• 40th Anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78

    On January 25, 1978 I was working at Lee Wards Arts & Crafts store on Pendleton Pike in Lawrence. The first blizzard warnings were issued at 3:45 p.m. that day. We employees heard the warnings on the radio about the approaching snow storm, but had no idea what was really coming. Our manager wouldn’t close early and I was working nights, so we didn’t get out to our cars until after 9 p.m. I lived just west of Irvington on Grant Ave. in an old double that we were renting. That foll
  • HUD Awards over $19 Mil. to Hoosier Homeless Programs

    INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded over $19.3 million to support 95 homeless housing and service programs in Indiana. The Continuum of Care grants announced provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the state.Included in the awards are Coburn Place, the Julian Center, Midtown Community Health, Partners in Housing, and the Salvation Army.Last month, HUD reported
  • IMPD E-Commerce Exchange Zones Offer Safer Alternatives

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) has created an “E-Commerce Exchange Zone” at each district headquarters and encourages community members to use the front parking lots or lobby (if available) when meeting people to complete their online purchases and transactions.As more people conduct private business transactions online, there has been a nationwide increase in crime with respect to these transactions. Therefore, IMPD is taking a proactive
  • Warren Central Winter Guard Send Off Performance Jan. 20

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Warren Central High School Winter Guard will travel to Japan for a competition on January 28. To give them a great send-off, everyone is invited to special performance of their 2018 production on Sat., Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Warren Central High School Gym. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students. Purchase tickets at the door (#25).As United States Ambassadors for WGI Sport of the Arts, the world’s leader in producing indoor marching arts events for color guard
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  • Applause!: Jan. 19-25

    • INDOT’s annual Paint the Plow campaign for 2018 has begun. Each INDOT District invites art classes and program from middle and high schools to paint a snow plow blade with original artwork to represent their school. The deadline for applications is March 15. Visit www.in.gov/indot/3427.htm to download an application and more information.• Eastsiders should be proud of the amount of work recently completed at the overlooked gem of a park, Brookside. On Jan. 15, Indy Parks unveil
  • Pacers Host STEM Fest 2018

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers, in partnership with CONEXUS Indiana, will host STEM Fest 2018 for families on Sun., Feb. 11, followed by a Pacers vs. Knicks game, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Students can discover science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities with local Indiana companies, universities, and non-profits. The STEM Fest will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The game begins at 5 p.m.Other activities including meeting Boomer and the Pacemates, a chance to meet w
  • 2017 IPS Graduation Rate Increase

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools reported significant gains in its graduation rate for the 2016-17 school year with the percentage of students graduating topping the 80 percent mark for the first time in several years.Data released by the Indiana Department of Education shows 82.9 percent of IPS students graduated in the 2016-17 school year; this represents nearly a six percentage point increase over the previous year and the largest increase in the last seven years. Additionally
  • A Raisin in the Sun at the IRT

    Written in 1959 by Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun has become a touchstone in American theatre. Peopled with authentic characters and the universal struggle to scratch out a larger place in the world, the play speaks across the generations and seems especially timely given the national dialogue we’re having on overt and covert racism.Indiana Repertory Theatre opened the year with a strong production of Raisin, starring Chike Johnson as Walter Lee Younger, and Kim Staunton as Lena Y
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  • The Irvies on Feb. 24

    IRVINGTON — The Irvies is a community awards ceremony where businesses, neighbors, and our very own larger-than-life personalities are nominated and selected for awards demonstrating their unique talents, notorieties, and contributions to the greater good of Irvington. This fundraiser for Irvington Development Organization (IDO) will be hosted Sat., Feb. 24 at the Irvington Lodge (5515 East Washington Street) from 7-11 p.m.The Irvies is an awards ceremony with entertainment, plus neighborh
  • Question and Answer Time

    One of my favorite parts of writing this column for the past 20 years has been the interaction with you, my readers. You arouse my curiosity, challenge my memory and send me scurrying to the computer for research on a regular basis. It is always my intention to answer each of your questions, but somehow I never quite get that done. So, as we start into new year, I thought it would be a great time to do a little ‘catching up” by answering some of those unanswered questions.Q: How do I
  • Art Along the Waterways — A Citywide Success Story

    by Reconnecting to Our Waterways
    Reconnecting to Our Waterways and partner organizations, like the daVinci Pursuit and the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, work together to stimulate neighborhoods through the use of beautiful and very unique outdoor art that not only intrigues the public, but also draws attention to the nearby waterways while creating educational opportunities.On the near eastside, there are several outdoor art pieces that were created in order to inspire the general pu
  • Scecina Recognized With School Excellence Award

