Greetings from The Republic newsroom:

Most government meetings we attend are fairly lonely affairs. It’s usually a news reporter or two and government officials.

Not on Monday. We had plenty of company at three very newsy and intense meetings.

The county commissioners, the school board and the county board of zoning appeals drew close attention from more than 120 people interested in rules for confined animal feeding operations, adding gender identity to protected classes in school policies and a solar farm in Flatrock Township.

How’s that for a diverse news mix?

Regulations for confined animal feeding operations have been more than two years in the making. The commissioners gave a final vote on the new rules on Monday, and county commissioner Larry Kleinhenz had the quote of the day:

“We’ve not made any friends, and everybody is mad at us.”

Here’s what commissioners decided after 24 months of debate that was at times heated:

Confined feeding rules two years in the making: What officials approved and why ‘everybody is mad at us’

Debate was also intense as the Bartholomew Consolidated School board gathered to considering adding gender identity as a protected class. About 100 people attended, and their concerns revolved around the restrooms students would use.

The district’s school board policies have included protections for transgender students since 2013.

How did the board vote? Click here and read Wednesday’s Republic.

And then there was a vote on whether a solar farm (with about 100,000 solar panels) would be allowed along County Road 900N between County Roads 350E and 425E.

Neighbors showed up at the meeting and talked about the impact the farm would have on them. That debate was intense as well.

We’ll report in Wednesday’s Republic if the solar farm is coming to Bartholomew County.

Here what else we are working on:

Start ‘er up.
Did the Cummins Diesel Special, which won the pole position for the 1952 Indianapolis 500 with Freddie Agabashian at the wheel, start for the first time in 17 years? Watch this video to find out —

Get your motor running: Did Cummins Special start for first time in 17 years? Watch the video.

IMS Historian Donald Davidson is pictured May 16 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Scott Robertson / For The Republic
Historian Donald Davidson.

No one knows more about Indy 500 than this guy.
Meet Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson. He talks about what race trivia trips him up, his favorite and least favorite races and how he got such a good memory. Click here for the story.

Honoring veterans.
Here’s what you need to know about Memorial Day activities, including a special feature that promises to be heartfelt and emotional. Click here.

Busy sports day.
We will be all over the place covering these events today: Columbus North tennis vs. Bloomington North in the Bloomington South Regional; Columbus North, Columbus East and Hauser girls track in the Warren Central Regional; and Hauser softball vs. Jac-Cen-Del at the Rising Sun Sectional.

Click here to send us your story ideas.

Have a great day!


Author photo
Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at