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Westville Correctional Facility Hunger Strike

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Last week, prisoners at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana staged a hunger strike and mass-call, in response to the transition last Fall from hot lunches to cold sack lunches. The mass-call succeeded in alerting prison officials to the prisoners’ dissatisfaction, and the facility has now switched back to hot lunches. Now, family members of Westville prisoners are claiming that the heat has been turned off in sections of the prison housing prisoners who participated in the strike. WFHB correspondent Lauren Glapa spoke with Westville Public Information Officer John Schrader about what he knows, and with an organizer from the group Indiana Prisoner Solidarity who chose the pseudonym Jesse Smith, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

The State of the Union

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President Obama opened last night’s State of the Union Address by declaring his determination to strengthen the American middle class, and stating that he would not hesitate to use executive orders if legislation fails. We bring you a portion of his speech for today’s WFHB feature report.

HJR-3 in Second Day with Amendment

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House Joint Resolution Three, Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, had its second reading on the House floor yesterday afternoon. An amendment striking the second sentence of the two-sentence bill was proposed by Representative Truitt of House District 26. The second sentence read, “Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” Now we bring you the entire discussion from the House floor, for today’s WFHB feature report.

Bill Would Set New Limits on Environmental Regulations

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Last week a committee in the Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill that would limit the power of state legislators. The law, proposed by Republican representative David Wolkins, would make it illegal for the state to pass environmental regulations that are more strict than federal laws. For years similar measures were shot down in the statehouse, with the help of conservative Senator Beverly Gard, who became the face of the measure’s opposition. Gard retired in 2012, and this year marks the first time the bill has moved out of committee without Gard to block it. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Gard this afternoon for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

“Your Love is True”

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Last night, the second annual Celebration of Love – a marriage ceremony officiated by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan celebrating same sex couples – was held at the closing of the first day of the PRIDE Film Festival at the Buskirk Chumley Theater.

Pride Film Fest Co-Director on Upcoming Scheduled Pride Events

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The 11th Annual Bloomington Pride Film Festival takes place tonight, Saturday, and Sunday at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. Its films will explore a wide variety of issues and situations involving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The weekend-long festival also includes live performances, a dance party, and a mass LGBTQ wedding. Correspondent Lauren Glapa spoke with co-director Sarah Perfetti about the festival for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Freedom Rider Hank Thomas on MLK Day

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Hank Thomas overcame an impoverished childhood in southern Georgia and Florida to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was active in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee affiliated Non-violent Action Group. After participating in the May 4th CORE Freedom Ride, Thomas returned to the deep south to participate in the May 24th Mississippi Freedom Ride from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi, and was jailed at Parchman State Prison Farm. After being released on bail, he went on to participate in the July 14th New Jersey to Arkansas CORE Freedom Ride. On August 22nd, 1961, Thomas became the first Freedom Rider to appeal his conviction for breach of peace. He was released on appeal, pending payment of a two thousand dollar bond. Following the Freedom Rides, Thomas served in the Vietnam War, returning home after being wounded in 1966. In recent years, Thomas has owned and operated several hotel and fast food restaurant franchises in the Atlanta metro region. Thomas joined us live in the studio on Monday, before his keynote address at the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, to talk on our weekly program Bring it On. Now, highlights from that conversation for a WFHB feature report.

Legislation Introduced to Prevent Demolition of Six Historic Houses on IU Campus

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A local state legislator has introduced a bill that would prevent Indiana University from demolishing six historic houses to make room for a new fraternity house. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Representative Matt Pierce about the measure for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Indiana University Vice President Jackie Simmons on HJR-3

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Indiana University Vice President and General Counsel Jackie Simmons spoke before the Indiana House of Representative’s Judiciary committee on Monday, during consideration of House Joint Resolution 3, the proposed constitutional amendment outlawing same sex marriage.

Daily Local News – January 16, 2014

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Victims of a mid-December flood may still be eligible for help, according to an official who spoke to the Monroe County Commission on January 10th; Tenants in a house on the west side of Bloomington have been left nearly homeless after the flooding in mid-December; The City of Bloomington is hosting the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. Birthday Celebration on Monday January 20th at 7 pm; The Department of Natural Resources wants to hear from the public and input their ideas on fishing, hunting, trapping, hunting, and any other fish and wildlife regulations in Indiana; This week in sports.

FEATURE
House Bill 1179 Introduced to Protect Indiana’s Forests
District 61 Representative Matt Pierce has introduced House Bill 1179 with the ambition of protecting Indiana’s forests from commercial logging. Correspondent Lauren Glapa has the report, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
In Indiana, it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave or refrain from feeding in any public or private place, so we hit the streets to ask your friends and neighbors about how they feel about breastfeeding in public?

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele,
Today’s headlines were written by Jalisa Ransom, Scott Weddle
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Lauren Glapa.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer today is Sarah Hettrick.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

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