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Daily Local News – September 19, 2013

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The Tocqueville Program at Indiana University Bloomington will kick off the fall 2013 series tomorrow; The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce  will hold an  Education Forum with Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz in Bloomington on October 1st; On Monday the Richland Bean Blossom School Corporation approved a field trip to Germany, despite concerns from some Board members; South Central Indiana’s late summer dry spell is coming to an end today and tomorrow with rain showers already soaking Bloomington this afternoon and the possibility of severe thunderstorms tomorrow; Tomorrow the IU men’s and women’s cross country team is hosting the Intercollegiate Cross Country Meet starting at 3:30 pm

FEATURE
Farm Bill Vote Goes to House: How it May Effect the Hungry
The Senate passed a version of the Farm Bill earlier this summer, but the House of Representatives splits the bill into two sections before their vote. The house was predicted to vote on an amendment that would cut forty billion dollars to food assistance programs today. WFHB news director Alycin Bektesh looks in to how these cuts would effect indiana’s hungry, for today’s daily local news feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
It’s been more than a year since President Obama claimed the use of chemical weapons would be a red line in the Syrian conflict.  And recently Syrian President Assad took Secretary of State John Kerry up on his suggestion that a relinquishing and a full inventory of their chemical weapon stockpiles would be a way out of using military force.  How the Syrian conflict resolves itself is still yet to be seen, so Voices in the Street asked your friends and neighbors how the US should deal with this and if military force is justified.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Yin Yuan, Mike Glab, and Jalisa Ransom,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with community access televisions services
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley, with correspondent maddie Glen
Our broadcast engineer is Sarah Hettrick
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
The Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Indiana Superintendent Glendta Ritz to Speak at an Education Forum In Bloomington

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The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will hold an Education Forum with Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz in Bloomington on October 1st.

The Chamber has been hosting Education Forums for three years. Last year they focused on early childhood education.

This year, they return to the topic of public instruction.

The keynote speaker Glenda Ritz is the incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction for Indiana. The Chamber’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kelley Brown explained why they are interested in bring Ritz as their keynote speaker.

“One of the chamber’s objectives is to create opportunities where our members and the public can engage with a dialogue with decision-makers that affect the community,” Brown says, “Bringing our education leaders, specifically Glenda Ritz, allows the public to ask questions that are really pertinent to our young people, our schools and the whole education process.”

Ritz will offer general information about public education and then lead a discussion of various education topics throughout the evening.

After, there will be a question-and-answer session.

“Given some of the issues that have been in the papers about Indiana’s grading system, I-STEP and other issues, I think we will get a great many questions,” Brown says.

The Education Forum will be held Tuesday, October 1 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 at Deer Park Manor.

Fall Tocqueville Lecture Series On the Limits of Capitalism Begins Friday

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The Tocqueville Program at Indiana University Bloomington will kick off the fall 2013 series Friday. The program was founded in 2009, says Director of the Tocqueville Program, Aurelian Craiutu.

“The main goal of the program is to organize a series of lectures and conferences that will bring theoretical foundations of American democracy to campus,” Craiutu says, “We are holding lectures on European democracy, liberalism and the constitution.

The first speaker for this year is Deirdre McCloskey and she will be speaking on capitalism and its critics and defenders. Craiutu says that she is very knowledgeable and has great passion for ideas.

“She is a truly international scholar with a voracious passion for ideas and amazing knowledge, she has been writing over 300 articles over the past three decades,” Craiutu says, “Tomorrows talk will be about the re-examination of the virtues limits of capitalism and the markets.”

Craiutu is hoping that those who attend will participate in the discussion and learn new ideas.

“I want to convey to someone with a passion for ideas that ideas to make a difference and matter. I hope we have a spirited debate on a topic that is very controversial, and I hope to have a civilized conversation on the limits of capitalism,” Craiutu says.

This event will take place on September 20 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Tocqueville Room located at 513 North Park Avenue.

Edgewood High School Approved For Pricey Field Trip To Germany

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On Monday the Richland Bean Blossom School Corporation approved a field trip to Germany, despite concerns from some Board members.

