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Education and Indiana’s Juvenile Detention System


The Commission on Improving the Status of Children, which was established last summer, held its most recent meeting February 19th. For today’s Daily Local News feature report, we hear the presentation to the commission from Michael Williams, of the Indiana Department of Education, about the education needs of children in the juvenile detention system.

Summer Shelter for Homeless Citizens in the Works


Five weeks from tomorrow, Bloomington’s only low-barrier homeless shelter is scheduled to close for the season. The closure leaves a seven-month gap when individuals who don’t qualify for other shelters in town have no designated place to stay at night. But a group has been meeting in recent weeks to form a summer shelter that would fill that gap. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

The Engine That Pulls Boxcar Books


Local bookshop Boxcar Books, like WFHB, is volunteer-powered and community-based. Because of this they hold benefits and fundraisers throughout the year to keep their shelves stocked. Sometimes they partner up with other projects, like the Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project. Last Tuesday correspondent Casey Kuhn went to Boxcar Books’ latest fundraiser at The Backdoor, to find out what keeps the local shop going for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Anti HJR-3 Senators Take to the Floor


Before the final vote on House Joint Resolution 3 by the 118th general assembly, State senators took to the chamber floor to express their views on the proposed constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. Today, we hear from Senators who believe the resolution is discriminatory, as well as those who say that though their heart breaks for the people it excludes, supporting the amendment is the correct decision under God. Here are the closing arguments on HJR-3 for today’s WFHB feature report.

10,000+ Hoosiers Petition Governor Pence for Medicaid Expansion


More than ten thousand signatures in support of Medicaid expansion in Indiana were delivered to the office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence today, timed to reach him before he heads to DC to negotiate Indiana’s treatment of Affordable Care Act funds from the federal government. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Rob Stone, the director of the local group Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan who was at the statehouse as part of today’s demonstration, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Daily Local News – February 19, 2014


The Bloomington Peace Action Coalition will host a film screening and public discussion over the new film Dirty Wars tonight; Last Thursday an organization that promotes education around soil and water issues asked Monroe County for twenty-five thousand dollars a year; The Richland Bean Blossom School Board voted February 17th to extend a student field trip in hopes of saving money on airfare.

10,000+ Hoosiers Petition Governor Pence for Medicaid Expansion
More than ten thousand signatures in support of Medicaid expansion in Indiana were delivered to the office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence today, timed to reach him before he heads to DC to negotiate Indiana’s treatment of Affordable Care Act funds from the federal government. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Rob Stone, the director of the local group Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan who was at the statehouse as part of today’s demonstration, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Phony charges, in relatively small amounts, can show up on your credit card or telephone bills. Here’s the info on two current schemes, and a warning to check out everything, every time.

Anchors: Susan Northleaf, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Daion Morton,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe. Ilze Akerbergs produced our feature, with correspondent Alycin Bektesh.
Our engineer today is Jim Lang,
Our News Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Immigrant Rights Demonstrators Address Todd Young


Today in Bloomington, activists rallied outside of Representative Todd Young’s Congressional office while Bill Regan read a letter to Young about workers and immigrants’ rights. Many activist groups were on location to show their support and sign the letter that was read by Regan. Activists Joe Varga, Monica Morales, Arturo Viruete, and Rudy Lopez were also at the rally. WFHB correspondent Lauren Glapa was on location and brings us today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Questions Remain in Matlock Heights Neighborhood


This Wednesday the Bloomington City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to restrict future development in a neighborhood on the north side of the city. Many residents of the Matlock Heights neighborhood have asked for designation as a conservation district, which would probably keep out new student-oriented apartment complexes or certain commercial businesses. The process has been underway since 2010 and it has support from many residents and most of the Council.

But a legal issue that has come to light in recent months raises questions about the future of the district. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford brought us that story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.


Until the 1950s, the area north of what is now State Road 46 was a large farm owned by the family of George Matlock. The old farmhouse, built in approximately 1850, still stands in what is now a neighborhood called Matlock Heights. Most of the houses were built in the decade after developer Waldron Fritz bought the land in 1951.

“It was after the war – not much building had gone on and there was a real need for housing,” said Matlock Heights resident Carol Darling. “Here was this whole farm that was for sale. So he bought it and built these lovely homes.

Darling is one of the residents who has petitioned the city to designate Matlock Heights as a conservation district. It would be the first mid-century neighborhood in the state to get that kind of historic protection.

