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Two Dead in Murder/Suicide


A man and a woman were found dead last night in what investigators believe was a murder/suicide on the east side of Bloomington. The two were discovered in the common area of Stratum at Indiana Apartments around 9:21 p.m. When police arrived, they found a 20 year old man dead from an apparent suicide by hanging. The woman, who was 21, had died from apparent stab wounds. The investigation is still on-going. In a press release, Lieutenant Brad Seifers with Bloomington Police said detectives believe the woman was killed by the man, who then committed suicide. Police have not yet identified the victim or the suspect in the case.

Former County Council Member Critical of Process and Data Used for Addressing Pay Raise Request


Former Monroe County Council member, Scott Wells, is critical of both the process and the data used for addressing a recent request to raise the pay of the County Commissioners. The Commissioners had requested a roughly 24 percent pay increase next year. The Council rejected the request last week. Wells addressed the County Council on Tuesday. He first addressed the process.

“If I was going to vote on a salary increase, that would be in my mind, that we gotta have a better process,” Wells said. “That’s not the way to do it.”

Wells then criticized the statistical data presented by Council President Cheryl Munson at the September 1st budget hearing, and as reported in the Herald-Times. Munson had displayed a table with population, budget and salary data, including that of county commissioners, for what she described as peer counties of Monroe County. She concluded that that the table demonstrated that Monroe County Council members were paid somewhat more than average, while our Commissioners are paid a little less. Wells presented data from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance with a different finding.

“If you look at the population and their budgets you’ll find that in fact your statement that is in the paper is not really correct it could be argued that in some cases the commissioners are being paid too much,” he said.

Wells concluded by saying his data base showed that every comparable county, except for Madison County, pay their Commissioners less than Monroe County does.

Daily Local News – September 3, 2015


The Bloomington City Council has officially added Veteran Status and Housing Status” to the list of protected classes in the Bloomington Human Rights Ordinance;The city of Bloomington has reached a deal with a firm to develop about half of what the city calls The Trades District;The Monroe County Commissioners won’t be getting the raise they asked for next year;Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will be in Bloomington tomorrow morning to speak to advocate for a needle exchange program here.

Bus service between cities is expected to be offered soon out of the Bloomington Transit Center. During the August 18th budget hearings of the City of Bloomington, the General Manager of Bloomington Transit, Lew May, announced that BT had signed an agreement with Miller Hoosier Ride Service for this Grey Hound associated firm to move its Bloomington services to the Transit Center sometime this month. WFHB Assistant News Director, David Murphy, spoke to May about this new service as well as other events and developments planned for BT over the next year.

This week on the Voices in the Street: “The Labor Day Weekend: What are you planning?”

Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley
Our engineers today are Hannah Griggs and Jose Rodriguez
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Executive Director of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District to Retire


The Executive Director of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District, Larry Barker,
announced that he will be leaving his job on Friday. His retirement will happen prior to the completion of the Materials Recycling Facility, or Murf, at the District, perhaps Barker’s biggest goal in the past few years. Assistant News Director, David Murphy, spoke to Barker about the Murf as well as about his other accomplishments during his tenure at the District. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB community report.

bloomingOUT – August 6, 2015


Hosts Jeff Jewel and Megan McCullough interview Jamie Bartzel, the Office Supervisor of IU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services. They also interview Jessica Levandoski, the Director of the upcoming Middle Coast Film Festival.

Hosts – Jeff Jewel, Megan McCullough
Executive Producer – Joe Crawford
Producer – Olivia Davidson
Board Engineer – Olivia Davidson

Monroe County’s Homelessness Numbers Appear to Rise


A single-day study has found an increased number of people experiencing homeless in Monroe County.

The 2015 Point-In-Time Homeless count found a total of 329 Monroe County residents living without permanent housing. That’s up from 302 people last year and 304 the year before.

The increase comes as numbers continue to fall slightly across Indiana. The Point-in-Time count is performed by local social service agencies in cooperation with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

The Director of Community Services at the Development Authority, Lori Dimick, says the count is performed each year on a single day in January.

“They take paper forms and try to do the best count they can with what resources they have available,” Dimick said. “People sometimes don’t want to be found.”