Amy Norris, the German teacher at Edgewood High School, asked for permission to take a group of students to Lingen, Germany, next summer.

Board member Randy Wright questioned the safety of trips overseas.

Wright referred to Board member Debra Walcott, who was not present at the meeting. He said she’d be concerned about the chaperones getting a free trip. Walcott has voiced concern about student field trips in past meetings. Board President Dana Kerr asked for more specifics about what concerned other Board members.

The cost of the trip is roughly $2,500 per student, and some board members said they worried that would be too expensive for many students.

Norris helps conduct fund raisers to help pay for the trips, assuming students are interested.

“Sometimes I have students whose family’s can afford it,” Norris says, “We’ve had fundraisers in the past and I am always willing to help the students raise as much money as they can. Having said that, we can’t possibly raise enough to cover each individual student’s trip.”

The Board later voted unanimously to approve the trip. But they also established a policy requiring teachers to present details about overseas trips at two separate Board meetings before getting approval.

 

Daily Local News – September 18, 2013

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The newly signed Jobs For Hoosiers bill has implications for unemployment insurance recipients in Indiana; The Bloomington Public Works Department moved forward last week with a project to rebuild one block of a historic brick street between 7th and 8th streets; At its September 5th meeting, the Ellettsville Plan Commission discussed but delayed a vote on revisions to the Town Code; The Ellettsville Town Council voted September 9th to outsource the printing and mailing of the town’s utility bills.

FEATURE
Protesters March Against IU Job Cuts
For today’s Daily Local News feature story, WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh brings us a protest that happened this afternoon, starting at the Indiana University Sample Gates and concluding outside the office of IU President Michael McRobbie.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
It’s doubled in the last three months: computers, and now smartphones, are being hijacked by very dangerous malware. Here’s what to watch out for, and how to prevent what could be a huge disaster.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton and 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 is produced by Richard Fish,
Our engineer and editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

New Library Renovations Will Cost More Than First Anticipated

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A third phase of renovations at the Monroe County Public Library may cost as much as half a million dollars more than first projected.

That’s according to information put forward during a work session for the Library’s Board of Trustees on September 11.

A representative for the project’s architect, Christine Matheu, presented the cost estimates to the Board.

But before the financial discussion, Matheu went over a schematic design of the renovated Library.

“We have met with staff and special interests groups from the project,” Matheu says.

The renovations include the addition of a new teen center, which Matheu said would have a cafe area as well as a space for socializing.

“Current logic on these spaces is that you downplay the books and you up-play technology, social interaction and collaborative and creative work,” Matheu says.  “All these things  teenagers respond to in the way they learn and it’s a way to get this demographic back into the library.”

The renovated library is also planned to include a digital creativity center, including spaces for recording music and editing film.

“Right now we’ve planned for a recording studio and a performing space,” Matheu says, “This is primarily for musicians and filmmakers, and the media lab is for people collaborating together. “

When the Board approved the architect’s contract earlier this year, the estimated cost of the renovations was $780,000.

But the project designed by Matheu’s firm is estimated to cost somewhere between $1.1 and $1.3 million dollars.

Library Director Sara Laughlin said she likes the plan, and she has ideas about how to trim some of the costs.

But even if the cost is considerably more than was budgeted, Laughlin said there is still money to complete the entire project.

“Even if it’s the high number, we’re still $244,000 off for what we have set aside,” Laughlin says, “We have enough money to do the whole thing and have some left over. I think we should bite the bullet and do it.”

All the costs are rough estimates because the Library has not yet put the project out to bid.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the budget for the project at its regular meeting September 18.

City Council Members Sponsor Resolution To Provide A Local Response On Statewide Marriage Equality

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Tuesday, local residents will be given an opportunity to participate in a debate on marriage equality.

Bloomington City Council Member Susan Sandberg is sponsoring a resolution, along with Council Members Darryl Neher and Tim Mayer as co-sponsors, supporting marriage equality.

