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Daily Local News – September 30, 2014

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On Saturday, September 27 an animal rights activist group named Direct Action Everywhere staged a protested at Bloomington’s Chipotle Grill on Kirkwood street; Males and students of color in Indiana are at a disproportionate risk for school suspension and expulsion; The Indiana Statewide 911 Board is reminding residents they can text 911 in case of emergency; Josh Fox, creator, writer, director, and producer of the Gasland documentaries will be in Bloomington on October 25 for a showing of his film Gasland 2 at 6pm; The National Science Foundation has awarded IU scientist and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry, Phil Stevens, a three-year $700,000 grant to continue his research studying the relationship between climate change and pollution; An IU research team headed by geography professor Tom Evans has recently received a grant for $2.6 million to study over five years climate variability, growing human demands for water, and the decision-making process of distributing limited water supplies by African farmers in Kenya and Zambia; A group of Indiana University students is working to help Bloomington become what is known as a Star Community.

FEATURE
Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz released a video September 18th, the first in a
three part series titled State of the Classroom. The first video focuses on
students in the classroom, including the environments and external factors that
impact student success.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Chelsea Hardy and Anson Shupe
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access
Television Services.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the
Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineers today are Carissa Barrett and Anna Legge.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 29, 2014

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Jimmy John’s recently announced a data breach that could have compromised debit and credit cards users at over 216 locations nationwide; Indiana is to receive $647,072 in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prevent chronic diseases; The Indiana Department of Workforce Development recently announced that it will be receiving a one point five million dollar grant from the US Department of Labor; A recent study of approximately 119,000 Indiana students in grades 6 through 12 found a marked decline in drinking and smoking; A new CVS store is coming to downtown Bloomington.

FEATURE
The election board did not receive any reassuring updates regarding poll workers in their meeting last week. WFHB News director Alycin Bektesh has the report.

ACTIVATE!
Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Cathi Norton
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
In partnership with the city of Bloomington volunteer network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

County building materials recovery facility

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Monroe County will be processing its own recyclables in a matter of months. The County Council approved a budget September 17th  that includes money to build a materials recovery facility, or MRF (“murf”). Officials at the County Solid Waste Management District have debated for years whether to build the facility. Currently the District pays a private company, Republic Services, to haul away its recyclables. But District Board President Steve Volan said it’s not always clear what happens to those materials.

Volan told the Council there is money to be made on recycling. He said the District just needs to build a facility to bail and store the materials.

The District’s budget only includes money for what is known as a clean­stream MRF. The facility will only process recyclables that are pre­sorted. Debate continues about whether to add on a more complex and expensive function called a waste stream MRF. That kind of facility would actually remove recyclable material from the garbage. County Council President Geoff McKim said many people seem to be confused about the two different functions.

The Council later voted to approve the District’s budget, which also includes a 5% raise for District employees. Those employees have not had a raise since 2011.

Parking meter plan

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The Bloomington City Council pressed Mayor Mark Kruzan for information about parking meters September 23rd. Council members asked about the financial status of the meter project. The questions came up as the Council considered next year’s city budget. Council member Marty Spechler wanted to know if the meters are making money for city government.

Kruzan did not directly answer the question. He said the financial picture is complex. And he said the administration provided written responses to similar questions prior to the meeting.

City documents state parking money is divided into at least five separate funds. At least three city departments do work related to parking. And the city has said from the start it expects to spend the first few years paying off the initial costs of meters.

Board member Steve Volan asked for the administration to present a clearer parking budget in the future .

Kruzan said he expects the parking meter program to change soon. He gave no specifics on those changes except to say the city government would probably be making less money.

Kruzan said his administration is consulting with downtown businesses and the Chamber of Commerce about changes to meter policy.

Daily Local News – September 25, 2014

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The Bloomington City Council pressed Mayor Mark Kruzan for information about parking meters September 23rd;Famous stand-up comedian and former talk show host Jay Leno will perform at the IU auditorium on Friday night, October 17, during IU’s Homecoming Weekend; Indiana University issued a statement yesterday expressing deep concern over the conviction and life sentence of Chinese scholar Ilham Tohti handed down this week; Monroe County will be processing its own recyclables in a matter of months.

FEATURE
WFHB correspondent Dan Young speaks with conservationist Gary Moody about the environmental impact of the Williams Dam near Bedford, and fills us in on an upcoming showing of the film “Dam Nation” in Bloomington, for today’s community report, courtesy of EcoReport.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn Vandewiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Anson Shupe and Susan Northleaf
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Dan Young
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineers today are Jose Rodriguez and Jonathan Goethals
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 24, 2014

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Organizers of an open streets event got permission September 23rd to move forward with their plans, but not without a struggle; “Rise Above the Mark”, a documentary film focusing on Indiana’s struggles with public school reform will be shown tonight at 6:30 at Bloomington High School North; Jonathan Raff, an associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Chemistry is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s five-year Faculty Early Career Development Award; Indiana University will continue to burn coal indefinitely – WFHB news director Alycin Bektesh has the report.

