New Coaching Program Helps At-Risk High School Students

BY JANET MANDELSTAM High school students at risk of not earning a diploma have extra support this year thanks to a new pilot program that places eight educational coaches at 10 schools in southwest-central Indiana. Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington launched the Graduation and Career Coaching Initiative to improve graduation rates, prepare students for postsecondary options, and ensure a qualified workforce for regional employers. Educators at each of the schools, including Bloomington High School North and Bloomington High School South, identify the at-risk students who will work with the coaches. Coaches report to Trudy Shaw at Ivy Tech. “They meet with the students every week and review their grades, attendance, and any disciplinary issues,” she says. […]

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French Lick Resort at Age 10: A Return to Grandeur and a Revived Economy

The atrium’s domed ceiling at the West Baden Springs Hotel—a massive structure 110 feet high and 200 feet in diameter—was the world’s largest free-span dome until the Houston Astrodome was built in the 1960s. Photo by Steve Raymer   BY MOLLY BRUSH It was 1996 and West Baden Springs Hotel was in dire straits. The magnificent structure and its atrium — dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world” during its heyday in the early 1900s — had been vacant for 13 years. It was in such disrepair that a section had collapsed, and the entire building was in danger of following suit. Now, 10 years after completion of a restoration project undertaken by Bloomington-based Cook Group, West Baden Springs Hotel [...]

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Connect 4: For Kids by Kids Supports St. Jude Children’s Hospital

BY BARB BERGGOETZ As a 2-year-old, Eleanor Cook became captivated by the stories of children fighting cancer highlighted in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital calendars. She repeatedly asked her parents, Carl and Marcy Cook, to read them to her. Those stories made a lasting impression. She carried the calendars around the house, memorized some of the stories, and prayed for the children. As she grew older, she wanted to do more. Eleanor started giving her birthday money to St. Jude when she turned 5 and began selling lemonade shake-ups to raise additional funds. “If I donate money, it gives them more money so they can find more stuff to cure,” says Eleanor, who is now 6 and a Childs Elementary […]

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The Yoho General Store Serving Solsberry Again

BY ADAM KENT-ISAAC The restoration of Solsberry’s Yoho General Store was “a homecoming for us all,” says Jim Murphy, president of CFC Properties. “I grew up in this area, and I remember the days of getting ice cream here as a kid.” Murphy made sure that the favorite flavor and bestseller, butter pecan, was stocked when the store reopened last December after a six-month overhaul by CFC. The Yoho General Store has deep roots in Solsberry, says Lavon Yoho, whose parents, Dwight and Pearl Yoho, purchased the current building in 1947. The memorable family name likely originated in Switzerland, with the first Yohos arriving in Indiana in 1840, according to Lavon. “My father and mother spent fifty-two years with this […]

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Spencer’s Tivoli Theatre Is Restored to Its Former Glory

BY ADAM KENT-ISAAC The 85-year-old Tivoli Theatre in downtown Spencer has seen some dark days. Closed in 1999, the historic building languished in disrepair for 13 years. Now, thanks to the efforts of a local preservation organization and the support of the Cook Group, it had it’s grand reopening in April and has returned to its former glory. “I remember going to the theater when I was a kid in the nineties,” says Kathy Cook (no relation to the Cook Group), who helped lead the restoration effort. “At that point it had been through fires, and a lot of the elaborate decoration was gone…. It wasn’t a grand movie palace anymore by any means. But seeing it come back to […]

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