COMMUNITY

IU Credit Union Celebrates 65 Years of Service

David Sipes believes “We started a credit union and created a community” is more than just a tag line—it’s how IU Credit Union, a nonprofit financial cooperative, has grown in the past 65 years.

Ten Questions for Lucy The Famous Service Dog

Lucy, a white Lab service dog, has been probably the most recognizable canine in town as the constant companion of Adria Nassim, whose popular column in The Herald-Times deals with autism and disability-related issues.

‘It Takes a Village’ to Protect B-town’s Only Water Source

The City of Bloomington has one source of drinking water for its roughly 84,000 inhabitants: The reservoir of Lake Monroe, about 20 miles south of downtown. At 17 square miles, it’s Indiana’s largest man-made lake, but it’s an essential—and fragile—resource.

What’s to Become of The Old Hospital Site?

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton calls the City’s plan to redevelop the current site of Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital “a once- in-a-century opportunity for our community to re-imagine our future.”

Help Save ‘The Ryder!’

When Peter LoPilato launched The Ryder on April Fool’s Day 1979, it was part of a wave of Bloomington- based alternative magazines.

Dogs on the Job: The Ultimate Greeters

Imagine having a co-worker in your office that greets every customer happily, has passersby stopping in just to say hi, and listens sympathetically to everything you have to say. A pipe dream? Not when you bring your dog to work.

Old IMU Phone Booths Now Tell Hidden Hoosiers’ Tales

The Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) pulsates with life—students circulate between cafés and study nooks, visitors bustle in and out of the Biddle Hotel, and, up marble stairs and tucked around a corner on the main level, “Hidden Hoosiers” resurrects voices from the past.

Facts About the 2020 Census: Be Counted. It’s Important!

Mandated by the Constitution and conducted every 10 years since 1790, the census helps determine political districts at the federal, state, and local levels, and is used to distribute federal dollars for roads, schools, hospitals, and other public resources.

The Public Library Now Has 3D Printer

Libraries are generally known for housing books, and while the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) does that, its Level Up Digital Creativity Center, located on the first floor of the Main Library on East Kirkwood, also houses an abundance of digital resources.

New Switchyard Park: It’s Large, Has Lots of Stuff & It’s Eco-Friendly

Officially opened in November, Switchyard Park is the city’s largest park—more than 65 acres. The facilities include an amphitheater, 11,000-square-foot event pavilion, skate park, splash pad, playground, dog park, and community gardens, as well as fitness circuits, electric car-charging stations, and several sports courts.

Police Social Worker Helps Those in Need Find Services

Melissa Stone’s gray polo shirt has a Bloomington Police Department (BPD) badge on one side and the words “Social Worker” on the other. She says it’s important that she gain the trust of the people she approaches. “I’ll introduce myself and say ‘I’m not an officer. I’m just a social worker. I can’t arrest you,’” Stone explains.

New Special Victims Unit For Sex Crimes & Domestic Violence

When Erika Oliphant stepped into her new role as Monroe County prosecutor in 2019, she wanted to improve the experience of sex crime and domestic abuse victims within the criminal justice system, as well as the experience of those who work to prosecute their offenders. “These are difficult caseloads,” Oliphant says. “They’re very emotionally draining. I thought it might be better to try more of a team approach.”

Guest Column: Growing Up Taliaferro

While I consider Baltimore, Maryland, my childhood home, I was born in Los Angeles, where my father, George Taliaferro, was a member of the Los Angeles Dons. As a family, we moved to Baltimore, where my two younger sisters were born and Daddy continued his professional football career with the then-Baltimore Colts.

Kits Designed to Save Pets In Fires & Other Disasters

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 40,000 pets die in household fires in the United States every year. In response to those disturbing numbers, Kimberly Goy, development director for the Monroe County Humane Association (MCHA), spearheaded a campaign to protect local pets, and last spring the MCHA outfitted all 37 Bloomington, Ellettsville, and township fire trucks with animal rescue kits.

Three CASA Volunteers: Helping Kids for More Than Two Decades

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are asked to investigate the circumstances of children who have been abused or neglected, offering the court a broad perspective of what are in the children’s best interests. It is a commitment of time and of one’s heart.

Four Who Have Volunteered To Help in African Countries

While Virginia Hall’s experience with Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA) had been life-changing, it had also been, until recently, relatively uncommon. “In all these years, I’d only met one person who [had also participated in OCA],” says Hall, interim rector for Trinity Episcopal Church. Then she met three other Crossroaders in Bloomington. “It was a big surprise,” she says.

