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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles found another $2 million of overcharges it levied on state residents; A construction company is in the midst of moving five historic houses in the University Courts neighborhood to make way for a new fraternity house; Monroe County officials are in talks with companies that could be paid to help establish a specific character for a West side commercial district; Upland Brewery is starting 2015 off with a new space and a new brew. Vice President of Retail Operations Angela Schnick says the renovated space opened up just in time last year.
Bills have been introduced into both houses of the Indiana General Assembly that would change the way the Chairperson of the State Board of Education is chosen. Currently, the popularly elected State Superintendent of Education automatically chairs the board. This has been the practice for over 100 years, since the original creation of an elected Superintendent. The current Superintendent is Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, who defeated Tony Bennett in 2012. Ritz, a public school librarian, had been strongly backed by the state teachers’ association as well as some parents upset about the state Republican agenda that promotes charter schools and education vouchers. Soon after Ritz’s election, the Republican-led state government began taking measures that many said were aimed at checking Ritz’s power. Governor Pence created an alternative agency to the state school board, which he called the Center for Education and Career Innovation. That agency operated out of Pence’s office, was staffed by his personal appointees, and essentially attempted to do the same things as the state school board. Pence announced the dissolution of that agency last December. But in his announcement, the Governor also urged state legislators to change the way the Chair of the Board of Education was chosen, to have the members of the board, who all happen to be his appointees choose the chair, rather than have the superintendent automatically assume the role. Last week, the House Education Committee approved Bill 1609 reflecting Pence’s wish. The Senate has introduced three similar pieces of legislation. To get a local response to this activity, Daily Local News Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Cathy Fuentes-Rohrer, chair of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education for Monroe County and South-Central Indiana. Murphy first asked her to give her opinion of the legislation in the general assembly.
Lorraine Martin, a 16 year veteran of working with Lotus Arts and Education Foundation, talks about Lotus Blossoms, the education and community outreach program of the Foundation, and the amazing experience the program gives to kids and volunteers alike. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino, Emily Beck and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive producer is Joe Crawford.