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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New Law Will Allow Adoptees Access to Their Birth Records

BY JANET MANDELSTAM Not having access to the record of your birth is like “reading a book with the first chapter missing,” according to Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records (HEAR), a nonprofit organization that has lobbied successfully to open Indiana adoption records. Indiana sealed adoption records in 1941, and while it permitted adult adoptees access to their birth records beginning in 1994, it didn’t make the law retroactive. That meant the records of anyone adopted between 1941 and 1993 remained closed. Last year, after a long and concerted effort by open-records advocates like HEAR, the governor signed a bill that will allow all Indiana adoptees access to their original birth certificates and adoption records. However, the change doesn’t become […]

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Scotty’s Brewhouse Honored for Doing ‘The Right Thing’

BY JANET MANDELSTAM “There shouldn’t be an award for doing the right thing,” says Scott Wise, founder of Scotty’s Brewhouse. Nonetheless, the Indianapolis-based company with restaurants in Bloomington and 18 other cities has been honored for its history of inclusive hiring and supporting people with disabilities. The award, the Ruderman Best in Business Award from the Ruderman Family Foundation, recognizes “exemplary businesses in North America that have demonstrated a history of employing people with disabilities and developing innovative approaches to maximizing employees’ abilities.” About 4 percent of Scotty’s 1,900 employees have disabilities, but Wise expects that number to grow to 10 percent by the end of 2017. The Bloomington Scotty’s, located at 302 N. Walnut, hired its first employee with […]

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Cookbook by Army Wife Brings People Together

BY JANET MANDELSTAM Lynn Wilson knows firsthand the stresses that military families face — transfers every three years, no friends at the new post, deployments, separations. So in her 38 years as an Army wife, the Bloomington native made it her mission, “to get the families in my husband, Bob’s, unit together, to build a bond among them.” She did it by hosting theme parties tied to the seasons. “Nothing brings people together better than a good party,” Lynn says. Now that the Wilsons have retired — Bob as a lieutenant general — Lynn’s collected plans and recipes for 24 of those parties have been published in a book titled At Ease: A Salute to Creative Entertaining (Favorite Recipes Press). […]

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Bell Trace and College Mall Team Up for Senior Wellness

Susan Stryker leads the pack; behind her are (l-r) Richard Stryker, Mac Fleming, and Gaye Moore. Photo by James Kellar BY JANET MANDELSTAM Those folks striding through College Mall in the morning aren’t early bird shoppers — they’re Bloomington-area seniors getting their exercise. Mall walking isn’t new, but it got a formal boost when Bell Trace, a senior living community, teamed up with College Mall in October to offer an enhanced walking program. Walkers register to participate in the program, which is held on the first and third Mondays of the month from 8–10 a.m., times they won’t have to compete with crowds heading for stores and restaurants since mall businesses don’t open until 10 a.m.    The program is [...]

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