Tag: "featured"

Downtown business at risk

Dan McMichaels stands outside his restaurant in the Biergarten that is another part of his business. The Biergarten is at risk of being lost forever

Roth Lovins

Staff Writer, 5 Rights News

On a typical evening at the Rathskeller Biergarten, there is a cornucopia of people singing and dancing along to the live performer of the night, enjoying the present company and, of course, the beer. The overall atmosphere is one of relaxation and friendliness because of the staffers who work there. Amidst the crowd, trying to enjoy the music while not drawing attention to himself sits Dan McMichaels, the owner of Rathskeller and its corresponding Biergarten.

McMichaels has been the owner of the restaurant and Biergarten since 1995. Since the start of his business, he has had to rent out the space for his companies from the Athenaeum Turners. For the most part, the deal was beneficial to both of the parties involved. That is, until the Athenaeum Turners sent some unsettling news to McMichaels.

“Two days after the 2012 Super Bowl, I received a letter from the landowners of the building,” McMichaels said. “In the letter, they asked to audit the records as a part of our leasing agreement.”

McMichaels cooperated and made sure that all demands were met in accordance with their agreement. Not long after that, McMichaels received yet another letter.

“The next letter told us that we weren’t able to use the Rathskeller name on our advertising and merchandising products throughout the restaurant,” McMichaels said.

McMichaels was upset and took actions with his attorney. After some time in court and mediation, the situation seemed to be appeased, but that was only the beginning of it all.

“The next cease and detest that we got was one that told us that we had to shut down the live entertainment,” McMichaels said.     “They basically told us that starting July 1, we had to close the Biergarten for good.”

For McMichaels, the Biergarten was the backbone for his company and was upset over losing the world-renowned creation.

“The landowners felt that they weren’t getting enough money from me, so they decided to cut off the source of all my money in efforts to get me to ‘roll over’ for them, but I’m not going to,” McMichaels said.

On top of that, McMichaels said that the foundation itself was struggling and wouldn’t be able to help out the rest of the community if they lost their main source of income.

“We have offered our space to non-for profit organizations and helped raise money for local organizations in efforts to give back to the community and without the Biergarten, it will be harder for us to support them,” McMichaels said.

One of the projects that the Rathskeller Biergarten took on was the ‘America Remembers 9/11’ in efforts to raise money for the local Fire Department Bereavement Fund.

“We were able to donate $160,000 to the organization thanks to all the support and funds that came from the Biergarten and its patrons,” McMichaels said.

Along with his contributions through organizations, McMichaels is able to help specific people in the community through a variety of ways.

“In the past, I bought an apartment building and made repairs to it so that the neighborhood wouldn’t suffer because of it,” McMichaels said. “ I have also donated free food services to volunteers who work on some of the construction projects downtown.”

McMichaels hope is that all the people who he has met through his business will be willing to band together and help join his campaign.

“People can join the ‘Save the Biergarten’ campaign and try and campaign against the Athenaeum Foundation so we can keep all the fun going,” McMichaels said. “I know the support will be there because of the traditions that are present in the community.”

For more information on how you can join the ‘Save the Biergarten’ campaign and other ways you can get involved, check out the Rathskeller website and their Facebook page at www.rathskeller.com.

Angela Buchman to move to rival station WTHR

by Katie Kutsko

Staff writer, Five Rights News


Chris Wright, chief meteorologist for WTHR-TV Channel 13, stands at his weather station.

Emmy Award-winning meteorologist Angela Buchman, WISH-TV Channel 8, plans to jump  to rival station WTHR-TV Channel 13, Indiana Business Journal (IBJ) reported Wednesday.

It is unclear whether  current WTHR chief meteorologist Chris Wright, will remain at the station. Wright also is  unsure of his future.

“Hope so [to stay at WTHR]. You just never know,” Wright said. “But, I’ll always be a weather person. I would at another station. You’d have to [move], but I would prefer not to.”

