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.

Raychel Mendez / https://www.flickr.com/photos/raychelnbits/

A law signed last week by President Donald Trump allows states the ability to block federal funding for organizations that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood.

However, thanks to a state law that prohibits state funding of abortion providers, public health leaders say so-called Title X funding in Indiana is largely safe from any state legislative attacks.

Eli Lilly / https://www.lilly.com/newsroom

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly has been dealt another blow by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which failed to approve a newly-developed treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

In what is referred to as a “complete response letter,” The FDA stated it wants Lilly to supply more data to clarify safes dosage levels and put certain safety concerns to rest.

katie kryceski Follow / https://www.flickr.com/photos/katiekryceski/

Indiana lawmakers are proposing a pilot program that looks to expand mental health treatment for opioid-addicted Hoosiers. But it’s unclear whether local providers are up for the challenge.

The proposed pilots would require the State’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to contract with local health providers in Tippecanoe, Wayne and Marion Counties to offer evidence-based treatment—inpatient, outpatient and residential—to addicted adults at serious risk of injury or death.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last week, electronics and appliance retailer HHGregg announced it was shutting down all its stores, including one in Lafayette. It’s one of several large retailers leaving the area, and experts say filling those spaces could be difficult in a rapidly-changing retail climate.

hitthatswitch / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ringai/

The Indiana Senate has sent a bill allowing counties to start their own syringe exchanges to the governor for his signature. Current law says programs must be approved by the state health department.

The state approved its first needle exchange in 2015 after a serious HIV epidemic, fueled by intravenous drug use, broke out in downstate Scott County.

Advocates of county approval, including State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, say the bill eliminates a time-wasting step, and that local governments know best the health needs of their counties.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Lafayette City Council Monday approved the first reading of a new ordinance aimed at preserving the city’s remaining brick streets.

The ordinance would require the city to re-pave and restore brick streets with brick, rather than concrete or asphalt.

Only nine stretches of brick street remain in Lafayette, mostly clustered around downtown and in the city’s Southwestern Highland Park neighborhood.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The first new school construction in the West Lafayette School Corporation in more than 50 years began in earnest Monday—an intermediate school at the site of the Burtsfield Gym that will house students from the current Happy Hollow Elementary School.

 

East Chicago residents affected by long-term lead exposure from now-shuttered refineries are hoping a new portable lead testing device will give them answers that have so far proved elusive.

Scientists, including a Purdue University professor, are in the process of testing an X-ray gun that measures the amount of lead in people’s bones – and they hope to take that test to East Chicago.

deepfruit / https://www.flickr.com/photos/slippek/

Indiana senators are looking to add more restrictions and regulations to county syringe exchange programs, or SEPs.

Four amendments have been added a bill granting counties the ability to set up their own syringe services programs. Currently, the state health commissioner must certify a public health emergency before such a program can be created.

Karen Demerly / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kdemerly/

Tippecanoe County bucked statewide trends last year when it saw more people move in than out. Between 2015 and 2016, the county saw a net population increase of approximately 1,100 people, according to recently-released Census data.

The state as a whole lost more than a thousand people over that same period.

Tippecanoe County, the seventh most populous county in the state, was part of a trend of people migrating from rural to urban areas. 

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