The Midwest Report – Friday, June 14, 2013

The Midwest Report is a daily news-roundup dedicated exclusively to the American Midwest.

1)   Ohio – Story One

Ohio Republicans Introduce One of the Nation’s All-Time Worst Abortion Bills,” written by Tara Culp-Ressler for the Huffington Post, and published on 06/13/13.

“Ohio Republicans are already attempting to hijack the state’s budget process to push for abortion restrictions, advancing a version of Gov. John Kasich’s budget bill that includes amendments to defund Planned Parenthood and shut down abortion clinics. But they’re not stopping there. Now, a group of 35 Republican lawmakers in the House have introduced an omnibus anti-abortion bill that combines some of the worst attacks on women’s reproductive health into a single measure.”

2)   Ohio – Story Two

PHOTOS – Steamboats and Smog: Life Along the Ohio River in the 1970s,” written by Mark Byrnes for The Atlantic Cities, and published on 06/13/13.

“Over the next couple of years, the Ohio River will get two new bridges. One will run through downtown Louisville; the other will sit about eight miles outside the city…

Forty-one years ago, photographer William Strode photographed daily life along the Ohio River for the EPA’s Documerica photo project. Strode’s images show us life on the Ohio River, a complicated balance of highways, natural beauty, and boaters.”

3)   Indiana

Here’s The New-Look Indiana State Board Of Education — And Here’s What It Means,” written by Kyle Stokes for NPR’s StateImpact, and published on 06/13/13.

“Troy Albert, David Freitas, Andrea Neal and Brad Oliver begin their four-year terms on the State Board of Education as state officials tackle issues of central importance to parents and teachers — from how to handle the ISTEP+ testing debacle to how to meet state lawmakers’ request to rewrite the state’s A-F grading system.

Among the most critical questions the new-look board will decide soon: What should Indiana do about the nationally-crafted Common Core State Standards?”

4)   Michigan

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger wrestles with decision on gays and anti-discrimination law,” written by Tim Martin for MLive, and published on 06/13/13.

“Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger says he hasn’t decided how to proceed on the question of possibly protecting gays in the state’s anti-discrimination law. Bolger, R-Marshall, says it’s a ‘struggle’ to reach a decision on how gays might be addressed in the state’s Elliott-Larsen anti-discrimination law.

The law now has language aimed at preventing discrimination in housing, employment and other areas based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status.

Should the language be expanded or altered to somehow include sexual orientation? Bolger told MLive this week that he is researching the issue and hasn’t yet reached a conclusion. But he said he’s wrestling with the issue as a Catholic, father and lawmaker – and his decision would try to balance individual and religious rights.”

5)   Wisconsin

Wisconsin Republicans pass anti-abortion ultrasound bill,” written by Brendan O’Brien for Reuters, and published on 06/14/13.

“Wisconsin’s Republican-led state Assembly passed a measure on Thursday to make it more difficult to get an abortion by requiring women first undergo an ultrasound.

The bill, which also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, now heads for the desk of Republican Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it into law.”

6)   Iowa

VIDEO – Iowa City ‘Bomb’ Artist: I Was Shocked,” written by Mark Carlson for KCRG-TV, and published on 06/13/13.

“An Iowa City poet and artist says he was shocked to learn a piece of his artwork shutdown much of downtown Iowa City Sunday night, just as the Iowa Arts Festival was wrapping up.

‘I got this call from my landlord and it’s like, no problem, you’re not in any trouble, but you know the police are looking for you, right?’ Russell Jaffe, 29, recalled of a phone call informing him of the situation. ‘I’m like, no.’

Jaffe is the man who created the piece of ‘smashed-up media’ art that initially was feared to be a bomb after a security worker discovered it inside a newspaper stand late Sunday afternoon near the corner of Dubuque and Washington Streets. The Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad used a robotic water cannon to destroy the artwork. The spectacle was viewed by dozens of curious onlookers after police cordoned the area off.”

7)   Missouri

Missouri disregards the needs of the mentally ill,” written by Barbara Shelly for The Kansas City Star, and published on 06/13/13.

“A report released in March by the state Department of Mental Health estimated that about 50,000 people in need of behavioral health care would gain access to health insurance if the state expanded its Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as called for in the Affordable Care Act. ‘Many will be young adults, between the ages of 18 to 30, with developing mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder,’ the report said…

Early and consistent treatment would do wonders, but Missouri has shown a callous disregard for its mentally ill citizens. The state has nearly 1,500 fewer psychiatric beds than it did 20 years ago, and community health centers struggle annually with state funding that either gets cut or remains flat. Yet instead of addressing such an urgent problem, the priority of Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature is income tax cuts and further reductions in services. Kansas’ funding of mental health treatment is little better than Missouri’s.”

8)   Kansas

The Man of Steel hails from Kansas, but where exactly is Smallville?” written by Lisa Gutierrez for The Kansas City Star, and published on 06/13/13.

“The new Superman movie leaves no doubt where the Man of Steel nurtured his super morals.

Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill, wears a Royals T-shirt in one scene and watches a KU football game on TV in another. His dad, played by Kevin Costner, mentions Kansas State, and when we first meet the super schoolboy, his teacher is quizzing him on Sunflower State history. ‘Clark, I asked you, who first settled Kansas?’”

9)    Nebraska

New report assigns an ‘F’ to Nebraska’s science standards,” written by Joe Dejka for the World-Herald, and published on 06/14/13.

“Nebraska’s newly minted science standards for public schools are ‘clearly inferior’ to standards developed by a coalition of states and national organizations, a nonprofit education policy think tank said Thursday.

Iowa’s science standards also fall short of those standards, which are called the Next Generation Science Standards, according to a report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, based in Washington, D.C., and Dayton, Ohio.”

Compiled by Corey McLaughlin for Common Culture and The Big Slice.

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Author: The Blue Route

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