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Right now on Indiana Newsdesk:

Many restaurants haven’t survived the last 14 months, and those that did are now struggling to reopen. Ahead more on the economics that are leaving many restaurants searching for workers.

Get ready, you soon won’t be able to escape the sounds of cicadas. Coming up, answers to your questions – how to prepare your trees for cicadas, how long the singing bugs will stick around, and how you can help scientists track them.

Plus, nearly two years of work pays off in Owen County. How a new public restroom means festivals are back in downtown Spencer.

Those stories and the latest news headlines from across the state, right now on Indiana Newsdesk.

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For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

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May 7, 2021

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A Brood X cicada in 2004.

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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A Brood X cicada in 2004.

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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Two cicadas.

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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The exhibition features many of Cruella de Vil's iconic costumes from "101 Dalmatians" and "102 Dalmatians."

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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syringe exchange

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 restrooms

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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Dr. Lindsey Weaver said opening to walk-in appointments has increased traffic at the state’s mass vaccination clinics in Indianapolis and Gary.

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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Alpha Xi Delta rider Jessica Hamilton talks about the upcoming Little 500 race.

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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An Indiana Department of Environmental Management employee inspects an area in Hamilton County where an agricultural tile has been damaged, causing what they call an isolated wetland to form over time, 2017.

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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Steve Lyday Morgan County Health Department

"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.

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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.

April 3, 2021

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Police Car Stolen By Dillinger Returned To Indiana

A police vehicle stolen by infamous gangster John Dillinger in 1934, was returned to Lake County Indiana.

April 2, 2021

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GOP Inclusivity, COVID Cases Increase, Hoosier Basketball | Indiana Newsdesk

Minorities wonder how Indiana’s GOP of all White people can represent the whole state. COVID cases rise as restrictions loosen. The Hoosier women’s historic NCAA Tournament run ends and the IU men’s team has a new coach.

April 2, 2021

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Indiana Democrats, Republicans Hoping For More Diverse Legislature After Heckling Incident

The state GOP says increasing diversity within the party is a grassroots effort, and won't happen overnight.

April 1, 2021

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Teri Moren Agrees To Contract Extension At Indiana

The university and Moren agreed to a contract extension through 2027, increasing her annual average compensation to $862,500.

April 1, 2021

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Remembering Razed Neighborhood At Second And Rogers

In the 1950s, Second and Rogers was the type of neighborhood that no longer exists - a neighborhood where nobody locked their door, and kids spent every hour of sunlight in the park. 

March 31, 2021

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Holcomb Still Dropping COVID-19 Restrictions As Virus's Spread Worsens

COVID-19 statistics have all been going in the wrong direction in recent days or weeks. And State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the state has identified the UK, Brazil, South Africa and California variants of the virus in Indiana.

March 29, 2021

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Woodson Looking To Bridge Gap Between IU's Past And Present

Mike Woodson may be a name unfamiliar to today’s players, but it is one that resonates with long-time fans of Indiana basketball. 

March 26, 2021

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Loosening Restrictions, Long-Term Care Facilities, Restaurant Relief | Indiana Newsdesk

The governor is lifting COVID restrictions. But is it too soon? Some caregiver families say they’re struggling with strict policies that make it hard to coordinate visits. And the pandemic’s toll on restaurants.

March 26, 2021

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Indiana Women Ride Defense Into NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16

It’s all about defense for the Indiana women’s basketball team.

March 26, 2021

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Despite Policy Shift, Caregivers Say Nursing Home Visitation Remains A Struggle

Throughout Indiana, long-term care visitation policies vary widely. Some are adhering to the guidance; others remain fully closed to unvaccinated outside visitors.

March 24, 2021

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Indiana Officials Defend Decision To End All COVID-19 Restrictions

Indiana officials Wednesday defended the decision to end all statewide COVID-19 restrictions, weeks or months before all Hoosiers will get a chance to get vaccinated.

March 24, 2021

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Study: Drought Puts More Hoosiers With Private Wells At Risk From Arsenic

Arsenic naturally occurs in the ground, but long-term exposure to the metal in drinking water can increase your risk for all kinds of health problems — including bladder, lung, prostate, and skin cancers.

March 22, 2021

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'Forever Foreign': AAPI Hoosiers Push For Justice Amid Virus-Related Racism, Violence

In January 2020, COVID-19 wasn’t an issue on most Americans’ minds. But IU history professor Ellen Wu said she had a feeling that something that could endanger the Asian American community – beyond just a virus – was coming.

