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Daily Local News – December 4, 2014

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Governor Mike Pence delivered his education agenda this morning, looking ahead to the start of the 2015 legislative long-session which he termed the “education session.” Pence stressed his support for vouchers and charter schools, boasting that in the four years since it was enacted, the Indiana school voucher program has become the largest in the country, serving nearly 30,000 students; But first, the Bloomington City Council is still struggling with how to regulate food trucks; A new coalition of business groups is launching a campaign in support of legislation to allow Sunday sales of packaged liquor in Indiana; Bloomington is celebrating Krampus Night this Saturday.

FEATURE
The Indiana University Black Student Union is hosting a “rally against injustice” this evening at Showalter fountain, just one day after protesters in New York City shut down the West Side Highway and disrupted the Rockefeller Center Lighting ceremony in reaction to a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pataleo for the death of Eric Garner – the second high profile case involving the death of an unarmed black man due to police action to be decided this way. WFHB News Director spoke with Cornelius Wright, chair of the city of Bloomington commission on the status of Black males about the recent incidents, and what people in Bloomington can do to get engaged in the nationwide discussion about race and police use of force, for today’s community report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
The holidays are upon us, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa this month, we all have our own unique family traditions. ‘Tis for joy and reflection, so we hit the streets of Bloomington to ask local residents about your favorite part of the holidays and your family traditions.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele & Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf and Jack Hanneck
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineers today are Jose Rodriguez and Jonathan Goethals
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Craford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Home, Family and Food: Bloomington’s Holiday Traditions

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The holidays are upon us, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa this month, we all have our own unique family traditions. ‘Tis for joy and reflection, so we hit the streets of Bloomington to ask local residents about your favorite part of the holidays and your family traditions

Quick Reads – December 4, 2014

- Governor Mike Pence delivered his education agenda this morning, looking ahead to the start of the 2015 legislative long-session which he termed the “education session.” Pence stressed his support for vouchers and charter schools, boasting that in the four years since it was enacted, the Indiana school voucher program has become the largest in the country, serving nearly 30,000 students. Pence also said that educators should be monetarily rewarded for good progress results but that no extra funding should be used for this, saying instead that money should be spent more wisely. Also presented today was an executive order rescinding in it’s entirety, a previous executive order under which he created the Center for education and career innovation, a move seen by many as a power grab from democratic state superintendent Glenda Ritz. Ritz released a reaction statement today reading “While dissolving CECI is certainly welcome news, there are other aspects of the Governor’s legislative agenda that are concerning for public education in our state. I look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor on the Department of Education’s legislative agenda and other critical issues during the upcoming session.”

- A new coalition of business groups is launching a campaign in support of legislation to allow Sunday sales of packaged liquor in Indiana. A press release from Hoosiers for Sunday Sales reports they have backing from consumer and business groups including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and more than 25,000 citizens who have signed a petition in support of Sunday sales. Similar bills have been brought before the legislature for the past seven years and have been defeated because of opposition from the packaged liquor store lobby. Although all retail outlets would be allowed to sell packaged liquor on Sunday if the laws were changed, the Liquor store lobby says liquor stores would be at a disadvantage. They claim that more of Sunday sales would be made at grocery and convenience stores where people tend to shop on Sundays anyway, and that would mean decreased revenue for packaged liquor stores. They claim that this competition with the larger grocery and convenience store chains could drive some of the smaller, local liquor stores out of business. Supporters of the change say Sunday liquor sales are already legal in Indiana in bars and restaurants. And thirty-eight states, including all the states bordering Indiana, allow sale of packaged liquor on Sunday. According to Hoosiers for Sunday Sales website, it is estimated that Indiana loses 10-12 million tax dollars each year by not allowing Sunday sales.
A recent WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey found that 52% of Hoosiers favor Sunday sales. The next legislative session begins on January 6th and there will most likely be a bill to repeal bans on Sunday sales.

- Bloomington is celebrating Krampus Night this Saturday. Bloomingtonians will dress up as the hairy horned beast as well as his counterpart Saint Nicholas. Originating from Alpine Europe around the 17th century, the Krampus is a tall horned monster covered in hair. Just as Saint Nicholas rewards good children with presents, the Krampus frightens children into behaving. The Krampus Parade is at 6:00 PM on Madison street starting at 4th street and ending at the Showers Common. The very first Krampus Bazaar is going to be held at the Showers Common from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Afterward, Downtown Bloomington will be infested with these creatures as late as closing time at the local bars and restaurants. Krampus Night is produced by Krampus Legend and Arts Workshop, a local Bloomington organization.