New York-based Nielsen Media research ratings released Wednesday for the May sweeps period point to trouble for the four major local stations. WTHR’s ratings fell 34.3 percent at 5 p.m., 16.3 percent at 6 p.m. and 17.8 percent at 11 p.m. However, WTHR remains the most-watched station in the market, and in order to maintain that position, the station is moving to hire Buchman, IBJ reported.

Wright also made the move from WISH to WTHR in 1999 and understands that the station made a business move.

“They [WTHR] want to help their station and hurt their competitor by taking something of theirs,” Wright said.

Changes in the industry mean that weather forecasters have to remain flexible and ready to accept whatever comes their way according to Wright.

“When I first started in the business, there were maps with metal magnets,” he said. “And then we started with older computers. That’s how I got my first job. The older meteorologist refused to use a computer.”

Wright directed comments about the IBJ report to  news director Keith Connors or general manager John Cardenas. But he did say that because of contract rules, Buchman would have to wait a year before going on-air for WTHR.

Wright said  that change is inevitable.

“In TV, the only thing to count on is change,” he said. “People who last adapt to change: technology, ways of doing things, management, ownership. It always requires change.”

Attorney claims smoking ban violates civil rights

Beatriz Costa-Lima

Managing Editor, 5 Rights News


Instead of the usual flow of regular customers to Casino, an Eastside bar, nowadays, patrons buy one drink, step outside to smoke and then leave, according to bar owner Rhoda Walker.

Walker claims the Indianapolis smoking ban is the cause for this shift in business and finds the ban encroaches upon her civil rights.

Indianapolis-based attorney Mark Small, with Ogden Law Firm, filed a motion in Federal District Court on behalf of Walker and 42 other plaintiffs. Walker stated the Ninth Amendment protects the right to smoke on private property.

The ban, which took effect June 1, strengthened the current legislation to restrict smoking in bars with the exception of private clubs, hooka bars and cigar bars.

“The right of an owner of a private business on private property to allow patrons or customers to engage in otherwise legal conduct is among those rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution or Bill of Rights,” Small said. “[Smoking] would have been a right the framers would have believed unnecessary to specifically protect as they convened over mugs of ale and pipes of tobacco during that summer of 1787 in Philadelphia.”

Before he adresses the media, Indianapolis-based attorney Mark Small, of Ogden Law Firm, speaks with one of his 43 plaintiffs on the steps of the federal district courthouse.

While courts across the nation usually uphold smoking bans, this is the first time an opponent has used the Ninth Amendment in support of smokers’ rights. However, this approach appears more as an act of desperation rather than an argument that will hold up in court, according to Gerard Magliocca, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis professor.

“There are very few cases that would use the ninth Amendment to do anything,”

Magliocca said. “There’s just no grounds for that kind of argument. Smoking is a heavily regulated thing. There are all sorts of cities around the world that have smoking bans and few have ever challenged them.”

Legislators regulate businesses in various ways in order to create safe work environments, according to David Orentlicher, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis professor.

“The court recognizes that it’s important for the government to regulate this area,” Orentlicher said, “The freedom to decide how exactly to run your business the way you want is not a fundamental right. The government can tell you what minimum wage to pay employees; they can regulate overtime hours…there are all kinds of regulations to create a safe working environment.”

Despite some controversy to the ban, Mark Lotter, spokesperson for Mayor Greg Ballard, believes that with time, people will adjust to the regulations.

“When you saw the 2005 ban go into effect, there were some initial concerns, but over the course of time people adjusted,” Lotter said. “From a public health and business stand point it makes the city more attractive to employers, conventions and visitors. We are seeing generally positive response from the community.”

Small believes that the ban serves as simply one step to further restrictions on citizen’s daily choices.

“Double cheeseburgers with fries [will] probably [be] next,” Small said. “You already see 17 ounce slurpees in New York City are illegal. How can you have a decent slurpee if it’s 16 ounces or less? It makes no sense…how can a mayor, simply acting on his own, say we’re not going to do that?”

