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Bloomington-Herald Times stories for April

Bloomington Herald-Times articles for April in reverse chronological order

Plan would increase IU tuition 4.9%; IU president inclined to favor continuing $30 student athletics fee
by Steve Hinnefeld, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 14, 2005

Tuition and mandatory fees for Indiana University undergraduates would increase by as much as 4.9 percent next year under a proposal made Wednesday by the university administration.

IU officials also recommended a 4.9 percent cap on tuition and fee increases the following year — 2006-07 — for Hoosier undergraduates.

Administrators will make their final proposal after the Legislature approves a state budget late this month. IU trustees are expected to approve tuition and fees May 7.

Also, IU President Adam Herbert said he's leaning toward asking trustees to continue a $30-per-year student athletics fee for the Bloomington campus, despite student opposition. Trustees initiated the fee last year, but for one year only.

The administration proposal calls for larger tuition and fee increases next year for graduate and professional students, ranging from 6 percent for most graduate students to 9 percent for law students. No recommendation is being made for nonresident and graduate-student tuition in 2006-07.

IU officials made the proposal at a two-hour public hearing on university tuition and fee issues. Trustees met at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington, with video connections to IU's other seven campuses.

Herbert said a 4.9-percent rise in tuition should enable IU to balance academic excellence and affordability, although officials don't yet know what the university will get from the state budget lawmakers are debating.

He cited figures showing IU gets significantly less in state and tuition funding than other Big Ten institutions.

"True to the Hoosier values that are the very foundation of IU, we do more with less," he said.

Judy Palmer, IU vice president and chief financial officer, laid out the administration's proposal. She said it reflects an effort to hold down the cost of enrollment, with increases in tuition and fees held to under 5 percent three years in a row.

Last year, the increase was 4 percent for Hoosiers and 6 percent for nonresidents.

Tuition and mandatory fees next year will be $7,108 for most Hoosier undergraduates and $19,499 for nonresident students if trustees approve the maximum increase of 4.9 percent.

While Wednesday's hearing was billed as a chance for students and the public to have input in tuition and fees, the administration presentation and trustee comments took up all but 15 minutes of the allotted time. Only a handful of students appeared to be present at the eight sites.

In Bloomington, IU Student Association president Tyson Chastain spoke out against continuing the athletics fee, which raised more than $1 million this year to help plug a deficit in the athletics department budget.

"Using fees to pay for deficits does not show fiscal responsibility," said Chastain, whose term as student body president ends Friday.

University officials said the fee is still needed to support athletics programs and initiatives that don't pay for themselves, including women's sports that have grown under the federal Title IX law. Athletic Director Rick Greenspan said 21 "nonrevenue" sports at IU cost $9.4 million but generate only $289,000 in income. Football and men's basketball don't produce enough money to support them, he said.

Trustees seemed divided on the issue. Pat Shoulders, who cast the only vote against the fee last year, said he still opposes it. Others said they reluctantly would support continuing the fee.

"I am going to support it, but I would like to do away with it as soon as possible," said trustee Steve Ferguson of Bloomington.

Palmer said the administration got conflicting reports on the athletics fee from advisory groups. The campus athletics committee voted in February to recommend keeping it. But the Committee for Fee Review, a student group, said it should end. The athletics department appealed, but Dean of Students Dick McKaig and Bloomington Chancellor Ken Gros Louis sided with the fee committee.

Scott Norman, a student body vice president, said trustees should abide by university policy that lets the student committee approve or reject fees.

"We hope they continue to respect student input," he said.

The fee-review committee also called for modest increases in student health and activity fees. It said the technology fee should be $372 a year for all students (It's now $400 for undergraduates and $300 for graduate students). Palmer said the administration supports those recommendations.

Reporter Steve Hinnefeld can be reached at 331-4374 or by e-mail at

'You can teach ability, but not passion;' Most Little 500 riders train for months, but some train year-round
by James Boyd, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 14, 2005

To the average spectator, the Little 500 begins and ends in the span of a passing afternoon, but to the teams that will finish at the top of the standings, the race begins much sooner than that.

