Last week the Supreme Court upheld a part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The Court ruled it is legal for the federal government to offer subsidies to help people purchase health insurance. The decision was widely praised by supporters of the health care law. Yesterday, Joe Crawford sat down with Doctor Rob Stone, the founder of Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan. We bring you a portion of that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
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To any Indiana University outsider, the Collins Residence Center is just like any other residence hall. However the residence hall made the news last year when transgender actress and former IU student Laverne Cox said she switched from another dormitory to Collins Living and Learning Center for a more welcoming atmosphere. WFHB wanted to find out what makes Collins different than other residence halls on campus, and how that influences students who stay there. Correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with two former Collins residents as well as the residence hall director for today’s WFHB community report.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an environmental rule meant to reduce pollution from power plants. News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Hoosier Environmental Council Director Jesse Kharbanda about how the ruling could affect Indiana. We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
Teen birth rates have reached an all-time low according to data released last week from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014 data shows that teen birth rates have fallen eight percent from 2013. Although these teen birth rates are lower than in the past, teen pregnancy is still an issue in the United States. According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana ranks twentieth out of fifty states and the District of Columbia, for the highest teen birth rates, with one being the highest birth rate and fifty-one being the lowest.
The US still has no federal law that requires public schools to teach sexual education. This leaves the decision up to states and individual school districts to decide what to teach their students. Correspondent Ivy Bridges investigated Indiana’s approach to sexual education, and how local schools have dealt with the policies for today’s WFHB community report.
The company, Hoosier Energy, has found itself in conflict with neighbors in a rural community north of Bloomington. Last year the electric utilities and services provider moved out of its headquarters at Ellis Road and State Road 37. Now the company wants to sell the land. It has an offer from Weddle Brothers Construction, but in order to sell the property, Hoosier Energy needs to change from public zoning to private zoning. Hoosier Energy has now petitioned to rezone the land from rural residential to heavy industrial use to accommodate the sale. However, the land is as close to 100 feet away from residential neighborhood housing that will be affected by the change. Correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with neighbor Larry Barber to get a local resident’s perspective.
Issues at Bloomington’s cooperative grocery chain have increasingly been making local headlines in recent months. Earlier this year, the original Bloomingfoods location on Kirkwood Avenue closed indefinitely. In April, a group of co-op members petitioned for a financial audit of the organization, which they said was having money troubles. Then, earlier this month, General Manager George Huntington resigned. Eighteen middle level managers have also been laid off. Last week the co-op announced a 20 percent decrease in overall coop sales and there is talk of lower level staff cuts. On Friday, WFHB correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with the President of the Bloomingfoods Board of Directors, Caroline (care-o-line) Beebe (BEE-BEE). We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.
The local experimental media group, Burroughs Century Limited, is hosting an Afternoon of Direct Animation this Saturday. The event invites participants to draw designs onto sixteen millimeter film, and then see their art projected as a motion picture film. The event is free, however donations will help pay for the group’s Wounded Galaxy festival, taking place in October. The 5-day festival will bring guest lectures, film screenings, music shows, and more, hosted in venues throughout town. The festival will showcase local and visiting artists. Correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with IU Professor Joan Hawkins to get a greater understanding of the festival and the Burroughs Century Group.
This week the United States Senate is debating a proposed six-hundred-twelve-billion-dollar budget for the Department of Defense. Speaking before the Senate today, Senator Dan Coats of Indiana took on one particular section of the military budget as he gave his regular Waste of the Week speech. Coats criticized wasteful defense contractors, particularly one company that has recently been accused of misspending millions of dollars in Afghanistan. Coats does not mention the contractor by name. But a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction indicates the alleged violator is the Imperatis Corporation, based in Arlington, Virginia. As of 2012, the company had more than a billion dollars worth of contracts with the American military. We bring you a portion of Coats’ speech now, in this WFHB report.
That was U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana speaking today on the Senate floor. Coats has announced he will retire at the end of his term in 2016. Several Republicans and Democrats have already begun to campaign for the position.
Over the past week, the owners of Nick’s English Hut in Bloomington have led a group of businesses in downtown Bloomington voicing concern about crime along Kirkwood Avenue. The issue sparked controversy on social media after Nick’s co-owner Susan Bright referred to “bum commerce” in the area. At a meeting at Nick’s last Wednesday, many businesspeople urged the police to arrest downtown visitors who use drugs or commit other petty crime in public. One of the main complaints has been about panhandling. For today’s WFHB community report, News Director Joe Crawford spoke with three residents who routinely ask for money along Kirkwood Avenue.