    INDIANAPOLIS — Scecina Memorial High School has been recognized with a School Excellence Award by the Indianapolis Urban League (IUL). Scecina was among nine schools to receive this year’s awards. The IUL recognizes traditional public schools, charter schools, and innovation schools as well as private schools such as Scecina. The IUL gave out its award at a luncheon on Nov. 29, 2017.The IUL honors schools that:• Serve a diverse array of students in terms of free and reduced lunc
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  • White River State Park celebrates MLK, Jr. Day with Free Admissions

    INDIANAPOLIS — Visitors to White River State Park attractions will receive free admission and parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15, with a canned good donation (one can per person, per attraction).“This year, we’re also encouraging people to donate to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana online in exchange for free admission,” said Sampson Levingston, marketing manager at White River State Park. “Because of its buying power, Gleaners can buy $7 worth of food for
  • IPS Announces 37th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Celebration

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Public Schools Racial Equity Office will sponsor its 37th annual tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Fri., Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. at Crispus Attucks High School, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. In partnership with WFYI Productions, the 2018 program will be televised and viewed in classrooms throughout the school district and the community via live stream at www.myips.org/ipsmlktribute. This year’s theme is “Let There
  • University Heights Named Neighborhood of the Month

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett announced recently that University Heights will be the City’s ‘Neighborhood of the Month’ for January, 2018. The Neighborhood of the Month initiative showcases the unique culture, history, and neighborhood groups that make Indianapolis special.University Heights was established in 1902 when real estate developer William L. Elder offered eight acres of land to the Church of United Brethren in Christ to help establish a college. To this day,
  • Greenfield Service Agency Awarded Major Lilly Endowment Grant

    GREENFIELD — Tangram, Inc. has been awarded a $7.5 million grant under Lilly Endowment Inc.’s latest round of financial sustainability grants to central Indiana human services agencies.Founded in 1985 by family members of six individuals with disabilities in Hancock County, Tangram has grown to provide individualized independent living services to over 250 individuals in 17 counties throughout Indiana.The agency plans on spending nearly $600,000 over three years to invest in Tangram
  • Overflow Shelters Opened Through February

    INDIANAPOLIS — Several agencies recently announced the opening of a winter night overflow shelter for up to 50 men. Located at Central Christian Church, this new space will provide relief from the cold weather to individuals currently experiencing homelessness.Central Christian Church will open gym space located at 701 N. Delaware St., providing warm shelter for up to 50 individuals each night through February. This new overflow shelter will be staffed by Wheeler Mission and community volu
  • Applause!: Jan. 12-19

    • Live Jazz (“Sweet Thursday”) is held every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month at Coal Yard Coffee, 5547 Bonna Ave. This Thursday, January 11, jazz starts at 7 p.m. – there’s no cover!• All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches will be closed Jan. 13 through Jan. 15 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Regular hours will resume Jan. 16.• All Indianapolis Public Library locations will be closed on Monday, January 15 in observance of
  • Blood Shortage at Indiana Blood Center

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Blood Center recently stated they had less than a 1 day supply. (Normal inventory levels average 2,000+/- units daily.) O positive, O negative, and B negative units are backordered and all other types are dangerously low. Donors of all types are urgently needed.The Indianapolis location is at 3450 N. Meridian and is open Mon., Tues., Thurs. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Wed. from 6 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri. from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sat. from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 317-916-5150 for an appoi
  • Artist Elizabeth Seagull Heeter Gone Too Soon…

    Many Irvingtonians will remember Elizabeth “Lisa” Seagull Heeter who was an artist living in Irvington and creating some incredible art. If you saw chickens on south Audubon you were near her house where she, her husband and 2 children lived. Lisa passed away on Christmas morning after all the gifts were opened, including her eight year old’s birthday gifts.I first met Lisa at the Halloween Poster Contest Auction in 2015. I had entered the contest myself and Lisa was the winner
  • Something Bleeped Out for Television

