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Top Stories of 2014: Ferguson, MO

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The Top Stories of 2014 is a special production of WFHB News, looking back on the stories that define the year in news. From deer to development, education to equality, national issues became local, and Indiana worked to set itself apart. The Top Stories of 2014 is produced by Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford.

EcoReport – December 25, 2014

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On today’s special Christmas edition of EcoReport, Lucille Burtuccio, Dan Withered, and Dan Young read excerpts from Lucille’s Book “Au Natural: Ruminations on Nature”

Bloomington Beware! – Year End Review

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Well, the old year is fast running out. It’s Christmas Eve already, WFHB News is on hiatus this week, and that means Bloomington Beware won’t be repeated in the evening as usual. So listen up and make a special effort to clue your friends and family in on any of this news they might be able to use.

We’ve reported on all kinds of frauds, con games and swindles this year, and still haven’t caught them all. Increasing global connectivity has been a hothouse for scammers; they’ve multiplied at an unbelievable rate, and this trend bids fair to continue in the New Year…so here’s a quick look at some of the traps and pitfalls they’re putting in everybody’s path, pretty much every day now.

Ponzi Schemes (or “pyramid schemes”) continue to sucker people into investing hard-earned savings in get-rich quick schemes. They always promise you a huge return on your money – but only the people who get on board first ever see any returns. The evil financial wizards who run these things simply keep recruiting more investors, and use their money to make payments…until the whole thing inevitably collapses, the promoter disappears with a pile of cash, and most of the people who bought into the scheme are left holding an empty bag. ANY investment which claims you’ll get a very large payback, very quickly, is seriously suspect. Don’t invest your money anywhere without checking things out very thoroughly first, or without talking to friends, family, or an investment counselor.

But beware of FAKE investment counselors. Senior citizens, especially, are favorite targets for people who claim to have financial credentials and experience – but really only have a glib tongue and gobs of greed – according to the A-A-R-P scamwatch. Someone you know well, someone a friend or family member has used for a long time, or someone who works for a large, long-established company, are the safest bets…and an investment advisor who finds YOU is much more likely to be a crook than one you find, after asking around and doing some serious checking.

Affinity Fraud is another oldie-but-a-baddie, and it often works all too well. That’s when the swindler targets a group of people who have something in common. It can be a shared interest in something – like cars, mystery novels, collectibles, or even membership in a church or some other perfectly legitimate organization. They play on your emotions, and build trust by pretending to share the common bond. All too often, they manage to bamboozle some innocent group member and get him or her to sell other group members on the swindle. Just because you heard about a great deal from somebody you’ve known all your life doesn’t mean you still don’t have to check it out yourself.

And there are many, many more – fake charities, phishing emails, data breaches at big companies – even if we could list them all, we don’t have enough time. But the good news is, checking things out is a lot easier than it used to be, if you can go online. The Better Business Bureau’s website at b-b-b dot o-r-g is a great place to start. The Indiana Attorney General maintains an excellent website – easily found with a quick search. And just searching for “scams and frauds” or something like that will turn up a whole list of websites from the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, and private organizations where you can search for people and company names, or keywords, and get tipped off before you get ripped off. Have a wonderful holiday ….and stay safe!

Top Stories of 2014: Marriage Equality

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Tonight, we will be looking back on winding path to marriage equality in Indiana. It didn’t take long after the new year for it to become clear that the focus 2014 legislative session would be HJR-3, ratifying Indiana’s ban on gay marriage into the state constitution. But through a series of court rulings that swung legality of same-sex-marriage back and forth throughout the summer and fall, the chips finally fell in favor of Hoosiers obtaining marriage equality – something 2014 will be known for forevermore.

The Top Stories of 2014 is a special production of WFHB News, looking back on the stories that define the year in news. From deer to development, education to equality, national issues became local, and Indiana worked to set itself apart. The Top Stories of 2014 is produced by Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford.

Interchange – The Hoarders: Pathologizing the Packrat

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We’re joined by Scott Herring, author of The Hoarders, a cultural history of the recent DSM-5 diagnosis of Hoarding Disorder. We talk about famous pack rats such as the Collyer Brothers of Harlem, Andy Warhol, and Big Edie and Little Edie Beale from the documentary Grey Gardens. Herring argues that this new disease has a significant–and overlooked–cultural back story from the 1930s to the present.

Also discussed: Ralph and Terry Kovel, authors of a nationally syndicated collectibles column that began in 1955; and Sandra Felton, “The Organizer Lady” and founder of “Messies Anonymous.”

