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Daily Local News – February 20, 2014

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Indiana University Treasurer Mary Frances McCourt has estimated that parking operations on campus could generate a forty-three million dollar profit over the next twenty years; The Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County Incorporated launched their Faith Neighbors Campaign on Sunday; The Monroe County Plan Commission approved a zoning change for tomorrow, at the request of a landowner who wanted to expand his yard; As warmer temperatures melt this winter’s snow production, Indiana has an increased threat of flooding.

FEATURE
Anti-HJR-3 Senators Take to the Floor
Before the final vote on House Joint Resolution 3 by the 118th general assembly, State senators took to the chamber floor to express their views on the proposed constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. Today, we hear from Senators who believe the resolution is discriminatory, as well as those who say that though their heart breaks for the people it excludes, supporting the amendment is the correct decision under God. Here are the closing arguments on HJR-3 for today’s WFHB feature report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Voices in the Street hit the streets to hear what YOU think about the legislatures’ push to pass marriage restrictions and about gay marriage in general.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Jalisa Ransom, Sierra Gardner, Ally Tsimekles, and Daion Morton.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Hetrick.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer was Sarah Hetrick.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Parking Stays Un-Privatized at Indiana University

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Indiana University Treasurer Mary Frances McCourt has estimated that parking operations on campus could generate a $43 million profit over the next twenty years. She presented her findings to the IU Board of Trustees on Friday.

McCourt recommended in October that the university should control its own revenue stream, and the board accepted. McCourt said parking prices will be determined by market peer-rate settings and suggests the funds go to building and repairing facilities on campus.

Parking revenue and expenses currently balance out, but McCourt said sometimes expenses can exceed revenue when facility upgrades are required. The university is considering putting automated parking equipment in garages on some campuses, which would be a one-point-nine million dollar investment.

IU Trustee Patrick Shoulders approved of the board’s decision to control revenue, but disagreed about where the funds should go.

“First of all, I’m glad that the decision has been made NOT to privatize parking operations and that parking will remain a function of the university,” Shoulders says, “We retain the flexibility and ability to maintain those lots to the standards we demand. To the extent that parking rates are increased, I hope nay excess revenue is invested in our people. I think that some of our employees start at hourly wages that simply don’t pay a living wage.”

Details about the reformed parking rate structure will be released by IU officials in the spring.

Local Volunteers Spread the Word About Affordable Care Act Information to Local Faith Leaders

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The Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County Incorporated launched their Faith Neighbors Campaign on Sunday. The campaign is designed to directly contact each faith community in Monroe County. David Meyer is president of the group.

“The Faith Neighbors Campaign is an outreach effort to all communities of faith in Monroe County,” Meyer says, “We count about 155 of them, and we send them packages that include takeaway information at our free public events.”

The ACA Volunteers of Monroe County  will provide information to those in need at various congregations. Their goal is to help community members learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect them.

“Ultimately, it’s about cutting through both the political and controversial new cycle on the Affordable Care Act,” Meyers says, “We want to get down to what it means for us and have a practical discussion about the ACA.”

Meyer says that they have reached out to 400 so far, and are hoping to reach out to over 1,000  people in the next four weeks.

Monroe County Plan Commission Approved Zoning Change for Local Resident

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The Monroe County Plan Commission approved a zoning change for tomorrow, at the request of a landowner who wanted to expand his yard.

John Livingston asked the commission to rezone just more  than an acre of property he intends to buy on Ida Lane, southwest of Bloomington. County planner Tammy Behrman explained why Livingston wants the change.

“The reason for this rezone is that Livingston wants to join his lot in the subdivision to extend his backyard into the creek,” Behrman said, “This is for the purpose of gardening and giving his children somewhere to play.

County Planning staff recommended that Livingston not be allowed to build any structures on part of the property, for fear of flooding problems. Commission members agreed, even though Livingston said he doesn’t think the area is prone to flooding. Commission member John Irvine responded to Livingston’s concerns.

The commission later voted unanimously to rezone the parcel, allowing Livingston to expand his property.

EcoReport – February 20, 2013

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Bruce Moore talks about Marsh Madness, a regional birdwatching event, which takes place when Goose Pond is filled with thousands of sandhill cranes.

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.

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

Bloomington Beware! – Bad Numbers

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Phony charges, in relatively small amounts, can show up on your credit card or telephone bills. Here’s the info on two current schemes, and a warning to check out everything, every time.

10,000+ Hoosiers Petition Governor Pence for Medicaid Expansion

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More than ten thousand signatures in support of Medicaid expansion in Indiana were delivered to the office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence today, timed to reach him before he heads to DC to negotiate Indiana’s treatment of Affordable Care Act funds from the federal government. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Rob Stone, the director of the local group Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan who was at the statehouse as part of today’s demonstration, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Daily Local News – February 19, 2014

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The Bloomington Peace Action Coalition will host a film screening and public discussion over the new film Dirty Wars tonight; Last Thursday an organization that promotes education around soil and water issues asked Monroe County for twenty-five thousand dollars a year; The Richland Bean Blossom School Board voted February 17th to extend a student field trip in hopes of saving money on airfare.

FEATURE
10,000+ Hoosiers Petition Governor Pence for Medicaid Expansion
More than ten thousand signatures in support of Medicaid expansion in Indiana were delivered to the office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence today, timed to reach him before he heads to DC to negotiate Indiana’s treatment of Affordable Care Act funds from the federal government. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Rob Stone, the director of the local group Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan who was at the statehouse as part of today’s demonstration, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
Phony charges, in relatively small amounts, can show up on your credit card or telephone bills. Here’s the info on two current schemes, and a warning to check out everything, every time.

CREDITS
Anchors: Susan Northleaf, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Daion Morton,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe. Ilze Akerbergs produced our feature, with correspondent Alycin Bektesh.
Our engineer today is Jim Lang,
Our News Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Part 2

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On Monday January 20th, the City of Bloomington’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration was held to honor and uphold the legacy of the famed activist. The keynote speaker for the Celebration was Freedom Rider Hank Thomas, who spoke on “A Freedom Rider’s Journey.” A Nineteen-year-old Hank Thomas joined the 1961 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Freedom Ride. Thomas overcame an impoverished childhood in southern Georgia to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC.) This event was recorded on location at the Buskirk Chumley Theater by  Community Access Television Services for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Fairview Elementary Labeled ‘Priority School’ By State, Students Not Reading at Grade Level

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The principal at Fairview Elementary says most of its students are not reading at grade level. That literacy issue was the centerpiece of a presentation about Fairview issues that Principal Tammy Miller gave to the Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees on February 11.

The presentation came about a month after parents protested sudden changes at the school, including classroom reassignments based on standardized test scores. Miller said those changes were triggered partly by test scores received in December that showed only about a third of the students in grades 2 through 6 were reading at grade level.

About that same time, she said the state also made an announcement about the school saying that in December, Fairview had been designated as a “priority school.”

Miller said there are only 24 schools with that designation in the state of Indiana. She said priority schools get increased monitoring by the State Department of Education.

“If in the monitoring process the plan does not meet the criteria of improving the student achievement, the next steps might include shifting resources, changing personnel, or have an outside team develop a new plan for the school.” Miller says.

Miller went on to say that only about 40 percent of students who attend Fairview for sixth grade go on to graduate high school in four years. She said the school is working on what she called a Turn Around plan, which is required by the state.

But Board member Sue Wanzer said the problem extends beyond Fairview. She said there are things outside their control, and that they need help from other people outside the school.

Miller said parents would be involved as changes are made to Fairview.

One of the main complaints from parents who protested the changes last month was that they were not consulted.

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