Category: Our Town

Dashel Oliver: Hockey Player

Thirteen-year-old Dashel Oliver says he doesn’t know when he started playing hockey, just that he’s been on skates and chasing pucks for as long as he can remember.

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Yaël Ksander, City Communications Director

As a broadcast journalist, Yaël Ksander estimates she has interviewed more than 7,000 people. Now that she’s been appointed communications director for Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, she’s becoming comfortable on the other side of the microphone.

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Caleb Poer: Political Activist

Caleb Poer, 17, admits there was a time when he wasn’t politically aware. “I don’t remember thinking about politics until Barack Obama was running for president,” Poer says. But it isn’t as if he was getting a late start. When Obama announced his candidacy in early 2007, Poer was 6 years old.

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Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Dawn Johnsen—Law Professor

It was four years ago, on April 9, 2010, that Dawn Johnsen withdrew her name from consideration as President Barack Obama’s choice to become assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the president and executive branch on all legal matters.

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Grey Larsen Folk Artist

For 25 years, Grey Larsen, an accomplished player of the Irish flute and tin whistle, was music editor of Sing Out!, the folk music magazine started by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and other musicians in the late 1940s. His recording career spans 40 years, and he still performs and teaches across North America. But most Tuesdays you’ll find him sharing music and friendship at the Runcible Spoon’s Irish music jam session. “Playing music, for me, can’t be separated from the experience of getting to know another person, and really caring about who they are,” Larsen says.

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Jose Mario Arango Violinist, Lawyer, Chef

Figuring out one’s life as a college freshman sometimes means there will be a few twists and turns along the way. But that doesn’t mean things won’t all turn out better for it. So says Jose Mario Arango.

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Laury Flint IU Police Chief

Before Cagney & Lacey ever aired, Indiana University Police Department Chief Laury Flint knew she wanted to be a cop. “I was 8,” Flint says. “My parents were supportive, but they hoped I’d eventually change my mind and go into something safer.”

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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.”

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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.

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Sam DeWeese: Ivy Tech Vice Chancellor

Having grown up in the northern part of Indiana, Sam DeWeese, Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington vice chancellor for student success, truly appreciates the rolling hills surrounding his adopted hometown. “I’m from Muncie, which is very flat,” he says. “It’s not very interesting, in terms of the landscape. So, it’s fun to see the various terrains here.” 

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Danielle McClelland: Executive Director, Buskirk-Chumley

“The Buskirk-Chumley Theater is not just a business, it’s a soapbox for the community,” Danielle McClelland declares. That’s been her vision since November 2001 when she was named executive director of BCT Management, the nonprofit organization that runs the East Kirkwood landmark. 

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Ron Hafft: Librarian

To put things in perspective, when Ron Hafft began working at Indiana University Libraries, the Beatles had recently performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. “I thought I would work here for a couple of years,” he says. Last summer, Hafft, who is now the library’s computer coordinator, hit the 50-year mark. 

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