In addition, Small doubted the harmful effects of secondhand smoke Wednesday at a news conference outside the federal courthouse. Cigarette smoke, he said, produces the “equivalent of a million cigarettes.” However, a study led by the Tobacco Control Unit of Italy’s National Cancer Institute in Milan suggests that air pollution emitted by cigarettes is 10 times greater than diesel car exhaust. Due to the Clean Air Act of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulates motor vehicle pollution

With the ban in place, Walker worries if Casino will stay in business much longer with the decrease in customers.

“This is my livelihood,” Walker said. “What can I do?”

Joshwa Carlisle Verdict

Brooklyn Miller

Reporter, 5 Rights News

A Lawrence man facing murder charges for the death of his girlfriend and their 9-month-old baby was found not guilty this week.

Joshwa Carlisle, 33,  was arrested in September 2010 accused of killing  Tracie Shannon, 25,  and their  daughter, Juliana. Autopsy results confirmed Shannon was smothered to death and the baby was burned alive. Prosecutors had argued that Carlisle killed the mother and daughter to avoid paying $200 a month in child support.

Carlisle denied committing the murders.  The case ended with Marion County Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner  finding Carlisle not guilty.

Shannon’s stepmother, Ramona Shannon, was so overcome with emotion at word of the verdict that she fainted and later needed help to walk out of the court room. Despite the judge’s decision, she later asked  “How can you live with yourself knowing that you burned our baby alive?”

Carlisle’s attorneys said that Carlisle was proven not guilty simply because there was not enough evidence to against him.  David Shircliff said  that there were many inferences that his client committed the crime but there was no physical evidence, such as fingerprints to show that his client was guilty.

Shircliff added that Carlisle wants to put the ordeal in the past, get a job and continue his work in the National Guard.

Judge Stoner said “whoever committed this crime has a special place in hell.”


State Police crack down on reckless drivers

Leah Johnson

Editor-in-Chief, 5 Rights News


  Indiana State Police are implementing an aggressive ‘Crash Reduction Enforcement Program’ to save Hoosier lives.

Traffic deaths have  been slowly on the rise since 2009, with 700 deaths to more than 750 in 2010. According to ISP Commander John Smithers, while traffic related deaths have been managed well in past years, the recent spike is cause for alarm.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve been pretty successful as far as reducing the number of fatal crashes. However, this year there has been a bit of an aberration in fatals- particularly in rural areas.” Smithers said.

Crashes, he notes, are the result of poor driving techniques.

“Following too closely, changing lanes without properly signaling, driving too fast for weather conditions.”

The program is an undercover effort, which will use less traditional vehicles than the department has used in the past. Helicopters, cyclist patrols, unmarked Dodge Chargers and Ford Mustangs are all a part of the campaign.

Motorist Sandra O’Brien has firsthand experience with undercover vehicles.

“I mean, people are going a lot faster than me.  I’m shocked that I got pulled over, I really am.” O’Brien said.

“I’m not even a speed demon- I’m not. I’m just trying to get on this road. That’s all I was trying to do.”

Statistically, the measures already have  proven to be effective. The more police contacts made, the lower the amount of traffic related fatalities. In March 2012 alone, police contacts skyrocketed to 22,790 while total crashes dropped to 11,660.

Indiana State Police Superintendent  Paul Whitesell said he intends on using any method necessary to save lives.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to minimize the number of crashes that injure and kill people on our roadways and will use all tools and enforcement methods at our disposal to stop such needless tragedies.” Whitesell said.

The extra measures, State Trooper Justin Hobbs said are necessary for Hoosier safety.

“If you are abiding by traffic laws you don’t have anything to worry about.” Hobbs said.

“We got a laser clock on a burgundy SUV at 65 in a workzone, and then you have workers out here still working. And that’s why we’re out here, keep those folks safe.”

Crowded campus

By Katie Kutsko

5 Rights | staff writer

Robertson Hall | photo by Haedyn Scgalski

Butler is normally a barren campus during the summertime. College students go home, the administration is left to prepare for the next school year and there are some summer school students. But not they are not alone this summer.

“Usually during the summer it is pretty dead,” said Marc Allan, Associate Director of Public Relations at Butler University. “There is more activity this week than usual. After commencement, we wouldn’t normally see anyone but deans and admissions people. Now we’re seeing more faculty. I guess with the more modern mentality, people are always working.”