To win this race requires a combination of talent, skill, determination and luck — and not necessarily in that order.

"I'd much rather have desire and passion than ability," said Kappa Alpha Theta coach Tom Schwoegler, who has guided teams to six victories. "You can teach ability, but not passion," he said.

The Little 500 is a complex event. The bikes have a single fixed gear and coaster brakes in an effort to help equalize the field.

But it's the weeks, months — and for the very elite riders, years — of training that can put you in contention for a win.

"It takes substantial commitment," Schwoegler said, "but the payoff is worth it. Hard work pays off in the future, but laziness pays off right now."

The best teams will ride through the summer and fall before hitting the track come springtime.

Generally, the focus is on building "base miles" in the off-season, getting to a fitness level that can be built upon during more Little 500-specific workouts in the spring.

With a fixed gear, riders are forced to pedal at a high cadence, and unlike most bikes, you cannot coast on a Little 500 bike. Your legs are constantly turning.

Most teams have four riders, with three relegated to keeping pace with the rest of the pack, and one sprinter who, if you're lucky enough to make it to the final turn on the lead lap, can give a quick burst of speed to the finish line.

During the spring, riders will do a variety of workouts, ranging from long sets (being on the bike for a specific amount of time) to shorter intervals (usually done for less time at a moderately high intensity), to short, high-intensity sprints.

"It's one of the more difficult things I've done," Gamma Phi Beta rider Kate Compagno said of the unique mental and physical strains that come with the race.

"We typically ride out on the roads before coming to the track in the afternoons, which doesn't give you a lot of time to recover."

Riders have to be physically capable of doing all three types of riding. When an incoming rider brings in an exchange, the outgoing rider usually has to sprint to catch back up to the pack. The rider will usually sit in with the pack for anywhere from four to 20 laps, then try to sprint away from the field to bring the bike in for a fresh rider. That process repeats for 100 laps for the women, 200 for the men.

Many Little 500 riders also compete on the Indiana University cycling team, widely regarded as one of the best collegiate teams in the nation.

It gives riders a chance to compete throughout the year —they compete in mountain biking in the fall, road racing in the spring and track racing in the summer.

"We encourage them (Kappa Alpha Theta riders) to race over the summer," Schwoegler said. "It gives them a physical and tactical advantage here on the track."

Compagno agreed.

"It's what separates the good teams from the really good teams," she said. "Right now, our program is more geared toward riding in the fall and spring, but in the future I think we'll be geared toward more year-round training."

Reporter James Boyd is a former Little 500 rider and coach. He won the 2002 Little 500 King scholarship. He can be reached at 331-4370 or by e-mail at

Take a seat, Hoagy; Native music icon finding a home at Peoples Park
by Nicole Kauffman, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 14, 2005

Bloomington native Michael McAuley recalls playing on the Indiana University campus as a child and attending University School.

He doesn't recall learning about the significant contributions homegrown songwriter Hoagy Carmichael made to music.

"Townspeople only really know, oddly enough, if you're 'in the zone,'" he said.

It wasn't until McAuley was a student at IU that he learned about Carmichael, who penned such popular tunes as "Stardust" and "Nearness of You."

"He was a self-made person to a certain extent, and reflected all the good things of what we aspire to be," McAuley said. "He had a work ethic and an internal drive."

Carmichael died about 25 years ago, and although a downtown shopping center bears his name and the annual Hoagy Carmichael Festival celebrates rising stars of jazz, McAuley thought a permanent public acknowledgement of the American music icon should exist in the city.

McAuley, a sculptor, took it upon himself to design a statue for Peoples Park — a life-size bronze replica of Carmichael sitting at a Steinway grand piano.

The project is sponsored by the nonprofit group Jazz from Bloomington, which will maintain the statue.

Peoples Park was an obvious choice, McAuley said. Carmichael attended the IU law school just up the road, and the Kirkwood Avenue corner near the IU Sample Gates represents the intersection of "town and gown."

A bronze statue represents stability, he said, as do other realistic sculptures and the unchanging IU crest, for example.

