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Daily Local News – November 20, 2013

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Kevin Culbertson, who had been selected for the role of WFHB General Manager has informed the board that he is no longer interested in the position; Updates for Indiana’s tornado damaged regions from Representative Matt Ubelhor; Work on the Griffy Lake Dam is almost finished and the lake has already begun to refill, according to an engineer in the city’s Utilities Department; The average Hoosier Thanksgiving has gotten cheaper this year according to a survey of grocery costs from the Indiana Farm Bureau.

FEATURE
Legislative Preview: ACA
Last week WFHB news director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Indiana district 40 state senator mark stoops about the outlook of the 2014 legislative session – including how the Indiana legislature might examine the Affordable Care Act – here for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
Super-typhoon Haiyan has devastated the Philippines, and once again, thieves are trying to steal disaster-relief donations.Learn  how to make sure help actually goes to the people who need
on a new edition of our consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Alycin Bektesh and Casey Kuhn,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Dan Withered produced our feature
Our engineer is Jim Lang,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Howard Zinn: Correcting History

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In honor of Howard Zinn scholars and activists from across the country  took part in a read-in of Zinn’s work on campuses across the nation On Tuesday, Nov. 5,  The read-in was organized by members of the IU-Bloomington Progressive Faculty and Staff Caucus. Speakers include Prof. Alex Lichtenstein, Purnima Bose, Sarah Knott, Stepanka Korytova, Isabel Piedmont-Smith. This event was recorded on location in the School of Fine Arts building on the IU-Bloomington campus by Alycin Bektesh for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Bloomington Beware! – Philippines Disaster Relief Scams

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Super-typhoon Haiyan has devastated the Philippines, and once again, thieves are trying to steal disaster-relief donations. Here’s how to make sure help actually goes to the people who need it so badly.

Interchange – Pat Kellar: The Making of Hoagy Carmichael

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This week on Interchange, Host Trish Kerle’ speaks with Pat Kellar, producer of a documentary film about the life and music of native Bloomingtonian, Hoagy Carmichael, considered one of the 20th centuries greatest composers of American popular standards.

Kellar talks about the film, Carmichael’s formative years in Bloomington and Indiana University, his early musical influences, his transition from piano player to singer/songwriter, shift from hot jazz to popular music, and his friendships and collaborations with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, and Frank Loesser, among others.  Carmichael’s move to NYC in 1929 and, ultimately, to Hollywood to pursue songwriting for the movies, cemented him as not only a musical legend because of hit songs such as Stardust, Skylark, Heart and Soul and the Academy Award winning In the Cool, Cool Cool of the Evening, but because at the peak of his career in the 1940s Hoagy Carmichael had also made his mark as a movie actor, radio star, and published author.

Songs excerpted in the program in the order they are played:

“Georgia on My Mind” – Ray Charles
“Maple Leaf Rag” – Scott Joplin
“Riverboat Shuffle” – Bix Beiderbecke
“Washboard Blues” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Star Dust” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Star Dust” – Isham Jones and His Orchestra
“Rockin’ Chair” – Mildred Bailey
“Lazybones” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Snowball” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Snowball” – Louis Armstrong
“Rockin’ Chair” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Skylark” – Earl Hines featuring Billy Ekstine
“How Little We Know” – Anita Boyer and the Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra
“In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening” – Hoagy Carmichael
“Can’t Get Indiana Off My Mind” – Kate Smith

Organization Day

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WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh checked in with local state representative Matt Pierce at the close of Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse today to look ahead to the looming battle over Indiana HJR6 for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Weekend storm swept through the Midwest, see how it affected Bloomington

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The wind and rain storm that swept through Indiana, as well as its neighbors to the west and northeast, set records according to the National Weather Service. John Kwiatkowski, Science and Operations Officer in the Indianapolis provided information on the amount of rain that fell during the period, the sustained wind gusts, and tornado activity in south central Indiana.

“People might be surprised that Sunday, the storms were tearing along,” Kwiatkowski said, “A lot depends on where you are, but a lot of rain didn’t fall down in Bloomington area.”

Mr. Kwiatkowski said that the National Weather Service doesn’t record wind speeds as systematically as it does precipitation. However, he did say that 30-40 mph winds occurred in Monroe County, and that the highest recorded in Bloomington was about 40 mph. He also said there may have been winds up to 70 mph in Bloomington, but none were recorded.

There were no confirmed reports to tornado touchdowns in Monroe County. However, the strongest ones reported in Indiana on Sunday were fairly close by, to the southwest and southeast of us, in Daviess and Washington counties, both of which measured at two on the wind force scale. And, Bedford, to our immediate south, registered a EF-one strength tornado.

