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Bloomington Public Works Targeted in Reorganization

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Tomorrow night the Bloomington City Council will hear a proposal from the mayor’s office to restructure the biggest department in city government. The proposed changes target the Public Works Department, which was rocked by an embezzlement scandal earlier this year. Under the plan the Department’s engineering division, which was allegedly the center of the embezzlement scheme, would get new supervision. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with a representative from the mayor’s office about the plan for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Daily Local News – June 24, 2014

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There have been several complaints from residents in rural Monroe County about the nighttime INDOT construction work on I-69; Users of local buses will be expected to adhere to a recently adopted behavioral code; The Monroe County Public Library will be open slightly different hours starting on Labor Day; Some Monroe County residents raised questions June 17th about proposed rules that would affect the most rural parts of the County.

FEATURE
Tomorrow night the Bloomington City Council will hear a proposal from the mayor’s office to restructure the biggest department in city government. The proposed changes target the Public Works Department, which was rocked by an embezzlement scandal earlier this year. Under the plan the Department’s engineering division, which was allegedly the center of the embezzlement scheme, would get new supervision. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with a representative from the mayor’s office about the plan for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
WFHB’s weekly financial segment.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Sieraa Gardner
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Joe Crawford produced our feature
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.
Alycin Bektesh is our board engineer and Executive Producer.

Bloomington Transit to Implement New Code Of Conduct

Users of local buses will be expected to adhere to a recently adopted behavioral code. Bloomington Transit will post its new Code of Conduct on its website, on buses and at the soon-to-be-opened new central transit depot on 3rd Street.

Lew May, General Manager of Bloomington Transit, says that in the past there simply was no formal code of conduct.

“In the past years the problems weren’t as significant in the past 10 years,” May says. “With rider growth, it’s become apparent we need to set a basic code of conduct to set expectations for our riders.”

Bloomington Transit posted this draft code on its website and then held two public meetings, on June 3 and June 17, where they presented the code.

The draft code included prohibitions on what would generally be considered anti-social and destructive behavior, anything that might soil the buses, be offensive to or impose on the privacy of other passengers, or be unsafe.

However, some attendees suggested that many of the rules, such as prohibitions on sleeping on the bus or at the depot and against emitting strong odors, seemed to be targeting the homeless. May said the Bloomington Transit has responded to these concerns by removing them from the code of conduct.

The new Bloomington Transit downtown depot on 3rd Street is expected to be open next month.

Monroe County Public Library To Change And Expand Hours

The Monroe County Public Library will be change hours starting on Labor Day.

The Library’s Board of Trustees voted June 18 to add two extra hours on Sundays, meaning the Library will soon be open from noon until 6 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Library Director Sara Laughlin said the administration has been wanted to expand Sunday hours for years.

“In 2012 when we did a community survey, what would you choose to change our services,” Laughlin says. “Number one, of course, was fix parking. But number three was expand weekend hours.”

Laughlin said the city’s parking meters also motivated the change. Parking is free on Sundays. To help offset the cost of the change, the Library cut an hour from its Friday schedule. It will open at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. on Fridays.

The Board also voted to push back its schedule on Saturdays. The building will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays instead of 9  to 5.

The changes take effect September 1.

Rural Monroe County Residents May See Major Rezoning Shifts

Some Monroe County residents raised questions June 17 about proposed rules that would affect the most rural parts of the county.

The rules would apply to areas more than two miles from Bloomington. They would not affect smaller communities like Ellettsville or Stinesville.

The County Plan Commission is seeking to simplify its rural zoning rules by establishing just two zones instead of the current 20. But resident Steven Cordell said that approach might have been counterproductive.

“You’re taking something that was too complicated and making it overly simplified,” Cordell says. “I think that might be a big over-correction.”

Cordell’s complaints with the proposed rules focused largely on restrictions that would keep residents from subdividing their land into lots of relatively small parcels. Commission members have said the County can’t support the infrastructure required by those kinds of typically residential developments.

Other residents, like Steve Smith, asked why the rules restrict rural businesses from developing.

“The existing businesses have been there a long time with the zoning code changing around them,” Smith says. “This would blanket change everything, and when they become pre-existing, non-conforming, that’s like saying ‘we don’t want you.’”

Commission members said they are waiting to develop some rules for businesses. Commission member Julie Thomas said consultant is still working on rules governing the Bloomington Urbanizing Area, which is the two miles of County land surrounding the city. Thomas said those regulations would affect the rural zoning rules.

 

Bring It On! – June 23, 2014

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Bev Smith and William Hosea welcome David Hummons and Greg Tourner from the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males.

PART ONE
Established in 2001, The Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males network with groups with similar missions, such as the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, the African American National Council, and local commissions throughout the state. They also develop action committees addressing problems of Black males in the areas of Education, Health, Criminal Justice and Employment and serve as a catalyst to promote positive public and private remedies to the multi-faceted problems confronting Black males in the Bloomington community and the resulting effects on the entire community at large.

Joining Bev and William on the show to elaborate on the progress and future initiatives of the commission are members David Hummons and Greg Tourner.

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

CREDITS
Hosts: Bev Smith and William Hosea
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Daily Local News – June 23, 2014

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After months of delay, the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District is pushing forward again with plans for a new recycling facility; The Monroe County Stormwater Management Board debated June 12th whether to give $25,000 to a local conservation group; At a meeting June 16th, the Bloomington Utilities Service Board questioned the cost of remodeling a break room at the Monroe Water Treatment Plant.

FEATURE
The annual Taste of Bloomington brings together scores of Bloomington’s independently-owned restaurants for an afternoon of food, music, and the coveted waiter/waitress race trophy. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with the organizers and volunteers who help run the event, as well as satiated attendees and a three-month old establishment making it’s “taste” debut, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Meagan Barnhart, volunteer at Middle Way House, talks about her experiences working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the need for more volunteers to make the Middle Way House mission even more successful. Go to http://www.middlewayhouse.org/ to volunteer.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer today is Chris Martin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

The Sounds of “Taste of Bloomington”

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The annual Taste of Bloomington brings together scores of Bloomington’s independently-owned restaurants for an afternoon of food, music, and the coveted waiter/waitress race trophy. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with the organizers and volunteers who help run the event, as well as satiated attendees and a three-month old establishment making it’s “taste” debut, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Activate! – Middle Way House: Meagan Barnhart

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Meagan Barnhart, volunteer at Middle Way House, talks about her experiences working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the need for more volunteers to make the Middle Way House mission even more successful. Go to http://www.middlewayhouse.org/ to volunteer.

Books Unbound – Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Part 4

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James Joyce was a pioneering writer of modernist fiction and poetry, known for his innovative prose style and complex wordplay. Born in 1882 in Dublin, Joyce left Ireland at the age of twenty to study in Paris. Within months, he started his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Published in 1914, A Portrait established Joyce as both an experimental stylist and a pusher of boundaries who questioned religious and nationalist orthodoxy.

A Portrait was received as a bold achievement by most of Joyce’s literary peers, but some critics dismissed its realism as a dirty obsession with sex and sewage. These controversies were soon eclipsed by Joyce’s monumental Ulysses. Today regarded as the definitive modernist novel in English, Ulysses was officially banned as obscene in both Britain and the United States, earning Joyce a perennial place among literary masters whose works were suppressed.

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