MLK Day: What’s happening this week
Song and memories at Long Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem at Purdue, and more. Plus, some local races shape up for May primary, just three days into monthlong candidate filing period.
Thanks today for ongoing help from Based in Lafayette sponsor Long Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, details and more on these shows in 2024, go to longpac.org.
MLK DAY: WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
There are a number of ways in the coming days to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Greater Lafayette and at Purdue.
Monday, downtown Lafayette: The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration presented by the Tippecanoe County Library will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 111 N. Sixth St. in Lafayette. The keynote address will come from Cornelius Bynum, an associate professor of history and director of the African American Studies and Research Center at Purdue. The Blue Moon Rising Choir, directed by Denise Wilson, will perform. The event is free.
Tuesday, at Purdue: The Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform Tuesday at Elliott Hall of Music in a free event, as part of the Purdue Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Event. The performance will include works set to the music of Stevie Wonder, Tchaikovsky and James Blake. The show begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, at Elliott Hall of Music at Purdue. Admission is free with a ticket, available individually or group orders through Purdue Convocations by clicking here.
During the week, at Purdue: The university will host a series of events tied to MLK Day, following a Monday day of service on and around campus. Among the events:
Tuesday: “Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land,” a documentary screening and discussion from noon to 2 p.m. in Pfendler Hall’s Deans Auditorium, Room 241. The event includes a post-screening Q&A with documentary filmmaker Eternal Polk and Tharlyn Fox, manager for the Legislation, Education, Advocacy and Production Systems Coalition at Deere & Co. and an expert on heirs’ property issues.
Wednesday: “Linguistic Justice,” featuring keynote speaker April Baker-Bell, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Pfendler Hall 241. A faculty/staff workshop titled “Linguistic Justice: From Theory to Praxis” will follow from 2-3:30 p.m. in Pfendler’s Deans Auditorium, Room 241. Baker-Bell is teacher-researcher-activist and associate professor of language, culture and justice in education at the University of Michigan.
Thursday: Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in a service effort to make laundry soap for distribution to those shopping at Food Finders’ Mobile Pantries and for agency partners to stock on their shelves. The activity is from noon to 1 p.m. in the high bay of the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building, located at the rear of the building near Harrison Street Parking Garage.
Friday: A panel discussion titled “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in the Workplace” from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Pfendler’s Deans Auditorium, Room 241. Black, Indigenous and people of color industry leaders will discuss strategies for supporting workplace diversity, inclusion and belonging. The College of Agriculture’s Unsung Diversity Hero Awards also will be presented at the beginning of the session.
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CANDIDATE FILINGS FOR THE PRIMARY … SO FAR
A few notes after the first (half-)week of candidate filings among Republicans and Democrats looking to get on the May 7 primary ballot in Tippecanoe County.
The filing period started Wednesday and runs through noon Feb. 9.
Among the local filings three days in, according to Tippecanoe County and state election offices:
U.S. House, 4th District: U.S. Rep. Jim Baird will, as promised, get a primary challenge as he looks for a fourth, two-year term in Congress. Both Baird and Charles Bookwalter, an Army veteran and business owner in Thorntown, filed for the Republican primary late last week. Bookwalter attempted a run in 2022 but was blocked when Republicans challenged his candidacy, saying he didn’t meet a state law that says a candidate must have voted in two party primaries to qualify to run, unless a party chair signs off. Bookwalter took that Indiana Election Commission decision to court but lost. Bookwalter has been campaigning since then for a 2024 run. Baird announced his re-election bid in fall 2023. Another Republican, state Rep. Craig Haggard, announced in November that he would run for the 4th District seat once Baird steps aside. No Democratic candidate has emerged in the 4th District, which Republicans have consistently won with 60% or better of the vote in the past two decades.
Statehouse races: Five districts in the Indiana House – House District 13, House District 26, House District 27, House District 38 and House District 41 – have some part of Tippecanoe County. As of Friday:
Rep. Chris Campbell, D-District 26, and Rep. Mark Genda, R-District 41, had filed.
Rep. Sharon Negele, R-District 13, is facing a challenge from Matthew Commons, a Warren County Council member, in the Republican primary. That district includes portions of Tippecanoe, Benton, Warren, Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton and White counties.
Still to file are candidates in District 27, which if filled by Democrat Sheila Klinker; and in District 38, which Republican Heath VanNatter has now.
In Tippecanoe County races:
Two judges – Sean Persin in Tippecanoe Circuit Court and Michael Morrissey in Tippecanoe Superior Court 6 – filed last week for re-election. Both are Republicans. No other candidates have filed for those seats.
Two of three Tippecanoe County commissioner seats will be on the ballot. Commissioner David Byers, who represents the western side of the county in District 2, filed to run again. The other seat up for election is District 3, represented by Commissioner Tom Murtaugh.
Tippecanoe County Council will have three of its seven seats on the ballot. The three incumbent, at-large Republican county council members – Kevin Underwood, Barry Richard and John Basham – filed re-election bids. Democrats Katy Bunder, recently retired as CEO of Food Finders Food Bank, and Joe Mackey, who ran for the U.S. House 4th District seat in 2020, filed bids to run for the county council seats.
Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello, a Republican, will have a challenger this year. Democrat Elizabeth Tran filed last week to run for that office.
Tippecanoe County Surveyor Zach Beasley filed for another run. Democrat Deni Gavin also filed for surveyor.
The primary ballot will include …
Federal races: President; U.S. senator; and U.S. House, District 4.
Statewide: Governor and attorney general.
Statehouse: House District 13, House District 26, House District 27, House District 38 and House District 41.
Judicial: Judges for Circuit Court and Superior Court 6.
Tippecanoe County: County commissioner, District 2; county commissioner, District 3; Tippecanoe County Council at-large, three seats; county coroner; county treasurer; and county surveyor.
Also: Republican precinct committee positions; and Republican and Democratic state delegates.
The general election also will include …
School boards: Lafayette School Corp., three at-large seats; Tippecanoe School Corp. seats in District 4, District 5, District 6 and District 7; and West Lafayette Community School Corp, four at-large seats.
Town offices: Shadeland Town Council, at-large, four seats; Shadeland town clerk/treasurer; and Otterbein Town Council, at-large, four seats.
For information about filing as a candidate, go to: https://www.tippecanoe.in.gov/448/Candidate-Information
OTHER READS …
Congratulations to Rose Kaplan, a West Lafayette wrestler who took state Friday, winning back-to-back girls wrestling championships in the 125 weight class. (She made semi-state at the weight in the boys tournament in 2023.) J&C reporter Ethan Hanson had this report from the state finals in Kokomo: “West Lafayette wrestler Rose Kaplan wins second straight state title.”
Purdue Exponent reporter Seth Nelson had an extended look at questions about the role a former admissions chief at Purdue might have played in the university’s sticking with required college admission’s tests, given her place as a College Board trustee at a time when the campus was debating the issue. Read it here: “Filling in the blanks: Was an admissions leader's role a conflict of interest?”
Thanks, again, for ongoing help from Based in Lafayette sponsor Long Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets to upcoming shows, go to longpac.org.
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