This and that: The revamped Purdue Pete edition
A new version of Purdue Pete hits the merch tables. That and more for a Wednesday morning.
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Plenty of this and that for a Wednesday …
A NEW LOOK FOR PURDUE PETE: OK, cut to the chase: Do you love/hate/merely tolerate the updated version of Purdue Pete, unveiled Tuesday – with a load of merchandise – by Purdue Athletics?
Purdue touted the refreshed logo – featuring “an active ‘Boiler Up’ pose and smile” – as a secondary look for the athletic department, coming in four color combinations, including Old Gold and Black. The most recent iteration of Pete would be retired to the vintage catalogs.
Reaction was, predictably, mixed, as these things go. But nowhere near the full implosion when Purdue trotted out a puffy version of the full-grown Purdue Pete – which was roundly booed at a spring football scrimmage and swiftly retired in favor of the big-head Pete everyone’s come to know.
So, your turn:
LAFAYETTE STORMWATER FEE, RENEWED: Lafayette’s stormwater fee – a $5 monthly charge for residential customers since 2011 – was reauthorized Monday by the Lafayette City Council. Mayor Tony Roswarski told the council that revenues would continue to pay for stormwater projects across the city. Nonresidential customers pay a rate based on the measured impervious surfaces – parking lots, buildings and more. Of the $3.8 million raised by the fees, 10 nonresidential customers – Wabash National, Lafayette School Corp., Subaru of Indiana Automotive, the city and Tippecanoe Mall being in the Top 5 – pay a bit more than 15%, according to a report by Crowe LLP, a city consultant.
LPD CREATES NEW CIVILIAN ROLES: Two new Lafayette Police Department civilian positions, called community service officers, will be hired in the coming months to handle an assortment of tasks now taking time of sworn officers, under a plan the Lafayette City Council agreed to Monday night. LPD Chief Scott Galloway said the two positions – one coming this year, another coming in the first quarter of 2024 – would help with fleet control, coordinating special events and administrative services, among other roles.
“All kinds of things that we have sworn officers doing now … so our officers can work on their core responsibilities,” Galloway said. “CSOs would alleviate the strain on sworn officers (and) provide additional support to the department. … We need guys wearing badges and vests and wear guns, but this kind of, I think, would help us bridge that gap.”
This spring, when the city’s board of works agreed to a six-month, $54,000 contract with Gray Media Group, a South Bend-based firm, to produce targeted social media and streaming TV advertising and other marketing to promote LPD recruiting, Galloway said the department was 29 officers short of a roster that has a capacity of 152.
TSC FOOTBALL STADIUM (AND MORE) WIFI: Harrison and McCutcheon high schools sports facilities, auditoriums and other public spaces on the high school campuses will have free public WiFi during public events under a new initiative by Tippecanoe School Corp. and Tipmont, the district and company announced Tuesday. Devin Arms, TSC’s director of technology, said in a release that the project grew out of efforts during the COVID-19 shutdown, when Tipmont and the district set up WiFi hotspots outside four TSC schools to give students and families a way to handle school work. The new service will be available after school and available to all patrons. So, tell Aunt Annie you’ll be ready to stream kickoff for this years’ Sword game between the Raiders and Mavericks.
OTHER READS …
Indianapolis Star reporter Shari Rudavsky led with this: “While COVID-19 may feel like it’s fading into the past, health officials are gearing up for another round of booster shots, likely to come some time this fall.” With a recent uptick in COVID cases across the state in recent weeks, here’s Rudavsky’s report: “COVID-19 booster: What you need to know.”
Don’t worry, I’m not trying to cut in line for this week’s sale of Taylor Swift tickets for her shows at Lucas Oil Stadium in November 2024. But I’m rooting for you to score some seats. Indianapolis Star reporter Claire Rafford had this looks at the tourism bump expected when Swift comes to town on a tour that has been selling out hard in stadiums across the country, bringing hotel, restaurant and other spending to cities, too: “Indy tourism expecting financial windfall from Taylor Swift 2024 shows.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita was in back to school mode Tuesday, touting a fourth edition of his “Parents’ Bill of Rights.” Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Whitney Downard checks in here with Rokita’s 30-minute release and Q&A about a document that has been seen as undercutting public schools but that the attorney general says helps parents “oversee and participate in the part of our children’s education that occurs outside of the home.” Here’s Downard’s report: “From prayer to books, Rokita updates ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights.’”
Speaking of Todd Rokita, one of his favorite topics in recent months surrounded undercover video made by Accuracy in Media, a conservative group, that he and others believed showed damning evidence that public schools were trying to sneak around complaints about diversity topics in schools. (Rokita spent days trolling Indiana reporters, challenging them to cover the story.) Now comes Mark Alesia, a former Indianapolis Star reporter now working for Raw Story, who had a must-read piece talking about the toll that video took on one school administrator from Martinsville, Indiana, when the coverage – footage she said was unfair and out of context – wound up on Jesse Watters Primetime, a popular show on Fox News. “I wasn’t the target necessarily,” she told Alesia in an exclusive interview, “but I’m definitely the collateral damage. Here’s a way into Alesia’s full report: “‘They blew up my life:’ Fox News, a hidden camera and threats to an Indiana school administrator.”
Also from the Indiana Capital Chronicle, reporter Casey Smith had news about a challenge of a new Indiana law that prohibits citizens from being within 25 feet of law enforcement officers conducting official duties. A South Bend man who regularly posts videos to a citizen journalist site on YouTube is plaintiff in the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU, contends that the law "violates the First Amendment as it gives police officers unbridled discretion to prohibit citizens from approaching within 25 feet of the officers to observe their actions." Here’s Smith’s report: “ACLU lawsuit contends new Indiana law prevents police officers from being held accountable. A South Bend man at the center of court challenge says he was blocked from observing and recording police.”
WTHR reporter Rich Nye spoke with family members of Richard Chastain, 90, a retired major general who was one of two people killed Saturday morning when his two-story home near Crawfordsville exploded and caught fire. His partner, Marilyn Fox, also was killed in the explosion, which remained under investigation this week. Here’s the report: “Family remembers retired major general, his partner who died in Crawfordsville home explosion.”
Thanks, again, to today’s sponsor Solar United Neighbors. To learn more about the Tippecanoe and Montgomery Counties Solar and EV Charge Co-op, go to solarunitedneighbors.org/tmcounties
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