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Parking Meter Vandals Continue, Police Say

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Local police are receiving ongoing reports of parking meter vandalism in Bloomington.

Susie Johnson, director of the city’s Public Works department, says she doesn’t want to go into detail on the vandalism, but that it has been minimal so far.

“I really would rather not go into it, and not draw attention to it because I think it fans the flames,” Johnson said, “The more we talk about it, the more people want to do it.”

Johnson says parking meter vandalism has been declining, and that she doesn’t know if the incidents have been organized or random, but that Bloomington police are investigating.

The Strike Mic – January 14, 2014

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This week on The Strike Mic, members of the Indiana University assembly are holding a day of action tomorrow, in support of the prisoners at Westville Correctional Facility in Westfield, Indiana.

Closings for Tuesday, January 7

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The following organizations will be closed Tuesday, January 7 unless otherwise noted:

-Monroe County Community School Corporation
-Richland Bean Blossom School Corporation
-Brown County Schools
-Clear Creek Christian School
-Pinnacle School
-Harmony School
-Lighthouse Christian Academy
-Bloomfield School District
-Spencer-Owen Community School Corporation
-North Lawrence Community Schools

-City of Bloomington non-emergency services
-Bloomington parking regulations suspended until 8:00 am Wednesday
-Area 10 services closed; Area 10 nutrition program – no meal delivery, all meal sites closed
-Rural Transit of Monroe and Owen Counties – no routes
-Hoosier Hills Food Bank
-Girls Inc of Monroe County after-school programs
-Children’s Village
-Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

-City of Bloomington sanitation services suspended, will resume Wednesday if weather conditions permit – residents who normally have pickup on Mondays will have pickup on Wednesday, residents who have pickup on Tuesdays will have pickup on Thursday, residents who have pickup on Wednesdays will have pickup on Friday, residents who have pickup on Thursdays will have pickup on Saturday

Some Downtown Bloomington Businesses Open Despite Cold Weather

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Non-emergency county and city offices were closed today, as well as Indiana University, many IU Health Bloomington Hospital programs and all area schools. However, several local businesses had their “open” signs turned on despite the slick conditions and dangerously low temperatures.

Downtown outfitter JL Waters’ “open” sign shined through the frosty windows. Employees Emily Hodapp and Kimberly Webber and their canine pal Ranger were in the store and explained why they were open for business today.

“Out of all the stores, the adventure store should be open… No such thing as bad weather, just bad gear,” they said.

Hodapp, the assistant manager at JL Waters, says to choose fleece and down and synthetic insulation in winter gear, and for days like today, to take into account the temperature difference that occurs due to high winds

“We’ve got a lot of things that are wind-stopping, not just wind-blocking, but wind-stopping,” said Hodapp.

Webber also recommend base layers with synthetic or wool materials. Though inside the store things were lively as the employees took advantage of the slow customer flow to rearrange parts of the store, the downtown square was almost entirely vacant.

“Completely dead, pretty much. No one’s braving it. The roads aren’t that bad if you’ve got 4-wheel drive. I’m not saying ‘get out there and risk your life’ or anything, but go play! It’s so sunny! It’s not that bad.”

For those who were in need of a hot meal, the Scholars Inn Bakehouse and Darn Good Soup were both open and serving customers, though like JL Waters, the slow business meant they would close early today before normal quitting hours. Nels Brunner, the owner of Darn Good Soup, said:

“It’s been pretty slow, really. I thought it would be busier. It’s been busy enough to be worth being open, but nothing to write home about.”

Parking meters in downtown Bloomington will not be enforced until 8am on Wednesday.

Winter Warming Shelter Available

The American Red Cross has set up shelter at Bloomington High School North, 3901 N Kinser Pike. It will be open as long as the need exists. Residents should bring their own towels, blankets and pillows.

Bloomington Transit Line 1N goes to BHSN and is running as scheduled today.

Residents who need assistance traveling to the shelter can call local city or county law enforcement: 812 349 2780.

The Shalom Center, 620 S Walnut St, is available to all residents and is open for extend hours today, until 9pm. Donations of gloves hats socks and coats are needed.

This evenings Daily Local News will have full coverage of the severe winter weather. Also look to @wfhbnews on twitter and Spot Newshound on Facebook for updates.

Dangerous temperatures expected in South Central Indiana

A winter weather Bulletin from South Central Indiana REMC advises our listening area of dangerous conditions due to low temperatures possible over the weekend:

A significant winter storm could result in more than a foot of snow in parts of Indiana on Sunday, before frigid temperatures settle in. A winter storm watch has been issued for much of Indiana. The low temperature Tuesday morning is forecast at -15 degrees with dangerous wind chills in the -30 to -40 range.

South Central Indiana REMC employees have prepared for worst-case scenarios, should members experience power outages during this time. Please be aware that because of the dangerously cold temperatures, any power outages that occur during this time will most likely be prolonged.

In the event that you experience a power outage, please keep your windows and doors shut, and make sure any generators are properly installed.

The Department of Homeland Security Offers the following checklist for an emergency preparedness checklist:

- Look up electric utility’s outage reporting phone number and add it to their cell phone contact list
- Food and water for three days (includes three gallons of water per person, per day)
- Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
- Flashlight
- Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
- Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for staying warm in your home if you lose power
- Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)
- Families should also take the time to check with neighbors and see if there’s anything they can do for each other before, during or after the storm
- pet owners need to be especially sensitive to their animals’ limits when outside, most pets cannot tolerate more than 20 minutes outside when the temperature drops below zero.

Council Member Chases Down Alleged Burglars

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Early this week Bloomington City Council member Andy Ruff accidentally found himself involved in an issue that confronts the city every holiday season: burglary. Police say the incident, and the foot chase that ensued, resulted in two arrests that appear to have solved a string of east side break-ins. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has the story for a WFHB feature exclusive.

Micol Seigel: ASA Boycott and IU Purdue

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Correspondent Doug Storm speaks with Micol Seigel, Indiana University Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies and the Department of History about the American Studies Association boycott of Israeli Universities, and IU President Michael McRobbie’s condemnation of the boycott.

The Strike Mic – December 17, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, a weekend march in response to the passing of Ian Stark, and the underlying issues of social services and homelessness in Bloomington.

Bloomington Utilities Department Give Up Trying To Collect Nearly $23,000 Bills

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The Bloomington Utilities Department is formally giving up on collecting almost $23,000 in overdue bills. Each year the department declares certain bills to be, as it calls them, uncollectable.

Yesterday the department’s assistant financial director, Michael Horstman, told the Utilities Service Board that 673  wastewater bills and 691 water bills fit the criteria for the department to officially stop attempting to collect them.

Sam Frank, chair of the board’s finance sub-committee, said that doesn’t mean the city might not collect some of the money.

“The finance sub-committee met before this meeting and went over these and we have recommended that these be approved to be written off,” Horstman says, “These can be collected any time later on, and this is more of just an accounting transaction.”

All of the affected accounts were inactive and more than ninety days overdue. Horstman said no more than forty dollars was owed on a given account. The board voted unanimously to write off the uncollectible bills.

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