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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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February 29, 2024

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Residents speak out against massive development in southwest Bloomington

Residents near the planned site of a development that would bring more than 4,000 new homes doubt the area can handle the amount of density it would bring.

February 14, 2024

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Columbus City Council Voted To Ban E-cigarette Smoking In Non-smoking Vicinities

Students potentially unaware of IU smoking regulations, lack of productive enforcement

The university relies on the community to ask those they see vaping or smoking to stop.

February 1, 2024

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November 7, 2023 General Election

Election supervisor vacancy prompts letter from League of Women Voters

The local League of Women Voters chapter says it's concerned by Monroe County's current lack of an election supervisor.

January 24, 2024

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mccsc-logo_alex-eady.jpg

University-Fairview school merger off the table, MCCSC wants input on Childs–Templeton proposal

The Monroe County Community School board will schedule listening forums with Templeton and Childs Elementary parents and teachers about a proposed merger of the schools.

January 18, 2024

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Map shows Bloomington’s most dangerous intersections for pedestrians

Bloomington prides itself as being a bike and pedestrian friendly city. But how does it measure up when you look at the data?

January 11, 2024

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Should Indiana have rent control laws?

The lack of rent control laws affects limited-income families the most.

January 5, 2024

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The Hole

Bloomington Nightlife: Some residents say nothing has ever replaced 'The Hole'

One Monroe County resident says nightlife in Bloomington lacks diversity and misses The Hole, and bar and dance club housed in the B.G. Pollard Lodge before it closed.

December 29, 2023

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Thomson discusses strategy on ongoing projects before term starts

Bloomington Mayor-elect Kerry Thomson discusses the ongoing city projects she'll be tasked with once she takes office.

December 19, 2023

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blue streetlight on Atwater

Why some Bloomington streetlights are turning blue

Over the past two years, Bloomington streets have been washed with blue lights at night. But why are once-white LED streetlights turning blue?

December 15, 2023

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Jacob Perry headshot

City Limits: Billboard ban would be a big loss for Bloomington man

For some, billboards are just signs that show drivers where to get gas at the nearest highway exit or promote an upcoming IU football game. But for one Bloomington man, billboards are more than just advertisements.

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December 14, 2023

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installing fiber optic

City Limits: Fiber installer says residents shouldn't pay for its damages, but some can't get reimbursed

Bloomington’s ambitious fiber optic plan will bring rapid download speeds to thousands of homes. But homeowners affected by damage during installation can find themselves bogged down for months.

December 1, 2023

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seminary-brunch

City Limits: As temperatures drop, tents no longer allowed in public parks

Bloomington’s board of park commissioners passed a rule in August banning enclosed structures, such as camping tents, in public parks during the daytime.

November 17, 2023

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Family hunting

Youth hunting weekends give kids head start

Adults are not allowed to hunt during the two youth hunting weekends, they are designated strictly for kids.

November 16, 2023

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Thomson asks Hamilton to cease making strategic decisions for rest of term

Bloomington Mayor-elect Kerry Thomson is asking Mayor John Hamilton to not make certain strategic decisions for the rest of his term.

November 14, 2023

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Hamilton takes photo with Posoltega Mayor Lilliam Mayorga, Bloomington city representatives and Posoltega residents

Hamilton says Sister Cities trip promoted peace, cost $12,000

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton and four others flew to Nicaragua and Cuba last month as part of the national Sister Cities program.

November 9, 2023

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City Limits: Why add bike lanes to S.R. 45? What do users think?

INDOT plans to install bike lanes on part of State Road 45 on Bloomington’s east side. The project has received mixed reactions, even among some bicyclists.

October 27, 2023

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Monolith: The five-year saga of Bloomington’s polarizing landmark 

Planning this monument played out in the open, in public meetings over five years. How were the people of Bloomington caught so off guard?   

October 26, 2023

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The Bloomington Cougars horn line plays at a rehearsal on Oct. 24, 2023.

Bloomington North band marching into state finals

The Cougar Band will compete against nine other marching bands from across the state Saturday at state marching finals in Lucas Oil Stadium.

October 20, 2023

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Monroe County has one contested race and a referendum for November

Local officials, election workers, and candidates as busy preparing for the upcoming 2023 general election. But it’s an off year, which historically sees lower participation rates. 

October 13, 2023

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CFC Business Plaza at Showers

As push to move Bloomington police, fire advances, officials sound alarm

The mayor's office hopes construction can begin in 2024, but some are pushing back against the plans.

October 5, 2023

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The doorway of a classroom shot from the hallway at Bloomington High School North

MCCSC community expresses frustration over potential schedule change

Although MCCSC has not formally released any proposed schedule changes, students, schoolboard members and teachers say the proposal could change the schedule to semesters with seven 40-minute periods.

September 27, 2023

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Bloomington Police Headquarters

Bloomington police station on sale for $3.2 million

The city plans to renovate Showers West and move the police department there.

September 21, 2023

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deer

Deer count not plausible for Bloomington following deer feeding ban, solutions limited

Enforcing a deer feeding ban will reduce deer access to public food supply, which could in turn decrease their population.

September 14, 2023

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Kirkwood

Bloomington city council rejects effort to prevent camping on sidewalks, streets

The draft legislation was widely seen as an effort to prevent homeless individuals from camping on sidewalks, streets and roads.

September 13, 2023

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Artist rendering of the gateway monolith

Board of Public Works delays vote on start of Bloomington Gateway Project

Opposition to the $1.1 million project, which was green-lit by the city council in 2018 as part of the city’s bicentennial bond, grew after a release by the city last week highlighting the upcoming project.

September 6, 2023

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A photo of autumn leaves and yard waste in a Bloomington street.

You asked, we answered. What will leaf collection look like in Bloomington this year?

