Greetings from The Republic newsroom:

Maybe it’s fitting one of the top stories of the day is about chickens. After all, the Bartholomew County 4-H fair starts Friday.

We’re covering the debate about whether chickens should be allowed in the city of Columbus, and the discussion is getting lively with some crying fowl. During Tuesday’s city council meeting, chicken talk garnered about two hours of discussion (70 people attended and 25 spoke).

At one point, someone got big cheers and ruffled a few feathers when they suggested that the backyard chicken debate be put on a referendum so all city residents could peck away at the issue.

Two weeks ago the city council gave an initial OK to banning chickens from being raised in the city.

But since then residents on each side of the backyard chicken debate have mobilized, and the city council sort of flew the coop on its preliminary decision. Actually, council members hit pause.

We’ve now got a 12-member committee (five pro-backyard chicken residents, five anti-backyard chicken residents and two council members) studying just how welcoming Columbus should be to chickens.

Check out Thursday’s Republic and click here to read about what happened last night.

Thursday’s paper is also jam-packed with details about the upcoming Bartholomew County fair that starts Friday and ends July 16.

Fair organizers have made about $40,000 in improvements to the track used for tractor pulls, three-quarter midgets and mud bogs.

Reporter Brian Blair gives a rundown of fair entertainment: The Revival Road Quartet; Night Owl Country Band; Elvis impersonator Ron Hobbs; Columbus City Band; Chordlighters barbershop quartet; singer/songwriter Derick Howard; magician Travis Easterling; Wild Azalia Blue; Possum Glory Train Band; and more.

We’ve also got a story out of Jennings County this morning involving two Columbus teens who police said were involved in dealing drugs. Click here for the story.

In case you missed it, we had a touching story today about Bonnie the dog. Here is the story:

Be inspired: Bonnie the dog, once emaciated and injured, pays it forward

And then there’s Columbus native Tony Stewart who got to see his farewell gift from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday:

Photo gallery: Stewart takes a spin on his farewell gift from the Speedway

Click here to send us your story ideas.

Have a great day!