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Cold Wet Indiana Weather to Continue

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It’s been an unusually cold winter so far, and that is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks. The national weather service office has released data that places the mean average temperature for January at twenty-three-point-one degrees, as recorded at its Bloomington station. This average was over six degrees below the long-term average for the month, and Bloomington had less than average precipitation. However, as the local station does not  differentiate between rain and snow forms of precipitation, snow probably dominated as temperatures were lower than average, and as it stayed on the ground for longer than usual. Dave Tusek, at the Indianapolis office of the weather service, explains that this cold weather has been here since the Fall.

“We started that pattern really back in November time frame. It kind of reached a crescendo during the month of January in which the polar vortex, or the coldest air in the northern hemisphere, ended up over on our side of the hemisphere. So we were below normal for, I believe, the month of November, below normal for December, and here again below normal for the month of January, so more or less a continuation, just an amplification and deepening of that trough as we went on through the winter months,” said Tusek.

Tusek mentioned the polar vortex, which has been responsible for this year’s cold pattern. This has brought the coldest temperatures in the northern hemisphere down to the region, between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. While we did experience some brief breaks of unseasonably warm weather, the extremely low positioning of the arctic vortex over the U.S. midwest has persisted for the last several months.

“That’s not uncommon to see kind of an up and down ride, if you will, in regard to your temperatures from day to day,” said Tusek. “And that was simply tied to a likely weather system that moved across the southern Great Lakes and drew warm air up from the south. But that was also, if you continue looking at the daily records, we eventually dropped back to highs around freezing and lows in the teens or a little below normal. So it’s not unusual to see this pattern persist, but to that extent in time, that’s not all that common.”

He explains that the arctic vortex has been pulled far south by the jet stream. This upper atmospheric, fast moving stream of air follows a wave pattern across the northern hemisphere. Weather systems tend to be trapped on either side of the stream. Unfortunately for us, the wave sitting over the continental U.S. had dipped unusually far to the south, and it has not moved east as it usually does. This trough has drawn cold air from the arctic to the south. By contrast, the unusually high ridge of this wave is sitting to the far north over the western part of North America, bringing that region unseasonably warm temperatures with much less than normal precipitation. The historic drought happening in California is a manifestation of this pattern. Unusually, this wave is moving a little to the west, which will bring some intermittent periods of warmer, wetter weather. Tusek provides us with weather predictions for February:

“For the month of February, expect to see our conditions more or less near normal. As we look at this larger-scale pattern that I referenced before, it’s undergoing a de-amplification. So that means instead of having really sharp ridges and troughs with extremes underneath the ridge in the way of warm and dry and in the trough cold and wet, it’s becoming what we refer to as a more zonal pattern, and with that, that means that our air will be arriving more often from the Pacific Ocean with each weather system that comes in, as opposed to coming in with arctic air. Now, that’s not to say the arctic air won’t follow on its heels because that is going to continue to happen. We certainly have some cold ahead of us here in the coming week or so, but that is expected to transition.”

So, Hoosiers will continue to experience colder and wetter weather during February, broken up by more frequent and longer episodes of warm and dry conditions, as daylight increases and the sun moves north.

Residents Resist the Keystone XL Pipeline

Locals joined demonstrators nationwide to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Participants held signs and listened as speakers led by Jack Brubaker warned of climate change and other environmental hazards of the tar sands process for extracting oil. The Bloomington Pledge of Resistance group  that is spearheading action in protest of the pipeline has a Facebook group at Bloomington no kxl. You can hear the full report Tuesday, February 4th on the Daily Local News at 5:30pm. 

Bring It On! – February 3, 2014

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William Hosea welcomes guest Richard Coleman, director of the Center for Career and Employer Relations at Vincennes University.

PART ONE
From the pages of Diverse Issues in Higher Education we read that, “There is significant emphasis placed on the retention and success rate in community colleges among African-American and Hispanic males. Many are experiencing great problems in our society and within the social structure.”

Many African-American and Hispanic males experience academic distress in colleges and have frequently been described in research studies as: (a) being from a low social academic background; (b) being a minimal academic achiever; and (c) possessing a general low self-concept.

Major research efforts have identified a number of factors that tend to impact minority males’ decision to drop or even stop-out of colleges. To explore this further, we have invited Richard Coleman, director of the Center for Career and Employer Relations at Vincennes University, to join us to discuss his pending doctoral research into these alarming patterns titled : Resilience in African American Male College Students.

PART TWO
Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

CREDITS
Hosts: William Hosea
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Brown County Hour – Episode 23

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The Brown County Hour comes to you from the legendary Hills o’ Brown where the plum purple haze, the one nature herself drapes in the hills and hollers, inspires local characters, artists, and nature lovers.  It’s as though the hills themselves conspired to create a beauty and a culture in the heart of Indiana.  Sit for a spell and hear the music, the tall tales, the true stories, and the current goin’s on brought to you by folks who still know how to sit by a fire in winter and swim buck naked in summer…
In this episode of the Brown County Hour:
Vera Grubbs interviews Artist Michele Pollock of Lost Lake Studio
Charlie Cole continues his commentary on Yellowwood logging
Dave Seastrom – essay on Groundhog Day
Bill Land – Land and Lore of Brown County
Poems by Chris Curtain, Rick Fettig, Gunther Flumm and Tramp Star
Top ten reasons to visit Brown County by Rick Fettig
and our musical guest, fifth-generation Brown County singer/songwriter, Robbie Bowden.

