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Author Archives: WFHB News

Healthy Monroe County Outbreak sponsors awareness event for PCB

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Next Saturday an organization called Healthy Monroe County will sponsor an event aimed at informing local residents about the current effect of PCBs in Bloomington. PCBs, or Polychlorinated Biphenyls, are highly toxic chemicals that were banned in the U.S. in 1979. But before that, they were dumped in locations throughout the city. WFHB correspondent Emily Beck looked into the current status of the cleanup efforts. We bring you that story for today’s WFHB community report.

The event next Saturday is titled, “Bloomington’s PCBs and the Current state of Cleanup.”

Daily Local News – April 2, 2015

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4/2/15
Republican leaders pledged today to amend the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act; The Bloomington city council took a stand against the Religion Freedom Restoration Act last night; In the brief time since Indiana Senator Dan Coats announced his retirement, three Republican Party veterans have shown interest in taking his seat.

FEATURE
Next Saturday an organization called Healthy Monroe County will sponsor an event aimed at informing local residents about the current effect of PCBs in Bloomington. PCBs, or Polychlorinated Biphenyls, are highly toxic chemicals that were banned in the U.S. in 1979. But before that, they were dumped in locations throughout the city. WFHB correspondent
Emily Beck looked into the current status of the cleanup efforts. We bring you that story for today’s WFHB community report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks about Bloomington’s favorite springtime activities.

CREDITS
Anchors: Scott Weddle, Carolyn VandeWiele
Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford and David Murphy
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Emily Beck.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer today is Jose Rodriguez
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Bloomington City Council Takes a Stand Against New Indiana Bill

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The Bloomington city council took a stand against the Religion Freedom Restoration Act last night. The entire Council co-sponsored a resolution opposing the law. Council member Darryl Neher read the resolution aloud during the meeting. He called for it to be sent to state leaders, including Governor Pence and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie.

Michael Mcrobbie, reading the resolution, states that “The Bloomington City Council opposes and urges repeal of RFRA”.

The council also expressed concern that the law defines “individual” to include corporations and businesses. There are clauses in Bloomington’s human rights ordinance regarding sexual orientation and gender identity but no statewide protected class measures. Several citizens spoke during public comment to thank the council for the gesture. Melanie Davis said she recently moved to Bloomington with her daughter and appreciates the cultural acceptance she has found locally.

Melanie expressed her gratitude with the following statement, “I’d always heard what a wonderful this was,and its turning out to be just such a place and I want to say how proud I am of all of you and of the city and the people in it for their celebration and true inclusion of diverse groups people”

While Pence has been on the national news circuit to say that RFRA has a perception problem, Bloomington resident C.W. Poole said that he believes the law was intentionally discriminatory. Poole said it is right for the council to put pressure on the Governor to repeal the law.

“I think it was written exactly what they wanted to do” Poole expressed passionately. He continued by saying “The intent was to discriminate”.

Many of the Council members referred to the national media response to the law, saying it has shed an unfair negative light on the state. Councilmember Susan Sandberg scolded Hoosiers for their apparent apathy when it comes to electing their leaders.

“Its been embarrassing”, Susan Sandberg disdainfully exclaimed about the amount of negative light Indiana has been receiving in lieu of the new bill.

There was clapping throughout the council chambers as the resolution passed unanimously.

EcoReport – April 2, 2015

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Bob Kissel interviews Operation Migration co-founder Joe Duff about an experimental Whooping Crane reintroduction program.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

Today’s Anchors: Dan Young and Alyce Miller.
This week’s news stories were written by Josh Byron, Joe Crawford, Linda Greene, Norm Holy and Halle Shine. Our feature and broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. This week’s calendar was compiled by Catherine Anders.
EcoReport is produced by Dan Young, Filiz Cicek, Nancy Jones, and Gillian Wilson. Executive producer is Joe Crawford.

