The 16 biggest stories

from the last 16 weeks

Haley bus ride
While riding the A bus, IU freshman Haley Wilson looks out the window onto Jordan Avenue. "The bus rides can be hard,” Haley said. “Sometimes just riding around, it makes me sad. It brings back everything. I try to stay so focused on her as a person, not on what happened.” Photo by Haley Ward.

The Little Sister

Haley Wilson started her freshman year only a few months after the murder of her older sister, Hannah Wilson. Haley wants to be strong. But when you're only 18 and your world has cracked open, how do you know what strong is?

Presidential campaign rallies

Hillary Clinton

INDIANAPOLIS — In her first campaign rally in central Indiana on Sunday, Hillary Clinton promised to promote manufacturing, unify communities and support Indiana women in defending their rights to their governor.

In the hot, crowded Douglass Park Gymnasium on 25th Street in Indianapolis, the Democratic front-runner signaled a confident focus beyond Tuesday’s Indiana primaries and into the general election.

“There is no more consequential election facing our country than this 2016 presidential election,” Clinton said to the audience of about 750 people. Read more.

Ted Cruz

INDIANAPOLIS — Twitter reports were proven true in Indianapolis Wednesday when Sen. Ted Cruz tapped former technology CEO Carly Fiorina as his desired Vice President.

“After lots of prayer, I will run on a ticket with Carly Fiorina,” 
Cruz said.

The crowd of Hoosiers erupted.

“Ted, Ted, Ted,” and “Carly, Carly, Carly,” chants were set against the background of country-rock music as Fiorina joined Cruz on stage. Read more.

Bernie Sanders

Less than a week before the Indiana presidential primary, candidate Bernie Sanders spoke before an enraptured crowd of more than 3,000 people, calling for a revolution.

As three other presidential candidates made appearances throughout the state, Sanders encouraged Hoosiers to vote next Tuesday. He trails Clinton by 297 delegates and 481 superdelegates nationally.

“Next Tuesday, let us have the highest voter turnout in Indiana history,” Sanders said. “Let the great state of Indiana join the 17 other states that have said it is time for a political revolution.” Read more.

Donald Trump

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Donald Trump promised a big announcement Thursday in Evansville, Indiana, but he delivered a repetition of Wednesday’s show: a rally about winning, featuring former IU basketball coach Bobby Knight.

Knight and Trump recycled their talking points. Knight compared Trump to President Harry Truman and thanked Indiana for his years of basketball coaching. He placed emphasis on Trump’s knowing what it takes to win.

And win he has. Trump gave a breakdown of the 21 states’ primaries he has won. Read more.

Four rapes reported from Little 500 weekend

Police reported a mild Little 500 weekend in arrests, but four rapes occurred throughout the week. A 19 year-old student was walking home alone from a party when she was raped in the street. A second woman asked two men for help when her phone died, was taken to their apartment and raped. The third and fourth women were assaulted by men they knew. In response to the Little 500 assaults, #PadsAgainstFeminism stuck sanitary napkins around campus with messages against rape and sexual assault.

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Fourth rape reported from Little 500 weekend

Sanitary napkins line campus

Dorian Davis
Dorian Davis, a first year grad student at IU, stands at the spot Monday at Kirkwood where the alleged hate crime took place. "Being here is sort of surreal right now," he said. Photo by Rose Bythrow.

Black student speaks about hate crime

As graduate student Dorian Davis walked to his car after leaving Kilroy’s Bar and Grill, a car rolled up next to him. At first, he thought it was a friend of his. But then someone in the car threw a drink onto his jacket. Someone else called him the N-word.

Davis said first he was scared they might become more violent, then that he was angry at himself for not reacting. But mostly, he said he felt sorry the four people in the car thought that kind of aggression was acceptable. Read more.

Former IU Title IX Director Jason Casares was accused of sexual misconduct early in 2016. He has since resigned his position. Photo by Tae-Gyun Kim.