"This is history; this is stable, and it will represent a period of time in people's mind, and a kinder, gentler nation," McAuley said. "His whole persona gives depth and richness and fiber and texture to the city of Bloomington."

The Hoagy Carmichael Landmark Project plans will be unveiled at Peoples Park in a ceremony at noon on April 23.

"It serves a dual function, to recognize the music world as well as the music community, and it's very natural for us to be interested in being part of that," said Mick Renneisen, administrator at the Bloomington Parks and Recreation department.

Carmichael's son, musician Randy Carmichael, is heading to Bloomington from Florida to speak at the event.

"It's wonderful that people want to do something for Dad … I'm humbled that they want to do this," he said by telephone.

Other speakers include Renneisen; IU School of Music Dean Emeritus Charles Webb; Pat Harbison, president of Jazz from Bloomington; and others.

Randy Carmichael also will play at a fundraiser for the project, which is expected to cost $180,000.

Joining Harbison and other local jazz musicians at Tutto Bene for a Hoagy Carmichael tribute concert on April 21 — for which reservations will be accepted through today — Randy Carmichael will play some of his father's less well-known songs, such as "Monkey Song" and "Watermelon Weather."

"They're crazy tunes," he said.

He and his brother, Hoagy B. Carmichael, pledged a large chunk of their own money to the project, and grant money and donations from local businesses are helping, too.

Even National Public Radio's "Piano Jazz" host Marian McPartland is contributing, McAuley said.

The statue will take up about 10 by 15 feet and is expected to be erected at the end of May 2006.

Project plans are entering the second phase, in which McAuley is choosing a foundry to cast the project, he said.

McAuley hopes visitors to Bloomington see the piece and return home saying, "Hey I saw this wild sculpture of this man, Hoagy," he said.

"We want the sculpture to interface with people as much as possible," he said.

Reporter Nicole Kauffman can be reached at 331-4357 or by e-mail at

Endowment strengthens IU ties with Kyrgyzstan; Central Asian nation was scene of a popular uprising last month
by Steve Hinnefeld, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2005

An Indiana University banner hangs in the main entrance of the American University of Central Asia, a symbol of the close relationship that's existed for six years between IU and the university in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Now the ties are growing stronger. IU has been chosen to manage a $15 million endowment for the Kyrgyz university, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Open Society Institute.

"It's been a very, very beneficial partnership," said Emita Hill, a former IU Kokomo chancellor and a trustee of the Kyrgyz university, called AUCA. "There is great affection there for Indiana for what's been done."

The endowment, which will be announced today, comes against a backdrop of political upheaval and democratic reform in Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous, Central Asian nation of 5 million and about the size of South Dakota.
A popular uprising drove longtime President Askar Akayev from office March 24. He fled to Russia and resigned. The Kyrgyz parliament has set elections July 10 to choose a new leader.

IU's involvement with the Kyrgyzstan university began in 1999 with a $1.9 million State Department grant. The partnership has enabled faculty from IU and other members of the Indiana Consortium for International Programs to work in Bishkek, and let AUCA students and faculty study in Indiana.

It's raised IU's profile in Central Asia and provided research opportunities for IU faculty, particularly those with the highly regarded Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, said Charles Reafsnyder, associate dean of international programs at IU.

Officials have been working for two years to set up the endowment. IU President Adam Herbert met with AUCA President Ellen Hurwitz in January to endorse the agreement. Income from the endowment will provide two-thirds of the university's current operating costs.

"This is probably the most positive thing to have happened in the last several years," said Hill, who first went to Kyrgyzstan in 2000 to serve as a mentor to the then-president of AUCA.

"I work with several universities, and I always describe this one as getting along with the loaves-and-fishes routine. But with this endowment, they have at least a very clear idea of what the base is, and if they're able to raise additional funds, they can do bigger and better things."

IU officials say the American University of Central Asia is the first university in the region to operate on a U.S. model with credit-hour courses and a commitment to academic integrity. It was established as the Krygyz-American Faculty in 1993, two years after the former Soviet Republic gained independence.

