Sol Hurok

The Iron Curtain, U-2 and Gary Powers, and culture all came together for pianist Byron Janis in 1960 as a United States cultural ambassador to the Soviet Union. While the US enjoyed pianist Sviatoslav Ritcher performing concerts in America, Janis performed in Moscow and Leningrad in 1960. While it has often been thought that officials and citizens were "bugged" and recorded for espionage, it came as quite a surprise that a concert had been recorded without the artist's knowledge.

Fast forward 48 years, and that historic performance by Byron Janis is now released by the artist himself. WBAA's John Clare spoke to Janis about the concert.

Supt. of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick spoke with the press Monday, to discuss education matters for the state. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)
Jeanie Lindsay

There will be a special legislative session later this year. The governor made the official announcement Monday, and lawmakers will likely take up some unfinished education issues when they reconvene.

Governor Holcomb Calls For Special Session

Mar 19, 2018
Gov. Eric Holcomb says he wants lawmakers to act on a few of the issues that died last week when legislators ran out of time. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday he’ll call for a special session of the General Assembly to address some of the issues that died last week when lawmakers ran out of time at session’s end.

It will be the first non-budget special session in 16 years.


Police departments are increasingly using algorithms to predict crime, and a study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis aims to address concerns that these algorithms are racially biased.

It’s a method called predictive policing. A computer algorithm looks at data, including crime rates, and predicts where crime is likely to happen. Police departments then increase patrols in those areas.

But some groups criticize the technology, saying it reinforces racial bias in policing.

DNR Proposes Allowing Trapping, Hunting Bobcats

Mar 16, 2018
Lindsey Wright / WFIU

The Department of Natural Resources is proposing to change several fish and wildlife policies, but one in particular is causing heated controversy.

The organization wants to allow the hunting and trapping of bobcats, a species considered endangered in the state until 2005.

Lindsey Wright / WFIU

Animal control workers could be required to euthanize certain nuisance animals under proposed changes from the Department of Natural Resources.

The fish and wildlife policy change would require workers to kill raccoons, coyotes, and opossums.

Mike Meservy, owner of Advanced Pest Control, has been doing animal control work for 14 years. He says many residents use his service because he traps and relocates most animals. He also questions the morality of such a policy. 

Autonomous Vehicle Bill Fails At Session's End

Mar 16, 2018
There were deep divisions between the two chambers on the autonomous vehicles bill. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

One of the bills that died at the 2018 legislative session’s deadline was a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s – autonomous vehicle regulations.

There were deep divisions between the two chambers on the autonomous vehicles bill. Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the House wanted to impose safety regulations on autonomous vehicle manufacturers and operators.

City of Frankfort

The City of Frankfort recently received half-a-million dollars in donations for a park that Mayor Chris McBarnes hopes will revitalize downtown and bring new, long-term investment to the area.

But some detractors at a recent meeting say it’s as though the mayor is trying to buy a new car at a steep price when he could have fixed up the existing vehicle – the city’s other parks that some see as run-down – for far less money.

School Safety Measure, Funding Fails Last Minute

Mar 15, 2018
(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

The same day students across the nation staged demonstrations around school safety, Indiana lawmakers failed to pass a bill to address the same issue in the final minutes of the 2018 legislative session. It passed the Senate, but lawmakers in the House failed to vote on the bill before the midnight deadline.

Bill Adds Opioid Treatment Options

Mar 15, 2018
Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer presents HEA 1017 to the House. (Photo courtesy of Kirchhofer's office)
Jill Sheridan

Indiana lawmakers passed a bill to expand the number of opioid treatment centers in the state.  It adds nine centers that will be located at existing hospitals. Each will need approval from the state.  

Rep. Cindy Kirchhoffer (R-Beech Grove) authored the legislation to improve access to addiction treatment – especially for people in rural areas. 


Arts & Culture

New Release: For Lenny, For Sure!

We're for sure you're going to love this new release! Pianist Lara Downes celebrates Leonard Bernstein with her new album For Lenny that includes "special friends and family tribute to the man behind the music." Lara has quite a diverse group of artists: beatboxer and Pentatonix member Kevin “K.O.” Olusola , folk/roots singer Rhiannon Giddens , baritone Thomas Hampson , and clarinetist Javier Morales-Martinez . WBAA's John Clare spoke to Downes about the new release, and how she put together the music and the musicians.

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WBAA Public Affairs

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Seeing Video Of A Movie Shooting

There aren’t that many movies staged and shot in Crawfordsville. And probably only a small subset of those involve replica firearms. So when a Crawfordsville police officer encountered what looked like a robbery earlier this week and fired a bullet at an actor carrying an air gun, people began to formulate questions.

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Engagement - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Trip

Join WBAA to see John Williams Conduct the CSO

Tickets include Charter Bus, Dinner, and your seat at the concert on 4/26/18.

This I Believe

McKenna James

This I Believe: I Believe We Can

Throughout your life, you may have been asked questions you don’t quite know how to even begin to answer. Maybe it’s a toughie, like, “Who was the sixteenth emperor in China?” Other times, it’s as simple as “How are you feeling today?” Questions provoke thoughts, which provoke answers, which provoke emotions, but how can you configure a response to a query you don’t fully comprehend? Personally, the question of beliefs has always been difficult to answer. What do I believe in? Had I ever given this question more thought, maybe I would have realized earlier that I have always had the answer. Not in my brain, but in my heart; my spirit.

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News From NPR

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year with a record number of animals killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency as scientists estimate these whales could become extinct in just 20 years.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Danny Trejo On Acting, Addiction And Playing 'The Mean Chicano Dude': Trejo says that his experience standing in the San Quentin prison yard waiting for a riot prepared him for acting: "You're absolutely scared to death ... [but] you have to pretend you're not."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2018 WBUR. To see more, visit WBUR.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

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