This motion is designed to provide a local response to state legislators’ efforts to include a clause in the state constitution to limit marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Supporters of this effort, which will be presented to state voters during the next voting cycle, say the intent is to outlaw same-sex marriage.

The sponsors of the local resolution have invited the public, along with LBGT leaders and community and business organizations, to discuss how the codification of discrimination in our State Constitution will impact the state economically.

The council meeting will begin at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers in the Showers Building on Morton Street in downtown Bloomington.

The final vote on the local resolution is expected to be presented to the full Bloomington Council by the end of the year.

Local Government Information Seminar ‘Citizens Academy’ Taking Applications

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The Monroe County Citizens Academy is taking applications for this year’s fall seminars.

The seminars, which are open to everyone, inform attendees about the local county government.

Interim County Extension Director Amy Thompson tells us that the Academy is an opportunity for residents to learn more about how county government operates, where their local tax dollars go and the services the county offices provide.

The free classes will be held on Wednesday evenings, from October 2 until November 20.

Subjects include local government financing, the county court system, correctional policy, policing and the county jail, health and youth services, and county governance.

Thirty minutes of informal discussion are planned before each presentation. County officials, administrators, judges, and senior police officers will be present.

“We’ve done this several times and we get a lot of positive feedback,” Thompson says, “I think the average citizen doesn’t know about the scope of activities that county government is involved in. It’s interesting, you get a behind the scenes tour of the jail and you get a one-on-one interaction with government officials.”

The courses are provided through Purdue University’s Extension program, in partnership with Monroe County Commissioners and Council.

Call 349-2575 to register for the program by September 27.

This Year’s Deer Season Looks To Be Productive After Last Year’s Record-Setting Harvest

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Hunters in Indiana can expect another productive deer season in 2013, but probably not as productive as last year’s record setter.

The deer harvest record has been broken in four of the last five seasons.

But Chad Stewart, deer biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (the DNR), doesn’t expect the trend to continue.

“Last year was a record deer harvest for Indiana,” Stewart says, “We took 136,248 deer and that exceeded all previous years. I think the number will probably go down a little bit this year, but the trends in last year’s harvest told us the herd was on a downward swing, which is exactly what we’re trying to accomplish.

Stewart says the antler deer harvest being down, as well as an increase this year in antler-less deer killing, tends to mean the overall deer population is down.

He says that reducing the deer population to a more balanced level has been the DNR’s goal for years.

New hunting regulations in 2012 worked toward that goal.

“We’re making an effort to balance the deer herd,” Stewart says, “And when you reduce the deer herd in total to achieve that, over time the deer harvest falls off as well.”

Deer hunting season in some urban areas began on Sunday. Archery season starts on October 1st, and this year firearm season starts in mid-November.

 

 

Daily Local News – September 17, 2013

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A third phase of renovations at the Monroe County Public Library may cost as much as half a million dollars more than first projected; Tonight, local residents will be given an opportunity to participate in a debate on marriage equality; The Monroe County Citizens Academy is taking applications for this year’s fall seminars; Hunters in Indiana can expect another productive deer season in 2013, but probably not as productive as last year’s record setter.

FEATURE
“TASC” to Replace GED Testing in Indiana
Monroe County residents attending Adult Education Classes at Broadview Adult Learning Center, Crestmont, and Shalom Community Center have until January 1st to complete their General Educational Development test, or G-E-D, or else lose credit for what they have completed and be forced to start all over. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, which administers Indiana’s high school equivalency program through its Division of Adult Education, has announced the selection of CTB/McGraw-Hill to provide a new high school equivalency assessment that will replace the G-E-D, the test currently in use. In today’s feature, Lauren Glapa interviews Joe Frank of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Division of Adult Education, about Indiana’s new T-A-S-C high school equivalency test.

CREDITS
Anchors: Shayne Laughter and Bill Daugherty
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Yvonne Cheng
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Today’s feature was produced by Dan Withered, with correspondent Lauren Glapa
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Jason Evans Groth
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

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