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Bloomington Herald-Times

March 2, 2010

Live today: Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom answers your questions on HTO at 1 p.m.
Send in your questions now
March 2, 2010, last update: 3/2 @ 7:11 am

Indiana University political science professor Elinor Ostrom won a Nobel prize in economics, but much of her work has focused on environmental issues: natural resources management. Who owns the fish in the ocean? The forests on public land? The water supply? Who should govern use of such resources, and how should they be managed to prevent depletion?

Ostrom will share her thoughts on these issues and other topics when she takes part in a live online chat at 1 p.m. today at

Today's chat is a rare chance for the public to ask direct questions of the Nobel prize winner.

Ostrom has studied the management of water in Southern California, shared pasture lands in Africa, irrigation systems in Nepal and forests around the world. She has seen some management strategies protect and preserve resources, and others fail, leading to resource exhaustion.

After decades of study, Ostrom concludes that there is no one, simple answer to how such resources can be managed for sustainability. But she has identified a framework, eight design principles of stable management of "common pool resources."

Her work concludes that natural resource management is most successful when people who have a direct stake, including individuals with diverse and even competing goals, make and enforce their own, unique rules for using the shared resource.

Locally, Ostrom's research has implications for use of water in Lake Monroe, state forest management and land use planning.

If you have questions for Ostrom, send them in now, and join the chat live at 1 p.m.

And for more coverage of Ostrom's career and Nobel prize victory, see

Man admits to breaking into and stealing from 5 vehicles at IU after shooting out windows
By Abby Tonsing
March 2, 2010, last update: 3/2 @ 1:35 am

A Bloomington man faces a preliminary charge of theft, after admitting to Indiana University police he was responsible for breaking into and stealing from five vehicles on campus after shooting out their windows.

Jere Brant Crouch, 36, 1332 W. Fairington Court, was arrested by Indiana University police and booked into Monroe County Jail on a preliminary charge of Class D felony theft at 3:17 a.m. Monday. Crouch bonded out of jail later Monday morning, a jail officer said. His bond was set at $2,000 surety, $500 cash.

According to Capt. Jerry Minger, IU police officer Morgan Berns saw Crouch enter the locked School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation building after trying several different keys around 12:45 a.m. Monday. "The guy didn't know exactly what key to use," Minger said.

Officer Berns was working an extra security shift at the HPER building on 1025 E. Seventh St. while locks were in the process of being changed after keys had been stolen, Minger said.

Crouch had several items that did not belong to him in his possession, Minger said, including a personal check for $1,000, two wallets, gift cards, envelopes, IU building keys, motorcycle keys, house keys and more.

During a police interview, Crouch admitted to breaking into five vehicles on campus by first shooting out the windows and then taking anything of value. He also admitted to burglarizing a HPER office and a safe, Minger said. Additional charges are being evaluated, he said.

After obtaining search warrant, police confiscated numerous items from Crouch's car, including clothing, electronics, tools, wallets, backpacks, a pellet gun, more than $300 cash and many other items, Minger said.

According to an IU police log, officers took 10 reports of vehicles with busted windows, some with items missing, on Sunday.

"(The) vehicles were targeted mainly due to items of value in plain sight. Students should be careful in not keeping property of value in their vehicles that can be seen by would-be thieves," Minger stated in a news release.

Several of these incidents are still being investigated by police, and they are attempting to find the owners of the property found in Crouch's car, Minger said. "We'll be contacting everybody," Minger said of those who have reported thefts from their cars to IU police.

Still more reports of thefts and smashed car windows may continue to trickle in. "It's not to say we even have all of the reports," Minger said, as some students may not use or check their cars every day.

Minger encouraged anyone with information concerning this stolen property or the break-ins to contact Det. Lt. Steve Fiscus at 855-4111. Those who discover items missing from their cars should use this number as well, he said.