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EcoReport – November 13, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Don Hollinger from First Presbyterian Church discusses how the Church accomplished a 90% energy cost reduction through the installation of LED lights.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

Today’s Anchors: Dan Young and Kristina Wiltsee
This week’s news stories were written by Dan Young, Linda Greene, Norm Holy, and Susan Northleaf. This week’s feature was engineered by Dan Withered. This week’s calendar was compiled by Dan Young.
Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

MCCSC receives report card from state

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Local public schools have received their grades from the state and, while the criteria used by the state for this evaluation have been much criticized, the Monroe County Community School Corporation is quite pleased with the results. The district received an A rating as a whole. Janice Berguson is Director of Secondary School for MCCSC, with responsibility for overseeing the school district’s response to the grades. She provides a breakdown of the individual school grades this year as well as last year’s in comparison.

Last year’s two F’s were given to Fairview and Highland Park elementary schools. This year Highland Park got a B while Fairview got another F, for the third year in a row. Following Fairview’s second F, the school’s administrators announced to the students that teachers, classes and programs would be substantially changed. When the parents found out, many responded by demanding cancellation of these changes and asked to be involved in developing any reform plans. This was followed by the appointment of a new principal from the Indianapolis school system.  Berguson explains Fairview’s current track upon receiving yet another failing grade.

The state grading of schools is based on the collective summary of the performance of all the students in each school on the state mandated and administered ISTEP examinations. ISTEP exams are given to students each Spring. All students in grades 3 through 8 plus high school sophomores complete tests on-line in language arts and math. Additionally, students in grades 4 and 6 are tested in science, and students in grades 5 and 7 are tested in social studies. The test consists of two components: a written test, usually in March, and a multiple-choice test over the same subjects in April. Students are graded “did not pass”, “pass”, or “pass plus.” The cumulative results for particular schools are to be used by school administrators in determining pay, promotion, demotion and termination of teachers. The system has been controversial, with members of both political parties speaking out against it. The high stakes nature of the school evaluation process, the very narrow range of ISTEP indicators have been the source of criticism of both ISTEP and the A to F school grading program from educators, parents and experts on student evaluation.

FARM activists raise awareness of animal cruelty

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Animal activists of the nonprofit organization FARM, Farm Animal Rights Movement, are in Bloomington today through Friday as part of their national 10 billion lives tour. Tour members offer a dollar to any person willing to watch a four minute long animal cruelty video. Angie Fitzgerald, the lead operator of the campaign, said she feels coming to college campuses is especially effective.  The cruelty videos shown are a compilation of undercover documentation. Fitzgerald said they are chosen specifically to illustrate common and legal practices in the US.

The FARM van will be located on or near campus throughout this week.

Bloomington Beware! – Ebay Scams

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The BBB has issued a warning about Ebay listings which take you to fake websites and steal your personal info. This could happen with most any online commercial site, and here’s how to spot the con and avoid it.

Standing Room Only – Ebola in West Africa

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On October 13th a special forum was convened by Indiana University to educate the public about The recent Ebola outbreak in Liberia and to illuminate IU’s connections to that region. The forum centered on issues of public health and the physiology of the Ebola virus. Expert Panelists included Joshua Mugele, associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at the IU School of Medicine,  Chad Priest, assistant dean for operations and community partnerships at the IU School of Nursing, Charles Reafsnyder, IU retired associate vice president for international affairs, and  Ruth Stone, the Laura Bolton professor of folklore and ethnomusicology at IU Bloomington. The forum was recorded on location the Memorial Union in Bloomington by WFHB correspondents for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

New zoning rules for Monroe County rural areas

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Monroe County appears to be almost finished approving new zoning rules for rural areas. But questions still remain. We bring you that story for today’s WFHB community report.

The November 18th meeting is at 6 p.m in the Nat U Hill Room of the County Courthouse.

