This and that: WL masks up, again. IU adjusts vax rules. All those Purdue Golden tickets. And more
A little of this, a little of that on a Friday mid-day …
In honor of the late, great inventor/TV pitchman Ron Popiel, who died this week: But wait there’s more. If you order now … a little of this, a little of that on a Friday mid-day
HERE COME THE MASKS, AGAIN: Greater Lafayette’s three school districts said this week they’re pondering what, if any, changes to make to their classroom reopening plans after Dr. Jeremy Adler, Tippecanoe County’s health officer, advised them to follow new CDC recommendations that everyone – vaccinated or not – mask up in K-12 schools. (Here’s a rundown, posted Wednesday, of where the schools, including Purdue, stand on mask policies in their reopening plans: “Tippecanoe health doc calls for masks in schools. Fight coming?”) On Friday, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis wasn’t waiting around. In a letter to employees, Dennis reimposed a mask requirement for visitors at West Lafayette City Hall. Dennis told employees they must wear masks when "in close proximity to others," including in work area, vehicles, recreation/dining areas (when not eating). Dennis cited the rise in the Delta variant in Indiana, a rise in the daily average in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization in Tippecanoe County and “the decline of individuals wishing to be vaccinated.” As of Friday morning, Tippecanoe County and Lafayette officials hadn’t followed suit. It’s not the first time the West Lafayette mayor has been ahead of the curve on this. Last summer, Dennis imposed a mask mandate before the governor's order in July 2020. After a rural West Lafayette resident challenged the mayor’s order, a judge ruled Dennis had overstepped his authority. But the judge said the city council could do that. In a matter of days, the West Lafayette City Council did. That West Lafayette ordinance, which carried fines (though no fines were ever imposed), was rescinded this spring. The note from Dennis accompanying his letter came with a virtual sigh: “Here we go, again.”
Update, Tuesday afternoon, out of Purdue …
IU ADJUSTS ITS VACCINE REQUIREMENTS, A BIT: The Herald-Times in Bloomington reported this in the ongoing back and forth on Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students and staff ahead of the fall 2021 semester: “Indiana University quietly added an ethical exemption option to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on July 19 …” The move came before a federal judge on Monday rejected a group of Indiana University students’ plea for a preliminary injunction against Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement. IU spokesman Chuck Carney told the Herald-Times that the ethical exemption mirrored one in a flu vaccine mandate in 2020. Carney also told the paper that IU was “approaching 85%” of students, staff and faculty who had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. IU has come under pressure from some GOP leaders in the Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and, then, the students’ lawsuit – they argued in court, among other things, that IU’s mandate infringed on their religious rights – to drop the requirement. IU made one concession earlier, to deal with provisions in a new Indiana law, by not forcing anyone to prove they were vaccinated. At Purdue, things remain as they have since this spring, when President Mitch Daniels announced that students, staff and faculty could choose: Show that they’ve been vaccinated or opt for regular – as in weekly – testing for COVID-19. Speaking of which …
PURDUE’S GOLDEN TICKET LINEUP: OK, so I owe someone a beer. After writing about Quentin Betts, an incoming Purdue freshman ready to major in finance, being the first of Purdue’s 10 Old Golden Ticket winners – a $9,992 prize offered to students who showed they were vaccinated – followed by a string of presentations to randomly selected students majoring in engineering, pharmacy and other science-based fields, someone asked about the over/under on students in the College of Liberal Arts. Their snarky bet: Zero. You mean, I get one out of 10 and I win? I’ll take those odds. Maybe I shouldn’t have. The final tally, by major, in what turned into a pretty cool sweepstakes: five engineering, two pharmacy, one finance, one biology and one computer science. Random drawings are going to be random. (I once covered the winner of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse sweepstakes who wound up a few years later on the “Hoosier Millionaire,” the state lottery’s weekly TV show. Go figure.) Either way, I guess I’m buying.
Here’s a rundown of Purdue’s on-the-road presentations to the 10 winners of cash equal to a year of in-state tuition on the West Lafayette campus:
1. Quentin Betts, finance, Indianapolis
2. Isabella Paglione, biology, Fort Wayne
3. Hunter Skelton, pharmacy, Harrison High School grad
4. Jeremiah Monteiro, industrial engineering, Naperville, Illinois
5. Emily Harvath, pharmacy, Indianapolis
6. Min Kyung Lee, engineering Ph.D. student, South Korea
7. Surya Salem, computer science, Plano, Texas
8. Kaleigh Cooke, engineering, Maineville, Ohio
9. Alec Vucsko, mechanical engineering, New Lenox, Illinois
10. Nandini Krishna, electrical and computer engineering, United Kingdom
HEY, IT’S PENGUIN DAY: Hundreds of Columbian Park Zoo member showed up Thursday evening for the first glimpse of the African penguin arrivals – an event 10 years in the making, then delayed by COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and then by a molting process at their previous home at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. They were on display to the general public for the first time today – Friday, July 30 – during regular zoo hours. The zoo is calling it “Penguin Day,” with presentations during the day and giveaways. The zoo is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission: $2.
TASTE OF TIPPECANOE BANDS: Another reminder that the Taste of Tippecanoe is ready to go Saturday, with dozens of restaurants and two stages of locally dominated music. Sure, you go to eat. But if you want to time out the evening by the acts, here’s the lineup.
Depot Stage, Second and Ferry streets
6 p.m.: Victor Lee
7:30 p.m.: Frank Muffin
9 p.m.: Fight Like Sin
10:30 p.m.: Scott Greeson & Trouble with Monday
Market Stage, Fourth and Main streets
6:15 p.m.: The Prannies
7:45 p.m.: Lalo Cura
9:15 p.m.: The Velocity District
10:45 p.m.: The Big Swing Band
For advance and day-of ticket details, here’s your link.
OUT NOW, GREATER LAFAYETTE MAGAZINE: This quarter’s Greater Lafayette Magazine is out this week, with features on the Long Center for Performing Arts and the 100th anniversary of what once was the Mars Theatre, manufacturing mainstays in the community and the growing beekeeping scene in the community. For details and to find a copy, here’s your link.
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