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Bloomington is home to a diverse community; some residents stay for a few years while attending Indiana University and some have been here for generations.

We want to explore the past, present and future of Bloomington with you with City Limits.

Our community is changing, from closing businesses to traffic and road construction to affordable housing, and we see the impact of these changes all around us.

You might wonder: How much does it cost to live in Bloomington compared to the rest of Indiana? How much property does IU own within city limits? Are apartments in Bloomington at capacity?

We’ll run regular voting rounds so you can weigh in on what you most want answered. If your question is picked, you could participate in the investigation.

Interested in an ongoing conversation how Bloomington is changing? Join our Facebook group!

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Questions We've Answered

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December 7, 2022

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tree stump

City Limits: Residents share concerns, frustrations with Fullerton Pike Project as prep work for final phase starts

A resident of the Highlands neighborhood told the Monroe County Commissioners Wednesday she wants trees cut down last week to be replaced sooner rather than later.

November 11, 2022

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Convention center meeting

Ball in city’s court after Monroe County proposes path to expand convention center

Mayor John Hamilton’s administration said it’s shocked commissioners approved a CIB Wednesday, and the process lacked transparency and collaboration. Instead, he wants a nonprofit to build and manage the expansion.

October 27, 2022

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Bivalent vax

A "trifecta of viruses" brewing this winter has public health officials advising precautions

Public health officials are contending with a complacent public when it comes to controlling COVID. Throw in the flu and RSV, and that could mean a more disruptive – even dangerous -- winter season for everyone.

October 21, 2022

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sccap

Nearly $400,000 in CARES money distributed to 20 local nonprofits this fall

New Hope is one of twenty nonprofits in south central Indiana that got CARES money distributed through the South Central Community Action Program in September. The total amount distributed was nearly $400,000.

October 18, 2022

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MCCSC school buses

City Limits: MCCSC looking to generate $15.5 million in largest local referendum yet

MCCSC estimates the average homeowner with a net assessed value of about $135,000 will pay about $127 in additional taxes each year. 

October 17, 2022

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Downtown Apartments 3

City Limits callout: share your lease with us

To understand what agreements between renters and landlords look like in Bloomington and Monroe County, City Limits is collecting leases. If you're interested in helping with the project, you can share a copy of your lease with us.

September 29, 2022

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Outdoor dining in the street on Kirkwood Avenue.

City Limits: Listeners ask about the purpose of the Kirkwood Ave closure

Now in its third season, the closed portion of Kirkwood Ave. has become a popular outdoor dining destination in warmer months. The city says the initiative was launched to help businesses cope with the pandemic.

September 22, 2022

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Bethel AME Church

City Limits looks at local history: Inside Bethel A.M.E. church

Bethel A.M.E. has been in Bloomington since 1870, and its long-time church on Rogers Street was granted historic status last month.

September 8, 2022

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A Constellation sign adorns the exterior of the John Waldron Arts Center

"Great Gatsby meets modern times" as Waldron Arts Center is getting a makeover

Constellation Stage and Screen was formed when Bloomington Playwright’s Project, Cardinal Stage and Pigasus Institute merged in July. At the same time, it signed a lease with a city to run the John Waldron Arts Center.

August 25, 2022

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Joe Biden.

Life goals remain out of reach for some, despite student loan forgiveness

The student loan debt could continue to constrain lives as well as state and local economies, despite forgiveness plans.

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August 16, 2022

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Showers Kiln

Bloomington collective looks to re-fire Showers Kiln renovation

The project was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the group is ready to proceed with a scaled-down building.

August 5, 2022

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City Limits: New developments have some concerned about Bloomington's character

According to the 2020 Bloomington Housing Study, the city will have to build more than 2,500 units by 2030 to keep up the roughly 1 percent annual growth.

July 22, 2022

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Kirtland's snake

"BioBlitz" finds new inhabitants at Beanblossom preserve

The biodiversity survey revealed endangered Kirtland's snakes and an iris not previously seen at the preserve. It also added to data on species scientists know little about, from fungi to fireflies.

July 14, 2022

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Yellow groove bamboo a growing problem in Bloomington

Since being named an invasive species by the city in 2020, residents are left with the burden of having to remove bamboo from their property or face fines.

July 7, 2022

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The Waldron Art Center in downtown Bloomington

City Limits: Stars align for future of Waldron Arts Center

Constellation will produce both traditional and original theatre and feature-length films. The group plans to tell some stories through both mediums. It’s calling this the “page to stage to screen” pipeline.

June 16, 2022

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IU colleagues collaborate on Ukrainian cultural preservation

A collaboration to help ethnomusicologists, folklorists and others to safeguard Ukrainian culture research.

June 9, 2022

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A bottle filled with wastewater is readied to be sent to a lab.

