Good learning experience

A great way to get information and answers is directly from a reliable source — something Bartholomew County residents have had the opportunity to do for more than 45 years on statewide political matters.

Known as Third House sessions, this year’s series kicked off Jan. 25 at Columbus City Hall, sponsored by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. The Monday morning sessions are an opportunity for residents to listen to local state lawmakers talk about issues being discussed in the Statehouse and ask questions so they can better understand potential ramifications. Residents should consider attending if they don’t already.

The fact that the local Third House sessions have continued for so long shows that they are considered worthwhile. Kudos to those who sponsor the meetings and those who show support by attending. We also commend state lawmakers who represent Columbus for making time for constituents by participating. The community benefits when its residents are informed.

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Collaboration earns ‘A’

Ivy Tech Community College agriculture students are getting a new learning lab in Columbus: two acres on which to grow popcorn. The land is being leased for $1 per year from the Columbus Aviation Board.

This is a good, sensible partnership. It helps agriculture students get more real-world experience, which is vital. They’ll be able to harvest, process and package popcorn for sale to the Columbus public. And the aviation board doesn’t have to worry about maintaining the land.

The collaboration is an example of creative thinking and a good use of a local resources that benefits students, the school and the community — a win-win situation for everyone and an example that can inspire other collaborations between the community and its higher education institutions.

Sign of importance

The African American Fund has grown by about $70,000 in three years of existence, now topping $80,000. That’s notable because the growth shows how important people consider the fund.

It was created to support five key initiatives — education, leadership development, economic/career development, health awareness and arts and cultural awareness — and inspire blacks in Bartholomew County. The Langston Hughes Project and Arts for AIDS are examples of the fund’s beneficiaries.

What else is significant is that contributions have been made to the fund from all types of people and groups who see it as a cause worthy of support. It is, and the hope is that strong support continues.