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Daily Local News – October 28, 2014

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A public open house will be held by the group “I-69 Development Partners” to allow the public to address the planned construction on I-69 Section 5 between Bloomington and Martinsville; A recent study from Indiana University associate
professors of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ashlyn Nelson and Beth Gazley, found that the number public school-supporting charities rose dramatically from 1995 to 2010, as did the impact of their fundraising efforts; According to a press release from a private literary foundation, two authors with Indiana origins have won Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards; Indiana University is investing $7 million in a new Complexity Institute; After months of discussion, Ellettsville won’t be combining its streets and utilities departments.

FEATURE
The Republican Party caucus in the state assembly has released its legislative agenda for the upcoming 2015 session. The statement lists what the GOP describes as four major issue categories that it wants to address: budget, education, ethics, and public safety. The Daily Local News asked Peggy Mayfield, Republican house member for District 60 – Martinsville, which includes part of Bloomington and Monroe County, to talk about these issues and others. With regard to the budget, the party aims for a balanced budget with no increase in taxes or borrowing. However, recently, revenues have fallen below earlier expectations. We asked Representative Mayfield how her colleagues plan to deal with this potential shortfall.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Anson Shupe and Cathi Norton
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access
Television Services.
Our feature correspondent is David Murphy
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacey and Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer today is Anna Legge
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Republican Caucus Releases GOP Focus Of Upcoming Legislative Session

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The Republican Party caucus in the state assembly has released its legislative agenda for the upcoming 2015 session. The statement lists what the GOP describes as four major issue categories that it wants to address: budget, education, ethics, and public safety. With regard to the budget, the party aims for a balanced budget with no increase in taxes or borrowing. However, recently, revenues have fallen below earlier expectations.

Rep. Mayfield explains how her colleagues plan to deal with this potential shortfall.

“We want to maintain the surplus and reserve because those revenues could come in shy of expectations,” Mayfield says. “And that has happened before, especially during the recession.”

For education, the caucus promises to increase funding and fix the funding formula.

Rep. Mayfield said that specific expenditure requests would have to await final state income receipt figures. Under Indiana’s public school funding formula, lower income districts receive more than higher income districts in order to pay for special services such as subsidized meals and supplemental teaching.

“There’s a huge disparity in the formula,” Mayfield says. “Carmel receives the lowest funding while East Chicago receives the highest. Prior to last year the disparity was even greater and they’re closing the gap. I think what we need to look at is the foundation of that forumula.”

The most recent ethics scandal was around Republican Representative Eric Turner’s behind-the-scenes-effort to kill a bill which may have negatively affected his family’s private business interests. He was exonerated of any wrongdoing by his colleagues.

Since then, numerous other examples of Republican legislators with obvious conflicts of interest not recusing themselves from debates have come light.

“This week we will be meeting with national ethics experts on best practices,” Mayfield says. “I think this will be good in continuing the public confidence in our elected leaders. It also helps elected officials understand a more clearer definition of the line you cannot cross.”

The focus of the Republican’s public safety agenda is domestic violence. No mention is made of changes in the law around this issue, rather the GOP promises to invest funds in and work with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“I think by focusing efforts on current programs and not trying to put new, state-level programs in place we can help more people,” Mayfield says.

The republican caucus agenda did not directly address Indiana’s economic issues such growing income polarization, wage stagnation among workers, and rising youth poverty levels.

The environmental protection agency has tasked states with reducing their reliance on coal burning, citing it’s direct impact on global warming. Indiana’s primary electricity source is coal, and jobs related to coal use are the main industry in certain parts of the state.

“80 percent of our electricity comes from coal and that’s not an insignificant figure,” Mayfield says.

A major issue during the 2014 legislative session was marriage equality in Indiana. This fall the Supreme Court declined to reexamine the issue, letting stand lower court rulings in several states, including Indiana, thereby legalizing same-sex marriage.

Shortly after taking office in 2013, Representative Mayfield stated that she would remain open on the issue of same-sex marriage until either voters or the court made a final decision. Representative Mayfield won her seat two years ago, switching the long time district seat from democrat to republican after redistricting in 2011. Her democratic challenger for the November 4th election is Daymon Brodhacker.

Daily Local News – October 27, 2014

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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission released an energy efficiency report this month that conflict with moves by the Indiana legislature earlier this year; Indiana University is going forward with the construction of a new fraternity house for the university’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, known as FIJI; Fewer Monroe County voters than usual have cast ballots so far in this year’s midterm election; The rules for Bloomington streets are up for review; Hoosier Hysteria, Indiana University’s kickoff for their basketball season, was not only an event for school spirit; This Saturday, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank’s (HHFB) fourth “Annual Canstruction” event concludes at the College Mall just in time for “Mall-o-ween”—the Mall’s annual trick-or treat event from 6-8 p.m.

