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Businesses Benefit, But Others Suffer From Local Tax Breaks

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Two studies released by Ball State University in recent weeks call into question a long-standing, and expensive, strategy that communities throughout the state have used in hopes of creating jobs. Monroe County and the city of Bloomington spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on the strategy, which involves giving local tax breaks to companies that are new to town. Those companies, in turn, are expected to create new jobs, therefore decreasing the local unemployment rate and improving the local economy. But the study out of Ball State suggests the tax breaks for business are not creating many jobs, and they’re actually increasing the tax rates for regular taxpayers. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke to one of the authors of the study, professor Michael Hicks, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Activate! – Be a Santa to a Senior: Joe Yonkman

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Joe Yonkman of Home Instead talks about the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program and the need for volunteers to gift wrap the over 2,000 presents donated for area seniors in need this year.

Final Payment on Dam Repair Project Approved

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The Bloomington Utilities Service Board approved the final payment December 2nd on a project to repair the Griffy Dam. Utilities Engineer Phil Peden said the company doing the work, Dave O’Mara Contractors, is mostly finished with the project, which has been in progress since the city drained Griffy Lake last year.

The repair work was funded primarily by a federal grant. The total cost was about one-point-four million dollars.

Number of Homeless Students in Monroe County Increasing

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The Monroe County Community School Corporation has seen an increase in students experiencing homelessness. At a meeting November 19th of the Corporation’s Board of Trustees, Student Services Director Becky Rose said there are more than four hundred homeless students this year. That’s up from three hundred and two last year, and three hundred and eighteen the year before.

Rose went on to say that the estimated number of homeless students is probably too low. She said many of the students’ parents are reluctant to admit they are experiencing homelessness.

Rose said the School Corporation tries to reach out to those families, to help them access the appropriate services.

Monroe County Plan Commission Votes to Change Road Name

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The Monroe County Plan Commission voted November 19th to change the name of a road on the far east side of the county. County Planner Beth Rosenbarger told the commission the road’s name causes confusion, which can be dangerous in emergency situations. She showed the road’s location on a map.

Jeff Schemmer, communications manager for the County’s Central Emergency Dispatch, said emergency personnel often have trouble with addresses on the edge of the County.

The commission voted to change the name from Deckard Ridge Road to Elkins Road. The new name was suggested by a local resident, and will take effect March 1st.

Public Health Students Present Parks Program Survey Findings

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On November 19th the Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard reports from IU students who studied four different parks programs. The students, from the university’s school of public health, conducted surveys with residents who use the city’s softball leagues, arts events, senior citizens activities, and the B-Line Trail. Paula McDevitt, recreation services director for the Parks Department, said the information could help the department as it does long-term planning.

The group that studied the B-Line Trail found that slightly more people used the trail for biking than for walking. They also found that ninety percent of trail users were white. Michaela Sisney, who presented for the group, said they also considered users’ perceptions of safety on the trail, although they didn’t actually survey anyone about that issue.

Another group surveyed participants and spectators in the city’s softball leagues. Hillel Sapir, who presented for that group, said more people use softball for socialization than for exercise.

The softball group surveyed one hundred and eighty-seven participants and spectators at softball games. Forty-eight percent of participants cited social benefits as the main reason for playing.

Indiana State AFL-CIO Announces New President

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The Indiana State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations announced that Brett Voorhies has been elected as their new president. He is now the new leader of a federation of eight hundred local unions, representing more than three hundred thousand working men and women. Voorhies has spent his career working with united steelworkers. Most recently, he was the president of the Central Indiana Labor Council. Jeff Harris, spokesman for the Indiana AFL-CIO, says Voorhies has been a lifetime worker in the labor movement.

Voorhies replaces Nancy Guyott, who was the first woman elected state AFL-CIO president. The former president of the union directed an unsuccessful campaign to block passage of the state’s right-to-work law. But Voorhies says that defeat did not lead to his election.

Joe Breedlove has been re-elected as AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, the chief financial officer of the organization. Voorhies will serve a four-year term, leading day-to-day operations along with Breedlove.

Daily Local News – December 9, 2013

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The Indiana State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations announced that Brett Voorhies has been elected as their new president; IU student reports aid Parks Department; The Monroe County Plan Commission voted November 19th to change the name of a road on the far east side of the county; The Monroe County Community School Corporation has seen an increase in students experiencing homelessness; The Bloomington Utilities Service Board approved the final payment December 2nd on a project to repair the Griffy Dam.

FEATURE
Businesses Benefit As Others Suffer From Local Tax Breaks
Two studies released by Ball State University in recent weeks call into question a long-standing, and expensive, strategy that communities throughout the state have used in hopes of creating jobs. Monroe County and the city of Bloomington spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on the strategy, which involves giving local tax breaks to companies that are new to town. Those companies, in turn, are expected to create new jobs, therefore decreasing the local unemployment rate and improving the local economy. But the study out of Ball State suggests the tax breaks for business are not creating many jobs, and they’re actually increasing the tax rates for regular taxpayers. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke to one of the authors of the study, professor Michael Hicks, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Joe Yonkman of Home Instead talks about the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program and the need for volunteers to gift wrap the over 2,000 presents donated for area seniors in need this year.

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

Local photographers donate portrait sessions

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Blueline Media Productions again partnered with the South Central Community Action Program, to provide a free day of holiday portraits for low-income families in Bloomington on Sunday.

Books Unbound – Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Part 4

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Born in 1885, David Herbert Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, and painter. His collective works are classified as a reflection of the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. His marriage in 1914 to Frieda Weekly, a woman who left her husband and three children for Lawrence, provided inspiration and emotional support for his literary career. Lawrence died in 1930, reaching his peak of fame posthumously.

Banned by U.S. Customs (1929). Banned in Ireland (1932), Poland (1932), Australia (1959), Japan (1959), India (1959). Banned in Canada (1960) until 1962. Dissemination of Lawrence’s novel has been stopped in China (1987) because the book “will corrupt the minds of young people and is also against the Chinese tradition.” Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the object of numerous obscenity trials in both the UK and the United States up into the 1960s.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, first published privately in 1928, was not published openly in Britain until 1960. It tells the story of the love affair between Constance (Lady Chatterley) and her husband Clifford’s gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, while exploring the nature of relationships between men and women. Besides the evident sexual content of the book, “Chatterley” spurred controversy for its discussion of the British social class system and social conflict. Penguin, the publisher of the unexpurgated text in 1960, was unsuccessfully tried for violation of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. The prosecutor was ridiculed for asking, “Is this the kind of book you would wish your wife or servants to read?”

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