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Latest on Indiana’s HJR-3 Amendment

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A second reading of House Joint Resolution 3 on the Senate floor today was without incident. If the Senate adopts the resolution on its third reading next Monday, it will reconcile with the amended version that came out of the House, and provide that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana.

This matches current Indiana law, which also states that marriage is only legally recognized in heterosexual couples, but the proposed constitutional amendment would be a much more permanent statement forbidding gay marriage in Indiana.

The second reading of a proposed bill or resolution is the point when amendments can be made, and it was uncertain if republicans would offer an amendment trying to reinstate the second sentence of the original resolution that the house of representatives deleted earlier this year.

District 40 Senator Mark Stoops says he was confident that reinserting the second sentence would be defeated. However, there were other aspects to the reading that were surprising.

“The fact that they chose not to call the amendment at all was a real surprise,” Stoops says “It was a very strange session in that HJR-3 was called for the second reading and then there was silence. Everyone waited to hear if the amendment was going to be called and it wasn’t. That was the end.”

The 2014 legislative session has centered around HJR-3. Chambers of commerce, education institutions, and politicians statewide have joined civil rights advocates in voicing their dissent for the resolution.

“I’m sure what happened is that it became completely obvious to the Republican caucus that there were not enough votes for the second sentence,” Stoops says, “They didn’t want to get beaten up further on that bill. I think a lot of Republicans are pretty embarrassed that this bill is moving forward.”

Governor Mike Pence has supported the effort to amend the constitution in regards to marriage in Indiana, and called for it to be on the 2014 ballot. The soonest HJR3 would not be sent to referendum is 2016 – if the general assembly at the time adopts it exactly as it is stated now. Stoops speculates that Pence will try to avoid timing the ratification with his reelection.

“Governor Pence wanted this HJR-3 on the ballot in 2014 because he didn’t want it pushed until 2016 because he’s running for reelection that year,” Stoops says, “He knows that it’s a device of issue and that it will pull a lot of independents and democrats out to vote who might not normally have voted, which means he’d probably lose the reelection.”

Stoops predicted the third reading of HJR-3 will occur on Monday.

United Way of Monroe County Launch Free Community Tax Service

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United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana and partners have launched the Free Community Tax Service for this year in Monroe and Owen counties. Community Initiative Director, Ashley Hall says the program started four years ago.

“A lot of our sites in the community had been offering volunteer tax assistance many years before that, but they hadn’t come together as a cohesive program,” Hall says, “United Way came on board to bring together these people working on it and to bring on board people we had hoped to get involved.”

As the service continues to grow it has been able to provide help to more people in the community.

“The program expands every year we offer it,” Hall says, “There are more sites and options. Not only are there full-service, one-on-one options, there are self-service sites and an online option you can do anytime. We have continued to utilize more volunteers from the community, and we already have about 200 IRS-certified volunteers.”

Individuals can file their own taxes for free at a self-service site at WorkOne or online at MyFreeTaxes.com/Bloomington. A few locations that the Mobile sites will visit include Bloomington Housing Authority, LifeDesigns, Positive Link and Stone Belt. Hall says the purpose of the program is to offer free tax preparation and to make sure residents know they are eligible for valuable credits.

“The credit is important because we know that about 25 percent of people eligible don’t claim their credit,” Hall says.

For more information on the Free Community Tax Service you can visit MonroeUnitedWay.org/FreeTaxes.

Dean of IU’s SPEA Testified In Support of EPA ‘Secret Science’ Bill

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John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and former senior official in President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget, testified on Tuesday in support of a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, from using what backers of the legislation call ‘secret science.’

The bill, introduced by U.S. House Republicans, would prohibit the EPA from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or reproducible.

“Most of the EPA-related studies that may not satisfy the reproducibility standard are in the air quality area,” Graham said, “The environmental epidemiology field does not yet have a strong position in favor of public access to data, which is necessary for reproducibility. The transparency standard is more widely accepted.”

The measure is sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona. In discussing the bill’s future, Graham said, “There is a mid-March meeting at the National Academy of Sciences where the reproducibility issue will be discussed in more detail by multiple stakeholders. Once that meeting occurs, it will become apparent whether the scientific community will support or oppose the bill.”

EcoReport – Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema: “Put a Label On It”

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema, IN-PIRG representatives at IU, discuss their “Put a Label On It” campaign concerning GMO labeling.

Daily Local News – February 13, 2014

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A second reading of House Joint Resolution 3 on the Senate floor today was without incident;United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana and partners have launched the Free Community Tax Service for this year in Monroe and Owen counties;John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and former senior official in President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget, testified on Tuesday in support of a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, from using what backers of the legislation call ‘secret science.’

FEATURE
Indiana Congressional Representative Todd Young has authored a bill hoping to repel the Affordable Care Act Provision, which states that a thirty-hour work week is full time. The bill, called the “Save American Workers Act,” passed through the Ways and Means Committee last week. The bill is receiving bi-partisan support, and currently has six Democratic co-sponsors. Senator Susan Collins is pursuing a similar measure in the senate, which includes Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly as a Democratic co-sponsor. WFHB correspondent Lauren Glapa spoke with Representative Young about the bill for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks YOU about Valentines Day.

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

EcoReport – February 13, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema, IN-PIRG representatives at IU, discuss their “Put a Label On It” campaign concerning GMO labeling.

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

Planned Parenthood Hosts “Cupcakes and Condoms”

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Every year, twenty million STDs and more than three million unintended pregnancies occur in the United States. To raise awareness about protecting sexual health, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky hosted “Cupcakes and Condoms” at Indiana University today. This was the first time the organization hosted the free event, which featured stations like Touch & Feel, How to Determine Condom Size, a condom valentines craft station, and more. Correspondent Daion Morton went on location to bring us today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Daily Local News – February 12, 2014

The state legislature is still dealing with legislation to place a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution; Senate Bill 212 was approved by the Indiana Senate in Indianapolis on Monday; The Bloomington Utilities Service Board voted Monday to approve a measure to protect city sewer lines from a deal struck by local sewer districts; With the constant change in winter weather, the demand for propane has been on the rise.

FEATURE
Planned Parenthood Hosts “Cupcakes and Condoms”
Every year, twenty million STDs and more than three million unintended pregnancies occur in the United States. To raise awareness about protecting sexual health, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky hosted “Cupcakes and Condoms” at Indiana University today. This was the first time the organization hosted the free event, which featured stations like Touch & Feel, How to Determine Condom Size, a condom valentines craft station, and more. Correspondent Daion Morton went on location to bring us today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
Emails that DON’T come from PayPal, or a Funeral Home, are the latest creative ways scammers are trying to keep you from hitting the “delete” key. If they weren’t so dangerous, they’d be pretty funny!

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Daion (Day-on) Morton, and Ally Tsimekles (Chim-uh-kliss),
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish with correspondent Andrew Huddleston,
Ilze Akerbergs produced our feature, with correspondent Daion Morton.
Our engineer today is Jim Lang,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Part 1

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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.

Bloomington Beware! – New Email Scams

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Emails that DON’T come from PayPal, or a Funeral Home, are the latest creative ways scammers are trying to keep you from hitting the “delete” key. If they weren’t so dangerous, they’d be pretty funny!

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