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Daily Local News – September 16, 2014

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The national debate about militarized police forces continues as awareness grows about local campus police acquiring surplus military gear; Same sex couples in Indiana are still not able to marry, at least until the Supreme Court addresses the case later this month; Last Thursday, the Board of Director’s of Jill’s House voted to shut the organization down; Free furnace inspections, cleanings and repair will be offered on “Bring the Heat Day,” October 11th through a volunteer partnership between Bloomington’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department and the Heating and Air Conditioning Alliance of Indiana; Early and absentee voting hours for Monroe County residents will begin on Tuesday, October 7th at the Election Center, 401 West Seventh Street in Bloomington; More than fifteen months after the issue first surfaced, Interstate 69 construction is still damaging waterways in Monroe County; Bloomingfoods employees are hoping and expecting their managers to remain neutral during the effort to organize into a union; Pawn shops in Ellettsville now have to send their sales data to the Town police at the same time they provide it to a nationwide law enforcement database.

CREDITS
Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Cathi Norton, David Murphy,
And Danielle Flum
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our board engineer is Carissa Barrett
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Same Sex Couples in Indiana are Still Unable to Marry

Same sex couples in Indiana are still not able to marry, at least until the Supreme Court addresses the case later this month. Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals approved a stay on same-sex marriage in Indiana. The stay is holding the lower court’s ruling from September 4th that the same-sex marriage ban in Indiana is unconstitutional, and will be held until dealt with by the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 25, same-sex marriage was temporarily legal after a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Yung. Two days later, the Seventh Circuit Court ordered an emergency stopping to same-sex marriages. On September 29th, the Supreme Court will address the case in a closed-door conference to either hold or lift the ban.

Daily Local News – September 10, 2014

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Hoosiers, along with officials from 31 other states, have rushed to file appeals asking the Supreme Court to consider the issue of same sex marriage;IU Bloomington has ranked number 30 for public universities, and 76th of the top 100 universities overall, according to the latest survey by U.S. News and World report;The Main Library has extended its Sunday hours in response to public requests

FEATURE
The Bloomington City Council is on track to give a nearly three-quarter million dollar tax break to the owners of a proposed building along the B-Line Trail. The structure between Kirkwood Avenue and Sixth Street would have 35 high-end apartments as well as the new headquarters for Cornerstone Information Systems. The city’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department has praised the development and it asked the Council to incentivize the project by cutting its property taxes. Danise Alano-Martin is the director of that department. The building’s owners, D.G. Elmore and Mat Orego, would live in two of the condos. Council member Andy Ruff questioned giving a tax cut for the businessmen to build what he called QUOTE “fairly luxurious personal residential units” UNQUOTE. He said the Council should consider the country’s increasing economic inequality as it sets local policy. Ruff said he generally supports the $14.6 million project. But he put forward an amendment that would have forced the owners to pay property taxes on their own homes. The owners would still have kept the tax break for the businesses and most of the residential space. Few Council members supported Ruff’s motion. Council President Darryl Neher said he doesn’t want to discourage Orego and Elmore from living in their own building.Council member Susan Sandberg said she also wanted to encourage owner-occupancy. She said many Bloomington residents are understandably wary of new developments downtown. Ruff later rescinded his amendment and the Council voted to pass the tax abatement. The Council still has to affirm its decision at a meeting September 17th and it’s possible Ruff could reintroduce his measure then.

Council member Dave Rollo addressed a broader issue related to downtown development during council announcements last week. Rollo said the city should consider a temporary moratorium on large-scale buildings there. He said the city’s comprehensive plan is 12 years old and an update would help planners decide what developments to approve.Like Sandberg, Rollo also cited concerns from his constituents about new structures downtown. Rollo said he has not planned any legislation to follow up on his proposal. But he said he wants the Council to have a discussion on the issue.

After years of deliberation, Monroe County will be sorting and selling it’s own recyclables, perhaps as soon as December of this year. WFHB Correspondent David Murphy visited with Larry Barker, executive director of the Monroe county solid waste district and Steve Volan, president of the district board of directors for today’s community report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
Up next, our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley and Cathi Norton
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf
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 Alycin Bektesh with correspondent David Murphy
Our engineers are Jim Lang and Adam Rye-klee
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

BloomingOUT – August 21, 2014

Monroe County (Bloomington IN) Circuit Court (sixth seat) Judge Valeri Haughton discusses marriage equality and racism. IU alum, former WFHB volunteer, journalist and activist Delphine Criscenzo talks about black women living in suburbia as well as racial violence in general. Classic and neo-burlesque performer Tessa Von Twinkle chats about the art of burlesque performance and her upcoming performances in Bloomington IN, Nashville, IN and New Orleans, LA.