Native American Heritage Celebration in November

In 1990, a joint resolution of Congress was approved by President George H.W. Bush proclaiming November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” According to the Library of Congress, similar resolutions have been passed by Congress and approved by the president every year since. In 2009, the name was changed to “National Native American Heritage Month.”

Help a Hoosier Showcases Talents of Homeless and Folks in Recovery

When Ivana Fox was a human services student at Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington, she worked as an intern at Centerstone’s Peer Run Recovery Center (PRRC). While she expected to learn a lot about the conditions of homelessness, mental illness, and addiction, what she didn’t expect to find were the many talented people who could sing, dance, write poetry, or who had technical skills that would easily transfer to a performing arts production.

‘Truth Matters’ Event Examines Untruth in News & Social Media

It’s a phenomenon many people, especially those who are politically liberal, can relate to. In The Brainwashing of My Dad, filmmaker Jen Senko explores how her once reasonable, non-political, Kennedy Democrat father became the embodiment of racial and social intolerance. The answer was easy to find. It began when he started a long commute and filled his time with right-wing talk radio. It peaked when he started watching Fox News.

History Center Program Aids Those With Dementia

History museums are often full of everyday objects and cultural touchstones, the kinds of items that, with compassionate assistance, may evoke memories for adults with dementia and facilitate rewarding conversations with those who care for them.

Monroe County CASA Celebrates 35 Years of Advocating for Kids

In the early 1980s, things began changing for children who were the victims of abuse and neglect. “There was a grassroots movement that led people in the judicial system to begin talking about how to best advocate for children,” says Kristin Bishay, executive director of Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Beanblossom Bottoms Still Open In Spite of Damage from Tornado

After being closed for nearly a year, Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve reopened in May. “People waited very patiently for the preserve to reopen, and it was worth it,” says Abby Henkel, communications director for Sycamore Land Trust. “There are so many magical things about that place. You feel like you’re in another time and place out there.”

City Celebrates Hispanic Heritage From September 15 to October 15

Each year across the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs from September 15 to October 15. In Bloomington, there’s a long tradition of celebrating the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America, says Lillian Casillas-Origel, director of the La Casa/Latino Culture Center at Indiana University.

Brown County Humane Society Delivers Food, Supplies & Help

Whether they are dog walkers or cat caregivers, volunteers are a big part of the operation of the Brown County Humane Society (BCHS), 128 S. Ind. 135 in Nashville. One important volunteer program, known as S.P.O.T., is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Volunteers Save Lives Fostering Baby Animals

Spring and summer see an increase in the number of newborn animals. Both WildCare, which rehabilitates wild animals, and City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control rely on volunteers to foster young animals in their homes. Bloomington Animal Shelter manager Julia Eppley says, “Without those homes offering daily care during a critically high-volume time, our organization would not have nearly so many positive outcomes.”

B-town’s Liz Watson in D.C. Heading Progressive Center

Bloomington native Liz Watson, who fell short of unseating Rep. Trey Hollingsworth in Indiana’s Ninth District in 2018, may not be in Congress but she is in Washington, D.C. Watson is serving as the new executive director for the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC).

Jill Lees Rejoins IUPD as New Chief

Bloomington frequently has a pull on former residents, and Jill Lees, recently named Indiana University Police Department chief of police, is no exception. She’s returning to the city 25 years after graduating from the IU Police Academy.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Life on the Lake

On a hot, bright summer day on the lake, three houseboats are tied together side-by-side in a cove. The occupants—men, women, kids, dogs—are gathered on the upper decks, sipping cool drinks, nibbling on chips and hors d’oeuvres, taking in the sun and breeze, occasionally jumping in for a dip.

What Are You Reading?

BY CRAIG COLEY Jo Ann Vogt Coordinator, Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services If Jo Ann...

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: IU Campus in Spring

Wells and the IU administrators who have been stewards of the campus since his time have espoused the philosophy that the landscape is not just an adornment but an essential ingredient of the university’s mission.

April: Autism Awareness Month School Inclusion Is a Priority

Adria Nassim is a young woman with autism, cerebral palsy, and a learning disability. She is also a self-advocate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC), a columnist with The Herald-Times, and a public speaker. And she knows all about the importance of school inclusion.

Accessibility for All Is Goal of Local Council

Fourteen years ago, Katie Herron took a walk through her east-side neighborhood with her then 4-year-old son, Ben, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair. Along the route, they found intersections with missing curb cuts—the sloped areas that enable wheelchairs to roll from the street to the sidewalk.

