Articles, Blog

Indiana Newsdesk, October 18, 2019 Strike Agreement, Farming Solar Power


>>”INDIANA NEWSDESK” IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY:>>COMING UP ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” AFTER MORE THAN A MONTH, THE STRIKE BETWEEN G.M. AND THE U.A.W. UNION IS OVER. AHEAD, WE’LL LOOK AT THEIR AGREEMENT AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR HOOSIER WORKERS.>>>FARMERS STRUGGLING WITH LOW PRICES AND BAD WEATHER ARE GIVING UP SOME OF THE LAND THEY USUALLY USE TO PLANT CORN AND SOYBEANS FOR SOLAR PANELS.>>I’M NOT USED TO DOING ELECTRONICS.>>AHEAD, IS SOLAR POWER THE WAY TO HELP FARMERS MAKE ENDS MEET.>>I DIDN’T HAVE ANYBODY THERE TO TELL ME TO KEEP GOING, YOU KNOW, DO YOUR WORK. I WAS SKIPPING CLASS.>>COMING UP, A LOOK AT A NEW PROGRAM THAT WORKS TO HELP KIDS WHO WOULD LIKELY OTHERWISE SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS. THOSE STORIES, PLUS THE LATEST NEWS HEADLINES FROM ACROSS THE STATE, RIGHT NOW ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK”! ♪>>WELCOME TO “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M JOE HREN. WELL, THE PROPOSED DEAL BETWEEN THE UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS AND GENERAL MOTORS IS IN THE HANDS OF LOCAL UNION MEMBERS. AS SAMANTHA HORTON REPORTS, EXACTLY ONE MONTH AFTER WORKERS WENT ON STRIKE AGAINST G.M., UNION LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY IT HAD REACHED A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE AUTOMOTIVE COMPANY.>>SMALL FIRES BURN ALONG THE PICKET LINE OUTSIDE THE G.M. FACILITY IN BEDFORD, KEEPING U.A.W. MEMBERS WARM. INDIANA’S HOME TO FOUR G.M. FACILITIES. THIS ONE IN BEDFORD, AS WELL AS KOKOMO, MARION AND THE FORT WAYNE AREA. AND TOGETHER, THEY EMPLOY ABOUT 7,000 WORKERS. WORKERS HAVE BEEN OUT PICKETING FOR A MONTH, FIGHTING FOR BETTER WAGES AND MORE PATH FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS TO PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT. IT SHIFTED TO CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AS PROTESTERS GOT WORD THAT A POTENTIAL DEAL WAS IN THE WORKS.>>THERE’S A LOT OF MOVING PARTS TO THESE THINGS. WE WANT TO HEAR THE DETAILS. WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT IS ACTUALLY IN THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT.>>NOW THAT U.A.W. LEADERSHIP APPROVED THE DEAL, LOCAL UNION MEMBERS WILL VOLT ON THE PROPOSED CONTRACT BEFORE IT CAN BE APPROVED AND FINALIZED.>>WE HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF FAITH IN OUR INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP. THEY HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB. IF THEY HAVE SIGNED OFF ON IT, THEN I THINK OUR MEMBERSHIP WILL COME TO IT WITH OPEN EARS AND BE READY TO LISTEN TO WHATEVER THEY BRING US.>>FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M SAMANTHA HORTON.