U.S. government officials and Open Society Institute head George Soros provided support in the 1990s, and today the university has about 1,100 students from 27 countries.

More than 35 AUCA faculty have visited Indiana colleges and universities under the State Department-funded exchange program; 19 earned master's degrees from IU Bloomington, IUPUI, Ball State and DePauw. More than 40 Indiana faculty have worked in Kyrgyzstan.

Azamat Akeelev, a graduate of the AUCA, is in his first year of the master of business administration program at IU's Kelley School of Business. He said the school quickly developed a reputation as the leading university in the region, attracting top students and opening doors to go on to graduate-level education.

"It's one of the outposts of Western ideas, Western thinking, the place where new ideas are being imported into the region," he said.

He said several of the university's graduates play key roles in the government-reform movement in Kyrgyzstan. They include Edil Baisalov, leader of the country's Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society.

Reafsnyder, the IU associate dean, has traveled to Kyrgyzstan several times and remains excited about the program.
"The Kyrgyz people are so incredibly friendly and warm," he said, "and at the institution itself, the students are so thirsty for knowledge. Almost everyone who's gone over would go again. In fact, many have."

Reporter Steve Hinnefeld can be reached at 331-4374 or by e-mail at

Former IU official saw fall of government first-hand
By Steve Hinnefeld, H-T Staff Writer
April 13, 2005

Students at the American University of Central Asia were sent home early one day last month while the government fell.

Emita Hill, a former Indiana University Kokomo chancellor and current trustee of the university, happened to be in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek and had a front-row seat.

"The story is — and I think it's accurate — that all these busloads of people brought in from the south of the country had not planned to storm the (Parliament) building," Hill said.

"They were going to set up their yurts and camp out. Then things sort of got out of hand … Lo and behold, they overran the building and the president fled the country," she said.

Longtime Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev decamped to Russia and resigned last week. Elections to choose a new leader are scheduled July 10.

The largely nonviolent uprising was compared to the "Orange Revolution" last year in Ukraine. But it happened so quickly that considerable unease followed Akayev's departure.

Protesters, amazed at their success, rioted in the streets. Political factions jockeyed for power. Analysts debated whether what happened was a revolution, a coup or something else.

Hill said most Kyrgyzs seem to glad Akayev is gone. "While he started out splendidly 15 years ago, certainly talking the talk of democracy more than anyone in that part of the world, in the last five-year term it was clear that was a smokescreen," she said. "He had been completely corrupted, as had those around him."

Reporter Steve Hinnefeld can be reached at 331-4374 or by e-mail at

Man sought in fatal crash; IU student dead in early-morning accident near campus
by James Boyd, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2005

The search continued Tuesday for a man who ran from the scene after the station wagon he was reportedly driving collided with a Jeep Monday night, killing an Indiana University junior.

Ashley Crouse, 21, of Carmel, died at Bloomington Hospital just after midnight Tuesday, about 45 minutes after the accident, police said.

According to accident reports, Crouse was riding in the back passenger seat of her boyfriend Christopher Carlson's Jeep on Hawthorne Drive just after 11:20 p.m.

At the time of the accident, the intersection of East Third Street and Hawthorne had a flashing red light for Hawthorne north-south traffic and a flashing yellow light for traffic on Third Street, which is one-way westbound.

Carlson was driving south on Hawthorne toward the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house — where Crouse was a member — when a Honda station wagon, traveling west on Third Street, collided with Carlson's Jeep.

The impact sent both vehicles into a utility pole on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Crouse was thrown from the vehicle. She was not believed to have been wearing a seat belt, Indiana University Police Lt. Jerry Minger said. Carlson and a second passenger, Julie Greenbaum, were treated at Bloomington Hospital for minor injuries. They were later released.

After the collision, the driver of the station wagon reportedly fled the scene on foot. Found inside the station wagon were a pair of shoes and a beer can, one officer at the scene said.

A registration check on the vehicle showed it was registered to Joaquin Gonzales, a resident of 516 N. Grant St.