Aside from faculty, Allan said that there are three camps, members from the sororities Kappa Alpha Beta and Alpha Phi and campus visits this week — more than 800 students. The camps include a piano camp, Gadget camp and creative writing camp.

The camps integrate a college experience into younger kids’ lives and provide a week of immersive learning.

According to Piano Camp director Karen Thickstun, it provides a teaching experience for Butler students who act as counselors and teachers. She also said it makes art accessible to all different levels of expertise. Students at the Butler Piano Camp have been playing from six months to years.

“It’s not only for serious students. We believe music should be a part of your life whether you want to make it your career or not,” Thickstun said.

With a different type of student on campus during the summer, Chief of Campus Police Benjamin Hunter said that the police have to change their security. In addition to the campers, there are construction workers on campus. With two different groups of people who are not usually at Butler, the campus police focus on all students’ safety.

“There is lots of major renovation. It opens some change for us,” Hunter said. “There is a lot of movement with different contractors, and we require them to sign a sheet and sign out access keys. We also keep logs.”

The University’s goal is for students to feel safe and to enjoy the campus. Even though the camps use Butler’s facilities, the University doesn’t benefit monetarily. According to Allan, the University gains more.

“We want students to see our beautiful campus. If they like our campus and like our people, maybe they’ll decide to attend Butler,” Allan said. “We have hundreds of events on campus each year, and we’d like them to come back for a lecture or a performance. It’s not always about money. Nor should it be.”

While spending a week on Butler’s campus this summer, students will meet diverse groups of other students and be a part of a college atmosphere.

Allan said, “Butler is part of the community. We want people to feel welcome here.”

Immigration law affects Indiana students

Photo from IUPUI Multicultural Success Center homepage

By Leah Johnson and Katie Kutsko

5 Rights | Editor-in-Chief and staff writer

College students should be ready for a change next month.

On July 1, House Bill 1402, a bill passed in the Indiana legislature this year, becomes effective. On the date, all undocumented students become ineligible for in-state tuition rates, scholarships, grants or other aid funded through the university.

The change could mean less diversity on campus, an interruption in student relationships and a denial of an education that many have worked toward their entire lives. Some Hoosiers, however, support the law, saying that illegal immigrants should become legal.

One local university already has started their preparing their students for the new immigration law. IUPUI notified students that they will be required to verify citizenship for fall 2011 enrollment. If citizenship can not be confirmed, state aid will be denied.

“It is unfortunate that students won’t be getting financial aid,” said Danielle Wilson, IUPUI Tourism, Convention and Event Management major. “[Without my financial aid], I would not be in school,” Wilson, herself a citizen, sympathizes with undocumented students. “If you really want to be in school, then getting loans or seeking out loans is a sacrifice you’ll have to make. I know I’m getting financial aid, and I know it’s really important to me.”

At IUPUI, minority students account for 14.66 percent of the student population, making them the most underrepresented minority. White students account for 62 percent.

“I do think that over the long run this bill will affect levels of diversity, since many young Latinos who were brought here by their parents and are not documented are making their way through local school systems and will soon be looking for a local college to attend,” said Michael Snodgrass, associate professor of Latin American History at IUPUI. “The cost difference created by this bill will be a huge detriment to their capacity to continue their education. IUPUI already has a student population that very much over-represents the region’s white suburban population versus the city’s people of color.”

Others say that legal immigration is possible.

“I feel that people should come here legally,” said Betty Caputo, a McCordsville resident. “I was an immigrant myself, and I did it legally. I took the time to do the paper work and everything. I have no problem with anyone who’s here illegally, but I think that’s the way it should be done.”

Voices from both sides of the debate are in agreement on one fact. Indiana’s immigration legislation needs to change, and so do the means by which it is accomplished.

“I think Indiana shouldn’t be taking on legislation like this when its obviously not working. And its not right for them to be denying people education, people who are trying to contribute to our communities.” said Emma Hernandez, member of the Latino Youth Collective of Indiana. “I mean, no one in this debate about immigration reform denies that reform needs to come, but there’s a way to nurture our communities and not destroy them.”