>>>NOW, THE TENTATIVE FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT INCLUDES PAY RAISES, LUMP SUM PAYMENTS TO WORKERS AND PATH TO PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS. A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE U.A.W. SAYS VOTING WILL START THIS WEEKEND, AND MEMBERS WILL HAVE EIGHT DAYS TO RATIFY THE AGREEMENT. THE NATIONWIDE STRIKE WILL CONTINUE UNTIL A NEW CONTRACT IS FINALIZED.>>>FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HAVE BEEN HELPING 14 CITIES IN THE STATE TO DO GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES. THE IDEA IS FOR CITIES TO LOOK AT WHICH SECTORS EMIT THE MOST GASES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND TRY TO MAKE THEM GREENER. AS REBECCA THIELE REPORTS, THE CITY OF BLOOMINGTON RECENTLY FINISHED ITS INVENTORY.>>DICK KELSON IS THE DIRECTOR OF CITY OF BLOOMINGTON UTILITIES. HE’S SHOWING SAVANNAH RODRIG, AROUND A BOOSTER STATION. IT HELPS THE CITY PUMP WATER OUT TO WHERE IT’S NEEDED.>>THIS BOOSTER STATION USES ABOUT $20,000 A MONTH OF ELECTRICITY. WE ARE ABLE TO OFFSET ABOUT 5% OF THAT WITH THE SOLAR PANEL RAY THAT WE WILL SEE OUTSIDE.>>BLOOMINGTON’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS MAKE UP LESS THAN 10% OF THE CITY’S OVERALL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. OF THAT 10%, RODRIG FOUND THAT MOST OF THEM COME FROM MOVING AND TREATING WATER AND WASTEWATER. RODRIG SAYS MOST OF THE TIME WORKING ON THE INVENTORY IS NOT THIS HANDS ON. SHE MAKES A LOT OF PHONE CALLS TO UTILITIES AND CITY DEPARTMENTS, ASKING FOR DATA. AND THEN INPUTS THAT DATA INTO A COMPUTER PROGRAM CALLED CLEARPATH, WHICH CALCULATES THE EMISSIONS. EVEN THOUGH RODRIG DOESN’T HAVE TO DO THE MATH HERSELF THAT, DOESN’T MEAN THE PROCESS IS EASY. EVERY LITTLE DETAIL COUNTS. TAKE AIR TRAVEL, FOR EXAMPLE.>>WE HAVE GOT A VERY LARGE STUDENT POPULATION, THAT PROBABLY TRAVELS HOME AND WE TRAVEL TO INDIANAPOLIS AIRPORT, YOU KNOW, TO FLY HOME, OR SOME OTHER MECHANISM FOR GETTING HOME. AND THOSE EMISSIONS NEED TO BE COUNTED EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS.>>THAT WEEK, THE CITY OF BLOOMINGTON RELEASED THE FINISHED INVENTORY. IT FOUND THAT TRANSPORTATION AND RESIDENTIAL ENERGY USE MADE UP ABOUT HALF OF THE CITY’S ADMISSIONS. ALEX CROWLEY IS THE CITY OF DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. NOW THAT THE CITY KNOWS THAT TRANSPORTATION IN BLOOMINGTON IS A BIG CONTRIBUTOR TO CLIMATE CHANGE, THE CITY CAN TAKE STEPS TO WALKING, BIKING AND PUBLIC TRANSIT MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR RESIDENTS.>>MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO NOT GET INTO THEIR CAR ALONE AND DRIVE TO WORK ALONE, AS SO MANY PEOPLE DO IN BLOOMINGTON.>>LOWERING RESIDENTS’ ENERGY USE MAY BE MORE CHALLENGING. LAUREN TRAVIS IS THE CITY’S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY. SHE SAYS MOST OF THE CITY’S POWER COMES FROM DUKE ENERGY’S COAL PLANT.>>IT’S DIFFICULT BECAUSE WE HAVE ONLY ONE PLACE THAT WE RESOURCE OUR ENERGY FROM AND A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THE OPTIONS OTHERWISE.