Members of a local organization were in Cuba last month when the press announced that diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba would be resumed. The group was a delegation of the organization CUBAmistad, which facilitates a sister city relationship between Bloomington and the city of Santa Clara. WFHB News contributor Cynthia Roberts, who co-founded the CUBAmistad organization, was part of that delegation. She reports here on what changes are currently under discussion as State Department personnel meet this week with their counterparts in Havana.
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Dancing with Parkinson’s is a movement started by David Leventhal, a professional dancer in Brooklyn, New York in 2002. The initiative has expanded to include chapters all over the United States and continues to expand into the international community with chapters in Canada, the UK and Australia among others. The mission of Dancing with Parkinson’s is to provide dance classes with live music to enrich the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Bloomington’s own chapter was founded by Weezie and David Smith, who sat down for an interview with WFHB Correspondent Jennifer Whitaker to talk about their own experience and the Bloomington chapter.
For more information about Bloomington’s Dancing with Parkinson’s group, contact Weezie Smith at (812) 336-2429. You can also find out more at the Bloomington Chapter’s facebook page.
Award-winning filmmaker Bennett Singer gave the keynote address this year at the City of Bloomington’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. Singer most recently produced and directed the film, “Brother Outsider,” which chronicles the life of Bayard Rustin, and openly gay civil rights activist who worked closely with Dr. King. Besides Singer, the event also featured speeches by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, Monroe County Commissioner Iris Kiesling, Indiana University Vice Provost Martin McCrory and others. Musical performers included the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble and the University Elementary School Choir.
A “Reclaim MLK Day” action was held last night along State Road 46 in Bloomington. The demonstration focused on the issue of police mistreatment of African-Americans and recent calls for justice for those victims. WFHB correspondent David Murphy was on the scene to talk to some of the participants for today’s WFHB community report.
Photos by Mihee Kim-Kort
For a second time, U.S. Rep. Todd Young authored legislation to increase the number of hours employees have to work in order to receive healthcare from their employers. The bill has passed in the House of Representatives. As it heads now to the Senate, WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh explores what the impact of Representative Young’s bill would be here in his hometown of Bloomington.
Indiana has among the most restrictive regulations on the sale of alcohol in the country. Recently, there has been an effort to legalize the purchase of alcohol on Sundays, and a state representative has introduced legislation on the matter. WFHB Correspondent David Murphy speaks with Grant Monahan, President of the Retail Council, a spokesperson for Hoosiers for Sunday Sales, and Patrick Tamm, C.E.O. of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, about their conflicting opinions on the legislation, for today’s WFHB Community Report.
There is increasing pressure on K-12 schools to examine their policies for punishing students, particularly because research now shows black students are punished more severely than white students. Correspondent Joe Crawford brings us this story about how local schools are dealing with the issue for today’s WFHB community report.
In the wake of national unrest regarding police action killings of unarmed black men, Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekoff reached out to the local chapter of the NAACP and the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males to talk to community leaders about strengthen communication between police and citizens. Today, we hear from Chief Diekoff about community engagement issues, for today’s feature report.