This and that: More water news for LEAP
Some this and that on a Sunday morning …
Thanks today to sponsor Stuart & Branigin for continued support of the Based in Lafayette reporting project.
Thanks, also, to Purdue Musical Organizations and the Purdue Christmas Show. This December, gather the whole family and celebrate 90 years of the Purdue Christmas Show. For nearly a century, this beloved holiday tradition has captivated audiences with its dazzling performances and heartwarming messages of love, hope and unity. Watch the stage come alive in the historic Elliott Hall of Music as PMO’s incredible student talent perform beautiful secular and sacred music alongside a live orchestra. December 1-3. BUY TICKETS HERE.
Some this and that on a Sunday morning …
MORE WATER NEWS INVOLVING THE LEAP DISTRICT: As things approach a boiling point around here over Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s notions about drilling wells in western Tippecanoe County and piping water to Boone County, another development came late this week over the LEAP District project near Lebanon – where all that local water would go.
Indianapolis Business Journal reporter Peter Blanchard had a story about Citizens Energy Group, an Indianapolis-based utility company, that withdrew its plan to supply up to 10 million gallons of water a day to the Limitless Exploration/Advanced Pace (LEAP) development in Boone County. (For context: 10 million gallons is approaching the daily use by Lafayette, where a high end, summer day is about 17 million gallons.) That proposal had been considered among the short-term solutions to get water to a LEAP project being marketed without a large and ready water supply. (See: Plans to tap the Wabash River aquifer nearly 40 miles away, close to Tippecanoe County’s Granville Bridge.)
Blanchard quoted Erin Sweitzer, IEDC spokesperson, saying that Lebanon has current water supplies to handle the short-term and intermediate needs of the LEAP District: “The Citizens filing was related to a potential short-term need for additional water that Citizens could have provided from their current water supply. The need for this short-term water has been satisfied, thus, Citizens’ need to supply the additional water – and relatedly need to file with the IURC – became moot so Citizens moved to withdraw the request.”
What that means for IEDC’s plans in Tippecanoe County wasn’t clear. Here’s Blanchard’s report with more details: “Citizens Energy seeks to withdraw application to supply water to LEAP District.”
ICYMI …: While we’re on the subject, here’s a replay of a story from late last week, after a Thursday night community meeting in Lafayette: “Tippecanoe lawmakers look to slow state’s plan to tap-and-take from Wabash aquifer. As IEDC confirms it’s found a second test site along Wabash River for pipeline plan, hundreds seethe at another crowded community meeting.”
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ANOTHER INDIANA PRIMARY LAW CHALLENGE: Indianapolis Capital Chronicle reporter Casey Smith had details for the deposition of John Rust, an Indiana egg farmer who is lining up a run for U.S. Senate in 2024 – if he can get on the Republican primary ballot.
Rust is running into the same law that kept Charles Bookwalter, a Thorntown Republican, off the GOP primary ballot in 2022. The law says a candidate must have voted in that party’s primary the last two times they voted, or get their county party chair to sign off on the campaign, to qualify for the ballot. The Indiana Election Commission booted Bookwalter from the 2022 ballot because he’d voted only once in Republican primaries. Bookwalter challenged that decision and the constitutionality of the law in court but lost when judges ruled his lawsuit came too late to get him on the ballot. A Marion County judge and the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the law fairly protected the major political parties from association with candidates who didn’t live up to the standards in the law. The Indiana Supreme Court in August denied a request to hear Bookwalter’s appeal. (Bookwalter, who contends the U.S. Rep. Jim Baird isn’t conservative enough for a 4th District that includes Lafayette, is campaigning for a run in 2024.)
Rust’s case takes away some of the deadline pressure the courts leaned on in ruling against Bookwalter’s complaint. Rust is looking to enter a race that includes U.S. Rep. Jim Banks to replace U.S. Sen. Mike Braun. What’s not clear: Can Rust find a path that Bookwalter couldn’t about claims that Indiana’s two-primary candidate requirements are unfair? Smith’s report pulls from a recent deposition of Rust. It’s an interesting read, if you’re into that sort of political insider stuff: “Judge to consider U.S. Senate candidate John Rust’s plea to suspend Indiana election law.”
PENCE IN IOWA: Adam Wren, author of the Importantville Substack and here reporting for Politico, spent time following former Vice President Mike Pence, as the former Indiana governor found himself in a high school football broadcast booth and other small town settings trying to find some GOP primary momentum in Iowa for this 2024 presidential bid. From Wren’s long read: “Iowa inflicts its own quadrennial and peculiar political indignities and hazing rituals on candidates. But few have submitted to them so fully as Pence, who even his own aides admit must deliver a surprise finish here next January to keep his decades-long presidential ambitions alive.” This is one of those cases where the headline writers knew what was up: “He Was Once a Favorite of the Right. Now, Mike Pence Can’t Get a Crowd of 15 to a Pizza Ranch. The former vice president has gone all out to win Iowa. But is anyone listening?”
VISITATION FOR FORMER CC PRINCIPAL: Central Catholic High School, 2410 S. Ninth St., will host visitation from 5-8 p.m. today (Sunday, Oct. 22) for Neil Wagner, who had stints as principal, assistant principal, teacher and coach at the school. Wagner, 60, died Oct. 18 after a 3½- year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. Here’s more on his life and details about services.
CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD: Look for a series of events circling around Lafayette Master Chorale and Purdue University Choir’s performance of “Considering Matthew Shepard,” a musical piece built on the memory of the gay college student whose beating death in Wyoming in 1998 was deemed a hate crime and stirred national headlines. Coming this week:
“Considering Matthew Shepard,” 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 535 Mitch Daniels Blvd., West Lafayette. Tickets: $22 for adults, advance sale, $25 at the door; $10 for students over 18; free for students under 18. Get tickets and more details at lafayettemasterchorale.org.
“Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine,” movie screening, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, First United Methodist Church, 1700 Mitch Daniels Blvd., West Lafayette. Co-sponsored by the Purdue LGBTQ Center.
Panel discussion: ”Hate Crimes: 25 Years After Matthew Shepard’s Death, What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?” 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, First United Methodist Church, 1700 Mitch Daniels Blvd., West Lafayette. The panel will include: The Rev. Duane Carlisle, First United Methodist Church; the Rev. Dr. Hilary Cooke, Chapel of the Good Shepherd/Lafayette Master Chorale; Beth McCuskey, Purdue vice provost for Student Life; Christopher Munt, senior director, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Purdue; James Shelton, Purdue University Choir; Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard; and moderator Jeff Smith of WLFI-TV 18.
A display from the Matthew Shepard Foundation is open 2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-27, at First United Methodist Church, 1700 Mitch Daniels Blvd., West Lafayette.
UP NEXT: ‘OUT OF THE BLUE:’ Lafayette-based band Frank Muffin has made a habit of fundraising shows built around the concept of pulling a raft of local musicians in for cover-to-cover renditions of classic albums. Among the past catalog: The Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band;” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall;” Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours;” the Band’s “The Last Waltz.” Next in line: ELO’s “Out of the Blue,” a 1977 double album that produced hits “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Turn to Stone” and “Sweet Talkin’ Woman.” The shows will be Nov. 4-5 at The Arts Federation, benefiting Family Promise. Tickets are on sale at: www.frankmuffin.com/post/frank-muffin-s-elo-tribute-out-of-the-blue
Thanks, again, to Stuart & Branigin for sponsoring today’s edition.
And thanks to Purdue Musical Organizations, celebrating 90 years of the Purdue Christmas Show, Dec. 1-3 in Elliott Hall of Music. Get tickets for one of the four performances here.
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