Earlier this year, a majority of hourly employees at Bloomingfoods Cooperative Grocery signed up as members of Local 700 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Management of Bloomingfoods agreed to recognize their employees membership and, with the help of a facilitator, the union and management then negotiated a tentative collective agreement. It was subsequently ratified and signed by both sides. Assistant News Director David Murphy spoke to Jeff Kimbrough, of Local 700, and Paula Gilbertson, Acting General Manager of Bloomingfoods, for this WFHB community report.
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The new school year began on Monday for students in the Monroe County Community School Corporation. At Fairview Elementary, the Indiana Department of Education will continue this year to closely monitor performance. The state’s A through F grading system has assigned Fairview an F grade for the past three years. Principal Justin Hunter is beginning his second school year at Fairview. Hunter spoke earlier this week with the hosts of WFHB’s African American public affairs show, Bring It On, about recent events and changes to the school. We bring you a portion of his conversation with hosts William Hosea and Mattie White for today’s WFHB community report.
This Saturday a coalition of environmental groups are hosting what they’re calling a Clean Power Party in Indianapolis to thank the Obama administration for its newly unveiled Clean Power Plan. The plan will require power plants around the country to reduce carbon emissions. Saturday’s celebration comes as many political figures in Indiana are decrying the new regulations, saying they will increase electricity costs and hurt the economy. For more about the reaction from Hoosier environmental activists, WFHB News Director Joe Crawford spoke with an organizer from the Sierra Club in Indiana. We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
July 30th marked the 50th anniversary of the Medicare program, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in 1965. Prior to Medicare, about a third of Americans over the age of 65 lived without health insurance. The program was also a force for racial desegregation in medical facilities. The program required hospital floors, waiting rooms and other facilities to be integrated before they would be eligible for Medicare payments. On Thursday, Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan joined the Bloomington-Monroe County League of Women Voters to celebrate the anniversary of Medicare. Local physician and activist Rob Stone gave a presentation at the event and we bring you some of his comments now for today’s WFHB community report. Dr. Stone begins by asking questions of the audience about the current state of the American health care system.
This coming Sunday, August 9th, is the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki in Japan. The attack followed the bombing of Hiroshima three days earlier. At least 129,000 people were killed in the attacks.
Peace groups in Bloomington are planning to mark the anniversary on Sunday with a vigil and a rally in support of the Iran nuclear deal. That agreement between Iran and a group of world powers known as the P5 + 1 was announced last month. It faces a vote in Congress on September 17th.
News Director Joe Crawford spoke today with David Keppel, one of the organizers of the rally, which is scheduled for Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on the Courthouse Square in Bloomington. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report.
Next Wednesday the Indiana Board of Education is scheduled to vote on new standards for how some teachers get licenses. The Department of Education has recommended lowering the testing requirements for early childhood educators. The mandatory test scores would be reduced in mathematics, science, social studies and English Language Arts. The vote comes amid a teacher shortage in Indiana. The Board will also consider raising some requirements for teachers taking tests in physics, chemistry and technical education. News Director Joe Crawford spoke today with Board spokesman Marc Lotter and we bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report.
The Affordable Care Act was passed more than five years ago but legislators continue to debate many aspects of the legislation. Over the past couple years there has been an effort to repeal part of the law that institutes a tax on medical devices. News Director Joe Crawford spoke yesterday with an opponent of the tax, Cook Medical Board Chairman Steve Ferguson. We bring you part of that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report.
A Bloomington resident is designing a first of its kind community carbon exchange program to implement in Bloomington. Once it’s underway, the program is intended to reward local residents for sustainable actions through incentives from local businesses. WFHB Correspondent Sierra Gardner spoke with the director of the program, Joe Davis, about the details and status of the program.