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Daily Local News – July 21, 2015


Indiana is sitting on $2.1 billion in cash reserves as the 2015 budget year draws to a close; The legal balance between First Amendment rights and local government ordinances was on display last week at a Bloomington Board of Public Works meeting; The budget for the Monroe County Public Library is expected to grow slightly next year; Horror movies have provided thrills for decades now, but do video games provide the same rush of adrenaline for players?

Each year the Indiana Arts Commission awards grants to further the careers of budding artists around the state. Of the thirty-seven grant recipients this year, eight were from Bloomington, including one piano player getting ready to launch a festival this August. Correspondent Jordan Guskey brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

When you hear “investment,” you might think “risky.” Richard Shockley of IU’s Kelley School of Business reveals the secret of growing your money in the market simply and without the risk of get-rich-overnight investing schemes.

Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Jerrod Dill and Ivy Bridges
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Jordan Guskey
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineers are Jen Brooks and Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Ins and Outs of Money – The It’s Your Money Project


What’s with these Ins & Outs of Money radio segments, anyhow? They’re part of the It’s Your Money project at Monroe County Public Library, which is all about helping you hang on to your cash. Hear more about what IYM is, and why you need the free, unbiased money smarts it offers.

Activate! – VITAL: Sarah Buchanan and Susan Welsand


Volunteers Sarah Buchanan and Susan Welsand share their experiences working for the Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL) program at the Monroe County Public Library. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

VITAL at the Monroe County Public Library
RSVP Tutoring in the Schools 
ESL Tutors 
VITAL Volunteers 

Daily Local News – January 21, 2015


Bloomington residents will have a chance to ask questions and raise concerns to local law enforcement tomorrow night; The lowest paid employees at the Monroe County Public Library may soon get a raise; The Monroe County government ended 2014 with more money than it had at the start of the year; Indiana University says its new campus shuttle service aims to promote sustainability for people commuting between Bloomington and Indianapolis; Some Indiana lawmakers want to do away with the state’s current five-year time limit for filing rape charges; Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program—which promises low-income middle school students a full state scholarship if they stay out of criminal trouble, don’t use drugs and get acceptable grades,—faces a large jump in costs next year; Ellettsville is finally be ready to build the first phase of its pedestrian trail.

Dancing with Parkinson’s is a movement started by David Leventhal, a professional dancer in Brooklyn, New York in 2002. The initiative has expanded to include chapters all over the United States and continues to expand into the international community with chapters in Canada, the UK and Australia among others. The mission of Dancing with Parkinson’s is to provide dance classes with live music to enrich the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Bloomington’s own chapter was founded by Weezie and David Smith, who sat down for an interview with WFHB Correspondent Jennifer Whitaker to talk about their own experience and the Bloomington chapter.

Up next, our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

Anchors: Cathi Norton and Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Cathi Norton, Jack Hanek and Sophia Saliby
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our feature was produced by Jennifer Whitaker
Our engineers today were Adam Reichle, Matthew Gwaltney and Jim Lang
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Pay Raises for Lowest Paid Monroe County Public Library Employees Recommended to Board of Trustees


The lowest paid employees at the Monroe County Public Library may soon get a raise. The Library’s executive director, Sara Laughlin, recommended raising the minimum pay rate to $8.25 an hour, up from the current minimum of $7.66. Laughlin told the Library’s Board of Trustees the increase is partly the result of changes in the market. She made the comments at a Board work session last week. Laughlin stated that the first reason for proposed increase was due to Indiana University raising their own minimum wage rate and the subsequent loss of employees seeking higher pay. This has had a negative impact in creating more orientation, and training time due to employee turnovers.

Besides the lowest paid workers, the next two levels up on the pay scale will also be bumped up. Laughlin said the increased wages are also meant to reflect changes the Library is making in the responsibilities of some staff. She stated that the service model will involve increased responsibilities that will merit the higher pay.

The Library is expected to spend about $65,000 more this year to pay for the raises. Kyle Wickemeyer-Hardy, the Library’s human resources manager, said she consulted with other local employers before recommending the new pay rates. After checking with Bloomingfoods and Indiana University Wickemeyer-Hardy believes the wages to be competitive for comparative employment.
The Board does not vote on items at work sessions. They are expected to hold a vote on the new wages at their meeting, which began at 5 o’clock today.

Monroe County Public Library to Open New Branch


The Monroe County Public Library has plans for opening a third branch. Library Director Sara Laughlin explained the long-term project to the Monroe County Council at a Council meeting December 9th. She said it would be at least several years before the new branch would open. The Library currently has two branches, one in downtown Bloomington and the other in Ellettsville.

