Big Talk

Big Talk features the boss of this global communications colossus going one-on-one with fascinating people.

Catch Big Mike’s weekly program on Bloomington community radio WFHB, 91.3 FM, every Thursday at 5:30pm, immediately following the Daily Local News. Read selected Big Talk profiles every month on Limestone Post, South Central Indiana’s online magazine.

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Your Big Talk Links


WFHB Podcast, May 30, 2019

ADAM NAHAS — Founder & executive director, Artisan Alley

WFHB Podcast, May 16, 2019

GABE GLODEN — managing director, Cardinal Stage Company

WFHB podcast: May 9, 2019

DENISE VALKYRIE — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 1

WFHB podcast: May 2, 2019

RYAN MALONEY — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 5

WFHB podcast: April 25, 2019

DANIEL BINGHAM — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 2

WFHB podcast: April 18, 2019

NILE ARENA — candidate, Bloomington mayor

WFHB podcast: April 11, 2019

MATT FLAHERTY — candidate, Bloomington City Council, At-Large

WFHB podcast: April 4, 2019

SUE SGAMBELLURI — candidate Bloomington City Council, Dist. 2

WFHB podcast: March 28, 2019

RON SMITH — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 3

WFHB podcast: March 21, 2019

JEAN CAPLER — candidate, Bloomington City Council, At-Large

WFHB podcast: March 14, 2019

ANDREW GUENTHER — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 2

WFHB podcast: March 7. 2019

MIAH MICHAELSON — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 4

WFHB podcast: February 28, 2019

KATE ROSENBARGER — candidate, Bloomington City Council, Dist. 1

WFHB podcast: February 21, 2019

JOE LAMANTIA — collaborative/community artist

WFHB podcast: February 14, 2019

MIKE LEONARD — reporter, columnist, editor

WFHB podcast: February 7, 2019

JANAE CUMMINGS — board chair, Bloomington Pride

WFHB podcast: January 31, 2019

NATE POWELL — cartoonist, co-author March, books 1 through 3

WFHB podcast: January 24, 2019

ZAINEB ISTRABADI — beloved teacher of Arabic, Indiana University

WFHB podcast: January 17, 2019

KATE HESS PACE — executive director, Hoosier Action

WFHB podcast: January 10, 2019

CINDY BRUBAKER — restoration architect & developer

WFHB podcast: December 27, 2018

PETE BUTTIGIEG — candidate, President of the United States

WFHB podcast: December 20, 2018

DAN “CARP” COMBS — trustee, Perry Township

WFHB podcast: December 13, 2018

GEORGE PINNEY — director, choreographer, teacher

WFHB podcast: December 6, 2018

VAUHXX BOOKER — candidate, Bloomington City Council, At-Large

WFHB podcast: November 29, 2018

DEBRA MORROW — executive director Middle Way House

WFHB podcast: November 15, 2018

2018 Election with JEFF ISAAC — professor, political science, Indiana University

WFHB podcast: November 8, 2018

JEREMY SHERE — podcast host, The Btown Lowdown

WFHB podcast: November 1, 2018

Cohousing, Part 2, with project co-founder MARION SINCLAIR

WFHB podcast: October 25, 2018

Cohousing, Part 1, with developer LOREN WOOD

WFHB podcast: October 18, 2018

SARAH PERFETTI — Co-founder, Be Golden Women’s Empowerment Conference.

WFHB podcast: October 4, 2018

MARC HAGGERTY — Community activist.

WFHB podcast: September 27, 2018

CHAD RABINOVITZ & SIMON CORONEL — Bloomington Playwrights Project artistic director & internationally-renowned illusionist.

WFHB podcast: September 20, 2018

CRISTIAN MEDINA — Community volunteer.

WFHB podcast: September 13, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

AMANDA BARGE & SHELLI YODER — Co-founders, South Central Indiana Opioid Summit.

WFHB podcast: September 6, 2018

VINCE (CARLOS) GAITANI — Head of Monroe County Sheriff’s Reserve.

WFHB podcast: August 30, 2018

CINDY BEAULÉ — WFHB fundraiser.

WFHB podcast: August 23, 2018

HOAGY BIX CARMICHAEL — Son of the legendary Indiana composer/songwriter/actor, Hoagy Carmichael.

WFHB podcast: August 16, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

FELIZ ÇIÇEK — Feminist artist.

WFHB podcast: August 2, 2018

TROY MAYNARD — Humorist, author.

WFHB podcast: July 26, 2018

CHRIS MATTINGLY & DAVE TORNEO — The poet & his publisher.

