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.

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.

Valentina Powers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/valentinap/253659858

Numbers from Tippecanoe County’s Local Child Fatality Review Team show a steep drop-off in sudden, unexplained or unexpected deaths of children under 18 from 2015 to 2016. Total deaths fell from 13 to just five and none of the 2016 deaths has been attributed to parents sleeping in the same bed with their young children.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

In light of the ongoing antitrust trial playing out in Washington, Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem has extended the deadline to complete a merger with Connecticut-based Cigna until April 30th, according to a form filed this week to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger between the two healthcare giants originally had a deadline of January 31st. However, the agreement left the door open to extending it three more months.

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