The Media School

Bloomington affordable housing projects interrupted due to pandemic

December 3rd, 2020

Mary Derico and her husband, Mark, started the Habitat for Humanity process of taking classes and learning how to properly sustain a home in 2017, but now Derico, 49, is completing it without him. In January 2019, Mark Derico died due to health complications.  

After his death, she decided to continue working with Habitat, and when she was nearly done, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the production of her home. 

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Homeless population sees strikingly low coronavirus rates

December 3rd, 2020

With only scrap cardboard and colored markers, David Ortizypino sits beneath the Buskirk-Chumley Theater nearly every day to draw faces and develop his unique style of street art.

Though a Bloomington resident of over two decades, he has been experiencing homelessness for more than two years. Ortizypino doesn’t know anybody that’s tested positive for COVID-19 and doesn’t expect to. He isn’t concerned with people in his condition getting sick, either.

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Bloomington store owners fear another shutdown is coming

December 3rd, 2020

During his freshman year at IU, sophomore Nick Koenig would stroll the sidewalks of Kirkwood Avenue searching for a store where he could buy a new outfit from. He would stand confused as he caught himself reading signs that said, “temporarily closed” and his walks would end.

“At first, I thought the stores would be closed for a few days,” he said. “But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.”

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Social justice yard signage gains traction in Bloomington

December 3rd, 2020

A four-foot-wide flag reading “Black Lives Matter” hangs from the porch of Liam Hombson, whose yard is covered with progressive slogans. One sign reads “Carbon Neutral.” Another reads “I’m not Black, but I see you.” One, which he created himself out of cardboard, reads “History has its eyes on you!”

“When history looks back at what’s happening now, when today is history, there’s going to be a consensus on what was right and what was wrong,” he said.

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COVID-19 changes safety protocol in Bloomington gyms and studios

December 3rd, 2020

MiKenzie Woods is an Orangetheory Fitness member and an IU student who attends workout classes Bloomington. When seasonal breaks approach, she continues attending in Granger, her hometown.

Woods remembers being in her class at home while the instructors announced it was the last Orangetheory session until further notice, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Bloomington public services experience decrease in use during pandemic

December 3rd, 2020

Craig Mitchell, 35-year-old Bloomington resident waits along the B-line near the Kroger on College Avenue for his bus to get him to his shift at Red Robin. Relying on the bus has long been an option for many residents without means of personal transportation. Recently however, busses are commonly full or running late, according to Mitchell.

“Having to rely on public transportation has been a real pain,” he said. “It wasn’t super reliable to begin with, and now with COVID it makes getting where I need harder.”

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Bloomington businesses face fewer sales after students leave for IU Winter Session

December 3rd, 2020

IU junior and frequent retail purchaser Grace Eaton said her shopping experience in Bloomington during COVID-19 has been challenging but still finds joy as she is greeted by store associates and a warm smell of the Amber Resin, Sandalwood & Vanilla Orchid from the ambience diffuser.

Customers, like Eaton, have struggled with having to adapt to new changes as a result of efforts to keep everyone safe. One of the biggest changes in retail is the closing of fitting rooms.

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Street closures on Kirkwood Avenue help stimulate revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic

December 3rd, 2020

When the city of Bloomington announced its plan to close sections of Kirkwood Avenue on weekends to allow business more space for outdoor dining, Nick’s English Hut General Manager Pete Mikolaitis and other staff members placed rickety, wooden furniture on the street for their customers.

For about six weeks, employees hauled tables, chairs and benches from the restaurant’s Hoosier Room to the front of the building. But it was better than being completely shut down.

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City of Bloomington sets in place plans to overcome racism

December 3rd, 2020

Cry Babies Electric Tattooing shop assistant Ebony Goldstein feels eyes on her as she walks down the streets of Bloomington. The young black woman spends most of her time at the shop because she feels a sense of community and safety there that she doesn’t anywhere else in town.

“I feel like I’m looked over for a lot of things as a woman of color and if adding on my sexuality that would make it a lot harder,” the 22-year-old said.

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Bloomington’s only comedy club continues to bring local laughs despite the pandemic

December 3rd, 2020

When coronavirus restrictions led the Comedy Attic to temporarily close its doors last spring, twenty-two-year-old IU student and frequent customer Austin O’Brien said that it was devastating for him to see a big part of his Bloomington life taken away from him.

“I felt like I was never going to be able to go back there,” he says. “Not being able to go back there kind of made me realize how much I’ve wanted to do comedy, and I just thought I’d never have that chance. But I guess I’ve still never had the guts to get up on stage, though.”

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