The Warehouse Offers Play Space for Kids of All Ages (Photo Gallery)

The first time Dave Weil visited the former RCA television facility at 1525 S. Rogers St. in 2009, all he saw was an abandoned warehouse “full of birds and bird poop.” Still, it was easy for the evangelist and youth pastor to imagine the 5-acre building as a recreation center, a place that would give young people alternatives to the choices he made as a teenager.

Bloomington Refugee Network Now Helping Asylum Seekers Here

Exhausted migrants from the Northern Triangle of Central America, many of them running for their lives from political violence and lawlessness in their home countries, face a hostile official reception at the U.S. border. A few will ultimately be allowed to apply for asylum.

Community Foundation Grants Make Innovative Efforts Possible

“We want Bloomington to be a place where everyone succeeds,” says Tina Peterson, president and CFO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. In December, the Foundation awarded $326,700 in Community Impact Grants to 13 area nonprofit organizations working in the arts, youth development, health, self-sufficiency, and other areas.

City’s Barbara McKinney Wins Statewide ADA Award

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, cities across the country were faced with compliance issues. Barbara McKinney had been hired the previous year as Bloomington’s human rights attorney and was immediately charged with planning how the city would comply with new standards for buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, and city services.

Better Angels: Bringing Red and Blue Together

On a Saturday morning in December, Republicans and Democrats came together in a Monroe County Public Library meeting room, hoping to learn to better communicate with one another. After drawing up name tags with the appropriate red or blue markers, the 19 participants shared stories of heated holiday dinner table arguments and friendships lost in the wake of the 2016 election.

Podcast Offers ‘The Lowdown’ on Bloomington Happenings

While casting around for a new project last fall, Bloomington singer-songwriter Jeremy Shere (Songs in the Key of B-town, 2015), a self-professed fan of podcasts, decided to produce one of his own, focused on what’s happening in and around Bloomington.

Dare to Test Your Expertise? Enter the VITAL Quiz Bowl

Since 1977, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) VITAL program—Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners—has provided free literacy instruction for adults, both native speakers and new language learners. And each April since 1983, VITAL has hosted a Quiz Bowl fundraiser for the program.

Buddhist Cultural Center Celebrates 40 Years Here

The dharmachakra (wheel of dharma) that adorns the entry gate of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) is almost luminous, freshly gilded for the center’s 40th anniversary celebration. Yet, despite its decades-long history, visitors still ask, “Why is this place in the middle of Indiana?”

We Are You—Working To Bring People Together

In December 2016, Jenn Harmless was on Facebook with three friends. All were concerned with the increasing number of hate incidents in Bloomington and across the country. At one point, someone asked, “Well, what are you doing about it?”

‘Follow the Fish’—A Bicentennial Scavenger Hunt

The gilded fish that adorns the Monroe County Courthouse not only spawned a city (see page 106), it has spawned a scavenger hunt. In honor of the county bicentennial, 25 numbered brass plaques bearing its image have been placed on sites of historic or cultural significance around Monroe County.

12th Anniversary Gala: A Big Thank You to Bloom Supporters

Bloom Magazine celebrated its 12th anniversary on August 9 with a party in the Tudor Room at the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU). More than 200 business and civic leaders, educators, artists, members of the arts community, humanitarians, and contributors to the magazine attended the event, which was a fundraiser for Shalom Community Center.

The Many Ways Our Food Bank Gathers Produce for the Hungry

With its bustling farmers’ markets and ever-growing interest in farm-to-table cuisine, it’s no secret that Bloomington residents have an appetite for locally grown produce. What people may not know is that the farmers who bring their goods to market also make fresh vegetables and fruits available to people seeking food security.

Kelley School Grads Develop Allergy-Friendly Snack Bar

According to Food Allergy Research & Education reports, 15 million Americans have serious food allergies. From 1997 to 2008, nut sensitivity in children has tripled. Another 30 million people are indirectly affected by others’ food allergies.

Fix-It Fair: An Ecological Way to Save Some Green

Whether you’re working to keep items out of the waste stream or just want someone to repair a much-loved keepsake, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) invites you to attend its first-ever Fix-It Fair. The event, on Saturday, August 18, will be held at the main library branch, 303 E. Kirkwood, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

The Many Ways Our Food Bank Gathers Produce for the Hungry

With its bustling farmers’ markets and ever-growing interest in farm-to-table cuisine, it’s no secret that Bloomington residents have an appetite for locally grown produce. What people may not know is that the farmers who bring their goods to market also make fresh vegetables and fruits available to people seeking food security.

