Examining the history of Beech Grove while highlighting businesses that are seemingly "Invisible" by others

Beech Grove, Indiana

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Beech Grove High School cleanup continues

Beech Grove, IN (June 29, 2019) — Progress is being made in repairs to Beech Grove High School after it was damaged by a June 15 tornado.

School Superintendent Dr. Paul Kaiser issued an update, Friday.

"The Science Academy and its three classrooms are a total loss," said Kaiser. "The Hornet Enrichment Academy (the former Media Center) is a total loss. Classroom and lab contents are currently being evaluated to determine what can be salvaged and what contents will be replaced."

A final damage estimate won't be available until school officials and insurance adjusters finish their work, but insurance is expected to cover most repairs costs, according the school district spokesperson Melody Stevens.

Related | CONFIRMED: Tornado strikes Beech Grove

The F1 tornado with wind speeds estimated by the National Weather Service at 100 miles-per-hour carved a damage path 200 yards wide over the school grounds, east of South Emerson Avenue and north of I 465.

Besides the classrooms and academy, there was damage to the football field, baseball field and tennis courts.

Kaiser says the high school girls basketball team is back at the school for summer practices. The football team has returned to the high school weight room for summer conditioning, and the girls volleyball team is practicing again at the high school. Band summer camp will begin as scheduled in July. The tennis team is practicing at Roncalli High School.

Inside athlertic facilities were not damaged, but teams were kept off campus in the days right after the tornado as a safety precaution.

"The high school campus remains closed to the public as debris removal and construction continue," said Kaiser. "The campus is only accessible to authorized workers and staff and to students who are part of an authorized practice camp."

School reopens for the fall semester July 31 and not all repairs will be done by then, according to Stevens. But she says students who would normally be in areas that were damaged will be moved elsewhere on campus.


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Friday, June 28, 2019

Beech Grove senior chooses UIndy

Beech Grove, IN (June 28, 2019) — Spencer Chapman, a recent Beech Grove High School graduate and standout percussion player, has been accepted to three local colleges with academic and music scholarships.

After receiving acceptance letters from the University of Indianapolis, Butler University and DePauw University, Spencer weighed his options. He ultimately decided UIndy was the best choice for his future and accepted a scholarship from the Richard R. Lugar Academic Recognition Award.

Spencer has had a love of percussion since he was a little boy. “It all started when I was 6 and I got a rock band for Christmas with the electronic drums,” Spencer said. “He was always drumming on everything everywhere we went,” Tonya Chapman, Spencer’s mom, added. He found his talent.

Spencer started playing percussion with the Marching Hornets his sixth grade year. “I really wanted to get into percussion so I tried really hard and I think I was the last kid to get in, actually,” he said.

Spencer not only learned about music, but he learned strong leadership and everyday life skills. Learning how to build communication skills was a very important part of his lessons through band. He has met and made lifetime friends and memories.

“It’s a ton of fun with people who become your family,” Spencer said. He has also participated in pep band, concert band, jazz band, winter percussion and solo and ensemble. In 2019, Spencer won three gold medals and one silver during his solo and ensemble performance. Spencer was also awarded outstanding percussion in 2017.

During his senior year, Spencer ventured into a new passion for the stage with his girlfriend Mackenzie Martin by his side. The pair played Kenickie Murdoch and Betty Rizzo, respectively, in the musical Grease, and Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett in the production of Clue. Spencer also helped build sets for plays.

“Spencer is the most kind, humble (person) and he is extremely talented and he’s handsome too,” Mackenzie said. Spencer was also asked to play percussion for the Beech Grove show choirs. He is a National Honor Society member and teaches percussion in an advanced music instruction class to the younger students at Beech Grove Middle School.

Photo Source: Beech Grove Drama 🎭 @BGPlayers

Cory Wynn is the band director for BGHS; he taught Spencer for six years. Spencer decided he wanted to be a band director his freshman year.

“It was just unusual from an early on age that he decided he wanted to be a band director.” Wynn said. “He decided he had a goal and made it happen.”

Spencer had a strong drive and grew to become a student leader and idol to the other students in the band program.

“It really has nothing to do with music,” Wynn said. “Watching young adults grow up and evolve into confident people with morals and life skills, I think that is the most important thing I can give my students.” Wynn has high hopes Spencer will be a great band director one day in front of his own students. “I will be watching with pride,” Wynn said.

Tonya, who also attended BGHS, joined Beech Grove Band Boosters the first year Spencer was in marching band. She started by feeding the students and eventually became treasurer. Tonya would spend 20 hours or more a week doing “band mom” duties.

“The first year it was very eye opening. I didn’t realize everything that went into making this happen.” Tonya said. “I wanted to be a band mom because it does take so much time and that was time I could still spend with him to support him. I am his biggest cheerleader and I always want him to know I’m there for him.”

One of her favorite memories is seeing Spencer come out onto the field as a seventh grader with the high school kids and feeling so proud that he was feeling confident.

BGHS Marching Hornets wish Spencer the best for his future. The Marching Hornets end each practice, saying loud and in unison, “with pride.” Spencer Chapman has delivered that.

SOURCE: The Southside Times

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Main Street: A Hotbed of Magical Mischief

Beech Grove, IN (June 26, 2019) — Main Street Beech Grove will soon see a surge of witches and wizards alike flock the area with the release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The corridor’s unique makeup of landmarks, nonprofits and churches in such a small area makes it a popular destination for Augmented Reality activity- especially when it comes to banishing magical creatures causing virtual mayhem.

Related | Main Street: A hot hub for Pokemon Go

If this sounds familiar then it should because Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a game made by the same creators as Ingress and Pokemon Go. However, unlike the two previous games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is fairly different. It takes the best of Pokemon Go and expands on it, sans catching critters.

At its core, the game still uses similar foundations as the other games, such as the live map and key locations.

But be prepared for a jump in difference between Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go.

Unlike Ingress or Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a far more immersive experience. You can interact with certain landmarks and ‘jump into’ these points and be whisked into an AR living room for example and interact with certain objects.

The game also plays more like a traditional RPG with character interactions, fixing situations, chasing clues for Foundables, a storyline to tie elements in and even features like professions and potions making.

So the next time you see someone park at the side of a street for a few minutes on their phone or sitting on a bench on Main Street in Beech Grove, chances are that the person may just be playing Niantic’s newest release - Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Written by: Hannah Lee

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