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Final Payment on Dam Repair Project Approved

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The Bloomington Utilities Service Board approved the final payment December 2nd on a project to repair the Griffy Dam. Utilities Engineer Phil Peden said the company doing the work, Dave O’Mara Contractors, is mostly finished with the project, which has been in progress since the city drained Griffy Lake last year.

The repair work was funded primarily by a federal grant. The total cost was about one-point-four million dollars.

Number of Homeless Students in Monroe County Increasing

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The Monroe County Community School Corporation has seen an increase in students experiencing homelessness. At a meeting November 19th of the Corporation’s Board of Trustees, Student Services Director Becky Rose said there are more than four hundred homeless students this year. That’s up from three hundred and two last year, and three hundred and eighteen the year before.

Rose went on to say that the estimated number of homeless students is probably too low. She said many of the students’ parents are reluctant to admit they are experiencing homelessness.

Rose said the School Corporation tries to reach out to those families, to help them access the appropriate services.

Monroe County Plan Commission Votes to Change Road Name

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The Monroe County Plan Commission voted November 19th to change the name of a road on the far east side of the county. County Planner Beth Rosenbarger told the commission the road’s name causes confusion, which can be dangerous in emergency situations. She showed the road’s location on a map.

Jeff Schemmer, communications manager for the County’s Central Emergency Dispatch, said emergency personnel often have trouble with addresses on the edge of the County.

The commission voted to change the name from Deckard Ridge Road to Elkins Road. The new name was suggested by a local resident, and will take effect March 1st.

Public Health Students Present Parks Program Survey Findings

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On November 19th the Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard reports from IU students who studied four different parks programs. The students, from the university’s school of public health, conducted surveys with residents who use the city’s softball leagues, arts events, senior citizens activities, and the B-Line Trail. Paula McDevitt, recreation services director for the Parks Department, said the information could help the department as it does long-term planning.

The group that studied the B-Line Trail found that slightly more people used the trail for biking than for walking. They also found that ninety percent of trail users were white. Michaela Sisney, who presented for the group, said they also considered users’ perceptions of safety on the trail, although they didn’t actually survey anyone about that issue.

Another group surveyed participants and spectators in the city’s softball leagues. Hillel Sapir, who presented for that group, said more people use softball for socialization than for exercise.

The softball group surveyed one hundred and eighty-seven participants and spectators at softball games. Forty-eight percent of participants cited social benefits as the main reason for playing.

Indiana State AFL-CIO Announces New President

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The Indiana State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations announced that Brett Voorhies has been elected as their new president. He is now the new leader of a federation of eight hundred local unions, representing more than three hundred thousand working men and women. Voorhies has spent his career working with united steelworkers. Most recently, he was the president of the Central Indiana Labor Council. Jeff Harris, spokesman for the Indiana AFL-CIO, says Voorhies has been a lifetime worker in the labor movement.

Voorhies replaces Nancy Guyott, who was the first woman elected state AFL-CIO president. The former president of the union directed an unsuccessful campaign to block passage of the state’s right-to-work law. But Voorhies says that defeat did not lead to his election.

Joe Breedlove has been re-elected as AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, the chief financial officer of the organization. Voorhies will serve a four-year term, leading day-to-day operations along with Breedlove.

Daily Local News – December 9, 2013

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The Indiana State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations announced that Brett Voorhies has been elected as their new president; IU student reports aid Parks Department; The Monroe County Plan Commission voted November 19th to change the name of a road on the far east side of the county; The Monroe County Community School Corporation has seen an increase in students experiencing homelessness; The Bloomington Utilities Service Board approved the final payment December 2nd on a project to repair the Griffy Dam.

FEATURE
Businesses Benefit As Others Suffer From Local Tax Breaks
Two studies released by Ball State University in recent weeks call into question a long-standing, and expensive, strategy that communities throughout the state have used in hopes of creating jobs. Monroe County and the city of Bloomington spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on the strategy, which involves giving local tax breaks to companies that are new to town. Those companies, in turn, are expected to create new jobs, therefore decreasing the local unemployment rate and improving the local economy. But the study out of Ball State suggests the tax breaks for business are not creating many jobs, and they’re actually increasing the tax rates for regular taxpayers. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke to one of the authors of the study, professor Michael Hicks, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Joe Yonkman of Home Instead talks about the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program and the need for volunteers to gift wrap the over 2,000 presents donated for area seniors in need this year.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Yvonne Cheng,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin, Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – December 6 2013