Animal Shelter Renovation Aims To Keep Rescue Animals Healthier

When the Bloomington Animal Shelter hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its newly renovated and extended building in June, a 6-month-old shelter dog named Spike cut—or rather tore—the ribbon, with an assist from shelter Director Virgil Sauder and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.

Bloomingtonians Who Broke the Color Barrier

In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson smashed baseball’s color barrier when he became the first African American to play in the major leagues. Since then, many other African Americans have made history by surmounting racial prejudice in a wide range of fields, including medicine, law, education, public service, and sports. 

Efrat Feferman United Way of Monroe County Executive Director

The United Way logo—a human figure standing in a cupped hand, encircled by the arch of a rainbow—may be one of the country’s most recognizable branding images. But the local reach of its fundraising—how the money is actually used—doesn’t carry the same high profile.

Center for Sustainable Living Wins Award for Making Bloomington Better

Operating since the mid-1990s, the Center for Sustainable Living (CSL) has long had a hand in helping advance community ventures like the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market and the Bloomington Bike Project. In 2008, the nonprofit organization’s efforts led the National Wildlife Federation to officially recognize Bloomington as a certified Community Wildlife Habitat.

Emily Pike New Director Of New Hope for Families

Since 2011, New Hope for Families has sheltered families experiencing homelessness, and Emily Pike has been a part of the nonprofit organization’s mission since she came on board in year two. Now, after serving as director of New Hope’s early childhood development program, she is the executive director, taking over in January after the departure of former director Elaine Guinn.

Celebration to Honor Hoosier War Correspondent Ernie Pyle

In this time of political discord, when it seems the two major parties find it hard to agree on anything and the media is frequently demonized, the fact that two senators from Indiana—Todd Young, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat—jointly introduced a bill honoring a deceased journalist might raise some eyebrows. But maybe it’s not so surprising when that newsman is Indiana University alum Ernie Pyle. 

Farm Animal Sanctuary Moves but Mission Remains the Same

Moving is widely acknowledged to be one of life’s most traumatic events. Almost no one looks forward to it. Now, imagine not only moving all of your worldly possessions, but also nine pigs, eight chickens, five goats, four cats, three cows, and two dogs.

Bloom Hires Stone Belt To Distribute Magazine

Beginning with this issue, Stone Belt clients are now distributing Bloom to the more than 200 locations where readers can pick up a free copy of the magazine. Stone Belt is a nonprofit organization that provides education and support to individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Trials LGBTQ+ Groups Face With Booth at Monroe County Fair

Vandals scrawled anti-gay insults on their booth. Parents pulled children away from their rainbow stickers. A woman told them they were all going to hell. But they returned to the Monroe County Fair the next summer, and the next, and will be there again this year, from June 30 to July 8.

Join the Club! Get to Know A Squirrel (PHOTO GALLERY)

Emily Jones, a senior at Indiana University, is double majoring in music performance and journalism. However, she spends so much time observing the squirrels on the Bloomington campus that it could almost be considered a third major.

County History Includes Whiskey Barrel Mystery and an Auction (PHOTO GALLERY)

On June 22–23, 1818, in the first public sale of real estate in the newly formed Monroe County, commissioners sold parcels of land by auction—perhaps around a barrel of whiskey. On June 21, 2018, the City of Bloomington will celebrate its bicentennial with a family-friendly bicycle ride beginning and ending at Cardinal Spirits—perhaps also around a barrel of whiskey.

Changes Coming, Says New Volleyball Coach

Steve Aird, the new head coach for Indiana University women’s volleyball, is accustomed to winning and to successfully turning around struggling programs. But a winning team is only part of what Aird hopes to bring to IU.

Bloomington Rotary Celebrates Centennial

As Bloomington and Monroe County mark their bicentennial year, Bloomington Rotary Club is marking a significant anniversary of its own—100 years as a local service organization. To celebrate, it will hold a Centennial Gala May 10, where it hopes to raise $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington, enabling the nonprofit organization to build an outdoor recreation area for its Crestmont Unit.

Tree Project Puts Down Roots for B-town’s Next 200 Years

In 1984, Bloomington was the first city in Indiana to receive the Tree City USA designation given by the Arbor Day Foundation, an honor awarded to communities meeting certain standards of urban forestry management. This year, as part of its bicentennial celebration, the City will plant 200 trees in parks, public spaces, and on school grounds. Residents also had a chance to order trees to plant on private property.

