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Daily Local News – November 4, 2013

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Union and management at the local General Electric plant have reached an agreement around the personnel layoffs that the company announced in September; The City of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development Department will host a workshop next Thursday, November 14th; The Richland Bean Blossom School Board didn’t get enough votes October 21st to approve a teacher handbook that was supported by the teacher union and the administration; Indiana University is part of a five-year research program that focuses on detecting and defending against cyber-attacks.

FEATURE
Additional I69 Pollution Complaints Filed
This morning a landowner in Southern Monroe County filed his 11th formal complaint since March, about pollution in the waterways near his home. Much like his previous complaints, as well as those of his neighbors, Thomas Tokarski provided photos that show the creeks and streams filled with brown, sediment-filled water. The cause is erosion from the Interstate 69 right-of-way, where crews have been clearing vegetation for months. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cited contractors working on the project with failure to control the erosion, and some contractors have been forced to stop construction altogether while they deal with the issue. But Tokarski says they haven’t fixed the problem, and the rain storms late last week led to even more contamination. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Tokarski, and we bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE
Molly O’Donnell, Bloomington’s “Be More” Volunteer award winner, and Ben Brabson, Indiana University Climate Scientist, talk about Earth Care Bloomington and its mission to promote sustainability, on Activate, our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Yin Yuan, and Allison Schroeder,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate was produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineers were Lauren Glapa and Chris Martin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – November 1, 2013

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Representative Todd Young will meet with constituents in Martinsville next Thursday; On Monday the Ellettsville Town Council debated changes to town code that would ban certain livestock and prohibit parking in yards; Monroe County is in the midst of a project to fix a drainage problem on Fairway Drive, on the south side of Bloomington.

FEATURES
Representatives on the Debt Limit
Indiana District 9 Representative Todd Young and Senator Dan Coats both gave statements this week on the ongoing national debt talks. We hear what our state representatives are adding to the conversation for today’s WFHB feature report.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Hettrick.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer was Harrison Wagner,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Representative Todd Young to have meetings with small groups of constituents on Thursday

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Representative Todd Young will be in Martinsville next Thursday, November 7th to have ten-minute meetings with small groups of constituents. Trevor Foughty is the deputy chief of staff for the office of Representative Todd Young. He says Representative Young is open to talk about any topic his constituents are concerned about.

“This is completely driven by constituents who have the meetings, this is a format we’ve used for the last several years, in addition to town hall meetings or meet-your-congressman type events at coffee shops, and it’s a chance for constituents to talk about things that might not get brought up in other formats, and really get uninterrupted time with the congressman. So people can come talk about whatever they like,” Foughty said.

Foughty said the Representative held similar events in almost every county in the district last year, and said they were very well received. The Representative will be meeting with groups of four or less, which Foughty says gets people more focused attention, and said that constituents get to talk more while the representative listens more.

“What people talk about ranges from some of the big issues that you might read in the paper, to issues that maybe don’t have as much visibility. And it’s a chance for them to bring that to the congressman’s attention. And some people just need case work help with the federal agencies. So we have staff there that’s able to take down notes, and then help those constituents deal with the federal government,” Foughty said.

Registration is first come, first served for 10 minute slots between 3 and 4:30 PM next Thursday in the Morgan County Administration Building in Martinsville. If slots run out for this event, staff can put constituents on a waitlist and they will be called next time Representative Young is able to meet with constituents. Registration is available by calling 9th District Constituent Service Center at 812-288-3999.

bloomingOUT – October 31, 2013

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Campaign Manager for Freedom Indiana Megan Robertson discusses their state-wide organizational efforts  to defeat proposed anti-same sex marriage constitutional amendment HJR6. Emily Nagoski addresses bisexuality on an edition of “It’s Only Sex” and on a new edition of “OUT on the Street” Nick Tumino chats with attendees at the Judy Shepard lecture recently held on IUB campus. Featured artist is singer/songwriter Eli Conley. Musical selection is “Draw the Line” from his “At the Seams” CD.

www.FreedomIndiana.org

www.eliconley.com

Produced Carol Fischer

Executive producer Alycin Bektesh

Associate Producers Sarah Hetrick and Nick Tumino

News Director Josh Vidrich,

Original theme music provided by Mikial Robertson

Announcer Sarah Hetrick

Controversy continues to surround lawsuit filed by Indiana State Superintendent Glenda Ritz

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Last week Indiana State Superintendent Glenda Ritz announced she is suing all ten members of the Indiana State Board of Education for allegedly violating Indiana’s ‘Open Door’ law.

