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Column: In world full of depressing news, here's some good

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Sometimes the news of the day makes you want to say, “What is this world coming to?”

This past week, there certainly were a few of those days. Business break-ins, drug busts, a heightened-security alert at a busy downtown landmark.

But just when the craziness of life is bringing you down, a few surprises can turn that frown ... here it comes ... upside down.

Hooping it up

Here’s some news about college basketball that put a smile on my face last week.

Tuesday night’s men’s basketball game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan State Spartans is going to be on the big screen.

No, not like the pick-and-roll screen (for the basketball fans among my readers). Think bigger. Not 60-inch widescreen home or sports-bar viewing. Think bigger yet.

For a big game that could determine the men’s Big 10 basketball championship, we’re talking movie-screen size.

Yes, the game of the week is going to be at YES Cinema.


Now you could stay at home and watch on ESPN, assuming you have basic cable. Or you could start a tab at your favorite sports-friendly watering hole.

Or ...

You could head downtown and cheer on the Hoosiers with a couple hundred of your closest friends or complete strangers. Admission is free, although the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center — which runs YES — hopes you’ll buy some theater snacks and cold drinks while enjoying the action.

Front-row seats are available once the doors open at 6:30 p.m. And if you haven’t been in YES Cinema, the seats there are a lot more comfortable than at any arena — at Bloomington’s Assembly Hall or the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, where this game will be played.

It sure beats making the four-hour drive north on  I-69 to buy concourse-level scalper tickets at $300 to $600 each.

Did I mention there’s no charge to watch the game at YES Cinema?

At 328 Jackson St., it’s the closest thing to being there at courtside. See you there?

Saying yes again

As a parent or grandparent, you don’t ever want to let a youngster down.

I know I feel that way. So does Carol Felicijan, whose grandchildren Jordan, 9, and Jayden, 3, drew some Valentine hearts (Jayden’s shown above, and Jordan’s shown below) to have printed on last Sunday’s Kidspeak page. Except because of some confusion in the deadline directions we published on the prior week’s page, Grandma got the drawings to us too late. If I had read the directions myself, I would have also missed the deadline.

So starting this week, we changed the deadlines and the instructions so that even people like me would understand them.

And for people like Felicijan, who felt badly about unintentionally letting her grandchildren down, here’s a little pick-me-up: You can tell the grandchildren that, yes, their drawings are printed in the paper, just as you promised them.

Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at

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