Local News Headlines: November 27, 2023

Bloomington business owner and father of two dies in plane crash
Just 3 weeks after earning his Pilot’s License, Bloomington business owner Nathan Finney died in a plane crash on Wednesday, a day before Thanksgiving. Finney and Warren Bruhl, his Gambit Aviation Flight Instructor, were the only two onboard the Cirrus SR22T when the plane crashed in Shelbyville, Indiana.

According to the original Indiana State Police press release, when ISP arrived, smoke was coming from a burning plane that had crashed in a cornfield, while the remains of one individual were found immediately. The remains of the second man were not discovered for several hours later.

The crash is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a report on the incident is expected before the end of the calendar year.

Finney was the owner of the Finney Hospitality Group, which owned several restaurants, including The Tap, Yogi’s, Social Cantina, and Smoke Works. Finney also recently founded a Car Wash business. He was a husband and father of two young children.

In addition to being a Flight Instructor, Bruhl was a Chiropractor and recently appointed as Executive Director of Gear for Goals, a humanitarian project of non-profit Dreamweaver International that brings sports gear and hope to underprivileged children globally.

Tom Allen out as IU Football Head Coach, donors to pay out more than $15M
Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson announced on Sunday afternoon that head football coach Tom Allen will not return next season. A national search for Allen’s successor will begin immediately.

“After continued evaluation of our entire football program, I have determined that we have lost momentum and that a change in leadership is necessary at this time. I want to thank Tom for all of the contributions he has made to IU in his seven years leading our program. His passion, character, and class made a positive impact on our student-athletes. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The university and Allen have agreed on a financial settlement of two $7.75 million installments that will be paid through the department of athletics donor funds. 

City of Bloomington Utilities assists homeowners association with pond clean up 
The City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) is currently coordinating with the Gentry Estates Homeowners Association to remediate a stormwater retention pond located near the intersection of E Gentry Blvd and S State Rd 446. On November 9, CBU received a report of foul-smelling water near the corner of S Carlton Ct and E Gentry Blvd. Upon investigation, it was found that a force main had been struck by a fiber-optic contractor. Based on records kept in the City Engineering Department, the strike occurred on or about August 11, 2023, but apparently there was no indication of a leak at the time. CBU was able to repair the damaged force main on November 9.

On November 14, CBU received a report of dead fish surfacing in the retention pond downhill from the location of the strike. Prior to CBU’s repairs, the damaged force main had discharged an indeterminate quantity of sewage that had flowed into the pond. The spill was fatal to about 25-50 small fish, and may have adversely affected other plants and animals in the pond. CBU’s testing of the pond water on November 13 indicated high levels of E.Coli bacteria, which is a risk to human health and the environment. This Sanitary Sewer Overflow has been reported to Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

CBU is lending resources to the homeowners association which owns the pond to help prevent spreading of E.Coli to downstream water resources. A septic contractor has been deployed to pump contaminated water from the pond, and CBU staff will work to disinfect the soil and grass adjacent to the pond. CBU will conduct additional sampling to monitor progress. Members of the public are urged to avoid contact with the pond until the cleanup is complete.

Bloomington has a municipal separate stormwater system (MS4) which is designed to prevent sanitary sewer water from entering the stormwater system and prevent stormwater from being sent to the wastewater treatment plants. Anything that flows into the storm drains will eventually end up in local ponds and creeks, and eventually to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Any unusual water flowing or standing unrelated to a rain event could indicate a main break and should be reported to CBU at 812-339-1444.

Free Legal Assistance for Artists and Small Arts Organizations
Pro Bono Indiana’s (IndianaLegalHelp.org) Lawyers for the Arts project provides legal assistance at no cost to artists and small arts organizations. To obtain help, please call 812.402.6303. Calls from artists and small arts organizations are taken on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Central Time). Support for this service is provided by the Indiana Bar Foundation.

This Week in Hoosier History

Rev. Edward Sorin

1842 – Rev. Edward Sorin took possession of 524 acres that would become the campus of Notre Dame University He was a French-born priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the founder of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

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