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Author Archives: WFHB News

Ellettsville takes steps towards building pedestrian trail

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The Town of Ellettsville took another step October 13th toward building a pedestrian trail without state or federal funding. The Town Council voted unanimously to return $46,000 to the federal government. The money had been allocated for the Heritage Trail. Federal funds come with restrictions on how they can be spent, including requirements to spend money on specific kinds of inspectors. The Council decided to instead do the construction with Town workers and Town money. Darla Brown, the Town attorney, said the town is still working to buy the necessary land for the trail. Council member Dan Swafford asked Brown about the process.

The Town has been trying for several years to build the pedestrian trail, which also requires the construction of a bridge. Swafford asked that the Council discuss the status of the trail project at every Council meeting until they break ground.

County trouble collecting storm water fees

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The state and federal governments aren’t paying their share for programs that address local storm water problems. Monroe County attorney Kevin Dogan said the County has had trouble collecting storm water fees for properties owned by other governmental units. Dogan says it’s not surprising that they didn’t get funding from state and federal government.

Dogan referenced a recent court decision the prohibited the County from enforcing its noise ordinance on Interstate 69 construction crews. Dogan said the County should still send bills to state and federal properties. But he said there are still questions about what to do when the bills aren’t paid.

Dogan estimated the County has been billing the federal government about $15,000 a year for storm water fees. He didn’t have an estimate for the state’s bills. Storm water fees pay for infrastructure such as drainage ditches and storm sewers throughout the County. Dogan and the Board members said the County is providing a service to the state and federal properties. But Board members Patrick Stoffers and Iris Kiesling agreed there is not much reason to pursue unpaid bills.

The Board later approved a policy that the County won’t charge late fees to the state and federal governments.

Fast-tracking new recycling facility

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Monroe County may be fast-tracking plans for a new recycling facility. The County Solid Waste Management District wants to start construction before the end of the year. The new materials recovery facility, or MRF, would process the County’s recyclables and prepare them for sale. Money for the project is set aside in the District’s budget for next year. But on October 9th, executive director Larry Barker asked the District’s Board of Directors for permission to start spending the money early.

Barker has been pushing to build a MRF for years. The County finally approved a version of the project in September. The facility will be a clean-stream MRF, meaning it will only process recyclables that have been pre-sorted. Ultimately, Barker wants to build a waste-stream MRF, which would actually separate recyclables from other garbage. A waste-stream MRF would be more expensive, and that proposal has been controversial. Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, who is also a member of the District Board, said he wanted to be careful not to appear supportive of the waste-stream facility.

Barker and some members of the District’s Board believe the County can make money from selling its recyclables. Currently, the County pays the company, Republic Services, to haul off its recycling. Board President Steve Volan said it’s not clear all those recyclables are even, in fact, recycled. At the meeting, the Board voted 3 to 1 to start construction on the clean-stream MRF this year. That decision has to be approved by the County Council before it’s final.

Monroe County short on poll workers

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In the lead up to the November 4th election, Monroe County is again short on poll workers. As of the October 15th Republicans had only recruited 34 of the 90 workers they need. Democrats had recruited most of their workers, but they were still short five. The two major parties are responsible for recruiting poll workers until three weeks before the election, when they hand the job over to the County Clerk’s Office. In recent elections, there have consistently been problems with recruiting poll workers. Election Board member Lorraine Farrell, who represents the Monroe County Democrats, expressed regret that the pattern was repeating.

The County Clerk’s Office officially took over recruitment on October 14th. Clerk Linda Robbins told the Board she planned to hire someone who would work exclusively on finding poll workers. She explained the process to Farrell as well as Board member Brian Lemonds, who represents the Monroe County Republican Party.

Earlier this year, Robbins asked the Board for permission to pay recruiters from the Democrat and Republican parties. The goal, she said, would be to incentivize the parties to do a better job recruiting. At the time, Farrell and Lemonds both objected to paying political parties with taxpayer money.

Voices in the Street – Gay marriage instantly legal in 30 states: The Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals

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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court shocked many by refusing refusing to hear appeals of three Circuit Court rulings that had overturned same-sex marriage bans, despite pleas from both sides to settle the issue. Gay marriage, therefore, was immediately allowed by all three circuits, covering 11 states and bringing the number of states permitting same-sex marriage to 30, including some of the most conservative. Voices in the Street wants to know how you feel about the legalization of gay marriage.

Daily Local News – October 16, 2014

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Ivy Tech Student Productions will perform an original play titled ‘king oedipus’ at the John Waldron Arts Center this weekend and next;Money Smart Week is a week of free events to raise awareness of local resources that help residents with financial topics;The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is transferring its responsibilities and tasks of the prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to Indiana University;Peter Finn, an Indiana University Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study new cognitive treatments for alcoholism;In the lead up to the November 4th election, Monroe County is again short on poll workers; Monroe County may be fast-tracking plans for a new recycling facility;The state and federal governments aren’t paying their share for programs that address local storm water problems; The Town of Ellettsville took another step October 13th toward building a pedestrian trail without state or federal funding; An internal dispute at the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Department flared up October 3rd in a public meeting.

FEATURE
Next, Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gall gave opening remarks to a conference in Indianapolis regarding elder abuse – his words here, for today’s community report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Up next is Voices in the Street, our weekly public opinion segment.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele & Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf, Cathi Norton and Anson Shupe
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Carissa Barrett
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley along with Taylor Telford
Our engineers today are Jonathan Goethals and Jose Rodriguez
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.

Eco Report – October 16, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Deer management researcher Kent Webb discusses deer culls, bowhunting, coyote predation, and other deer management topics.

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 Nash Hott.
This week’s news stories were written by Linda Greene and Norm Holy. This week’s feature was engineered by Dan Young.
Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Get to know your local candidates Part 2 of 6

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On Tuesday, September 22, in the Bloomington City Council Chambers six candidates discussed their qualifications for public office in Monroe County. The session consisted of expert commentary and Audience Q&A. Candidates for clerk include Linda Robbins (D) Jacob Franklin (R) Candidates for Recorder include Eric Schmitz (D) and Jeff Ellington (R) Candidates for Judge include Valeri Haughton and Karen Wyle (R) This event was recorded by Community Access Television Services and used with permission by Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

The Indiana University School of Public Health Holds Panel Discussion on Ebola Outbreak

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On Monday, the Indiana University School of Public Health held a panel discussion in response to the current outbreak of the Ebola Virus. Panalists Joshua Mugele, associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at the IU School of Medicine., Chad Priest, assistant dean for operations and community partnerships at the IU School of Nursing., Charles Reafsnyder, IU retired associate vice president for international affairs and Ruth Stone, the Laura Bolton professor of folklore and ethnomusicology at IU Bloomington and a scholar of Liberian music, culture and performance Panelists will discuss medical, public health and physiological aspects of the Ebola virus. The also took audience questions, Moderated by Michael Reece, associate dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. We hear what the audience members were concerned abou, as well as panelists response here, in today’s community report.

The Indiana University School of Public Health is a recipient of financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and is working to improve medical education and public-health workforce training in collaboration with the University of Liberia and its Dogliotti School of Medicine and the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts.

Bloomington Beware! – Staying Safe On Television

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Infomercials are all over TV, especially late at night, and all too many of them range from “cheesy and shady” down to “outright fraud.” Here’s a look at the lies…which can be pretty funny, unless you’ve been a sucker.

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