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Indiana State Police say there have been too many car accidents to count, a result of the winter storm that began last night and has continued throughout the day; A report on the trend to privatize government social services painted a particularly harsh picture of Indiana’s contract with IBM; Hamilton Logging has begun logging operations in the most recently sold area of the Morgan Monroe State Forest back-country area, a one hundred-acre piece of the forest set aside in 1981 as one of the most natural, primitive places left in Indiana; Carbon capture and storage, a new approach intended to reduce carbon emission, may face a challenge in gaining public acceptance according to a new study co-authored by Indiana University researchers; Blueline Media Productions is partnering with the South Central Community Action Program, or SCCAP, to provide a free day of holiday portraits for low-income families in Bloomington this Sunday.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Alycin Bektesh, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa, Jalisa Ransom, Yvonne Cheng, and Alycin Bektesh.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer is Nick Tumino,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – December 5, 2013

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Bloomington and the rest of the WFHB listening area, starting at ten o’clock tonight and running through midnight tomorrow night; The Bloomington City Council passed a resolution in support of same-sex marriage yesterday; The Indiana State Police are investigating a Thanksgiving night police shooting that resulted in the death of a Nashville man; Girls Incorporated of Monroe County is hosting their annual Holiday Hoopla this Saturday, from 9 am to 11:30 am.

FEATURE
Demonstrators Support McDonald’s Workers
McDonald’s workers nationwide are asking for an increased minimum wage, to fifteen dollars an hour. Today workers went on strike in a reported one hundred cities around the country, and many other cities, including Bloomington, held demonstrations in solidarity with the workers. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh was on hand at a demonstration this afternoon, and brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREETS
Our weekly public opinion segment.

CREDITS
Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Mike Glab and Jalisa Ransom,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer is Sarah Hettrick.
Drew Daudelin is our News Editor,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – December 4, 2013

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At a meeting November 27th, the Monroe County Commission approved the purchase of more than four hundred thousand dollars of equipment, software, and supplies for a new emergency dispatch center; Two research images, taken at Indiana University’s Light Microscopy Imaging Center, are finalists in the International GE Cell Imaging Competition; Congressman Todd Young will meet with constituents individually and in small groups this Friday, December 6th; After city inspectors found a long string of code violations, the Bloomington Board of Public Works ordered the closing of the University Inn Hotel on November 20th.

FEATURE
Equal Protection for Planned Parenthood
This Fall, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky put forth a lawsuit against the state of Indiana, regarding a recent law signed by Mike Pence, and sought an injunction against the law while the case was being heard. On November 26th Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, of the United States district court for the southern district of Indiana, finalized her decision granting the temporary injunction. This signified that Planned Parenthood, represented in court by the American civil liberties union of Indiana, has a chance of winning the suit against the state. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh has the report, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
A new edition of our weekly consumer watchdog segment.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Casey Kuhn,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe,
Alycin Bektesh produced our feature.
Our engineer is Jim Lang,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – December 3, 2013

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The Strike Mic:hiring and firing practices of Indiana University maintenance faculty; The City of Bloomington Animal Shelter announced the beginns its annual pet supply drive; Griffy Lake undergoes restock; A new art exhibit, featuring work from faculty artists from the Hope School of Fine Arts, opens January 25th at the Indiana University Art Museum.

FEATURE
Community Responds to Extra Cops
In recent weeks the Bloomington Police Department has been sending extra officers to patrol the B-Line Trail and the downtown area, responding to what city officials said was an increase in complaints about panhandling, public intoxication, and vandalism. The new patrols were announced last month along with an anti-panhandling campaign and new surveillance cameras downtown. Celebrated by some downtown business owners, the new security has also raised concerns about who the extra police will be patrolling and arresting. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has the story, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Ashley and Sarah are back, discussing a recent article that explains why you might not be rich. In the second segment of this series, they review the final five reasons and explore strategies to adjust your financial mindset and behavior, for WFHB’s weekly financial segment The Ins and Outs of Money, our weekly segment providing economic education and community resources that keep your budget balanced and your finances flourishing.

CREDITS
Anchors: Shayne Laughter, Nick Tumino
Today’s headlines were written by Yvonne Cheng, Chris Martin, and Nash Hott.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford
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 engineer is Harrison Wagner
Drew Daudelin edits the Daily Local News
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

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