Also please visit our main show page at www.browncountyhour.com

Daily Local News – January 31st, 2014

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The Monroe County Community School Board heard almost an hour of testimony on Tuesday, from a parents concerned about Fairview Elementary School; Tree clearing for the construction of Interstate 69 section five will begin this week, weather permitting; The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are looking for public opinion and comment on a new plan being proposed by Bedford Recycling, Inc; Governor Mike Pence commended the Indiana House of Representatives for advancing House Bill 1004 to the Indiana Senate; To celebrate Black History Month in February, Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host a variety of events on campus.

FEATURE
Collaborative researchers at Indiana University have received a six hundred and eighty-six thousand dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, to try to prove that data mining and artificial intelligence could make a doctor’s job easier and faster.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Lindsey Wright, Chelsea Hardy, and Daion Morton,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh with correspondent Casey Kuhn.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer today is Nick Tumino,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

bloomingOUT – January 30, 2014

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Lady Gaga tour photographer and author of “Heal This Way: A Love Story” Tracey B Wilson discusses the importance of self-acceptance, bullying, queer youth suicide, the need for acceptance and the power of words as well as her book and Gaga’s Little Monsters. Helen and Nick respond to a listener’s Q Mail Bag question about the need to come out and Helen and Michael have a chat with show producer Carol Fischer.

www.healthisway.com

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producers Sarah Hetrick & Nick Tumino
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Theme Music by Mikial Robertson
Announcer Sarah Hetrick
Guest Co-anchor Nick Tumino

League of Women Voters Offer Chance to Speak with State Legislators

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The League of Women Voters will sponsor a free, public legislative update this Saturday in Bloomington.

“What we do is invite legislators to come and introduce what’s happening in state legislature right now,” President of the League, Doris Wittenberg, says, “They talk about the bills being brought forth and the interest of those particular legislators. They tell us what they think about what they’re sponsoring or what they think about what’s going on in state legislature. There will also be a question and answer session”

Wittenberg said that there is no topic, but that this event is an update on what’s been going on tin the legislature this month.

“It’s an opportunity for people to hear what the legislators have to say and what they’ve been working on,” Wittenberg says, “It gives the community an opportunity to ask questions about whatever issues the legislators should be addressing.”

The Legislative Update will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Bloomington City Council Chambers Showers Building. The next update is scheduled to take place on March 1.

Home Buyers Club Takes Place This Weekend To Educate New Home Owners

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The City of Bloomington’s Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development is hosting the Home Buyers Club, starting this weekend.

The workshops will help first-time home buyers learn about the home buying process.

“The Home Buyers Club is offered three or four times a year,” Assistant director of the department Marilyn Patterson, said, “It’s taught by people from the city and from our banking partners, home inspectors, appraisers, and people part of our community that do this every day.”

Patterson says the goal is to help people who have never had the opportunity to buy a house to understand the process. She also says the certificate may help students to gain access to different kinds of loans that they may not have had access to without homebuyer’s education.

The first two workshops will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, and Feb 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 .pm, at City Hall in the Showers Building. The workshops are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. For more information on how to register contact HAND at 812-349-3401.

Cold Weather Creates Chilly Sitution For Utilities Department

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The Bloomington Utilities Department has dealt with an increase in water main breaks and customer service issues due to the cold weather in recent weeks. On January 27th Tom Axson, the department’s assistant director of transmission and distribution, told the Utilities Service Board there had been eight broken water mains reported in the previous ten days.

“We’ve also responded to a lot of customer calls about no water and broken pipes,” Axson said, “We’re going to keep doing what we do. In the meantime we’ve cleaned a lot of trucks and fixed a lot of equipment trying to stay ready.”

Utilities Department Director Patrick Murphy said the department purchased new equipment for the crews that do the repair work.

“We just made an additional equipment purchase, and by equipment I mean new Carhartt coats and boots, restocking our folks,” Murphy said, “One of the important things for the DND crews is rubber boots.”

Board member Jeff Ehman asked about the fact that the city has still not finished its annual leaf pick-up. The city planned to finish by December 19th.

Murphy said leaves can cause problems for the department, but that the situation is better than it was several months ago.

“They’ve done quite a bit and it’s not as much of an issue now,” Murphy asid.

Axson said that in the past, the city has used equipment to scrape frozen leaves off of the ground in order to haul them away.

New Bank Planned For South Liberty Drive

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On January 25 the Monroe County Commission heard a request to rezone a property on South Liberty Drive, to allow a new Owen County State Bank to be built there. The commission recommended approval of the project, but some members of that group voiced concerns about its effects on traffic. Commissioner Julie Thomas, who is also on the Plan Commission, explained why she opposes the project.

“The reason I voted no is because I believe Liberty Drive is way overdeveloped for the size of the street,” Thomas said, “I know a lot of people have been caught on Liberty Drive trying to get out or do something. It’s a street I avoid because of this. I don’t think we’re doing a service for people who live in that area by adding more congestions because of a new bank in the area.”

Thomas again voted against the project, but she was outvoted by the other two commissioners–Iris Kiesling and Patrick Stoffers. Neither Kiesling or Stoffers commented on the project or explained their votes.

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