    Michael S. Maurer and Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana collaborate on today’s bouncy puzzle.
  • A Peek Into 2018

    Significant changes are on the horizon for world leadership, according to the stars. Bridget Penrose noted that 2017 would see a wild ride for the newly minted Trump administration, as well as an increase in violent crime in Indianapolis, as well as difficulties within the City-County Council.“This upcoming year is also nuts, astrologically speaking,” she said. “We have two big planetary changes, with Saturn moving into Capricorn in 2017 and Uranus moving into Taurus in 2018, t
  • IRT Announces Community Night Jan. 16

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Repertory Theatre has announced that its fourth annual community night will take place on January 16, and celebrates the first play of the New Year, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Timothy Douglas.Since 2014, the IRT has welcomed more than 230 patrons through its doors for community night, encouraging patrons to pay what they choose to enjoy a night of top-quality and entertaining live theatre.Patrons who wish to purchase tickets for com
  • IACS/Indy Parks Announce Satellite Adoption Center

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) and Indy Parks and Recreation recently announced a new partnership that will bring a satellite adoption center to Broad Ripple Park.The Indianapolis Animal Care Services Satellite Adoption Pavilion at Broad Ripple Park will have the ability to house both dogs and cats. The plan is to have it open during high-traffic periods at the park, and also during ACS’ busier times when the shelter tends to fill up quickly.Designed by One 1
  • Indy Library Moves Forward on New Brightwood Branch Project

    INDIANAPOLIS — Purchase agreements approved by The Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees will clear the way for construction of a new Brightwood Branch on the city’s near east side.After more than a year of negotiations with property owners, Library trustees on December 18 approved purchases of four tracts totaling 2.3 acres on which a new 15,000-square-foot branch will be built. It will replace an undersized facility in the Brightwood Shopping Center that has served the comm
  • Applause!: Jan. 5-11

    • Congratulations to Jacob Rawson, a student at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI), who was selected to represent Indiana in the Lions Clubs International Essay Contest. If declared the grand prize winner, he will receive a cash award of $5,000 plus a trip for the winner and two family members to a special award ceremony in New York at the United Nations.• The 2018 Winter Magic Festival will be Jan. 19-21 at IndyFringe Theatre. The festival will have four ma
  • First Friday Offers New Art in a New Year

    INDIANAPOLIS— The Harrison Center will offer Chill, an artist reception on Fri., Jan. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m.. In the Harrison Gallery, Elizabeth Smith presents My Tour de France, a body of work comprised of paintings and installation work created with beaded “snowflakes” that mimic the intricate painted patterns.Speck Gallery presents Pictured Rocks, an Interplay between Photography and Abstract Art by Bartosz Pietrzak. The City Gallery gets an arctic blast with a winter landscape
  • Indiana’s Opioid Crisis

    According to a recent report, in 2016, more people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. than the total number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. In Indiana, opioid overdose deaths rose 52 percent between 2015 and 2016 and have more than doubled in the last three years. Over the same period, we saw drug-related arrests by Indiana State Police increase by more than 40 percent.There is an opioid epidemic in the United States, including Indiana, and it is something we must be aware of and work
  • CTS Completes Sale to Butler University

    INDIANAPOLIS — Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) sold buildings and approximately 40 acres to Butler University, both schools said recently.Butler’s College of Education will move into the main building on the CTS campus beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year. CTS will continue to reside on campus — in part of the main building, counseling center, and apartments — through a special long-term lease. CTS will also retain ownership of a parcel of land on the far west
  • WFYI Expands Coverage of Local Arts & Culture

    INDIANAPOLIS — WFYI 90.1 FM reporter/anchor Jill Ditmire is well known in the local arts community, and she is poised to start telling even more of its stories as the leader of the public radio station’s new full-time arts and culture desk. This new newsroom beat will expand Ditmire’s role with the station that will include hosting a new, yet-to-be named one-hour program that will debut in March, 2018.There will be more stories during WFYI’s daily newscasts and expanded f
  • Mayor Notes Big Investment in Neighborhoods in 2017

