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Lafayette Jeff’s basketball court will get Joe Heath’s signature
LSC will vote Monday to rename court in honor of coach, principal. Plus, the presence of Brian Lamb. A busy weekend at Purdue, in town. And more
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LAFAYETTE JEFF BASKETBALL COURT WILL GET HEATH’S SIGNATURE
When Lafayette Jeff’s Crawley Center gets new bleachers and gym floor in time for the 2022-23 school year, the basketball court likely will bear the name of Joe Heath.
The Lafayette School Corp. board is expected to vote Monday to name the court in honor of Heath, who played, coached, taught and was athletic director and eventually principal at Lafayette Jefferson High School. The school board received the recommendation, advanced by Jeff Principal Mark Preston and Athletic Director Justin Gardiner, during a work session Thursday evening.
“As an athletic director, he was beyond compare,” John Layton, LSC’s associate superintendent, said.
The name change would affect only the floor in Crawley Center, which is named for legendary basketball coach Marion Crawley. (Think Keady Court at Purdue’s Mackey Arena.) Layton said the district found one of Heath’s signatures on an old document that would be transferred onto the new hardwood floor.
LSC is on the cusp of a $1.5 million bleacher and floor replacement, expected to get done over the summer.
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Heath was a 1953 Jeff grad. He played on Crawley’s 1952 state finals team that lost to Arsenal Tech. According to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 1993, Heath succeeded Crawley in 1967 and compiled a record of 191-60 in 10 seasons. He taught economics and was athletic director. He was named principal in 1998, after the abrupt, one-year term of the previous principal, Lynn Lupold.
“People have forgotten this, but there was a moment in time when Jeff had a bit of a crisis there in terms of needing a building principal,” Layton said. “We turned to Joe because he had such a strong reputation in the school community. He stepped up in a time of great need.”
Heath was principal until 2001, when he died at age 65 from cancer.
The LSC board will vote on the proposal when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Hiatt Administration Building, 2300 Cason St.
In other LSC matters:
School board boundaries: The school district will hold off redrawing school board boundaries until later in the year, after stalling on reconfiguring the makeup of the board. Superintendent Les Huddle said delays in the 2020 U.S. Census – population counts used to recalibrate election lines – prompted legislation that buys LSC some time. House Bill 1285, signed into law in March, extends the map-making process until the end of 2022 for the school district. LSC had been considering moving from seven district representatives on the board to a system with four board members representing districts along with three board members elected at-large. By holding off for now, four board seats – Districts 2, 3, 6 and 7 – will be on November ballots. Those seats are held by Bob Stwalley (2), Brent Clemenz (3) and Steve Bultinck (7). District 6 has been vacant since March, after Rebecca Sprague resigned as she prepared to move to Virginia. The board is collecting applications to fill the rest of the year on the position. School board candidates, who are listed as independents on the ballot, may file to run July 27 to noon Aug. 26.
Dress code at Sunnyside Intermediate: The LSC board will vote Monday on a handbook change that would get rid of some dress code policies at Sunnyside, which has LSC’s fifth- and sixth-graders. The school is one two in the district that still requires students to wear solid-color polos and khaki, blue or black pants. The dress code, in place for a dozen years, once covered students through eighth-grade. “It’s slowly been chipped away until Sunnyside has basically been standing alone,” Huddle said. (Murdock Elementary is the other.) Sunnyside Principal Matt Brown said the school surveyed parents before making the recommendation. He said that of the parents who responded, the bulk of them thought the dress code was unfair or irrelevant. “This is going to let us match Sunnyside up with the rest of the district, rather than having students going from one policy to another around that two-year time,” Huddle said.
THE PRESENCE OF BRIAN LAMB
I spent two consecutive evenings this week taking in events featuring Brian Lamb, C-SPAN founder, Lafayette Jeff/Purdue grad and namesake for the university’s Brian Lamb School of Communication. I feel smarter for it in more ways than one.
One takeaway: Lamb made his marks as an interviewer and with the C-SPAN concept, in general, by asking straight-forward questions and giving the experts and their answers room to breathe. That doesn’t make the job of covering one of his events a picnic. Such was the case when Lamb hosted Harold Holzer, noted Lincoln scholar who has had a hand in more than 50 books on the 16th president and the Civil War, Wednesday night for the annual “Center for C-SPAN Conversation” series. Lamb knew to reserve much of his time to communication students who were unrehearsed but ready with often nuanced what-ifs and what-abouts on Abraham Lincoln in relation to today and Holzer’s research. (One highlight: After Holzer talked about extensive consultation on “Lincoln,” a 2012 movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, a student asked if he’d consulted on the 2012 horror flick, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Surprise. He had, giving advice about the kind of ink pen Lincoln would have used. The student, taken aback and admitting he didn’t expect a response to what he thought was just a joke, came back with what he called a real question.)
