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On-location features and special reports
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County’s books are out of order

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Monroe County is once again struggling to keep its finances in order. This week County Treasurer Cathy Smith told the county council that there are inconsistencies in the County’s financial records, dating back more than 15 months, and that the cause has yet to be identified…

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Rollo Proposes Moratorium On Large-Scale Buildings

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Council member Dave Rollo addressed a broader issue related to downtown development during council announcements last week. Rollo said the city should consider a temporary moratorium on large-scale buildings there. He said the city’s comprehensive plan is 12 years old and an update would help planners decide what developments to approve. Rollo also cited concerns from his constituents about new structures downtown. Rollo said he has not planned any legislation to follow up on his proposal. But he said he wants the Council to have a discussion on the issue.

Upcoming Materials Recovery Facility in Monroe County

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After years of deliberation, Monroe County will be sorting and selling it’s own recyclables, perhaps as soon as December of this year. WFHB Correspondent David Murphy visited with Larry Barker, executive director of the Monroe county solid waste district and Steve Volan, president of the district board of directors for today’s community report.

City Council Gives Tax Break to Proposed Building Owners

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The Bloomington City Council is on track to give a nearly three-quarter million dollar tax break to the owners of a proposed building along the B-Line Trail. The structure between Kirkwood Avenue and Sixth Street would have 35 high-end apartments as well as the new headquarters for Cornerstone Information Systems. The city’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department has praised the development and it asked the Council to incentivize the project by cutting its property taxes. Danise Alano-Martin is the director of that department. The building’s owners, D.G. Elmore and Mat Orego, would live in two of the condos. Council member Andy Ruff questioned giving a tax cut for the businessmen to build what he called QUOTE “fairly luxurious personal residential units” UNQUOTE. He said the Council should consider the country’s increasing economic inequality as it sets local policy. Ruff said he generally supports the $14.6 million project. But he put forward an amendment that would have forced the owners to pay property taxes on their own homes. The owners would still have kept the tax break for the businesses and most of the residential space. Few Council members supported Ruff’s motion. Council President Darryl Neher said he doesn’t want to discourage Orego and Elmore from living in their own building.Council member Susan Sandberg said she also wanted to encourage owner-occupancy. She said many Bloomington residents are understandably wary of new developments downtown. Ruff later rescinded his amendment and the Council voted to pass the tax abatement. The Council still has to affirm its decision at a meeting September 17th and it’s possible Ruff could reintroduce his measure then.

David Cobb Speaks at Invitation of Local Move to Amend Affiliate

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David Cobb, former Green Party presidential candidate and spokesperson for Move to Amend spoke at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall Sunday Sept 7 at the invitation of local Move to Amend affiliate. Since the supreme court Citizens United ruling that money is speech and corporations can be considered “personhood” over 600 local governments nationwide
have passed resolutions requesting that the constitution be amended to repeal the decision. Additionally repeal of citizens united have been put on the ballot in over 200 communities and passed every time. Here are Cobb’s remarks recorded on location at the Unitarian universalist church by correspondent Cynthia Roberts hall. Yesterday Cobb participated in a debate with James Bopp, a legal adviser to Citizens United, at IU Maurer School of Law.

County Council Hearings on Budget for Resources for Disadvantaged Youth

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County Council Hearings began this month, including a deep look at resources for Monroe County disadvantaged youth. Correspondent Carissa Barrett has the report.

Proton Therapy Center Closing Causes Disappointment, Outrage

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On August 23rd, Jeffrey Isaac, the James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, posted on his Facebook page a long letter expressing disappointment and outrage at IU’s unceremonious declaration they would be shuttering the Proton Therapy Center where he has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer. Isaac learned of the closing when he was handed a form letter by staff as he entered the facility. He speaks with WFHB correspondent Doug Storm about his experience, in today’s community report.

Monroe County Sheriff James Kennedy on Police Militarization

Monroe County Sheriff James Kennedy joined host Doug Storm on WFHB’s Interchange last night to talk about the “militarization” of police across the country, as well as here in Monroe County – a portion of their conversation here, in today’s community report.

Bring it On Guests Discuss NAACP Suggestions for Encounters with the Police

Last Night were joined by William Vance, president of the Monroe County branch of the NAACP, and former Bloomington Police Department officers Jim Mitchell and Reverend Donald Griffin Sr. The group critiqued the effectiveness of the NAACP’s recommendations for citizens who are interacting with law enforcement, and their relevance to recent police action shootings in Missouri. A portion of their conversation here, for today’s community report.

Ferguson Protests Extend to Bloomington

As protests continued in Ferguson, Missouri, this weekend, Bloomington saw its own rally against police violence. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford was on the scene Saturday afternoon. He brings us this report.

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