>>BLOOMINGTON’S GO HE WILL IS TO REDUCE THE EMISSIONS BY 26% BY 2025. THE CITY PLANS TO USE THE GREEN HOUSE GAS INVENTORY TO SET A NEW AND LIKELY MORE AMBITIOUS CLIMATE GOAL. FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M REBECCA THIELE.>>NOW, THE LATEST ON THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES.>>>A DISCIPLINARY CASE AGAINST ATTORNEY GENERAL CURTIS HILL IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK. THE COMPLAINT AGAINST HILL COMES OUT OF ACCUSATIONS LAST YEAR THAT HE INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHED FOUR WOMEN, INCLUDING A STATE LAWMAKER AT A HOST LEGISLATIVE SESSION PARTY. SO WE ARE TRYING TO BLOCK TWO WOMEN FROM TESTIFYING ABOUT ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT STEMMING FROM HIS TIME AS THE ELKHART COUNTY PROSECUTOR, BEFORE HE BECAME ATTORNEY GENERAL IN 2017. HIS LAWYERS ARGUE SUCH TESTIMONY IS UNRELATED TO THE MISCONDUCT CHARGES IT COULD LEAD TO ACTIONS BY STATE SUPREME COURT INCLUDING DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT, REPRIMANDS AND TRIPPED OF HIS LICENSE TO PRACTICE LAW.>>>PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS BLOOMINGTON’S UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE HAVE STARTED. THE U.D.O. LAYS OUT THE RULES FOR LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT IN BLOOMINGTON. DURING PUBLIC COMMENT, MANY RESIDENTS VOICED CONCERNS ABOUT HOW PUSHING MULTIFAMILY HOUSING IN CORE NEIGHBORHOODS COULD AFFECT PROPERTIES.>>AND INVESTOR IS GOING TO INVEST IN IT. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO PUT AFFORDABILITY ON IT. THEY WILL RENT IT AT MARKET RATES. SO YOU HAVE LOST THAT.>>THE COUNCIL WILL MEET AGAIN ON TUESDAY TO CONTINUE THE U.D.O. HEARING.>>>THE STATE PLANS TO APPEAL A JUDGE’S RECENT RULING ORDERING THE RELEASE OF A MAN WHO IS ACCUSED OF KILLING JILL BEERMAN. THEY FOUND JOHN MYERS GUILTY FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BEERMAN. MYERS IS BEING HELD IN MICHIGAN CITY AT THE INDIANA STATE PRISON.>>>WELL, SOON ALL THAT WILL BE LEFT OF BLOOMINGTON’S FOURTH STREET PARKING GARAGE IS THE WALKWAY BRIDGE. THE WORKERS STARTED THE DEMOLITION PROCESS AFTER LABOR DAY AND SHOULD BE FINISHED BY THE END OF THE MONTH, BUT THE DESIGN PLANS FOR A NEW GARAGE REMAIN UP IN THE AIR. THE CITY IS TRYING TO ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY SOUTH OF THE GARAGE THROUGH EMINENT DOMAIN.>>BLOOMINGTON MAYOR JOHN HAMMINGTON SAYS THE JUDGE SHOULD ISSUE A DECISION BY THE END OF THE MONTH. JUAN CARLOS TARESQUEL OWNS PROPERTY THAT THE CITY WANTS. THE CITY IS OFFERING TO PAY HIM $88,000 MORE THAN HE PAID FOR IT IN MARCH OF 2018. AND THE CITY WOULD OFFER HIM OFFICE SPACE ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF THE NEW GARAGE.>>MY BUILDING IS A PERFECT LOCATION FOR ME AND FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO FORCE AND THAT THEY ARE ALLOWED TO USE FOR EXCLUSIVE PURPOSES AND — AND THEN OFFER IT BACK IT’S INSULTING.