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Daily Local News – January 29, 2014

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Yesterday the proposed marriage amendment House Joint Resolution Three passed in the Indiana House for the third time; A bill has been introduced to the Indiana House of Representatives to shield the state’s agricultural industry from state environmental regulations; The Ellettsville Town Council began to flesh out the job description for a proposed town manager January 27th; The Bloomington Board of Public Works approved a walkway project at what a city engineer said is one of the most dangerous intersections in town for pedestrians.

FEATURE
The State of the Union
President Obama opened last night’s State of the Union Address by declaring his determination to strengthen the American middle class, and stating that he would not hesitate to use executive orders if legislation fails. We bring you a portion of his speech for today’s WFHB feature report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
Our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Alycin Bektesh,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish,
Ilze Akerbergs produced our feature.
Our engineer today is Jim Lang,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

The State of the Union

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President Obama opened last night’s State of the Union Address by declaring his determination to strengthen the American middle class, and stating that he would not hesitate to use executive orders if legislation fails. We bring you a portion of his speech for today’s WFHB feature report.

Interchange – Saving Place: Passion, Politics and Sustainability in Historic Preservation

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This week on Interchange, Saving Place: Passion, Politics and Sustainability in Historic Preservation. Host Trish Kerle’ speaks with Bloomington city council member and small business owner, Chris Sturbaum, and Duncan Campbell, historic preservation consultant, retired associate professor of Architecture and director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Ball State University about current preservation challenges in Bloomington. Also discussed are issues of conservation and sustainability such as “greening” the built environmental (“the greenest home is the one that’s already been built”).

HJR-3 in Second Day with Amendment

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House Joint Resolution Three, Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, had its second reading on the House floor yesterday afternoon. An amendment striking the second sentence of the two-sentence bill was proposed by Representative Truitt of House District 26. The second sentence read, “Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” Now we bring you the entire discussion from the House floor, for today’s WFHB feature report.

Ins and Outs of Money – Winter Doldrums

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Dark winter days getting you down? Find out some creative ways to beat the blues without breaking the bank.

Daily Local News – January 28, 2014

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FEATURE
House Joint Resolution Three, Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, had its second reading on the House floor yesterday afternoon. An amendment striking the second sentence of the two-sentence bill was proposed by Representative Truitt of House District 26. The second sentence read, “Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” Now we bring you the entire discussion from the House floor, for today’s WFHB feature report.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Dark winter days getting you down? Find out some creative ways to beat the blues without breaking the bank, for WFHB’s weekly financial segment The Ins and Outs of Money.

CREDITS
Anchors: Nick Tumino, Casey Kuhn
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh.
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.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor and engineer is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – January 27, 2014

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Citizens are crowding the Indiana Statehouse today in anticipation of a second reading of House Joint Resolution Three, and a vote by the Indiana House of Representatives on the gay marriage ban; The Family Research Council Action, together with the Indiana Family Institute and the American Family Association of Indiana, has announced that it is launching radio ads on Indiana Christian radio stations supporting HJR-3; A report on 2013 statewide clandestine lab seizure incidents has been released by the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section; The City of Bloomington Sanitation Division announced a three-hour delay for sanitation services, due to the National Weather Service’s Wind Chill Advisory

FEATURE
Bill Approved to Restrict State Lawmakers from Passing Additional Environmental Regulations
Last week a committee in the Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill that would limit the power of state legislators. The law, proposed by Republican representative David Wolkins, would make it illegal for the state to pass environmental regulations that are more strict than federal laws. For years similar measures were shot down in the statehouse, with the help of conservative Senator Beverly Gard, who became the face of the measure’s opposition. Gard retired in 2012, and this year marks the first time the bill has moved out of committee without Gard to block it. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Gard this afternoon for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

CREDITS
Anchors: Ally Tsimekles, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Alycin Bektesh, and Ally Tsimekles. Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer today is Chris Martin,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin, Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Bill Would Set New Limits on Environmental Regulations

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Last week a committee in the Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill that would limit the power of state legislators. The law, proposed by Republican representative David Wolkins, would make it illegal for the state to pass environmental regulations that are more strict than federal laws. For years similar measures were shot down in the statehouse, with the help of conservative Senator Beverly Gard, who became the face of the measure’s opposition. Gard retired in 2012, and this year marks the first time the bill has moved out of committee without Gard to block it. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Gard this afternoon for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

