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New Marijuana Church To Test The Religious Freedom Act

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Indiana’s  First Church of Cannabis has found a home, despite marijuana use still being illegal in the state. The new church announced last night it is opening a location on the eastside of  Indianapolis at thirty-four-hundred South Rural Street. The church’s founder, cannabis enthusiast Bill Levin, refers to himself as the Minister of Love and Grand Pooba of the Church. Members of the church call themselves Cannataerians and say they follow The New Deity Dozen,  a list of twelve commandments Levin created.  Commandments include “don’t be an internet troll” and “cannabis, the healing plant, is our sacrament.” Levin says that his religion is not based on worshiping cannabis, rather it focuses on celebrating life, love, and good health.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act inspired Levin to create his church. He says he wanted to see what he could accomplish under the RFRA, which prohibits the government from infringing on certain religious practices. The Internal Revenue Service deemed the First Church of Cannabis  a nonprofit organization and granted the church tax-exempt status. Gifts to the church by donors can be deducted for tax purposes and the church itself is eligible for a property tax exemption in the state. The church has received considerable public support, and has received more than fifteen thousand dollars in donations on its Go Fund Me page.

The first service has been set for July first, the  same day that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act becomes law. Levin says that the service will begin with a half-hour of music, followed by a thirty-five-minute service celebrating life. Levin says at the end of the service, worshippers will  “spark up”.  The church, which is expected to hold one-hundred-fifty to two-hundred members, is looking for volunteers to renovate the site.

Senator Coats Criticizes Defense Contractors In His Waste of the Week Speech

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This week the United States Senate is debating a proposed six-hundred-twelve-billion-dollar budget for the Department of Defense. Speaking before the Senate today, Senator Dan Coats of Indiana took on one particular section of the military budget as he gave his regular Waste of the Week speech. Coats criticized wasteful defense contractors, particularly one company that has recently been accused of misspending millions of dollars in Afghanistan. Coats does not mention the contractor  by name. But a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction indicates the alleged violator is the Imperatis Corporation, based in Arlington, Virginia. As of 2012, the company had more than a billion dollars worth of contracts with the American military. We bring you a portion of Coats’ speech now, in this WFHB report.

That was U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana speaking today on the Senate floor. Coats has announced he will retire at the end of his term in 2016. Several Republicans and Democrats have already begun to campaign for the position.

Emily’s List And Glenda Ritz Are Out To Replace Mike Pence

The women’s political organization Emily’s List has announced that Governor Mike Pence is at the top of its twenty-sixteen election cycle targets.  Emily’s List seeks to get pro-choice Democratic women elected to office. The group has what it calls an On Notice list of sixteen incumbent Republicans at all levels of the government.  Pence is the first governor to be targeted in the upcoming election cycle. Emily’s List outlined several reasons for opposing Pence.  The organization disagrees with his signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Before it was amended, that bill would have effectively made it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. Pence also supported legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding and he repeatedly opposed equal pay bills. Pence could have a female opponent in the twenty-sixteen election. State Superintendent for Public Instruction Glenda Ritz has announced she will seek the Democratic nomination for governor. If elected, Ritz would be the first woman governor of Indiana.

Indiana Ranks 43rd In Economic Growth

Indiana has one of the weakest economies in the United States, according to figures released today by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The country as a whole saw its gross domestic product grow at two-point-two percent last year. But in Indiana, the GDP grew by just point-four percent. That puts Indiana behind forty-three other states in terms of economic growth. The Bureau considers GDP growth to be the most comprehensive method for measuring economic activity. The report indicates that Indiana did well in regards to manufacturing, real estate, and retail sales. But that success was countered by significant declines in other sectors, such as construction and agriculture.

“I Need Help” – Voices of Kirkwood

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Over the past week, the owners of Nick’s English Hut in Bloomington have led a group of businesses in downtown Bloomington voicing concern about crime along Kirkwood Avenue. The issue sparked controversy on social media after Nick’s co-owner Susan Bright referred to “bum commerce” in the area. At a meeting at Nick’s last Wednesday, many businesspeople urged the police to arrest downtown visitors who use drugs or commit other petty crime in public. One of the main complaints has been about panhandling. For today’s WFHB community report, News Director Joe Crawford spoke with three residents who routinely ask for money along Kirkwood Avenue.

