Virginia Alvino

Reporter, WBOI; Host, All Things Considered

Virginia joined WBOI in August of 2013. She works to report on often overlooked stories in the community, and uncover solutions as much as difficulties that we as a community face. Virginia began reporting out of the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Virginia is now the local WBOI host of All Things Considered.

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News
1:27 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Fort Wayne City Council Upholds Right-to-Work Ordinance

A right-to-work ordinance for Fort Wayne’s police officers and firefighters survived a mayoral veto. The vote was made at Tuesday's City Council meeting. 

The ordinance says that public safety workers can’t lose their jobs if they don’t want to pay union dues. It was introduced by Republican councilman Mitch Harper.

Harper says it’s a matter of principle – that it’s not taking away union’s rights, but giving freedom of choice to the employee.

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News
3:49 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Henry Vetoes Right-to-Work Ordinance

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.
Credit Courtesy / City of Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry Friday vetoed a second labor-related ordinance in as many months– this one stating that city police could not require union membership.

The council previously overturned Henry’s veto on ending collective bargaining for the city’s non-public safety workers.

The right-to-work ordinance that would affect police passed along party lines by council last week. The measure was introduced by Republican Councilman Mitch Harper, who said it would help base employment on quality of work.

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News
5:13 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Artlink's Executive Director Stepping Down

Artlink’s Executive Director is stepping down. Deb Washler announced her resignation Wednesday. 

The Fort Wayne non-profit gallery has experienced significant growth since Washler took on the position of director in 2005.

Artlink moved to the Auer Center for Arts and Culture on Main Street in 2011 – a move that increased its gallery size by 50 percent, and helped increase attendance by 65 percent.

Since 2005, the organization has instituted children’s art classes and workshops, and hosted entrepreneurial programs through the Fort Wayne Arts Incubator.

News
6:33 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Pufferbelly Trail Begins Extension

Fort Wayne’s Pufferbelly Trail is getting a little longer. The new construction project broke ground Tuesday. 

The trail will be extended 1.25 miles from Dupont to Carroll Roads.

The more than $700,000 funding the project comes from a variety of sources, from local municipalities to federal grants.

The non-profit Fort Wayne Trails is kicking in more than $300,000 for the trail extension project.

Fort Wayne Trails Director Lori Rose say community partnerships are key to getting these types of projects done quickly.

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News
3:47 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Fort Wayne Wants More Recreation on the Rivers

Credit City of Fort Wayne

The City of Fort Wayne asked and its residents answered – nearly 2,600 people responded to a survey about what they’d like to see in the future of downtown riverfront development.  

Recreational uses, both on and next to the river, had the most positive responses from the survey – followed by natural habitats and simply interesting places to sit. Mixed use development was close behind. 

People weren’t as interested in housing and winter activities on the river, however. 

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News
5:14 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Indiana Michigan Power Makes Solar Plans

Credit Indiana Michigan Power

Indiana Michigan Power plans to start producing solar energy. The announcement was made Tuesday. 

The Fort Wayne-based company already generates three other sources of emission-free power. About one third of their total production comes from nuclear, with a bit more from wind and hydro.

I&M plans to start a pilot program for solar production, constructing five solar facilities – enough to power over 2,500 homes.

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News
3:51 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Veterans With PTSD Call for Courtesy When Lighting Fireworks

A member of the group Military with PTSD.
Credit Military with PTSD

Independence Day has not yet arrived, but fireworks have been going off in some Indiana neighborhoods for several weeks now. And that can pose a big problem for some military veterans.

A campaign is trying to change that with photos, signs, and a little help from the internet.

The post has gained over a million “Likes” this week on Facebook: a man with a yard sign that reads “Combat Veteran Lives Here -- Please Be Courteous with Fireworks.”

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News
11:21 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Indiana Law Protects Vets From Employment Discrimination

Indiana Civil Rights Commission
Credit Indiana Civil Rights Commission

An Indiana law enacted this week aims to protect veterans from employment discrimination. 

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans in Indiana and across the U.S. face significantly higher unemployment rates that non-vets.

State Representative Martin Carbaugh of Fort Wayne co-authored the law, which makes it illegal for employers to refuse employment for veterans or members of the Indiana National Guard or reserve, based on their veteran status.

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The Difference
5:41 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Interview: Ron Lewis on Race and Higher Education

Ron Lewis is an instructor at several Fort Wayne institutions.
Credit Ron Lewis

As we heard in Wednesday's interview with Ron Lewis, significant challenges exist for young black men in the classroom, and many are hard to quantify. 

But those challenges don't end when those men get to college. 

Only about 15 percent of college students are black – and African-American students are less than half as likely as their white counterparts to complete their degree on time.

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The Difference
7:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Interview: Ron Lewis on Racial Bias in Education

Ron Lewis speaking at USF's Stand Against Racism.
Credit Ron Lewis

By now, it should be no surprise to listeners of The Difference that young African-American men are falling behind their peers in the classroom.

In everything from graduation rates to reading proficiency to disciplinary action, the achievement gap between black boys and their classmates is wide.

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