WFHB podcast: July 19, 2018

DARRAN MOSLEY — DJ, karaoke host.

WFHB podcast: July 12, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

PAULA CHAMBERS — Flow Arts entertainer.

WFHB podcast:  July 5, 2018

AMANDA BIGGS — Actor, singer.

WFHB podcast: June 28, 2018

SAM STEPHENSON — Author, historian.

WFHB podcast: June 21, 2018

DAVID BRENT JOHNSON — WFIU radio host & jazz maven.

WFHB podcast: June 14, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

NANCY HILLER — Renowned woodworker, cabinetmaker, and historic preservationist.

WFHB podcast: June 7, 2018

MICHAEL KORYTANew York Times bestselling mystery author.

WFHB podcast: May 24, 2018

DEREK RICHEY — Historic preservationist.

WFHB podcast: May 17, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

ROSS GAY & KACIE SWIERK — Award-winning poet with singer-songwriter.

WFHB podcast: May 10, 2018

TRISTRA NEWYEAR — Russophile and author.

WFHB podcast: May 3, 2018

NICCI BOROSKI — Co-owner ot Bloomington LBGBTQ nightclub, The Back Door.

WFHB podcast: April 26, 2018

JEAN MAGRANE — Bloomington’s first female firefighter.

WFHB podcast: April 19, 2018

Limestone Post Profile

WILLIAM ELLIS & MARK FRALEY — Respective chairs of Monroe Countys’ Republican & Democratic parties take a look at Indiana’s 2018 primary election.

WFHB podcast: April 12, 2018

JAMES CLAWSON — He bridges the gap between computer geekdom and the more staid health care world. Clawson and his crew at Indiana University’s School of Informatics are developing mobile and wearable devices for use by patients suffering from cancer and other morbidities. The devices connect them with other sufferers, as well as with doctors, researchers, disease navigators, and a myriad of helpers and supporters, making their illness journeys less terrifying and more comprehensible.

Podcast: April 5, 2018

SAMANTHA POWER & THE STORY OF FRANK McCLOSKEY — She was an intrepid war correspondent who covered genocide in many hot spots around the world before she became United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 through 2017. He, a former Bloomington mayor, as a member of the United States Congress, urged this nation to help stop the genocide and ethnic cleansings going on in the republics of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Power wrote about McCloskey’s wrok in the Balkans in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

Podcast: March 29, 2018

PAT EAST — As Bloomingon attempts to position itself as a tech innovation and investment center for the state of Indiana, the city depends more and more on angel investors and established tech company owners like Pat East. He and his wife, Jamie, founded their pay-per-click firm, Hanapin Marketing, some 14 years ago. The company is now running so smoothly he’s able to devote much of his time to helping other entrepreneurs get a start here in South Central Indiana. As executive director of Dimension Mill and a prime mover in the Bloomington Technology Partnership, he shares his experience and knowledge with new business founders.

Podcast: March 22, 2018

Limestone Post profile: March 22, 2018

HEATHER BRADSHAW — A research scientist in the Indiana University Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Bradshaw specializes in studying lipids — fats, to the layperson — and their presence and roles in, among other things, the marijuana plant and olive oil. The lipids in pot may one day be isolated and turned into medications that reduce symptoms and cure diseases. Those in olive oil have been found to ward off osteoporosis in aging women. Bradshaw is part of an international network of scientists probing these substances.

Podcast: March 15, 2018

DOUG WISSING — He’s been embedded with US Army forces in Afghanistan numerous times. He’s climbed into the mountain regions of that country to get to know the Pashtun people. He’s written two books on what he calls our “failed war” in that southwest Asian land. He’s communed with mountain people in Tibet. And he’s studied the history of beer brewing in Indiana. Historian, reporter, author and curious sort, Doug Wissing is now writing a biography of “the most powerful man you’ve never heard of,” Benjamin C. Evans, Jr., executive secretary of the CIA from 1966 through 1981.

Podcast: March 8, 2018

AMELIA LAHN — Campus sexual assault and rape have been in the news the past few years. Colleges and universities have taken steps to address the problem. Some say those steps have trampled the due process rights of the accused. Amelia Lahn is a local attorney who practices criminal defense and family law. Much of her business comes from people accused of sexual misconduct. She represents students and faculty before university conduct boards and in the criminal courts.

Podcast: March 1, 2018

WILLIAM MORRIS — He got his start as a deejay at WFHB and went on to host the popular afternoon music show, Soul Kitchen at Bloomington’s NPR station, WFIU. Brother William, as he’s known around town, is a lawyer, a civic volunteer, a teacher, and an aspiring Episcopal deacon. His story reaches as far back as the days of race and miscegenation laws in Indiana and the United States.