I-69 development to cause lane closures

Travelers on a number of roads in Monroe County should be aware that the I-69 Development Partners Team will create single-lane closures with flashing yellow arrows as efforts are made to verify the locations of existing utility facilities in preparation for future road construction. So far seven locations have been identified for inspection between November 10th and November 20th and during the hours from 9 AM to 3 PM. Drivers need to aware of  work on That Road from State Rd. 37 to 1200 ft. east of State Rd. 37; on Tapp Rd from Danlyn Rd. to Deborah Drive; and on Maple Leaf Drive from the cul-de-sac to 200 ft. west of the cul-de-sac. Other closures include Oakleaf Drive from its cul-de-sac to 200 ft. west of the cul-de-sac; on Rex Grossman Blvd from Tapp Rd to Lake Drive; inTech Park Blvd from Tapp Road to Schamaltz Blvd; and finally on Barger Lane from Tapp Rd to 200  ft. North of Tapp Road. Definite dates for work at each location are not yet available.  But the I-69 Development Partners Team, beyond these preliminary details, urges that drivers consider workers’ safety by moderating speeds and using caution in any single-lane  closures that they encounter

Daily Local News – November 12, 2014

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Animal activists of nonprofit organization FARM, Farm Animal Rights Movement, are in Bloomington today through Friday as part of their national 10 billion lives tour; Local public schools have received their grades from the state and, while the criteria used by the state for this evaluation have been much criticized, the Monroe County Community School Corporation is quite pleased with the results; Tomorrow, beginning at 6pm the Indiana Utilities Regulation Committee will be accepting public comment regarding fee increases for infrastructure improvements; The Monroe County Public Library Board of Trustees recently appointed Marilyn Wood as library director effective February 2nd, 2015; The Indiana Bureau of Motor vehicles has created a new website for customers to verify excise tax refund eligibility; IU professor of Anthropology, Eduardo Brondizio, was one of 240 conservationists to sign a letter to the scientific journal Nature, calling for greater diversity in the global debate about conservation; This month Governor Pence appointed William McCarty of Monroe County to serve the remainder of an unexpired term on the Horse Racing Commission through 2017; The “U Bring Change 2 Mind” College Toolbox project kicks off Thursday evening at the IU Auditorium; Travelers on a number of roads in Monroe County should be aware that the I-69 Development Partners Team will create single-lane closures with flashing yellow arrows as efforts are made to verify the locations of existing utility facilities in preparation for future road construction.

FEATURE
Monroe County appears to be almost finished approving new zoning rules for rural areas. But questions still remain. We bring you that story for today’s WFHB community report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
The BBB has issued a warning about Ebay listings which take you to fake websites and steal your personal info. This could happen with most any online commercial site, and here’s how to spot the con and avoid it.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Sarah Panfil, Anson Shupe, Susan Northleaf and Emily Beck
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford
Our engineers are Adam Reichle and Brian Lloyd
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

“U Bring Change 2 Mind” project kicks off Thursday

The “U Bring Change 2 Mind” College Toolbox project kicks off Thursday evening at the IU Auditorium. Students and IU employees will have the chance to win giveaways and prizes, and at 7pm Chicago’s Improv Olympic comedy group will perform.  Bring Change 2 Mind is actress Glenn Close’s anti-stigma campaign focused on mental health. U Bring Change 2 Mind is a project that has branched out from the organization. It’s an initiative geared toward college campuses that aims to bring students together to fight the stigma that surrounds mental health. This stigma often causes discrimination, which can negatively affect everyday things from relationships and employment to housing and medical care. U Bring Change 2 Mind aims to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health through education. Conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and OCD are serious ailments that affect IU students. This initiative plans to spark a conversation on campus that will lead to understanding and increased sources of help for those afflicted.

The project includes competitions and contests as well as lectures and a course centering on mental illness, media and social change. The course will be available to IU students in the spring.

According to a press release from IU, the project has been in the works for a year. It began with a visit from actress Glenn Close and Pamela Harrington, the executive director of Bring Change 2 Mind. Close chose IU as the site of a pilot project. The plans developed at IU will be packaged and made available to other universities.

McCarty to serve on Horse Racing Commission

This month Governor Pence appointed William McCarty of Monroe County to serve the remainder of an unexpired term on the Horse Racing Commission through 2017. The Horse Racing Commission, according to its website, is an Indiana-sanctioned entity that monitors, both administratively and financially, pari-mutual wagering on horse races to ensure that they will be conducted with the highest standards of safety and integrity for the animals and the public wagering. This includes blood testing for illegal performance-enhancing drugs for both the horses and their jockeys. The IHRC works closely with such respected test facilities as the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Clinic. The Commission, in addition to addressing concerns of breeding of animals, keeps track of revenues from horse racing both at local tracks on through the media. William McCarty, with a history of involvement with the Commission, will now be one of five Commissioners who have staggered terms of appointment.

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