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From Heartbreak to Hope

How a Mother’s Grief Led Her to Help the Homeless Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing An ear-piercing blast rang through the silent, still air causing Sandy Nelson’s body to jolt to attention. You might assume it was a car backfiring or a neighbor testing a stray firework, but somewhere deep in Sandy’s gut, she knew this horrific noise was much more menacing. Sandy sprang to her feet and bolted towards the driveway to check on her grown daughter, Jenny, but it was too late. She had lost her second child to suicide. In 1993, her teenage son, Sean, died from a ...

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Avon Bridge Construction Underway

Project Should Reduce Traffic Congestion in Avon and Surrounding Towns A major construction project closing Avon Avenue at the CSX rail crossing, just south of US 36, is now underway. The closure is expected to last 15 months. Public Works Director Ryan Cannon said the project has been delayed since October due to utility relocation being incomplete, but he expects residents to see an improvement in the town. “This project will significantly reduce traffic congestion in Avon and the surrounding towns and will remove a major barrier to connectivity in the community for both pedestrians and vehicles,” Cannon said. The ...

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Creating Backyard Habitats with Wild Birds Unlimited

Writer  /  Heather Chastain A Hoosier company with Avon roots is working on a national level to help preserve and protect nature. Wild Birds Unlimited, located in the Avon Station shopping center, is just one of 300 stores nationwide working to bring people and nature together. Fifteen years ago, self-proclaimed nature lovers Doug and Michelle Moon opened the store and have been helping locals create backyard habitats for birds. “To have a habitat, you need four elements: food, water, shelter and a place to raise young,” Doug said. “Food could consist of seed or natural plants. Water could be a ...

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Potter Metal Art: From Junk to Metal Masterpieces

Writer  /  Austin Benjamin Most would assume when hearing the word “art” that you are referring to drawing, painting or even a tattoo. Local Avon native, Cole Potter, has taken art to another level. Potter began drawing at a young age, mostly race cars because his family has been in racing for generations under the team name Potter V6. The Potter V6 team mainly raced sprint and quarter midget cars, which were popular in the 1990s and once included retired NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. These were the same cars Cole took up drawing at a young age. When he was ...

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Providing Hope to Others: Hope Healthcare to Increase Ministry

Writer  /  Melissa Gibson This spring, Hope Healthcare Services (formally Kingsway Care Center) will embrace an emerging trend in primary care. The non-profit plans to open its doors to patients that may or may not maintain medical insurance but want to reap the benefits of low costs and doctor-patient relationships. Patients enrolled in the Direct Primary Care option will pay a monthly fee based on their age, a $20 co-pay per visit and significant discounts on labs, imaging and other procedures. Costs directly to the patient can always be personally billed to their insurance company for reimbursement. Hope Healthcare began ...

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Hoosier Tent Brings Party Venues to You

Writer  /  Elaine Whitesides Skip Messinger and his company, Hoosier Tent & Party Rentals, want your next party to be spectacular. He won’t attend and be the life of the party, but his company will deliver tents, tables, chairs, and everything else you need to turn your backyard into the perfect party venue. Hoosier Tent provides tents in sizes from 10’ x 10’ to 60’ x 150’, as well as linens in a wide array of colors and table settings. Or, you can surprise youngsters you love with a bouncy house, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones and much more. Keep ...

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Tamika Catchings: Enjoying Retired Life on the West Side

Former WNBA Star Talks Life After Basketball and Giving Back Writer  /  Josh Brown Photographer  /  Brian Brosmer If you’re an Indiana sports fan then surely you know her name. How could you not? Tamika Catchings will go down as one of the greatest WNBA players ever, and no one could argue otherwise. Her career accolades speak volumes: 10-time All-Star, 5-time Defensive Player of the Year, 12-time All-WNBA selection, 2002 Rookie of the Year, 2011 MVP, and 2012 Finals MVP. Take a breath, there’s more. The former Indiana Fever star forward also sits atop or near the top of the ...

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Q & A with Avon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Downard

Where are you from? I am from Indianapolis. I was raised on the west side and went to Ben Davis High School. I attended Indiana Central University (University of Indianapolis) and received my Bachelor’s Degree. How long have you been with the Avon Chamber of Commerce? I have been a member of the Avon Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 1997. I have been the Executive Director since January 2000. What led you to this position? Being a business owner in the community, I wanted to be a part of growing an organization that would help our community grow ...

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Cardiac Stents That Dissolve

IU Health West Cardiologist explains new technology that the body can absorb Each year, more than half a million Americans undergo a procedure to place cardiac stents – small, metal mesh tubes used to prop open and de-clog arteries. Metal stents have become the gold standard over the years, but a new kind of cardiac stent recently approved by the FDA dissolves in the body instead of staying in place indefinitely like metal stents. They’re called bio-absorbable vascular scaffolding, or biodegradable stents. “These are stents that have a scaffold, or body, made of polylactic acid that dissolves over time,” explains ...

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Great Fermentations

Writer & Photographer  /  Stephanie Duncan If someone was interested in starting a new rewarding hobby, Anita Johnson could probably convince him or her to try home brewing with one visit to Great Fermentations. With a passion for craft beer, home brewing and teaching people new skills, Johnson, Great Fermentation’s owner, is one of the lucky people who gets to do her hobby as a job. Great Fermentations is a local business that since 1995 has sold beer and winemaking supplies and offered home brewing classes in Indianapolis. Originally opening in Broad Ripple, Great Fermentations opened its second location this ...

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