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Daily Local News – April 14, 2014

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Greater Indianapolis has taken a major step to improve mass transit in the region, and could provide a model for doing the same in regions like Greater Bloomington; Last fall the City of Bloomington implemented the Civil Streets Initiative, which aims to make roads safer for everyone from motor-vehicle drivers and bike riders, to pedestrians walking and running; Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is being celebrated during April on the Indiana University Bloomington campus; Congressman Todd Young will be holding meetings with individuals and small groups of constituents on April 24th, on a first-come first-serve basis.

FEATURE
The Bloomington City Council voted six-to-two last week in favor of sharpshooting deer in the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. Council members accepted testimony from biologists and others who said the large deer population is threatening other species in the area. But it’s still not clear how many deer might be killed if the city goes through with its plans. That’s one of several decisions the state Department of Natural Resources will make as it considers whether to approve the city’s sharpshooting proposal. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with a representative from the DNR, Josh Griffin, about the issue for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Chad Rabinovitz, Producing Artistic Director for the Bloomington Playwrights Project, talks about BPP’s summer education program and volunteer opportunities.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Chelsea Hardy, and Olivia DeWeese,
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer today is Chris Martin,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Interchange – Indiana Congressional District 9 Democrats

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Host Doug Storm speaks with candidates for the Democratic Primary Election for Indiana Congressional District 9, the seat currently held by Republican Todd Young.
Guests: William “Bill” Bailey, James McClure, and J.S. Miller.

“What kind of Democrat are you?”
Topics include Climate Change, NSA surveillance, and Public Education.

Daily Local News – December 4, 2013

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At a meeting November 27th, the Monroe County Commission approved the purchase of more than four hundred thousand dollars of equipment, software, and supplies for a new emergency dispatch center; Two research images, taken at Indiana University’s Light Microscopy Imaging Center, are finalists in the International GE Cell Imaging Competition; Congressman Todd Young will meet with constituents individually and in small groups this Friday, December 6th; After city inspectors found a long string of code violations, the Bloomington Board of Public Works ordered the closing of the University Inn Hotel on November 20th.

FEATURE
Equal Protection for Planned Parenthood
This Fall, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky put forth a lawsuit against the state of Indiana, regarding a recent law signed by Mike Pence, and sought an injunction against the law while the case was being heard. On November 26th Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, of the United States district court for the southern district of Indiana, finalized her decision granting the temporary injunction. This signified that Planned Parenthood, represented in court by the American civil liberties union of Indiana, has a chance of winning the suit against the state. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh has the report, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
A new edition of our weekly consumer watchdog segment.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Casey Kuhn,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe,
Alycin Bektesh produced our feature.
Our engineer is Jim Lang,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – November 1, 2013

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Representative Todd Young will meet with constituents in Martinsville next Thursday; On Monday the Ellettsville Town Council debated changes to town code that would ban certain livestock and prohibit parking in yards; Monroe County is in the midst of a project to fix a drainage problem on Fairway Drive, on the south side of Bloomington.

FEATURES
Representatives on the Debt Limit
Indiana District 9 Representative Todd Young and Senator Dan Coats both gave statements this week on the ongoing national debt talks. We hear what our state representatives are adding to the conversation for today’s WFHB feature report.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Hettrick.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer was Harrison Wagner,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Representative Todd Young to have meetings with small groups of constituents on Thursday

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Representative Todd Young will be in Martinsville next Thursday, November 7th to have ten-minute meetings with small groups of constituents. Trevor Foughty is the deputy chief of staff for the office of Representative Todd Young. He says Representative Young is open to talk about any topic his constituents are concerned about.

“This is completely driven by constituents who have the meetings, this is a format we’ve used for the last several years, in addition to town hall meetings or meet-your-congressman type events at coffee shops, and it’s a chance for constituents to talk about things that might not get brought up in other formats, and really get uninterrupted time with the congressman. So people can come talk about whatever they like,” Foughty said.

Foughty said the Representative held similar events in almost every county in the district last year, and said they were very well received. The Representative will be meeting with groups of four or less, which Foughty says gets people more focused attention, and said that constituents get to talk more while the representative listens more.

“What people talk about ranges from some of the big issues that you might read in the paper, to issues that maybe don’t have as much visibility. And it’s a chance for them to bring that to the congressman’s attention. And some people just need case work help with the federal agencies. So we have staff there that’s able to take down notes, and then help those constituents deal with the federal government,” Foughty said.

Registration is first come, first served for 10 minute slots between 3 and 4:30 PM next Thursday in the Morgan County Administration Building in Martinsville. If slots run out for this event, staff can put constituents on a waitlist and they will be called next time Representative Young is able to meet with constituents. Registration is available by calling 9th District Constituent Service Center at 812-288-3999.

Rep. Todd Young says he is not in the Tea Party, but some say his actions belie his words

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The finger of blame for the recent crisis in Congress, which caused a federal shutdown and a near debt default, has increasingly been pointed at Republican members of Congress, especially those associated with the Tea Party caucus.

Todd Young, our local representative in Washington since 2010, has often been associated with the Tea Party due to his supportive votes for their resolutions. He also has endorsements from many Tea Party associated organizations and financial backers.

During an interview with WFHB correspondent David Murphy during the Congressional deadlock, this association was raised with Representative Young.

“That characterization I know was not put forward with any ill intention, but I would depart from that,” Young said.

Paradoxically, he went on to say that he was an “independent-thinking and mainstream public servant” that listens to his constituents and feels that he represents their point of view well.

