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Local Educators to Travel to Denver for National Summit

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Later this month the union that represents public school teachers across the country is holding a major summit in Denver. The National Education Association will make decisions about what goals to pursue in the coming year. Educators from Indiana will be there to share their experiences and opinions on subjects ranging from standardized testing to school safety. This morning Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with the president of the Indiana State Education Association about the summit. We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Bloomington Beware! – New Wrinkles

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Fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to rip you off, and here are some of the weirdest and scariest scams that have popped up recently.

Federal Focus Luncheon with Evan Bayh

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On April 14th an event was held to bring the public up to speed on events and trends in Washington D.C. The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce organized this episode of a reoccurring event called a Federal Focus Luncheon. This “Federal Focus Luncheon” featured many speakers, but former Indiana Governor and U.S. Senator Evan Bayh took the stage for most of the event. Bayh centered on his experience in the U.S. senate and the way federal trends will affect local politics. The event was recorded on location at President’s Hall on IU’s campus, by Community Access Television Services, for Standing Room Only on WFHB.

Daily Local News – June 17, 2014

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Indiana University will be deciding this week on the fate of six historic Bloomington houses; Bloomington and Monroe County officials pushed for answers June 13th about erosion problems that have persisted for more than a year along the planned route of Interstate 69; The state wants public input into its decision making process on designating which watersheds in Indiana may be unfit for use.

FEATURE
WFHB correspondent Michael Glab speaks with juvenile fiction author Julia Carr about writing and adolescent issues for today’s WFHB feature report.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Jason and Ashley talk about socially responsible investing on the on WFHB’s weekly financial segment The Ins and Outs of Money.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Rob Powell.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The
United Way of Monroe County.
Alycin Bektesh is our board engineer and Executive Producer

Julia Karr on Writing and Adolescence

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WFHB correspondent Michael Glab speaks with juvenile fiction author Julia Karr about writing and adolescent issues for today’s WFHB feature report.

Interchange – Courting the 1%: The Roberts Court and Money

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Host Doug Storm talks with Steve Sanders an associate professor in the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. Sanders teaches in the areas of constitutional and public law while his current scholarship focuses on issues affecting same-sex couples and their families at the intersection of constitutional law, conflict of laws, federalism, and family law.

We spend the hour talking about recent Supreme Court decisions made by The Roberts Court. As the court is now decidedly split to favor money and power–routinely protecting institutional and financial power over the individual citizen–it seems to be working with an agenda in mind.

The Supreme Court of the United States is clearly a political and ideological institution and in our oligarchical moment of history, it is working in overdrive to support the designs of the 1% among us. Perhaps you’ll doubt my framing of the situation, but the record is clear as to the ideological bias of the court, and it’s moved further right since the appointments of Richard Nixon. In fact the justice often referred to as the “swing” vote on the Court, that one vote that clubs with either the 4 on the right or the 4 on the left, is the conservative Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee.

Cases discussed:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

IDEM Asks For Public Comment On Water Quality and Supply

The state wants public input into its decision making process on designating which watersheds in Indiana may be unfit for use. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management  has issued a notice that is it seeking public comment on a draft list of what it refers to as impaired waters.

This process happens every two years. This biennial review, in turn, forms the basis for further studies and watershed planning efforts in communities across the state by IDEM that is then uses to help ensure that Indiana waters are healthy enough to support activities such as swimming and fishing, and, where needed, to provide public water supplies.

The public comment period is open through July 29th.

Here is the link to the states watershed resource.

I-69 Construction Erosion Problems In Bloomington Go Unanswered From INDOT

Bloomington and Monroe County officials pushed for answers June 13 about erosion problems that have persisted for more than a year along the planned route of Interstate 69.

The policy committee of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization submitted questions months ago to the Indiana Department of Transportation. They asked about contaminated waterways along section 4 of the interstate, which has been under construction since last year. INDOT sent a written response earlier this month, but committee member Cheryl Munson said it was incomplete.

“I had a number of questions about that response and was disappointed we couldn’t have a discussion with a representative,” Munson says. “The points that bothered me most were the statements INDOT sent rather than answers to questions.”

An INDOT official, Janelle Lemon, was scheduled to respond to the committee’s questions during a presentation May 9. But that presentation never happened.

