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.

Bundesinnung Hörgeräteakustiker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/134783624@N07/

An Indiana University study indicates hearing aids fitted by a patient are just as effective as those fitted by a professional audiologist.

Currently, hearing aids aren’t able to be purchased over-the-counter. Instead, people must have a professional evaluate their hearing loss, set the hearing aid’s sensitivity and teach proper use.

But the study shows even when patients fit and adjust the hearing aids themselves, they report hearing improvements and satisfaction similar to patients who work with an audiologist.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

West Lafayette is hoping to minimize the shock of closing one of the city’s most traveled streets by communicating with residents on the front end of the massive State Street overhaul. 

Starting April 1st, State Street will be shut down from University Drive to Airport Road. Segments of Tapawingo Drive and Marsteller Street will also be closed.

Nathan Forget / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanf/

A bill that would give counties the ability to set up needle exchanges without first getting state approval is one step closer to becoming law.

A Senate committee has approved the bill despite concerns from Attorney General Curtis Hill.

The Attorney General’s office says it’s neutral on the legislation, but nevertheless sent a representative to Wednesday’s Health and Provider Services Committee with a list of amendments.

statestreetwl.com / http://statestreetwl.com/project-gallery/zouqmpnzi33znymgtbuq2vuo0y7qol

Two weeks away from shutting down Purdue University’s main arterial road, West Lafayette leaders are urging drivers to plan different commutes around the State Street Redevelopment Project’s upcoming construction.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

West Lafayette city councilors may be at odds with some of the city’s landlords on the issue of building several new high-rise apartment buildings in the city’s new downtown.

The latest development, a 16-story building slated for the top of West Lafayette’s Chauncey Hill, won’t be the tallest building in the community—that title still belongs to the county courthouse dome. However, it is tall enough to test Federal Aviation Administration rules for building height, because its roof will rise to a higher elevation than any other building.

Purdue University / http://www.purdue.edu/uns/html3month/2005/051012.Celebrate.cancer.html

Last year Indiana schools and businesses received more than $225 million for scientific and medical studies from the National Institutes of Health, or NIH. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, released Thursday, cuts close to one-fifth of NIH funding, and this could significantly reduce the amount of research done at the state’s universities.

Caden Crawford / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cadencrawford/

A bill before the Indiana House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs would make more people eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits.

Sonny Abesamis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/enerva/

A newly-released report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts 24 million people will lose insurance coverage if the proposed GOP Obamacare replacement passes.

That could have an effect on more than 500,000 Hoosiers.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

On Wednesday, Melissa Gruver’s roommates found a letter informing them she was going on strike for the day—not only from work—but from responsibilities at home, too.

“We strike because we recognize none of the civil liberties we enjoy today would have been possible without immeasurable hours women have spent on streets, in kitchens and factories—in the past fighting for our rights,” the letter read.

Washington State House Republicans / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wahousegop/

The House Republicans’ replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act—otherwise known as Obamacare—would gradually phase out enrollment in Medicaid expansion programs such as Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan.

The bill—released earlier this week—aims to let the expansions remain for another three years. Starting in 2020, enrollment would “freeze,” and no new enrollees would be able to join, which would mean the program would gradually lose members.

Approximately 250 thousand people currently have coverage through HIP 2.0.

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