Podcast: February 22, 2018

Limestone Post profile: February 22, 2018

JEFF ISAAC — A noted observer of the American and the global political scenes, he’s been the editor of the respected journal, Political Science, has written numerous books, and his articles appear often in news magazines and academic publications. The Indiana University professor is outspoken, taking to social media on occasion to voice his displeasure with leaders and developments. And he’s a jazz musician, the pianist for the Post-Modern Jazz Quartet.

Podcast: February 15, 2018

CHARLOTTE ZIETLOW — She is the grande dame of Bloomington politics. Charlotte Zietlow jumped into the political fray nearly fifty years ago when she and a rag-tag band of newcomers took over City Hall in the 1971 election. Since then she’s pushed for programs and ordinances as both a City Council member and a Monroe County Commissioner. She tells the story of how she and her cohorts shocked Bloomington by flipping City Hall from Republican to Democrat in that storied election.

Podcast: February 8, 2018

SUE RALL — The aerial silks performer and drag king talks about her gravity-defying acrobatics as well as her cross-gender alter-ego, Jaimee Spangle.

Podcast: February 1, 2018

JOAN HAWKINS — A professor in the Media School at Indiana University, she’s one of the founders of the Burroughs Century and an organizer of the academic conference and festival, Wounded Galaxies 1968: Paris, Prague, Chicago.

Podcast: January 25, 2018

Limestone Post profile: January 25, 2018

AMANDA BARGE — The first-term Monroe County Commissioner is a rising star in the local Democratic Party. A licensed social worker, Barge explains how conducting family therapy sessions and serving in political office demand very similar skills and abilities.

Podcast: January 11, 2018

ADRIAN MATEJKA — Named Indiana’s state poet laureate in December, Adrian is the author of the bestselling book, The Big Smoke, as well as several other collections of his poetry. He’s got big plans for the state’s poetry writers and is working on a graphic novel follow-up to The Big Smoke. He’s a professor of creative writing at Indiana University and believes Bloomington is a special breeding ground for young poets. This is the first weekly airing of Big Talk as a stand-alone program on WFHB.

Podcast: January 4, 2018

[The following interviews aired as features on the Daily Local News.]

ROSS GAY & KACIE SWIERK — Ross Gay is an award-winning poet, author of the bestselling, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. Kacie Swierk is a multi-talented musician who has released her first album, This Is Water, this past summer. The two met this year in one of Ross Gay’s creative writing courses at Indiana University. Teacher and pupil find their respective arts have been enhanced by the meeting.

WFHB Feature: December 14, 2017

TROY MAYNARD — He’s raising viking children. His kids say the wildest, craziest, cutest, and meanest things. So does he. And he takes notes. Maynard has compiled many of the most humorous and touching exchanges between him, his wife, and his three kids in a new book, How to Raise Viking Children: And Other Tales of Woe. A man of many interests, he also writes about parenting on his blog. A software engineer and an ordained minister in an online church, he’s performed marriage ceremonies at the annual Gen Con gaming and RPG gathering in Indianapolis.

WFHB Feature: December 8, 2017

DANA HABEEB — As our cities and summers grow hotter due to climate change, our most vulnerable residents become even more at risk. Dana Habeeb is a trained architect and urban designer who’s delving into the effects of heat and certain illnesses together, and how this mixture may become more deadly as the 21st Century goes on. Habeeb says cities are growing hotter, on average, than the rest of the surrounding land. Habeeb and her colleagues at Indiana University’s school of Informatics are seeking answers.

WFHB Feature: November 16, 2017

THERESA OCHOA — She considers herself lucky — she gets to work with imprisoned kids, some of whom are well on their way to becoming hardened criminals. She’s an Associate Professor of Special Education at Indiana University and has founded HOPE, a program matching undergraduate college students as mentors, with kids serving time in the state’s three juvenile correctional facilities. Ochoa leads the group of volunteers who strive to teach the kids how to walk and talk in the adult world and, hopefully, get jobs that’ll keep them on the straight and narrow.

WFHB Feature: November 9, 2017

JOHN ARMSTRONG & ZACHARY SPICER — They met when they were students at Indiana University. Years later they reconnected in New York and decided to start their own film production company, Pigasus Pictures. Their first movie, “The Good Catholic,” is now out on DVD and BluRay and will be available on Netflix in January. The two have committed to shooting six more films in Indiana. They also have started a non-profit that helps high school and college students learn film-making and serves as a pathway for them to get into the business.

