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Author Archives: WFHB News

EcoReport Feature – The Bean Blossom Bottoms Conservation Area

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In this EcoReport Feature, Sycamore Land Trust Communications Director Katrina Folsom discusses their effort with the State of Indiana to establish the Bean Blossom Bottoms Conservation Area.

IN Nature – The Opossum

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This IN Nature segment features the Opossum.

Better Beware! – Fraud Increasing

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The explosion of con games puts us all in the front lines against fraud, and these days we’re seeing an increase in “old school” methods like telephone scams. Here’s an overview, and some basic reminders.

Daily Local News – June 24, 2015

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Earlier today Governor Mike Pence announced that Indiana would refuse to comply with the EPA’s proposed clean power plan; In other environmental news, a study conducted at the IU school of Public and Environmental Affairs, or SPEA, is calling air pollution regulations into question; Sycamore Land Trust has just announced a new addition to its more than eighty-four-hundred acres of preserved land in southern Indiana; The Town of Ellettsville has dropped its long standing ban on open-air burning; Americans should flush toilets less often to save water.

FEATURE
Teen birth rates have reached an all-time low according to data released last week from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014 data shows that teen birth rates have fallen eight percent from 2013. Although these teen birth rates are lower than in the past, teen pregnancy is still an issue in the United States. According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana ranks twentieth out of fifty states and the District of Columbia, for the highest teen birth rates, with one being the highest birth rate and fifty-one being the lowest. The US still has no federal law that requires public schools to teach sexual education. This leaves the decision up to states and individual school districts to decide what to teach their students. Correspondent Ivy Bridges investigated Indiana’s approach to sexual education, and how local schools have dealt with the policies for today’s WFHB community report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
The explosion of con games puts us all in the front lines against fraud, and these days we’re seeing an increase in “old school” methods like telephone scams. Here’s an overview, and some basic reminders.

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Aracelli Gomez
Today’s headlines were written by Kara Tullman, Jordan Guskey, and Jack Hanek
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Better Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our feature was produced by Ivy Bridges
Our engineers today are Adam Reichle and Brian Lloyd
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford

CDC Releases Teen Birth Rate Data

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Teen birth rates have reached an all-time low according to data released last week from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014 data shows that teen birth rates have fallen eight percent from 2013. Although these teen birth rates are lower than in the past, teen pregnancy is still an issue in the United States.  According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana ranks twentieth out of fifty states and the District of Columbia, for the highest teen birth rates, with one being the highest birth rate and fifty-one being the lowest.

The US still has no federal law that requires public schools to teach sexual education. This leaves the decision up to states and individual school districts to decide what to teach their students. Correspondent Ivy Bridges investigated Indiana’s approach to sexual education, and how local schools have dealt with the policies for today’s WFHB community report.

Stafford Family Donates To Sycamore Land Trust

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Sycamore Land Trust has just announced a new addition to its more than eighty-four-hundred acres of preserved land in southern Indiana. The organization has been preserving land and providing environmental education for 25 years. Their most recent project is the “Stafford Family Preserve,” which is a 46 acre nature preserve next to Brown County State Park.

The land was donated by Jon Stafford and his family, who bought the land in 1985 and used it for weekend relaxation. Sycamore Land Trust communications director, Katrina Folsom, says the organization is thankful for the generosity of the Stafford family.  Folsom says the organization’s new property provides a good home for wildlife and a pleasant space for visitors.  The property will be open to the public once they have finished installing a new parking lot.

Experts Disagree On Effects of Fine Particles

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In other environmental news, a study conducted at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, or SPEA, is calling air pollution regulations into question. The study focuses on Fine Particles, also known as Particulate Matter, which is linked to asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory impairments. Among the researchers for this study was John D. Graham, the dean of SPEA. Contrary to most research on particulate matter this new study suggests that fine particles do not cause premature deaths and that passing such regulations against this kind of pollution would be fiscally counterproductive. The researchers studied the effects of the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards as well as the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. They estimated that the lives saved from those regulations could be anywhere from zero to eighty thousand per year. None of the researchers responded to requests for comment from WFHB. American Lung Association administrator Angela Tin is taking issue with the study. She says research has proven that particulate matter does cause great harm to the heart and lungs.

Dean Graham’s research has been called into question in the past. He was formerly the Administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under the George W. Bush administration. When he was being confirmed for that position, a group of 53 scholars published an open letter saying Graham’s methodology “discounts the real risks of well-documented pollutants such as dioxin and benzene, and makes use of extreme and highly-disputed economic assumptions” .

