2017 Year in Review: Only in Indiana

2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 1
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 2
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 3
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 4
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 5
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 6
2017 Only in Indiana Special - Part 7

The people and places in the Hoosier State are special. That's why we're dedicated to showcasing the unique and inspiring stories from a 4-year-old whose immune system can't tolerate a dog or cat, but a miniature pig brings a smile to her face; to a retired music teacher who shares the power of music with a 7-year-old who is deaf and blind.

Ridin' with Charlie
He's a legend from Bloomington - and he never played basketball. But he does a lot of other things and that is what has endeared him to the entire city.

The Awakening
We have all heard at one time or another about a moment where "a light-bulb turned on" for a child. A 7-year-old at McClelland Elementary in Wayne Township who is deaf and blind had that moment when he discovered the joy of music for the first time.

State's oldest employee turns 100
It was a birthday celebration to remember for the oldest state employee in Indiana history. We were there when co-workers threw a party for Bob Vollmer's 100th.

He started at DNR when JFK was inaugurated. He still works in the field surveying the state four days a week.

Recently, Vollmer was honored by the governor with a Sagamore of the Wabash, and DNR dedicated a plaque to him in Brown County State Park.

Monarch Momma
A Marion woman heard Mother Nature needs a little help when it comes to monarch butterflies. The number making the migration down to Mexico is dwindling so she's trying to do something about it, transforming her world so monarchs keep living in ours.

This Little Piggy
When most of us think of a pig, we think of a farm animal. When most of us think of a household pig, we think of Arnold. But we found a miniature pig named "Poppy" who has a very special calling.

Riley Rocks
So many people were moved by the story of a young Franklin girl who tried to commit suicide after being bullied. Thankfully, 12-year-old Riley Newton survived and she emerged as a voice for the voiceless.

Then something amazing happened. People from all over Central Indiana began decorating rocks with positive slogans meant to inspire her. They turned up everywhere from Greenwood to Franklin, Brownsburg to Lebanon, and even Pennsylvania and Florida, and were called "Riley Rocks."

The Hoosier Kindness Rocks Facebook page is still active if you'd like to join the movement.

Time with Dad
This season of family time takes on a special significance for so many families caring for aging parents. When the diagnosis is dementia, it can be especially painful. We found a man coping the only way he knows how: spending time with Dad, capturing life's little moments the way his father taught him.

Indiana Backroads
There are the roads we take when we are in a hurry to get from here to there, but what about those times when we just want to slow things down? That's when we turn to the backroads in our quest to find the life we've lost in the living.

Hillbilly with a Hobby
While many people think of retirement as a time to spend on a beach somewhere, not everyone is comfortable with that. We found a man in rural Boone County who created a whole new life for himself. We tried to call him an artist. He insisted he's just "a Hillbilly with a Hobby."

'Trauma doll' volunteers
It's not unusual to find Hoosiers doing something good in complete anonymity. They don't do it for attention, they do it because they know what it can mean to someone in need. We found some of those very people bringing comfort in the form of "trauma dolls."

The Castle
We all like to think our home is our castle. But for a couple in Muncie, it really is a castle.

Justin: The Artistic Horse
He started painting when he was 9 years old. Three years later, he has his own studio, his own web page and a boatload of Facebook followers.