FEATURE
The League of Women Voters’ Monroe County chapter is hosting a series of candidate forums throughout September, inviting candidates that county voters will see on their ballots this election to introduce themselves to the public. Last night all candidates for Indiana House of Representatives in districts that include Monroe county were invited to Ivy Tech commons for a forum. None of the three incumbents – all republicans – for district 46, 60 or 62 accepted the invitation to participate. The democratic challengers in district 46 and 60 were allowed to make a five minute statement. In district 62 democratic challenger Jeff Sparks and Libertarian Challenger Ashley Keith-Qualkenbush were both present and answered a series of questions from audience members. The opening statements from all candidates present at the forum last night, moderated by WFIU/WTIU News Bureau Chief, here in today’s community report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
A couple of fake military charities based in Indiana have been busted, and the sad story points up both the importance of supporting our troops and their families, and the urgent need to know who you’re giving your money to.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton & Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Our engineers today are Jim Lang and Adam Reichle
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 23, 2014

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Today is National Voter Registration Day and in celebration, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson urges Hoosiers to use a new mobile registration app to confirm or register their vote; Tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Whittenberg Auditorium at the IU Memorial Union, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas will speak about his life as an undocumented immigrant; Senator Dan Coats has joined a group of 45 senators in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline; Kids do not seem to be getting in the way of their parent’s dating lives; Bloomington’s most famous internet cat, Lil Bub, has recently partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help cats that are in need of extra medical care or assistance; CVS is looking to open a new store in the heart of downtown Bloomington; Workers are beginning sidewalk construction this week on a road that is a notorious pedestrian hazard; New data from the U.S. Census Bureau places Bloomington in fifth place for fastest growing cities in the nation; After many proposals and many discussions, government owned and operated recycling facility has been approved; An event meant to examine the use of streets to encourage healthy living and community may be denied a permit based on inappropriate use of streets.

CREDITS
Anchors Casey Kuhn and Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Cathi Norton, Linda Green, Steven Williamson and
Daniele Flum.
Along with Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with
Community Access Television Services.
Our engineer today is Carissa Barrett.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing producer is Joe Crawford.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 22, 2014

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Former Monroe county auditor Amy Gerstman was sentenced Friday to three months on house arrest for using county issued credit cards for personal purchases; Starting October 1, registering for a handgun permit in Indiana will be conducted electronically; New research from Purdue University reveals that young adults who frequent the college bar scene are the most likely demographic to sell prescription drugs; Opponents of single-use plastic bags hope to see an ordinance on the issue in place soon; On September 17th the Bloomington City Council stopped short of cutting taxes for a pair of million-dollar penthouses to be built along the B-Line Trail.

FEATURE
Supporters of the unionization of employees of Bloomingfoods rallied in front of the West 6th outlet last Thursday. Around fifty people gathered late Thursday afternoon to talk about the unionization drive and to listen to speakers on the issue. Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy was at the rally to interview an assortment of attendees, including a union organizer from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Bloomingfoods employees, members of Bloomingfoods co-operative association, and an IU faculty member who specializes in labor studies.

ACTIVATE!
Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community!

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Steven Williamson and David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Dan Withered, with correspondent David Murphy
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the city of Bloomington volunteer network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Adding a non-Democrat to the Plan Commission

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A Monroe County official says the County is dragging its feet on adding a non-Democrat to the Plan Commission. County Surveyor Kevin Enright, who is also a member of the Commission, said September 16th the delay is QUOTE “inexcusable” UNQUOTE. There has been an open spot on the Board for ten months. Enright asked County attorney David Schilling about the vacancy at a Plan Commission meeting.

The County Commission is responsible for appointing a new member to the Commission. State law won’t allow them to appoint a Democrat because the majority of their current appointees on the Commission are Democrats.

Enright was elected to his fourth term as surveyor in 2012. He ran as a Democrat. County Commissioner Julie Thomas defended the failure to appoint someone to the 9-member Plan Commission.

Thomas said the Commission is still accepting applications.

Storm water management debate

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On September 11th, the storm water management board debated a line item in their 2015 budget at the urging of the county council. In their previous meeting the board struck funds that go toward a quarter-time treasurer deputy position. Board member Iris Keisling said that though she voted in the past to allow for storm water management funds to go to the treasurer’s office, it was not intended to be a recurring expense.

Salary plus benefits for the quarter-time position total ten thousand dollars that would come from the Storm Water Management budget. Board Member Kevin Enright recommended the board vote to reinstate the funds for one additional year.

Keisling disagreed, pointing out that other departments do not assist in funding the treasurer’s office and that the Storm Water Management budget should be treated the same as all other county offices.

A motion to reinstate the full ten thousand dollars to help the treasurer’s office pay for a quarter time deputy to oversee the collection of Storm Water Management fees was tied 2-2 and did not pass. Board member Julie Thomas offered a compromise.

County Council attorney Michael Flory was present at the meeting and commended the board on their collegiality and said the funds would help alleviate demands on the auditor and treasurers offices.

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