FEATURE
The Indiana State NAACP State Convention Conference was held in Bloomington this weekend, and included workshops on health, veterans affairs, environmental climate and justice and an awards banquet. The keynote speaker of the conference was Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. WFHB Correspondent William Hosea spoke with Brooks about racial tensions in America and, in light of next week’s election, voter suppression, for today’s community report.

ACTIVATE!
Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Sophia Saliby
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh with correspondent William Hosea
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP spoke in Bloomington over the weekend

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The Indiana State NAACP State Convention Conference was held in Bloomington this weekend, and included workshops on health, veterans affairs, environmental climate and justice and an awards banquet. The keynote speaker of the conference was Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. WFHB Correspondent William Hosea spoke with Brooks about racial tensions in America and, in light of next week’s election, voter suppression, for today’s community report.

Books Unbound – “The Burning Secret” by Stefan Zweig, Part 2

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Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew whose books were among the first burned by the Nazis in 1933. He was one of the most beloved writers of the 1920s and 30s, but he committed suicide in Brazil in 1942, despairing that the Old Europe he loved was lost. His novella “The Burning Secret” shows the psychoanalytic influence of his friend Sigmund Freud. Zweig has enjoyed a recent renaissance in the English-speaking world, and was the inspiration for filmmaker Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Hola Bloomington – October 24, 2014

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Hola Bloomington’s hosts Israel Herrera, Maria Auxiliadora Viloria and Luz Lopez host a special segment  “Un Cafecito con” Teatro VIDA. The hosts interview the actors and directors of a suite of four short Spanish and Portuguese language plays titled “Encerrados.” Also, they talk about the upcoming visit from Natalia Almada to Bloomington.

Los locutores de Hola Bloomington Israel Herrera , Maria Auxiliadora Viloria y Luz Lopez albergan un segmento especial “Un Cafecito con” Teatro VIDA. Los locutores entrevistan a los actores y directores de una serie de cuatro obras de teatro cortas en español y portugués tituladas “Encerrados”. Ademas, hablan de la visita de Natalia Almada a Bloomington.

I-69 Section 5 Open House Oct. 29

The public is invited to attend an informational open house regardin I-69 Section from from Bloomington to Martinsville. The event is next week, Wednesday October 29th from from 5:30 pm – 7:30pm at the Holiday Inn, located at 1710 Kinser Pike.

The I-69 Section 5 project involves rehabilitating and upgrading 21 miles of the existing, four-lane State Road 37 to interstate standards. The first phase of the I-69 reconstruction is tied to completion of traffic improvements in Bloomington such as a new interchange at Tapp Road, a third lane in each direction, a new overpass at Rockport Road and changes to That Rd.

There will be no formal presentation regarding the development, but a press release says that the public can comment on the proposed aesthetic treatment concepts .

School pays respect to car crash victim

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On October 20th, The Richland Bean Blossom School Board sent their respects to the family of recent graduate Josiah Winks who died in a single-car collision on October 18th.  Superintendent Mike  Wilcox opened with comments about Winks who received his diploma earlier this month.

Larry DeMoss, speaking on behalf of the RBB Educators Association also expressed his condolences to Winks’ family, but said that “at the other end of the emotional spectrum” reports of a class trip to Michigan was an “upper” for the school district. Isabel, a student of Edgewood High School teacher Jeff Carmichael, has participated in three of Carmichael’s class trips, and thanked the school board for the educational opportunity.

The school board also talked about the upcoming bidding proposal for the school bus routes of the 2015-2019 school year.  Superintendent Wilcox outlined the key dates for the bidding process.

The school district is also in the beginning phases of developing a long-range plan, beginning with the formation of a long range planning committee.

Business and Government Mingle at I-69 Summit

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This week the convention center downtown played host to hundreds of politicians, businesspeople and government workers interested in the new I-69, both in Indiana and beyond. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford was on hand for the I-69 Summit and he brings us this report. 

Work continues on sections 4 and 5 of I-69 in Indiana. Those portions will take the Interstate into Monroe County, through Bloomington and almost to Martinsville.

Standing Room Only – Get to know your local candidates Part 3 of 6

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On Tuesday, September 29, in the Bloomington City Council Chambers four candidates discussed their qualifications for City Council district 1 and 2 in Monroe County. The session consisted of expert commentary and Audience Q&A. Candidates for City Council seat 1 are Shelli Yoder (D), and Nelson Shaffer (R). The candidates for City Council Seat 2 are Ryan Cobine (D), Brian Ellison (R). This event was recorded by Community Access Television Services and used with permission by Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

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