    INDIANAPOLIS — Recently, Mayor Joe Hogsett joined the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) to report preliminary neighborhood investments totaling $66 million in 2017. Leveraging local, state, and federal resources, these investments resulted in over 300 new housing units, 70 home repairs, 2,000 new job commitments, 1,400 retained jobs, and 690 job placement and training opportunities for low- to moderate-income residents.DMD leverages funding from the U.S. Department of Housing an
  • Looking at Blue-Collar Factory Jobs in the Rearview Mirror

    The road ahead for workers in Indianapolis won’t be easy, but our reporter has reasons for hope after her ninth trip there this year.
  • 2017 in the Rear View Mirror

    The year 2017 was one marked by confusion, protest, and conflict. It was a busy year for reporters and news junkies who worked overtime to keep up on the latest developments.International news, particularly the aspirations of North Korea, dominated headlines in 2017. Ballistic missile testing across the Sea of Japan in February drew condemnation from all quarters, which were answered with even more tests throughout the year. In September, North Korea tested a nuclear device — the largest d
  • Weekly View Columnist Donates to Worthy Irvington Causes

    Al Hunter recently distributed proceeds from the Historic Irvington Ghost Tours to the Irvington Historical Society’s principals Paul Diebold and Steve Barnett, and to Jan Defrebrache at Gaia Works. The October tours draw thousands of people to Irvington.
    submitted photo
    Al Hunter with Paul Diebold and Steve Barnett.
    submitted photo
    Al Hunter with Jan Deferbrache.
  • City Acquires Former Gas & Coke Plant in Twin Aire

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Citizens Energy Group President and CEO Jeffrey Harrison recently in the Twin Aire neighborhood to celebrate a key milestone in the development of the Community Justice Campus.  The agreement between the City and Citizens will ensure the continued remediation of the area, help facilitate continued investment in the neighborhood and, ultimately, allow the City to acquire 140 acres of the former Citizens Energy Manufactured Gas & Coke Plant, n
  • Credit Union Provides Help with Angel Tree Program

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Members Credit Union (IMCU) partnered with CBS4 and The Salvation Army for this year’s Angel Tree Program.  This seasonal program brings joy and happiness to those less fortunate during the holiday season by providing clothing, special-needs gifts and other wished-for items such as toys and games. Through the partnership, IMCU adopted 26 Angel’s from Central Indiana which will ensure these children have a happy holiday.IMCU branches and its’ co
  • IPS Students Spread Holiday Cheer

    INDIANAPOLIS — Eleanor Skillen School 34 recently delivered Bags of Cheer to Indianapolis businesses and holiday shoppers. The bags, decorated by sixth-grade students, were filled with items made by pupils in other grade levels, including “reindeer food,” dog bones, gift tags, ornaments, snowflakes and a hot chocolate treat. It was the first year the entire school participated in the gift-giving. In total, students delivered 500 bags to destinations that included businesses on
  • Applause!: Dec. 22-Jan.4

    • The 2017 Luminaria in Irvington was a huge success! Thank you to all the volunteers and helpers, as well as the homeowners, who participated throughout the community. Wouldn’t it be great if other historic neighborhoods in Indianapolis joined in this great event next year?• All Indianapolis Public Library locations will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 24 and Mon., Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas. In addition, the Flanner House Branch, located in the Flanner House Community Center
  • City Announces Infrastructure Partnership

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Neighborhood Infrastructure Partnership will award nonprofit community-based organizations matching funds for neighborhood projects that could include sidewalks, street resurfacing, multi-use paths and bridges.Beginning December 15, the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works will accept proposals for 2018 projects under the matching fund award program. The application is downloadable at indy.gov/dpw. DPW will review all proposals, and accepted projects may
  • Live Christmas Tree Recycling Begins Dec. 26

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) and Indy Parks are teaming up to help recycle live Christmas trees for the city’s residents.Starting Tues., Dec. 26 and running through Wed., Jan. 31, trees without any decorations can be dropped off at the following Indy Parks locations. Trees must be free of tinsel, lights, tree stands and all other decorative materials in order to recycle them properly. Trees can be dropped off from dawn to dusk.Drop-off locations fo
  • Indiana Farmers Donate Freezers & Local Meats

