During his US History class today, Indiana University associate Professor Alex Lichtenstein held what he deemed a “Howard Zinn-in.” The date coincides with the birthday of famous Hoosier Eugene V. Debbs, a prominent Socialist and proponent of union rights during the turn of the twentieth century who Zinn admired. The event was held in conjunction with similar Zinn-ins held throught the state, all in protest of former governor Mitch Daniels attempts to ban the author’s works from Indiana classrooms. We bring you that speech for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
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This morning a landowner in Southern Monroe County filed his 11th formal complaint since March, about pollution in the waterways near his home. Much like his previous complaints, as well as those of his neighbors, Thomas Tokarski provided photos that show the creeks and streams filled with brown, sediment-filled water. The cause is erosion from the Interstate 69 right-of-way, where crews have been clearing vegetation for months. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cited contractors working on the project with failure to control the erosion, and some contractors have been forced to stop construction altogether while they deal with the issue. But Tokarski says they haven’t fixed the problem, and the rain storms late last week led to even more contamination. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Tokarski, and we bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Bloomington has announced that it is going to request an appropriation from City Council for nearly one million dollars, above and beyond its allocated budget, to undertake needed repairs to the grounds and facilities under the department’s care. Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Department Director Mick Renneisen about the request, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
The Bloomington City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on a two million dollar deal that would help Ivy Tech Community College buy a new building next to its campus. The building would be used for nursing school programs, among others. The deal is being funded by certain property owners on the west side of town through what is known as a TIF district. Taxes on new development in that district help pay for roads, sewers, and other infrastructure projects in the district. In July, Ivy Tech Bloomington chancellor John Whikehart said the college needed money, partially because it was having problems getting funding from the state. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford talked to Monroe County Attorney Jeff Cockerill about why the TIF district’s funds would be spent on Ivy Tech, and how the new development could help the area. We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
Several large organizations and institutions have expressed opposition to the effort to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to two people of the opposite sex, in effect banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly has already passed one resolution to this effect. A second bill, House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR 6, which would put the question on the ballot in the fall of 2014, is up for debate in January. Michael McRobbie, President of Indiana University, announced yesterday that IU is joining Freedom Indiana, the state wide coalition leading the fight against the constitutional amendment. Several important Indiana-based corporations, including Ely Lilly and Cummins Diesel, have also voiced their opposition to the move. Last week, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce adopted the same position. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, correspondent David Murphy spoke to Liz Irwin, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, to find out if the voice of business in this region has taken a position on the issue.
Today, Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced that IU is joining Freedom Indiana in its battle against the stated intention of the Indiana government to amend the state constitution, effectively banning same sex marriage. This action requires the General Assembly to pass a resolution to this effect during two sessions of the assembly. It has been passed once already. The proposal is to be presented for the second time to the Indiana General Assembly, under House Joint Resolution 6, during the upcoming session that begins in January 2014. If passed, HJR 6 will have a statewide referendum placed on the November 2014 ballot, that will ask voters to approve amending the state constitution to read, quote, that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana, and provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized. WFHB correspondent David Murphy spoke to Mark Land, from IU Communications, about McRobbie’s announcement.
The Indiana University Board of Trustees met in Bloomington last week, for two days of committee and business meetings. One agenda item that was ultimately voted down was the proposed outsourcing of parking management, on both Bloomington’s campus and the campus of IU-Purdue in Indianapolis. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Patrick Shoulders, the longest serving Board member, about the proposal and the philosophy behind privatizing IU operations, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
Due to growing concern among students at Indiana University, a number of students have come together to stop the injustices they feel have been committed by their university. These students hold meetings, and some of their testaments have been featured on WFHB’s weekly program The Strike Mic, which usually airs on Tuesdays. Earlier this week a member of the group sat down with us while reading their manifesto to the university and its students, as well as to the IU police force and the Bloomington police force, about the local homeless population, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
As Americans prepare for the onset of the Affordable Care Act next year, the medical device industry in Indiana is still pushing for a repeal of a tax that was passed along with the Act in 2009. The medical device industry is one of the largest employers in Monroe County, and throughout Indiana. There are roughly three hundred and twenty-five device companies in the state, and Cook Medical alone employs about thirty-five hundred people in the region around Bloomington. With the implementation of the Act just over two months away, predictions vary about what effect it will have on the industry, and whether the tax will remain in place. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.