A bill that could expand public transportation in rural parts of Monroe County got its first reading in the Indiana House of Representatives today. The bill has already passed in the Senate. Correspondent Sophia Saliby has the story behind the law, including concerns about its possible side effects, for today’s WFHB community report.
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Local people continue to react to I.U. Health Bloomington’s announcement that it intends to close the Bloomington Hospital and build elsewhere. Correspondent David Murphy spoke to two candidates for election to mayor of Bloomington – Democrat John Linnemeier and Republican John Turnbull – to get their views on the hospital’s move.
He also spoke with Forrest Gilmore, Director of Shalom Community Center, to hear about that social service agency’s concerns on the closing of the downtown hospital. We bring you that story now for today’s WFHB community report.
The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has convened a task force to study water resources in Monroe County and beyond. WFHB News Director Joe Crawford spoke today with Liz Irwin, a spokesperson for the Chamber. They discussed the Chamber’s concerns about how water resources could affect future development in the area. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report. Irwin began by explaining why the Chamber assembled the task force.
As police departments around the country are pressured to review the racial makeup of their staff, last week WFHB’s African American public affairs show Bring It On discussed the roles and experiences of black police officers. The hosts spoke with Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and an Adjunct Professor within Indiana University’s Department of African American and Diaspora Studies. The show was hosted by Clarence Boone and Jim Sims. We bring you a portion of that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
Many in Bloomington have expressed concern and anger over the announcement that the IU Health Bloomington Hospital plans to move away from downtown. City leaders have responded, asking the hospital to stay in its current location. News Director Joe Crawford brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.
A bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is working its way through the Indiana legislature. The law would provide protection to individuals, businesses and churches that deny services based on claims of religious belief. On Thursday, WFHB’s LGBTQI+ program, Bloomingout, discussed the bill with Steve Sanders, a law professor at Indiana University. The show was hosted by Erica Dorsey, Ryne Shadday and Jeff Jewel.
Professor Timothy Carter of Ball State University gave a presentation Monday night in the Bloomington City Council
chambers. Carter discussed his study of deer behavior and biology in Monroe County. Only part of Carter’s research
is complete. We bring you a portion of Carter’s talk now for today’s WFHB community report.
Much of the debate at the Indiana Statehouse over the past several weeks has revolved around education. Just this week Governor Mike Pence announced plans to shorten the length of the I-STEP test, which students will take in March. That move was in response to an announcement that the length would otherwise have doubled this year. Meanwhile, Indiana Republicans have pushed legislation to check the power of Glenda Ritz, the State Superintendent of Education. Ritz is a Democrat who was elected in 2012. Debate also continues over how to fund traditional public schools as compared to charter schools and voucher programs. On Tuesday night, the Monroe County Community School Corporation hosted a conversation about how education could be affected by state legislation this year. We bring you a portion of that conversation for today’s WFHB community report. The featured speakers are, first, State Representative Matt Pierce, then Fairview Elementary Principal Justin Hunter and then Cathy Fuentes-Rowher from the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. MCCSC school board president Keith Klein asks the first question.