March 22, 2021

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U.S. Forest Service Recruiting Volunteers To Dig Up Invasive Garlic Mustard

Volunteers armed with gloves and plastic bags were out Saturday pulling up the plant by its roots at Blackwell Horsecamp south of Bloomington.

March 19, 2021

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Vaccine Expansion, High School Semi-State Crowds, Delivery Apps | Indiana Newsdesk

Why Indiana is not expanding vaccine eligibility as quickly as other states. Proposed legislation makes it easier to send convicted juveniles to adult prisons. And how food delivery services are cashing in at the expense of local restaurants.

March 19, 2021

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Local Health Departments Struggle To Enforce Protocols As Some High Schools Pack Gyms

Images of celebrations and crowds in high school gyms across Indiana were commonplace pre-pandemic. Now, they’re a cause for concern.

March 19, 2021

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The Mill Launches Entrepreneur Program For Formerly Incarcerated

ReBoot is a six-week program designed to help participants focus their business ideas and work to fill customer needs.

March 19, 2021

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After Splitting Sales With Delivery Services, Restaurants Eager For Dine-In Customers

After splitting sales with food delivery services for a year, many restauranteurs are hoping the waning pandemic will bring business back to their physical locations.

March 19, 2021

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Advocates Worry About Bill That Could Result In More Juvenile Incarcerations

Legislation making its way through the General Assembly could make it easier for juvenile offenders to end up serving time in adult prisons. 

March 12, 2021

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MCCSC Parent Frustrated By Required Standardized Testing After Remote Learning

Some families have called for the state to cancel standardized testing, while officials say learning loss due to remote schooling makes the tests more important than ever.

March 12, 2021

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One Year of COVID-19 In Indiana | Indiana Newsdesk Special

It’s been a year since COVID-19 arrived in Indiana. We reflect on the Hoosiers we’ve lost and those who became heroes. The pandemic ground the economy to a halt, a record number turned to foodbanks, and measuring student progress.

March 12, 2021

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Bloomington Emergency Room Staff Feeling Strain From Year Of Pandemic

This past year has been a trying one for Dr. Drew Watters and the staff at IU Health Bloomington in many ways.

March 12, 2021

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Pandemic Highlights Importance Of Addiction Recovery Community, Programs

Statewide, overdose events increased by 50 percent in 2020, and administration of Naloxone, the drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose, increased by nearly 70 percent.

March 11, 2021

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One Bloomington Man Shares His Experience Of Loss, Recovery During COVID-19

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 Hoosiers in the last year. It’s difficult to understand the magnitude of a number like that until you start talking to people who have lost loved ones.

March 10, 2021

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Federal Government, Indiana Issue New Mandates For Nursing Home Visitation

Indiana and the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new visitation guidance Wednesday for long-term care facility operators that effectively end year-long lockdowns in many facilities.

March 10, 2021

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Indiana Food Insecurity Has Doubled During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Almost one million Hoosiers were food insecure before 2020, about 15 percent of the state’s population. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, that number has roughly doubled.

March 5, 2021

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Vaccination Increase, Black Legislative Caucus, High Electric Bills | Indiana Newsdesk

Hoosiers 50 and older can now get the COVID vaccine, and teachers can get the shot as well. Why are customers paying higher electric bills? And how state leaders are addressing racism, equity, and civility.

March 5, 2021

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This Winter's High Energy Bills Due To Cold Weather

Even though this winter’s temperatures were average in the context of the past 30 years, there has not been a colder winter since 2014-2015.

March 5, 2021

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Black Lawmakers Asking For GOP Accountability After Heckling Incident

The head of Indiana’s House Republicans says he will not tolerate unruly behavior from his GOP colleagues.

March 4, 2021

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Ordinance Protecting Bloomington Homeless Encampments Fails

The measure would have offered certain protections to people experiencing homeless in the Bloomington community who are currently sleeping outside in public spaces.

March 3, 2021

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Indiana Opens Vaccine Registration To Hoosiers 50 And Older, Second Expansion This Week

The Indiana Dept. of Health lowered the minimum age to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to 50 years old Wednesday afternoon.

February 26, 2021

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Vaccine Site Tour, Racially Restrictive Covenants | Indiana Newsdesk

Some rural communities are facing an uphill battle to administer the vaccine. How racially restrictive covenants limited access for African-Americans to get a home during the 20th century. And an Indiana Statehouse update.

February 26, 2021

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In Rural Indiana, Volunteers Outnumber Staff In Some COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Rural health departments are working to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, and many are running into issues beyond just hesitancy.