WFHB Feature: November 2, 2017

MIKE TROTZKE — The co-founder of Sprout Box, CEO of Cheddar, and an organizer of The Combine, an annual innovators and entrepreneurs conference here in Bloomington. A young, ambitious business person who’s doing his part to spur the transformation of the Bloomington area from a high-tech investors’ desert to a lush landscape where startups and investors can thrive.

WFHB Feature: October 26, 2017

BRANDON HOOD — Brandon Hood is a house painter and a lifelong resident of Central Indiana. He’s decided to join the three other Democratic challengers for Republican Trey Hollingsworth’s 9th District seat in the US House of Representatives. Hood leans on his down-home, working class roots as a major selling point for his candidacy. He was inspired to get into the political fray by the words and positions of Bernie Sanders.

WFHB Feature: October 19, 2017

JAR TURNER — Jar Turner started his career at WFHB as a volunteer in 2011. Soon after coming aboard, he became a paid production manager and then, in August, 2016, he took over as General Manager of Bloomington’s community radio station. Jar talks about what community radio is and the challenges of keeping it funded and on the air.

WFHB Feature: October 12, 2017

AMANDA BARGE — She’s a first-term Monroe County Commissioner. After winning the 2016 Democratic primary, she went on to win in last November’s general election despite the Republican Party’s statewide sweep. A licensed, practicing social worker and therapist, she’s already made news with her leadership roles in Rise to Run, a national effort to get more women on the ballot, and in the local Opioid Summit. Barge finds social work and serving on the county commission to be similar jobs.

WFHB Feature: October 5, 2017

JOHN TILFORD — Veterans’ issues advocate John Tilford served as a Marine in Vietnam and then, a few years later, joined the Army Reserve. He eventually became a key intelligence figure on Afghanistan just before the United States went to war there in 2001. Tilford’s intelligence work has included analyzing the actions of the North Korean leadership as well as the relationship between India and Pakistan.

WFHB Feature: September 28, 2017

MARIA ELIZA HAMILTON ABEGUNDE — She can trace her roots partly to the Yoruba culture of West Africa. Born in the Caribbean to a mother who was a nurse and a father who is an artist, she has combined both callings in her own life as she works as a healer, a poet, and a black studies practitioner. Abegunde is co-director of a month-long series of readings and discussions designed to inspire thought and dialogue on culture, trauma, and healing.

WFHB Feature: September 21, 2017

Limestone Post Profile: November 21, 2017

SANDY KELLER — She’s been helping poor and at-risk women get good jobs since she founded My Sister’s Closet in 1998. The non-profit puts women in stylish clothing and helps them hone their interviewing and job skills through workshops and counseling. Twenty years ago, Keller worked near the Middle Way House transitional residence and saw the many women who needed help finding good work. The experience inspired her to start an organization that’s helped nearly 2000 women.

WFHB Feature: September 14, 2017

SAM STEPHENSON — Life magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith accumulated thousands of hours of audio tapes and images of some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1950s and ‘60s. Sam Stephenson found the recordings and photos in boxes and got to work preserving and archiving them, a task that led to the The Jazz Loft Project, other books, and a traveling exhibit.

WFHB Feature: September 7, 2017

ROB CHATLOS — Rob Chatlos is going it alone. A long-haul trucker, he’s spent countless hours alone in his rig, formulating his opinions and goals concerning Southern Indiana and the world. He’s affiliated with neither party and has kicked off his campaign to win Indiana’s Ninth District seat in the US Congress.

WFHB Feature: August 31, 2017


KATE HESS PACE — Founder of Hoosier Action, Kate Hess Pace comes from a long line of Hoosiers. Concerned about politics and the world around her — especially those in need — she left Indiana in 2010 to work as a community organizer in Minnesota. She has returned this year to help Southern Indiana people build blocs of power and, it’s hoped, improve their lives.

WFHB Feature: August 24, 2017

Limestone Post profile: August 17, 2017

CATY PILACHOWSKI — Catherine “Caty” Pilachowski is one of Indiana University’s top astronomers. She holds the Kirkwood Chair at IU and has been a staff member at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and is a past president of the American Astronomical Society. Caty talks about the Great American Total Eclipse, coming August 21st, and her love for science.

WFHB Feature: August 10, 2017

LIZ WATSON — With the 2018 mid-term election 15 months away, five hopefuls already have declared their candidacy for Indiana’s Ninth District seat in Congress. Four of those candidates are Democrats, hoping to wrest the seat from first-term Republican Trey Hollingsworth. The four will jostle for the Democratic nomination during the May Primary, before going on to face the incumbent Republican in November. Liz Watson is a Bloomington native, and an attorney with experience in Washington DC, where she worked for House Democrats as well as a Georgetown think tank.

