Marvin Jones Jr.: Mathemetician

Indiana University graduate student Marvin Jones Jr. helps local kids and teenagers learn problem-solving skills through math, and maybe raise their SAT scores along the way.

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‘A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana’ Describes Wonders of Region’s Unspoiled Areas

BY JULIE GRAY “A true measure of civilization is what it leaves unspoiled,” observes noted frontier-fiction writer James Alexander Thom in his introduction to A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana. And thumbing through the guide, recently published by Indiana University Press, you’d have to conclude that southern Indiana is indeed a civilized place. Subtitled 119 Unique Places to Explore, the guide describes the wonders of the region’s remaining unspoiled areas, from vast expanses such as the 200,000-acre Hoosier National Forest to tiny patches like the 60-acre Tank Spring Nature Preserve in Martin County. Writer and environmentalist Steven Higgs tells curious explorers how to find these oases and what to look for and do once they have. The founder […]

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A B-town Boy’s Dream Comes True: Now the Maker of Hot Air Balloons

BY JULIE GRAY Hot air balloon maker Andy Richardson, 30, grew up a mile south of Oliver Winery on the outskirts of Bloomington. “As a young boy, I would see the winery’s balloons flying over,” remembers Richardson, now the owner of Adams Balloons in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Richardson’s mother took him to the winery on weekends to see if he could help out on the chase crews that rig, inflate, follow, and deconstruct the balloons. Then the magic day came: “Bill Oliver [Oliver Winery CEO] took me for my first ride in July 1994,” Richardson recalls. “From that day, I decided I wanted to fly balloons.” Oliver continues to mentor Richardson, in ballooning and in business, and the two talk […]

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New Community Cat Program Controls Feral Cat Population

BY JULIE GRAY Recent visitors to the Monroe County Humane Association (MCHA) Facebook page have been treated to a video showing a homeless black-and-white tomcat (let’s call him Tom) joyfully leaping out of a humane trap back to his old life after being neutered and vaccinated for rabies. The reason for the spring in Tom’s step is the medical treatment organized for him by the brand-new Community Cat Program. A joint effort between MCHA and City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control (BACC), the Community Cat Program’s goal is to control the population of free-roaming cats like Tom. Known as feral or community cats, these undomesticated felines are happily living outside in colonies of four to 15. They would never […]

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10th Dancing with the Celebrities Aims to Hit $1 Million Mark

BY JULIE GRAY On September 24, Bloomington’s Dancing with the Celebrities, a competition that raises money for local charities, will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Barbara Leininger, the event’s founder and organizer, hopes to mark the occasion by reaching the $1 million mark in cumulative funds raised. Leininger, who owns the local Arthur Murray Dance Studio, modeled the contest after ABC’s legendary Dancing with the Stars reality series. As on the television show, amateur dancers are paired with professionals (in this case, instructors from Leininger’s Arthur Murray studio) to perform routines in front of an audience and a team of judges. The grand prize, the Mirror Ball, goes to the dancer representing the charity that has accumulated the most audience support. […]

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