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Ellettsville Will Soon Begin the Building of a Pedestrian Trail

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Ellettsville is finally be ready to build the first phase of its pedestrian trail. Darla Brown, the town attorney, told the Town Council last week that the Town has purchased all the land it needs for the Heritage Trail project. The Town has been working on the trail for more than a decade and a half.
Brown says that all the necessary land for the project has been purchased and the building will begin weather permitting.
The first phase of the Heritage Trail will run for several blocks between Vine Street and Main Street in downtown Ellettsville. The second phase is planned to connect to McNeely Street.

Indiana University Opens New Campus Shuttle Service from Bloomington to Indianapolis

Indiana University says its new campus shuttle service aims to promote sustainability for people commuting between Bloomington and Indianapolis. Indiana University announced this week the creation of Campus Commute, a bus service for IU faculty, students, and the general public. A press release from the university describes the bus system as low-cost and environmentally friendly. Campus Commute will make four daily trips every weekday, with stops at the Indiana Memorial Union, Indiana Memorial Stadium, IUPUI Campus Center, and the Indiana Statehouse. The intercampus shuttle offers Wi-Fi, wheelchair accessibility, reclining seats, electrical outlets, DirecTV and lavatory. The bus service will also offer DoubleMap, an app with real-time tracking of each bus on an interactive map for users. In the press release, IUPUI Vice Chancellor Dawn Rhode states that she hopes this alternative commuting option will encourage the reduction of CO2 emissions for frequent travelers between the two campuses.

Pay Raises for Lowest Paid Monroe County Public Library Employees Recommended to Board of Trustees

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The lowest paid employees at the Monroe County Public Library may soon get a raise. The Library’s executive director, Sara Laughlin, recommended raising the minimum pay rate to $8.25 an hour, up from the current minimum of $7.66. Laughlin told the Library’s Board of Trustees the increase is partly the result of changes in the market. She made the comments at a Board work session last week. Laughlin stated that the first reason for proposed increase was due to Indiana University raising their own minimum wage rate and the subsequent loss of employees seeking higher pay. This has had a negative impact in creating more orientation, and training time due to employee turnovers.

Besides the lowest paid workers, the next two levels up on the pay scale will also be bumped up. Laughlin said the increased wages are also meant to reflect changes the Library is making in the responsibilities of some staff. She stated that the service model will involve increased responsibilities that will merit the higher pay.

The Library is expected to spend about $65,000 more this year to pay for the raises. Kyle Wickemeyer-Hardy, the Library’s human resources manager, said she consulted with other local employers before recommending the new pay rates. After checking with Bloomingfoods and Indiana University Wickemeyer-Hardy believes the wages to be competitive for comparative employment.
The Board does not vote on items at work sessions. They are expected to hold a vote on the new wages at their meeting, which began at 5 o’clock today.

Bloomington Beware! – Gold Diggers of 2015

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Up next, our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

Dancing With Parkinson’s Provides Exercise, Expressive Outlet to Those With the Disease

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Dancing with Parkinson’s is a movement started by David Leventhal, a professional dancer in Brooklyn, New York in 2002. The initiative has expanded to include chapters all over the United States and continues to expand into the international community with chapters in Canada, the UK and Australia among others. The mission of Dancing with Parkinson’s is to provide dance classes with live music to enrich the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Bloomington’s own chapter was founded by Weezie and David Smith, who sat down for an interview with WFHB Correspondent Jennifer Whitaker to talk about their own experience and the Bloomington chapter.

For more information about Bloomington’s Dancing with Parkinson’s group, contact Weezie Smith at (812) 336-2429. You can also find out more at the Bloomington Chapter’s facebook page.

Legislative Update- January 2015

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On January — in Bloomington, IN, local lawmakers and representatives sat down to discuss what the year will hold for state and local politics. The event consisted of an hour long period of general discussion with a Q&A period following. Speakers included Matt Ubelhor, Peggy Mayfield, Matt Pierce, Eric Koch, and Mark Stoops. This event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, held in the Showers building, and recorded by Community Access Television Services.

Interchange – The Acceptable MLK: Speech Over Action

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Host Doug Storm is joined by Rasul Mowatt and Jacinda Townsend to discuss why Martin Luther King, Jr. has been remembered and elevated to represent the struggle toward civil rights as opposed to other civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X; and how creating a “great leader” to follow can undermine the support of community movements for social and economic justice.

Rasul Mowatt is an Associate Professor in Indiana University’s School of Public Health.

Jacinda Townsend is an Assistant Professor the English Department  at Indiana University and author of the novel Saint Monkey.

Credits:

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Social Media: Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

City of Bloomington’s 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

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Award-winning filmmaker Bennett Singer gave the keynote address this year at the City of Bloomington’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. Singer most recently produced and directed the film, “Brother Outsider,” which chronicles the life of Bayard Rustin, and openly gay civil rights activist who worked closely with Dr. King. Besides Singer, the event also featured speeches by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, Monroe County Commissioner Iris Kiesling, Indiana University Vice Provost Martin McCrory and others. Musical performers included the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble and the University Elementary School Choir.

Ins and Outs of Money – Monroe County Energy Challenge

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What would it take for Monroe County residents and businesses to cut energy use by 10 percent? Molly O’Donnell of Monroe County Energy Challenge thinks she knows the answer: 5 million dollars. Find out who’s putting up the money, what has to be done to meet the challenge, and how trying our best will benefit us all.

“Reclaiming the Legacy” – MLK Day Demonstrators Call for Justice

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A “Reclaim MLK Day” action was held last night along State Road 46 in Bloomington. The demonstration focused on the issue of police mistreatment of African-Americans and recent calls for justice for those victims. WFHB correspondent David Murphy was on the scene to talk to some of the participants for today’s WFHB community report.

Photos by Mihee Kim-Kort

 

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