Bloomington still testing wastewater for COVID, just not as often

The data, for now, can’t be used solely to guide the city’s COVID policy, but it does help to inform when used in conjunction with hospitalizations.

May 26, 2022

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The Crosstown Shopping Center redevelopment is on hold. What happened?

COVID disrupted Indiana University's plan for redeveloping the property, according to an IU spokesperson.

May 19, 2022

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A new fishing pier is near completion at Griffy Lake

New pier, paved walkway part of $1.85 million project at Griffy Lake

The road has been repaved, a guardrail installed, and a new paved walkway added along the lake. But one of the highlights of the construction may be the new pier to fish from.

May 12, 2022

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Construction

City Limits: Is there an up-to-date map for Monroe County construction projects?

Up until May 2019, the county’s projects were included on the city’ InRoads platform.

April 21, 2022

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water faucet

City Limits: How much do Bloomington residents pay for energy, water every month?

As the cost for energy rose, so did demand for assistance in Monroe County

April 7, 2022

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Trees line a city street.

Bloomington plans to begin adding to its urban forest this month

In 2018, the city set aside $800,000 of its Bicentennial Bonds project to plant trees throughout Bloomington. That project is expected to begin this month.

March 24, 2022

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hoosier-hills-photo.jpg

Local social service agencies hope charitable giving gains will remain after pandemic

Leaders at area social service support agencies say recovering from pandemic related economic shocks could take years.

March 10, 2022

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A photo of a multiplex house in Bloomington.

City Limits: How many duplex developers have applied under new Bloomington UDO?

Council originally blocked multifamily, or plex, housing from single-family residential neighborhoods in 2019, but legalized them with conditional use approval in May 2021.

February 24, 2022

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Bloomington city hall

City Limits: What are the limitations of political caucuses under the Open Door Law?

But the issue gets even more complicated when every member of a governing body is from the same political party, such as currently exists with Bloomington City Council, Monroe County Commissioners, and Ellettsville Town Council.  

February 10, 2022

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Ivy Tech nursing students have a debriefing session after doing rounds at IU Health Bloomington.

It could take a decade to rebuild nursing workforce in the state

Oni Thomas is entering a profession that already faced a worker shortage before the pandemic. Since early 2020, nursing has been hit particularly hard by the constant care of those suffering from COVID-19.

February 3, 2022

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Third Street chicane

How does Bloomington decide where to place traffic calming projects?

The city is accepting new proposals for resident-led projects through February. It is dedicating another $50,000 to the initiative.

January 27, 2022

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kinser flats

Advocates say more housing resources are available, but community has long way to go

Just over a year ago, the city of Bloomington drew criticism from advocates when it cleared a homeless encampment from Seminary Square.

January 20, 2022

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Delilah's Pet Shop

Law bans pet shops from selling dogs and cats in Bloomington. Will their businesses fold?

Kidwell said she is unsure if her business will make up the lost revenue once the ordinance is in effect. 

January 13, 2022

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Bloomington City Hall building in the summer.

City Limits: What are the responsibilities of Bloomington City Council president?

During last week’s annual organizational meeting, councilmember Susan Sandberg defeated councilmember Matt Flaherty by a 5-4 vote for the top leadership position. 

January 7, 2022

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Petitioners say they have enough signatures to block annexation.

Remonstration ends, petitioners say they have enough signatures to stop annexation

Monroe County Commissioners and residents against annexation marked the official conclusion of remonstration Thursday evening at the Monroe County Courthouse.

January 6, 2022

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a panel from the Trades Dist art installation Aurora Almanac

Aurora Almanac captures ideas and identities using geometry and light

Community members become more than simply viewers of art by participating in the design of the Trades District installation.

December 23, 2021

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The doors to the public restrooms at the Fourth Street Garage.

24/7 public restrooms now open at Fourth Street, Trade District garages

To Reverend Forrest Gilmore, having public restrooms open all night downtown is all about dignity.

December 16, 2021

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Area 2 residents submit signatures at the county courthouse to petition annexation.

Petitioners say they can block annexation, but will it hold up in court?

Some residents say they already have the signatures needed to void annexation. But will remonstration hold up if the city ends up challenging recent waiver legislation in court?

December 9, 2021

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Bloomington/Meridiam logo

Bloomington high-speed internet agreement to improve digital equity

While no final contract has been signed, Meridiam agreed to invest $40 million in the project.

December 2, 2021

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house construction

Banks won't fund some projects. Here's how a Bloomington nonprofit is helping.

An affordable housing project, public art, and a Spanish language preschool find secure and flexible funding with the help of CDFI Friendly Bloomington.