The evening in Fowler Hall was better in full than chunked up here, if you’re into that sort of history. Here’s a link to the livestream from that night:
A second takeaway: The night before, Lamb was part of the Delphi Preservation Society’s Legacy Series, joining a conversation with Delphi native and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Abbie VanSickle. Answering questions from WLFI anchor Jeff Smith, Lamb and VanSickle – a 2000 graduate from Delphi Community High School – swapped reporting and life stories, in a C-SPAN sort of way. The takeaway there, really, was a small community marking a huge accomplishment of one of its own. (VanSickle, working with the California-based Marshall Project, was part of a team that produced “Mauled: When Police Dogs Are Weapons,” which won a Pulitzer in 2021.) “I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” VanSickle said at the close of a night with an audience filled with her grade-school teachers, family and a table of student staffers from the Parnasas, Delphi Community High School’s newspaper. It was great of Delphi to give her that assignment.
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON CONFIRMED, INDIANA SENATORS VOTE NO
Here’s the confirmation vote Thursday afternoon in the Senate for Ketanji Brown Jackson, heading for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Indiana’s two senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, voted no in the 53-47 tally. This was the rationale each gave ahead of the vote.
From Todd Young, issued last week:
“After carefully reviewing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s judicial record and statements, I will not be supporting her nomination. The role of a Supreme Court justice is to apply the law as written and uphold the Constitution, not legislate from the bench. Both Judge Jackson’s record and testimony during her confirmation hearings indicate that she does not adhere to originalism as her guiding judicial philosophy.
“Every nominee to our nation’s highest court deserves a thorough but fair vetting, which was not afforded to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees. Restoring civility to the Supreme Court confirmation process is in our national interest. It can help rebuild trust in both the Court and the Senate itself.
“Throughout this process, I have taken my constitutional responsibilities seriously by researching Judge Jackson’s record and reviewing her testimony. I appreciated Judge Jackson taking time to meet with me this week and respond to my questions, but I will be a no vote when her nomination comes to the Senate floor.”
From Mike Braun, issued Tuesday:
“Today I met with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to keep my promise to treat this nominee with respect, and we had a good conversation. I previously voted against Judge Jackson due to her activist judicial approach, and based on her record on the federal bench and her answers on issues raised in the committee hearings, I will vote against her nomination on that basis again.”
A LOT GOING ON THIS WEEKEND, JUST A TASTE OF IT …
FIRST THERE WAS CRICKET SPITTING …: And now, in the age of a pandemic, the Purdue Bug Bowl brings you Cricket Flinging, making its debut Saturday during the campus’ Spring Fest Invented in 1996 by Tom Turpin, entomology professor, cricket spitting was pretty much as advertised: Put a frozen cricket in your mouth and hock as far as you can. (World record cricket spit: 32 feet, 0.5 inches by Dan Capps in 1998.) To keep the saliva to a minimum, Purdue will switch to spoons as makeshift cricket catapults. Upshot: There will be a new record set in the inaugural event, running from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday on the Purdue Memorial Mall. Here’s a video Purdue issued this week to introduce the concept.
THE REST OF SPRING FEST: Purdue didn’t luck out with the temperatures, expected to be unseasonable cool. But campus will host dozens of hands-on exhibits during the College of Agriculture’s Spring Fest, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday on and near Memorial Mall. Here’s a link to a full schedule for the day. And here’s a map and guide to Spring Fest.
AND ALL OVER CAMPUS SATURDAY: Purdue crams it all in, it seems, Saturday:
The Challenge 5K run/walk, which raises funds for the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. For details, here’s a link.
The Boilermakers’ spring football game starts at noon at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Aviation Day events run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Purdue Airport. Here’s a way in to get the details.
BEER, MURALS AND THE ARTS: Tickets are available for Tap & Go, a craft beer walk/fundraiser hosted by The Arts Federation from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, April 9. The event will be in various places in the Wabash Avenue Neighborhood, just south of downtown Lafayette, where The Arts Federation has staged the Wabash Walls mural project in recent years. Eight Greater Lafayette brewers will be there: Brokerage Brewing Company, Escape Velocity Brewing, Knapptronix Brewing Co., Lafayette Brewing Company, People’s Brewing Company, Teays River Brewing & Public House, Thieme & Wagner and the Tippecanoe Homebrewers Circle. Tickets are $40, available in advance at www.theartsfederation.org/tap.
ADULT EASTER EGG HUNT: The Sagamore Council of Boy Scouts of America is planning its fourth annual, adult-only Easter egg hunt, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, April 9, a Cary Camp on Indiana 26, just east of Lafayette. The Scouts say: Pre-registration participants only. Flashlights recommended. For details, go to: scouting4eggs.com.
FINALLY …: The beauty of subscribing to newspapers is stumbling upon something like this oddity.
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