Unlike some of Bloomington’s historic neighborhoods, where many of the houses are more than a century old, most Matlock Heights homes are closer to 60. And residents who support the conservation district have overwhelmingly said they’re not looking necessarily to protect the architecture of those 60-year-old buildings. They just want to preserve the character of the area, to keep out big apartment complexes or other developments that would primarily serve students at IU, which is just south of the neighborhood.

“We’re proud of the history of Matlock Heights and we want to keep it the way it is,” Darling said. “That may sound selfish, but we just enjoy living here.”

But establishing a conservation district in Bloomington is different now than it was in 2010, when residents first petitioned for the designation. The city corrected one of its statutes late last year to comply with an old state law governing historic preservation rules. And now, according to the city attorney Patty Mulvehill, it’s technically possible that a vote for a conservation district could ultimately mean a vote for a full blown historic district, which would be much more restrictive.

“There’s a period of time…where the property owners in that district have to object to elevation to historic district status,” Mulvehill said. “The neighbors know about that.”

What that means is the neighborhood will have to hold a vote in about three years to determine whether they’ll stay a conservation district. If a majority of property owners don’t vote to keep the status quo, the neighborhood would automatically elevate to a full historic district. Property owners would then have to go before a city’s Historic Preservation Commission to get approval for any changes to the outsides of their houses, meaning the commission could regulate the styles of home additions or yard fences or even paint color.

Darling, who many identified as a neighborhood leader on the issue, said she’s confident her neighborhood of just 80 homes will vote to keep the conservation district and avoid the extra rules.

“We already have plans in place to contact every person in the neighborhood to vote against becoming a historic district,” Darling said.

No one who spoke with WFHB said they favored making Matlock Heights a full blown historic district. But some were less sure than Darling about its future status. I asked Robin Halpin Young, the president of the Matlock Heights Neighborhood Association, if she was sure the neighborhood would vote against elevating to full historic status.

“Quite honestly I would say I’m not sure at all,” Halpin Young said. “I think it’s really going to be a discussion in our neighborhood as we go…I don’t think anyone in our neighborhood would tell you one way or another because we’ve just been focused on getting the conservation district through.”

Young went on to say she thought there was a good possibility the neighborhood would keep the conservation district status. But that lack of certainty, which have also been voiced by some City Council members, raises the possibility the Council could vote this week for a conservation district, which they say is popular in the neighborhood, and three years later the area could become a full historic district, which could be much more controversial.

As Nancy Hiestand, with the city of Bloomington, pointed out, the state legislature initially intended conservation districts to be a phase on the way to full historic status.

“It is certainly built in that people could become comfortable with the conservation district and want more regulation as they saw certain things happen,” Hiestand said. “But it would be, I think, unlikely in the case of Matlock Heights, where they’ve really thought through what they want for their neighborhood.

Although many residents are clearly organized in support of the conservation district, there is some opposition. Derk Brewer lives in the southwest corner of the proposed district. Brewer says he opposes the restrictions because he’d like to eventually sell his house to a business that could use the location along State Road 46. The conservation district rules alone would prevent him from doing that.

But Brewer said he’s also concerned about the looming possibility for a full historic district. And he said there could be others who feel the same way.

“I think they should have to take that survey again now that it’s been in the paper and like you on the radio, letting people know that this has a high likelihood of elevating to a full historic district,” Brewer said.

Brewer went on to say he’s considered filing a lawsuit to stop the process, although he said he doesn’t currently have the money to fight the case.

The City Council is set to hold a final vote on the issue this Wednesday. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Council chambers at City Hall.

Scientist Ralph Keeling Talks Climate Change


Climate change scientist Ralph Keeling visits Bloomington next week to give a presentation at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Working with climate change and atmospheric science since the 1980′s, Keeling has been at the forefront of modern climate change research. WFHB correspondent Casey Kuhn spoke with Keeling about the upcoming talk, his current research, and his take on the future of climate change for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Congressman Todd Young Authors “Save American Workers Act”


Indiana Congressional Representative Todd Young has authored a bill hoping to repel the Affordable Care Act Provision, which states that a thirty-hour work week is full time. The bill, called the “Save American Workers Act,” passed through the Ways and Means Committee last week. The bill is receiving bi-partisan support, and currently has six Democratic co-sponsors. Senator Susan Collins is pursuing a similar measure in the senate, which includes Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly as a Democratic co-sponsor. WFHB correspondent Lauren Glapa spoke with Representative Young about the bill for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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