Author Archives: WFHB News
The Monroe County Plan Commission gave its approval January 21 to a company seeking to build a new cell tower southwest of Bloomington.
County Planner Jackie Scanlan told the commission there are no other towers near the proposed site, which is on East Lane, just west of State Road 37.
Scanlan responded to a question from commission member Scott Wells.
“The consultant report said that the closest is at least two miles away,” Scanlan said.
County zoning law does not allow cell towers to be built within a mile of another tower. The county ordinance also requires co-location, meaning a given tower should be made available to multiple companies to use.
Wells praised the county’s rules, saying that they limit the proliferation of towers throughout the county.
“What’s so good about our ordinance is that if you go up to Morgan county, right in the middle of the county you’ll see three separate towers, and I’m glad we have the potential to eliminate the clutter,” Wells said.
Jennifer Jones spoke on behalf of JB Towers, the company seeking to build the new 190 feet tower.
Jones said the county’s ordinance limits competition in the area, which will benefit her Fort Wayne-based company.
“Something unique about our company is that we don’t work specifically for any one cell phone company,” Jones said, “We own the tower ourselves and it’s our business plan to co-locate the towers.”
The project requires a variance from the county ordinance, because it is closer than 200 feet from the property line.
Commission member John Irvine said the county should rethink that part of its law, which is intended to prevent a tower from damaging another piece of property if it falls.
After the discussion, the commission voted unanimously, in support of rezoning the property to accommodate the new tower.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, has issued a press release detailing ways to deal with winter weather while staying safe and environmentally friendly.
If you use chemical salts to melt ice off your sidewalk, be sure not to over apply or allow the salts to fall on your lawn or garden, since excess salts can be damaging to flora.
If you spread sand for traction, don’t overuse it either, as that excessive material can cause problems in storm water systems.
You can winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tires for tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers.
Ensuring your vehicle is ready for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.
Make sure your heating system is operating efficiently. It is a good idea to have a contractor perform a routine check-up and any necessary maintenance on the equipment before freezing weather drives up your energy bill.
Due to anticipated below zero temperatures, the City of Bloomington has announced that Sanitation Department services are suspended tomorrow, January 24th; This morning the Indiana House of Representatives adopted the committee report from yesterday’s Elections and Apportionment Committee meeting, during which House Joint Resolution 3 was passed nine to three; The Monroe County Plan Commission gave its approval January 21st to a company seeking to build a new cell tower southwest of Bloomington; The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, has issued a press release detailing ways to deal with winter weather while staying safe and environmentally friendly.
Pride Film Fest Co-Director on Upcoming Scheduled Pride Events
The 11th Annual Bloomington Pride Film Festival takes place tonight, Saturday, and Sunday at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. Its films will explore a wide variety of issues and situations involving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The weekend-long festival also includes live performances, a dance party, and a mass LGBTQ wedding. Correspondent Lauren Glapa spoke with co-director Sarah Perfetti about the festival for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks you about racial equality in America, and how far you think we’ve come since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Alycin Bektesh and Drew Daudelin,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Lauren Glapa.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer today is Sarah Hettrick.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.
In today’s EcoReport feature, Kim Ferraro, Water and Agricultural Policy Director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, talks about the ag-gag or anti-whistleblower bill currently before the Indiana legislature, as well as several other proposed state laws that are troubling to Indiana environmentalists.
Anchors: Stephanie Stewart and Dan Young
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.
This week’s news stories were written by Linda Greene, Dan Young, and Norm Holy. This week’s feature was engineered by Dan Young. This week’s calendar was compiled by Kristina Wiltsee. Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Dan Young and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh
In this episode of Interchange, host Doug Storm goes in search of No Place, or what Thomas More, the 16th century lawyer and statesman, and originator of the term (if not the literary genre), called Utopia. Providing map and compass (moral and otherwise) are Constance Furey, associate professor in the department of Religious Studies and a scholar of the Renaissance and Reformation Christianity, and Shelby Everett, a junior at Indiana University working towards a degree in Religious Studies who is currently interning with Fair Trade Bloomington.
Interview highlight: Constance Furey on utopian thinking as “educating desire”
“Though it’s often talked about as a kind of blueprint, and that’s one of the reasons that Plato’s Republic is invoked as a precedent also for a seemingly totalitarian vision of society, I think it’s actually helpful to imagine utopia more as a way of thinking about how to educate desire….Those desires are not in fact consistent or uniform across cultures, across time, between people, and so there’s a sense that what we do is going to be shaped by what it is we think we want and that’s where the ideal comes in and I think utopia is one of these ways of saying, and confronting us, ‘What do you want? What looks good to you?’…and therefore the implicit question potentially becomes explicit, ‘Why does that look good to you?’ And that’s a way of shaping or influencing desire…”
Works and authors discussed in this podcast:
Thomas More (1478 – 6 July 1535), Utopia
Plato, The Republic
Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430), The Book of the City of Ladies
Emilia Laneir (1569-1645), Salve Deus Rex Iudæorum(containing “Eve’s Apology”)
Nathan Schneider, Thank You, Anarchy
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860 – 1935): “Yellow Wallpaper”; Herland
Purdue University officials confirmed today that one man was fatally shot and one suspect was taken into custody following a shooting that occurred on campus around noon.
