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Best of 2013 #2 – The Board vs. the State: Scandals in Public Education

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2013 was a volatile year for education in Indiana. Education leaders made national headlines with their highly visible dysfunction and disputes, most stemming from a rocky relationship between newly-elected State Board of Education Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the Indiana Department of Education.

CREDITS
The Best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB News Department.
Today’s episode was produced by Drew Daudelin.
Correspondents Stephen Brown and Casey Kuhn contributed to today’s reports.
Our theme music is provided by Legs.
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Best of 2013 #3 – “Where Do You Want Us To Go?”: The Search for Shelter in Bloomington

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While political battles in Congress forced cuts to social services across the country in 2013, the year also saw a combination of local events affecting a population that has long depended on the social safety net. People experiencing homelessness were at the center of controversies over police harassment, city zoning laws, and a lack of adequate shelter. The issue that got the most attention began this Spring, when advocates for the homeless worked to establish replacements for the low-barrier shelter at the Genesis Church, which didn’t open this year. But there were problems finding a safe, affordable location. And many advocates complained that city government was antagonistic to their efforts. Meanwhile, throughout the year a community group has been working on strategies to deal with homelessness in the long-term. And in September, LifeDesigns and the Shalom Center announced the opening of a new facility, called the Crawford Apartments, that now provides long-term housing for 27 people classified as chronically homeless.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Correspondent Wes Martin and Assistant News Director Joe Crawford contributed to today’s reports.
Today’s episode was produced by Joe Crawford.
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #4 – Restricted Access: Indiana Reinterprets Medical Abortions

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Indiana Senate Bill 371 easily passed into law this year, but the act, which reclassifies health clinics and imposes unnecessary procedures and counseling to families seeking abortions, has yet to be implemented due to a recent court ordered injunction declaring the law unconstitutional. Today, we look back at the legislators who passed an entire bill aimed to close down a single business, and the Hoosiers who continue to battle for women’s rights.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Today’s episode was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #5 – Neighbors Clash Over Trash: The Fight Over A Downtown Garbage Station

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Issues surrounding trash and recycling were in the news all year long during 2013. Early this year the local solid waste district expanded its services for rural customers. Then, over the summer, a business that accepted recyclables in downtown Bloomington was forced to close due to financial troubles. And in recent months there has been debate over whether the solid waste district should build a materials recovery facility that would process and sell the waste residents throw away. But none of those issues drew as much attention and controversy as a plan to build a new trash transfer station in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Bloomington. An application to build the station at JB Salvage on West Vernal Pike was filed late in 2012, but the plans weren’t publicly discussed until early this year.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Today’s episode was produced by Joe Crawford.
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #6 – House Joint Resolution 6: the Battle for Marriage Equality in Indiana

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The fight for marriage equality reached the boiling point in 2013. From the landmark Supreme Court decisions striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and deferring to the lower court decision that found the ban of same-sex marriage created by California’s Proposition 8 referendum to be unconstitutional under California law to Maine, Maryland, Washington State, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico, and most recently, Utah legalizing same-sex marriage in their states, either by legislation, ballot referendum and court decision, the move toward marriage equality gained a massive amount of momentum this year. In 2014, decisions regarding same-sex marriage will be taken up by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado, which could potentially lead to legalization in 24 states and the District of Columbia or nearly half the country. Indiana may be another state where big decisions are made regarding same-sex marriage next year.  On January 30th of 2013, the Indiana House issued Joint Resolution 6. HJR6 proposes amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage HJR6 states that “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana”. It was supposed to have been voted on earlier this year, but just a month after the United States Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments on the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, the amendment was pushed back to the 2014 legislative session.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Today’s episode was produced by Jennifer Whitaker and Alycin Bektesh.
Correspondent Jennifer Whitaker and David Murphy and Producers Cleveland Dietz and Harrison Wagner contributed to today’s reports
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #7- Indiana stays HIP: the ACA & the Twenty-Nine Hour Work Week

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A source of national controversy and the impetus behind the October shutdown of the federal government, the ACA produced two big issues in Indiana. The creation of the 29-hour work week allowed employers to avoid providing health care benefits to part-time workers, and Indiana lawmakers refused to create an Indiana insurance exchange, rejected Federal Medicaid expansion monies, and chose to seek approval for the revamped Healthy Indiana Plan system as an alternative. As 2013 started, businesses, schools, and local governments began looking at ways to implement the requirements of the ACA, slated to go into effect at the beginning of 2014. As early as January, administrators were looking at ways to cut employee hours in order to avoid providing health insurance. Without employer coverage, many of these workers turned to the state, where Mike Pence’s refusal to create a state insurance exchange or to take part in ACA Medicaid expansion is expected to leave at least 400,000 people in poverty without the ability to get insurance even under an expanded Healthy Indiana Plan.

Best of 2013 #8 – A Year of Government Dysfunction: The Sequester and the Shutdown

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One of the biggest national stories in 2013 was the continuing inability for the Federal Government to govern in a bi-partisan manner or in fact to govern at all. Beginning with the automatic cuts commonly referred to as the sequester in March as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and reaching a breaking point with the October government shut down, political infighting, intransigence, and incompetence set the tone for 2013 and affected everyone from the inner circle in DC to the residents here in Monroe County.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Today’s episode was produced by Jennifer Whitaker. Correspondents David Murphy, Casey Kuhn, Producers Carolyn VandeWiele and Ilze Ackerbergs and WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford contributed to today’s reports.
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #9 – Muddying the Waters: New Interstate Brings New Contamination

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After decades of debate and protest, 2013 saw the first segments of Interstate 69 begin construction in Monroe and Greene counties. In 2012, a 67-mile stretch of the new road was finished in Southern Indiana, connecting Evansville to the area near the Crane Naval base. Then, by early this spring, landowners in the WFHB listening area began reporting trees were cleared on or near their properties to make way for section 4 of the interstate. It was just a few months after that, that problems began to surface. In July, residents who own property along the future path of I-69 began reporting their local waterways were being contaminated. Landowners produced photos of creeks filled with sediment as well as sinkholes filling with brown water.The erosion problems have continued since August, and in the past couple months some contractors have been forced to halt construction while they deal with the issue. Still, landowners say the contamination persists each time the area sees heavy rain.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB News Department.
Today’s episode was produced by Joe Crawford.
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Best of 2013 #10 – School Assembly: Indiana University on Strike

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The Occupy Movement and a string of student sit ins and protests during the 2012 election year led to a standing assembly of students staff and faculty working together to include their voice in conversations typically reserved for IU administrators and trustees. This year the group organized a two day strike coinciding with the trustees’ Bloomington meeting and continued to support each other as IU failed to meet diversity goals and cut custodial jobs on campus.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department
Today’s episode was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Correspondents Wes Martin, Stephen Brown, David Murphy and Joe Crawford contributed to today’s reports
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

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