Sarah Fentem

Reporter

Sarah comes to WBAA from Bloomington, where she worked as a reporter and producer for NPR affiliate WFIU and its sister PBS station, WTIU while completing her master's degree at Indiana University. Her responsibilities at WBAA include pitching stories and project ideas, writing and producing dayturns and longer features, serving as an on-air host and newscaster and basically doing whatever her editor Stan tells her to do. She reports indiscriminately, but she has a soft spot for stories about agribusiness, city infrastructure, the environment and scientific research. 

Sarah's dream is to one day win an award for having the world's cleanest refrigerator. However, she is 100 percent more likely to win the "Most Likely To Wreck The Mood At A Karaoke Bar By Singing A Bummer Song By Bob Seeger And The Silver Bullet Band" award.

Post-its at the Delphi United Methodist Church are a testament to a community's grief and disbelief
Azra Ceylan / WBAA

The quick thinking of one of two murdered Delphi teens may give law enforcement the necessary clue needed to find the girls’ killer.

The bodies of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-Old Abigail Williams were found on Valentine’s Day, a day after they failed to return from a hike near the Delphi Historic Trail in Carroll County. The deaths quickly were treated as a homicide.

On Wednesday, Indiana State Police released an audio recording found on German’s cell phone—a three-second clip of a male voice saying “down the hill.”

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Within a month of each other, two downtown Lafayette farm-to-table restaurants have announced they’re closing for good.

But experts and chefs alike warn against making too much of the coincidence.

Restauration, a downtown Lafayette restaurant that opened in 2015, was a dream years in the making for owner and chef Kirsten Serrano.  She and her husband, Paco, already had a steady business running La Scala on the courthouse square, but Kirsten wanted to try something new: A farm-to-tale concept that used only local, whole foods and could cater to people with food allergies.

Matt Chaney / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vcucns/

Just days after a federal judge shut down a $54 billion merger between health insurers Anthem and Cigna on anti-competitive grounds, a Valentine’s Day move by Connecticut’s Cigna seeks to dump the Indianapolis-based company once and for all.

 

Cigna officials announced Tuesday they had sued Anthem in a Delaware court seeking a judge’s affirmation that the company had lawfully ducked out of the merger agreement, and that Anthem couldn’t extend the merger’s expiration date.

 

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

If Indianapolis-based insurance company Anthem wants to appeal a federal judge’s decision scrapping the company’s upcoming merger with fellow insurer Cigna, it may have a short time window in which to do so.

While the U.S. Justice Department’s suit contained many anti-competitive claims against the merger, Wednesday’s decision only concerns competition in one market — big companies with more than 5,000 employees. In this market, health insurers often offer so-called “Administrative Services Only” contracts, with the companies paying for actual services themselves.

Photo courtesy Lafayette Police Department

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski’s says his city’s crime ebbed in 2016.

During his annual State of the City address Monday night, Roswarski said crime fell 11 percent, year-over-year. He says property crimes are down 9 percent and violent crimes are down 20 percent, despite an increasing number of robberies.

Roswarski says he’d like to see more addiction and mental health services to help address the city’s drug problem – that’s even though he has opposed hosting a needle exchange program at a storefront location in his city.

Regent Language Training / https://www.flickr.com/photos/regentlanguagetraining/

Since 2007, 19 states have adopted laws that mandate suicide awareness and prevention training for school educators. But Indiana health and education officials disagree on whether teachers should be the first line of defense.

Indiana requires new teachers to receive suicide prevention training, but a new bill would expand that requirement to all school employees who have ongoing contact with students.

Marion County Commission on Youth lobbyist Mindi Goodpaster says because school is the center of teens’ lives, it makes sense for prevention efforts to start there.

Raymond Gilford / https://www.flickr.com/photos/shuttercat7/

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, along with two other European pharmaceutical companies, is facing a price-fixing lawsuit regarding its rapidly escalating insulin prices. Lilly makes a form of insulin called Humalog, whose list price has doubled since 2011, the lawsuit claims.

In a complaint filed in federal court Monday, the plaintiffs argue the price increase isn’t due to increased production costs but rather the exploitation of a complex system of pricing deals between insurers, manufacturers and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

Simon Law / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/

A Tippecanoe County law would drastically restrict the number of days county residents could rent their homes out to visitors on websites such as Airbnb. But the law could be hamstrung by a bill making its way through the state legislature.

Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky / https://www.plannedparenthood.org

As a debate heats up in Washington over the fate of Planned Parenthood, the President of the group’s Indiana and Kentucky affiliate has announced she’s stepping down.

Joe Flintham
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeflintham/

A governor-approved bill that would give Indiana counties and municipalities the ability to set up their own syringe exchanges passed its first hurtle, clearing the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, local and regional governments need the state health commissioner to declare a public health emergency before counties can establish their syringe exchange programs. The new bill still does not allow the state to fund the programs, and communities would still have the option to establish exchanges through the state approval method.

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