EcoReport – December 4, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, we hear about the new Karst Farm Greenway, a trail on the west side of Bloomington.

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

Federal Medicaid plan expanded to cover more Indiana residents

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Hoosiers may finally get to benefit from the expanded Medicaid coverage included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or Obamacare, that was passed into law back in March of 2010. Besides the well-known health insurance mandate, under which all residents were required to enroll in some kind of insurance program, with federal subsidies of insurance premium payments, there was another provision that got little attention: the expansion of Medicaid eligibility from people with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level to 138 percent. The federal plan offered to cover, initially, 100 percent of the cost of the expanded coverage for the first three years, and then gradually reduce its subsidy to 90 percent by 2020. State responses to the offer became subject to partisanship: states led by Democrats accepted the offer, and red states initially rejected it. Several Republican governed states have since come on board. However, Indiana is a hold-out, losing out on hundreds of million of dollars of federal transfers and up to half a million more residents covered by expanded Medicaid. In the meantime, the federal government has allowed Indiana to continue with the pre-ACA state delivered medicaid program under the Healthy Indiana Plan, which was established in 2008, and currently provides coverage to around 50,000 residents. Last year, Governor Pence’s office proposed a revised plan, dubbed HIP Two Point Oh, to deliver expanded Medicaid. However, negotiations with federal authorities bogged down over some of the state program provisions, which included premiums, co-pays, and yearly maximums for recipients, which have never been a part of Medicaid. In the meantime, the state has asked for and been given waivers from the federal government to allow it to continue with the old HIP program. The most recent extension agreement, announced in mid-November, would carry the program into 2015. The joint announcements from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CMS, and Governor Pence’s office, on the extension, also mentioned that negotiations on Medicaid expansion are continuing. On Tuesday Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy spoke to Alex Slobosky, Chairperson of Cover Indiana, which has been campaigning for state acceptance of expanded Medicaid. He informed us that he had just come from a conference in Indianapolis, where representatives of the federal and state governments talked about the current state of healthcare insurance, including the impact of the ACA on Indiana, the recent agreement to extend the state HIP for another year, and ongoing negotiations on the expansion of Medicaid in Indiana. Mister Slobosky first talked about the extension of the old HIP program.

Bloomington Beware! – Holiday Scams

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The Holidays are a big time for both stores and scammers. Here’s a headsup on three of the con games that are going around right now.

Daily Local News – December 3, 2014

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Secretary of State Connie Lawson released the official voter turnout report yesterday for the 2014 general election; Beginning in January, the City of Bloomington and Bloomington Meadows Hospital will establish a new suicide support group for teens and children in the community involving free ongoing monthly meetings for community youth affected by suicide; Researchers from Indiana University’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning recently issued a policy brief from a comprehensive survey of current Indiana educators regarding their beliefs about teacher evaluations and their confidence in the evaluation process; Bloomington will host several national softball tournaments during the 2015 and 2016 seasons; Three IU professors have been awarded an National Institute of Health grant to study acetaminophen liver toxicity; Indiana University plans to shut down 10th Street on campus for almost four weeks over winter break.

