Lotus Drive
Home > News > Daily Local News (page 25)

Category Archives: Daily Local News

Feed Subscription

Award winning daily news, on-location specials, feature reports, and more
Find more podcasts in the WFHB Archive

People’s State Bank Robbery Suspect Apprehended, Money Recovered


Following a bank robbery Monday afternoon, a suspect has been apprehended and detained by the Bloomington Police Department, charged with two counts of robbery and a charge of resisting law enforcement.

According to Captain Joe Qualters with the Bloomington Police Department, money was taken from the People’s State Bank located at 301 East Winslow Road, and all of that money has now been recovered.

Judge Claims “Right to Work” Law Violates Indiana Constitution


The controversial ‘Right to Work’ pushed through by the State Republicans last year suffered its first legal setback last week.

This law forbids unions from forcing employees covered by their collective agreements to pay dues or service fees to the union which negotiated and enforces the particular employment agreement.

On Thursday, Judge John Sedia, of Lake County, ruled that the law violates a provision of the state constitution. We spoke to Professor Ken Dau-Schmidt, of the Maurer School of Law here in Bloomington, who is an expert on U.S. labor law and has studied the ruling.

“They challenged the law under several constitutional provisions. They argued that it violated Equal Protections Act, that it infringed on free expression, and they also argued that it violated a provision of the Indiana constitution that prohibits requiring people to provide services without compensation. The judge ruled against all of them except the last one.” Dau-Schmidt says.

The specific provision of the constitution is meant to protect individuals from having their property seized without compensation or their labor taken without payment.

“The problem with Right To Work Laws, under our Federal Labor Law, unions are required to represent everyone in the bargain unit, whether that person is a member or not,” Dau-Schmidt says.

He also says that a union has to cover the cost of representing the workers, and that it can get expensive.

The National Labor Relations Act prohibits unions from requiring workers covered by their collective agreements to join the union or to pay the union dues.

However, it does allow unions to include clauses in the agreement allowing the union to charge these non-members to pay agency fees for union collective agreement services.

The Indiana ‘Right-to-Work’ law makes it a crime to negotiate these service agreements in the state of Indiana.

“The unions in this state are required to provide services like this and can be sued if they don’t. This state law says you don’t have to compensate them for this, and the Judge said this was a violation of Indiana’s constitution,” Dau-Schmidt says.

Judge Sedia was actually appointed by former republican governor Mitch Daniels. The office of the Indiana Attorney General has announced that it will appeal Judge Sedia’s ruling to the state supreme court. Four of the five members of this court were also Republican appointees, three of them by Daniels. Nevertheless, Professor Dau-Schmidt does not think a ruling in favor of the state is a done deal.

“I suspect this will be struck down by the Supreme Court, I can’t guarantee that. I think there will be a lot of careful consideration of this matter,” Dau-Schmidt says.
We will continue to follow this and other similar challenges to the state right-to-work law as they make their way through the courts.

Senator Coats Proposes Legislation To Delay Obamacare


Senator Dan Coats has proposed legislation to delay the implementation of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) until at least 2015.

Coats says the Act’s mandates are driving up insurance premiums and forcing businesses to cut workers’ hours or even jobs so that employers can avoid the act’s expensive legal requirements.

Moreover, he says, some families are having to switch their health insurance plans due to government requirements.

Coats’ plan is to delay the Obamacare mandates until the 2014  election.

Coats’ legislation, proposed yesterday, mirrors legislation in the House of Representatives put forth by Indiana’s Republican member Todd Young, which passed.

According to Senator Coats, “Congressman Young and I agree that rather than delay a bad policy for some, all Hoosier families should  be exempted from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates.”


Brown County State Park To Host Photography Workshop


Brown County State Park is offering a workshop for photographers on October 19th. Gary Moore will teach some of the tips and techniques he used to document landscapes in his photo book called Brown County Mornings.

Park Naturalist Jim Eagleman says the workshop is open to all photographers, including novices.

“It will start with a 7:30 a.m. Lake Straw visit. He’ll visit it with interested students to learn how to take early morning pictures. Gary will also present a talk on photo techniques and there will be a book signing after,” Eagleman says.

Eagleman reminds participants to be aware of the weather, and to dress appropriately for walking through the park.

