Local News Headlines: February 20, 2024

Chef and part owner of Bloomington restaurant revealed as victim in last week’s fatal accident in Mitchell
53 year-old Mark Harakal, the Chef and recent part owner of Bloomington’s Che Belklo Restaurant, died as result of a car accident just after 3pm on February 14th. Harakal was allegedly driving an SUV as a bus crossed State Road 37 in his path.

The crash between Harakal and the 15-passanger Mitchell Community School Corporation bus occurred at the intersection of Indiana State Road 37 and Spice Valley Road.

Che Bello released the following social media post:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of one of our head chefs, Mr. Matt Harakal. Chef Matt, an individual of extraordinary talent, harbored immense enthusiasm in bringing his culinary passion to Bloomington. Revered as the proprietor of 21 North Cellar and Eatery in Martinsville, he leaves behind a profound legacy marked by kindness and unwavering dedication. Our heartfelt condolences extend to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Che Bello is forever indebted to the foundation established by Chef Matt from the moment he embarked on this transformative journey. In homage to his enduring influence, we commit to upholding the standards he set forth. We express our profound honor in utilizing the menu crafted by Chef Matt, recognizing it as a testament to his exceptional artistry. These cherished recipes serve as a perpetual tribute, ensuring his enduring presence at the heart of Che Bello. May the memory of Chef Matt Harakal be a source of solace and inspiration during this period of profound grief.

Forum set up for Bloomington Council District 5 candidates to entice Precinct Committee Members
Monroe County Democrats are hosting a Forum in which three candidates vying for the vacant Bloomington City Council seat for District 5. Former Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore and Community Activists Courtney Daily and Jenny Stevens are the 3 looking to replace Shruti Rana, who was elected to the council last November but resigned Feb. 7, just 5 weeks after being sworn in, as she now plans to move out of state.

The public forum will be held 1pm on March 2nd at Bloomington City Hall. The Democrat Caucus will determine which of the 3 will serve out the remaining 3 years and 10 months of the term.

Ivy Tech Bloomington awarded over $23,000 by Circle of Ivy for student-focused projects
Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington received $23,050 from Ivy Tech Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy, Circle of Ivy, to fund seven projects through the academic year. Circle of Ivy raised more than $200,000 to fund projects at Ivy Tech campuses across the state. Circle of Ivy raises funds to diminish barriers to higher education for Ivy Tech students. Women’s philanthropy at Ivy Tech has a statewide reach with a focus on campus needs and projects that positively impact students.

Ivy Tech Bloomington received funding that will be invested in students, support services, technology, and travel. Funding will be released for the following purposes:

  • $6,600 for Ivy Cares Cupboard
  • $5,000 for Disability testing accommodations
  • $4,250 for ASAP program trip
  • $3,000 for an AI development workstation
  • $1,750 for Aunt Flow machines
  • $1,550 for an Alternative Spring Break mural
  • $900 for the Food for Thought snack pantry

“Circle of Ivy makes a lasting impact on our students, programs, and facilities,” Heidi Schulz, Executive Director of Development at Ivy Tech Bloomington said. “Many thanks to the members of Circle of Ivy for continuing to invest in Ivy Tech student success.”

Since its inception in 2015, Circle of Ivy has grown to more than 1,000 members. They have raised more than $1 million to assist with projects. To learn more about Circle of Ivy, visit ivytech.edu/circleofivy.

This Week in Hoosier History

History Spotlight: Fire engine, early 1900s

1900 – The Bloomington City Council passed an ordinance forming the first paid Fire Department within the City.

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