>>THE JUDGE RULED IN FAVOR OF JUAN CARLOS, THE CITY WOULD MOST LIKELY APPEAL FOR REDESIGN THE GARAGE.>>EITHER GO TALLER OR SHRINK FEWER SPACES FOR THE PUBLIC USE. BOTH OF WHICH WOULD MAKE A MORE EXPENSIVE PER CAR, PER SPACE GARAGE AND WE ARE TRYING TO BE EFFICIENT.>>THE DESIGN IS A SIX-STORY GARAGE WITH MORE THAN 11,000 SQUARE FEET OF RETAIL SPACE ON THE GROUND FLOOR, FACING WALNUT STREET. THE CITY OFFICIALS HOPE TO COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW GARAGE IN 2020.>>INDIANA LAWMAKERS ARE CONSIDERING TAXES ON VAPING PRODUCTS. THE DEBATE INCLUDES WHETHER THE LEVY SHOULD BE AT THE WHOLESALE LEVEL OR AT RETAIL LOCATIONS, WHAT THE RATES SHOULD BE AND IF IT SHOULD BE BASED OPEN LIQUID AMOUNTS OR NICOTINE LEVELS. ANY RECOMMENDATIONS THAT THE CITY MAKES WOULD HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM THE LEGISLATURE FROM THE 2020 SESSION. MORE THAN A DOZEN STATES ARE TAXING VAPING LIQUIDS.>>>COMING UP NEXT ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” WE VISIT A NEW SCHOOL DESIGNED TO GIVE KIDS WHO ARE STRUGGLING IN THE CLASSROOM THE EXTRA SUPPORT THEY NEED TO FINISH HIGH SCHOOL. AND WE RESPOND TO A VIEWER WHO ASKS WHAT BLOOMINGTON LEADERS ARE DOING TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DISABILITIES ARE NOT LEFT BEHIND AS THE CITY GROWS AND CHANGES. THESE STORIES AND MORE, RIGHT HERE ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK.”>>>WELCOME BACK TO “INDIANA NEWSDESK.” HOOSIER FARMERS ARE MAKING LESS MONEY PER ACRE THAN THEY HAVE IN YEARS, BUT SOME ARE TRADING CORN AND SOYBEANS FOR SOLAR PANELS. BROCK TURNER TALKED WITH ONE FARMER WHO HAS CROPS IN BOTH INDIANA AND ILLINOIS, AND HE SAYS THE INCENTIVES VARY GREATLY FROM STATE TO STATE.>>MARK SIMONS HAS BEEN FARMING FOR 44 YEARS. THE MAJORITY OF HIS NEARLY 1,00D SOYBEANS BUT HE’S IN THE PROCESS OF ADDING ANOTHER CROP IN HIS OPERATION. ONE THAT ALSO RELIES ON WEATHER.>>THE WORD SOLAR FARM CAPITALIZES IT BECAUSE THE ELECTRONS ARE ANOTHER CROP. INSTEAD OF PRODUCING CARBOHYDRATES, WE ARE PRODUCING CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY THAT GOES ON FOR A LONG TIME. THE SOLAR PROJECT OUT, THERE IT CAN BE PRODUCING POWER 40 YEARS FROM NOW.>>SIMONS SAYS HE WILL HAVE THINGS UP AND RUNNING AND DELIVERING ELECTRICITY TO THE GRID BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. IT’S A SIZABLE INVESTMENT BUT HE BELIEVES THE PAYOUT WILL BE MORE THAN WORTH IT.>>IT’S A MULTI MILLION DOLLARS INVESTMENT IN ROUGHLY 8 ACRES.>>SIMONS PLANS TO INSTALL 4500 MODULES AND HE’S JOINING A GROWING NUMBER OF FARMERS WHO ARE DIVERSIFYING THEIR REVENUE STREAM. WHILE THERE’S NOT AN EXACT AGENCY WHO KEEPS A COUNT ON THE PANELS OR FARMERS, THE NUMBER HAS INCREASED SINCE THE DECREASE IN THE SOLAR PANELS AND THAT DECREASE HAS MADE THE MATH WORK FOR SIMONS.>>TO ME, IT’S ANOTHER CROP. THAT’S HOW ANY BUSINESSMAN WOULD LOOK AT IT. I HAVE TO COMPARE THE COST OF THE REVENUE.