Wind Turbine

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Last year, Crawfordsville’s Human Rights Commission changed city ordinances to ensure they could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But when the Indiana Senate passed a hate crimes bill this week, it did not include any such language. That angers one listener to WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, who wants to know what Crawfordsville’s Todd Barton plans to do about it when he next talks to State Senator Phil Boots, who voted for the stripped-down bill.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Two of our regular guests on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor have been outspoken about the fact they think railroad companies have too much power and their cities don’t have enough recourse to stop trains from clogging intersections.

But neither Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes nor this week’s guest, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton, have seen their grant requests fulfilled to try to solve the problems with which their cities have been saddled. So what’s a city to do when railroads have all the power and cities little of the money?

Two companies planning to build wind farms in Montgomery County face opposition because of health concerns. It’s not uncommon for wind farm projects to be contested. There are at least seven groups in the state that either oppose wind turbines in their counties or want stricter ordinances.

But there’s not a lot of research that definitively links turbines to negative health outcomes. We looked into some of these concerns and what scientists have to say. 

A legislative study committee this week will examine how a controversial law passed earlier this year that changes the affordability of solar panels affects schools.

Senate Bill 309 made changes to the state’s so-called net metering rules. Starting next year, people with new solar panels will receive less money for selling energy back to the electric grid.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton is focusing a lot these days on fostering cooperation.

He’s hosted the first of what he hopes will be a series of meetings with business leaders, he’s brought together multiple parties to complete a long-stalled road project and he’s working with the state on Stellar Communities projects.

Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Two of the three Clinton County Commissioners who will consider the future of the county’s wind energy ordinance Thursday won’t be in office to see it decided.

That’s because both Bert Weaver – who declined a taped interview -- and Cory Boyles – who didn’t return repeated calls seeking comment -- lost their primary races in May. They’ll be replaced at the start of the New Year.

But even if both men try to scuttle wind farm development in the county, it’s unlikely they’ll have the last word.

City of Frankfort

The city of Frankfort long ago identified State Road 28 as an area of concern.

The state department of transportation gave the road a topcoat of asphalt not long ago, but didn’t fix the underlying problems, pushing them off until 2019.

Now the city is trying to plan for that construction, but should it be worried the state will again kick the can down the pothole-laden road? We put that to Chris McBarnes on this edition of Ask The Mayor.

Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for the number of wind turbines, and wind energy production is projected to grow.

But Clinton County -- which had one of the state’s first wind ordinances – is now embroiled in talks about whether there will ever be any turbines there.

The Clinton County Area Planning Commission is collecting public comments from residents—for example, how much noise people are willing to tolerate—before they update its wind farm zoning ordinances.

'Battery Farm' Could Help Power 15 States

Jul 10, 2015
Joe Strupek / https://www.flickr.com/photos/strupey/6859432225

Indianapolis Power and Light has broken ground on what it says will be one of the largest energy-storage facilities in the Midwest. IPL will use interconnected, advanced batteries to store up to 20 megawatts of energy.

Ken Zagzebski, president of IPL parent company AES, says the battery array will make the power grid more reliable by smoothing out variations in supply and demand.

And he says the lithium-ion batteries will reduce emissions. He says only recently have electric companies cracked the long-standing dilemma of how to store energy for when it‘s needed.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

High overhead CityBus’s Lafayette headquarters tower three wind turbines, which whir almost melodically on this blustery winter day.

They’re the most visible sign of the corporation’s push to be more environmentally friendly.

But on the ground, there’s a different whirring sound that foretells of the newest such effort -- a generator helps run power tools and a radio playing country music as half a dozen workmen install a natural gas pumping station.

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