Category: Our Town

Daniel Larsen: Smart Kid

At the end of May, when many of his peers were kicking back and putting seventh grade behind them, Daniel Larsen was traveling to Washington, D.C., to compete in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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Doris Sims: Public Servant

In February, Doris Sims, director of the City of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development Department, was named a Living Legend at the Black History Month Gala. “I thought, ‘Oh, to be put in that category!’ I never set out to be a legend,” Sims says. “It was humbling.”

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Ransom Haile: Rocker

Back in the day, Ransom Haile was among Bloomington’s busiest musicians. Most notably, he played lead guitar for the Dynamics, one of the Midwest’s most celebrated funk bands. These days, though, poking at a fire and sipping kombucha, Haile seems much more attuned to the birdsong in his wooded yard southwest of downtown.

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John Patten: President, Smithville Communications

When John Patten was named the first non-family president of Ellettsville-based Smithville Communications in 2016, it was the culmination of a journey that began in south-central Indiana and came full circle more than four decades later.

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Jean Capler: Social Worker

When Jean Capler was named Bloomington’s 2016 Woman of the Year, it was something of a surprise. “I was really honored, but I looked at the list of other women who have received the award and there were a lot of impressive women doing pretty impressive things,” she says. “And I just do what I do.”

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Jon Chickedantz: Restaurateur

For more than 20 years, a visit to Malibu Grill meant a visit with JB (John Bailey), the downtown restaurant’s loquacious long-time managing partner. When JB took off for Nashville, Tennessee, at the end of 2016, some folks wondered what that might mean for the popular restaurant.

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Jeanne Smith: Change Maker

If there is any thread that connects the disparate aspects of Jeanne Smith’s life, it’s her ability to reimagine the world. Whether it’s recreating herself to become the person she was meant to be (Smith, now 64, lived as a man until age 55), refurbishing items so they can find new purpose, or participating in politics, Smith makes change happen.

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Sean Starowitz: City Arts Advocate

To Sean Starowitz, the city’s new assistant director for the arts, advancing the arts means expanding its reach, acting as a liaison to artists, and developing imaginative approaches to weave arts into the fabric of the city.

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Stanley Njuguna: Activist

At 20 years old, Indiana University sophomore Stanley Njuguna has already been a featured speaker at protest events such as Bloomington’s Inaugurate the Revolution and Black Lives Matter rallies — and he’s just getting started.

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Dean Peg Faimon: School of Art + Design

Indiana Unviersity’s new School of Art and Design merges the Department of Studio Art and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. Peg Faimon discusses the honor of becoming the founding dean.

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Billy Young: The Bicycle Man (video)

Billy Young says bicycles can be a means for those experiencing homelessness to get back on their feet. His bike project involves salvaging bicycles and finding them new homes with those in need.

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