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Interchange – Making the Case Against Cages; Being Vulnerable to Arrest

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Segment One: Making the Case Against Cages. Prison abolitionist Micol Seigel, an associate professor in the departments of American Studies and History at Indiana University, discusses issues surrounding homelessness and incarceration in Bloomington and Monroe County.

The conversation focuses on the changes in the Indiana criminal sentencing codes that shift categories of crime, eliminates some offenses, changes the severity of penalties, and requires people convicted of crimes to serve a greater percentage of their sentence than previous rules. The impact of the rules is not yet clear, but some people in Monroe County worry that it will increase the burden on the County Jail.

While the sentencing guidelines are reported to have the effect of slowing the growth of the state’s prison population a December 2013 Associated Press Report states that the changes will actually have the opposite effect. According to Applied Research Services, Inc., the changes will increase the state’s prison population over the next 10 years due to the new law’s requirement that inmates serve at least 75 percent of their sentences. This will offset changes lawmakers made in reclassifying offenses and setting new sentencing ranges.

Segment Two: Being Vulnerable to Arrest. An interview with Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff conducted by WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford from November 18, 2013 to discuss the announcement by the city of Bloomington of extra police patrols to be assigned to the downtown area, as well as along the B-Line Trail, and the fact that surveillance cameras will be used more extensively. The Herald Times reported that the new measures were targeted at panhandling, public intoxication, and vandalism. Diekhoff asserts that the police do not target classes of people but rather people’s public behaviors.

Credits:

Producer & Host, Doug Storm
Board Engineer, Jonathan Richardson
Social Media, Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer, Alycin Bektesh

Interchange – Indiana Moral Mondays

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Host Doug Storm is joined by William Morris and Joe Varga to discuss the genesis of the Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina and how it has begun to form a broad coalition here in Indiana.

A Mother Jones article from April, 2014 describes the impetus for Moral Mondays as being political action against a Republican agenda in North Carolina. The Republicans ”who in November 2012 took control of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in more than a century. Among their top priorities—along with blocking Medicaid expansion and cutting unemployment benefits and higher-education spending—was pushing through a raft of changes to election laws, including reducing the number of early voting days, ending same-day voter registration, and requiring ID at the polls.”

But perhaps deeper than this “fusion politics” is an engagement with an ethics of care.

The Indiana Moral Mondays Mission Statement:

We, the people, coalitions and faith communities of Indiana hereby form Indiana Moral Mondays Movement in order to promote a just society in which every person is valued, and resources are used for the common good.

In doing so, we seek to embrace the moral values and the enduring qualities of love found in the secular and spiritual communities from which we come.

Find out about this weekend’s event in Indianapolis, “Forward Together with Reverend Dr. William Barber II”  at the group’s website, Indiana Moral Mondays.

Guests:
William Morris is an attorney with Indiana Legal Services where he works on low-income housing and homelessness prevention. Prior to that he was a civil rights lawyer for a dozen years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Morris is a member of the Indiana Moral Mondays Steering Committee.

Joe Varga is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at Indiana University. He is a former Teamster shop steward and long time labor activist, having worked for the IBEW and the New York State Working Families Party. He is currently working on a project detailing the spatial history of de-industrialization in Southern Indiana. Joe is also active in Jobs with Justice, and numerous other activist causes.

Credits:

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

Hoosier Hills Food Bank Provides Monthly Food Boxes To Low-Income Seniors

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Starting in June, Hoosier Hills Food Bank (HHFB) will begin providing monthly boxes of food for up to 100 low-income senior citizens in Monroe County. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is already operational in Brown, Crawford, Orange, and Martin counties.

Potentially eligible seniors must complete a program application and will be scheduled for an interview to document their eligibility. Casey Steury, the Director of Programs for HHFB, says to be eligible, they must be 60 and over, live in Monroe County and be 130% of the poverty level or less.

Funding for the program is  provided by the US Department of Agriculture and Indiana State Department of Health, but Steury says that volunteer power is really what runs the program, and that without volunteers getting the word out about the program, many eligible seniors who don’t have access to internet or newspapers wouldn’t know that help was available.

The HHFB provides food for soup kitchens and shelters but the monthly food delivery program is the one time they get to interact directly with the people who benefit from their work.

“This senior program is the one program where we actually get to hand boxes directly to these seniors,” Steury says. “Because they get this food they don’t have to decide between buying food or medicine this month.”

The seniors then provide feedback on how this program has helped to improved their lives.

About 7% of Monroe County’s senior population are living below the poverty level.

Interchange – Democratic Primary Candidates for Monroe County Sheriff

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Doug Storm hosts the second program focusing on contested Primary elections.

In the studio tonight to present their case for election and to detail their knowledge and experience for the office are Michael Pershing, Stephen Sharp, Cathy Smith and Brad Swain.

Topics covered are the operations of the department including its funding; the nature of the prison population and how it is managed; and the systemic failure of rehabilitation strategies in a population beset by poverty, alcohol and abusive relationships.

Note: The Indiana Constitution does not require any law enforcement experience for this office. Training and education are provided as mandated by statute [IC 36-2-13-9].

Interchange – Toby Strout: Domestic Violence Awareness

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This week on Interchange, host Joe Crawford discusses domestic violence with Toby Strout, the executive director of Middle Way House. Strout talks about the interpersonal and structural causes of domestic violence and how it intersects with other societal issues. She also outlines the services offered by Middle Way House and how victims can seek help from the organization.

Daily Local News – September 23, 2013

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A report released today entitled “No Progress” from the Indiana Institute for Working Families shows there has been no significant change in the poverty rate for the state; A law that requires increased reporting from Bloomington’s pawn shops passed the City Council September 18th; The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center is making a call for submissions for the 2014 season; IU Health Bloomington will offer a free child car seat safety check this Thursday, September 26th.

FEATURE
Indiana Sierra Club on Carbon Limits for Coal Plants
Under rules announced last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, new power plants will be limited in how much carbon they can emit into the atmosphere. The new rule is expected to most dramatically affect coal-fired plants, which will be forced to capture at least some of the carbon they release. Both supporters and detractors of the rules say they will make it more difficult to build new, financially viable coal plants. The Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club has often brought attention to the environmental hazards of coal power. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Jody Perras, from the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, about the potential effects of the rules for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE
Caleb Young, music director for the Indiana Youth Musicians, talks about the organization, how it benefits both the youth involved and the wider Bloomington and Monroe County community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Chris Martin
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford
Activate! was produced by Jennifer Whitaker and Dan Withered
Our engineers are Chris Martin and Lauren Glapa
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Activate! – Shalom Center: Forrest Gilmore

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Forrest Gilmore of Shalom Center talks about Shalom’s work and mission in addressing the crisis of homelessness and poverty on a day to day basis. On Activate! Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

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