INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Gov. Mike Pence has named Lake County Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura to direct the troubled Indiana Department of Child Services.
Pence said Wednesday that Bonaventura "is a strong leader who has an impeccable reputation of integrity and compassion for children."
The East Chicago native has been senior judge of one of the toughest juvenile court systems in the state, Lake Superior Court's Juvenile Division. Former Gov. Evan Bayh appointed her to that position in 1993.
She'll take over an agency roiled by new investigations into the agency's handling of abuse and neglect cases after several children died in troubled homes that had been reported to the agency. Lawmakers and children's advocates have blamed a centralized reporting hotline for "screening out" calls that should have been investigated.
Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence proposed a pre-K voucher program as part of his 2014 agenda. The program would give underprivileged children access to pre-K programs.
This is the third year for the Shop with a Cop program, in which officers take children shopping, spending up to $175 on clothing and toys for each child.
The cold and the snow didn't stop hundreds from coming out to Lafayette's annual Christmas Parade.