This and that as Lafayette gets READI (it hopes)
Next up in Wabash Township, Rep. Jim Baird's $5,000 Capitol Police fine erased, saying farewell to longtime council members
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Just a few quick notes on a Tuesday morning before heading back to the …
WABASH TOWNSHIP TRIAL: Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising heads into the second day of her felony theft trial tied to accusations that she continued to collect a trustee paycheck while residing outside the township. After a year of drama – some of it spilling out Monday – comes to a head on this one. In case you missed it in your inbox last night, here’s a look at the first day of the trial.
LIGHTNING STRIKE: I’m not sure whether you were able to see this amazing shot over the weekend from Dave Wegiel, who captured a bolt of lightning seemingly hitting the Tippecanoe County Courthouse during storms over the weekend. The story behind it is good, too. Here’s a link to his blog, telling all about that photo.
CONGRESSMAN JIM BAIRD, FINE ERASED: U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, a 4th District Republican who represents Tippecanoe County, found himself in some hot water in November after Capitol Police accused him of bypassing a security checkpoint on his way to the floor in the U.S. House, even after an officer said he placed his hand on Baird’s elbow to get his attention, while saying Baird “made eye contact with me and proceeded to walk onto the House floor.” The move cost the congressman $5,000. Baird appealed. And according to a letter Monday from the House Committee on Ethics, Baird’s appeal was upheld.
In a letter to the Ethics Committee, Baird said he “adamantly refute(s) the accusations” from the Capitol Police in connection with the Nov. 17 incident. He wrote that since new House rules in place since Jan. 21 – post Jan. 6 guidelines that require everyone to go through a metal detector.
“I have complied with these rules every time, despite the alarm on the magnetometer serving as a constant reminder of the injuries and the multitude of shrapnel I received from the actions of a hostile enemy during combat in Vietnam while defending our nation,” Baird wrote.
Baird lost an arm during the war and wears a prosthetic, which winds up with him needing a second check after setting off the security machines. He wrote that if the officer touched his prosthetic arm, he likely wouldn’t have felt it. And he said he might not have heard it, due to poor hearing in his ear on the same side, given his combat injuries.
Baird called the incident a misunderstanding and asked the committee to waive the fine. Which it did.
PEOPLE, GET READI: It’s going to be a big day for the Lafayette region … or it’s going to be a really depressing one. Either way, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. will announce the winners of the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Eric Holcomb, in an interview here last week, didn’t exactly go all Joe Namath and guarantee a win for the Lafayette region’s plan, one of 17 competing for 10 slices of $500 million. But he didn’t do much to tamp down expectations. Here’s a look at that Q&A with Holcomb.
Meanwhile, as economic development folks in Tippecanoe County and five surrounding counties count down the minutes …
And here’s a look at the plan’s proposal for a new Purdue Airport terminal: Flights from Purdue to Florida? $25.3M terminal plan aims for return of commercial airlines
A FAREWELL FOR A PAIR OF COUNCIL MEMBERS: The city will hold a community reception 1:30-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, for retiring Lafayette City Council members Ron Campbell and Lon Heide. Heide retired in November, due to health concerns, after 18 years on the city council. Campbell announced his retirement in December. Campbell served a record 50 years as a council member, after moving outside his District 2. The reception will be on the second floor of Lafayette City Hall, 20 N. Sixth St.
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