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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 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.

VIEW MORE STORIES

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 12, 2021

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Bloomington Annexation Map

City Limits: Annexation Public Hearing Concludes, What's Next?

Public hearings on Bloomington’s annexation proposal ended Wednesday night. There are more questions than answers about what happens next.

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.

August 5, 2021

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Bloomington City Council annexation public hearing before recess to online only.

Annexation Public Hearing: No Needed Services, Taxation Without Representation

The Bloomington City Council annexation public hearing was supposed to be in-person and online, but upon arrival at city hall, flyers read that due to concern of COVID-19, city council will recess and reconvene an hour later on Zoom only.

August 5, 2021

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Bicycle lane

City of Bloomington Continues Focus On Multimodal Transportation

Bloomington is a gold-rated city by The League of American Bicyclists. This certification means at least 5.5 percent of the population commutes by bicycle and 65 percent of arterial streets are accessible by bike lane, among other criteria.   

July 29, 2021

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A map of the fictitious Site 81 at Lake Monroe

There's Something Mysterious About Site 81 At Lake Monroe

Google ‘Lake Monroe’ and you’ll get the expected tourist, boat rental, realty property and Department of Natural Resources links. But if you dig down a bit, you can also find a link to something called ‘Site 81.’

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.

June 3, 2021

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A photo of a row of multiplex houses in Bloomington.

New Bloomington Plex Ordinance Hasn't Stopped Disagreements As Plans Move Ahead

While some see the success of the controversial plex amendment as a victory for inclusion, affordability and environmental sustainability, others see a near apocalyptic attack on Bloomington’s neighborhoods.

May 27, 2021

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The entrance to the small dog park at Switchyard Park in Bloomington.

Bloomington's Switchyard Dog Park A Place To Let Your Pups Run Free

But there are places in the city where you can let your dog run free. The newest is a nearly seven-acre dog park at Switchyard Park.

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.

April 22, 2021

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A photo of a plex house in the Elm Heights neighborhood.

How Could Changes To The UDO Impact Bloomington's Core Neighborhoods?

One of the most controversial measures being considered is legalizing duplexes in most of the core neighborhoods, where they are currently not allowed.

April 15, 2021

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Dr. Jeff Hauswald

New MCCSC Superintendent Sees COVID Issues As Crucial

New MCCSC Superintendent Jeff Hauswald knows that many people with a stake in public education have questions about his plans for leading the corporation, but he just does not have many specific answers to give them.

April 8, 2021

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Man recycles at solid waste management district

When In Doubt, Throw It Out: The Dirty Truths About Local Recycling

It's disheartening that only 9% of plastics actually get recycled. Or that a little food residue can spoil tons of plastic and fiber recycling. But Hoosiers can find encouragement in their own state if they know where to look.

April 2, 2021

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A photo of a multiplex house in Bloomington.

Plan Commission Legalizes Duplexes In Bloomington's Core Neighborhoods

This issue has been one of much debate the last two years as the city continues to propose changes to its local zoning districts under the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). 

April 1, 2021

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A view of Building Trades Park from 611 W. Second St. in 1958

Remembering Razed Neighborhood At Second And Rogers

In the 1950s, Second and Rogers was the type of neighborhood that no longer exists - a neighborhood where nobody locked their door, and kids spent every hour of sunlight in the park. 

March 26, 2021

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A photo of a sign that says "Mayor Hamilton we didn't elect you to destroy our neighborhoods."

Plan Commission Will Entertain The Idea Of Pausing Plex Amendment Adoption

Proponents of the pause believe it is necessary to keep discussing the issue and be thorough rather than adopting it into law and being stuck with the possible consequences.

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 18, 2021

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SR 46 lane change illustration

Local Drivers Question Purpose And Timing Of Bloomington Road Work

Bloomington residents find the city's many road projects make getting around town challenging. "Who instigated the project?" and "Why is it taking so long?" are two of the questions we answer in today's City's Limits.

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 26, 2021

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A photo of tents lined along College Avenue on the westside of Seminary Park.

5 Things You Need To Know About Bloomington's Proposed Law To Protect Homeless Encampments

The proposal is in response to the city removing tents from Seminary Park on multiple occassions this winter despite local organizations and public officials urging against it. 

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 12, 2020

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A close shot of Bloomington City Hall.

What Happened To The City Of Bloomington's Evening Ambassador?

That position was approved by city council in the 2019 budget, but the person hired for the job is no longer there.

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.