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COMMUNITY

IU Credit Union Celebrates 65 Years of Service

David Sipes believes “We started a credit union and created a community” is more than just a tag line—it’s how IU Credit Union, a nonprofit financial cooperative, has grown in the past 65 years.

Ten Questions for Lucy The Famous Service Dog

Lucy, a white Lab service dog, has been probably the most recognizable canine in town as the constant companion of Adria Nassim, whose popular column in The Herald-Times deals with autism and disability-related issues.

‘It Takes a Village’ to Protect B-town’s Only Water Source

The City of Bloomington has one source of drinking water for its roughly 84,000 inhabitants: The reservoir of Lake Monroe, about 20 miles south of downtown. At 17 square miles, it’s Indiana’s largest man-made lake, but it’s an essential—and fragile—resource.

What’s to Become of The Old Hospital Site?

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton calls the City’s plan to redevelop the current site of Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital “a once- in-a-century opportunity for our community to re-imagine our future.”

Help Save ‘The Ryder!’

When Peter LoPilato launched The Ryder on April Fool’s Day 1979, it was part of a wave of Bloomington- based alternative magazines.

Dogs on the Job: The Ultimate Greeters

Imagine having a co-worker in your office that greets every customer happily, has passersby stopping in just to say hi, and listens sympathetically to everything you have to say. A pipe dream? Not when you bring your dog to work.

Old IMU Phone Booths Now Tell Hidden Hoosiers’ Tales

The Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) pulsates with life—students circulate between cafés and study nooks, visitors bustle in and out of the Biddle Hotel, and, up marble stairs and tucked around a corner on the main level, “Hidden Hoosiers” resurrects voices from the past.

Facts About the 2020 Census: Be Counted. It’s Important!

Mandated by the Constitution and conducted every 10 years since 1790, the census helps determine political districts at the federal, state, and local levels, and is used to distribute federal dollars for roads, schools, hospitals, and other public resources.

The Public Library Now Has 3D Printer

Libraries are generally known for housing books, and while the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) does that, its Level Up Digital Creativity Center, located on the first floor of the Main Library on East Kirkwood, also houses an abundance of digital resources.

New Switchyard Park: It’s Large, Has Lots of Stuff & It’s Eco-Friendly

Officially opened in November, Switchyard Park is the city’s largest park—more than 65 acres. The facilities include an amphitheater, 11,000-square-foot event pavilion, skate park, splash pad, playground, dog park, and community gardens, as well as fitness circuits, electric car-charging stations, and several sports courts.

Police Social Worker Helps Those in Need Find Services

Melissa Stone’s gray polo shirt has a Bloomington Police Department (BPD) badge on one side and the words “Social Worker” on the other. She says it’s important that she gain the trust of the people she approaches. “I’ll introduce myself and say ‘I’m not an officer. I’m just a social worker. I can’t arrest you,’” Stone explains.

New Special Victims Unit For Sex Crimes & Domestic Violence

When Erika Oliphant stepped into her new role as Monroe County prosecutor in 2019, she wanted to improve the experience of sex crime and domestic abuse victims within the criminal justice system, as well as the experience of those who work to prosecute their offenders. “These are difficult caseloads,” Oliphant says. “They’re very emotionally draining. I thought it might be better to try more of a team approach.”

Guest Column: Growing Up Taliaferro

While I consider Baltimore, Maryland, my childhood home, I was born in Los Angeles, where my father, George Taliaferro, was a member of the Los Angeles Dons. As a family, we moved to Baltimore, where my two younger sisters were born and Daddy continued his professional football career with the then-Baltimore Colts.

Kits Designed to Save Pets In Fires & Other Disasters

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 40,000 pets die in household fires in the United States every year. In response to those disturbing numbers, Kimberly Goy, development director for the Monroe County Humane Association (MCHA), spearheaded a campaign to protect local pets, and last spring the MCHA outfitted all 37 Bloomington, Ellettsville, and township fire trucks with animal rescue kits.

Three CASA Volunteers: Helping Kids for More Than Two Decades

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are asked to investigate the circumstances of children who have been abused or neglected, offering the court a broad perspective of what are in the children’s best interests. It is a commitment of time and of one’s heart.

Four Who Have Volunteered To Help in African Countries

While Virginia Hall’s experience with Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA) had been life-changing, it had also been, until recently, relatively uncommon. “In all these years, I’d only met one person who [had also participated in OCA],” says Hall, interim rector for Trinity Episcopal Church. Then she met three other Crossroaders in Bloomington. “It was a big surprise,” she says.