>>BUT AS WITH MOST CROPS, PRODUCERS ARE RELIANT ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE PRICE THEY GET. SIMONS SAYS SELLING ELECTRICITY BACK TO THE GRID IS FILLED WITH REGULATION THAT OFTEN CHANGES. WHILE HIS LOCAL ELECTRIC PROVIDERS ARE ENCOURAGING, IT’S NOT THAT WAY IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE.>>THE UTILITIES HAVE A LOT OF POWER AND A LOT OF MONEY BEHIND THEM. THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE POWER PRODUCTION STAY IN THEIR HANDS RATHER THAN MAKING IT MORE EGALITARIAN, THROUGH MORE DISTRIBUTED ENERGY. I THINK THE BIG MONEY WANTS TO MAINTAIN THEIR CONTROL OF THE POWER SYSTEM.>>BUT THE END GOAL OF UTILITIES AND ELECTRIC PROVIDERS IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER. RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES WHICH SERVE A LARGE PORTION OF RURAL HOOSIERS ARE NONPROFITS. THEIR PRIMARY GOAL IS TO PROVIDE CHEAP POWER TO LESS DENSE AREAS WHERE THE ECONOMICS DON’T MAKE SENSE FOR PRIVATE PROVIDERS TO OPERATE.>>WHEN WE VIEW A DEAL, WE ARE LOOKING TO SEE, HOW DOES THIS STAND UP ON ITS OWN? SO WE DON’T WANT TO OVERPAY FOR POWER.>>BRIAN ANDERSON IS THE DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS AT THE WABASH VALLEY TOWER ALLIANCE, A NONPROFIT THAT PROVIDES ELECTRICITY TO INDIVIDUAL MEMBER CO-OPS. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT ARE TRANSMITTING AND GENERATING THE ELECTRICITY THAT COULD BE POWERING YOUR HOME.>>WE WANT TO PROTECT OUR MEMBERS FROM, YOU KNOW, LONG-TERM PRICE SPIKES OR THINGS LIKE THAT. WE WANT STABILITY. WHEN WE NEGOTIATE OR WE TALK WITH A PRIVATE LANDOWNER THAT MAYBE IS PRODUCING MORE THAN THEY NEED, WE ARE ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT THAT LONG-TERM PRICE STABILITY. WHAT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF MAYBE NOT ONE PARTICULAR MEMBER, BUT THE 330,000 MEMBERS THAT ARE UNDER OUR SERVICE.>>FROM OUR POLE AND THEIR POLE AND ACROSS THE STREET.>>TWO YEARS AGO, INDIANA ENDED THE NET METERING POLICY. THEY PROVIDED THE HIGHER RETAIL RATE INSTEAD OF A WHOLESALE RATE FOR THE EXCESS ENERGY THEY DELIVERED BACK TO THE GRID. DESPITE THE POLICY SHIFT, ANDERSON SAYS HE’S SEEN MORE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN SOLAR.>>WE HAVE SEEN AN UPTICK IN INTEREST FROM JUST LAND OPENERS IN GENERAL, LOOKING FOR SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS, AND MAKING SOME OF THOSE ECONOMICS WORK BY SELLING SOME OF THAT ENERGY BACK TO THE LOCAL UTILITY OR THROUGH A UTILITY AT A LARGER SCALE.>>IT’S UNLIKELY INDIANA WILL RETURN TO NET METERING AND SAID THEY SAY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CRAFT DURABLE POLICIES THAT WON’T CHANGE OVER TIME AND WILL SPAN ACROSS ELECTIONS.>>WE DON’T HAVE EVIDENCE AS OF YET AS TO WHICH MODEL IS THE BEST, BUT I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR STATES TO THINK THROUGH THEIR INDIVIDUAL KIND OF CHARGES AND WHAT’S NECESSARY AND OF VALUE.