Interview with Jeff Smulyan

Five Rights reporters David Shiele and Adrian Hoskins with EMMIS Communications CEO, Jeff Smulyan.

By Adrian Hoskins

5 Rights | staff writer

Earlier this week reporters from 5 Rights News had a chance to meet with Jeff Smulyan, Chief Executive Officer of EMMIS Communications. This Indianapolis native organized the company and became its largest shareholder in 1980.

Smulyan attributes the majority of his success to a few key factors.

“The first thing—persistence, never quit,” said Smulyan.  “I love what I do, you must have a passion for what you want to do in life.”  Smulyan said he   was also fortunate to attract good people who work very hard.

As a graduate of University of Southern California, Jeff Smulyan received a B.A in History and Telecommunications. While at USC, he received a Juris Degree from the USC School of Law. He also served as the comment editor of the USC Law Review. In July 1981 he opened WENS in Shelbyville, Indiana. The station later became known as Hank F.M 97.1.

Although Smulyan acts as the CEO of one of FORTUNE magazine’s 2005 “100 Best Companies to Work For”, he still describes himself as non-threatening personality.

“I’m shy in some situations, a workaholic, and on a mission to rebuild this company,” said Smulyan.

On June 24, 2011 the Wall Street Journal reported Emmis stock is selling for $1.05.  At its highest value the stock traded at a value of $62.34 on December 31, 1991, according to DailyFinance.com. This plummet and other challenges over the past few years are some of the situations from which the company wants to rebuild. These challenges include losing their broadcasting license in Hungary, having to sell all of their T.V. stations, selling multiple radio stations and WIBC’s traffic helicopter.

Meeting Smulyan, one would not think he was facing such hardships considering all the rewards and positions that he holds. In 1994 Smulyan was named Head of Delegation to Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union, an ambassadorial position. He is director of the National Association of Broadcasters, chairman of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and more.  Smulyan has also owned a major league baseball team called the Seattle Mariners, which he later sold after three years. Smulyan says he really enjoys sports, evident in why he has owned sports formatted stations, such as WFNI-AM (1070 The Fan) in Indianapolis. He also enjoys politics and reading.


Spotlight on: Borshoff Public Relations

By Ridley Morgan

5 Rights | staff writer

Borshoff is a public relations and marketing company in Indianapolis founded by Myra Borshoff Cook in 1984 with a focus of keeping the clients’ best interests at heart. The company supports a team of 56 people, led by the four principals of the corporation: Myra Borshoff Cook, Erik Johnson, Jennifer Young Dzwonar, and Susan Matthews. Whitney Ping, a new hire at Borshoff, explained the company as a group of people that is capable of a lot of different things when it comes to communication. “There are many faces to Borshoff,” she said.

Ping started as an intern in January and was given various accounts to work on. Her work schedule started as three full days per week, and she was offered a full time position in March, which she accepted in May after graduating from IUPUI. Ping described Borshoff as “a unique and welcoming environment” where she was “able to really learn a lot in a short period of time.”

Inside Borshoff is a brand new office space called the “build out.” It started as a desolate office space for four employees. “The way we had set it up, it was very isolating,” said Jennifer Young Dzwonar, principal of Borshoff. So it was turned into an employee meeting spot called the Atari bar, referring to the universal video game network, and after that, it was once again determined that more office space was needed. The new build out space has five offices with “shower doors” as numerous employees like to call them due to the similarity in style to shower sliding doors. “I was a little jealous that I didn’t get one of the new offices, because they are very cool,” said Ping.

The transformation took approximately six months to complete. The company had a vision of two offices facing another two offices with an aisle between, but the decision was made to have all of the offices along one wall facing outside windows to bring in light. Dzwonar described the build out as “a nice combination of quiet and work.” “[The employees] have told us they love it!” she said about employees’ response to the new area.

Borshoff’s future plans for the build out consist of replicating the same layout on the lower floor. After having seen the effect of the atmosphere and the color scheme’s changes, Dzwonar said that “it sets the tone for the future.” Dzwonar and her three principal colleagues plan on continuing forward with the plans for the build out and also for the company as a whole.