WFHB  Feature: August 3, 2017

SPYRIDON STRATIGOS — A man of more hats than a magician, Spyridon Stratigos, better known around town as Strats, was in on the predecessors of Bloomington’s famed vegetarian mecca, the Tao back in the late Sixties and early Seventies. He tells how he and the Uptown Cafe’s Michael Cassady created what is now one of Bloomington’s signature breakfast dishes on today’s edition of Big Talk! with Michael Glab.

WFHB Feature: July 27, 2017

ANNIVERSARY HIGHLIGHTS — WFHB News Director Joe Crawford took a chance on Big Talk three years ago. The idea for a weekly regular feature on the Daily Local News spotlighting compelling people from in and around Bloomington might have been intriguing but carrying it out would be a challenge. After some fits and starts, Big Talk became a Thursday fixture on the DLN a year ago this month. This week producer and host Michael Glab recalls some memorable moments from the show and hopes Joe’s faith in him was warranted. This episode of Big Talk is dedicated to our departing news director.

WFHB  Feature: July 20, 2017

DAN CANON — The son of a single mother, he dropped out of high school and played in a rock ’n roll band for ten years. Then he got serious about life and put himself through college and law school. In 2015 he argued before the United States Supreme Court for marriage equality and won the landmark case. Now, Dan Canon is running for Congress in Indiana’s Ninth District, hoping to unseat first term Republican Trey Hollingsworth. He’s a progressive and he doesn’t think that’s a drawback in what seems to be a rock solid red state.

WFHB Feature: July 13, 2017

PEGGY — We call them the homeless, as if they’re all alike and their entire lives can be reduced to a single descriptive word. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, up to half a million people in America may not know precisely where they’re going to sleep tonight or where their next meal will come from. A woman named Peggy is one such person. She has slept in parks and on the streets. She has eaten at free kitchens. She has a story. And she has pride, as well as dreams and goals.

WFHB Feature: July 7, 2017

Limestone Post profile: August 1, 2017

PHIL FORD — The author of “Dig: Sound and Music in Hip Culture” takes the reader on a tour of the cutting edge world of jazz musicians, Beat writers, and style arbiters who make up what is hip. Ford is a professor of musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His interests range far beyond the narrow field of creating rhythmic, harmonic sounds that are pleasing — or not — to the human ear. Music ties countless disciplines together. Now he’s working on a book describing magical thinking and how it relates to music and the greater world.

WFHB Feature: June 29, 2017

SHELLY WESTERHAUSEN — Like countless people before her, Shelly Westerhausen came to Bloomington to study at Indiana University and wound up staying here. A vegetarian since she was a young girl, Shelly grew up in a town that didn’t even have a vegetarian restaurant. She was drawn to Bloomington by our town’s diverse and varied eateries. She has blogged about cooking for years and just this week her first book, filled with vegetarian recipes, has been released by Chronicle Books.

WFHB Feature: June 22, 2017

PETE BUTTIGIEG — The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who’s been touted as a potential candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2020, visited Bloomington Wednesday, June 14th, 2017. County Party maven Charlotte Zietlow held a meet-and-greet for him at her home. A who’s who of veteran Party figures attended. He spoke of his city’s rebirth and some of the problems facing the nation and his Party. This is a live recording of the event. Note: During the Q&A session, the volume becomes spotty. Pete’s answers are quite clearly audible even if some of the questions sound muddy or at times inaudible.

WFHB Feature: June 15, 2017

EMMA JOHNSON — Prisons are a big business in America today. A number of recent books have addressed the burgeoning inmate population as well as the growing profits to be had in what many are calling the “prison industrial complex.” A group of activists in Bloomington hopes to remind us that prison inmates still are human beings and they’ve created the radio program “Kite Line” to do just that. Emma Johnson co-hosts the program along with Mia Beach.

WFHB Feature: June 8, 2017

HONDO THOMPSON — The John Hartford Memorial Festival, a celebration of bluegrass music and its many variations, is happening now through Saturday night in Bean Blossom. WFHB’s Hondo Thompson is the new main stage emcee, taking over for the legendary Sam Jackson.

WFHB Feature: June 1, 2017

RON EID — An article about a bike ride through New Zealand in an airline magazine inspired Ron Eid to dive into the then-changing world of journalism. Now, more than thirty years later, journalism is still in the process of becoming — although what it’s becoming hasn’t yet been fully determined. Eid is in the forefront of new media here in South Central Indiana now after having launched the online magazine, Limestone Post, in 2015.