The suspect in custody has been identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins and the shooting victim as 21-year-old Andrew Boldt, Purdue senior and teaching assistant. Police say Cousins had a prior criminal record.
Following initial reports of the incident, a “shelter in place” directive was issued for the West Lafayette campus.
The order was lifted by 1:15 pm. A university spokesperson confirmed that there were no other suspects.
Classes were then suspended for the remainder of the day as well as all day Wednesday.
Counselling services were also set up to be offered to students in the wake of a fatal shooting.
“Today’s shooting at Purdue University is a tragedy, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim and to everyone in the Purdue community,” Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement. “I commend the professionalism of the West Lafayette Police Department in apprehending the suspect and bringing the situation to a swift conclusion. The Indiana State Police are on the scene and will continue to assist local law enforcement with the ongoing investigation.”
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, near the Engineering Fountain.
Jury selection started today in the trial of the former manager of the Little Nashville Opry House, which burned down in 2009.
James Bowyer has been charged with arson in the case. He was the business and personal partner of Esther Hamilton who, with her late husband, opened the facility in 1974.
Brown County Prosecutor James Oliver and Defense Attorney John Boren were in court today in Nashville to choose the jury.
The nationally-known country music venue burned down on September 19 of 2009. The blaze did more than $3 million in damage to the facility. The state fire marshal was quickly brought into the investigation of the fire’s cause.
Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that the Little Opry did not have a state entertainment permit for 2009, which meant that it hadn’t had its annual inspection for this year.
Later it was revealed that there had been three fires with undetermined causes at other properties owned by Edith Hamilton, and two fires at properties owned by Jim Bowyer. Hamilton also owed $68,000 in business and property back taxes.
By this time, agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had also been brought into the investigation.
Investigators concluded that the Little Opry fire had been deliberately set. In late September of 2009, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which includes the State Fire Marshal’s office, offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this arson.
Later, Indiana Insurance, the Little Opry’s insurer, announced that it was offering a total of $25,000 reward for information.
Finally, in March of 2012, Bowyer was arrested and charged with arson in the fire.
The citizens advisory committee to the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District discussed plans last week for supporting a new recycling facility. The District’s Board of Directors has been split on the issue of whether to build a materials recovery facility, or MRF, to process recyclables.
But the advisory committee has supported the initiative, going so far as to form a separate working group for the project.
Stephen Hale, a member of the committee, will be leading the group.
“I really kind of see this group as getting up to speed and finding the history of past discussions with MRFs in the district,” Hale said, “When you change something in the system, a lot of things get impacted by those changes and finding where the potential impacts and connections are is a pretty good next step.”
Larry Barker, executive director of the District, told the committee that a bill working its way through the Indiana Statehouse could make the MRF project even more significant.
“This lays out some serious guidelines on how we will be recycling in the future,” Barker said, “One of the goals that the administration has is recycling 50% of the waste stream by 2019. Right now there is about 6.7 million tons of municipal solid waste going to landfills. That’s pulling out about 3.3 million tons of recycling. This is dramatic.”
Toward the end of the meeting, Hale asked Barker what he thought the group should do to support the MRF.
“We have to come up with some sort of outreach program that gets the community aware of what’s coming forward,” Barker said, “The last thing you want to do is spring something on the community when they aren’t aware of it.”
At a meeting in December, the District’s Board approved spending $42,000 to further explore the possibility of building a MRF.
But some board members objected to spending the money, and others have questioned the long-term feasibility of the project.
Last week the Monroe County Public Library’s Board of Trustees discussed the negative effect parking meters are having on library patrons.
Board member Stephen Moberly referred to the library’s circulation numbers, which have declined since the downtown meters were installed in August.
“Looking at the chart, we had a slight decrease last year of half of one percent. This year, we had a 3.3% decrease,” Moberly said, “I think it’s attributed to one thing, though it may not be politically correct to say. The parking meters, I think, have been devastating to the library. You can come and see around the block that no cars are parked there, and there always were before because they were our patrons. Some retail merchants have closed and suffered because of the meters, but the library is suffering too.”
Board President Valerie Merriam says the library should tell the City Council and Mayor Mark Kruzan about what effect the meters have had. She says circulation hasn’t dropped this much in almost two decades.
“There is a general decline to everything that is related with coming in to the library,” Merriam said.
Moberly suggested that these are people that might not have the money to feed the meters, and that they should let city hall know about these concerns.
Library Director Sara Laughlin says she would convey those concerns to city officials. But Laughlin says she doesn’t have any short term solutions to reverse the effects.
“I think we’ve done what we can do in helping people find places to park,” Laughlin said, “In fact, I know that the parking finder page on our website is still one of the top pages on the site. Longer term, it would be great to have a second branch with lots of parking, otherwise we just can’t increase our parking capacity downtown.”
The library has also considered expanding hours on Sundays, when the city does not require drivers to pay the meters.