Native American Heritage Celebration in November

In 1990, a joint resolution of Congress was approved by President George H.W. Bush proclaiming November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” According to the Library of Congress, similar resolutions have been passed by Congress and approved by the president every year since. In 2009, the name was changed to “National Native American Heritage Month.”

Help a Hoosier Showcases Talents of Homeless and Folks in Recovery

When Ivana Fox was a human services student at Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington, she worked as an intern at Centerstone’s Peer Run Recovery Center (PRRC). While she expected to learn a lot about the conditions of homelessness, mental illness, and addiction, what she didn’t expect to find were the many talented people who could sing, dance, write poetry, or who had technical skills that would easily transfer to a performing arts production.

‘Truth Matters’ Event Examines Untruth in News & Social Media

It’s a phenomenon many people, especially those who are politically liberal, can relate to. In The Brainwashing of My Dad, filmmaker Jen Senko explores how her once reasonable, non-political, Kennedy Democrat father became the embodiment of racial and social intolerance. The answer was easy to find. It began when he started a long commute and filled his time with right-wing talk radio. It peaked when he started watching Fox News.

History Center Program Aids Those With Dementia

History museums are often full of everyday objects and cultural touchstones, the kinds of items that, with compassionate assistance, may evoke memories for adults with dementia and facilitate rewarding conversations with those who care for them.

Monroe County CASA Celebrates 35 Years of Advocating for Kids

In the early 1980s, things began changing for children who were the victims of abuse and neglect. “There was a grassroots movement that led people in the judicial system to begin talking about how to best advocate for children,” says Kristin Bishay, executive director of Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Beanblossom Bottoms Still Open In Spite of Damage from Tornado

After being closed for nearly a year, Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve reopened in May. “People waited very patiently for the preserve to reopen, and it was worth it,” says Abby Henkel, communications director for Sycamore Land Trust. “There are so many magical things about that place. You feel like you’re in another time and place out there.”

City Celebrates Hispanic Heritage From September 15 to October 15

Each year across the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs from September 15 to October 15. In Bloomington, there’s a long tradition of celebrating the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America, says Lillian Casillas-Origel, director of the La Casa/Latino Culture Center at Indiana University.

Brown County Humane Society Delivers Food, Supplies & Help

Whether they are dog walkers or cat caregivers, volunteers are a big part of the operation of the Brown County Humane Society (BCHS), 128 S. Ind. 135 in Nashville. One important volunteer program, known as S.P.O.T., is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Volunteers Save Lives Fostering Baby Animals

Spring and summer see an increase in the number of newborn animals. Both WildCare, which rehabilitates wild animals, and City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control rely on volunteers to foster young animals in their homes. Bloomington Animal Shelter manager Julia Eppley says, “Without those homes offering daily care during a critically high-volume time, our organization would not have nearly so many positive outcomes.”

B-town’s Liz Watson in D.C. Heading Progressive Center

Bloomington native Liz Watson, who fell short of unseating Rep. Trey Hollingsworth in Indiana’s Ninth District in 2018, may not be in Congress but she is in Washington, D.C. Watson is serving as the new executive director for the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC).

Jill Lees Rejoins IUPD as New Chief

Bloomington frequently has a pull on former residents, and Jill Lees, recently named Indiana University Police Department chief of police, is no exception. She’s returning to the city 25 years after graduating from the IU Police Academy.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Life on the Lake

On a hot, bright summer day on the lake, three houseboats are tied together side-by-side in a cove. The occupants—men, women, kids, dogs—are gathered on the upper decks, sipping cool drinks, nibbling on chips and hors d’oeuvres, taking in the sun and breeze, occasionally jumping in for a dip.

What Are You Reading?

BY CRAIG COLEY Jo Ann Vogt Coordinator, Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services If Jo Ann...

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: IU Campus in Spring

Wells and the IU administrators who have been stewards of the campus since his time have espoused the philosophy that the landscape is not just an adornment but an essential ingredient of the university’s mission.

April: Autism Awareness Month School Inclusion Is a Priority

Adria Nassim is a young woman with autism, cerebral palsy, and a learning disability. She is also a self-advocate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC), a columnist with The Herald-Times, and a public speaker. And she knows all about the importance of school inclusion.

Accessibility for All Is Goal of Local Council

Fourteen years ago, Katie Herron took a walk through her east-side neighborhood with her then 4-year-old son, Ben, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair. Along the route, they found intersections with missing curb cuts—the sloped areas that enable wheelchairs to roll from the street to the sidewalk.

