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Funding For Bean Blossom School Corporation

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Officials at the Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation raised concerns about funding for public education at a school board meeting last month. Doug Uhls, who represents the district’s Education Association, urged community members to keep a close eye on the state legislature this year.

“I know that our governor is proposing over $200 million increase over the next two years for education,” Uhls said. “But almost $49 million of it is going toward charter schools in his proposal…You don’t have to be a math teacher to know that’s about a quarter of the proposed increase going towards a pretty small segment of our students.”

Randy Wright, a member of the school board, had similar thoughts. Wright also encouraged community members to talk to their legislators about education.

“Dollars for our kids are very, very important, so we really need to get that money for our students,” Wright said. “Get to the Statehouse. Make your voice heard. It’s all about public education in my opinion.”

Also at the meeting the district superintendent, Mike Wilcox, announced he will begin hosting a monthly podcast. Wilcox said the program, which is called Super Chat, will be available from the district’s website.

“Hopefully I can break things down to where people understand a lot of things that are in the newspapers…about school, both locally and statewide,” Wilcox said.

The Corporation’s website is www.rbbcsc.k12.in.us

Bill moved in senate to expand bus services

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Earlier today a committee in the Indiana Senate moved forward a bill that could expand bus service in Monroe County. The bill would give the Monroe County Council the option to raise taxes and expand the reach of Bloomington Transit, which currently serves only the city of Bloomington. Senator Mark Stoops from Bloomington is sponsoring the legislation. Monroe County already has a Rural Transit Service. But in a statement issued today, Stoops said that service has been hit with budget cuts and “has to turn down thousands of rides every year.” The bill now moves to the full Senate, where any member can amend it.

Employees hired to manage invasive vegetation

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The city of Bloomington has hired two full-time employees to manage the increasing problem of invasive vegetation. Dave Williams, the operations director for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, made the announcement last week before the Board of Parks Commissioners.

“This has become a huge issue for any land-holding agency as well as private property owners,” Williams said. “It’s become a challenge for us to restore the natural habitat in areas like Lower Cascades Park, Griffy Lake…and neighborhood parks.”

Jon Behrman has been hired full time to oversee native vegetation management and native planting initiatives. A second position filled by Haskell Smith will expressly work to combat invasive plant species.

“The latest and greatest pest is the emerald ash borer,” Williams said. “What we find ourselves doing is getting more into the (tree) removal business than the planting business. We have long since walked away from our ability to do much more than occasional contractual pruning of trees, which over the life of the tree, if you do it young, can save you tons of dollars.”

The Board praised the hires. Williams said climate change will continue to necessitate management of invasive vegetation.

“The (emerald ash borer) isn’t the end of it,” Williams said. “There are other potential threats to maple trees…There will always be something to fight and combat and control.”

Also at the meeting the board approved ongoing partnerships between the City of Bloomington and the Indiana University School of Public Health.

Daily Local News – February 3, 2015

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Earlier today a committee in the Indiana Senate moved forward a bill that could expand bus service in Monroe County;The city of Bloomington has hired two full-time employees to manage the increasing problem of invasive vegetation;Officials at the Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation raised concerns about funding for public education at a school board meeting last month.

FEATURE
Indiana, generally, and Monroe County, specifically, appear to be relatively safe from experiencing the kind of measles outbreak that California is having, at least according to some local experts on public health. Correspondent David Murphy spoke about these issues with Ross Silverman, a professor at the IU school of public health in Indianapolis, and Amy Meek, Program Manager for the Monroe County Public Health Department. We will first hear first from Silverman and then from Meek.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Giving your teenager a credit card—valuable money lesson or a parent’s worst nightmare? Our unbiased financial expert weighs in with benefits of teens “going plastic” that might surprise you.

CREDITS
Anchors:Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Anson Shupe, Carmen Gozalo, Emily Beck and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
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.
Our engineer is Jose Rodriguez
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh,
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Activate! – Lotus Education and Arts Foundation: Loraine Martin

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Loraine Martin, a 16 year veteran of working with Lotus Education & Foundation, talks about Lotus Blossoms, the education and community outreach program of the Foundation, and the amazing experience the program gives to kids and volunteers alike. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

LINKS
Lotus Education & Arts Foundation
Lotus Volunteering 
Bloomington Playwright’s Project Volunteering 
Buskirk-Chumley Theater Volunteering 

Bills Would Strip Power of Superintendent Glenda Ritz

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Bills have been introduced into both houses of the Indiana General Assembly that would change the way the Chairperson of the State Board of Education is chosen. Currently, the popularly elected State Superintendent of Education automatically chairs the board. This has been the practice for over 100 years, since the original creation of an elected Superintendent. The current Superintendent is Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, who defeated Tony Bennett in 2012. Ritz, a public school librarian, had been strongly backed by the state teachers’ association as well as some parents upset about the state Republican agenda that promotes charter schools and education vouchers.

Soon after Ritz’s election, the Republican-led state government began taking measures that many said were aimed at checking Ritz’s power. Governor Pence created an alternative agency to the state school board, which he called the Center for Education and Career Innovation. That agency operated out of Pence’s office, was staffed by his personal appointees, and essentially attempted to do the same things as the state school board. Pence announced the dissolution of that agency last December. But in his announcement, the Governor also urged state legislators to change the way the Chair of the Board of Education was chosen, to have the members of the board, who all happen to be his appointees choose the chair, rather than have the superintendent automatically assume the role. Last week, the House Education Committee approved Bill 1609 reflecting Pence’s wish. The Senate has introduced three similar pieces of legislation. To get a local response to this activity, Daily Local News Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, chair of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education for Monroe County and South-Central Indiana. Murphy first asked her to give her opinion of the legislation in the general assembly.

