A bill introduced in the Indiana House this year would have limited local governments’ ability to regulate such things as logging on private property, even if, for example, the logging threatened to damage Lake Monroe. But it isn’t just about private property vs. public good, writes Susan M. Brackney. Special interest groups and campaign finance play a role, too. Click here to read the full story.
They’re a centuries-old assault on our environment, but eradicating invasive plants requires more than pulling them out by the roots — especially since big box stores still sell them and red tape in the governor’s office still allows those sales. Writer Susan M. Brackney explains this weedy predicament, and how people can help. Click here to read the full story.
Some Hoosier farmers raise millions of animals that spend much of their lives in confinement — their sole existence in these “Confined Feeding Operations” is to get plump enough for market. But some of these animals are rescued and find their way to Uplands PEAK, a farm animal sanctuary. Writer Susan M. Brackney writes more about the refuge. Click here to read the full story.
The Lake Monroe watershed — the land and creeks that drain into the lake — includes parts of five counties. Writer Susan M. Brackney looks at a group of “friends” who are safeguarding the lake — along with our drinking water and the plants, fish, and wildlife of Lake Monroe — from the effects of runoff and logging. Click here to read the full story.
Through the ONE Community Initiative, the Bloomington Volunteer Network and six local nonprofits are trying to change the “us and them” feeling in the community. Susan M. Brackney spoke with the Volunteer Network’s Lucy Schaich about this shift in volunteering. Focusing on this initiative and these organizations, Schaich says, “is imperative for our community.” Click here to read the full story.
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) help with pre- and postnatal care, but none are available at nearby hospitals. Since a local group petitioned IU Health Bloomington to provide a network of CNMs, the hospital has been “actively addressing this need.” First, it must recruit enough obstetricians to support a midwifery program. Click here to read the full story.
What would happen if the hellbender goes? More than 150 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mollusks that call Indiana home are now listed as “endangered” or “special concern” in the state. Susan M. Brackney shows who decides which animals make the cut — and how. Click here to read the full story.
Hundreds of Monroe County residents hop on their bicycles and commute to work every day, year-round. In Susan M. Brackney’s story, they share tips on how to be safe and comfortable when dealing with snow, ice, subfreezing temps, and hostile drivers who don’t want to share the road. Click here to read the full story.
Nothing beats just-picked veggies, and the cold, short days of winter need not stop you from having them. Susan M. Brackney shows how greens, sprouts, microshoots, and vegetables can be grown cheaply and easily indoors. One reason, she explains, is that lighting has become more efficient. T-what?! Click here to read the full story.
Susan M. Brackney explores the often misunderstood world of hunting wild ginseng and how ethical stewardship among the diggers and careful monitoring by conservation officers have kept Indiana’s ginseng population relatively healthy — despite the portrayal of supposed ginseng diggers on reality TV making it look adventurous and lucrative. Click here to read the full story.
While the honeybee population in Monroe County is thriving, studies show Indiana's colony loss is worse than the national average. Bloomington beekeeper Susan M. Brackney addresses the complicated and troubling issue, and she offers advice on helping not only honeybees but also bumblebees, butterflies, and other native pollinators. Click here to read the full story.