The workshop is open for registration until October 19th.

There is a ten dollar program fee, payable at the Brown County State Park on the day of the event.

To register, call the nature center at 812 – 988 – 5240.


Daily Local News – September 10, 2013


The controversial ‘Right to Work’ pushed through by the state republicans last year suffered its first legal setback last week; Senator Dan Coats has proposed legislation  to delay the implementation of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) until at least 2015; Management at the local GE Appliances plant has informed its hourly employees that one third of them will be laid off; Following a bank robbery yesterday afternoon, a suspect has been apprehended and detained by the Bloomington Police Department, charged with two counts of robbery and a charge of resisting law enforcement; Brown County State Park is offering a workshop for photographers on October 19th; Gary Moore will teach some of the tips and techniques he used to document landscapes in his photo book called Brown County Mornings.

Adventures in Pioneering a Model System of Symbiosis
Joan Wood spent twelve years in the Indiana University Department of Biology, and is the namesake of an annual lecture promoting women in the sciences. Biologist Margaret McFall-Ngai is in Bloomington this week and to present “Adventures in Pioneering a Model System of Symbiosis” – this year’s Joan Wood lecture. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh has the report for today’s Daily Local News feature exclusive.

Interested in started your own business? Sarah and Ashley talk with Jason Carnes, the Assistant Director from the City’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department. Jason shares tips on how to get started and resources for success.

Anchors: Bill Daugherty, Shayne Laughter
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Yvonne Cheng
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Our editor and engineer is Drew Daudelin
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Jason Evans Groth
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Daily Local News- September 9, 2013


Enrollment for the fall semester at Indiana University Bloomington is up, compared to last year’s numbers; Once again, the Bloomington campus of IU has announced a theme for this academic year’s cultural activities; Bloomington peace groups will hold a vigil on 9/11 to oppose the possible attack on Syria. Correspondent Chris Martin has more; The Indiana University Office of Sustainability has established an innovative partnership between Indiana University Bloomington and the Local Growers Guild.

Indiana Assess A-F
Indiana’s former superintendent for public instruction, Tony Bennett, was criticized earlier this summer after it was revealed he apparently played favorites when assigning grades to the state’s K-12 schools. Emails from Bennett showed he was upset that a charter school in Indianapolis, the Christel House Academy, was going to receive a C when he thought it should get an A. Christel House was founded by a major political donor, and Bennett helped change the grading formula so the school would receive a better grade. The revelations caused Bennett to lose his most recent job, as Florida Education Commissioner. Now, a 58-page report requested by the state legislature indicates that, although Bennett did change the rules, he then applied the new rules to other schools besides Christel House. For more on what that means, correspondent Joe Crawford talked today with the president of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, who is a critic of the state’s system for grading schools. We bring you that interview for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Alanna Lutrell and Jon Holland discuss the need for creative expression for all persons and describe how their Bloomington Arts for All tries to provide that expression for disadvantaged youth, and talk about how they would like to expand to help people recovering from mental illness and addiction.

Anchors: MAria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy Yvonne Cheng, and Chris Martin
Our engineers are Chris Martin and Lauren Glapa
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin
Jennifer Whitaker produced Activate!
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Daily Local News – September 6, 2013


The USDA released their latest report: Household Food Security in the United States in 2012; On September 4th the Monroe County Board of Zoning Appeals gave permission to build a house on a lot that is smaller than allowed by County ordinances; The documentary “Black Gold” will be showing at the IU cinema this weekend, hosted by Fair Trade Bloomington.

HIP Changes
Indiana Governor Mike Pence has turned down incoming Affordable Care Act funds in exchange for extending the current Healthy Indiana Plan through December 2014. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh has the story, for today’s Daily Local News feature exclusive.

Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services
Volunteer Connection was produced by Ilze Ackerbergs,  in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Harrison Wagner is our broadcast engineer
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Blood Drive To Be Held At Farmer’s Market This Saturday


For the first time, the City of Bloomington partners with the American Red Cross for the blood drive at Famers’ Market this Saturday.

Nancy Woolery, Health Project Manager for the City of Bloomington said blood type positive O is still in highest demand but she encouraged citizens to donate any type of  blood.