When Bloomington police went to the apartment, Gonzales told them he had lent the car to his roommate, Alberto DeJesus, and had not seen him for several hours, Minger said.

Gonzales pointed authorities to several local Asian restaurants where DeJesus might have worked, but he had not been found as of late Tuesday.

"Without a birth date or Social Security number, it's incredibly difficult to locate someone," Minger said.

"We were told that (DeJesus) worked at an Asian buffet restaurant, but we can't find any employee by that name."

An IU bus driver who is believed to have witnessed the accident had also yet to be interviewed by police.

According to the accident report, the bus driver was stopped at the Third Street and Hawthorne Drive intersection when the accident occurred, but continued driving instead of stopping to provide details to authorities. It was unclear whether he was on his route or if the bus was out of service.

His identity was not released Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the driver who fled the scene is asked to contact IUPD at 855-4111.

Reporter James Boyd can be reached at 331-4370 or by e-mail at

Hundreds gather to mourn inspirational young woman
by James Boyd, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2005

How hot does a candle burn, if it melts even the hardest of hearts?

Less than a day after he sat with Ashley Crouse on the steps of her sorority house, Tony Bruno found himself back at the Kappa Kappa Gamma residence, shaking his head at fate, if anything.

Bruno spent the summer with Crouse in Mexico, as part of a study abroad program sponsored by IU.

"She was the kind of person who makes you question the way you live your life when she's around," he said on the lawn, a lollipop's throw from the place Crouse's vehicle was struck.

"If life was a gift, she paid for it in ways none of us could ever imagine," Bruno said.

A crowd of at least 500 came in like a rainbow, dozens of colors converging at the Kappa house, with flowers in their hands and prayers in their thoughts.

Grief, it seems, united them all.

"She was always friendly and outgoing, and she always had a smile on her face," Michael Heithold said.

Heithold went to Carmel High School with Crouse and her brother Charlie.

"She was the best fan at our soccer games," he said. "She was loud and made sure everyone was cheering us on."

Tuesday night, it was Crouse's turn to be the subject of appreciation.

Some never knew her. Some never will.

"I think if a tragedy like this happened to any one of us, that they'd have the same support that we're showing here tonight," Lindsay Woldman said.

The last time Bruno and Crouse spoke was Monday night.

Crouse was putting in another late night at the Indiana Memorial Union, working to support the IU Dance Marathon.

"I ran into her three times in the elevator in a span of about 10 minutes," Bruno said. "I said 'Ashley, how can I miss you if you never leave?'"

"I regret saying that."

Ashley Crouse lit a fire that to some, will burn forever.

Reporter James Boyd can be reached at 331-4370 or by e-mail at

Better watch out: Police ready for Little 5 revelers; Race weekend traditionally nets 300-500 arrests — mostly for alcohol-related charges
By Bethany Nolan, H-T Staff Writer
April 13, 2005

Every year, as the Little 500 race approaches, Lt. Jerry Minger of the Indiana University Police Department gets asked the same question.

"Can you tell us your tactics for sneaking around and catching people drinking?" he asked, mimicking the voice of a student.
Dropping back to his regular voice, he said, "Sneaking? People are out in the streets doing stuff; that's like waving a red flag."

Every year during race weekend, between 200 and 500 people — many of them students — are arrested or cited, mostly on alcohol-related charges.

Law enforcement officers start planning weeks in advance for the well-known party weekend, interfacing with other agencies and even the FBI, Minger said.

All IUPD officers will work 12-hour shifts instead of their regular eight-hour shifts this weekend, and time off is verboten, he said.

"Everybody works," Minger said. "We have about two times as many people than usually would be out, working patrol and all the activities."

Last year, IUPD officers made more than 100 arrests or citations, mostly for offenses such as public intoxication or illegal consumption.

More than 20 officers with the Indiana State Excise Police will also be working both days this weekend, said Lt. Tom Miles.
Excise officers are the law enforcement division of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, and will be on the lookout for alcohol-related violations.

Last year, excise officers made 185 arrests during Little 5 weekend, he said.

