The fall of 2016 should see the new Engineering Department open at IU-Bloomington open for its first students. While the initiative still needs the approval of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, plans are well on their way for its start-up. The new program is to be housed in the School of Informatics and Computing. Assistant News Director David Murphy spoke yesterday to Professor Robert Schnabel of the IU school of informatics., Schnabel is the dean of the school and chaired the IU faculty task force that made the original recommendation to IU President McRobbie to establish the engineering department. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report.
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Governor Mike Pence’s presidential aspirations may not be hurt by the recent controversy over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That according to an IU political scientist who focuses on Indiana and federal politics. WFHB Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Professor Marjorie Hershey about the impact on Pence. We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
IU Health officials announced this morning they are changing the course of plans to relocate the Bloomington Hospital. The Hospital still plans to move out of its downtown location, a decision that has been unpopular with many Bloomington residents, but the new facility is now scheduled for construction at the IU Golf Course, located on the northeast side of town along the bypass. Before today, the plan had been to move the hospital west of city limits on North Park, where the hospital already owns land. Several officials, including Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, IU President Michael McRobbie and IU Health Bloomington President Mark Moore, praised the new plan this morning. We bring you some of those comments for today’s WFHB community report.
The Brewers of Indiana Guild held the 5th annual Bloomington Beer Fest at Woolery Mill on Saturday. Representatives from many of Indiana’s most popular breweries attended the event to show off their recipes. Correspondent Michael Hilton attended the event to ask the breweries about the current competition in the local craft beer market, and what they think about the future.
Next Saturday an organization called Healthy Monroe County will sponsor an event aimed at informing local residents about the current effect of PCBs in Bloomington. PCBs, or Polychlorinated Biphenyls, are highly toxic chemicals that were banned in the U.S. in 1979. But before that, they were dumped in locations throughout the city. WFHB correspondent Emily Beck looked into the current status of the cleanup efforts. We bring you that story for today’s WFHB community report.
The event next Saturday is titled, “Bloomington’s PCBs and the Current state of Cleanup.”
Roughly 200 people rallied yesterday at Karst Farm Park in Bloomington, just across the street from a local Republican fund raiser. The rally was originally scheduled to protest Governor Mike Pence, who was supposed to be the featured speaker at the event. Pence canceled his appearance amid increasing controversy over the passage of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the protest continued despite Pence’s absence. Protesters called for the repeal of the Act, which effectively allows individuals and businesses in Indiana to discriminate against others. Many worry the law will be used to discriminate against LGBTQ people. One of the speakers at the rally last night was Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who was in town to speak at the fundraiser as a substitute for Governor Pence. Zoeller spoke briefly to the protesters despite the fact that he has acted to oppose gay rights in his work as Attorney General. Zoeller, for instance, has defended the state government in court as the government opposed allowing same-sex marriage. WFHB correspondent Franki Salzman was on hand at the rally last night and we now bring you a portion of the event for today’s WFHB community report. The first speaker is Doug Bauder, the coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center at IU.
Governor Mike Pence has officially cancelled a trip to Bloomington as he continues to deal with fallout from the passage of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Pence had been scheduled to speak at a dinner tomorrow night sponsored by the Monroe County Republican Party, but this afternoon the chairman of the Local Republicans, Steve Hogan, confirmed Pence called off those plans.
Protests were expected to draw hundreds of people to the Bloomington Amvets Post, where Pence was scheduled to speak. This afternoon one of the main protest organizers said the rally would still go on as planned. For more on the controversy over the new law, WFHB News Director Joe Crawford has this story.
Correspondent Alycin Bektesh contributed to this report.