Scott Herring is an associate professor in the Department of English at Indiana University.

The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture

Credits:
Producer & Host is Doug Storm.
Board Engineer is Jonathan Richardson.
Carissa Barrett coordinates our social media.
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

The Top Stories of 2014: Follow the Money

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Our coverage this evening focuses on major changes to Bloomington’s city government following the discovery of an embezzlement scheme within the Public Works Department. Herald Times editor Bob Zaltsberg joins Joe and Alycin for a look back beginning in March when federal authorities charged former city engineer Justin Wykoff with 24 counts of embezzlement. Wykoff was accused of collaborating with the Bedford-based company, Reliable Concrete, to steal about $800,000 from the city by approving fraudulent invoices.

The Top Stories of 2014 is a special production of WFHB News, looking back on the stories that define the year in news. From deer to development, education to equality, national issues became local, and Indiana worked to set itself apart. The Top Stories of 2014 is produced by Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford.

The Top Stories of 2014 – Sexual Assault on Campus

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This spring Indiana University was named as one of 50 universities under investigation by the federal government for title nine violations regarding handling of sexual violence complaints. Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University Debby Herbenick joins Alycin and Joe to discuss 2014′s nation-wide dialog regarding sexual assualt. This year an effort to raise awareness regarding sexual harassment became global through social media hastags #yesallwomen and #heforshe. Street harassment and cat-calling was highlighted in a viral video of a woman walking around New York City, and locally the group “Street Harassment Awareness Bloomington” formed and has designed cards that can be handed to harassers stating “Thanks for ruining my day.”

The Top Stories of 2014 is a special production of WFHB News, looking back on the stories that define the year in news. From deer to development, education to equality, national issues became local, and Indiana worked to set itself apart. The Top Stories of 2014 is produced by Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford.

Bloomington Beware! – Holiday Scams Part 3

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More info and warnings about holiday-themed scams that are suckering all too many victims at a time when we all should be happy and trusting, instead of fearful and suspicious.

Activate! – Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard: Patrick Siney

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Patrick Siney, a volunteer for Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and many other local non-profits, discusses opportunities at “The Hub” and talks about how volunteering has made a huge difference in his life. Also, ways for you to connect your talents to non-profits in our community through volunteering from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

LINKS

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

New Hope Family Shelter Website Designer
Graphic Designers & Photographers – check the listings at http://www.bloomingtonvolunteernetwork.org/searchopportunities

Books Unbound – Heaven’s Cafe: A Miscellany for Solstice Eve

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“Heaven’s Café” is a seasonal episode of Books Unbound featuring poetry from China, Germany, Mexico, Palestine, Cuba and England, with a tribute to the late Mark Strand and one of Dostoyevsky’s lesser-known stories, “The Christmas Tree and the Wedding”. The program explores seasonal themes of Heaven/the heavens: how we mark the season and align ourselves to celestial phenomena, and how at the end of the year’s cycle we dwell on loss, especially love lost—but also revisit childhood and beginnings with often unforeseen consequences.

Co-hosts: Doug Storm and Sarah Torbeck
Announcer: Berklea Going

READINGS

  • “New Year’s Watch” and “Visiting the Temple of Auspicious Fortune on New Year’s Eve” by the 11th-century Chinese poet Su Shi (Patsy Rahn, Pei-Shan Yu)
  • “After the Rain” by World War One-era poet Richard Dehmel (Frank Buczolich, in both German and his own translation)
  • Poetry by the 17th-century Colonial Mexican poet Sor Juana on the Nativity and the cosmos (Berklea Going, Eric Rensberger, Cynthia Wolfe, Sonia Velázquez)
  • “A Prayer to the New Year” by the 20th-century Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan (Ali Alnahhabi, Cynthia Wolfe)
  • “The Coming of Light” by Mark Strand, a brief tribute to the Canadian-American poet who died last month (Frank Buczolich)
  • “The Christmas Tree and the Wedding” by Dostoyevsky (Sarah Torbeck, with Russian intro by Pavel Abramov)
  • “Christmas of 2012″ by the Cuban dissident writer and photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (Tony Brewer)
  • “On Heaven” by Ford Madox Ford, writing as Ford Madox Heuffer, again taking us to the WW1 era, imagining the afterlife as meeting his lost beloved in a cafe in the South of France (Doug Storm)

Music excerpted from the Sonata for Viola and Piano of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Produced by Cynthia Wolfe with Doug Storm.
Written by Cynthia Wolfe with contributions from Ali Alnahhabi, Frank Buczolich and Doug Storm.
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

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