November 11, 2021

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Missing sidewalk network

Here's how Bloomington is changing the way it prioritizes sidewalk projects

Instead of using only a request-based system to log improvement projects, the report suggests the city should prioritize all projects based on 10 different data lenses.

November 4, 2021

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A sidewalk in a residential neighborhood

City of Bloomington aims to improve sidewalk equity

Currently, the city prioritizes updates to the sidewalk network based on individual requests.

October 28, 2021

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Despite breakthrough cases, vaccines still best defense against COVID

Ben Sturbaum knows all too well about breakthrough COVID-19 infections. Four months after receiving his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in March, the 62-year-old Owensburg resident started feeling sick.

October 20, 2021

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Van Buren Township Trustee Rita Barrow

Annexation remonstrance period underway; here's what you need to know

Van Buren Township Trustee Rita Barrow says she’s been busy helping residents who’ve been asking how they can fight annexation.

October 14, 2021

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Fourth Street Garage

City of Bloomington not acting as landlord for parking garage retail space

Although parking services are operational, additional amenities included in the garage’s design, like public restrooms, are not finished.

September 29, 2021

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A 'Now Hiring' sign hangs outside the Village Deli restaurant in Bloomington.

Shortage Of Workers Taking A Toll On The Restaurant Industry

The pandemic has taken its toll on Bob Costello, who owns three Soma Coffeehouses, the Laughing Planet restaurant and the Village Deli.

September 22, 2021

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The Dimension Mill on North Madison Street.

Bloomington Looking To Expand Trades District, Build On Coworking Success

Since The Mill opened its doors in 2018, Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said it has become a beehive of innovation and entrepreneurship for the city.  

September 9, 2021

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Petitioner volunteer Don Creek

Annexation Petitioners Going Door To Door; Mayor Says Remonstration Could End Up In Court

Bloomington’s annexation proposal now moves to proceedings next week as city council decides whether to accept, limit, or revoke any of the eight areas under consideration.

August 26, 2021

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COVID Pfizer Vaccination

Local Experts Debunk Common Misconceptions About The COVID-19 Vaccination

Indiana University Chief Medical Officer Aaron Carroll wants more people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s a matter of public health and putting the pandemic behind us.

August 25, 2021

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eggs

City Limits: The COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe For People Allergic To Eggs

City Limits will address five commonly offered reasons for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 this week in a short Q&A series. Today’s question: Can I take the vaccine if I have an egg allergy?

August 25, 2021

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doctor

City Limits:  Does The COVID-19 Vaccine Weaken My Immune System’s Ability To Fight Off Viruses?  

City Limits will address five commonly offered reasons for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 this week in a short Q&A series. Today’s question: Does the COVID-19 vaccine weaken my immune system’s ability to fight off viruses?  

August 24, 2021

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Community Health Network's nurses volunteered to staff clinics providing vaccines to the community.

City Limits: The COVID-19 Vaccine Does Not Affect Fertility

City Limits will address five commonly offered reasons for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 this week in a short Q&A series. Today’s question: Does the vaccine threaten fertility, especially among women?

August 23, 2021

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Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020.

City Limits: Experts Say COVID Vaccines Don't Alter Your DNA

This week on for our City Limits Series, we're tackling your questions about misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and vaccines.

August 19, 2021

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Peoples Park Mural

City of Bloomington Leaves Peoples Park Mural Unchanged For Over One Year

The city is in communication with the Bicycle Garage to commission a new mural for the space in Peoples Park, but Ksander is unsure of a timeline for the project. Ultimately, the Bicycle Garage must approve the plan. 

August 6, 2021

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masked at restaurant

Delta Is Causing A Surge In New Cases In Indiana. Here’s What You Need To Know

State health officials have pointed to the variant as the main driver of Indiana’s recent climb in new cases and hospitalizations.

July 1, 2021

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Duke Energy trucks are lined up at the company building on West Second Street.

Why Is My Power Out But My Neighbor's Isn't?

Every time a storm rolls in, Steve Higgs gathers an oil lamp, candles and matches, because, more often than not, his power goes out.

June 24, 2021

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IU Health Regional Health Center Sure To Bring Change To Bloomington's East Side

The new medical center and IU's Health Sciences programs together could impact east side housing, traffic and even demographics over time.

June 10, 2021

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Jimmie Johnson and Phyllis Jenshak have been neighbors for about 17 years.

Bloomington's Annexation Proposal A Hard Sell For Some Non-City Residents

Bloomington’s mayor wants to catch up on the size of the city by annexing property in Monroe County’s jurisdiction into the city. The city’s last annexation took place in 2004.

May 20, 2021

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Downtown Apartments 2

Limestone Fans Disappointed Over Use Of Brick

Limestone is a favorite, but building with it ultimately comes down to cost.

May 6, 2021

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The Bentley apartment complex is under construction on the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue.

