Joseph S. Pete

Monroe County Prosecutor-elect Chris Gaal is leaving his at-large City Council seat up for grabs among Democrats in January when he assumes his new office. A past council candidate and an economics professor have already declared their candidacies, and more are expected to contend to fill the soon-to-be-vacated seat, which comes up for election in November 2007.

Hoosiers should view their state's economy with tempered optimism over the next year, say some experts, who predict little economic growth but steady performance in Indiana.

Sep 13, 2006 11:15 pm

Republicans vie for council seat

city's police dispatcher are squaring off for the Bloomington City Council seat Republican Jason Banach will vacate in October.

The voter registration deadline is quickly approaching for this year's general election. The last day citizens can register to vote in Indiana is Tuesday, Oct. 10. Residents who voted in Monroe County during the last election and have not since changed their addresses retain their eligibility and simply have to show up at their precinct polling place Nov. 7 or cast an absentee ballot by Nov. 6.

Jeff Mease feels burned. Mease, founder and CEO of the popular local chain Pizza Express, finds his business ensnared in a legal tangle with an Indianapolis-based business partner. The two companies have each filed dueling lawsuits in federal court.

Monroe County United Ministries is soliciting volunteers for a major food drive planned for the weekend leading into the fall semester. It seeks 100 volunteers to man booths taking donations outside most supermarkets in Bloomington and Ellettsville. The nonprofit organization needs to meet a target of 118 pounds of food at the risk of further reduced services. Like many area pantries, United Ministries has seen a recent surge in demand from working families requesting temporary food assistance. Since 2004, demand has shot up 72 percent while donations have risen only slightly.

While riding out a shift as a Circuit City floor salesman his senior year of high school, Jared Schneider realized he'd like to be able to wear shorts to work if he felt so inclined. He realized he wanted to work for himself. He's not waiting on a bachelor's degree. By late July, the 19-year-old junior plans to open Baked! of Bloomington, a downtown cookie delivery store. Schneider touts freshly baked cookies straight out of the oven as an alternative to yet another pizza or sub. To be open until 3 a.m. weekends, the store offers as its signature special the "Hot Box:" a baker's dozen with a quart of milk for $11. Selling freshness, Schneider promises that dough won't touch tin until the order is completed.

A stamp cost just 6 cents. Mail was still sorted by hand when Larry Jacobs was first hired on as a clerk by the United States Postal Service in 1969.

Jun 11, 2006 11:15 pm

Big Al's big dream

Al Carpenter insists Saturday won't rank as the happiest day of his life. He would rather see IU win the Rose Bowl.

Bloomington now boasts some of the edgiest doughnuts in the country. Square Donuts, the first franchise of the Terre Haute landmark, opened downtown Friday to brisk weekend business without any advertising or fanfare.

Bloomington might soon disappear from the map. The future of the city's postmark remains up in the air. The Monroe County Commissioners intend tonight to endorse an objection to a plan to shift the postmarking of mail from all 474 ZIP codes to Indianapolis -- even mail sent locally, to another 474 code.

Public health legislation co-authored by State Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, now stands before the state Senate awaiting a committee hearing. The bill, which outlines rules for quarantines, passed the House 69-28. Welch's bill empowers public health authorities to isolate and restrict the movement of individuals exposed to a communicable disease and establishes a procedure for local government officials to issue or obtain quarantine orders.

Feb 7, 2006 12:41 am

House shoots down gaming proposals

The General Assembly has again rejected a proposal to install slot machines at Indiana's two racetracks. Under House Bill 1077, drafted by state Rep. Eric Gutwein, R-Rensselaer, tax revenues generated from the slots would have been funneled into county governments to ease property taxes. Under the plan, licensing fees and a 32 percent wager tax would have brought in $292 million to the state along with more than $157 million annually, according to a press release from Gutwein's office. The legislation would have annually distributed $500,000 earmarked for tax relief to all non-gaming counties and $25 million to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to further economic development.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Party officials announced Mike Kole as the de facto Libertarian candidate for the Indiana Secretary of State race before a conference of student activists Saturday.

Jan 25, 2006 12:47 am

Unearthing an underground history

Alexander McClure, a slave in Tennessee, sought to ship himself to freedom, to a new life in the North. With help, McClure sealed himself in a dry goods crate in Nashville, Tenn., bound for Cincinnati by rail. Documents unearthed by the Indiana Historical Bureau Underground Railroad Initiative reveal that McClure endured more than 10 hours holed up in a three-foot by two-foot crate.

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