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.
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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.
The companies Comcast and Time Warner have proposed to merge, which would have effects on the cable market throughout the WFHB listening area. Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Herb Terry, Associate Professor at IU’s department of telecommunications, about the potential effects of the merger.
Comcast released a statement today saying they expect the federal government will take until at least the middle of 2015 to make a decision about the merger. Comcast originally expected the decision would be made by the end of 2014.
Today, Dan Coats, senior Senator from Indiana, announced that he will not be running for re-election next year. According to Brian Howey of Howey Politics Indiana, he has maintained that position as the congressional GOP as a whole has moved to the right. Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Mister Howey today about Coats’ politics and the implications of his decision not to run again for the Democrats and Republicans who will seek to take this key seat. Following Senator Coats announcement, several Indiana politicians from both major parties released statements on Coats legacy.
Shortly before we went to air today, the Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill that could protect businesses that discriminate against LGBT residents. The bill is known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It would prohibit governments from “substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion.” Some proponents of the bill have said they hope it will protect businesses, churches or individuals that choose not to serve LGBT residents.
The bill has been widely seen as a response to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Indiana. Just before the bill passed, News Director Joe Crawford spoke with one of the leaders of the movement to oppose the measure. We bring you that interview for today’s WFHB community report.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 63 to 31. It has already passed the Senate and Governor Mike Pence has expressed support for the legislation.