“In the summer blood donations drop because a lot of people are on vacation so there’s been a shortage. Now that fall is coming up, it’s a good time to start motivating people to donate. We get such a large crowd at the Farmer’s Market and so thought we could get a good response.

Woolery reminded donors to eat before donating, and that there are certain requirements they should read through. Donators will also be screened by a nurse to see if they are eligible to donate.

“There’s a book you have to read beforehand which says which country, if you’ve visited, that  would make you ineligible to donate. You have to be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds,” Woolery says.

The blood drive will take place in Council Chambers of City Hall from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. this Saturday.

No appointment is needed to donate during the September 7 blood drive.


Probation Department Works On Reducing Repeat Offendors


When a criminal offender leaves the Monroe County correctional system and completes her or his probation, the hope is that person won’t be brought before a judge again.

The county Probation Department is especially concerned with the offender’s future behavior: the lower the overall recidivism rate, the better the department is doing its job.

The only problem is the Probation Department right now has few ways of knowing how well it’s doing.

This afternoon, Chief Probation Officer Linda Brady told staff workers, county officials, and circuit court judges how the Probation Department is moving to become what is termed an “Evidence-based Organization.”

It’s a start in the long process of updating information systems so the department can tailor its programs to become more effective in preventing repeat offenses.

“Right now the probation department has three different databases, which we inherited. The main one we use is just ancient. We just got permission from the county council to have one database for the entire department. The system is called QUEST and we can actually measure recidivism. Right now we actually do most of our stats by hand and it’s way too labor-intensive to be able to study recidivism,” Brady says.

Brady says studying various programs to gauge their effectiveness costs more money than the department normally can afford.

The Probation Department did recently receive a federal grant for its drug court program that required it to study the program’s success.

According to Brady, that study revealed that graduates of Monroe County’s drug court program had a recidivism rate 67 percent lower than those who hadn’t participated in it.

The integrated database system should become operational in about two years, Brady says.

The only authoritative assessment of the department’s effectiveness is mandated by the Indiana Department of Corrections.

INDOC partially funds Monroe County’s combined correctional system and Probation Department and requires it to be audited to show how well it adheres to a set of national benchmarks.

Monroe County was audited in March of this year and earned an “A” grade, scoring 93 of 100. Passing this test marks a corrections department as an Evidence-based Organization. To Brady, this is just a start.

“We really feel like we’re getting started in becoming an evidence-based organization. What we’re doing now is really a journey of trying to become a better department and really have an effect on our citizens. It’s a chance to measure what we’re doing and it’s a really exciting time for us,” Brady says.

Some 5680 people were booked at the Monroe County Correctional Center in 2012 with a total of 248 inmates serving sentences there, according to the Sheriff’s annual report.


Romanian IU Students Protest Mining Project in Rosia Montana


The Romanian Student Organization at Indiana University is protesting Friday against an invasive mining project that was supported by the Romanian government in 2007.

The Romanian government has signed their approval for the project to commence. The area that has been affected by this project is Rosia  Montana, Romania.

Alexandra Cotofana, a first-year graduate student in the Anthropology Department and a citizen of Romania, is one of the leaders of the protest. Cotofana told us some history of the project and how it is creating problems for the people in Rosia Montana.

“It got the attention of the media in 2007 because that’s when the people started to rebel. The government kept putting pressure on people to leave their houses. They tried to pay them, but some people didn’t want to leave,”Cotofana said.

This year the Romanian government passed a law that will allow the company to force people out of their homes and this is one of the main reasons why the Romanian Student Organization is protesting against this project.

“This year, the company has raised the percentage of what they are going to pay the state for the whole project, from 4% to 6%. Now, a law has passed that will allow the company to expel residents. This is the part we are most worried about,” Cotofana said.

The Romanian Student Organization is hoping that this protest will give more attention to this issue and bring in more supporters to keep something like this from happening again.

“The media in the country doesn’t say anything about this. They support the project by keeping quiet, but the rest of the world knows. Romanian citizens care about what happens and we know that the next project when the government allows a private company to expel people might set a precedent for these sort of non-democratic acts. This could happen in my hometown next. We want them to know we are aware and we are fighting it even though we are away from home. Home is still home,” Cotofana said, explaining why this protest matters even though it is far from Romania.

The protest will take place Friday at 6 pm at the Sample Gates.

Scroll To Top