Debra Morrow: 
Executive Director, Middle Way House

BY CARMEN SIERING It’s been more than a decade since Debra Morrow finally acknowledged she needed help dealing with an abusive relationship.  She found that help at Middle Way House, the Bloomington nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Eventually, she and three of her four children (one son was attending Purdue University) moved into The Rise!, Middle Way’s transitional housing program. And Morrow, who had dropped out of high school when she became pregnant at 16, decided to return to school. “I was crying so hard while I filled out the application,” Morrow says of her decision to attend Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. “I was sure they wouldn’t take me.” Not only was Morrow accepted at […]

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Executive Director, Middle Way House"

Billy Young: The Bicycle Man (video)

BY CARMEN SIERING Bloomington is a bike town and it’s common to see people riding bikes for recreation and sport, and even as a means of transportation. But for some folks, having a bike means a whole lot more. That’s something Billy Young understands. “When I was homeless, I had a couple of jobs and the biggest obstacle was getting to them,” Young says. “A bicycle can be an answer. Maybe just a stepping-stone answer, but an answer so that people can start to get back on their feet again.” In August, Young was presented with the Outstanding Resident Volunteer Award by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) for the work he does in salvaging, restoring, and donating […]

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New Competition for Sandwich Chains: Bloomingfoods Now Delivers!

BY CARMEN SIERING Customers walking into any one of the three Bloomingfoods locations at midday frequently encounter a bustling lunch crowd, and among the most popular menu items, says Operations Manager Paul Read, are the deli sandwiches. Now, thanks to a new delivery agreement with BtownMenus, fans of Bloomingfoods sandwiches don’t have to leave the house or office to get them. “Just last spring we were discussing how to reach a broader audience, and delivery is the way groceries are going in general,” Read says. “No sooner did we start talking about it but BtownMenus let us know that a lot of people were interested in getting Bloomingfoods delivered. After that, it was a pretty straightforward process.” It’s a pretty […]

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James Shanahan: Dean of The Media School

BY CARMEN SIERING The Media School at Indiana University, established in July 2014, began under a cloud. School of Journalism faculty, students, and alumni were unsure what the move would mean once the school was no longer situated in Ernie Pyle Hall and was taken under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences. Founding Dean James Shanahan understood their apprehensions. “If I were in their shoes and my school were being merged into something else or changed, I would have concerns,” he says. “So our main job was to get the school up and running, get the faculty and technology in place, and get all the moving parts organized and managed.” Shanahan, who started in May 2015 and […]

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Sisters In Peace: Women of Different Religions Unite

BY CARMEN SIERING In October 2015, a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was attacked outside Sofra Café on South Walnut. The incident sparked an outpouring of concern from members of the Bloomington community, says Anna Maidi, who handles much of the correspondence for the Islamic Center of Bloomington. “After the attack, a lot of people were reaching out and they didn’t really know what to do,” Maidi says. “We got letters from people who just wanted to express that they appreciated our presence in Bloomington.” Maidi says that while the incident at the café is an extreme, it’s not the only time a member of Bloomington’s Muslim community has felt threatened. “So to have the community respond in that way […]

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