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Right now on Indiana Newsdesk:

Students return to the classroom next week, but they will have to wear masks, according to the latest MCCSC guidelines. But many want masks to be optional.

Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise because of the value of the precious metals they contain. Ahead how to protect your car.

And we visit with a Bloomington non-profit that is actively recruiting out-of-state remote workers to the city.

Those stories and the latest news headlines from across the state, Friday at 6 on Indiana Newsdesk.

STATEWIDE COVERAGE (check local listings):

WFYI (Indianapolis) | Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on WFYI-3, Sundays at 1:00 p.m. on WFYI-1 (HD)

WTIU (Bloomington) | Fridays at 6:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:00 p.m.

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Recently From Indiana Newsdesk

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July 30, 2021

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Catlytic Converter

Catalytic Converter Thefts On The Rise In Indiana

The summer of 2021 may go down as one of the busiest for the folks at Beck Service Center South of Indianapolis.

July 30, 2021

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Masked Students

Masks In School, Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft | Indiana Newsdesk

MCCSC guidelines are calling for students to wear masks when school starts next week, but some want masks to be optional. How to protect your car from catalytic converter theft. And a Bloomington non-profit is recruiting out-of-state remote workers.

July 30, 2021

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An old photo of a group of friends is shared around a table.

International Friendship Day Is Every Day For Group In Indianapolis

Jesse Lowery, James “Stuff” Parks and Earl Wharton-El have been friends since the fourth grade, growing up in Indianapolis and attending Crispus Attucks High School together.

July 28, 2021

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larnternfly

Invasive Insect That Harms Wine Grapes, Fruit Trees Spotted In Indiana

An invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly has arrived in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says it was found in Switzerland County — located about halfway between Cincinnati and Louisville.

July 28, 2021

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Masked Students

MCCSC Updates COVID Protocols For Fall, Masks Still Required For Students

The new protocols modify the COVID guidelines currently in place, and closely follow updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – with slight modifications for vaccinated teachers.

July 26, 2021

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Victory Field Sunset

Indigenous People Say Indianapolis Indians Should Change Team Name

A spokesperson for the Indianapolis team said a nickname committee was formed last summer, and discussions are ongoing regarding changing the name.  

July 26, 2021

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morgenstern

'90s Bloomington Bookstore Morgenstern Books Opens Monday

A Bloomington bookshop from the ‘90s made its return Monday when Morgenstern Books opened on the east side of town at the old Pier 1 location. 

July 23, 2021

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Funeral procession casket coffin

Hoosiers Putting FEMA Funeral Reimbursement Program To Use

Hoosiers have collected more than $13,000,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in financial assistance for COVID-related funeral expenses, according to the agency’s most recent update.

July 23, 2021

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Steve Wolfgang funeral

FEMA COVID Funerals, IU's Olympic Swimmers And Divers | Indiana Newsdesk

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again in Indiana due to the delta variant. Hoosiers have received more than $13 million from FEMA for COVID-related funeral expenses. And IU’s proud history of Olympians will be on display in Tokyo.

July 23, 2021

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A sign promoting the Olympics at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.

IU Swimming And Diving Well-Represented At The Tokyo Olympics

Indiana University’s swimming and diving program has a proud history in the Olympics, and it will again be on display at the Summer Games in Tokyo.

VIEW MORE STORIES

July 22, 2021

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Remote Worker Program Attracting New Professionals To Bloomington

From full stack developers to TV casting producers, all types of people are looking to relocate. If all goes according to plan, 10 people will move to Bloomington before June 2022.

July 21, 2021

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City Of Bloomington Unsure If It Owns Homeless Encampment Land

The camp falls in city councilwoman Isabel Piedmont-Smith’s district. She said the mayor’s office is drafting a policy to address homeless encampments on city property.

July 21, 2021

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Can Indiana Meet The Proposed National Clean Energy Standard?

U.S. Senate Democrats have proposed a clean energy standard that calls for getting the country’s electricity from sources that don’t emit — or can capture — their greenhouse gases by 2035. But that could be a tall order for a state like Indiana.