WFHB Feature: May 25, 2017

MOHAMMED A. MAHDI & ANTHONY DUNCAN — Five years ago two Indiana University alumni and one student at the time started making their own soap in the kitchen of the apartment the three shared. Now, their soap is sold in grocery and specialty stores around the region and is used in numerous hand-washing stations in restaurants and companies in and around Bloomington. The three, Mohammed A. Mahdi, Mohammed M. Mahdi, and Anthony Duncan, run a growing body care manufacturing operation called Soapy Soap Company.

WFHB Feature: May 18, 2017

JEFF ISAAC — An opinionated scholar and a professor of political science at Indiana University, Jeff has written many books, is a regular contributor to respected journals, and takes to social media to share his feelings and bring political science just a bit closer to the average person. He grew up in a typical New York City neighborhood, playing stickball and hanging on the street corner. He’s found a home in Bloomington where he also plays piano for the Postmodern Jazz Quartet.

WFHB Feature: May 11, 2017

MICHAEL WATERFORD — Explorer, writer, and adventure entrepreneur, Michael’s hoping to set the speed record for paddling the length of the Mississippi River in a canoe. The Mississippi is the world’s fourth longest river, coursing more than 2500 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He was drawn to grueling expeditions when he crossed Europe and Asia on a small motorcycle six years ago. Now he helps others test their endurance and strength through his company, The Mountain Folk Adventures.

WFHB Feature: May 4, 2017

Limestone Post profile: June 1, 2017

STEPHANIE SOLOMON — Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has been helping feed hungry people in Bloomington for nearly two decades. One in five people in Monroe County is food insecure, meaning they may not know where their next meal is coming from. Stephanie Solomon is the director of outreach and education for the food pantry. She helps clients learn to make nutritious, inexpensive meals and to grow community gardens, all in an effort keep everyone in the county well fed.

WFHB Feature: April 27, 2017

YOUSUF ALI — Researchers at Indiana University’s Lu Lab for the study of neural networks have discovered that caffeine, among two dozen other common compounds, can strengthen brain cells and help ward off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain diseases. Before you decide to drink a pot or two of coffee every morning in hopes of avoiding these maladies, one of the lab’s key scientists, Yousuf Ali, cautions that the findings are just a step toward developing effective drugs that can prevent the onset of dementia.

WFHB Feature: April 21, 2017

HEATHER BRADSHAW — With medical marijuana gradually becoming a legal norm across the country, questions remain about how it works — and why. Bloomington is one of the world’s centers for research into the effects of the many types of cannabis plant. Heather Bradshaw heads a lab in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences looking into the active compounds in pot and how they may or may not be useful as medicines.

WFHB Feature: April 13, 2017

ANNETTE OPPENLANDER — She was a success in finance and banking as well as public relations and then, late in life, realized she loved writing. Annette has authored three young adult science fiction fantasies and this month has released her fourth novel, a coming of age love story set in World War II Germany entitled, “Surviving the Fatherland.”

WFHB Feature: March 30, 2017

Limestone Post profile: May 16, 2017

JESS LEVANDOSKI & JESS REED — Launched in 2014, the year’s fourth Middle Coast Film Festival will  bring independent movies from around the world to Bloomington in August. The fest also shows the world what Bloomington filmmakers can do. Programmer Jess Levandoski and business manager Jess Reed talk about movies, stage plays, and 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon as a role model.

WFHB Feature: March 23, 2017

NICCI BOROSKI — Known among the cognoscenti as Nicci B, she co-owns the Back Door and serves as the arts and entertainment director for the local LGBTQ gathering place. She found a home in Bloomington when she was embraced by the town’s queer community. In today’s changing political climate for queer folks, Nicci hopes to provide a safe, comfortable place for people of all gender and sexuality nonconformance.

WFHB Feature: March 9, 2017

DOUG WISSING — The longtime Bloomington journalist and author has been described as an adventurer. His three tours as an embedded reporter in Afghanistan have provided him with enough adventures to last a lifetime. He’s described what he’s seen in two books on America’s sixteen-year battle in history’s chronic battleground. His latest book is “Hopeless but Optimistic: Journeying Through America’s Endless War in Afghanistan.”