The Warehouse Offers Play Space for Kids of All Ages (Photo Gallery)

The first time Dave Weil visited the former RCA television facility at 1525 S. Rogers St. in 2009, all he saw was an abandoned warehouse “full of birds and bird poop.” Still, it was easy for the evangelist and youth pastor to imagine the 5-acre building as a recreation center, a place that would give young people alternatives to the choices he made as a teenager.

Bloomington Refugee Network Now Helping Asylum Seekers Here

Exhausted migrants from the Northern Triangle of Central America, many of them running for their lives from political violence and lawlessness in their home countries, face a hostile official reception at the U.S. border. A few will ultimately be allowed to apply for asylum.

Community Foundation Grants Make Innovative Efforts Possible

“We want Bloomington to be a place where everyone succeeds,” says Tina Peterson, president and CFO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. In December, the Foundation awarded $326,700 in Community Impact Grants to 13 area nonprofit organizations working in the arts, youth development, health, self-sufficiency, and other areas.

City’s Barbara McKinney Wins Statewide ADA Award

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, cities across the country were faced with compliance issues. Barbara McKinney had been hired the previous year as Bloomington’s human rights attorney and was immediately charged with planning how the city would comply with new standards for buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, and city services.

Better Angels: Bringing Red and Blue Together

On a Saturday morning in December, Republicans and Democrats came together in a Monroe County Public Library meeting room, hoping to learn to better communicate with one another. After drawing up name tags with the appropriate red or blue markers, the 19 participants shared stories of heated holiday dinner table arguments and friendships lost in the wake of the 2016 election.

Podcast Offers ‘The Lowdown’ on Bloomington Happenings

While casting around for a new project last fall, Bloomington singer-songwriter Jeremy Shere (Songs in the Key of B-town, 2015), a self-professed fan of podcasts, decided to produce one of his own, focused on what’s happening in and around Bloomington.

Dare to Test Your Expertise? Enter the VITAL Quiz Bowl

Since 1977, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) VITAL program—Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners—has provided free literacy instruction for adults, both native speakers and new language learners. And each April since 1983, VITAL has hosted a Quiz Bowl fundraiser for the program.

Buddhist Cultural Center Celebrates 40 Years Here

The dharmachakra (wheel of dharma) that adorns the entry gate of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) is almost luminous, freshly gilded for the center’s 40th anniversary celebration. Yet, despite its decades-long history, visitors still ask, “Why is this place in the middle of Indiana?”

We Are You—Working To Bring People Together

In December 2016, Jenn Harmless was on Facebook with three friends. All were concerned with the increasing number of hate incidents in Bloomington and across the country. At one point, someone asked, “Well, what are you doing about it?”

‘Follow the Fish’—A Bicentennial Scavenger Hunt

The gilded fish that adorns the Monroe County Courthouse not only spawned a city (see page 106), it has spawned a scavenger hunt. In honor of the county bicentennial, 25 numbered brass plaques bearing its image have been placed on sites of historic or cultural significance around Monroe County.

12th Anniversary Gala: A Big Thank You to Bloom Supporters

Bloom Magazine celebrated its 12th anniversary on August 9 with a party in the Tudor Room at the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU). More than 200 business and civic leaders, educators, artists, members of the arts community, humanitarians, and contributors to the magazine attended the event, which was a fundraiser for Shalom Community Center.

The Many Ways Our Food Bank Gathers Produce for the Hungry

With its bustling farmers’ markets and ever-growing interest in farm-to-table cuisine, it’s no secret that Bloomington residents have an appetite for locally grown produce. What people may not know is that the farmers who bring their goods to market also make fresh vegetables and fruits available to people seeking food security.

Kelley School Grads Develop Allergy-Friendly Snack Bar

According to Food Allergy Research & Education reports, 15 million Americans have serious food allergies. From 1997 to 2008, nut sensitivity in children has tripled. Another 30 million people are indirectly affected by others’ food allergies.

Fix-It Fair: An Ecological Way to Save Some Green

Whether you’re working to keep items out of the waste stream or just want someone to repair a much-loved keepsake, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) invites you to attend its first-ever Fix-It Fair. The event, on Saturday, August 18, will be held at the main library branch, 303 E. Kirkwood, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

The Many Ways Our Food Bank Gathers Produce for the Hungry

With its bustling farmers’ markets and ever-growing interest in farm-to-table cuisine, it’s no secret that Bloomington residents have an appetite for locally grown produce. What people may not know is that the farmers who bring their goods to market also make fresh vegetables and fruits available to people seeking food security.