The Bloomington Police Department expects to have about 40 officers working both Friday and Saturday night.
That's three or four times the normal number of officers on duty, Capt. Mike Diekhoff said.

"Like we always do, we're just trying to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely," he said. "We want everyone to have a good time, but just be safe about it."

On campus, IU officials are also touting safety.

Dean of Students Dick McKaig said residence halls will be less accessible to outsiders, and alcohol violators will go through the campus disciplinary system.

His main message? "Be careful. Look out for your friends and for yourself. And have a good time."

All those arrests and citations mean more work for the criminal justice system.

In the late 1980s, local judicial officials instituted a special Sunday court to help handle the influx of cases, Monroe County Prosecutor Carl Salzmann said.

Many opt to go through his office's pretrial diversion program, which allows those charged with certain misdemeanors to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record.

To complete the program, offenders must pay a fee, perform community service and not be arrested for a year.
"This is a way to get the majority of offenders to pay their debt to society and not clog up the system," Salzmann said. "We don't want a big lump in the snake."

It's also viewed as a convenience for out-of-town visitors who are arrested or cited over the weekend, because they're able to complete all their obligations in one day, he said.

Offenders going through the program even do their community service that day — working road crew, picking up garbage left by Little 5 revelers.

But for partyers who'd like to avoid the Justice Building entirely Sunday, Minger offered a few tips on how to stay out of trouble.
"If you're going to drink, drink responsibly," he said. "And if you're under 21, it's illegal to drink."

Reporter Bethany Nolan can be reached at 331-4373 or by e-mail at

Al Sharpton to speak in Bloomington
Herald-Times Report
April 13, 2005

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the controversial civil rights and political activist known for his outspoken opinions, will give a lecture in Bloomington next week.

Sharpton's lecture, "Al on America," will be at 7:30 p.m. April 21 at the IU Auditorium, Indiana University's Union Board announced Tuesday. The event, sponsored by Union Board with IU College Democrats and the Monroe County Democrats, is free.

Sharpton was in the news in 2004 as one of the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president. "Al on America" will present "a message of humanitarianism, tolerance and activism," according to a press release.

For information, call the Union Board at 855-4682.

IU police seek driver in fatal hit-and-run
H-T Report
April 12, 2005

Indiana University-police are seeking the driver of a Honda station wagon who fled the scene of a fatal car crash late Monday night.

IU student Ashley L. Crouse, 21, of Carmel, died after the station wagon hit the Jeep she was riding in and she was thrown from the Jeep, according to Jerry L. Minger of IU Police.

The two-car accident at Third and Hawthorne occurred shortly before 11:22 p.m.

The driver of the station wagon fled on foot after striking the Jeep with two people in the front and one in the rear seat.

Crouse, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at Bloomington Hospital of injuries after being thrown about 5 feet from the Jeep.

Her boyfriend, Christopher Carlson, who was driving, and the female front passenger were wearing seat belts. They were treated and released from Bloomington Hospital. The passenger's name was not released.

Carlson was tested and showed no signs of alcohol consumption at the time, the police report said.

At the time of the accident the intersection of Third and Hawthorne had a flashing red light for Hawthorne north-south traffic and a flashing yellow light for Third Street westbound, one-way traffic.

Carlson told police that he was south bound on Hawthorne Avenue crossing Third Street when the Jeep was hit in the left side.

The driver is wanted by police for leaving the scene of an accident.

Police are seeking Alberto DeJesus, 516 N Grant No. 10, Bloomington. Police said in a press release Tuesday DeJesus works at the Great Wall restaurant in Bloomington.

DeJesus was last seen wearing a tan shirt.

Anyone who believes they have information in this accident or knows the whereabouts of Alberto DeJesus is asked to the call the IU Police Department at 855-4111.

IU center seeking state funds
By Steve Hinnefeld, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 12, 2005

Supporters of Indiana's Learn More Resource Center hope state legislators learn more about the program — and fast.

If they do, the supporters say, the lawmakers will surely understand that the IU-based center is providing essential services for Hoosier students, parents and school counselors. And they will find money in the state budget to keep the 20-year-old source of college and career information up and operating.