City of Bloomington Open Tuesday, January 28

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The City of Bloomington Sanitation Division announced a three-hour delay for sanitation services, due to the National Weather Service’s Wind Chill Advisory. City administrators and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union representatives decided the best solution for the safety of workers and for sanitation services was to delay rather than to cancel. Services will begin tomorrow at 8 a.m. rather than 5 a.m. If the weather is still beyond safety guidelines at 8:00, a new decision will be made to further delay or cancel. Apart from the sanitation department delay, Communications Director for the City of Bloomington Adam Wason says that all city offices will be open and running during normal business hours.

“Bloomington will be up and running tomorrow, the sanitation department will be on a three-hour delay,” said Wason. “The first and foremost thing we always think about is the safety of our workers. If temperatures are at an unsafe level for them to perform their normal job duties, that’s when we make the call.”

Late this afternoon Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced that all government offices would be closed due to predictions of extreme cold, but Wason says that the local administration previewed tomorrow’s forecast and took the temperatures into consideration.

“Our understanding of the forecast is it looks like Indianapolis is going to be a bit colder than what Bloomington will be in the morning here tomorrow, so we will have all employees reporting to work tomorrow as a typical work day.”

MCCSC has not yet put out a notice regarding closings or delays for tomorrow, January 28th. Stay tuned to WFHB or go online to whfb.org for an updated list of closings and delays in our area.

Amended HJR-3 passes

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BREAKING: An amendment striking the second sentence of HJR3 is approved, and moves on to the Senate. It is dissimilar enough from HJR6 that a 2014 referendum is most likely off the table.

EARLIER:

Citizens are crowding the Indiana Statehouse today in anticipation of a second reading of House Joint Resolution Three, and a vote by the Indiana House of Representatives on the gay marriage ban. The House went into recess for the afternoon without the amendment reaching the floor, but a late session is expected this evening. If the resolution is passed as it currently stands, it will move forward in the second round of voting, required for any amendment to the Indiana Constitution. Right now the text of the resolution reads: “Marriage. Provides that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” However, several amendments have been filed that would alter the text of the resolution, particularly the second half which addresses civil unions. If an amendment is adopted that changes this text, that will reset the two-cycle requirement for amending the state constitution. In a press conference on Friday, House Minority leader Scott Pelath says that in the years since the passing of what was then titled HJR-6, sentiment in the state has shifted.

“I remember what it was like in my beautiful community of Michigan City just a few years ago, and I surveyed my constituents, and you know what, they were pretty evenly divided about whether we should be doing this constitutional amendment or not,” said Pelath. “I surveyed them again this year, and while not scientific, it is instructive of how your likely voters are thinking about an issue. And this year, it was more than two to one: Let’s focus on other things.”

Pelath gave an example of a bill proposed in support of rape victims, which has been ignored this session while the legislature has focused on ratifying the state constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. Other examples of bills that have been set aside during the HJR-3 debate are a proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage from seven twenty-five to eight twenty-five per hour, and a bill which would prevent people and companies seeking taxpayer-funded incentives from making political contributions to candidates for statewide office or the Legislature.

“She had a simple bill that said, why don’t we delve into this problem that everyone agrees is a calamity for Indiana women, let’s figure out the root causes and identify some solutions,” said Pelath, “and she was told, ‘Look, we don’t have enough time to deal with this this year,’ by one of the committee chairs. This is an example of how we’re just being sapped of our ability to do good things for Indiana because of the specter that’s hovering over everyone.”

The staff of the Indianapolis star polled all one hundred members of the Indiana House, asking them how they intended to vote on HJR-3. Local representatives Bob Heaton and Eric Koch replied that they would vote in favor of the bill, Matt Pierce replied that he would vote against the bill, and Matt Ubelhor and Peggy Mayfield did not respond to the poll. As of this broadcast HJR-3 has not been called to the floor, and Speaker of the House Brian Bosma has ordered pizza to the House Chamber, expecting the session to go well past dinner this evening.

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