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Author Archives: WFHB News

Local Businesses Meet to Discuss “Bum Commerce”

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More than fifty people crowded into a room at Nick’s English Hut today to discuss what some downtown businesspeople have referred to as “bums”. The meeting drew attention on social media yesterday after Nick’s co-owner Susan Bright sent other business owners a letter titled, “Bum Commerce on Kirkwood.” Bright’s letter went on to address panhandling, petty theft and drug dealing downtown. This afternoon, she began the meeting by addressing criticism of her language in that letter.

“I want to apologize first off by my letter that was titled ‘Bum Commerce’.  My real intention is for criminal commerce on Kirkwood.” Bright explains.

Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff took questions at the meeting from downtown businesspeople as well as advocates for the poor and homeless. An employee at Nick’s told Diekhoff about recent incidents in which people harassed customers and employees. The employee said there are also issuess with drug use and sales behind the restaurant.

“The law that is in place now requires us to witness a crime”, the Police Chief explains.

Many attendees at the meeting were critical of how businesspeople complained about crime downtown. Erin Marshall says negative attention is unfairly directed at people in poverty.

“There is a lot of criminal activity in Bloomington and a lot of it is by the University and by the businesses that operate here” Marshall exclaims. “If you are afraid to walk down Kirkwood because of a homeless person asking you for money,  then maybe people should question where that fear comes from.”

Police Chief Diekhoff said he thinks part of the problem stems from a misunderstanding about who commits crimes.

“There are thugs that hangout in Peoples Park” Diekoff explains. “they’re not homeless, they’re not panhandlers, they’re just troublemakers.

Diekhoff went on to say that city police officers do routine foot patrols downtown. He also said the city police department is “short staffed”, which he said makes it more difficult to do those patrols.

Voices In The Street – The Two Bloomingtons: Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Student Exodus

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Enough time has passed that it truly feels as though the IU student body population has dissipated significantly.  IU students bring a great deal of economic stimulus to Bloomington, but no one can dispute the relative calm that befalls our beloved city when summer gets into full swing.  Voices in the street hit the streets to ask your friends and neighbors which do they prefer:  Bloomington in the summer, or Bloomington in the school year.

City Council Approves New Finacial Controls After Fraud

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The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved new financial controls for the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission last night. City Clerk Regina Moore presented the synopsis of the motion to the Council.

“This legislation is coming forth from the mayor in concert with the entire council” Regina says. “Its primary purpose is to strengthen the city of Bloomington’s financial policies and to ensure the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars”.

This reform to the Redevelopment Commission’s internal financial controls will put into code practices already adopted by the commission a year ago. These controls were put into place in the wake of a major fraud perpetrated by a former city employee. In March, Justin Wykoff pleaded guilty to defrauding the city of more than eight-hundred-thousand dollars, while employed as a project manager for the City. He perpetrated this crime while administering concrete contracts for sidewalk work within city TIF  districts. City project work within Tax Increment Financing Districts is administered by the Redevelopment Commission. The misappropriated funds were authorized and overseen by the Commission.  City Controller Jeff Underwood told the council that this kind of problem, and the search for reforms, is common among redevelopment commissions across the state.

“I failed to mention that Lisa Abbott is president of the redevelopment association of Indiana” Underwood reports. “They do meet quarterly and discuss all issues related to redevelopment commissions”.

Under the new regulations, the Commission will review each phase of every contract, and its associated expenditure, for every contract, as it proceeds. Furthermore, all prospective spending will be examined by the city’s auditing department and legal department, after which it will go back to the Commission for its approval. Finally, the City’s auditing and legal departments must sign off on each payment. Council President Dave Rollo made a final comment on the legislation.

“I appreciate the legislation’s diligence and attention to TIF funding”. Rollo exclaims passionately

The City Council passed the ordinance unanimously.

A Blue Dot In a Sea of Red, Bloomington’s Liberal Attitudes Compared to the Rest of the State

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Bloomington, and especially Indiana University, is often referred to — politically speaking — as a blue dot in a sea of red. A strong majority of voters here favor Democrats, in stark contrast to the rest of Indiana. Conservative media often accuse of universities such as IU of indoctrinating students to favor liberal causes. WFHB correspondent Kara Tullman  wanted to know how local youth, who often move here from conservative small towns, adopt viewpoints and values that differ than the majority of those in their hometowns. She brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

Daily Local News – June 4th, 2015

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This morning Glenda Ritz announced her candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination for Indiana governor; More than fifty people crowded into a room at Nick’s English Hut today to discuss what some downtown businesspeople have referred to as bums; The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved new financial controls for the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission last night; Monroe Lake will have its annual Youth Fishing Derby from 8-10 am on Saturday.

FEATURE
Bloomington, and especially Indiana University, is often referred to — politically speaking — as a blue dot in a sea of red. A strong majority of voters here favor Democrats, in stark contrast to the rest of Indiana. Conservative media often accuse of universities such as IU of indoctrinating students to favor liberal causes. WFHB
correspondent Kara Tullman wanted to know how local youth, who often move here from conservative small towns, adopt viewpoints and values that differ than the majority of those in their hometowns. She brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
The Two Bloomingtons: Weighing the pros and cons of the student exodus.

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

EcoReport – June 4, 2015

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Myke Luurtsema of the Indiana Forest Alliance talks about their Wild Indiana Campaign to set aside Wild Areas in the Indiana State Forest System.

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: Julianna Dailey and David Lyman.
This week’s news stories were written by Linda Greene, Norm Holy, and Kara Tullman. Our feature was produced by Dan Withered. Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. This week’ s calendar was compiled by Filiz Cicek. EcoReport is produced by Dan Young and Filiz Cicek. Executive producer is Joe Crawford.

EcoReport – Myke Luurtsema: Wild Areas

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Myke Luurtsema of the Indiana Forest Alliance talks about their Wild Indiana Campaign and it’s proposal to set aside Wild Areas in the Indiana State Forest System.

EcoReport ‘IN Nature’ – Hog-Nosed Snake

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Professor publishes account of wrongful detainment

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Indiana University Professor Christine Von Der Haar is back in the news after publishing a full account of her wrongful detainment in 2012. After settling her lawsuit against the federal government in April, Von Der Haar is ready for her story to be heard again. WFHB correspondent Ivy Bridges brings us that story.

Better Beware! – Wedding Scams

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’tis the season for Makin’ Whoopee – and fraudsters are all over the wedding industry these days, now that the average nuptials cost over 25 grand. If you’re planning to get hitched, don’t get taken!

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