Photo: Indiana Teacher Responds to Another's Words on Gay Students

An unlikely but passionate rift has heated up in a Southern Indiana school district over the concept of prom events for opposite- and same-gender student pairs. First, Diana Medley, a special education teacher in the Northeast School Corporation in Sullivan County, made remarks to a WTWO-TV (Terre Haute) reporter that set the Internet and regional and even national media atwitter. Outside of a planning meeting for a strictly opposite-sex-dating prom in the school district, she said, in response to the interviewer's question about whether she thinks gay people have "some purpose in life": "I don't. I personally don't, I'm sorry. I don't understand it." In the same TV news report, Bill Phegley, a pastor at Carlisle Christian Church, makes statements considered incendiary by some and to be treasured by others, saying Christians are always "prepared for a fight" and that Jesus gives them "armor for the front, not the back" so as not to run away from that fight.
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Our Top 12 Stories of 2012

We're already well into this droll, sporty, and yet downright painful 2013—St. Elmo and soccer and Lance, oh my—and so here, without further ado and based on pageviews, are the top 12 stories of 2012 at IndianapolisMonthly.com as determined by you, our readers:
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Hoosiers Represent at Inaugural Parade

Walking around downtown Washington, D.C., on Monday morning amidst the crowds of inauguration-goers, it was difficult to tell who hailed from where—and then there was the man in a Purdue hat who said “Boiler Up!” with a big smile in response to my companion who initiated that exchange. Yet I learned ahead of time that there would be more than a few other Hoosiers in attendance, including performers in the parade after the official swearing in of President Barack Obama:

Tony Bennett, Now Florida's Education Chief, Talks to The New York...

Florida likes the way Tony Bennett, Indiana's uprooted Superintendent of Public Instruction, thinks: teacher evaluations based on student performance, schools receiving grades on the same scale used for their charges, and the headline-grabbing push for more charter education and voucher programs. The Sunshine State apparently longed for his leadership and initiative, offering him the reins to clean up its education system in the midst of his term as the Hoosier State's public schools czar. The Floridian version of the role boasted a salary that tripled his own in Indiana.
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INcoming: Mike Pence

To understand the chasm currently separating Indiana’s political parties, all you need to do is picture their election-night celebrations. On November 6, the Democrats chose a sedate ballroom at the Downtown Marriott. The Republicans, who were marching toward supermajorities in the House and the Senate, chose the end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Indy's Central Library Ranked No. 5 Most Beautiful in Nation

With its wide bookshelves varying from dark aged wood to more modern circular cases, The Indianapolis Public Library—Central Library—writes the book on combining old with new. And now it has been chosen by MentalFloss.com as the fifth most beautiful library in the United States. With contenders among these Top 10 such as the Armstrong–Browning Library at Baylor University in Texas and the Morgan Library in New York, Indy should be flattered. Most of the edifices chosen are on the coasts, and Indy's downtown main branch is the sole Midwest rep on this list.
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Purdue Memorializes Astronaut Alum Neil Armstrong

Monday saw a windy late-summer evening on Purdue University's campus as a crowd gathered to honor the legacy of Neil Armstrong. We all know him as the man who flew to the moon and back, but the students of Purdue University know a humble man. 

Man on the Moon: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is a boyhood hero of mine. He is one of my heroes not because he was the first man to walk on the moon, although that has something to do with it. He is my hero because he came from my hometown of St. Marys, Ohio.
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WIBC Radio: Evan West Speaks to State Fair Tragedy

Reflecting on his experiences with interviewing survivors and others affected by the Indiana State Fair tragedy in August 2011, executive editor Evan West speaks today with 93.1 host Steve Simpson. Audio from their conversation appears here at right. Simpson himself was one who reacted quickly on the ground to report the stage rigging collapse on August 13, 2011, just before the country band Sugarland was to take the stage.
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Ball State Students Debut Vonnegut Library Exhibit

Honestly, I didn’t pay that much attention while reading Slaughterhouse-Five in high school English class. Even though it was short compared to other required books—I’m looking at you, Crime and Punishment—I didn’t fully understand the themes. So when assigned to check out a public media event for a new exhibit fashioned by Ball State University students for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, I was a bit apprehensive. My Vonnegut knowledge was slim. Yes, I knew that he was from Indiana and that I should be proud of that. I also knew that he had one heck of a mustache. And that’s about it. So when I walked into the KVML yesterday, I was a clean slate personified, although my soul felt dirty for the Slaughterhouse-Five crime.