Representative Young went on to espouse bi-partisanism in Congress, and mentioned his membership in such a group in the House.

“I’m not a populist or rabble-rouser,” Young said, “I don’t question people’s motives. I’m looking for a bi-partisan solution. If along the way we could actually control healthcare costs while ensuring millions more people get access to healthcare, that would be great. However, my concerns are fiscal in nature and the threat that exists to our most marginal citizens by not solving these long-neglected issues require Presidential leadership.”

During a subsequent interview with Trent Deckard, Chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party, Representative Young’s association with the Tea Party was also raised.

While Young denies any association with the Tea Party, local Democrat Party Chair Trent Deckard sees things differently.

He draws attention to Young’s voting record in the House for evidence.

“He sure votes a lot with the Tea Party, even if he says he’s not in it,” Deckard said, “It can’t be lost that we got to this point because they have held out and that nothing short of completely eliminating the Affordable Care Act is acceptable. His record reflects that. He claims that he’s in a group called the ‘No Labels’ but his record and his votes don’t match that.”

Deckard also brought up the favorable impact Representative Young’s more recent votes had on some Tea Party initiated bills, which precipitated the shutdown of federal government services and the near debt default.

“We expect better of him, he’s a smart guy,” Deckard said, “I hope that he uses this opportunity to get in there and make a change. Voters are increasingly wary of it and we hear every day from folks who are fed up with it. This is Todd Young’s chance to get it right.”

While this crisis in government has passed, it may come up again. The continuing resolution, which allowed for the reopening of federal offices, runs out in early 2014.

Similarly, the Obama administration will soon have to go back to Congress to seek a raising of the debt limit in order to avoid a default.

As Government Shutdown Continues, Local Group ‘Concerned Citizens’ Holds Rally In Front Of Rep. Todd Young’s Office

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Despite it being closed and empty, a demonstration took place yesterday outside of Representative Todd Young’s Bloomington office, to protest his role in the federal shutdown.

A local group called the Concerned Citizens of Monroe County held a rally at the Showers Plaza office of Congressman Young, to demand he put aside partisan interests and work to end the shutdown.

It came together by a group of concerned citizens that weren’t all Democrats, although many were, says Trent Deckard, Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

“We’re concerned about the shutdown and we wanted to voice our opinions to Congressman Young and let him know this is having an effect on folks,” Deckard says.

A furloughed federal employee spoke for the group along with other people voicing their concerns.

Unfortunately for the attendees, there was no one at the office to hear the protest, or speak to any of the protesters.

“The door was closed, the lights were off and there was a sign saying it was closed indefinitely,” Deckard says, “Congress is exempt from the shutdown and Young could have chosen to have his office open with a skeleton staff. We decided to do this last Thursday and there were 80 people there. I’m sure at some point he caught knowledge of this but he didn’t have anyone there. We had a closed door facing us and that’s kind of reflective of how things are but we went ahead anyway.”

In light of his status as Chair of the County Democrats, we asked Deckard if he could offer any predictions about how these issues will pan out – whether to continue funding government operations at least until December, and whether to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a federal default.

“I never thought the shutdown would get this far,” Deckard says, “While I watch the news, I think to myself that surely it will work out but I’m getting more and more skeptical. Mr. Young needs to come forward and say that he is representing folks in Indiana that need services in this healthcare bill. Until he says this, Ted Cruz and those driving the position will keep pushing their agenda and that doesn’t reflect who we are in Indiana. As we get closer and closer to Thursday, it’s hard to stay optimistic.”

The deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling is this Thursday. If a resolution is not passed by Congress and signed by the President by then, the government will be prevented from borrowing funds to fund the deficit and debt, effectively creating a debt default.

The latest report from Washington is that the most recent effort to end the impasse has failed.

Daily Local News – October 15, 2013

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The Strike Mic: a musical and informational event will address the recent layoffs of Indiana University staff;Despite it being closed and empty, a demonstration took place yesterday outside of Representative Todd Young’s Bloomington office, to protest his role in the federal shutdown; This Thursday Bloomington will host the Third Annual South Central Indiana VA Stand Down.

FEATURE
Monroe County Affordable Care Act Resources
The City of Bloomington, IU Health Bloomington, and the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are partnering for a series of informational events to help citizens understand the recent Affordable Care Act provisions that went into effect at the beginning of the month. WFHB correspondent David Murphy speaks with David Meyer, organizer for the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Did you know that Americans spend eight billion dollars celebrating Halloween? Ashley and Sarah walk you through the typical spending and some places to save, while still having a fun and safe holiday on the Ins and Outs of Money, our weekly segment providing economic education to keep your budget balanced, and connecting you to community resources that keep your finances flourishing.

CREDITS
Anchors: Shayne Laughter, Nick Tumino
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Today’s feature was produced by Harrison Wagner
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and Untied of Monroe County
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Young on Government Shut Down

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The shutdown of federal government services continues, with the exception of a few services deemed essential and restarted with Congressional consent. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, we hear a discussion between WFHB correspondent David Murphy and Republican Congressman Todd Young, representative in the House for Indiana District 9.

Young on Stalemate

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A House Budget Bill with a provision of a one-year Affordable Care Act Delay was rejected by the Senate late last night, causing a stalemate on the eve of the budget due date that caused a spending freeze on all federal operations, beginning today. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Indiana Congressman Todd Young about what the spending freeze means and what will resolve the congressional stalemate, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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