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50 Years of Medicare with Dr. Rob Stone


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.

Local Peace Groups Support Iran Nuclear Deal and Remember Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki


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.

State Board of Education to Vote on Reducing Requirements for Teacher’s Licenses


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.

Extended Interview: Cook Medical Board Chairman on Medical Device Tax


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.

Behind Indiana’s Job Growth


The unemployment rate in Indiana reached five percent this month, but the statistics don’t tell the whole story. Correspondent Jerrod Dill brings us the story behind Indiana’s job growth for today’s WFHB Community Report.

First Community Carbon Exchange Program in Development


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.

Progress Slows for MRF


Progress on Monroe County’s new recycling facility has been slowed down over the last couple of months. Last summer, the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District Board of Directors and the County Council approved the establishment of a Materials Recycling Facility, or MRF (“murf”). That facility is intended to process and sell the County’s recyclables. A budget of a little over a quarter million dollars was set aside for the project. Later, the county added forty thousand dollars to the budget to cover higher than expected equipment costs. The building, bailers and other equipment have been purchased and the foundation has been laid. However, during recent meetings, the board voted several times against proceeding with some other phases of its development. Today, for our WFHB community report, Assistant News Director David Murphy spoke to three local people who have been involved in the project’s development.

Personality Feature: “The People’s Diva,” Argenta Peron


Up next is a profile of a local personality – Argenta Perón, also known as “The People’s Diva” and the emcee for shows at The Back Door in downtown Bloomington. Off stage, Argenta is Patricio Battani, a recent Masters graduate from Indiana University’s School Public Health and HIV testing counselor who designs social media outreach for Positive Link here in Bloomington. IU audio student Sophia Saliby met with Battani and produced this audio profile.

President Obama Proposes O.T. Rules Changes


President Obama recently proposed overtime rules that will change the pay threshold for employees to receive overtime pay. These rules have the potential to affect almost 5 million employees across the United States. WFHB correspondent Ivy Bridges spoke to Indiana University Labor Studies Professor Joe Varga, to get his opinions on the rule and how it could affect employers and employees.

Eight Bloomington Residents Awarded Grants From Indiana Arts Commission


Each year the Indiana Arts Commission awards grants to further the careers of budding artists around the state. Of the thirty-seven grant recipients this year, eight were from Bloomington, including one piano player getting ready to launch a festival this August. Correspondent Jordan Guskey brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

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