By Diane Daily
A record number of Bloomington Firefighters have left the department for higher paying jobs. Members of the Firefighter’s Union say they’re concerned about the current staffing problems and would like to see something done about it. According to published reports, the department has lost 23 firefighters in the past two years due to low pay. Base pay is just under $57-thousand a year compared to more than 75-thousand in other Indiana cities. This year, Bloomington firefighters got a 3% bonus on top of a guaranteed 2% raise. Mayor Hamilton rejected the union’s request to renegotiate its contract.
Investigators have recovered over 47-thousand dollars from a Bartholomew County business. Force Construction Company of Columbus owed back wages for 35 of its employees. Among the violations, the investigators found the company didn’t pay the applicable basic hourly rate to all laborers and mechanics who were on the job so overtime was calculated and paid at the wrong rate.
We can expect to pay more for gas in the coming months. The Indiana Department of Revenue says gasoline taxes will go up four-tenths of a cent to 19-cents a gallon on April 1. It is the third straight month the tax has increased. According to Gas Buddy, the average price for gas around the Hoosier state is 3-46 a-gallon.
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute has secured nearly $38 million in renewed funding from the National Institutes of Health for the next seven years. This is the fourth consecutive successful grant submission for the statewide research enterprise. The Institute is a partnership among Indiana’s top research universities including IU, Notre Dame and Purdue.
A Good Samaritan in Sullivan County may have helped save a life after a fiery car accident. Authorities say the driver fell asleep and crashed the car into some trees along US 41. Once the car caught on fire, a man named Darren Bucklers stopped to help. He pulled the driver from the car and waited at the scene until medics arrived and took the victim to the hospital.