Daily Local News – June 9, 2015

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George Huntington, the long-time general manager for Bloomingfoods Cooperative Market and Deli, resigned yesterday; After 8 years in business, Rachael’s Cafe has announced it will be closing on Saturday, June 27th; Indiana University alumni began voting for a new university trustee last week; Interstate 69 construction is causing occasional road closures in the Bloomington area; Bedford will be celebrating the outdoors on June 20th with “Get Outdoors Day” in Murray Forest Park.

FEATURE
Over the past week, the owners of Nick’s English Hut in Bloomington have led a group of businesses in downtown Bloomington voicing concern about crime along Kirkwood Avenue. The issue sparked controversy on social media after Nick’s co-owner Susan Bright referred to “bum commerce” in the area. At a meeting at Nick’s last Wednesday, many businesspeople urged the police to arrest downtown visitors who use drugs or commit other petty crime in public. One of the main complaints has been about panhandling. For today’s WFHB community report, News Director Joe Crawford spoke with three residents who routinely ask for money along Kirkwood Avenue.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
What’s with these Ins & Outs of Money radio segments, anyhow? They’re part of the It’s Your Money project at Monroe County Public Library, which is all about helping you hang on to your cash. Hear more about what IYM is, and why you need the free, unbiased money smarts it offers.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Kara Tullman, Kyle Boen and Ivy Bridges
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Interchange – The Path of Least Resistance: The Obama Presidency

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What are we to make of a president who appears on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis?

David Bromwich opens his Harper’s Magazine piece, “What Went Wrong: Assessing Obama’s Legacy” with the claim “Any summing-up of the Obama presidency is sure to find a major obstacle in the elusiveness of the man.” He seeks to define the man and his presidency in article after article, and essay after essay.

Guest
David Bromwich is the Sterling Professor of Literature at Yale University. He’s written on civil liberties and America’s Wars for the New York Review of Books. He also publishes essays on politics in the Huffington Post, the London Review of Books and Harper’s Magazine. His most recent books are Moral Imagination which is a collection of essays and The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke.

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama

Of Interest
Strip Search Nation” by David Bromwich

Music
“You Dropped a Bomb On Me” by The Gap Band
“Funky President” by James Brown
“The Wake-up Bomb” by R.E.M.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Ins and Outs of Money – The It’s Your Money Project: Behind the Scenes

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What’s with these Ins & Outs of Money radio segments, anyhow? They’re part of the It’s Your Money project at Monroe County Public Library, which is all about helping you hang on to your cash. Hear more about what IYM is, and why you need the free, unbiased money smarts it offers.

Bring It On! – June 8th, 2015

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Cornelius Wright and Clarence Boone welcome Rev. Dennis Laffoon.

PART ONE
On tonight’s show, Cornelius and Clarence welcome Rev. Dennis Laffoon, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. church. He joins us this evening to offer some insight on relevant issues that challenge the black church as well as discuss highlights of a recent community forum on ways to positively interact with law enforcement.

PART TWO
Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

CREDITS
Hosts: Cornelius Wright and Clarence Boone
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Books Unbound – The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, Conclusion

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The Life Of Lazarillo de Tormes, His Fortunes and Misfortunes concludes with an improbably happy ending. Lazarillo is a clueless but sly servant boy who learns to survive a series of abusive masters through trickery and petty crime.

Published anonymously in the 16th century, Lazarillo was one of only six novels banned by the Index of Prohibited Books during the Inquisition. This classic of Spanish and world literature is also an early example of the picaresque novel, episodic fiction in which a roguish protagonist evades conventional authority and navigates a series of predicaments. Novelist Jane Smiley calls Lazaro the first protagonist in fiction to represent the ordinary person whose primary concern is eking out a living. Set mostly in Toledo, Spain, the novella is also notable for its depiction of poverty amid the anti-poor laws enacted during the period, and the changing attitudes toward charity in an increasingly capitalist society.

Excerpted from the translation of Robert S. Rudder, the Books Unbook presentation of The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes is newly expanded from a version first broadcast in the fall of 2014 as part of a series on classic satiric fiction. Tony Brewer is the reader, Sarah Torbeck the host, and Berklea Going the announcer.

The episode was written and produced by Cynthia Wolfe, with production assistance from Robert Shull and Doug Storm.

Lazarillo features period music by the 16th-century Spanish composer Diego Ortiz, who was born in Toledo, as performed by Jordi Savali on his albums La Folia and Recercadas del Trattado de Glosas. Books Unbound theme music by The Impossible Shapes.

Series producer: Cynthia Wolfe
Executive producer: Joe Crawford

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