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Student Awarded for Undergraduate Reasearch and Creative Activity

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Indiana University Student Madeline Dinges was one of five students awarded this year’s Provost Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. Dinges and her mentor, Justin Ross, an associate professor of public finance and economics in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs worked together to produce a fiscal analysis that acted as a guiding document for Lake County Indiana. An upcoming article under review at the journal Public Budgeting and Finance also includes work from their collaboration. Today, WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh met with Dinges and Ross in SPEA to learn more about the fiscal state of Indiana counties, and the honor they received for their work, on today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Grassroots Conservatives Poll Straw

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The group Grassroots Conservatives describes itself as a coalition of conservative Republicans, Tea Party Patriots, constitutionalists, independents, and libertarians who come together to pursue the American Dream. The group held a straw poll last night at the Monroe County Public Library, inviting members to select the Republican primary race candidates for Congress, County Council District 2, and County Council District 4 that best meet the Grassroots Conservatives’ principals of reducing federal government spending, low taxes and regulations, and a constitutionally limited government. Correspondent Casey Kuhn attended the polling last night and recorded candidate speeches, interviews with organization members, and the results for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Filmmaker & IU Alumni Denis Hennelly Focuses on Social Justice in Upcoming Film Screenings

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“No Justice, Just Us” is a slogan that connects film director and Indiana University graduate Denis Hennelly’s two most recent films, Bold Native and Goodbye World. Bold Native offers a fictionalized representation of the Animal Liberation Front showing activists planning a major disruptive event, while Goodbye World looks at the ways we try to hold on to normal in the midst of catastrophic collapse brought on a cyber-security breach. Both film stress the bonds of community and the justification of taking direct action. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive correspondent Doug Storm speaks with Denis Hennelly about what viewers can expect from these two films playing tonight at the IU Cinema.

County Still Short on Poll Workers

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In recent years, elections in Monroe County have been afflicted by a variety of technical difficulties. And some of those issues were due to simple human error – specifically errors by poll workers. Although the County Election Board stresses poll worker training, there is often not enough time to train workers who sign up at the last minute. Like in previous years, the Clerk’s Office is scrambling this week to find enough workers to staff all its voting sites for the May 6th primary. As of Friday afternoon, the County still needed forty-four workers. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Clerk Linda Robbins about the poll worker shortage and how it could affect the election process.

Mental Health Care

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Indiana Representative and former doctor Larry Bucshon (boo-shawn) came to Bloomington yesterday on his Hoosier Healthcare tour. He spoke on a panel with doctors, health care professionals, and a psychiatrist at Centerstone Mental Illness Center. They discussed the role of mental healthcare in Indiana, how to fix issues with mental illness treatment, and how the state fares regarding healthcare in general. Correspondent Casey Kuhn spoke with Representative Bucshon about the Hoosier Healthcare tour and what he’s hearing from concerned Indiana citizens, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Pre-K Voucher Programs

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Governor Mike Pence signed a new bill into law that will fund Pre-K voucher programs for low-income families in the state of Indiana. The bill, called House Enrolled Act-1004, will set aside a portion of Indiana’s annual budget to fund a pilot program that will go into effect for five Indiana counties to help lower-income families enroll their children in their choice of Pre-K education programs within the state. Now we bring you a few remarks from Governor Pence about the pilot program, for today’s WFHB feature report.

Medicaid Expansion

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Last February, Indiana Governor Mike Pence was in Washington meeting with Kathleen Sebelius, then-Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, to discuss his desire to administer any expansion of Medicaid to the state, as provided under the Affordable Care Act. While the majority of other states have decided to expand, Indiana has not, having received a federal waiver to maintain its more limited Healthy Indiana Plan. Pence has been under local pressure to expand Medicaid. On January 22nd, the Bloomington City Council passes resolution 14 DASH 1 Supporting the Full Expansion of Medicaid in Indiana Through the Affordable Care Act. Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Alex Slabosky, chairperson of Cover Indiana, one of the groups leading this campaign, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Indiana Gets High Grade for Transparency Website

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Indiana received the highest grade in the country in a report on government transparency earlier this month. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group gave the state an A minus for its website that tracks government spending. The site is called the Indiana Transparency Portal. The high praise comes just a couple months after reports that state employees were manipulating the same site to hide failed economic development efforts. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with a local representative of the Public Interest Research Group about the report and the recent controversy for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Indiana Coal Uneasy with Proposed EPA Regulations

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The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a set of greenhouse gas emission regulations that would affect coal use nationwide. In Indiana, coal accounts for over eighty percent of the energy used across the state. What these new standards mean for Indiana is still in question, but some statewide trade associations are expecting it to be bad for business. On the other hand, the standards could help wean Indiana off its excessive coal use. Correspondent Casey Kuhn spoke to Jodie Perras of the Sierra Club and Scott Bowers of the ISA, a group that represents electricity distributors, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Heartbleed’s Impact on YOU

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WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh investigates what a security breach such as Heartbleed means for the average cyberspace user for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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