Gov. Pence Refuses To Comply With EPA

Earlier today Governor Mike Pence announced that Indiana would refuse to comply with the EPA’s proposed clean power plan. The Clean Power Plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide levels across the country by 2030. Pence says that would mean the premature closure of coal-fired power plants in Indiana. Eighty percent of Indiana’s energy comes from coal, which is above the national average. 26,000 hoosiers work in the coal industry. Pence says Indiana reserves the right to use any legal means available to block the new rule from being implemented.

U.S. Senator Dan Coats, of Indiana, agrees with Pence. Coats claims the new proposal would drastically increase Hoosiers electricity rates and that the reduction in pollution is potentially negligible. The other U.S. senator from Indiana, Joe Donnelly, did not immediately issue a statement on the issue. Groups such as the Hoosier Environmental Council have advocated for the Clean Power Plan, saying Indiana is already experiencing some effects of climate change. The Council specifically mentions extended droughts, torrential rains, and extreme heat waves. The Council says that Indiana could be poised to be a major market for innovation in low-carbon technologies.

Interchange – The Significant Insignificance of Juneteenth

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Last Friday, June 19th, was Juneteenth–do you know what that is?

To celebrate the emancipation of enslaved Africans in the United States as a realized freedom in this country has always been and continues to be a battle. This freedom is at the heart of racist hate crimes perpetrated by Whites upon Black Americans and the murders of nine Black Americans inside their church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a White Supremacist, are only one grim example of that struggle.

Topics Covered
The Emancipation Proclamation
The Confederate flag
White Supremacy
Ku Klux Klan
Charleston, South Carolina
Juneteenth (Freedom Day)
Abraham Lincoln

Guests
Amrita Chakrabarti Myers is Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies at Indiana University and author of Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston. Amrita joins us via a pre-recorded conversation I had with her on June 18th.

Amira Millicent Davis holds a PhD from the University of Illinois-Urbana in Educational Policy Studies with a concentration in African American Studies and an EdM in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on culturally-centered curriculum and pedagogy. Her research interests are community-based, multigenerational arts and literacy programs, critical theory, Black women’s gender theories, and performance as public pedagogy. She’s a warrior mother, grandmother, and community mother; arts-activist, and educator.

Of Related Interest
The Long Campaign by White Supremacists to “Take Our Country Back”

Music
Charles Mingus – “Original Faubus Fables” (1960)
The Staple Singers – “Swing Down, Sweet Chariot”
Leadbelly – “Take This Hammer”
Charles Mingus – “Fables of Faubus” (1959)

Next Week
Next week on Interchange, “The Essential Ellen Willis.” We’ll explore the thought and writing of The New Yorker magazine’s first Rock Critic and the cofounder of the radical feminist group the Redstockings, Ellen Willis. Her essays have been described as always unsettling, combining passion and moral clarity, espresso for the feminist soul, and as relevant as ever with a continuing influence on critics of American culture today. We’re joined by Nona Willis Aronowitz to discuss the writings of her mother, Ellen Wills, next Tuesday on Interchange.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Daily Local News – June 22, 2015

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An Indiana University law professor says he is expecting good news in the coming days for same-sex marriage advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has sued a local official in Posey County for cutting off a woman’s disability payments when she could not perform a drug test. Attorney General Greg Zoeller has called upon the Food and Drug Administration to add e-cigarettes to the Tobacco Control Act. The Blooming city government took another step last week in the development of the planned Technology Park downtown. Last week the Board of Public Works was also asked to approve an amended contract for a project to upgrade the audio-visual system for the city council chambers. Monroe County Public Library Director Marilyn Wood reported last week on what she called the success of the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

FEATURE
Issues at Bloomington’s cooperative grocery chain have increasingly been making local headlines in recent months. Earlier this year, the original Bloomingfoods location on Kirkwood Avenue closed indefinitely. In April, a group of co-op members petitioned for a financial audit of the organization, which they said was having money troubles. Then, earlier this month, General Manager George Huntington resigned. Eighteen middle level managers have also been laid off. Last week the co-op announced a 20 percent decrease in overall coop sales and there is talk of lower level staff cuts. On Friday, WFHB correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with the President of the Bloomingfoods Board of Directors, Caroline (care-o-line) Beebe (BEE-BEE). We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.

ACTIVATE
Now it’s time for Activate, our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley
Today’s headlines were written by Kara Tullman, Jerrod Dill and Ivy Bridges
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Kara Tullman
Our engineer is Chris Martin
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive producer is Joe Crawford

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