“We had 26 tornadoes Sunday, and that’s counting the entire state,” Kwiatkowski said, “That’s the second highest daily totaled that’s ever been recorded.
Ian Connor, of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, told us today that the department is still doing damage assessments for southern Indiana. The department is requesting that individuals go online to the department website at in.gov/dhs and click on the link in the middle of the page titled ‘report damage from severe weather.’

Bloomington Hospital to fire 50 people by end of year

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Bloomington Hospital has announced that it will eliminate 50 positions by the end of the year.

A statement, signed by Mark Moore, President & CEO of IU Health Bloomington – the name given to Bloomington Hospital after IU’s takeover – justifies the job cuts in order reduce expenses in order to, quote, prepare for sweeping changes in healthcare.

This announcement comes in the wake of the parent company’s statement in September that it would be cutting 800 jobs across all of its affiliated hospitals. Indiana’s other large hospital group, Saint Vincent’s, announced last June that it had laid off 865 employees.

Accompanying IU health’s September statement on the planned job cuts was a claim that its income for the first six months of 2013 was up 20 percent.

However, IU Health claimed the massive jobs cuts were a necessary response to declining reimbursements and admissions.

These kind of job losses in Indiana hospitals has been predicted in consequence of national events, especially the cuts in Medicare payments to health care providers included in the across-the-board federal spending reductions under Congressional sequestration as well as the planned cuts in Medicare reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act, as it comes into operation.

However, even greater declines in public use of healthcare providers in Indiana was predicted after Indiana Governor Mike Pence chose to not participate in the largely federally financed expansion of  Medicaid under the ACA, which would have provided health care coverage for several hundred thousand more  Hoosiers.

 

Business Outlook Panel Finishes Indiana Tour in Richmond, Expect Economy Growth in Next Year

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The 42 annual tour of the business outlook panel wound up its final presentation yesterday in Richmond, Indiana.

The panel is an annual activity of Kelly School of Business. A group of economists and financial experts who get together each year on October to understand the latest trends in the economy and predict where the economy is heading in the year ahead. Experts will also go around the state over the span of the couple of weeks to most of Indiana’s major cities and talk with audiences in those places about how they see economy shaping up.

There are different members of the panel that deal with the global, national and local economy, Director of Indiana Business Research Center Jerry Conover said.

“We always look forward to hearing what the business people and community leaders across the state are thinking,” Conover said.

Conover says they expect 2014 will begin with unimpressive growth and continue job growth. As the year progress in 2014 though, we will expect to see a stronger growth toward the year end. To put that in figure, it is estimated that the overall economy measured in GDP will expand at about 2.5 percent rate.The employment will grow nationally by a little more than 2 million jobs. Unemployment by the end of the year should be down to 6.5 percent nationally.

Conover says the main factors to growth are the continued low interest rates making borrowing affordable for business and propping up higher stock market prices as a result.

“Employers have been increasingly optimistic, though there is still a lot of hesitation,” Conover said, “They’re a little bit more willing to invest in new facilities and to hire staff. They’re not nearly yet to the level they were prior to the recession, but we do see progress coming along.”

According to Conover, Indiana mirrors national economy in many respects though the unemployment has continued to be higher than national average. The most recent figure was 8.1 percent for the state, whereas nationally it’s about 1 percentage point lower.

“We expect for the coming year that unemployment will drop in Indiana, probably somewhere in the upper 6 percent range,” Conover said, “Pay roll jobs will grow by about 55,000 more jobs, and that would be stronger growth than we’ve seen this year.”

Meanwhile, manufacturing continues to be a key factor in creating new jobs in Indiana since the recession. Yet, manufacturing employment and wages are not growing nearly as fast as they had been several years ago.

Conover explains that is because firms during the downturns were able to find ways to make their production more efficient, by improving technology, improving processes that didn’t requires many people to do the job. Once those improvements were made, factories are turning out more products and more dollar value of their output even though they don’t have many employees as they used to.

Conover also adds that employment growing substantially more in nonmanufacturing sector. Healthcare services has been one of the big areas. There has been a lot of job growth in various parts of healthcare sector.

Ins and Outs of Money – Thanksgiving Spending

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Ashley and Sarah will help you plan your holiday meal and the post-turkey shopping spree known as Black Friday.

Deer reductions to close 21 Indiana state parks

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21 Indiana state parks will be closed temporarily for deer reductions by local hunters . They do this annually, Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for the Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Reservoirs, said.

“It’s mainly to manage the impact of high density deer herds on the native habitat throughout the parks,” Mycroft said.

The parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial. For Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, Spring Mill, and Turkey Run, a public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant will take place on these properties, each morning of the reduction.

Mycroft says the standby drawings are used to counter low attendance at these four parks, compared to the other parks being affected.

The dates for the temporary closings will be today, Nov. 19, and Dec. 2 and 3. The state parks will be closed to the general public the evening before each of these two efforts, and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

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