"We've been talking to lots of people, and lots of people are talking on our behalf," said Gail McDaniel, director of the center. "Unfortunately, part of our problem is that nobody knows what we do."

Begun in 1986 as the Indiana Career and Postsecondary Advancement Center, the center is based at the Indiana University School of Education's Smith Research Center. Its 12 employees provide a Web site, a toll-free help line and outreach materials.

But Indiana's financial problems have put the center at risk, with the budget approved Monday by the Senate reducing its state funding to $1 a year.

The center currently gets $866,000 a year from the state, the bulk of its funding. It also gets assistance from the federal government, the Lumina Foundation and USA Funds.

Learn More center supporters say they understand lawmakers face challenges to balance the budget without a general tax increase. But they say the center saves the state money by serving as a central source of information for Indiana's more than 2,000 schools — and increasing the likelihood students will plan and be prepared for college.

"We're not insensitive to the fact this is a really difficult year," said Cheryl Orr, spokeswoman for the state Commission for Higher Education, which oversees the center. "But this is an investment we can't afford to back off from, especially when we're still a state that has such a low number of adults with college degrees."

Supporters say the center's work is especially important because school counselors, who are responsible for helping students make college and career decisions, are overwhelmed. In some districts, the student-to-counselor ratio is 600 to 1.

"Our Web site provides information so parents can become surrogate counselors for their kids, especially in areas where there's such a high ratio," McDaniel said.

She is optimistic legislators will fund the center when a House-Senate conference committee crafts the final 2005-07 state budget this month. But just to be sure, the center's Web site declares, "Learn More urgently needs your help," and includes instructions for e-mailing legislators.

"We've spent so much time over the past year retooling the old ICPAC into Learn More," McDaniel said. "We need now to get people to realize it's there."

Reporter Steve Hinnefeld can be reached at 331-4374 or by e-mail at

From Little 500 to big-time biking; Race inspires many to go on to the next level
By Steve Hinnefeld, Herald-Times Staff Writer
April 12, 2005

Hans Arnesen won a chance to train with a professional bicycling team when he was named Most Valuable Rider in the 2004 Little 500.

The experience — a week riding with Team TIAA-CREF near Boulder, Colo., in February — may have changed his life.

"It inspired me to work hard and try to pursue the dream of rising to the professional level," said Arnesen, an IU junior who rides for Alpha Tau Omega.

He won't be the only rider in Saturday's men's race at Indiana University with aspirations of going pro. "My goal is to become a professional cyclist," said Steve Ballinger, an IU junior who rides with Team Major Taylor.

The Little 500 is unique in cycling: a 50-mile relay race using one-speed bicycles and modeled on the Indianapolis 500 auto race. But many riders get a taste for two-wheel speed on the cinder track at Armstrong Stadium and decide to make bicycle racing a major part of their lives.

"We start a lot of people in the sport, and what they do with it from there is up to them," said IU Student Foundation race director Rob Rhamy, who rode for Phi Delta Theta in 1995-97. He said some of the top riders in this year's race may be competing in U.S. Cycling Federation road and criterium (street) races for years to come.

"Cyclists usually reach their peak ability level at age 28 to 33," he said. "Some of these riders have the talent to take cycling as far as they want to take it."

There was a time when some of the best young cyclists in the country came to IU to ride in the Little 500. Wayne Stetina, an Olympian in 1972 before he set foot on campus, led powerhouse Delta Chi teams that dominated the Little 500. His brother, Dale Stetina, also rode in the race and was an Olympian. Little 500 star Eddie Van Guyse played the Italian rider who ran Dave Stohler off the road in the 1979 movie "Breaking Away."

But race officials, concerned the Little 500 was becoming more about recruiting than training and competing, changed the rules in the 1980s, barring riders with top U.S. Cycling Federation ratings of professional or category 1 or 2. Rhamy thinks the changes have made for a better event.

"You take good high school athletes who come to college and are used to spending that 3- to 4-hour block of time on training," he said. "By the time they are seniors, they are really good bike racers."

