Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

State revenues are expected to grow at a modest pace in the next few years.  That’s based on new forecasts unveiled Monday.  State lawmakers are still preaching caution as they head into a budget session.

Governor-elect Mike Pence announced Thursday he will make a leadership change at the state Department of Homeland Security. It’s the first Pence-appointee who comes from outside the Daniels administration.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s new director will be John Hill, replacing current director Joe Wainscott.  Hill was previously the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as a former member of the Indiana State Police.  Pence said he’s grateful for Wainscott’s service but adds bringing in Hill was a unique opportunity.

After already breaking the state’s record for job commitments in 2012, nine more companies have pledged to create more than 2,500 jobs over the new few years in locations around Indiana.  Indiana secured those commitments despite offering some of the lowest tax incentives in the region.

Governor Mitch Daniels celebrated Indiana’s 196th birthday with hundreds of schoolchildren at a Statehouse ceremony Tuesday.  It will be the last Statehood Day Daniels takes part in as governor.

Students from schools around Indianapolis and Columbus participated in festivities at the Statehouse that included presentations from legislators, state Supreme Court Justice Steven David and the governor.  Daniels said Statehood Day is the best opportunity he sees to teach younger students about the history of Indiana.

Governor Mitch Daniels’ eight years in office is being remembered as a time of big changes and sweeping reform that’s left the state markedly different than it was.  Both supporters and opponents say Daniels was decisive and left no doubt as to who was in charge.  But whether changes made under the Daniels administration were positive depends a lot on who you talk to.