AP-Indiana stories for the weekend of Sept. 1-3. May be updated. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Indiana bureau at 317-639-5501, 800-382-1582 or indy@ap.org.




SOUTH BEND — Brandon Reed could be any young man playing video games in his basement. Broken chair in front of an array of electronic equipment, check. Ball cap on backward, check. T-shirt, check. Warm up pants and slide-on sandals, double check. One thing that's certain about this guy is that he hasn't changed much since he became a YouTube star about two years ago as the animator of the popular animated web series "Lil Ron Ron," which he works on with writer and voice artist Ron Bush of Mobile, Alabama. But Reed almost gave up on his dream of pursuing art as a way to make a living .By Ed Semmler. South Bend Tribune. SENT: 1,200 words, photos requested.


MUNCIE — For 304 days Thunder, a 4-year-old pit bull mix, sat in his cage, waiting for his new owner. During his stay, he spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter, alone. Sure, there were doggy dates. He even had a Twitter account with more than 200 followers, but every night he returned to A30, his 10-by-4-foot kennel at the shelter. That changed this summer thanks to Muncie native Josh Gates. By Mary Freda. The Star Press. SENT: 450 words, photos requested.



INDIANAPOLIS — People who have grown up and raised families south of Lucas Oil Stadium have one day per year when they feel like part of a neighborhood: the first Saturday in August. The annual picnic day at Babe Denny Park is when the residents who cling to the sparse houses south of McCarty Street reunite with the folks who have given up and moved to neighborhoods that, unlike Babe Denny, have not been sacrificed for the sake of progress. This year, though, the picnic fell on the same weekend as Gen Con, the massive convention for gamers, many of them in search of parking. The coincidental timing made it difficult for some people to attend the picnic and served as a reminder that whatever the future holds for Babe Denny, it does not include the people who have called it home. By James Briggs. The Indianapolis Star. SENT: 2,300 words, photos requested.


NEW ALBANY — David Ruckman and Pat Kelley's first project together was building a friendship. The two grew up side-by-side in the New Albany Housing Authority, their large families constantly swapping favors with one another. Ruckman's mom cooked food for everyone. Kelley's dad built the Ruckmans' kitchen table. Over the years, the two have continued to partner together on various enterprises. One of their most recent ventures is Summit Springs, a commercial development overlooking State Street. Kelley owned the land, and he wanted Ruckman to survey the project. That led to their next, (truly) most recent collaboration: The Buffalo Art Park. By Danielle Grady. News and Tribune. SENT: 1,000 words, photos requested.



BARGERSVILLE — Years ago, when local leaders envisioned the future Interstate 69 traveling through northwestern Johnson County, the entire route was lined with businesses. Now, that vision has changed, and those developments would be centralized around certain interchanges. And what would be built would depend on its location, since officials have different ideas for the three different I-69 interchanges planned in Johnson County. What you won't see: truck stops and gas stations that have been developed around other nearby interstate exits. By Annie Goeller. Daily Journal. SENT: 750 words, photos requested.


BLOOMINGTON — David Woodley doesn't have to cancel practice because of weather anymore. In a quarter century as director of Indiana University's Marching Hundred, the band has never had a true indoor rehearsal space until now. This is the first football season the band will get to use Ray E. Cramer Marching Hundred Hall. Located at the corner of 17th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, the 30,000-square-foot building has restrooms, locker rooms, storage space and multiple rehearsal rooms. One of those rehearsal rooms is large enough for all the band's 300 members, allowing Woodley to still have practice, even when it rains. By Michael Reschke. The Herald-Times. SENT: 400 words, photos requested.