The Media School

Online school leads to increased mental health risks for Bloomington high schoolers

April 21st, 2021

Hanh Bui, a senior at Bloomington High School South, remembers driving to school for the first and only time in 2021. But it wasn’t for class. Her art teachers coordinated a drive-up event for online students to pick up art supplies.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the high school gave students the option to attend classes online or in-person. But because Bui lives with her immune-compromised grandmother, she decided to remain virtual. Of the 1,700 BHSS students, she is one of 600 who is still online.

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Bloomington nonprofits adapt to changes in volunteering and funding to provide relief during COVID-19

April 21st, 2021

Around five years ago, Beth Lintner wanted to actively contribute to her community in a positive way. She thought about volunteering at some local nonprofit organizations but didn’t feel motivated enough. After watching the presidential debate in 2016 and being shocked by some of the comments on social issues, she found her motivation. Two days later, she started volunteering at Wheeler Mission, which provides services to the homeless.

“I was frustrated with the social climate in our country,” she said. “I just was like, ‘Okay I need to step it up.’”

Since the pandemic, Lintner has not been able to continue her passion for volunteering due to safety concerns.

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Local nonprofits adapt to the pandemic through virtual fundraising, flexibility

April 21st, 2021

Last February, IU student Varun Gopal walked into the callout meeting for Student United Way at IU, a club that works to better the community through volunteering, and was immediately offered a fundraising director position.

Just a few weeks after he began working in that position, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the club’s activities for the rest of the academic year. Gopal said it was his mission to make sure the club came back during the fall semester in full swing.

 

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Since ordinance was struck down, City Council debates about how to handle sleeping in parks

April 21st, 2021

After being out of town during the week of March 3, Liz McCrea returned to the news that an ordinance proposed by the city council to legalize sleeping in parks had been struck down. McCrea, 77, is a retired IU professor who has served as a volunteer on the board on New Hope for Families for the past six years.

McCrea said she concluded the biggest flaw was not enough collaboration between the two sides. There needed to be more bridge building so the ordinance could pass.

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Bloomington theaters discover ways to keep virtual viewers engaged, receive positive community response

April 21st, 2021

Bloomington Playwrights Project patron Susan Jones received multiple “In the Box Entertainment” boxes at her door throughout the pandemic with items to help her remain engaged during virtual plays on Zoom. In January, the box had clues to solve a strange mystery. In February, there was a small easel and a canvas, which she used to paint a scene of a home and yard on a sunny day.

“I think it’s just been very clever,” she said. “These boxes are very professional.” 

 

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New ‘no turn on red’ ordinance aims to protect cyclists and pedestrians in downtown Bloomington

April 21st, 2021

Jim Shackelford has lived and worked in Bloomington for the past 13 years. He walks, bikes, drives and uses public transportation in town. When the Bloomington City Council announced a new ordinance that would prevent right turns on red lights, Shackelford thought it was a small change that could prevent a lot of accidents. 

In October 2020, IU student Dan Plebanek was struck and killed by a turning vehicle while crossing the intersection at Third Street and Indiana Avenue. This was not the first time an accident like this occurred, so on April 7, the city council approved the ordinance that will add 78 ‘no turn on red’ signs to intersections that currently allow right turns on red.  

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Going to gyms became a new way to socialize during the pandemic

April 21st, 2021

The pandemic was an opportunity for many to be more physically fit due to having more free time, including Johnathan Krol. Krol, an IU Senior, said he benefited greatly from engaging in physical activity throughout the pandemic.

Krol kept physically fit as a way to keep himself busy during the early shutdowns. He said he missed activities such as going to the store and going to restaurants with his friends. He filled this time by going for a walk or run but once gyms reopened, he was back working out with his friends.

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Save Our Stages can help local venues gain lost revenue and remain open during the pandemic

April 21st, 2021

Longtime donor and patron of the Bloomington Playwrights Project Susan Jones has not gone to BPP much during the last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of going into the building she enjoyed seeing shows in, she would have to rely on Zoom to see BPP performances.

“Now we do all the plays and performances online,” she said. “This past year I’ve hardly been to the theater.”

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Safely reopening gyms has improved gym-goers’ mental health

April 21st, 2021

When the pandemic started over a year ago, Monroe County gyms shut down. Gavin Schoenle was stuck without a place to work out. He tried home and virtual workouts, but nothing satisfied his needs like a gym.

“It was tough, because you got so used to your routine,” he said. “I was going to work and then as soon as I got off work, I would go work out. As soon as I heard they were closing all the gyms I was like, “All right what do I do now?””

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Bloomington economy slowly recovering from COVID-19

April 21st, 2021

Wes Allen, a bartender at Social Cantina and senior at IU, is feeling optimistic about the Bloomington economy picking up as the end of the pandemic draws nearer. Establishments like Social Cantina have yet to see the amount of business they were getting prior to the pandemic but as the weather gets nicer and students start to get vaccines, all of that is slowly changing.

“The last three weeks have been really great for business at Social,” he said. “Since they made the announcement that everyone 16 plus could get the vaccine, we’ve been pretty much packed to the capacity we can legally hold every night.”

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