July 16, 2021

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Low COVID Vaccination Rates, Hot Housing Market | Indiana Newsdesk

The uphill climb to get people vaccinated as the Delta variant takes hold. Indiana’s housing market is on fire. And police officers from across the country gathered in Terre Haute to remember an officer killed in the line of duty.

July 16, 2021

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Herd Immunity Via COVID-19 Vaccines 'A Fool's Errand' In Rural Indiana

With cases of the more infectious delta variant already increasing, in the state’s least vaccinated county, it is an uphill climb.

July 16, 2021

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History Through Headlines: Confederates Capture Newburgh With A Stove Pipe & Log

Confederate partisan Adam Rankin Johnson and about 30 men crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky, planning to capture the Union port town of Newburgh and its supplies.

July 16, 2021

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Home Scarcity Sits At Center Of Bloomington's Hot Housing Market

Bloomington’s a difficult place to find a home during normal times. But since the coronavirus pandemic, housing prices have skyrocketed and the housing market is red-hot.

July 13, 2021

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FBI Director: Slain Indiana Cop Did What 'Needed to Be Done'

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel from around Indiana and the country attended Tuesday’s funeral of Terre Haute Police Detective Greg Ferency, who was killed in the line of duty last week.

July 9, 2021

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COVID Delta Variant, Company Productivity Post-COVID | Indiana Newsdesk

Health officials are calling the COVID delta the most disturbing variant. As the economy reopens, companies are learning about productivity. And it’s not uncommon to lose power during a storm, but why does it seem to happen to some people more than others?

July 9, 2021

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IU Student-Athletes Now Eligible To Make Money Off Name, Image And Likeness

The rule change essentially ends amateurism in collegiate athletics. Third-aprty entities such as companies, boosters and social media platforms can all compensate players.

July 9, 2021

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Companies Try To Accommodate Employees Post COVID

As the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, people are discovering they are more comfortable working from home than they were at the start of the pandemic.

July 8, 2021

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Can Seventh Street Still Accommodate Buses After Bike Lane Construction?

7-Line construction is not creating more room for buses to drive, but it is redrawing more consistent boundaries. Instead of the threat of parked cars, buses are now confined between the curb and oncoming traffic. 

July 6, 2021

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Hoosier Voting Advocates Rally For Federal Election Reform Bill

Hoosier citizen advocacy groups want U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) to vote for the federal voting reform bill known as the “For The People Act.”

July 2, 2021

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Dead Song Birds, New Laws, Ammo Shortage | Indiana Newsdesk

Investigators are scrambling to figure out why the number of dead song birds is soaring across the state. New laws took effect this week. And an ammunition shortage isn’t just affecting recreational gun owners.

July 2, 2021

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Police Departments, Firing Ranges Concerned About Ammunition Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the 2020 presidential election caused a perfect storm that led to a dramatic spike in the cost of ammunition.

July 2, 2021

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We Still Don't Know Why 'Hundreds' Of IN Songbirds Are Mysteriously Getting Sick

Now, hundreds of sick and dying birds with these same symptoms have been reported in more than 50 counties across the state. DNR officials say those reports are likely conservative compared to the actual number of afflicted birds.

July 2, 2021

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One Year Later, Where Do Things Stand With The Incident At Lake Monroe?

It’s been nearly a year since Bloomington activist Vauhxx Booker found himself surrounded and pinned against a tree. The case against his alleged attackers is slowly making its way through the legal system.

July 1, 2021

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Why Is My Power Out But My Neighbor's Isn't?

Every time a storm rolls in, Steve Higgs gathers an oil lamp, candles and matches, because, more often than not, his power goes out.

June 30, 2021

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Monroe County Fair Returns With Livestock Shows

To the average visitor, the county fair means fried food, rides and demolition derbies. But for those in 4-H, it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work.

June 30, 2021

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Indiana Rye Whiskey Law Takes Effect July 1

Indiana is officially entering the rye whiskey market, an industry traditionally dominated by Kentucky and Tennessee.

June 29, 2021

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Programs To Lure Remote Workers To Indiana Have Arrived – But Do They Work?

