How Mid-Life Crisis Led Owner to Open Monroe Furniture Restoration

BY ROSIE PIGA PIZZO In 2002, when Tim Puro was working at Monroe County Bank, the idea of making a living repairing and restoring furniture didn’t seem feasible. It was a hobby he had enjoyed since age 12, but it wasn’t until he took a class on furniture spot repair and finishing at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana, that he realized it could be more. Instructor Mitch Kohanek, a master spot finisher, told his students that if they could learn to master the technique, it could be a full-time job. Puro remembers thinking, “‘That’s cool. That’s what I want to learn.’ It was what I really wanted to do.” By 2005, what had been a hobby […]

Continue reading "How Mid-Life Crisis Led Owner to Open Monroe Furniture Restoration"

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 […]

Continue reading "Sisters In Peace: Women of Different Religions Unite"

Brandon Palmer Paints Warhammer Miniature Soldiers For Game Lovers Around the World

Elite miniatures painter Brandon Palmer. Photo by Martin Boling BY PETER DORFMAN Armies of Space Marines are assembled in a small ranch house south of Bloomington, brought to life by Brandon Palmer, miniatures artist. After painting and photographing the models, Palmer will ship them off to do battle on tabletops across the country and around the world. Palmer, 32, paints figures for the popular strategy game Warhammer, a distant cousin of Dungeons and Dragons. First released in 1983, Warhammer (Games Workshop, Nottingham, England) is based in a Tolkien-like fantasy universe with a complex, sprawling backstory. There are thousands of miniature painters, and games like Warhammer represent an important market. Palmer is an elite painter — but he hesitates to call [...]

Continue reading "Brandon Palmer Paints Warhammer Miniature Soldiers For Game Lovers Around the World"

Volunteers in Medicine Combats The Repercussions of Poverty

BY STEPHANIE VON HIRSCHBERG The patient came to the clinic run by Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) on Bloomington’s west side hoping for a miracle. He had a raging toothache and a mouthful of black stumps where his teeth had rotted away. But pain wasn’t his only worry. His employer had warned that he would lose his job — which involved contact with the public — unless he got his teeth fixed. He had no insurance and could not afford treatment. VIM dentist Dr. Park Firebaugh quickly set to work. Weeks later, after multiple extractions, fillings, and a course of antibiotics, the patient received a set of upper dentures. “We handed him a mirror when he put them in for the […]

Continue reading "Volunteers in Medicine Combats The Repercussions of Poverty"

The Story of Lennie & Jeff: How a Young Couple Fell Out of Love And Built a Food and Beer Mini-Empire

BY CARMEN SIERING When Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch fell in love while students at Indiana University in the 1980s, they couldn’t have imagined that decades later they would be partners in one of the most successful businesses in Bloomington. As co-owners of One World Enterprises, Jeff and Lennie reign over Pizza X, Lennie’s Restaurant and Brewpub, Bloomington Brewing Company, One World Catering & Events, and the newly opened One World KitchenShare. They also own a 69-acre farm west of Bloomington where they are raising water buffaloes and heritage-breed pigs and growing organic hops. Their story might not be nearly as interesting if these college sweethearts had gone on to marry and live happily ever after. As it happened, in […]

Continue reading "The Story of Lennie & Jeff: How a Young Couple Fell Out of Love And Built a Food and Beer Mini-Empire"