February 25, 2021

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Here's What It's Like Inside the Monroe Convention Center Vaccination Site

Monroe County health officials are receiving and administering about 800 COVID-19 vaccines a week.

February 25, 2021

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Bloomington Officials Split On Ordinance That Would Protect Homeless Camps

The proposed law would ban the city from removing homeless encampments, like the ones seen in Seminary Park this winter, unless sufficient housing options are available.

February 25, 2021

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Black History In Southern Indiana: Racially Restrictive Housing Covenants In Bloomington

Our look back at Black history in Southern Indiana stays right here in Bloomington, where reporter Mitch Legan tackles a City Limits question: What's the city's history of racially restrictive housing covenants?

February 24, 2021

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Indiana Cracks Down On Clinics Violating COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Guidelines

Indiana officials announced Wednesday they’re cracking down on clinics that are vaccinating Hoosiers for COVID-19 who are not eligible under the state’s guidelines.

February 22, 2021

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Nationwide Gas Price Hike Being Felt In Indiana

Indiana is among 10 states that experienced the largest increase in gas prices over the past week.

February 19, 2021

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Homebound Hoosiers Vaccination, Private School Vouchers | Indiana Newsdesk

The COVID-19 vaccine age requirement is pushed back due to the winter storms. Some argue a bill expanding private school vouchers would divert funds from public education. And we visit a Tuskegee Airmen training ground in Seymour.

February 19, 2021

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Area Agencies On Aging Partner With State To Get Vaccine To Homebound Hoosiers

There are now almost 400 sites around the state for eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. But just getting to a site can be an issue for some Hoosiers.

February 19, 2021

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Black History In Southern Indiana: The Freeman Field Mutiny

WFIU continues its look back on Black History in Southern Indiana by turning our attention to Seymour, where the city’s connection to the Tuskegee Airmen continues to inspire.

February 17, 2021

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Newfields President Resigns Amid Outrage Over 'White Art Audience' Job Posting

An independent committee will conduct a review of Newfields’ leadership, culture and boards. It will also expand exhibitions and programming for and by Black and other marginalized communities and conduct anti-racism training.

February 16, 2021

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Former Ed Chiefs McCormick, Ritz & Reed Criticize Voucher Expansion Legislation

A bipartisan group of former Indiana education chiefs are speaking out against Republican-led legislation to expand the state’s private school voucher program.

February 15, 2021

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Mid-States Corridor Weighing Possible Routes

Officials with the Mid-States Corridor expect to pick a preferred route this fall to connect Southern Indiana to Central Indiana.

February 12, 2021

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Pandemic Driving Up Demand For Used Cars In Indiana

Lower interest rates and a dwindling supply of new cars fueled a used car buying Frenzy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 12, 2021

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African-American Vaccination Rates, Legislative Update | Indiana Newsdesk

The state still has no plans to vaccinate teachers and other essential workers. African-Americans are receiving the vaccine at a-lower rate than the rest of the population. And the latest from the Indiana Statehouse.

February 12, 2021

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Advocates Face Uphill Battle Against Vaccine Hesitancy In Minority Communities

As the state continues to expand vaccine eligibility, racial disparities and hesitancy in the Black community are becoming apparent.

February 12, 2021

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Schimpff's Confectionary Celebrates Valentine's Day And 130 Years

Last spring, the candy store had to sell Easter candy for 75% off as the pandemic hit. Although sales have bounced back, they are not up to pre-pandemic levels.

February 10, 2021

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House Committee Debates Bill To Eliminate Indiana Handgun Licenses

Indiana law enforcement groups are on both sides of a debate over legislation that would no longer require Hoosiers to get a handgun license.

February 9, 2021

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Authorities Investigating Greene County Covered Bridge Fire As Arson

An arson investigation is underway after Taylor Fire Rescue discovered a pile of matches and a can of gasoline just before 10 a.m. Sunday.

February 9, 2021

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Columbus Seeking Bloomingfoods To Fill Need As Urban Grocer

The city is working with developer Flaherty & Collins to build a $39 million mixed-use building with 200 apartments, parking, and retail space.

February 5, 2021

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Vaccination Update, Sen. Young On Impeachment Jury, Town Clock Church | Indiana Newsdesk

The latest on the state’s vaccine rollout plan. Indiana Senator Todd Young will be one of the jurors in next week’s Senate impeachment trial. And we spotlight the Town Clock Church in New Albany.

February 5, 2021

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With Impeachment Trial Looming, Hoosier Republicans Send Mixed Signals

A Senate conviction could bar Trump from running for public office again. Trump’s legal team has argued he cannot be impeached because he no longer holds office.

