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.

Jarret Callahan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jabzg/

West Lafayette is now a so-called “safe haven” for immigrants – even though that declaration is likely to mean very little where the law is concerned.

The West Lafayette City Council Monday evening approved the resolution before overflowing crowd at the Morton Center. It asserts no city department will investigate a person’s immigration status unless it’s party to a criminal investigation or required by law or court order.

Patrick Finnegan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vax-o-matic/

The West Lafayette City Council is considering a resolution that would declare West Lafayette a safe haven for immigrants.

The resolution seeks to discourage city employees from assisting authorities in investigating a person’s immigration status, unless required by a court order.

The resolution stops short of designating Lafayette a so-called “sanctuary city,” a term that has become popular when referring to cities that refuse to assist federal entities with deportation of undocumented people.

Michael Havens / https://www.flickr.com/photos/128733321@N05/

Almost half of the 95,000 members enrolled in the state’s Hoosier Care Connect health care program will need to switch their plans this month after one of the three companies offering coverage makes its exit.

MDWise, an Indianapolis-based company, announced late last month the company was dropping out of the program.

Leaders at MDWise contend it’s not financially feasible to renew a contract with the state, even though Indiana Family and Social Services Administration spokesman Jim Gavin says the administration’s actuary says the rates are fair.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A bill moving from the state House to Senate this week would expand the number of vaccinations Indiana’s pharmacists may give to patients. It’s the latest evidence of the profession’s growing role in the healthcare industry, but the possibility the question: Are patients sacrificing quality for convenience?

Pharmacies used to simply be a place where you could pick up your pills — and maybe a cane or a page of stamps. But these days, pharmacy services are expanding.

Alex Wild / http://www.myrmecos.neT

New research from Indiana University scientists shines a light on what makes certain insects male or female. The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Communications, examined what happened when researchers suppressed the so-called “doublesex” master gene, which assigns traits to different sexes of the same species.

Elad Rahmin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eladrahmin/

Deaths from drug overdoses have continued to increase in Indiana, mirroring national trends reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

According to the CDC report, the national drug-related death rate has increased more than two and a half times since 1999.

In that same time period, state health department numbers show the number of drug overdose deaths in Indiana has gone up 570 percent. In 2015, 1,236 people died from drug-related OD's.

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.

Pages