“She specifically believes that it was done without a notice to the public or the superintentendent, who is obviously not just a member of the state board of education but the chair, and she felt she needed to take legal action,” Daniel Altman, Press Secretary for the Department of Education, says.

In the week since, Indiana Attorney General filed a motion to strike down Ritz’s lawsuit. Ritz, a Democrat, says she will continue to pursue the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the Office of Governor Pence, who is a Republican, said that, “Pence strongly supports the actions taken by the bipartisan membership of the State Board of Education to ensure the timely completion of last year’s accountability grades.”

In response to the lawsuit, four members of the State Board sent an open letter to Ritz. In the letter, the members request that Ritz drop the lawsuit. They also mention in the letter that, while Ritz claims to work on open communication, the members have been continually frustrated by unanswered requests, missed deadlines, and a lack of progress on critical education issues.

The State Board of Education is housed under the recently established Governor’s Center for Education and Career Innovation. Lou Ann Baker, Director of External Relations for the Center, says that communication between the State Board and Superintendent Ritz, who is Chair of the board, has not been ideal.

“They found out about the lawsuit through the media,” Baker says, “There was concern among the members and all then of the members reached out to communicate to the superintendent.

In the letter, the members ask Ritz to drop the lawsuit and, “Put politics aside and come ready to put the interests of students, teachers and schools first.” Baker describes how the members felt when they learned about the lawsuit through the media, and why it’s important to move forward.

“The members were surprised and disappointed,” Baker says, “I think we’re wasting energy on this topic rather than the many educational topics that need to be completed, managed and need to move forward on behalf of students and educators in Indiana. Education is one of the most critical issues facing Indiana and everyone in the country today, and our board members strongly  believe it’s important to get on with business.”

While Ritz says the alleged meeting happened without her knowledge, members of the board claim the meeting never happened in the first place. Superintendent Ritz will continue to pursue the lawsuit in the weeks ahead.

 

By: Casey Kuhn

New rule voted into affect to curb prescribing addictive pain medications

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The Medical Licensing Board of Indiana voted last Thursday to adopt SB 246, a new rule for physicians who prescribe addictive pain medications to nonterminal patients.

Starting December 15th this year, physicians will be required to monitor certain patient’s history via the state’s drug monitoring system called INSPECT. Dr.

Deborah McMahan, health commissioner for the Fort Wayne Allen County Department of Health and Education Chair for the Prescription Test Drug Force, helped to create the new rules. According to McMahan, more people die from accidental drug overdose than motor vehicle accidents.

Furthermore, a large number of young people are experimenting with prescription drugs they find lying around.

“I think the CDC identified a few years ago that prescription drug abuse has become a very serious problem in terms of overdose deaths,” McMahan said, “By really looking at this issue, we figured out that we need to step back and look at the information we’ve learned about chronic pain and what works and formulate some rules to help us prescribe more safely for our patients.”

Physicians will now obtain a more detailed physical history, assess mental health, and consider a patient’s potential for addiction before prescribing certain pills.

Doctors and patients will also sign a treatment agreement, which will memorialize the goals of the treatment and provide information to patients about the medications.

McMahan says challenges remain for both doctors and patients.

“The greater challenge that as a country and as a culture and a community, we’ve learned to accept a lower standard of being asymptomatic instead of rather being functional and healthy,” McMahan says, “I think it’s going to be a challenge for patients because it’s far simpler for me to write you a prescription to be asymptomatic. For me to make you functional and healthy, the patient has to be an active participant. I don’t think we’ve always pushed that in the past as much as we’ll need to in the future.”

Despite all these changes, McMahan is optimistic about the new rules and the future of the community.