Committee member Scott Wells said he was disappointed with INDOT’s treatment of the issue. Wells has contended for months the state is not using the right erosion control methods to prevent contamination.

“It’s unfortunate and disconcerting that the people we want to be here aren’t here,” Wells says.

Residents along the path of the interstate have reported erosion problems throughout the state. As construction is set to begin in Bloomington later this summer, mayor Mark Kruzan said he wants to see more details from the state about how they are addressing the problem.

“Is there anything being brought up in writing, verbally, in presentations, emails or meetings, where INDOT looks at this and says, here are things that have been alleged and we think yes this is valid and we’re working on it or no this isn’t us,” Kruzan explains.

Kruzan went on to suggest how the MPO could force the state to listen to the local concerns.

“I don’t think that just because someone doesn’t attend a meeting that they’re guilty of anything,” Kruzan says. “But obviously with this much notice, there’s no reason for them not to be here at the other meeting. If that happens, I certainly will be moving to table all the requests INDOT makes from MPO until we get answers to all of those bullet points that we have.”

Construction on Section 5 of the interstate is expected to begin by September. That section will run from Bloomington to Martinsville.

IU, After Local Pressure, Alters Plan To Demolish 6 Historic Houses

Indiana University will be deciding this week on the fate of six historic Bloomington houses.

Last year, IU announced plans to build a new law school facility on land currently occupied by Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house, commonly known as FeeGee. IU agreed to build a new facility for the fraternity on the 800 block of E 8th St which is part of the University Courts historic district. The area has been placed on the state historic register since 1992 and on the national historic register since 2007.

Alarm over IU’s demolition plan of the homes prompted the City of Bloomington to place the district on its list of local historic districts this spring. This designation requires city approval for any development plan in the area, but there is dispute as to whether state owned property would be exempt from the city purview. A legal opinion solicited by Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana found credible argument for the designation to apply to the demolition of the eight street homes even though they are owned by IU.

Beyond the legal rights, IU has come under considerable pressure from the local residents, the Historic Preservation Commission of the City, members of City Council and the Mayor, to preserve the houses slated for demolition, and according to an agenda released today, IU seems to have listened.

The IU Trustees Facilities Committee will be looking at a new proposal that would move four of the houses a block to the west, while still demolishing two properties. Philip Eskew, an IU trustee and chair of Facilities Committee, explains what prompted the alteration of the plan.

“We’ve worked with the mayor, the council and the historical group in Bloomington to listen to their concerns,” Eskew says. “We are recommending to the trustees that we change what we had initially said tearing down the houses and instead move the four worthy of being saved.”

Eskew affirmed that the university believes that it has the legal right to dispose of the houses any way it sees fit.

A bill introduced into the Indiana legislature earlier this year by local state representative Matt Pierce would have required public institutions seeking to demolish, move or change the exterior of a university building within a historic preservation district to obtain a certificate of appropriateness before commencing work.

In Bloomington, it would be the City’s Historic Preservation Commission that would control the certification process. However, the bill failed to make it to the floor of the House in time for passage during this year’s session.

Nevertheless, the local pressure seems to have had some impact on IU.

“There were several groups, even neighbors, that spoke about the tearing down of the houses,” Eskew says. “I think this is a reaction to that and we’re trying to be good neighbors with the community, as we always have been.”

The meeting of the trustees that will be addressing this item will be on the South Bend Campus of IU.

Eskew says the committee will make a recommendation and act on the action items.

The Facilities Committee of the Trustees meeting on Thursday will be from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The full Trustees meeting on Friday will be from 12:45 to 2 p.m. Both will be in combined rooms 221, 223 and 225 of the Student Activity Center of IU South Bend. Both meetings are open to the public.

Bloomington’s Sister City, Santa Clara

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Since 2013, members of local organization Cubamistad  starting working on an application to travel to Bloomington’s sister city Santa Clara, Cuba. The application required that all activities in Cuba be spelled out on the itinerary and that it be a meaningful interaction for Cubans and US visitors alike. After repeated delays in getting a response from the Office of Foreign Assets Control -a part of the US treasury, the license was granted in the final days of December. Eleven locals made the two week trip, beginning May 18th. Cubamistad member Cynthia Roberts Hall made this audio travel journal, and shares the experience here,  for today’s Daily Local News feature exclusive.

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