Campus tours happen all the time at Purdue University, but one recently was a little different. Instead of fresh-faced high schoolers, they’re actively recruiting adults with jobs that allow them to work remotely.

June 25, 2021

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Flooding Cleanup, Bloomington Plex Amendment Reactions | Indiana Newsdesk

The aftermath from a month’s worth of rain last weekend and what the city is doing to prevent it from happening again. Some residents felt left out of the plexes zoning process. And the COVID-19 vaccination lawsuit against Indiana University.

June 18, 2021

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Rail Service, Critical Race Theory, Black Farmers | Indiana Newsdesk

Some IU Health workers say vaccination requirements are a huge overreach. Hoosiers are hopeful a $10 billion infrastructure proposal will help expand rail service. And some Indiana officials are opposing the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

June 18, 2021

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‘Trying To Hang On ‘Til I’m Gone’: How A Black Hoosier Farm Family Persists

Lyles Station, Indiana used to be a haven for Black farm families. Now, that tradition is more of a distant memory.

June 18, 2021

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Classroom Conflict: Hoosier Politicians, Parents Brood Over Critical Race Theory

IU Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law Kevin Brown joined Indiana Newsdesk to discuss critical race theory and the controversy around it.

June 18, 2021

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Indiana Passenger Rail Advocates Remain Hopeful For Future Expansion

President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill is bringing hope to those who want to see increased passenger rail service in Indiana.

June 15, 2021

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Solar Capacity Doubles In Indiana, More Big Projects Proposed

Big solar projects in Indiana this year have already doubled the state’s solar capacity. A new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association said the state now has enough solar to power more than 111,000 homes.

June 13, 2021

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Some IU Health Staffers Reject COVID-19 Vaccine Despite Requirement

IU Health is telling its employees they must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September if they want to keep their jobs. Some workers aren’t happy about that.

June 11, 2021

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Bloomington Annexation, Student Housing Boom | Indiana Newsdesk

Annexation is back on the agenda for Bloomington, but the proposal is a hard sell for some non-city residents. The demand for student housing continues, but is there a tipping point. And parents protest IU’s vaccination policy.

June 10, 2021

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Hundreds Protesting IU’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

More than a hundred protestors gathered in front of the Sample Gates Thursday to protest Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.

June 10, 2021

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Bloomington Counselor Offers EMDR Therapy Following Military Trainings

Tom Phelps, a licensed mental health counselor, said he wanted to help people, especially veterans with PTSD, process the sounds of war.  

June 10, 2021

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Bloomington's Annexation Proposal A Hard Sell For Some Non-City Residents

Bloomington’s mayor wants to catch up on the size of the city by annexing property in Monroe County’s jurisdiction into the city. The city’s last annexation took place in 2004.

June 8, 2021

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Hamilton To Ask Council For "Multi-Million" Chunk Of Rescue Plan For Housing

The City of Bloomington is preparing to roll out its long-term strategy for addressing housing insecurity and homelessness within the next few weeks.

June 7, 2021

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Artists Create Paint-By-Numbers Mural On Walls Of Bloomington Glass Center

Volunteer artists braved the heat and cicadas Saturday afternoon outside Bloomington’s Creative Glass Center making a 27-foot “paint by numbers” mural to hang on the center’s walls near the northern entrance of Switchyard Park.

June 7, 2021

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Brood X Cicada Population On Par With 2004 Emergence

He said the total population of cicadas is currently peaking with the latest emergence at the end of last week. He anticipates a handful of late arrivals but says majority of the population will taper off by the end of June.

June 4, 2021

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Scott Co. Ends Needle Exchange, Dredging Lake Lemon | Indiana Newsdesk

Scott County ends a needle exchange program. Indiana University is still requiring vaccinations for all student, staff, and faculty, but they won’t have to submit proof. And plans are approved to dredge Lake Lemon.

June 4, 2021

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City of Bloomington Begins Construction On Two-Way Protected Bike Lane

Once finished, the path will be almost three-quarters of a mile long and the first two-way protected bike lane in the city.

June 4, 2021

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Lake Lemon Dredging Project To Begin in 2022

Conservation managers say the health of the lake is at risk unless a massive dredging project is completed. 

