A-F grades or teacher effectiveness ratings. The letter also requested that responsibility for compiling the rankings be shifted from the Department of Education to the Legislature's nonpartisan analysis and bill-drafting arm.

– From wire reports