Greetings from The Republic newsroom:

Columbus is getting some glare from the national spotlight today in two areas – motor sports and politics.

Native son Mike Pence is inching closer to the political center stage as he is now a contender to be Donald Trump’s running mate.

Tony Stewart, also a native son, is grabbing attention for a nifty farewell gift he is getting from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

We’re keeping tabs on both.

Let’s go to politics first. Here’s the tweet Trump posted after meeting with Pence at Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey over the weekend.

Reporter Robert Costa writes about the meeting in The Washington Post:

One person described the session as “warm and friendly,” while the other called it a “getting to know you thing, a chance for both of them to connect.” They both noted that the presence of Karen Pence is probably a sign that the Pence family is comfortable with the prospect of the Republican governor joining the ticket, although they said they have not spoken with her.

Pence’s stock has been rising in Trump’s orbit, they said, describing him as respected by the candidate, despite Pence’s endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) in the Republican primary.

The governor, who is in the middle of a re-election campaign, is increasingly seen as a potential smart choice by several of Trump’s aides, who have told associates that Pence’s deep ties with conservatives and his House experience would be an asset.

NBC News reported:

Pence, his wife and their daughter met with the presumptive GOP nominee and Melania Trump at Trump’s golf course Saturday in New Jersey, where Pence said Trump “beat me like a drum” on the golf course. The Trumps “couldn’t have been more kind and gracious,” he added.

Today, Trump says he’s meeting again with U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, another possible vice presidential choice. Other possible running mates being mentioned in the national media: Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.

Here’s one of Trumps latest tweets:

On the racing front, Republic sports writer Ted Schultz and photo editor Mike Wolanin are heading to the track today to talk to Stewart and chronicle the first lap on the new dirt track built in his honor.

Doug Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, called the track “a short track racers Field of Dreams” in this tweet:

Make sure to get Wednesday’s Republic to find out how Stewart’s first lap on the new track goes.

Finally, we are working on a story that will make your heart swell. Yes, this story by Julie McClure is that good.

It’s the story of Bonnie, a once homeless and starving dog that has paid it forward too many times to count.

Bonnie the therapy dog lays at the base of Jack Lafollette's hospital bed at Columbus Regional Hospital, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Bonnie's owner Doug Bell has decided to retire her as a therapy dog because of health issues. Bonnie visited patients at the hospital for the last time Wednesday afternoon. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Bonnie’s a Lassie lookalike. She was on a tough path — injured, emaciated, looking for a home and in need of lots of tender loving care.

Bonnie got all that and more from a kind local family. But it is what Bonnie has done since she was nursed back to health that will warm your heart.

Bonnie became a therapy dog and has brought joy to hundreds of patients looking for comfort during their own health difficulties.

Read all about Bonnie’s inspiring story in Wednesday’s Republic.

Click here to send us your story ideas.

Have a great day!