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A Little Spencer Candy Store Hits Big Time with Fudge O’Bits

One night five years ago, Kristi Risk woke from a dream with an idea and popped out of bed to write it down. That idea became Fudge O’Bits, bite-size pieces of chocolate-coated fudge. Today, the tiny treats are the centerpiece of Diamond K Sweets and More, 109 S. Main St. in Spencer. The business launched in 2015 and was named the 2016 Owen County Business of the Year.

Farm Animal Sanctuary Moves but Mission Remains the Same

Moving is widely acknowledged to be one of life’s most traumatic events. Almost no one looks forward to it. Now, imagine not only moving all of your worldly possessions, but also nine pigs, eight chickens, five goats, four cats, three cows, and two dogs.

Blond Genius Denim Bar—More Than Just Jeans (PHOTO GALLERY)

When Katie Whitson moved from Iowa to Bloomington to be closer to her family, she realized that many of her favorite clothing brands weren’t available here. She opened the first Blond Genius store outside of Iowa in Fountain Square Mall in December 2015. In August 2016, she relocated to Renwick Village Center.

Osteria Rago Aims to Offer Authentic Italian Cuisine

Regular visits with his extended Italian family in Alessandria del Carretto—a small town “in the step of the boot” of the Calabria region—inspired Gregg Rago to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Bloomington. In January, Rago, who co-owns Nick’s English Hut with his wife, Susan Bright, opened Osteria Rago in the converted carriage house that formerly housed the Bloomingfoods Kirkwood location.

L. Julius Hanks II MCCSC Coordinator of Diversity Opportunities

On a wall in his office at the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC), L. Julius Hanks II has a picture of the Bloomington High School North track team from his days as a runner. “I call them my brothers, which confuses people,” Hanks says, “because you have a 6-foot-4 redhead with Irish background, a 5-foot Korean guy, a guy from Thailand, an African American. But we loved each other so much. Our coach called us the Cadillac Crew.”

Global Minded Project Expanding Horizons Through Travel

Even before she founded the Global Minded Project (GMP) last year, Bloomington native Malissa Waterford knew she wanted to bring two of her interests—travel and working with children—together for a common purpose. However, she says it wasn’t until she visited Europe as part of an educational tour group that she found the inspiration for her nonprofit organization.

How Hate and Divisiveness Spread on the Internet

In the most recent issue of Bloom, the story “The Trials LGBTQ+ Groups Face with Booth at Monroe County Fair” revealed the struggles Prism Youth Community (a PRIDE program) and the Rainbow Rights Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington endure when they set up their informational booth at the fair each year. Along with the story, we ran two pictures of drawings by visitors who were encouraged to “Draw Your Rainbow.”

Wedding Guide

Bloom’s 12th Annual Wedding Guide (PHOTO GALLERY)

Whether they blended cultures or families, had a traditional ceremony or one a little less so, each of these four couples had a wedding day to remember. If you’re planning a wedding, we hope you’ll find some inspiration in these stories and photographs.

Read More
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  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business & Finance
  • Community
  • Fashion & Shopping
  • Features
  • Food & Drink
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Family
  • Our Town
  • Web Exclusives

Elvis Did It, You Can Too! Cut Your Own Vinyl Record

In the early 1950s, about the time Elvis Presley cut a record and changed the sound of popular music, anyone could walk into a recording booth at a drugstore, pay a couple of bucks, perform a song, and have it etched directly into vinyl. Now, Phonocraft Record Manufacturing has resurrected that technology, offering one-off and small-batch records.

Time to Sign Up for YMCA’s Annual Corporate Challenge

When the Monroe County YMCA hosted its first Corporate Challenge in 1985, it attracted 10 companies and a total of 200 employees. Last year, 27 companies brought 900 people to compete in 35 individual and team events. Among those participating were Cook Group, Baxter, IU Credit Union, Catalent Biologics, and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation.

Celebration to Honor Hoosier War Correspondent Ernie Pyle

In this time of political discord, when it seems the two major parties find it hard to agree on anything and the media is frequently demonized, the fact that two senators from Indiana—Todd Young, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat—jointly introduced a bill honoring a deceased journalist might raise some eyebrows. But maybe it’s not so surprising when that newsman is Indiana University alum Ernie Pyle. 

Blond Genius Denim Bar—More Than Just Jeans (PHOTO GALLERY)

When Katie Whitson moved from Iowa to Bloomington to be closer to her family, she realized that many of her favorite clothing brands weren’t available here. She opened the first Blond Genius store outside of Iowa in Fountain Square Mall in December 2015. In August 2016, she relocated to Renwick Village Center.

COVER STORY: Homes Curated with Heart (PHOTO GALLERY)

In recent years, the verb "curate" has escaped the halls of museums and been used to describe the way a home is put together. Each of the homes featured here displays the owners’ commitment to selecting, organizing, and presenting their private spaces for maximum satisfaction and ease.

Alchemy the Bar: Where Cocktails Are King

At Alchemy, graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks get as much use as traditional shakers, strainers, jiggers, and spoons. “I’m always reading about the science of alcohol and the science of beers,” says owner Logan Hunter, a long-time bartender and self-described science geek. “I like figuring out how and why things are going to pair well, based on their chemical constructs.”

Green Camino—An Easy Way to Start Composting

Kathy Gutowsky and Randi Cox have a history of environmental activism that dates back to the late 90s when they met on a recycling committee. Now they have turned that interest into a business, Green Camino Curbside Composting.

L. Julius Hanks II MCCSC Coordinator of Diversity Opportunities

On a wall in his office at the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC), L. Julius Hanks II has a picture of the Bloomington High School North track team from his days as a runner. “I call them my brothers, which confuses people,” Hanks says, “because you have a 6-foot-4 redhead with Irish background, a 5-foot Korean guy, a guy from Thailand, an African American. But we loved each other so much. Our coach called us the Cadillac Crew.”

How Hate and Divisiveness Spread on the Internet

In the most recent issue of Bloom, the story “The Trials LGBTQ+ Groups Face with Booth at Monroe County Fair” revealed the struggles Prism Youth Community (a PRIDE program) and the Rainbow Rights Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington endure when they set up their informational booth at the fair each year. Along with the story, we ran two pictures of drawings by visitors who were encouraged to “Draw Your Rainbow.”

Wedding Guide

Bloom’s 12th Annual Wedding Guide (PHOTO GALLERY)

Whether they blended cultures or families, had a traditional ceremony or one a little less so, each of these four couples had a wedding day to remember. If you’re planning a wedding, we hope you’ll find some inspiration in these stories and photographs.

Read More
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