How Many Downtown Apartments Are Too Many? That's An Ongoing Question

On the corner of 11th Street and College Avenue in Bloomington, construction workers race to complete another downtown apartment complex.

April 29, 2021

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A housing and neighborhood development sign.

What Is Affordable Housing? Bloomington And Monroe Co. Officials Weigh In

“If you’re living paycheck to paycheck $600 a month is close to what you can afford. But there’s nowhere in Bloomington where you can get a two-bedroom for $600. Nowhere.”  

April 23, 2021

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Holiday Inn Express

Booking A Hotel For IU's Commencement? Take Caution, Experts Say

IU Bloomington is hosting its undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 8.

March 25, 2021

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Street crews work to repair a water main break in downtown Bloomington

City Raising Water Rates To Help Replace Aging Water Lines

Four hundred thirty miles of pipe need to be replaced. Under the current budget, only two miles of pipe can be replaced per year.

March 4, 2021

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The Extent Of The Pandemic's Effect On Vulnerable Children Not Yet Fully Known

One listener asks about how children in foster care or awaiting adoption have been affected by the pandemic.

February 25, 2021

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A look at people's camping equipment in Seminary Park.

Bloomington Officials Split On Ordinance That Would Protect Homeless Camps

The proposed law would ban the city from removing homeless encampments, like the ones seen in Seminary Park this winter, unless sufficient housing options are available.

February 25, 2021

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Maxwell Manors subdivision

Black History In Southern Indiana: Racially Restrictive Housing Covenants In Bloomington

Our look back at Black history in Southern Indiana stays right here in Bloomington, where reporter Mitch Legan tackles a City Limits question: What's the city's history of racially restrictive housing covenants?

February 18, 2021

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A screenshot of Bloomington's revisedUnified Development Ordinance map.

What Changes Could Be Coming In Bloomington's Revised UDO?

The new map rolls back on R4 zoning by about 75%.

January 28, 2021

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Switchyard Apartments

City Limits: How To Get Rental Assistance

When Jacqueline Vega wrote to City Limits looking for emergency rental assistance, she was in a panic. 

December 10, 2020

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testing site signs in Bedford

Experts: COVID-19 Deaths Will Increase Over The Next Several Weeks

A listener suggests while there are more cases, there are relatively fewer deaths – and asks our City Limits Series, “Have doctors found more effective ways of treating patients?”

December 3, 2020

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A detailed map of Bloomington's UDO showing urban residential zones.

What Is The Plex Amendment? Bloomington's Changing UDO, Explained

Bloomington’s Unified Development Ordinance could undergo new changes that could affect the layout of several neighborhoods.

November 19, 2020

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testing for covid

Growing COVID Concerns: 'We Should Have Listened To The Science People'

Curtis Carr is 73 years old. He wrote to City Limits because he says he’s worried about the growing number of COVID cases.

November 5, 2020

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A shot of a downtown Bloomington alley showing the old courthouse on the square.

Secondary Corridors: What's The History Of Bloomington's Alleyways?

Historically, alleys provided rear access to a property. Back there, deliveries could be made, trash piled for collection, flotsam stored and transportation housed. For the most part, that’s still the case.

October 29, 2020

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School leaders say they're reaching fewer older voters with their referendum campaign messaging compared to other age groups, but are encouraged by the amount of people getting out to vote ahead of Election Day.

Election Preview: Polling Should Be More Accurate; Possible Legal Battles Ahead

WFIU News brought together four experts to talk about national, state and legal issues heading into this election.

October 8, 2020

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Kirkwood Dining 3

How Does The Kirkwood Ave. Closure Affect Access For Those With Disabilities?

The weekend street closure stretches from Indiana Avenue all the way to Walnut Street and eliminates multiple parallel parking spots outside businesses.

October 1, 2020

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indy worker

City Limits: What Happens To Quarantined People After Unemployment Benefits Expire?

As the pandemic continues and another stimulus package hasn’t been put in place since the extended CARES Act ended in July, one listener asks our City Limits Series, "What happens to quarantined people after unemployment benefits expire?"

February 27, 2020

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collard deer

Faulty Collars Blamed For Deer Deaths In Bloomington

A DNR-funded study that was supposed to track urban deer roaming around Bloomington is drawing attention for other reasons.

December 11, 2019

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Bloomington Barnes and Noble

Are There Plans to Open a Barnes and Noble or New Bookstore in Bloomington?

In February of 2019, Bloomington’s Barnes and Noble closed its doors for good and left the community with an immense need for more books. Nancy Boerner, a retired collection development librarian and avid reader, had lost her favorite place to browse and find new books when Barnes and Noble closed. She then asked City Limits to find out if there were plans for Barnes and Noble to return and if there were any other bookstores planning on opening in the area.