>>SO WE DO SEE IN ABSENCE OF STRONG POLICY LEADERSHIP, WE SEE COMPANIES ACTUALLY SETTING UP AS WELL. I ALSO NOTE THAT THERE’S MEET LS AND LAGGERS. THERE WILL BE SOME COMPANIES AND STATES THAT LAG BEHIND THE OTHERS AND IN THOSE CASES, YES, IT WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN AND IT WILL HAPPEN MUCH LATER THAN THOSE THAT ARE TAKING THE LEADERSHIP ROLE.>>CARLEE SAYS THE COST OF SOLAR HAS DECREASED SIGNIFICANTLY IN RECENT YEARS AND THE TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPROVED TOO.>>IT’S PROJECTED THAT WE’LL GET 1.85 MILLION-KILOWATTS HERE. THAT’S ENOUGH POWER IN A YEAR TO POWER APPROXIMATELY 180 HOMES.>>WHILE SIMONS ADMITS THE POLICIES IN INDIANA MAKE IT MORE DESIRABLE.>>IF YOU ARE PRODUCING ELECTRICITY AT A HIGH ENOUGH RATE, YOUR PAYBACK IS PRETTY DARN GOOD ON SOLAR AND IT’S MUCH BETTER IN INDIANA — IT’S MUCH BETTER IN ILLINOIS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS THAT HELP DEFRAY THE COST, THE INITIAL START-UP COST OF A SOLAR SYSTEM AND IT WOULD BE NICE IF INDIANA HAD SOME OF THOSE.>>BUT SIMONS IS NOT COMPLAINING TOO MUCH.>>THERE’S MORE MONEY IN PRODUCING ELECTRONS THAN PRODUCING CORN AND SOYBEANS AT THIS TIME, PARTICULARLY AT THIS TIME.>>FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M BROCK TURNER.>>WELL, IF YOU WERE CONTACTED, CITY LIMITS WAS CONCERNED THAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE LEFT BEHIND OR FORGETTEN BY THEIR COMMUNITIES. WE ARE LOOKING AT WHAT EFFORTS THE CITY MAKES AND THE PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES PERCEIVE THESE EFFORTS AS SUFFICIENT.>>IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA, DAVID CARTER TALKS ABOUT THE WAYS BLOOMINGTON HAS CHANGED FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES IN THE LAST 30 YEARS. HE’S A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF COUNCIL FOR DISABILITIES.>>I’M A SITTING MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING.>>HE’S USED A WHEELCHAIR FOR 44 YEARS. CARTER SAYS THAT THOUGH THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE, BLOOMINGTON WAS AHEAD OF THE CURVE IN MAKING THE COMMUNITY MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES SINCE THE A.D.A. WAS PASSED IN 1990. HE SAYS MORE RAMP CUTS WERE DONE IN HEAVILY TRAFFICKED AREA. MAKING PROGRESS WAS NOT STRAIGHTFORWARD AT FIRST.>>TO LEARN A NEW TRADE, WHICH IS WHAT IS THE TECHNICAL NAME FOR CURB CUTS, IN SIDEWALKS WAS A NEW THING FOR THEM. AND THEY HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DO THAT. AND LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES THEY WOULD JUST DO IT THE OLD WAY, WHICH DID NOT INCLUDE CURB CUTS.>>BUT HE SAYS AS TIME HAS GONE ON, THINGS HAVE IMMOVED AND THEE COUNCIL AND THE CITY BECAME MORE COLLABORATIVE. THIS IS THE SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR FOR THE CITY’S COMMUNITY AND FAMILY RESOURCES DEPARTMENT AND IS THE STAFF LIAISON FOR THE COUNCIL FOR COMMUNITY ACCESSIBILITY. HE AGREES WITH CARTER THAT THE CITY HAS MANY THINGS THEY NEED TO IMPROVE FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABLES, BUT HE SAYS THAT THE CITY TAKES CARE TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE’S REQUESTS FOR IMPROVEMENT QUICKLY. SHERMAN SHOWS US ONE OF THE AREAS THE CITY REPAIRED RECENTLY FOR BETTER WHEELCHAIR ACCESS.