In Monroe, Morgan and Greene counties, the largest increase was in the number of people categorized as “unsheltered,” meaning they were living outside of any established homeless shelter. The count found 26 unsheltered individuals this year compared with eight people last year.

Dimick said that change may have more to do with the strategy for finding unsheltered people than with increased numbers, stating that there was an increase in the effort to locate people in need.

“I think it’s due to the fact that there was more effort in getting that count compared to last year,” Dimick said. “It is difficult because there are a lot of people who are sleeping in campgrounds, abandoned buildings, abandoned barns in the rural areas. And they don’t want to be found because they have fear of being arrested, fear of being found out and their place being taken from them.”

WFHB asked for comment today from local agencies that were in charge of the count but we didn’t get calls back before our deadline.

At the Shalom Community Center, Director Forrest Gilmore says the number of clients has actually been down this year. The Shalom Center provides a daytime shelter, meals and other services for people in poverty.

Gilmore says the point-in-time count is useful but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

“It’s probably the best single number that we have to monitor things but it’s also a really imperfect number,” he said. “It’s so hard to count and it’s so transient, there’s so much change. We haven’t seen that kind of increase (at Shalom Center).

“I’m thinking that may just be an uptick in that particular count this year. It may have been more cold and people were coming indoors and so we were able to count them more easily. Or it may be that we did have a slight increase in homelessness in our community and that’s being reflected by the numbers.”

Gilmore says local numbers of people experiencing homelessness peaked in 2011 and have been falling since then. This would be the first year the trend has reversed.

Considerations for a Needle Exchange Program in Monroe County


Monroe County health officials are exploring whether to begin operating a needle exchange program. The news follows the implementation of needle exchange programs in Scott and Madison counties earlier this year. Indiana State Department of Health data shows the number of reported Hepatitis C cases in Monroe County increased by 55% from 2009 to 2014. Health officials are also concerned by an increase in heroin overdoses. Indiana began allowing needle exchanges for the first time this year in response to the HIV outbreak in Scott County. Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill explains what  Monroe County must do before they can implement a needle exchange program.

“What happened with, of course, Southern Indiana, there was Governor’s Quarter, and then there was state legislation that was changed that allows local health departments to request a syringe access or needle exchange program. And the law outlines what has to happen. So you’ve got to show that you have- they refer to it as an epidemic- but you have to have an increase, a significant rise in cases that are related to injection drug use. And then, that declaration has to be made by your health officer, the county commissioners have to have a public hearing and vote to approve that and move it forward. Then, if that happens, it goes to the state health commissioner with additional information. So you’ve got to say, this is essentially how we think we could address this issue. And then the state health commissioner can approve it, they can deny it, or they can ask for additional information. And then, if they approve it, then it comes back to the county and they can move forward with initiating those plans and building that out more.”

Studies have shown needle exchange programs help reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. If Monroe County’s program is approved, there will still be obstacles. Current laws bar the use of  state or federal money to fund needle exchange programs.

“You know, in terms of thinking about what other counties are doing and what kind of best practices are out there, certainly there may be foundation money, so private monies that might be available to help. There may be in-kind services that could be provided, but that is certainly a big piece of the puzzle that each county will have to figure out. Can we put some local dollars to this? And where might those come from? What about partnerships? So we all have to work together to come up with solutions and look at the possibilities.”

Caudill says health officials are still compiling data to determine whether the pursue a needle exchange program.



Eight Bloomington Residents Awarded Grants From Indiana Arts Commission


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.

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.

bloomingOUT – July 2, 2015


Join hosts Ryne Shadday and Jeff Poling as they talk with IU Mauer School of Law Professor and Huffington Post contributor Steve Sanders. You’ll also hear some of the latest LGBTQ+ headlines and events in and around Bloomington.

We also introduced our new theme music for the show, provided by Aaron Gage. Find more of Aaron’s work at aarongagemusic.com

Hosts – Ryne Shadday, Jeff Poling
Executive Producer – Joe Crawford
Producer and Engineer – Olivia Davidson
Social Media Coordinator – Megan McCullough

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