Laughlin said she believes the Library is not adequately serving all County residents. She showed the Council a map indicating the percentage of residents with Library cards throughout the County.

Laughlin went on to say the next branch would probably be located in the southwestern part of Monroe County. She said that is the fastest growing area and she thinks the development of Interstate 69 will only further that trend.

Laughlin made the statements during a presentation about a $2 million loan the Library plans take out. The loan would include money that could be spent on land for a new branch as well as funds for an addition to the Ellettsville library, new equipment at Community Access Television Services and other expenses. Several members of the Council, including Cheryl Munson and Lee Jones, said they were excited about a third branch.

The Council later voted unanimously in favor of the $2 million Library bond. Later in the meeting the Council heard a request to expand the staff at the County’s Youth Services Bureau. The Bureau runs the Binkley House Emergency Youth Shelter among other responsibilities. For months Bureau Director Kim Meyer has said her staff is overworked. She asked for two more full-time staff members and extra hours for a third position. Council President Geoff McKim said the County could run into trouble with the fund it uses to pay for many of the Bureau’s activities.

The County just raised the rate for the Juvenile County Option Income Tax earlier this year to provide more funding to youth services. The Council later voted to approve the new positions.

Monroe County Public Library Awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award

The Monroe County Public Library has been awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award. The Indiana Library Federation is a member-driven organization that promotes the professional growth of Indiana libraries and is made up of librarians, library staff, administrators and trustees. According to an Federation’s press release, the Monroe County Public Library won the 2014 Programming Award for its successful, creative, and contemporary program efforts. In particular, the library’s programming during Disability Awareness Month during March, 2014 was the culmination of two years of focused efforts by library staff and others to better serve those in the community with disabilities as well as their families and received honorable mention. In the library’s 2015-2017 Strategic Plan the library pledged to improve services to the underserved disabilities audience. This was an effort conducted in partnership with the City of Bloomington,The Indiana University Center for Disabilities and Community, The IU Health Bloomington Hospital Children’s Therapy Center, StoneBelt ARC and local disability services agencies. A working group of library staff, approved by the library trustees, was established to conduct research, collect feedback and make recommendations as to how to expand the library’s capacity to serve patrons with disabilities. They addressed such issues as physical barriers to the library, creating a web page focused on disabilities services, and coordinating staff development on such issues.

Daily Local News – December 2, 2014


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana recently filed suit against The GEO Group, a Florida company that privately runs the New Castle (Indiana) Correctional Facility; The Environmental Protection Agency has recently been under fire from Indiana politicians and government agencies for its enforcement of new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal and oil-fuel power plants; The Monroe County Public Library has been awarded the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award; The Monroe County Plan Commission held off on adopting new rules for rural areas at a meeting November 18th; The Bloomington Utilities Department is spending $38,000 to deal with energy issues at its headquarters on Miller Drive.

Kathleen Falk, the Regional Director for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appointed by the Obama Administration in 2013, serves as the Midwest’s connection to the Affordable Care Act. She stopped through Bloomington today in an event hosted by Nancy Woolery, Health Projects coordinator for the City of Bloomington. Information about the open enrollment period here, in today’s community report.

Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Jack Hannek, Cathi Norton and Anson Shupe
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacey, edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Anna Legge
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

MCPL Board appoints new library director

The Monroe County Public Library Board of Trustees recently appointed Marilyn Wood as library director effective February 2nd, 2015. She will succeed Sara Laughlin who will retire at the end of this year after seven years as director. Wood is a native of Brown County, Indiana and holds both  Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana University. She began her career in a variety of capacities in the Indiana University Library system. Prior to joining the Monroe County Public Library in June, 2012 as Associate Director,   Wood worked at Harvard University during the years 2005-2012 as Associate Librarian of the Harvard College for Collection Management. An MCPL press release states she intends to continue the library’s efforts to seek various partnerships and contacts within the Bloomington community as well to offer job-embedded staff development to improve library services and keep up with 21st century versions of library and literacy skills.

Director of Monroe County Public Library leaving early next year


The director of the Monroe County Public Library is leaving her post early next year. Sara Laughlin announced her retirement September 17th at a meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees.

Laughlin says she has confidence in the Library’s current staff to manage the Library in the years to come. She told the Board there is still plenty to do before she leaves.

The Board also held a hearing on the Library’s budget for next year. The $8.2 million budget requires deficit spending, but financial officer Gary Lettelleir said that shouldn’t be a problem.

Lettelleir said the Library also has roughly $3 million in cash reserves.

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