>>JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, WHEN YOU CAME DOWN OFF OF THIS GRADE ON TO THIS ALLEYWAY HERE, IT HAD BEEN ALL BUMPY AND TORN UP AND BROKEN UP PIECES OF ASPHALT, AND WHEN TAKE WHEELCHAIR WERE TO GO OFF ON TO THAT, IT WOULD — IT WOULD, LIKE, BE REALLY DIFFICULT AND HARD TO LIFT UP AND GO OVER. WE PUT IN A — A REPORT ABOUT IT, AND THEY IMMEDIATELY CAME AND PUT ASPHALT ON IT AND THE GRADE IS NOW SMOOTH. MAYBE DAVID WOULD CARE TO DRIVE DOWN AND SHOW US. AND THERE YOU GO! NICE AND SMOOTH.>>HE SAYS THAT THE CITY MAKES EFFORTS TO MAKE THE TOWN MORE ACCESSIBLE THAT DON’T ALWAYS MEET THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES.>>IT HAS A METER THAT HAS AN ACCESSIBLE SYMBOL ON IT, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK TO SEE THE ACTUAL SPACE ITSELF, YOU REALIZE THAT IF SOMEBODY PARKS HERE, IF THEY NEED TO TRY TO GET OUT, THEY CAN’T GET OUT ON TO THE CURB, THEY HAVE TO GET OUT INTO THE STREET AND ROLL UP INTO THE STREET TO THE NEAREST PLACE WHERE THERE’S A CURB CUT, AND COME BACK DOWN AND ALL THE WAY DOWN TO GET TO THE METER.>>HE AND CARTER THEN DEMONSTRATE WHAT AN IDEAL ACCESSIBLE SPOT LOOKS LIKE.>>WHEN YOU PARK INTO IT, YOU DON’T NEED A FULL BLOWN ACCESS BEYOND IT BECAUSE IT GOES RIGHT ON TO THE SIDEWALK AND THE IT ENABLES HIM TO OUT REAL EASILY AND TURN AND MOVE RIGHT UP ON TO THE SIDEWALK WITH NOT THAT BIG OF A GRADE. HE CAN GO EITHER WAY.>>CARTER SAYS ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION, RAMPS AND PARKING ARE JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS THAT AFFECT PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES AND TO MAKE SURE THAT NO ONE IS LEFT OUT AS THE CITY PROGRESSES, PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES NEED TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF CHANGE.>>FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M BENTE BOUTHIER.>>THERE’S A LOT OF PRESSURE ON STUDENTS THESE DAYS, BETWEEN COMPLETING THEIR EDUCATION AND FITTING IN SOCIALLY, CAN BE A LOT TO HANDLE. ADAM PINSTER INTRODUCES US TO A NEW PROGRAM.>>THIS KRENTZER STARTED WHEN SHE WAS IN SEVENTH GRADE.>>I DIDN’T HAVE ANYBODY THERE TO TELL ME TO TELL ME TO KEEP GOING BEING DO YOUR WORK. I WAS SKIPPING CLASS. I WAS — I JUST KNEW I COULDN’T DO IT BY MYSELF.>>IT WASN’T THAT ALISON HAD DISCIPLINARY ISSUES. SHE FELT SHE COULDN’T MAKE IT WORK AT SOUTHPORT HIGH SCHOOL. SHE SUFFERED PANIC ATTACKS AND TOOK MEDICATION FOR ADHD.>>I WAS NOT A PERSON WHO WAS GOOD FOR A BIGGER CROWD OF PEOPLE.