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Board Engineers Jasmine Mallet & Olivia Davison
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Them Music Mikial Robertson

bloomingOUT – April 3, 2014

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Executive Director of ACLU Indiana Jane Henegar discusses the pending federal court litigation/s regarding same sex marriage in Indiana as well as on a national level. Former IU Professor and current Chair and Professor at School of Dine’ Studies, Education and Leadership, Navajo Technical College in Crown Point NM Dine’ Wesley Thomas provides updates about his career as well as the recent advances made by the Navajo Nation concerning youth and LGBT issues. Featured artist KD Lang. Musical selection is Leonard Cohen’s rendition of “Hallelujah.”

www.ACLU-in.org
www.campusexplorer.com/Crownpoint/Navajo-Technical-College
www.kdlang.org

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producer Sarah Hetrick
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Theme Music Mikial Robertson
Announcer Sarah Hetrick

HJR-3 Update

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Today, the Indiana Senate had its final vote on House Joint Resolution 3, the same-sex marriage ban. The Senate was voting on a version of the bill as amended by the lower house. A vote in favor of HJR-3 would effectively suspend the attempt to put a ban on same-sex marriage before voters on this fall’s ballot. A vote against the bill would defeat it. Either way the issue will be suspended until another legislator might propose something similar. Most senators spoke against the same sex marriage ban as a civil rights issue. One of these was local Democratic Senator Mark Stoops.

“When I first started hearing about this discussion at the state house, obviously I wasn’t a legislator at the time,” said Stoops. “But my first thought wasn’t just that ‘oh, this is going to be embarrassing for the state, it puts us in the spotlight’. It’s not the fact that we’re going to lose out on economic development because people aren’t going to want to come here. It seemed to me that the main issue with a resolution like this is basic civil rights.”

Senator Stoops went on to explain how placing a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution would entrench discrimination in what should be a rights document:

“I mean, we all have friends, co-workers, and family that we know are gay. Are we as legislators, and are you as senators, going to look at those friends and those co-workers and those family members and say, ‘With this vote, I am saying I’m a better person than you, I am more moral than you, and I’m more deserving of basic civil rights’? Because if you support this amendment, that’s exactly what you’re going to be saying.”

Another legislator, Democratic Senator Greg Taylor from District 33 in Central Indiana, drew parallels with prohibitions on interracial marriage.

“Nineteen sixty-seven in Indiana,” began Taylor,  “I met a couple, a friend of mine’s mom and dad, the first interracial couple to be married in the state of Indiana. You want to know why? Because it was illegal. That was supposed to protect the institution of marriage.”

He then talked about how such prohibitions would have affected him personally:

“Nineteen ninety-nine, I had the opportunity on May 15, 1999 – I hope my wife remembers I said that because I remember our anniversary date – to marry my wife. She happens to be caucasian. Folks, times change. Times will always change. I love my wife to death. I don’t care what culture she has, I don’t care what race she has. Can you believe that there was a time in this state when me and my wife couldn’t be married? Now we sit here with this issue.”

Shortly after his speech to the Senate, the majority voted for the amended version of HJR-3. Despite voting for legislation to discriminate against same-sex couples, this vote makes makes it impossible to place a referendum on the 2014 ballot for voters to constitutionally entrench the same-sex ban. However, it does not preclude attempts by state legislators to attempt to enact such a ban in the future. While Indiana has been debated such discriminatory legislation, other states and the federal government have been moving to permit same sex marriage and extend the benefits of marriage to these couples. While the courts have taken the lead in striking down discriminatory laws and regulations at both levels of government, legislators have stopped trying to resist the tide in what has become the civil rights issue the age. The pressure of public opinion and organization interest in favor of expanding marriage rights is forcing governments here and abroad to either resist calls to legalize sexual discrimination or revisit such laws already passed.

 

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.

HJR-3 in Second Day with Amendment

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House Joint Resolution Three, Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, had its second reading on the House floor yesterday afternoon. An amendment striking the second sentence of the two-sentence bill was proposed by Representative Truitt of House District 26. The second sentence read, “Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.” Now we bring you the entire discussion from the House floor, for today’s WFHB feature report.

Daily Local News – January 17, 2014

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The Bloomington City Council debated how to balance automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic at a meeting on Wednesday; The Monroe County Council moved toward increasing the salary of Chief Public Defender Michael Hunt by about fourteen thousand dollars last week; Indiana has received a D+ grade from the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP, a national medical society that creates annual report cards for each state grading conditions under which emergency care is delivered.

FEATURE
Indiana University Vice President and General Counsel Jackie Simmons spoke before the Indiana House of Representative’s Judiciary committee on Monday, during consideration of House Joint Resolution 3, the proposed constitutional amendment outlawing same sex marriage.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Indiana University Vice President Jackie Simmons on HJR-3
A weekly snapshot of how people of all ages can match their time and talents to local needs. Each week Volunteer Connection brings you the “featured five” – five ways to get involved NOW! Volunteer Connection is a co-production of WFHB and the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network, working together to build an empowered, vibrant, and engaged community!

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Bill Daugherty
Today’s headlines were written by Drew Daudelin,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Our engineer is Nick Tumino
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on Same-Sex Marriage

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Several large organizations and institutions have expressed opposition to the effort to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to two people of the opposite sex, in effect banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly has already passed one resolution to this effect. A second bill, House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR 6, which would put the question on the ballot in the fall of 2014, is up for debate in January. Michael McRobbie, President of Indiana University, announced yesterday that IU is joining Freedom Indiana, the state wide coalition leading the fight against the constitutional amendment. Several important Indiana-based corporations, including Ely Lilly and Cummins Diesel, have also voiced their opposition to the move. Last week, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce adopted the same position. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, correspondent David Murphy spoke to Liz Irwin, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, to find out if the voice of business in this region has taken a position on the issue.

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