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF) has partnered with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity again this year to donate a freezer and local meat, vegetable and dairy products to the two families who participated in the 8th Annual Ag Build at the 2017 Indiana State Fair.In partnership with the Indiana State Fair, Greater Indy Habitat constructed two new homes in 14 days on the Indiana State Fairgrounds this summer. Each deserving family built their home alongside almost 30 sp
  • Peewinkle’s Puppets are Magic

    Hey, all you Boomer parents and grandparents! Do you want to know a really enchanting place to take your kids and grandkids for a really wonderful time? Well, take them to a show at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio, located in the Indiana State Museum (650 W. Washington St.). Try attending one of their regularly featured performances or better yet, plan a birthday party there. I promise you, it will be an event that you will always fondly remember. Peggy Melchior Peason, Heidi Shackleford, and De
  • Irvington Luminaria Lights Up Historic Neighborhood

    Irvington, a community perhaps better known for its deep and abiding love affair with Halloween, also celebrates the winter holidays with community events and gatherings. The biggest of them is the annual Luminaria, when neighbors light their sidewalks and pathways with candles in bags, and churches offer music and refuge from the busy-ness of the holidays. This year, the Luminaria will be held Sunday, December 17 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to drive slowly and carefully through t
  • New Initiatives to Combat Violent Crime Announced

    INDIANAPOLIS — On Dec. 11, Indianapolis leadership announced a comprehensive violence reduction strategy in partnership with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Public Health and Safety. The initiative will result in a collaborative crackdown on illegally-armed felons while making the largest investment in neighborhood and community based anti-crime efforts in more than a decade.Despite unacceptable levels of violence this year, results indicate that the focus on
  • The Black Hat Society Raises $7200 for Charity

    Friday night, Dec. 8th during the Irvington Holiday Open House in the Irving Theatre, The Black Hat Society of Historic Irvington presented checks totalling $7,200 to the three charities they had raised money for during the sale of their 2018 Calendar. Charities included The Pourhouse Outreach Center, Helping Paws Pet Rescue and the Diabetes Youth Foundation Camp.The calendars were created this past year, and members spent  hours of volunteer time and energy creating costumes and setting up
  • IMPD Creates E-Commerce Exchange Zones

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) has created an “E-Commerce Exchange Zone” at each district headquarters and encourages community members to use the front parking lots or lobby (if available) when meeting people to complete their online purchases and transactions.As more people conduct private business transactions online, there has been a nationwide increase in crime with respect to these transactions. Therefore, IMPD is taking a proactive
  • City Begins Demolition of Oil Storage Site

    INDIANAPOLIS — On Dec. 11, Mayor Joe Hogsett, City-County Councillor Blake Johnson, and members of the Christian Park neighborhood held a ceremonial kick-off to demolition and environmental remediation activities on the former Naples Bulk Oil Storage/Kiel Bros. Oil Company site. The structures being demolished include six aboveground storage tanks and one underground storage tank, which were previously used to store up to 1.3 million gallons of oil and fuel, as well as a dilapidated buildi
  • Homelessness Declines in 2017

    INDIANA — Homelessness declined in Indiana according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While overall homelessness increased by 0.7 percent nationally since 2016, since 2010 there was a decline of 13.1 percent. HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found the follow regarding homelessness across Indiana:• Local communities reported that 5,438 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017,
  • Local News and Notes

    Fundraiser for Girl Hit By Car Dec. 8
    IRVINGTON — One of the young ladies caroling in Irvington on December 8 was struck by a truck crossing the street near Batters. Alexis Randolph was taken to Riley Hospital and has several broken bones, including ribs, and other injuries.Friends of the family are raising funds through online donations to help pay her medical expenses and loss of income as her parents help with her recovery. To help, visit www.youcaring.com/alexisrandolph-1040793
    Paws &a
  • Naughty and Nice . . .

    ‘Tis the Season…frosty morns and ebony nights illuminated by bright multicolored lights — reflected and shimmering on moist pavement — and the scent of pine and candle wax everywhere. Shoppers scurry amid the tinkling of Salvation Army bells and children’s eyes are full of wonderful delights. A special treat might be an afternoon or evening taking in a seasonal theater tradition, The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Ah, yes; Holiday Traditions.When one thinks of th

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