Bring It On! – February 2, 2015

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Clarence Boone and Cornelius Wright welcome Robin Winston and Audrey McCluskey.

PART ONE
On tonight’s show, Clarence and Cornelius welcome accomplished business leader and a skilled political strategist, Robin Winston. He joins us to explore the dynamics of the power shift in Washington and in particular how it will affect national and local communities of color. He also provide some perspective on the impending political showdown in 2016.

PART TWO
Local author Audrey McCluskey comes on to discuss her latest project, “A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and Activists in the Jim Crow South”.

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

Daily Local News – February 2, 2015

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles found another $2 million of overcharges it levied on state residents; A construction company is in the midst of moving five historic houses in the University Courts neighborhood to make way for a new fraternity house; Monroe County officials are in talks with companies that could be paid to help establish a specific character for a West side commercial district; Upland Brewery is starting 2015 off with a new space and a new brew. Vice President of Retail Operations Angela Schnick says the renovated space opened up just in time last year.

FEATURE
Bills have been introduced into both houses of the Indiana General Assembly that would change the way the Chairperson of the State Board of Education is chosen. Currently, the popularly elected State Superintendent of Education automatically chairs the board. This has been the practice for over 100 years, since the original creation of an elected Superintendent. The current Superintendent is Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, who defeated Tony Bennett in 2012. Ritz, a public school librarian, had been strongly backed by the state teachers’ association as well as some parents upset about the state Republican agenda that promotes charter schools and education vouchers. Soon after Ritz’s election, the Republican-led state government began taking measures that many said were aimed at checking Ritz’s power. Governor Pence created an alternative agency to the state school board, which he called the Center for Education and Career Innovation. That agency operated out of Pence’s office, was staffed by his personal appointees, and essentially attempted to do the same things as the state school board. Pence announced the dissolution of that agency last December. But in his announcement, the Governor also urged state legislators to change the way the Chair of the Board of Education was chosen, to have the members of the board, who all happen to be his appointees choose the chair, rather than have the superintendent automatically assume the role. Last week, the House Education Committee approved Bill 1609 reflecting Pence’s wish. The Senate has introduced three similar pieces of legislation. To get a local response to this activity, Daily Local News Correspondent David Murphy spoke to Cathy Fuentes-Rohrer, chair of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education for Monroe County and South-Central Indiana. Murphy first asked her to give her opinion of the legislation in the general assembly.

ACTIVATE
Lorraine Martin, a 16 year veteran of working with Lotus Arts and Education Foundation, talks about Lotus Blossoms, the education and community outreach program of the Foundation, and the amazing experience the program gives to kids and volunteers alike. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino, Emily Beck and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive producer is Joe Crawford.

Brown County Hour – Episode #35 – February 1, 2015

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Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig & Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 9 AM on WFHB.

☆ In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Musical guests Hamilton Creek perform LIVE in BCH Studio B — interview and songs.
    l-r Frank Hilligoss/bass, Dave Conner/mandolin, Neil Smith/guitar & Dan Harden/banjo

    HAMILTON CREEK l-r Frank Hilligoss/bass, Dave Conner/mandolin, Neil Smith/guitar & Dan Harden/banjo

  • Cari Ray returns with another For A Song, wherein she explores the creative processes involved in finding your muse… even with a broken leg.
  • Arborist Rick Patrick shares his take on IDNR logging practices in another WoodWatch segment.
  • BC entrepreneur Harry Hopkins of Brockwood Farm tells the stories of his Stall-sifter and Worm-siftermachines.
  • Don Crum with info on the BC Youth Music Showcase coming up Feb 28.
  • Rachel Perry shares a tall tale about love and moonshine.
  • Rick Fettig with an essay on squirrels.
  • Dave Seastrom delivers an update on construction progress with the new BCH studio.
  • Poetry by Gunther Flumm: Voodoo voodoo. 
✇ Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville, Part Two

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The second in a four-part program on Herman Melville’s novella “Benito Cereno,” based on the memoir of the real-life sea captain Amasa Delano. Melville’s mastery of point of view takes us into the mind of the well-meaning but clueless Delano as he spends the day aboard a Spanish merchant-ship in distress. The ship is manned by a skeleton crew of haggard Spaniards, and carries 150 Africans bound for the slave trade. As the American captain struggles to understand the demeanor of his Spanish counterpart, he fails to see what’s really happening within this microcosm of society.

“Benito Cereno” was published serially in Putnam’s Magazine in 1855. One installment appeared in the same issue as a laudatory review of Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom. The indirect connections between Douglass and Melville point to complex issues of abolition and racial attitudes in the crisis years leading up to the American Civil War. Since the mid-20th century, the story has been viewed as exposing, as one critic put it, “the dominant culture’s ignorance of its own repressive tactics”.

Our reader is Doug Storm. This episode also includes Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Captain Amasa Delano’s Dilemma,” read by Tony Brewer. Special music for the episode comes from River of Light by Richard Danielpour, as recorded by Tim Fain and Pei-Yao Wang.

Host: Sarah Torbeck
Announcer: Berklea Going

Produced by Cynthia Wolfe and Doug Storm with Sarah Torbeck.
Written by Cynthia Wolfe with assistance from Doug Storm.
Executive producer: Alycin Bektesh
Theme music: The Impossible Shapes

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