FEATURE
Hoosiers may finally get to benefit from the expanded Medicaid coverage included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or Obamacare, that was passed into law back in March of 2010. Besides the well-known health insurance mandate, under which all residents were required to enroll in some kind of insurance program, with federal subsidies of insurance premium payments, there was another provision that got little attention: the expansion of Medicaid eligibility from people with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level to 138 percent. The federal plan offered to cover, initially, 100 percent of the cost of the expanded coverage for the first three years, and then gradually reduce its subsidy to 90 percent by 2020. State responses to the offer became subject to partisanship: states led by Democrats accepted the offer, and red states initially rejected it. Several Republican governed states have since come on board. However, Indiana is a hold-out, losing out on hundreds of million of dollars of federal transfers and up to half a million more residents covered by expanded Medicaid. In the meantime, the federal government has allowed Indiana to continue with the pre-ACA state delivered medicaid program under the Healthy Indiana Plan, which was established in 2008, and currently provides coverage to around 50,000 residents. Last year, Governor Pence’s office proposed a revised plan, dubbed HIP Two Point Oh, to deliver expanded Medicaid. However, negotiations with federal authorities bogged down over some of the state program provisions, which included premiums, co-pays, and yearly maximums for recipients, which have never been a part of Medicaid. In the meantime, the state has asked for and been given waivers from the federal government to allow it to continue with the old HIP program. The most recent extension agreement, announced in mid-November, would carry the program into 2015. The joint announcements from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CMS, and Governor Pence’s office, on the extension, also mentioned that negotiations on Medicaid expansion are continuing. On Tuesday Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy spoke to Alex Slobosky, Chairperson of Cover Indiana, which has been campaigning for state acceptance of expanded Medicaid. He informed us that he had just come from a conference in Indianapolis, where representatives of the federal and state governments talked about the current state of healthcare insurance, including the impact of the ACA on Indiana, the recent agreement to extend the state HIP for another year, and ongoing negotiations on the expansion of Medicaid in Indiana. Mister Slobosky first talked about the extension of the old HIP program.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
The Holidays are a big time for both stores and scammers. Here’s a headsup on three of the con games that are going around right now.

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Cathi Norton
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf, Anson Shupe, Cathi Norton, Sarah Panfil and Emily Beck along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Our engineers today are Adam Reichle and Matthew Gwaltney
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword

Tenth Street Closed Over Christmas Break

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Indiana University plans to shut down 10th Street on campus for almost four weeks over winter break. The university asked the Bloomington Board of Public Works to approve the closure at a meeting December 2nd. Drivers will have to detour around 10th Street, which will be closed from Jordan Avenue to Fee Lane. IU’s real estate director, Jason Banach (BA-nek) said the closure is the result of a project to improve the sprinkler system at the Wells Library.

IU asked to close the street starting December 18th until January 12th. Board of Public Works President Charlotte Zietlow said there would be complaints despite many students being out of town.

Bill Riggert, one of the engineers working on the project, said the construction work will be difficult. The university is extending a water main to provide additional water for the sprinklers in the Wells Library.

Despite those concerns, those working on the project said they were confident it would be finished in time to reopen 10th Street on January 12th, when students will return from break.

IU Professors Awarded Grant to Study Acetaminophen

Three IU professors have been awarded an National Institute of Health grant to study acetaminophen liver toxicity. Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever found in hundreds of over the counter and prescription drugs. But too much can cause liver damage. According to a press release from IU, acetaminophen-induced liver failure is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. IU professors James Glazier, James Klaunig and Kenneth Dunn are working on a multi-disciplinary computational model to study the mechanism of this toxicity. The collaboration among these professors and their research groups brings together expertise in computational biology, advanced microscopic imaging techniques, and extensive chemical and biological expertise in pharmacology and toxicology. The researches hope these models will allow the study of interactions of various processes and systems in the body, and reduce the use of animals in toxicity studies. This research will be conducted in IU laboratories in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

City of Bloomington Chosen to Host Several Girls’ National Softball Championships

Bloomington will host several national softball tournaments during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. During its annual Council meeting in Reno, Nevada the Amateur Softball Association, or ASA, acknowledged its search of many sites for the 2016 National Championship season. Bloomington successfully bid during last year’s ASA meeting when it was chosen to host the ASA Girls’ 16-under Class B Northern National tournament. In a very competitive process, each year the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. partnering with the Visit Bloomington program attends the ASA council meeting where it lobbies for Bloomington as a tournament venue. Hundreds of city hopefuls from across the U.S. attend the ASA meeting to promote their communities’ assets, accessibility, and tournament amenities. In a press release from the City of Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan states QUOTE “It is an honor being chosen by the ASA as the destination for their national tournament. Events like these are what make our continued investment in the community so worthwhile.” Bloomington was awarded the James Farrell Award of Excellence at the ASA’s Council meeting for hosting one of the highest rated tournaments in 2014, the USA/ASA Girls’ Class A 12-under Fast Pitch National Championship, held last July. According to the ASA, a host city must receive an overall rating of 95 percent or more from the ASA representative, the Umpire-in-Chief, and the national office to receive a James Farrell Award of Excellence.

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