IU Deputy Title IX director accused of sexual assault

IU Associate Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Director Jason Casares resigned following an accusation of sexual assault at an Association for Student Conduct Administration conference. Jill Creighton, assistant director for global community standards at New York University, tweeted a statement detailing how Casares took advantage of her after she had a few drinks at the conference. Groups became wary of University services and the Office of Student Ethics because Casares served on a three-member panel that reviewed sexual misconduct allegations on campus. The Fort Worth Police Department, where the complaint was filed, found no cause for a criminal case against Casares and decided he would not face criminal charges.

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Director of student ethics resigns following sexual assault allegations

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Jason Casares will not face criminal charges

Delta Tau Delta riders hold up a bike and a trophy after winning the 2016 men's Little 500 on Saturday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Delta Tau Delta won its last title in 2012. Photo by Tae-Gyun Kim.
Phoenix Cycling holds the victory bike after winning their first Little 500 on Friday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Photo by Noble Guyon.


Luke Tormoehlen had dirt in his teeth.

Delta Tau Delta’s senior captain had just kissed the finish line after winning his first Little 500.

Minutes prior, he earned the Borg-Warner trophy after his sprint to the finish put the young Delts team in the winner’s circle.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Tormoehlen said. “This is how I wanted it to happen. All of my hard work and dedication paid off.”

Tormoehlen’s sprint was just how the team said it wanted the end of the race to be set up.

“Crazy as it sounds, I compared it to a World War II bomb run,” Delts Coach Courtney Bishop said. “Everyone else but Luke were the fighter pilots just trying to get the bomber to the end.”

Tormoehlen was the bomber, sprinting away with the Delts’ second ever 
Little 500 victory. Read more.


Although it was heading into just its second year as a team, Phoenix Cycling had two advantages.

First, whenever Tabitha Sherwood was on the bike, Phoenix didn’t have to worry. Second, Sherwood wasn’t going to settle for a second-place finish.

The last lap was blurry for Sherwood, and she didn’t have the opportunity to make the moves she wanted, but it was enough to get the job done.

Sherwood finished 0.051 seconds ahead of Delta Gamma’s Kristen Bignal on the last straightaway to give Phoenix the title of the women’s Little 500 champion. Read more.

Ben Higgins
Ben Higgins, IU alum and former star of the television show "The Bachelor" wishes good luck to a team shortly before the start of the 2016 Women's Little 500 race. Photo by Victor Gan.

When “The Bachelor” star Ben Higgins tried to explain Little 500 to his fiancée, Lauren Bushnell, she said she just couldn’t picture it.

She tried to imagine what it would be like, but Bushnell said she didn’t know what to expect.

“Well, honey, it’s a big bike race that students and alumni put on that’s for charity,” Higgins said as he tried to explain it to her.

But she said she still wondered — what was so special about that? Read more.

Melissa Phelps stares into a microscope. Under her gaze, dozens of fruit flies lay on their sides, legs and antennas twitching. They’re not dead, just sleeping.

She looks at the pile, searching for flies with straight wings, not curly ones.

She separates a few straight-winged flies from the group with a flat metal tool. Eventually they’ll wake up, breed and create a new mutant line.

Phelps, 39, altered the flies’ DNA — the genetic makeup that makes the fly what it is. The DNA determines whether it has straight or curly wings, red or white eyes and whether it will live a long healthy life or a short sick one. Read More.

Light should be a source of safety in times of danger, but the 56 blue light emergency phones adorning the Indiana University campus are just a distraction for police and a plaything for students.

IU continues to install new blue lights with every new construction. Read more.

IU lost four students in the spring semester: Aaron Holme, Joe Einterz, Patrick Barrett and Jasmin Habibic. Aaron Holme was a 21-year-old junior who took his own life March 4. His loved ones remember him as energetic, joyful and intelligent. Joe Einterz attended IU from 2013 to 2015 and died unexpectedly March 15. He worked as a barback at Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. Sophomore Patrick Barrett died from cancer March 10. He was a 19-year-old chemistry and pre-med student from Terre Haute.