>>SHE ATTENDED JWR, PERRY TOWNSHIP’S ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM. THE PRINCIPAL TIM LOVEJOY SAYS THE GOAL OF COMPASS EDUCATION CENTER IS TO ENSURE THAT EACH STUDENT GRADUATES WITH A REALISTIC PLAN FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, WHETHER IT’S COLLEGE ENROLLMENT, MILITARY ENLISTMENT OR EMPLOYMENT WITH A LIVABLE WAGE. THE SCHOOL HAS 77 STUDENTS FROM THE PERRY TOWNSHIP DISTRICT. ALL THE STUDENTS WHO WANT TO ATTEND COMPASS HAVE TO APPLY AND BE ACCEPTED. LOVEJOY SAYS THE SCHOOL IS MODELED AFTER THE HARRIS ACADEMY IN BROWNSBURG. THEY ARE NOT HERE FOR DISCIPLINARY ISSUES. THEY ARE HERE BECAUSE THEY FELL BEHIND IN CREDITS OR SIMPLY LEARNED BETTER IN SMALLER ENVIRONMENTS.>>THIS IS A SYSTEM SET UP FOR KIDS WHO ARE SOCIALLY NOT MAKING IT IN THE BIG HIGH SCHOOLS.>>ALISON FELL RIGHT INTO THAT CATEGORY. SHE SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION HELPED HER GET BACK ON TRACK.>>MY TEACHERS HERE WOULD ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO HELP ME AND PUSH ME TO DO MY WORK. THEY WOULD ALWAYS CHECK ON ME AND MAKE SURE, LIKE, I’M ON MYSELF.>>LIKE A LOT OF KIDS WHO STRUGGLE IN THE CLASSROOM, ALISON WAS FACING PROBLEMS AT HOME. HER FATHER NEARLY COMMITTED SUICIDE. LIFE WAS DIFFICULT, BUT LOVEJOY AND HIS STAFF OFFERED A HELPING HAND.>>THERE WAS A TIME THAT IF I WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN AT SCHOOL WITH MR. LOVEJOY, MY DAD WOULD HAVE PASSED.>>STUDENTS AT COMPASS COMPLETE ALL THE NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS TO COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL, AND ADVANCE TO COLLEGE OR A VOCATIONAL OR TECHNICAL SCHOOL.>>WE HAVE FIVE CORPORATIONS COME IN, THREE COLLEGES. IVY TECH, IUPUI, AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CAME IN AND MET WITH OUR KIDS.>>ALISON DECIDED SHE WANTED TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY. AFTER GRADUATING SHE TOOK A JOB AT A LOCAL PRESCHOOL.>>I LOVE WORKING WITH THEM, AND TEACHING THEM AND BEING THERE FOR THEM.>>LOVEJOY SAYS HE GETS A LOT OF SATISFACTION FROM SEEING STUDENTS LIKE ALISON GO FROM STRUGGLING TO SUCCESSFUL YOUNG ADULTS.>>NO ONE HAS A BETTER JOB THAN ME. NO ONE IN THIS TOWNSHIP.>>FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK” I’M ADAM PINSKER.>>A NEW FILM FROM PEGASUS PICTURES IS DEBUTING AT THE BUZZ KIRK CHUMLEY THEATER.>>THERE’S NOT A LOT OF HUMANITY WHEN YOU SEE THAT IN FILM A LOT, AND I WANTED TO SHOW THAT SIDE OF IT.>>THE FILM IS ALSO BEING FEATURED IN THE HEARTLAND OF INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. PEGASUS PICTURES BEGAN ITS BUSINESS THREE YEARS HAG IN BLOOMINGTON AND HAS ALREADY PRODUCED THREE AWARD-WINNING FEATURE LENGTH FILMS.>>>INDIANA UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS ARE WORKING TO PREVENT THE EXTINCTION OF AN INDIGENOUSION TRIBE’S NATIVE LANGUAGE. THEY HAVE NAKOTA, AN ENDANGERED LANGUAGE, SPOKEN BY A TRIBE IN MONTANA. ENGLISH IS CURRENTLY THE TRIBE’S DOMINANT LANGUAGE AND THE CHILDREN HOPE THAT CHILDREN LEARN NAKOTA. THEY ARE WORKING ON RECORDED STORIES AND GRAMMAR LESSONS. THAT’S THE END OF THIS PROGRAM, BUT THE WORK CONTINUES ONLINE AS WE COVER THE NEWS THROUGHOUT THE WORK AT WTIUNEWS.ORG. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND. ♪>>”INDIANA NEWSDESK” IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *