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Daily Local News – January 16, 2014

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Victims of a mid-December flood may still be eligible for help, according to an official who spoke to the Monroe County Commission on January 10th; Tenants in a house on the west side of Bloomington have been left nearly homeless after the flooding in mid-December; The City of Bloomington is hosting the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. Birthday Celebration on Monday January 20th at 7 pm; The Department of Natural Resources wants to hear from the public and input their ideas on fishing, hunting, trapping, hunting, and any other fish and wildlife regulations in Indiana; This week in sports.

FEATURE
House Bill 1179 Introduced to Protect Indiana’s Forests
District 61 Representative Matt Pierce has introduced House Bill 1179 with the ambition of protecting Indiana’s forests from commercial logging. Correspondent Lauren Glapa has the report, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
In Indiana, it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave or refrain from feeding in any public or private place, so we hit the streets to ask your friends and neighbors about how they feel about breastfeeding in public?

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele,
Today’s headlines were written by Jalisa Ransom, Scott Weddle
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Lauren Glapa.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer today is Sarah Hettrick.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

House Bill 1179 Introduced to Protect Indiana’s Forests

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District 61 Representative Matt Pierce has introduced House Bill 1179 with the ambition of protecting Indiana’s forests from commercial logging. Correspondent Lauren Glapa has the report, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Governor Mike Pence’s State of the State Address

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence delivered his 2014 State of the State address last night, to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly in the House Chambers. We bring you some of that speech now, for today’s WFHB feature report.

International Adoption and Cultural Identity: One’s Mother’s Story

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The U.S. State Department reports nearly 9,000 children were adopted abroad by U.S. families last year. The number of international adoptions has risen in recent decades, and adopting abroad can pose unique questions for parents as they help their growing children to frame their own identities. Now, the story of Bloomington mother Victoria McQueen’s experience guiding her daughter’s growing sense of identity. American Student Radio reporter Sudeshna Chowdhury brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature report.

Factory Farms Measure Changes Form at Statehouse

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Until late last week, the Hoosier Environmental Council was gearing up for a fight against a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution. The amendment included language the council said protected factory farms and other controversial farming practices. But some key language was removed from the amendment before it was filed last week. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Kim Ferraro from the council for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

The Future of Hoosier Energy

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A state law enacted in 1985 requires bi-annual electricity demand studies to be conducted and turned in to the state’s Utility Regulatory Commission. The State Utility Forecasting group has just released the latest study, and concluded that electricity demands are set to plateau and electricity rates are on the rise. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Douglas Gotham, director of the State Utility Forecasting Group, about the results and their implications for the future of Hoosier energy, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

WFHB and The Ryder Magazine Present an Interview with Cartoonist Nate Powell

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Cartoonist Nate Powell has become one of the most recognized names in the graphic novel industry. Born in Arkansas and eventually making his way to Bloomington, Powell makes stops in New York and other cities operating an indie record label, fronts for a combination punk band and puppet show, and
works with the developmentally disabled. His latest graphic novel, called March: Book One, is the story of civil rights pioneer and Georgia Congressman John Lewis. Powell spoke with correspondent Michael Glab for this feature report, the first of a series jointly produced by WFHB and The Ryder Magazine.

Burglars Discovered Inside House During Break-In

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Last week Bloomington City Council member Andy Ruff found himself suddenly involved with an issue that confronts the city every holiday season—burglary. Police say the incident, and the foot chase that ensued, resulted in two arrests that appear to have solved a string of east side break-ins. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Natural Gas Consumers Forced to Fund New Private Gas Plant

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Today, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a ruling that could force consumers of natural gas in Indiana to pay the long-term construction and operational costs of a private sector coal gasification plant in Southern Indiana. Back in 2010, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, or the IURC, signed a contract with Leucadia National Corporation to allow the company to pass on the full costs, plus a profit margin, of construction, production, and distribution of output from its proposed coal gasification plant in Spencer County. This unprecedented deal would force the Indiana Financial Authority, or the IFA, which is the state agency that purchases natural gas from producers for distribution across the state to consumers, to purchase Leucadia’s product even if cheaper alternatives are available. This would last from the start of the operation of the proposed Spencer plant through the following thirty years. The deal, dubbed the Leucadia Tax, was met with opposition by industrial and residential consumers, as well as many public interest organizations. A coalition of citizens groups, consumer advocates, environmental groups, faith leaders, and low-income and senior advocacy organizations banded together to challenge the contract in court. In October of 2012, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out the contract between the IFA and the Indiana subsidiary of Leucadia. The opposition coalition also lobbied the state legislators to take action to kill the Leucadia Tax. In the Spring of 2013, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 494, which would allow the IURC to review the Leucadia contract, with a view to renegotiating a contract that would better protect Indiana consumers if the Appeals Court decision was eventually upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court. One member of the coalition formed to stop the Leucadia Tax was the Indiana branch of the Sierra Club. Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Jodi Perras, Indiana Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

“No Justice For Ian Stark”: Rally Decries Lack of Shelter

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Last week, a man named Ian Stark was found dead at the Colonial Crest Apartment complex on the north side of Bloomington. Stark was reportedly homeless and police say he might have died from exposure to the cold weather. In response, a group gathered Friday night on the Courthouse Square to bring attention to Stark’s death and to the continuing issues with lack of shelter in Bloomington. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has that story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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