WFHB Feature: March 2, 2017

Limestone Post profile: April 13, 2017

THUY BOGART — Pronounced TWEE, she was born in Vietnam just after the fall of Saigon and her family left that war-torn land and lived in a refugee camp in Malaysia for a year. They came to America in 1980. When she grew up, she fell in love with tango, the steamy South American couples dance. She met her husband and future musical accompanist, Ben, at a Milonga, the traditional music and dance tango party. She has helped nurture tango communities in several states and now teaches and dances here in Bloomington.

WFHB Feature: February 23, 2017

EMILY GOODSON — Actor, playwright, and proud jokester Emily Goodson has written the new musical-comedy, “Calling All Kates,” now in pre-production at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Goodson once played an electric mixer making smoothies in her mouth on stage.

WFHB Feature: February 16, 2017

NANCY HILLER — Cabinetmaker, furniture designer and builder, author, preservation advocate, and storyteller, Nancy Hiller has been beautifying people’s homes in Bloomington and other cities for years. She’s written the award-winning book A Home of Her Own, a study of the places women live in and own. She’s releasing her fourth book, Making Things Work: Tales From a Cabinetmaker’s Life.

WFHB Feature: February 9, 2017

Limestone Post profile: March 16, 2017

SEAN BUEHLER — A senior studying public health issues at Indiana University, Sean helps clear the air about scientific topics ranging from the environment to the mind as the founder of Science on Tap, a monthly, open to the public presentation of issues in the scientific realm at a revolving set of brew pubs in town.

WFHB Feature: February 2, 2017

SUE RALL — One of Bloomington’s grass-roots, do-it-yourself entertainers, she takes to the air on aerial silks and regularly appears at the Back Door as her male alter-ego, washed-up glam-rocker Jamie Spangle. Sue recounts her journey from the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls to the drape-y trapeze and drag king-dom.

WFHB Feature: January 26, 2017

JACK DOPP — Founder of Bloomington News, he and his crew have brought the world’s newspapers to Bloomington for decades. He started in the newspaper business as a grade school paperboy in Gary, Indiana, in the late 1950s. He reflects on his life and the changes he’s seen in the business and in Bloomington.

WFHB DLN Feature: January 19, 2017

ANNE HEDIN — One of the organizers of “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: Time to Choose, a gathering of environmentalists in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Anne describes the moment she decided to devote herself to working for cleaner air — she has her granddaughter to thank for it. She offers some pretty good tips on how to retrofit your home with solar panels as well.

WFHB DLN Feature: January 12, 2017

FRANCESCA SOBRER — Actor and beloved drama teacher Francesca Sobrer appears in the Bloomington Playwrights Project production, “Home.” Boredom, she says, led her to a life in the theater.

WFHB DLN Feature: December 15, 2016

CYNTHIA BRUBAKER — A restoration architect who’s been key in preserving some of our town’s historical treasures like the I. Fell Building and the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on South Washington Street. Cindy tells us how she got into the building design business and why it’s getting harder than ever for her to get preservation projects in Bloomington.

WFHB DLN Feature: December 8, 2016

Limestone Post profile: January 12, 2017

DAN “CARP” COMBS — The Bloomington legend has been a political institution in these parts for more than 30 years. Perry Township’s trustee since 1987 talks about helping people get through the tough times and touches on American’s tendency to shout at each other in campaign season — and out.

WFHB DLN Feature: December 1, 2016

Limestone Post profile: December 5, 2016

STEVE WESTRICH — The founder and owner of The Bishop Bar doesn’t much care for taverns and pubs himself but he’s built up one of Bloomington premier grown-up drinking and live music venues over the last seven years. Together with the Comedy Attic, The Bishop forms a potent nightlife destination just south of Courthouse Square.

WFHB DLN Feature: November 17, 2016

MARGARET TAYLOR — Daughter of the founders of the Book Corner, she continues to run the independent bookseller, a Bloomington institution on Courthouse Square. Maragaret tells us people still love books and business has never been better.

WFHB DLN Feature: November 10, 2016

MARC TSCHIDA — The long-time Bloomington arts advocate has started his own business, Press Puzzles. He makes hand-crafted, fine wooden jigsaw puzzles featuring pictures of Bloomington and South Central Indiana landmarks as well as images of works by local artists. He talks about the history and manufacture of jigsaw puzzles and reveals that jigsaws are not now nor have they ever been used in making them.

WFHB DLN Feature: November 3, 2016

BETHY SQUIRES & DALIA DAVOUDI — Two principals behind Bloomington’s 100th anniversary celebration of the storied Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland that gave birth to the Dada art movement. They and dozens of other local artists perform at the one-night only re-creation of that imaginative scene.