“We’ve received surprisingly little negative feedback about the new rules,” McMahan says, “Change is always hard, I understand, but once we start seeing this cycle of health and wellness and how positive it affects our lives, I hope that’s a momentum we can keep going.”

The state Medical Licensing Board also adopted a new rule giving the Attorney General’s Office the ability to more efficiently review physician records, regarding controlled substances.

Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility present annual accessibility awards

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The Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility presented their Annual Awards Ceremony on Monday night. The Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility present the awards every year to the people who helped make the community more accessible for people with disabilities.

Craig Brenner, Special Project Coordinator at the Community and Family Resources Department, says he considers the ceremony to be an educational tool.

“The broader goal is to make the community aware of the issues some disabled people still face,” Brenner says.

Brenner says the Council for Community Accessibility provides an open forum for the public year round, to discuss and collaborate on issues with local accessibility.

“We want the public to know that this council is open year round and anyone can participate,” Brenner says.

There were six awards presented at the ceremony: the Self-Advocacy Award went to Jessica Troxel, the Professional and Community Service Award went to Indiana Legal Services, the Business Service Award went to IU Campus Division, the Housing Service Award went to Cindy Fleetwood, the Kristin Willison Volunteer Service Award went to Rachel Roby, and the Mayor’s Award went to Katie Herron.

The next meeting will take place Monday, Nov. 25 at City hall.

IU Neal-Marshall Center to host Family Fun Night

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The Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is hosting their annual Family Fun Night next Friday, Nov. 8.

The event is geared towards students and individuals in the community who have children. Nichelle Whitney, an employee at the Culture Center, says that it started as a way to bring together students on campus. The Caribbean Islands is the theme this year and there will be activities for children.

The goal of the event is to provide a safe place for families to have fun, where they can learn more about the culture and services the Culture Center provides.

“Our main goal is to educate youth about the black experience here at the center,” Whitney says.

Family Fun Night is on Nov. 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, at the IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

The event is free, and food will be provided.

Try hockey for free this Sunday at the Frank Southern Ice Arena

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The Frank Southern Ice Arena and the Bloomington Blades Youth Hockey Association is hosting ‘Try Hockey for Free Day’ this Sunday, Nov. 3.

Try Hockey for Free USA and other local Hockey teams put on clinics around the country to encourage kids, ages four to nine, to try youth hockey at a local rink. Alyson Baer, Ice Scheduler for the Bloomington Blades Youth Hockey Association, says it is a club team that is part of a league based in Cincinnati.

They serve children ages 5-13 years old. This clinic will give kids an opportunity to learn more about hockey, and to gain some hands-on experience.

Baer explains some of the things that the kids will participate in, as well as the goals of the clinic.

“The goals are just to expose kids to ice skating and hockey and if they want to pursue hockey further, we are here for them,” Baer says.

The ‘Try Hockey For Free Clinic is this Sunday from 11:30 to 1:30 pm, at the Frank Southern Ice Arena. Youth who missed the registration deadline to join a hockey team will be able to register at the clinic for the 2013 to 2014 season.

Daily Local News – October 31, 2013

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The Medical Licensing Board of Indiana voted last Thursday to adopt SB 246, a new rule for physicians who prescribe addictive pain medications to nonterminal patients; The Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility presented their Annual Awards Ceremony on Monday night; The Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is hosting their annual Family Fun Night next Friday, Nov 8th; The City of Bloomington Frank Southern Ice Arena and the Bloomington Blades Youth Hockey Association is hosting Try Hockey for Free Day this Sunday, November 3rd; This weekend in sports.

FEATURES
Parks and Rec Requests Million Dollar Budget Increase
The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Bloomington has announced that it is going to request an appropriation from City Council for nearly one million dollars, above and beyond its allocated budget, to undertake needed repairs to the grounds and facilities under the department’s care. Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Department Director Mick Renneisen about the request, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks you about your favorite trick-or-treat moments.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Yin Yuan, Yvonne Cheng, and Jalisa Ransom
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley
Our feature today was produced by Dan Withered, with correspondent David Murphy
Our engineer was Sarah Hettrick
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

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