Erica Ballard

September 26, 2007

Four sexual assaults have been reported at IU already this school year, according to the IU Police Department (IUPD).

And while that number is high, it's not unusually so. And the actual figure is most likely greater.

"With forcible offenses, police stations around the nation only have reports of 12-25 percent of the actual amount," said IUPD Capt. Jerry Minger. "I can only assume that holds true for non-forcible offenses too."

September 12, 2007

Jane Harlan-Simmons isn't pleased that the evergreens located east of the IU's Creative Arts Building will be bulldozed soon to make room for the new Big Red supercomputer.

"They are outside a building I have worked at for over 20 years," said Harlan-Simmons, a research associate at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at 10th Street and the Ind. 45-46 Bypass. "I consider them like friends."

But while the trees' removal disappoints her, her greater frustration lies with IU administrators' abysmal record on environmental protection.

"This action is not in line with (IU's commitment) to sustainability," she said.

May 9, 2007

One member of Billy Reed's squad died when he was in Iraq - a soldier who strayed too far from the unit and was shot by a sniper.

But it was not this sort of face-to-face combat that Reed worried about. It was the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and car bombs that he feared the most.

"I always thought a war was about fighting an enemy in uniform, you know who the enemy is," he said. "But this situation is nothing like that."

See more Iraq photos

B-TOP says alternative transportation preferable

April 11, 2007

While spaces sit empty in garages downtown, Bloomington toys with the idea of building another one. But for some, the thought of another parking garage just does not make sense.

“I think there is evidence that the city should not be building more parking (garages),” said Buff Brown, the president and founder of Bloomington Transportation Options for People (B-TOP).

Last month B-TOP released its response to Bloomington’s “Downtown Parking Master Plan Draft Report.” And while B-TOP did agree with some of the report’s findings, it articulated concern about the draft’s failure to address the dangers of excess parking and to emphasize the impacts parking supply, demand and price have on citizens’ transportation choices.

March 11, 2007

Sitting at a table in the east-side Scholar Inn's Bakehouse, Anne McLaughlin struggles to explain the frustration she feels toward the Catholic Church, St. Charles Catholic School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Perhaps the worst part about her experience with them is that her children will not look back on their school days with the same zeal she does of hers, she said.

A life-long Catholic with 16 years of Catholic school education, McLaughlin today finds it difficult to even sit through an entire Mass.

"I feel like I'm in a church that doesn't want me," she said.

February 25, 2007

After four suicides and multiple self-mutilations occurred at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility within a two-year span, the ACLU of Indiana filed a complaint in February 2005 challenging the constitutionality of housing mentally ill inmates in long-term solitary confinement units.

The Secure Housing Units (SHU) are used to house prisoners in disciplinary or administrative segregation for prolonged periods. Prisoners in SHU are forced into solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, allowed only an hour for showers and recreation, if weather permits.

Contact with the outside world is kept to a minimum. And personal items allowed in cells, such as photographs, letters, and reading materials, are limited.

"It's a steel box," said Rev. Bill Breeden of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington and an eight-year volunteer at the Wabash prison. "Those cells are inhumane."

January 28, 2007

Bloomington will soon bid farewell to a downtown business that has served the town and its artists for a decade.

"When I opened Fossil Rain in January 2000 — having been in the same location for the three previous years with a business partner under the name Fossil Ago Go — I knew then that at some point in the future I would shut down retail and continue Fossil Rain as a private jewelry studio only," said Lorraine Farrell, the shop's owner.

Soon, Farrell's premonition will become a reality. Fossil Rain Natural Wonders & Handcrafted Jewelry will close its doors on the Courthouse Square for the last time on Feb. 28.

December 31, 2006

WFHB Community Radio will welcome 18 IU students into its studio this spring semester.

The radio station and the IU School of Journalism have joined together to create J460 - Community Journalism, a new class designed to allow students to study and participate in community journalism.

"This class is a way to shake up students and get them thinking about the possibilities of journalism," said journalism Assistant Professor Mike Conway.

The class is a service-learning course that will allow students to learn and develop journalistic skills by working within the community to help meet Bloomington's needs.

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