Birddog cafe opened to share their unique twist on food with the community. Photo by Kaylin Kieft

Birddog Café reinvents comfort classics

Becca Grindle and Kelsey Grindle talked of opening a food truck when they got married in May 2022. Becca had worked in restaurants for more than 20 years, and Kelsey had grown tired of his work in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Midnight Café & Grill opened in The Village to serve up comfort foods. Photo by Taylor Staples.

Midnight Café & Grill serves up comfort food in the Village

Ernesto Polito grew up in Veracruz, Mexico, with dreams of starting a restaurant. On Friday, Jan. 19, he opened the doors to that dream — welcoming patrons to the Midnight Café & Grill, located on the western edge of the Village, a business district along University Avenue in Muncie. 

The Game Changers purchased a building on Wysor Street to host events and meetings as members work to support neighbors in need.

‘More than just a motorcycle group’

Nonviolent activist Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and that quote is driving a diverse group of car enthusiasts to rev up change in Muncie. The Game Changers are volunteers who support neighbors in need and host events to engage and uplift the community. 


The man behind the murals

It was a blustery afternoon, but the sun was shining as Eric Ward meticulously painted a race car on the exterior of Tom Cherry Muffler on Eighth Street in Muncie. Ward’s truck was a mobile studio, overflowing with paint cans, airbrush nozzles and painter’s tape. His hands — rough and weathered — donned fingerless leather gloves stuffed with hand warmers. 

Photo by Muncie Public Library.

The life-changing impact of a librarian

Akilah Nosakhere has spent her life collaborating with inspiring individuals and organizations to advance her community and educational opportunities for all. And come March, after more than 30 years of library management and community service, Nosakhere will retire as director of Muncie Public Library.

Photo of Larry Ivy by Randy Heavenridge.

A Systemic Song: Black artists in Muncie reflect on disparities and progress in the music industry

Black Lives in Music found that white artists in the UK average about $300 more than Black creators, and 43% of Black female creators said they feel they need to change their appearance because of their race. Black artists reported being called “aggressive,” “too outspoken” and “ungrateful,” among other labels. A USC Annenberg study of 70 major music companies revealed that 4.2% of them were Black. 


Neighbors share priorities in two south Muncie neighborhoods

Since 2015, the 8twelve Coalition has worked alongside residents, businesses and nonprofits to improve the quality of life in the South Central and Thomas Park/Avondale neighborhoods. Coalition Coordinator Darbi Strahle said many of the coalition’s efforts start with meaningful conversations and relationships.In mid-November, neighbors gathered in the basement of Urban Light Community Church to discuss the following priorities: beautification, housing, business development and employment, wellness and education and family support.


Building a legacy

In September 2023, Sasha Donati had an “awakening” moment when she felt called to open a restaurant in a vacant space at 3124 N. Granville Ave. Her family and friends rolled up their sleeves to transform the former hibachi spot into Muncie’s only West African restaurant. 


Equality for All

Yvonne Thompson, executive director for the Muncie Human Rights Commission, talks about her role to promote equal opportunity and equal rights for all.


One man’s mission to recovery

Growing up, Andy Ray didn’t have everything he wanted, but he had everything he needed. The Muncie native loved sports and camping. He was an average student who spent free time with friends. In high school, he began drinking at parties, but alcohol became a way to cope after his girlfriend and parents died within a few years of each other. 


Free flu shots and area COVID clinics

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every season to prevent sickness and missing work and school. If you get the flu, the vaccine can make symptoms less severe and reduce the risk of hospitalization.

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