February 5, 2021

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Black History In Southern Indiana: New Albany's Town Clock Church

Located just a few hundred yards north of the Ohio River, New Albany's Town Clock Church was a key stop on the Underground Railroad.

February 3, 2021

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Nursing Homes Must Allow Visitors During Lockdown Under Senate Bill

Legislation approved by the Indiana Senate would require all nursing homes to allow at least some limited visitation for their residents – even during a pandemic.

February 1, 2021

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Almost 40 Cities Working To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through IU Program

Nine cities in Indiana will work on projects to reduce their impact on the planet: Bloomington, Carmel, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, Richmond, West Lafayette and Zionsville.

January 29, 2021

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Our Reporters Who've Been Covering The Federal Executions Now Have COVID

Two reporters from the WFIU/WTIU newsroom covering federal executions in Terre Haute tested positive for COVID-19. Why didn't the U.S. Prison Bureau notify other journalists that they might have been exposed?

January 29, 2021

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State Museum Highlights Opioid Crisis While Overdoses Soar

More than 800 Hoosiers died in the first six months of 2020 from overdoses, according to Indiana Department of Health preliminary data. That’s a 41% increase compared to the first six months of 2019.

January 29, 2021

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COVID Vaccine Precautions, Liability Protections | Indiana Newsdesk

The state is expected to lower the age requirement for Hoosiers seeking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine sooner than later. Some worry if COVID-19 liability protections could strip the rights of workers. And an exhibition about opioid deaths.

January 29, 2021

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Some Grocery Stores Continue To Ban Reusable Bags, Despite Low Risk Of COVID-19 Spread

While some stores allow customers to bring reusable bags, others don’t. The science on how the virus spreads has evolved — and some question the need to continue reusable bag bans.

January 29, 2021

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IU Expert Says To Maintain COVID Prevention Practices Even After Getting Vaccine

While you may be partially protected after the first dose and even more so after the second, you still need to follow the CDC guidelines of using preventative measure against the virus – wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.

January 29, 2021

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COVID-19 Liability Protection Bill Signed Into Law, Prompting Concern From Some Workers

Some workers are concerned Indiana is going too far.

January 27, 2021

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Indiana Black Caucus Pleased With Progress Of Justice Reform Agenda

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus says it’s pleased with progress so far this session on its justice reform agenda.

January 22, 2021

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Vaccination Eligibility, Libertarian Party Momentum | Indiana Newsdesk

The latest on who can sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. What’s next after the city removed a homeless camp from a Bloomington park. And how the Libertarian Party is working to capitalize on last year’s momentum.

January 22, 2021

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Angel: A Therapy Dog Remembered

Therapists said she had eyes that looked into your soul.

January 22, 2021

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History Through Headlines: The Election Of 1968, Birch Bayh & The Electoral College

The inauguration of President Joe Biden this week officially brought an end to the 2020 election saga. Former President Donald Trump’s wave of lawsuits over results put the Electoral College in the spotlight once again.

January 22, 2021

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Indiana Libertarians Working To Capitalize On Rainwater Momentum

After Donald Rainwater's performance in the 2020 gubernatorial election, Indiana Libertarians are working to ensure that a vote for the party in 2020 wasn’t just an opportunity to chide the state government over coronavirus emergency mandates.

January 21, 2021

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Amid Spread Of New Virus Variation, Officials Advise Doubling Down On Pandemic Protocols

“I think it’s time to consider using more protective masks. Surgical masks, isolation masks, N-95s and things like that that are more protective. Maybe those are more important than they were before.”

January 20, 2021

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2020 Marked Another Year Indiana Was Hotter Than Normal

According to NASA, 2020 tied with 2016 for the hottest year on record globally. Though it was only the 14th the hottest year for Indiana, it marked the sixth year in a row that temperatures were above normal.

January 19, 2021

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Holcomb Unveils Regional Development Initiative In 2021 State Of The State

Gov. Eric Holcomb wants to create a new, regional development initiative that he says will help the state’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 19, 2021

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Brown County Music Center Receives Nearly Half Of County's CARES Act Allocation

Opened in late 2019, the venue was already turning a profit and hosted several shows. However, the coronavirus— which has halted shows at the 2,000-seat venue since March, left officials little choice.

January 18, 2021

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New Homeless Shelter Opens Alongside The B-Line Trail Near Switchyard Park

A 4,000 square-foot warehouse is being transformed into a new low-barrier homeless shelter with a capacity of 49 beds. 

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