Animal Shelter Renovation Aims To Keep Rescue Animals Healthier

When the Bloomington Animal Shelter hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its newly renovated and extended building in June, a 6-month-old shelter dog named Spike cut—or rather tore—the ribbon, with an assist from shelter Director Virgil Sauder and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.

Bloomingtonians Who Broke the Color Barrier

In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson smashed baseball’s color barrier when he became the first African American to play in the major leagues. Since then, many other African Americans have made history by surmounting racial prejudice in a wide range of fields, including medicine, law, education, public service, and sports. 

Efrat Feferman United Way of Monroe County Executive Director

The United Way logo—a human figure standing in a cupped hand, encircled by the arch of a rainbow—may be one of the country’s most recognizable branding images. But the local reach of its fundraising—how the money is actually used—doesn’t carry the same high profile.

Center for Sustainable Living Wins Award for Making Bloomington Better

Operating since the mid-1990s, the Center for Sustainable Living (CSL) has long had a hand in helping advance community ventures like the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market and the Bloomington Bike Project. In 2008, the nonprofit organization’s efforts led the National Wildlife Federation to officially recognize Bloomington as a certified Community Wildlife Habitat.

Emily Pike New Director Of New Hope for Families

Since 2011, New Hope for Families has sheltered families experiencing homelessness, and Emily Pike has been a part of the nonprofit organization’s mission since she came on board in year two. Now, after serving as director of New Hope’s early childhood development program, she is the executive director, taking over in January after the departure of former director Elaine Guinn.

Celebration to Honor Hoosier War Correspondent Ernie Pyle

In this time of political discord, when it seems the two major parties find it hard to agree on anything and the media is frequently demonized, the fact that two senators from Indiana—Todd Young, a Republican, and Joe Donnelly, a Democrat—jointly introduced a bill honoring a deceased journalist might raise some eyebrows. But maybe it’s not so surprising when that newsman is Indiana University alum Ernie Pyle. 

Farm Animal Sanctuary Moves but Mission Remains the Same

Moving is widely acknowledged to be one of life’s most traumatic events. Almost no one looks forward to it. Now, imagine not only moving all of your worldly possessions, but also nine pigs, eight chickens, five goats, four cats, three cows, and two dogs.

Bloom Hires Stone Belt To Distribute Magazine

Beginning with this issue, Stone Belt clients are now distributing Bloom to the more than 200 locations where readers can pick up a free copy of the magazine. Stone Belt is a nonprofit organization that provides education and support to individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Trials LGBTQ+ Groups Face With Booth at Monroe County Fair

Vandals scrawled anti-gay insults on their booth. Parents pulled children away from their rainbow stickers. A woman told them they were all going to hell. But they returned to the Monroe County Fair the next summer, and the next, and will be there again this year, from June 30 to July 8.

Join the Club! Get to Know A Squirrel (PHOTO GALLERY)

Emily Jones, a senior at Indiana University, is double majoring in music performance and journalism. However, she spends so much time observing the squirrels on the Bloomington campus that it could almost be considered a third major.

County History Includes Whiskey Barrel Mystery and an Auction (PHOTO GALLERY)

On June 22–23, 1818, in the first public sale of real estate in the newly formed Monroe County, commissioners sold parcels of land by auction—perhaps around a barrel of whiskey. On June 21, 2018, the City of Bloomington will celebrate its bicentennial with a family-friendly bicycle ride beginning and ending at Cardinal Spirits—perhaps also around a barrel of whiskey.

Changes Coming, Says New Volleyball Coach

Steve Aird, the new head coach for Indiana University women’s volleyball, is accustomed to winning and to successfully turning around struggling programs. But a winning team is only part of what Aird hopes to bring to IU.

Bloomington Rotary Celebrates Centennial

As Bloomington and Monroe County mark their bicentennial year, Bloomington Rotary Club is marking a significant anniversary of its own—100 years as a local service organization. To celebrate, it will hold a Centennial Gala May 10, where it hopes to raise $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington, enabling the nonprofit organization to build an outdoor recreation area for its Crestmont Unit.

Tree Project Puts Down Roots for B-town’s Next 200 Years

In 1984, Bloomington was the first city in Indiana to receive the Tree City USA designation given by the Arbor Day Foundation, an honor awarded to communities meeting certain standards of urban forestry management. This year, as part of its bicentennial celebration, the City will plant 200 trees in parks, public spaces, and on school grounds. Residents also had a chance to order trees to plant on private property.

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