Related Content:

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Friends remember former IU student Joe Einterz

Friends remember sophomore as strong, intelligent

Family, friends, faculty remember 13 students

Three years ago, the Potenza family survived a brutal home invasion. It took them five months to move back home. Today, they're living lives without bitterness. They're moving on. Read more.

The Korean War broke out June 25, 1950, as 140,000 North Korean troops invaded South Korea. It was the first proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union of the Cold War era.

Two days after the war broke out, the U.S. government agreed to send troops under United Nations command to the Korean peninsula, which is smaller than Minnesota. It was the first time forces were sent under a United Nations flag. During the course of the war, about two million U.S. soldiers were sent to South Korea to protect it from the invading North. Read more.

Amy Cozad is the No. 1 diver in the country. Jessica Parratto is No. 2. At IU, they train next to each other every day for a chance at earning one of only two spots on the U.S. Olympic team. Can they both make it to Rio? Photo by Katelyn Rowe.

The No. 1 diver in the country stands on the pool deck, waiting to hear her name called. She’s made it to the national finals and leads the pack heading into the last five dives.

Amy Cozad walks around the deck of her home pool, where she first learned to dive and where her college coach at IU recruited her years ago. Only this time, the stakes are much higher — Rio is months away, and she doesn’t want to fall one spot short of the Olympic team like she did four years ago.

Before making the 10-meter climb up, she thinks about the dive she’s performed a million times before. Aggressive takeoff. Tight tuck. Streamline entry. Tiny splash. Read more.

Senior guard Yogi Ferrell walks off the court after defeating Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Hoosiers won 73-67. Photo by Haley Ward.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For the first time since 2013, the Hoosiers are back in the Sweet 16.

Against Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, IU wouldn’t go away despite the injuries of sophomore guard Robert Johnson, freshman forward Juwan Morgan and, at times, freshman forward OG Anunoby.

IU survived without these players to hold on and win 73-67, and to advance and play North Carolina this Friday in Philadelphia.

“Juwan went down after Maui, and we stuck with it,” senior guard Nick Zeisloft said. “Rob went down at the end of the Big Ten, and we still won the Big Ten outright. All these situations we’ve been through, and all these struggles we just keep succeeding.” Read more.

Shaylyn Ammerman's grandmother, Tamara Morgan, displays the fliers she was posting around Spencer on Thursday morning. One-year-old Shaylyn has been missing since early Wednesday morning. Photo by Samantha Schmidt.

SPENCER, Ind. — At about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Tamara Morgan put her 1-year-old granddaughter to sleep in her crib in the corner of the living room, just like any 
other night.

Several hours later, she checked on the blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler, Shaylyn Michelle Kay Ammerman.

“She was sleeping, peacefully like she always does,” 
Morgan said.

But when Morgan woke up at 7:30 a.m., Shaylyn was gone.

“Nothing in the house was disturbed,” Morgan said. “No note. Nothing.”

After two days of searching for Shaylyn, investigators found a body matching her description at about 6 p.m. Thursday, Indiana State Police confirmed.

Shaylyn's cause of death was confirmed to be homicide by asphyxiation by the Owen County coroner.

Read more.

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Spencer residents try to make sense of rape, murder of toddler

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The first time she felt it, Su Li was stepping out of the recycled air of the Chicago commuter plane and into the fluorescent lights of Concourse B.

She’d been in the air for more than sixteen hours, had turned back the clock twelve time zones to get here.

The sky was black now, and the floor-to-ceiling windows of Indianapolis International Airport revealed nothing more than reflections: images of closed kiosks and tourist shops, rows of empty gray chairs, late-night travelers shuffling toward the baggage claim.

“Empty,” she’d later call the feeling. Lonely. America felt unfamiliar, foreign, uncomfortable. Her friends weren’t by her side. Her parents were more than 7,000 miles and an ocean away from her. Read more.