The Media School

Archive for ‘Community & Culture’

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

April 21st, 2021 No comments

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

April 21st, 2021 No comments

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

April 21st, 2021 No comments

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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Bloomington economy slowly recovering from COVID-19

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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Delivery only models and new food options have changed Bloomington’s late-night dining experience

April 21st, 2021 No comments

Bloomington resident Benjamin VanMeter is ready to indulge in Bloomington’s late-night dining on a Saturday night. But due to the COVID pandemic, he is more likely to buy food at night when delivery is an option. 

“I used to order late-night pizza all the time, but since I can get Asian food or cookies delivered late-night as well I have more to think about when I am hungry at night,” he said. 

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Bloomington Orangetheory Owner Lyle Feigenbaum promotes a healthy lifestyle

Five years ago, Lyle Feigenbaum and his wife Kerry shielded their faces as snowballs rained down. Coaches threw from the left, sales associates from the right. The game developed following a dinner in downtown Indianapolis the co-owners hosted to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Avon Orangetheory studio.

Matthew Brackney, a front-desk associate at the time, remembers the night as the first time he noticed Feigenbaum’s unique personality. He said the owner’s presence indirectly convinced him to stay at the organization.

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Abby Ang, local activist, founder of No Space for Hate, exposes local hate groups and protests white supremacy

April 1st, 2021 No comments

In August 2019, the scene at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market alarmed Abby Ang. While she protested Schooner Creek Farm, a vendor at the market who support white supremacy, she stood fearful. Armed members of a conservative militia group counter-protested her condemnation of the white supremacists. Some singled-out Ang by name.

Ang was known for protesting white supremacist groups. Just three months after she began protesting Schooner Creek Farm, she no longer attended the Bloomington Farmer’s Market, worried for her safety. The presence of the President of American Identity Movement, a neo-Nazi white supremacist extremist group concerned her especially.

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Ken Nunn, from troubled teenager to law firm legend

April 1st, 2021 No comments

When Ken Nunn was a child in Jeffersonville, he was only able to feel completely warm while he sat in school, because many of his childhood homes didn’t have heat. More often than not, Nunn ate mayonnaise sandwiches at home.

Much of his time outside of school was spent caring for his little sister, while his mother worked two jobs to support them. His family was evicted from their homes 10 times in 12 years for non-payment of rent.

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Comfort Keepers owner Doug Johnson provides at-home care for senior citizens in Bloomington

April 1st, 2021 No comments

Doug Johnson sits confidently in his office at Comfort Keepers with art and ribbons hanging behind him. The antique art creates a contrast between the crisp first place award ribbons. He is alert, his hair freshly cut, his large, framed glasses resting on his nose. His phone rings multiple times, which is expected from a business owner of this scale.  

In 2008, Johnson opened the home health care business in Bloomington. The community was embracing of home care as an alternative to institutional care and he passionately cared about it. He believes that senior citizens thrive and live longer when taken care of in the comfort of their home. Comfort Keepers in Bloomington has had steady growth for 13 years. 

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The struggle of interviewing through a mask – making genuine relationships

March 25th, 2021 No comments

Nearly one year ago IU moved classes online and sent students home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are back on campus now, the effects still linger for journalists.

In March 2020 my reporting classes insisted that all interviewing be conducted virtually. So, this semester, the opportunity to interview students on campus excited me. I stood outside Sample Gates with a Canon 80D hanging around my neck, and the audio recorder ready on my phone.

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