June 3, 2021

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Scott County Commissioners Vote To End Groundbreaking Needle Exchange

Healthcare and recovery workers are concerned about the effects ending the needle exchange could have. It’s become a cornerstone of the county’s recovery system, they're worried they could soon lose contact with many drug users.

May 28, 2021

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Airport Volume Increasing, Indy 500 Diversifying | Indiana Newsdesk

How airports and airlines are handling the increase in travelers after the loosening of COVID restrictions. Roger Penske’s initiative to diversify IndyCar racing. And truckers are asking the state to increase the number of parking spots at rest stops.

May 28, 2021

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Majority-Women Team To Make History At This Year's Indianapolis 500, Part Of Broader Effort

Simona De Silvestro drives for Paretta Autosport and will be the only woman driver in the field of 33 cars. But that’s not the only unique aspect of Paretta. The team is made up of mostly women, about 70%.

May 28, 2021

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As Indianapolis International Airport Emerges From COVID-19, The Travelers Are Different

Leisure travelers are returning quickly, but that can’t be said for more lucrative business travelers.

May 28, 2021

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EPA Moves To De-List Bloomington Superfund Sites

The EPA took steps this month to remove Neal’s landfill, Lemon Lane landfill and Bennet Stone Quarry superfund sites from its EPA’s National Priorities List.

May 28, 2021

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Truckers Urge Indiana & Other States To Upgrade Rest Areas

While rest areas give drivers a chance to stretch their legs or use the bathroom during a long trip, they are essential for long haul truckers.

May 28, 2021

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Opposition From Republican Officials Grows Against IU COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

The vast majority of the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to IU Thursday, expressing “grave concerns” over what they call its “heavy-handed mandate.”

May 27, 2021

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Bloomington's Switchyard Dog Park A Place To Let Your Pups Run Free

But there are places in the city where you can let your dog run free. The newest is a nearly seven-acre dog park at Switchyard Park.

May 21, 2021

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History Through Headlines: The Inaugural Little 500

The Little 500 returns this weekend after the coronavirus pandemic forced its cancelation for the first time in race history.

May 21, 2021

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Syringe Exchange Debate, Refugee Resettlements | Indiana Newsdesk

Advocates are boosting efforts to promote Scott County’s syringe service program. Indiana resettlement groups are eager to resume their work helping refugees. And hundreds of Native American remains were returned to southern Indiana.

May 21, 2021

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Columbus Looking To Become Indiana's First 'Bee City'

Columbus hopes to join more than 200 other cities already designated as bee cities, but it would become the first in Indiana.

May 21, 2021

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Refugee Organizations Face Uphill Climb In Returning To Pre-Trump Levels

President Joe Biden recently raised the cap on the number of refugees the U.S. accepts to 62,500, a reversal of Trump-era policy of lowering the level for years.

May 20, 2021

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Indiana University Repatriates 700+ Native American Remains To Angel Mounds

Glenn Black discovered the remains during digs at the southern Indiana site between 1939 and 1964, but modern techniques have changed the way the mounds are studied.

May 19, 2021

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Healthcare, Recovery Workers Host Town Hall On Scott County Syringe Service Program

With the future of Scott County’s syringe service program (SSP) in jeopardy, advocates are upping efforts to promote it.

May 17, 2021

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Brood X Has Arrived In Indiana. What Now?

Researchers predict Bloomington will be one of the places hardest-hit by the periodical cicadas, with millions expected to emerge over the next couple of days to begin molting and mating.

May 14, 2021

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Construction Surge, Koryta Makes Mark In Hollywood | Indiana Newsdesk

The state’s latest push to encourage people to get vaccinated. Local officials acted swiftly to reinstate mask orders after a new state law. Bloomington native and best-selling author Michael Koryta talks about his new film starring Angelina Jolie.

May 14, 2021

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Pedestrian Advocates Say 'No Turn On Red' Ordinance A Step In The Right Direction

The report from the city Traffic Commission pitches the signs as a way to advance Bloomington’s Comprehensive and Transportation plans: it’ll improve pedestrian access and prioritizes safety and accessibility over capacity.