Feather frenzy

Witty Knits by Codi founder and designer featured with her new line of feather earrings. Found online at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Witty-Knits-by-Codi/178693905478961?ref=ts&sk=wall

By Haedyn Scgalski

5 Rights | Managing Editor

If someone were to say feathers to me when I was five years old, I would have thought of bird feathers. If someone were to say feathers to me when I was 10 years old, I would have thought of the feathers that you use with crafts. Now, at 17, almost 18 years old, if someone said feathers to me, I would immediately think of the feathers that more and more girls are putting in their hair or the feathers that are attached to the dream catchers that people have in their cars.

Are feathers just a passing trend, like Crocs, coloring a strip of your hair a random color or throwing up a peace sign and making duck lips for pictures?

I think they are. I, myself, have even fallen into this feather frenzy. I have a pink, yellow, green, orange, purple and blue one. What is it that made me want these? Personally, I like the look and could care less what the other girls I go to school with are doing, but, for the preteen kids, who maybe haven’t figured out who they are and their style, are these feathers just to be cool and to fit in?

I got my feathers about two weeks ago. I had many color options and pretty much fell in love. I was originally only going to get three of them, about an hour after, I text the girl who did mine and ask if I could come back and get more, and so I did. I got another three. My parents were a little surprised, but were totally fine with my decision. After all, they aren’t permanent.

Individual people can assemble the hair extensions, but hair salons can also do it.

“I think it is a great cost effective way to add change to any look. It’s low maintenance and easy to take care of,” stylist and co-owner of Honey Blush Salon, Danielle Jones said.

Dream catchers, I feel like, are something that have gone in and gone out. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a trend because I think it just depends on the person’s personality. I have a friend who has one in her car, it fits her personality and it seems like something she would have. But, on the other hand, I definitely have some friends that it would be strange for them to have.

“Dream catchers are definitely getting more popular. In the last decade or so, I have noticed a lot more around,” Sadie Allman, 16, Columbus, Ind. said. “In the past couple of years, the whole Native American culture has become super popular, bringing back things like moccasins, amber-colored suede and of course, feathers and dream catchers.”

On Tuesday, I met someone who had made feathers for her earrings. Honestly, it was one of the coolest things I have seen. They were super long and looked awesome. I would wear something like that for sure.

“The fad itself inspired me to create the earrings,” Codi Perry, 19. Chicago, Ill. said. “I added them to my collection of artsy trends because of my self owned business, ‘Witty Knits by: Codi’.”

In the recent story in the Indianapolis Star, it said, “Feathers’ popularity isn’t the only thing increasing. So is their price.” With that being said, they are obviously becoming more prominent. I paid $30 for three feathers, then for everyone after that it was $5. That’s a total of $45 spent on feathers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my feathers and have become quite obsessed with them, but that $45 dollars could have definitely bought me lunch for multiple weeks, bought me a couple of pairs of shoes or even just been put into savings. When I think about that though, I am still happy I got them and wouldn’t do it over.

There are some trends though that are not okay for kids to do just to fit in. Consumer Reports Health, Dr. Orly Avitzur said, “Biting and cutting and sucking blood, circle lenses/decorative contact lenses, ADHD prescription drug abuse, tobacco escalation products, Tanorexia/tanning salons, tattoos, piercings, tech use at night, texting while driving and noise exposure,” are the “10 troublesome teen trends.”

Dr. Avitzur also said in her article, “Previously rational children transform into moody, unreasonable creatures whose need to shock is only surpassed by their efforts to fit in.”

Which is extremely sad, because I used to try to fit in with the kids I thought were who I wanted to be like, until one day, I realized I had morals and they really aren’t cool.

As this year continues, will this look stay popular? I know it will for me. I actually want feathers in my hair for my senior pictures this year! Or for some, will the want for feathers die down and become something that just brushed across the United States and become a fad? Will younger kids realize that they don’t have to fit and get sucked into the horrible times of peer pressure? I guess we’ll find out.