WFHB DLN Feature: October 27, 2016

J.R. BIERSMITH & TYLER FERGUSON — Filmmaker Biersmith’s first feature traces the lives of two young Somali men hoping survive the horrors of their country’s civil war while trying to become world-class soccer players. The intertwined tales of Sa’ad Hussein and Saadiq Mohammed make for a powerful documentary, Men in the Arena. Biersmith and Bloomington promoter Ferguson discuss the making of the film and the two men’s eventually arrival in a safe land.

WFHB DLN Feature: October 20, 2016

BETSY STIRRATT — Director of IU’s Grunwald Gallery of Art, Betsy talks about the exhibit, “(Re)Imagining Science,” a collaboration between research scientists and visual artists.

WFHB DLN Feature: October 13, 2016

DR. GLADYS DeVANE, LIZ WATFORD-MITCHELL & DANIELLE BRUCE — The playwrights and director of Resilience: Indiana’s Untold Story employ a distinctive and highly personal “edu-tainment” style in conveying the stories of African-Americans in the Hoosier State.

WFHB DLN Feature: October 6, 2016

DAVID BRENNEMAN — Born in one of the world’s cultural centers, Vienna, Austria, David fell in love with museums at a tender age. Now he’s director of Indiana University’s Eskanazi Art Museum. He came from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta where he worked with the Musee de Louvre to help that august institution streamline its organization.

WFHB DLN Feature: September 29, 2016

KRISTIN LEAMAN-MORRIS — Archivist for Indiana University’s Bicentennial celebration, Kristin talks about the more than decade-long effort to preserve the voices, the papers, the images, the videos, and the very heart and soul of the university.

WFHB DLN Feature: September 22, 2016

DANIELLE URSCHEL — Co-founder of the Bloomington Print Collective, Danielle explains what intaglio is (hint: it’s not a pasta) and talks about how BPC fosters the print arts in and around Bloomington.

WFHB DLN Feature: September 15, 2016

PETER LOPILATO — Founder, publisher and film curator of the Ryder magazine and the Ryder Film Series, Bloomington institutions since 1979. Peter talks about the early days of the Ryder, inlcuding its first home in a building referred to at the time as Bloomington’s version of the noted Chelsea Hotel.

WFHB DLN Feature: September 1, 2016

JONI MCGARY & JANE KUPERSMITH — Bloomington business owners (Lucky Guy Bakery & Hopscotch Coffee, respectively) talk about the challenges women entrepreneurs face and how they may help each other succeed.

WFHB DLN Feature: August 25, 2016


JASON FICKEL & GINGER CURRY — The blues and Americana duo (Jason plays guitar and writes the songs and Ginger sings) talk about their origins and their music. Their third CD, Some Kind of Love, is available on CD Baby and at Landlocked Music.

WFHB DLN Feature: August 18, 2016


ADRIA NASSIM — Bloomington’s expert on the autism spectrum. She has capitalized on her own intimate knowledge of the disorder to help others who suffer with it and those who wish to welcome them into everyday society gain a better understanding of it.

WFHB DLN Feature: August 11, 2016


CATHI CRABTREE — Delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention (pledged to Hillary Clinton), she recounts growing up on a southern Indiana farm with a strictly conservative father and a closet feminist mother.

WFHB DLN Feature: August 4, 2016


TOM FRENCH — Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper reporter who, with his wife Kelley Benham French, has written the heart-wrenching book, Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, about their micro-preemie daughter.

WFHB DLN Feature: July 28, 2016


Limestone Post feature: August 25, 2016

JULIA KARR — Author of dystopian Young Adult novels beginning with XVI and continuing through Truth and an as-yet untitled third entry in the series. The books follow Nina, who rebels against her world where 16-year-old girls dream of nothing more than becoming sexual playthings.

WFHB DLN Feature: June 17, 2014


Print Feature: The Ryder, July 2014

CHARLOTTE ZIETLOW — The old pro, Bloomington and Monroe County’s doyenne of the Democratic Party. Charlotte helped remake the local political map in 1971 and hasn’t stopped putting her mark on our town since.

WFHB DLN Feature: May 21, 2014


Print Feature: The Ryder, June 2014

TONY BREWER — Poet, actor, sound effects artist, roller derby play-by-play voice, and jack of more trades than you can imagine.

WFHB DLN Feature: March 6, 2014


Print Feature: The Ryder, May 2014

NATE POWELL — The celebrated cartoonist and graphic novelist has drawn the pix for Rep. John Lewis’s series of graphic memoirs, March (books one through three).

WFHB DLN Feature: January 9, 2014


Print Feature: The Ryder, April 2014

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