May 14, 2021

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City Council Adopts Duplex Zoning Ordinance, New UDO Zoning Map

Bloomington city council rejected an amendment, passed the duplex zoning ordinance, and adopted the new zoning map Thursday night.

May 14, 2021

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Bestselling Author Michael Koryta Making His Mark On Hollywood

Bloomington native Michael Koryta's thriller novel "Those Who Wish Me Dead" starring Angelina Jolie premieres Friday in theaters nationwide and HBO Max.

May 11, 2021

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It's Not The First Time Indiana's Governor And Legislature Have Been At Odds Like This

According to University of Indianapolis history professor A. James Fuller, what we’re seeing now pales in comparison to what happened during the Civil War, when Oliver Morton was governor.

May 7, 2021

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Restaurants Searching For Workers, Cicada Emergence | Indiana Newsdesk

Restaurants that survived the last 14 months, are now struggling to find workers. Get ready – here come the cicadas, we’ll answer your questions. And how new public restrooms means festivals are back in Spencer.

May 7, 2021

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Restaurants Are Struggling To Find Workers, But Is There Really A Shortage?

The recovery for owners might be more harder than originally thought.

May 7, 2021

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Bloomington's Charlie Bird To Be Immortalized In Upcoming Children's Book

The book is called “Charlie Bird Loves Bloomington,” and it features Charlie and Porowski doing their favorite activities around town — whether it’s biking the B-line trail or dancing at the famers market.

May 7, 2021

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Housing Industry Booms Through Pandemic

Many industries came to a standstill during the pandemic, but the home construction business has thrived.

May 7, 2021

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No, Cicadas Won't Eat Your Flowers: Here's What To Expect Before Brood X Arrives

Brood X (pronounced "Brood Ten"), is the group of periodical cicadas that emerges from the dirt once every 17 years to shed their crunchy exoskeletons, sing, mate and usher their babies back into the dirt before the cycle starts anew.

May 6, 2021

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Glenn Close Costume Collection Now On Display At Eskenazi Art Museum

Actors don’t normally keep their costumes. So Close says it’s now automatically in her contract that she keeps her costumes.

May 6, 2021

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How Many Downtown Apartments Are Too Many? That's An Ongoing Question

On the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue in Bloomington, construction workers race to complete another downtown apartment complex.

May 6, 2021

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Credited With Slowing The HIV Outbreak, Scott County's Needle Exchange Now In Jeopardy

In 2015, Scott County was the epicenter of a severe HIV outbreak spurred by intravenous drug use. A syringe service program helped slow the epidemic, but county commissioners feel it might be time to end them.

May 3, 2021

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Owen County Unveils New Public Restrooms In Downtown Spencer

Residents and local officials gathered in Spencer Monday to celebrate the grand opening of the town’s new public restroom facility – complete with a “ribbon cutting” of a roll of toilet paper.

April 30, 2021

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Vaccine Availability Increasing, Annexation, Emerald Ash Borer | Indiana Newsdesk

State health officials are redoubling their efforts to make it easier to get COVID-19 shots. Bloomington is resuming its annexation process. And we talk to experts about how to handle the invasive emerald ash borer.

April 30, 2021

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Little 500 Back On This Year, But At Later Date With Fewer Teams

Instead of the traditional April race dates, the men’s and women’s races will be on a Wednesday, May 26. And because the race will come well after the end of IU’s spring semester, and graduation - some teams had to drop out.

April 30, 2021

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Governor Signs Controversial Wetlands Bill Into Law

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a controversial bill into law that takes away state protections for many of Indiana’s wetlands.

April 30, 2021

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"We've Hit A Wall": Vaccine Hesitancy Worries Health Officials, Especially In Rural Areas

The Indiana Department of Health called a news conference Wednesday to provide updates on the vaccine rollout and discuss trends. It began with a literal plea from the health commissioner for Hoosiers to get vaccinated.

April 29, 2021

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Emerald Ash Borer Populations Continue Posing Safety Hazard In Indiana

The Emerald Ash Borer has expanded to more than 30 states since first appearing in Michigan in 2002, but Indiana’s worst days are in the past.

