This and that: A Dog Days Edition
Rohrman family delivers a tribute and lead gift for new animal shelter. Plus … Hot enough for you? Purdue researchers on the ground after Maui fires. And more.
Thanks today to sponsors LaLa Gallery and The Bindery Artist Studios, presenting the Indiana Makers Market Summer Pop-Up, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, on Ferry Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets. Coinciding with the neighboring Lafayette Farmers Market, the Makers Market Summer Pop-Up features 16 local and regional artists and makers, music by Fossy Mern and Palace Kat and open hours for The Bindery, featuring Angela Vinson's solo show "Lost Environments." For more, go to: www.facebook.com/indianamakersmarket
A lot more This and That this morning, in time for a sweltering Wednesday …
ROHRMAN FAMILY DELIVER LEAD GIFT FOR NEW ANIMAL SHELTER
Those behind the effort to build and open a new community animal shelter along Sagamore Parkway in Lafayette said they hoped a $250,000 gift from the Rohrman Family would jumpstart a $1.5 million campaign to help with operational costs once the facility opens in summer 2024.
The gift, announced Tuesday, is the largest, yet, in an effort that has raised $411,000 so far.
“This is a wonderful tribute,” Sharon Dull, board president of the newly founded Humane Society for Greater Lafayette, said. “Things feel like they’re coming together.”
The $7.5 million project will renovate and expand the former Cooperative Extension Service building at 3150 Sagamore Parkway S. and will replace animal shelter contracts Lafayette and West Lafayette have with the Almost Home Humane Society in Lafayette and Tippecanoe County had with Crystal Creek Kennels near Battle Ground. The nonprofit Humane Society for Greater Lafayette will run the shelter.
(Almost Home Humane Society, which has a shelter on city-owned land tucked along South Second Street, has not announced what it plans to do, once the city contracts end in 2024. The owners of Crystal Creek Kennels, Nita Pollock and Bernie Wulle, are retiring.)
The price for construction will be divided between the three, with Lafayette putting up 50%, Tippecanoe County contributing 40% and West Lafayette chipping in 10%, in a formula based on projected usage for dogs, cats and other animals coming through the site.
The cities and county broke ground on the project in early May. As of Tuesday, the project was ahead of schedule, Tom Murtaugh, a county commissioner, said. Framing work continues on the structure. He said crews were scheduled Wednesday to pour concrete for dog kennels. The Humane Society for Greater Lafayette in the past week also named Josh Klumpe, the chief animal control officer for Lafayette for the past 16 years, as the organization’s first executive director, starting in January 2024.
The lead gift Tuesday came from siblings Rhonda Rohrman Isbell, JR Rohrman, Randy Rohrman, Shelly Rohrman and Rick Rohrman. The donation will fund the education center in the shelter in honor of their mother, Shirley “Sunie” Relander Rohrman, who died in 2015, and Rhonda Rohrman Isbell’s daughter, Kaitlyn Isbell, who died at age 20 in 2019.
JR Rohrman said the family wanted to help fund some sort of project that dealt with pets, given how important they were to their mother and to Kaitlyn. Whether that was going to be a park, an animal hospital or a shelter, “we didn’t know,” JR Rohrman said.
“I texted (Mayor Tony Roswarski), and he said, ‘Hey, great timing,’” JR Rohrman said. “He told me, and it was like this is a God thing. This is perfect.”
Dull said the fundraising campaign would continue through the opening of the shelter next summer. For more information or to donate, go to www.hs4gl.org.
HEADS UP, HOT DAYS
This week is delivering both kinds of summer weather: Hot AND Humid.
It’s so hot (how hot is it?) …
West Lafayette suspended its noise ordinance for Wednesday and Thursday – morning hours, only, in case you had a bonfire planned for the first week of Purdue classes – to give sanitation crews a jump on this week’s heat. West Side trash collection will start at 6 a.m. this week, rather than 7 a.m., when the city’s noise ordinance restrictions are lifted each day. Ben Anderson, West Lafayette’s public works director, said the request covered just this week.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch from Wednesday morning through Thursday evening for Greater Lafayette. The National Weather Service predicts heat indexes that will feel as high as 108 degrees, with an increased potential for heat related illnesses.
The National Weather Service forecast the next two days: Sunny and hot, with a high of 93 degrees Wednesday and 98 degrees Thursday. Be cool out there.
And, as they say, you think we’ve got it bad: The heat index measured 134 degrees Monday afternoon in Lawrence, Kansas, about a half-hour from Kansas City and dealing with the opening of the University of Kansas. For a look at more just like it in this week’s heat dome era, here’s Washington Post reporter Ian Livingston: “The massive central U.S. heat wave is expanding and could set hundreds of records.”