Curbside vacuum leaf collection will cease this year in the City of Bloomington.

September 6, 2023

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Bloomington city hall

Here’s what’s in the proposed 2024 Bloomington city budget

Budget highlights include a 5 percent salary increase and a $500 one-time bonus to non-union employees, a 5 percent raise for firefighters, more civilian responders for 911 calls and $20 million in one-time expenditures.

August 31, 2023

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dana jones wheeler

"It hurts": Bloomington Wheeler Mission ends shelter services for women this week

The Bloomington Wheeler Mission Shelter announced earlier this month it would be stop shelter services for women, starting this Friday.

August 24, 2023

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Daytime tent ban in Bloomington parks takes effect

Bloomington began enforcing a new rule Wednesday prohibiting enclosed structures like tents in public parks.

August 17, 2023

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henderson bike lane

New Henderson bike lane creates confusion

The bike lane acts as an East-West connection between Smith and Hunter streets.

July 17, 2023

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Plan commission approves land map for part of new Hopewell neighborhood

The plat, or map showing the divisions of a piece of land, covers a roughly 11-acre section of the western part of the Hopewell site.

July 12, 2023

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Monroe County Parks requests synthetic turf fields at Karst Athletic Complex

A department representative says changes are needed to make future athletic tournaments possible, thus creating more local tourism opportunities.

July 11, 2023

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6,000-unit housing development on city’s southwest side under consideration

The city's plan commission held an initial hearing Monday for a petition to rezone nearly 140 acres of land between South Weimer Road and RCA Community Park.

July 7, 2023

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campus

Will end of affirmative action affect IU Bloomington's enrollment? Students express concern

Domestic enrolled students of color have slowly increased at IU, with nearly 12,000 in fall 2022. But white enrollment is still more than twice that– at nearly 30,000 students.

June 15, 2023

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long covid book

Life on hold: Long COVID support group helps these two Hoosiers cope and adapt to illness

Though deaths and hospitalizations for COVID-19 infections have stabilized, the CDC says as many as 4 million Americans are living with Long COVID.   

June 7, 2023

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Are there people buried under Lake Monroe?

The Army Corps of Engineers attempted to relocate every cemetery in the area during construction. Is it true that some people remain buried deep beneath the surface of the lake?

June 1, 2023

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empty streets downtown bloomington samira

Fewer students in Bloomington this summer? Local businesses feel the heat

A local business owner wants to know if her suspicions are true that fewer IU students stayed in Bloomington for the past two summers. Indiana Public Media finds the answer.

May 25, 2023

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Phi Gamma Delta / FIJI House at IU Bloomington circa 1927

A fraternity had a house on IU's Old Crescent for decades. Now greenspace, what are the university’s plans for the site?

631 East Third Street, in the historic Old Crescent of IU's campus, has been greenspace since Phi Gamma Delta moved to the west side of campus in 2016.

April 27, 2023

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college and walnut map

City Limits: Corridor study for College and Walnut Streets underway

The city is in the beginning phases of a corridor study for College and Walnut and is seeking community input.

April 20, 2023

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zietlow

Zietlow's book recalls bringing civic engagement to Bloomington

Charlotte Zietlow remembers when she moved to Bloomington in 1964. Back then, she saw it as a town with dismissive top-down leadership and little civic enthusiasm.

April 6, 2023

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The facade on the historic Princess Theatre is aging, but is it unsafe?

Locals refer to its terra cotta tile façade as “iconic” and “remarkable.” But some say the top of it tilts forward and is unsafe.

March 30, 2023

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Crawford Apartments

City Limits: Crawford Apartments' housing-first approach leads to drop in arrest rates

The goal of the apartments, run by Beacon Inc, is to provide housing to community members experiencing chronic homelessness, disability, and addiction.

March 22, 2023

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Reports say millions are living with long COVID. We want to hear your story.

For our ongoing COVID-19 coverage, we want to hear from you about how persisting COVID symptoms affect your life. You can send a submission through this post.

March 9, 2023

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A photo of a Bloomington Transit bus from the front.

Bloomington Transit bouncing back from pandemic losses

Transit General Manager John Connell expects ridership will return to prepandemic levels by the end of this year.

March 3, 2023

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Trades District lot west of The Mill.`

What's next for Bloomington's Trades District post COVID

Despite years of promising economic activity, Bloomington’s Trades District is still pretty much vacant.

February 9, 2023

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Is Happy Hour illegal in Indiana?

Indiana banned Happy Hour decades ago, during a time of nationwide concern over drunk driving.

February 1, 2023

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The problem behind Bloomington's emergency vet care desert

Until VetCheck opens in the spring, the nearest 24/7 emergency vet clinic is nearly an hour and a half away.

January 26, 2023

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proposed council districts

Redistricting pits city council members against colleagues

In Bloomington, a citizen committee’s map was narrowly approved by a divided council. Some of those council members will now have to compete against each other in this year’s elections.

January 25, 2023

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'I cannot move slow’: Monroe Co. Sheriff on current state of jail

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says conditions at the jail are inhumane and must be improved.

January 19, 2023

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hawthorne street

City taking feedback on Hawthorne & Weatherstone Greenway

The Hawthorne & Weatherstone Greenway is one of nine greenway projects in the city's 2019 transit plan.

December 21, 2022

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Local book fairies are at work in Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are “book-sharing boxes” in public places providing access to books 24/7.

December 7, 2022

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tree stump

City Limits: Residents share frustrations with Fullerton Pike Project as 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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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.

August 18, 2022

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Monroe Convention Center

Monroe convention expansion at stalemate while Terre Haute, Columbus find momentum

Monroe County and Bloomington leaders have been struggling to expand their convention center, while two other cities are just getting into the business.

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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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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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?