April 23, 2021

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State Budget Priorities, UDO, Pandemic Hotel Bookings | Indiana Newsdesk

A look at the state’s spending priorities. Graduation ceremonies are just a couple weeks away, why it’s important to read the fine print before booking a hotel. And one of the greatest threats to native plant species.

April 23, 2021

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Booking A Hotel For IU's Commencement? Take Caution, Experts Say

IU Bloomington is hosting its undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 8.

April 23, 2021

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This Flowering Tree Is Everywhere In Indiana — And It's Crowding Out Native Species

Midwestern springtime is heralded by the return of birdsong and sunshine, but warmer temperatures also mark new growth cycles for invasive – and sometimes stinky – plant species.

April 23, 2021

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Republicans Call 2021 Legislative Session 'Transformational;' Democrats Praise Progress

The session ended on a note of bipartisanship, with almost every Democrat joining Republicans to vote for the new state budget.

April 22, 2021

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How Could Changes To The UDO Impact Bloomington's Core Neighborhoods?

One of the most controversial measures being considered is legalizing duplexes in most of the core neighborhoods, where they are currently not allowed.

April 16, 2021

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Monroe Co. Broadband Build Could Be Model For Future Investment

A partnership between the area’s REMC and Smithville Fiber made it possible.

April 16, 2021

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Healthcare Workers Scramble Amid J&J Pause, Fight Vaccine Skepticism

The FDA’s decision Monday to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine over fears of blood clotting was met with a flurry of activity.

April 16, 2021

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Vaccine Hesitancy, Child Tax Credit, Broadband Access | Indiana Newsdesk

Indiana paused its use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine – ahead, the potential blow to public confidence in all of the vaccines. More on a tax program aimed a reducing child poverty. And the challenge getting broadband internet to all Hoosiers.

April 16, 2021

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Local Leaders Waiting On Guidance To Spend Millions Of Rescue Plan Funding

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says the city’s first deposit of The American Rescue Plan Act fund is supposed to arrive by May 11. The problem is, he can’t start working on what to do with it.

April 16, 2021

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Hoosiers Hopeful After IRS Announces Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Start July

The federal COVID relief package includes an expanded child tax credit for 2021 that for the first time will include direct payments to families. The IRS announced Tuesday payments will start July. Some have hailed the plan as a new direction for anti-poverty policy.

April 13, 2021

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Pharmacists Rush To Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Following FDA's J&J Pause

Pharmacists are often the first, and in some cases, the only health care providers in rural Indiana communities.

April 13, 2021

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Bob Ross Exhibit In Muncie Draws Visitors Despite Pandemic

The curator hopes that visitors will walk away empowered to be fearlessly creative.

April 9, 2021

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Wetland Protections, Dillinger's Jailbreak Car, COVID Update | Indiana Newsdesk

A controversial bill that would remove protections for Indiana’s wetlands is another step closer to becoming law. Crown Point residents welcomed home a police car that infamous gangster John Dillinger used in his jailbreak. And an exhibited dedicated to Bob Ross.

April 7, 2021

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Indiana AG Todd Rokita To Begin Big Tech Censorship Probe

Legal experts agree private companies are not subject to the First Amendment, therefore can censor any voices they choose, but Rokita hopes to understand how companies craft policies and whether they break any Indiana laws.

April 7, 2021

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Black Vultures Are Causing Problems On Farms, Purdue Needs Help Researching Them

Black vultures have been harassing and sometimes killing calves, costing Indiana cattle farmers money. Purdue University researchers need farmers’ help to study the problem so they can come up with solutions.

April 7, 2021

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Indiana Lawmakers Dial Back Controversial Wetlands Bill

The bill change also alters mitigation requirements, which Republican Rep. Harold Slager, of Schererville, said is meant to help property owners cut down costs associated with wetlands upkeep.

April 6, 2021

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Plan Commission Finishes UDO Hearings, Final Recommendation Passes On To City Council

The month-long hearing process has resulted in significant additions to the local zoning law. Most notably, legalizing duplexes in many of Bloomington’s core neighborhoods despite heavy community pushback.

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