IN Nature – Indiana Bat

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April 2 – IN Nature – Indiana Bat

Better Beware! – Fake Service Dogs

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Some selfish people are claiming their pets are service dogs, to get them into places pets aren’t allowed. And some businesses are selling fake certificates to help this fraud!

Bloomington Residents Protest the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act at Rally

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Roughly 200 people rallied yesterday at Karst Farm Park in Bloomington, just across the street from a local Republican fund raiser. The rally was originally scheduled to protest Governor Mike Pence, who was supposed to be the featured speaker at the event. Pence canceled his appearance amid increasing controversy over the passage of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the protest continued despite Pence’s absence. Protesters called for the repeal of the Act, which effectively allows individuals and businesses in Indiana to discriminate against others. Many worry the law will be used to discriminate against LGBTQ people. One of the speakers at the rally last night was Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who was in town to speak at the fundraiser as a substitute for Governor Pence. Zoeller spoke briefly to the protesters despite the fact that he has acted to oppose gay rights in his work as Attorney General. Zoeller, for instance, has defended the state government in court as the government opposed allowing same-sex marriage. WFHB correspondent Franki Salzman was on hand at the rally last night and we now bring you a portion of the event for today’s WFHB community report. The first speaker is Doug Bauder, the coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center at IU.

Standing Room Only – Democratic Mayoral Candidate Debate

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On March 24, the three democratic candidates for mayor of Bloomington squared off in a debate hosted by the Indiana University College Democrats. John Hamilton, John Linnemeier and Darryl Neher were each given time to answer questions that were related to potential issues they would face as mayor.

Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 3 Democrats

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This is a special Wednesday edition of Interchange. We kick-off a series of candidate conversations concerning contested seats on Bloomington’s City Council. There are four seats which have primary challenges to the incumbents–these are for Districts 1, 3, 4, and 5.

Tonight’s show welcomes the candidates vying for the democratic party nomination to run for the District 3 seat. We welcome Marty Spechler, the incumbent, and the two challengers, Allison Chopra, and Mike Satterfield.

The city’s website describes the role of the council this way:

As the legislative body of the City, the City Council is a link between the citizens of Bloomington and their government. By enacting legislation that fosters the health, safety and welfare of the City, the Council works to represent the interests of residents while ensuring the delivery of municipal services. By statute, the Council is responsible for the control of the City’s property and finances, and the appropriation of money.

It’s easy to lose sight of the big important issues like poverty and social justice amidst all the bureaucratic procedures and jargon of operational government, but this is our intent on the series.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Research Assistance: Nancy Jones
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

A Case Is Made For A New School Referendum Based On The Success Of The Past

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Property owners will again be asked to pay additional taxes to help support the Monroe County Community School Corporation. Last week the League of Women Voters hosted a talk by MCCSC Superintendent Judy DeMuth regarding the use of the funds received after voters passed the funding referendum in 2010. League President Doris Wittenburg said Monroe County students were fortunate, because those in other counties were more affected by drastic budget cuts under former Governor Mitch Daniels.

Superintendent Demuth gave a slideshow presentation summarizing how the referendum funds have been spent over the past several years. Then she made a case for a renewed referendum in 2016. The majority of the 2010 referendum operating funds were spent on salaries and benefits. A small amount went to services, supplies, and equipment. Demuth said she thought spending on employees was the best way to serve children in the school district.

Additionally, the cash balance of MCCSC is seven million dollars larger than it was in 2009, before the budget cuts. Teachers did not take a raise in 2010. However, a raise was programmed in and Demuth believes that this is important.

Demuth explained that spending of the extras funds was guided by the principles of: Restore, Replenish and Reform. Programs that were ended due to budget cuts were restored through the use of referendum funds, including alternative learning opportunities and experiential learning. One of which was the Bloomington Graduate School.

Demuth concluded her presentation by thanking those in attendance and those in the community for passing the 2010 referendum. The extra funding provided through this referendum will end this year. She said the corporation is still in the planning stages of proposing another referendum. She expected the request amount to be similar to that of 2010 referendum request.

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