PURDUE RESEARCH IN PLAY AFTER MAUI FIRE
Andrew Whelton, a Purdue professor of civil engineering and environmental and ecological engineering, this week has been documenting on social media the water testing his team is helping with in the wake of the devastating and deadly wildfires in Maui.
Whelton is the director of the Center for Plumbing Safety and a national expert on water contamination, frequently calling to help communities test for drinking water contamination and recover after wildfires. Whelton and his students have recent studies, based on the Marshall Fire in 2021 in Colorado and the Camp Fire in 2018 in California, that suggest that volatile organic compounds get into drinking water when wildfires degrade PVC, HDPE and other common plastic pipes and that wildfires can contaminate private water wells.
Late Monday, Whelton said his team was working with researchers from the University of Hawaii to check on household water systems and trying to keep up with the requests for help. (In his posts, he said he’s even running into Purdue grads in Hawaii.)
This week, AP reporter Brittany Peterson had a piece about Maui officials warning residents not to depend on the safety of drinking water they were filtering on their own with store-bought or whole-house systems. Whelton was quoted there about “extreme contamination” following the fires, saying that home filters “will remove some of it, but levels that will be acutely and immediately toxic will get through.” (Here’s a way into the full AP story: “Maui water is unsafe even with filters, one of the lessons learned from fires in California.”
To follow Whelton and his team in Maui, here’s the start of a multi-day thread:
CHERRY LANE REOPENS WITH NEW ROUNDABOUT
Cherry Lane, given a new alignment and a roundabout, reopened Monday, meeting a goal for through traffic after a spring and summer closure in time for the first day of Purdue classes. Work continues, though. The work is being financed by the Purdue Research Foundation to make way for a new Pete Dye Clubhouse, a $20 million to $25 million project near the first tees of the Kampen and Ackerman-Allen golf courses. The realigned Cherry Lane bumps slightly to the north near the golf complex, with a roundabout eventually feeding the lots around the golf facilities. The multi-use path along Cherry Lane should be open by the end of the week, and project construction adjacent to the road will continue through next summer, Rebecca Terry, communications director for Purdue’s administrative operations, said Tuesday.
OTHER READS …
No properties in Tippecanoe County landed on this year’s edition of Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered list, an annual distinction the nonprofit calls “a list of historic places on the brink of extinction and too important to lose.” For a look at what did make it, from Bedford to Vincennes, Stinesville to South Bend, Indianapolis Star reporter Domenica Bongiovanni has this look at the new list: “10 historic sites that are the most endangered in 2023, according to Indiana Landmarks.” For a direct way in, here’s a link to the Indiana Landmarks report.
Move over, X-men School (Season 9, Episode 13, “The Office”): Indianapolis Star reporter Brittany Carloni had a story about a town in Hamilton County looking into the Spellcatcher’s Academy, a Harry Potter-themed school (and Airbnb) that seemed to pop up with Gothic-style architecture, Quidditch hoops … and no apparent state education accreditation. (The Airbnb site touts Spellcatcher’s Academy “the first fully functioning Harry Potter and Hogwarts themed wizarding school in the United States.”) Read Carloni’s story here: “Westfield investigating Harry Potter-themed school for 'at-risk' children.”
Following up on the police raid of the offices and homes tied to the Marion County Record, a small community newspaper north of Wichita, Kansas Reflector reporter Tim Carpenter recounted the action when officers searched the home of Joan Meyer, co-owner of the paper. The raids earlier this month made national news and turned a spotlight on First Amendment rights. The Record released surveillance footage from Meyer’s home, showing the 98-year-old woman leaning on a walker and demanding that police get out of her home. Meyer died a day later, something that her family attributed to the stress of the raid. For the story and the video, here's Carpenter’s report: “‘You’re an ***hole, police chief’: Kansas newspaper owner defiant in video of home invasion.”
Purdue put its name to an application to the United States Economic Development Administration for official designation as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub, a move backed by Indiana’s congressional delegation to get part of $10 billion aimed at the creation of 20 tech hubs across the country. Indianapolis Business Journal reporter Peter Blanchard had the report about the funding request tied to semiconductor-focused CHIPS Act: “Indiana leaders submit application for federal tech hub designation.”
Always a fun read: What did performers ask for backstage during the Indiana State Fair? IndyStar’s Domenica Bongiovanni had this one, too: “Twizzlers, roses, no mushrooms: Backstage requests and payments of State Fair performers.”
Thanks, again, to sponsors LaLa Gallery and The Bindery Artist Studios, presenting the Indiana Makers Market Summer Pop-Up, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, on Ferry Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets.
Thanks, also, to Food Finders Food Bank for its ongoing support of Based in Lafayette. Reminder: The 11th annual Beers Across the Wabash 2023 is 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge. The event will benefit Food Finders and its efforts to fend off hunger in and around Greater Lafayette. For details about the brewers, music and games and to reserve tickets for Beers Across the Wabash, click the link below.
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