The most competitive riders don't stop with training for months with their Little 500 teammates. Some take part in college-level competition with the IU Cycling Club and spend weekends and summers racing in cycling federation events.

That's the case with Matt Davis, a Phi Gamma Delta senior who will ride in his fourth Little 500 Saturday. A Greenwood native, he ran track and cross country in high school but didn't compete in cycling. But he knew about the Little 500; his father rode for Sigma Phi Epsilon in the 1970s.

"The Little 500 was kind of a segue into the road racing for me," he said. "I enjoyed the first year of riding and knew it was something I wanted to continue."

Davis plans to go to dental school next year, but he intends to keep racing on weekends.

Ballinger, from Edwardsville, Ill., started cycling on a mountain bike, taking part in long-distance charity rides with his father. Then someone talked him into trying his hand at a junior road race.

"It didn't go well at all, actually," he said. "But I learned and I got better."

Knowing about Little 500 influenced his decision to attend IU, where he's majoring in biology and hopes to get into optometry school. But first he intends to take a stab at racing professionally.

"I love the competition. And the speed," said Ballinger, who does about 50 races a year.

Arnesen, from Minnetonka, Minn., was a cross-country skier in high school, a member of a team that won the Minnesota championship and placed second in the nationals. But, starting when he was 13, he spent several weeks each summer on the DeCycles Indiana long-distance bike rides led by Bloomington chiropractor Norm Houze, a friend of his father.

"I've been familiar with Bloomington since I was 13 years old," he said.

When it came time to choose a college, he picked IU — and cycling. "There's not a lot of snow here," he said.

His goal of becoming a professional bicycle racer isn't a path to fortune and fame, at least not in the United States.

Rhamy, the Little 500 race director, said professional riders get their expenses paid by their sponsors. If they're good, they can make a little money, with the very top U.S. competitors making up to $50,000 a year.

The appeal? "You're making enough to live and you travel the country and you get to ride your bike," Rhamy said.

State revenue prediction casts rosier picture for next biennium
Associated Press
April 12, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana will take in about $42 million more during the next two years than lawmakers had expected four months ago, according to a revised fiscal forecast presented Monday.

The state still faces a projected deficit of more than $600 million, however, and legislative leaders and Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration considered the extra $42 million in revenue an insignificant figure given plans for $24 billion in expenses over the same period.

State Budget Director Chuck Schalliol called the new projections "unremarkable," and said the administration and lawmakers "were still where we were" in terms of drafting a final, two-year budget. The new forecast, compiled by a team of economists and fiscal analysts for lawmakers and the budget agency, projects revenue to grow by 4.1 percent, or $469 million, in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Growth the following year was projected at 5.3 percent, or $621 million.

Schalliol noted that through nine months of the current fiscal year, revenue is about $90 million behind a previous target. And the state still owes more than $710 million in back payments to schools, universities and local governments.

Those who prepared the forecast did give some positive news Monday.

Economist Gary Baxter said Indiana had regained about 79,000 of the 129,000 jobs it lost during the recent recession and prolonged economic downturn. He also said the state's economy was now growing at about the same pace as the nation's.

Bob Lain, a fiscal analyst for the budget agency, said individual income tax growth continued at a rapid 8.6 percent rate in December through March. But sales tax growth had slowed to 4.1 percent in those months, down from 6.1 percent in the previous five.

State Medicaid officials said they expected state costs in the health care program for the poor and disabled to be lower than was predicted by the administration of then-Gov. Joe Kernan in December.

Instead of state costs increasing at 8.9 percent in the next fiscal year and 10.9 percent in 2007, they revised those figures downward to 5.4 percent and 8.2 percent. They identified $243 million in savings from the December forecast, some of it because of slower enrollment growth in the program.

But some of the savings assume legislative changes to the program will pass this session. And to meet Daniels' goal of holding growth in state costs to 5 percent, $12 million more in savings would have to be found in the next fiscal year and an additional $60 million the next year.

"We're doing better, but we're not there," said Mitch Roob, secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration.

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