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Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on Same-Sex Marriage

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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.

IU Joins Resistance to HJR-6

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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.

IU Board Votes “No” to Privitized Parking

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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.

Indiana University and the Bloomington Homeless

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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.

Medical Device Tax Hits Close to Home

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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.

Open Access Week

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In conjunction with academic institutions worldwide, Indiana University presents a series of programs highlighting what International Open Access Week hopes to achieve: free, immediate online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as needed in order to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. WFHB Correspondent Doug Storm spoke to Jen Laherty, a Digital Publishing Librarian of IUScholarWorks, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive. Laherty begins by offering the definition of Open Access, established by the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative.

SNAP Benefits Decreasing Starting November

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Congress will not vote to renew extra food stamp benefits provided by the 2009 Stimulus Bill. This means Indiana families currently recieving food stamps may see up to a fifty dollar decrease in their monthly food allowance, starting November 1st. WFHB Reporter Casey Kuhn spoke with Stephanie Solomon, Director of Education and Outreach at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, and Nicole Fights, a recipient of the food assistance SNAP, for today’s WFHB News feature exclusive.

New Voter Registration Restrictions

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Last week, an announcement from the office of Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson mentioned new voter registration forms aimed at eliminating fraudulent registrations. The new forms place accountability on individuals who assist in voter registration efforts, and also work to avoid what Lawson calls hoarding and dumping, a tactic meant to benefit a single candidate through burdening local county clerks. WFHB News Correspondent Lauren Glapa investigates the need for the new forms, and what effect they might have on voter registration efforts, for this WFHB feature exclusive.

iPhone App Will Track County Police Officers

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The Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department will now use an iPhone app known as Telenav to track the location of its probation and community corrections officers. WFHB reporter Nash Hott spoke with Tom Rhodes, Assistant Chief Probation Officer, and Monroe Circuit Court Presiding Judge Teresa Harper for today’s WFHB News Feature Exclusive.

Monroe County Affordable Care Act Resources

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The City of Bloomington, IU Health Bloomington, and the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are partnering for a series of informational events to help citizens understand the recent Affordable Care Act provisions that went into effect at the beginning of the month. WFHB correspondent David Murphy speaks with David Meyer, organizer for the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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