Quick takes – March 28th

Walker’s award deserved

It would be difficult to find a more deserving recipient of the Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana Officer Award than Indiana State Police Master Trooper Tommy Walker.

For two decades, the Columbus resident has dedicated his time and talents to the sports organization for disabled children and adults.

He has used his ties with the state police to raise more than $42,000 for Special Olympics Indiana. Notably, he started the Showdown of the Shields weightlifting fundraiser.

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Walker also has voluntarily photographed countless Special Olympics events and participated in torch runs for various Special Olympics games.

Walker’s efforts have had an impact on many Special Olympians. His award is well-deserved.

Text-to-911 great tool

A March 1 incident illustrated that Bartholomew County’s text-to-911 system is working successfully. Local residents and the 79 other counties using the system can thank Craig Pekar, systems administrator for the county’s information technology department, for its smooth operation.

His interfacing fix connecting text-messaging software with the county’s existing dispatch system created a template for a tool used nearly statewide.

At the beginning of the month, the system allowed a 911 caller who was unable to speak in a domestic violence situation to ask for police assistance via a text message. That led to the arrest of a Columbus man on battery and criminal confinement charges.

Kudos to Pekar and the county for making the 911-to-text system a valuable tool for those who need help.

Talented young playwrights

Congratulations to Central Middle School seventh-graders Graham Keele, Grace Wang and Helen Rumsey for sweeping the middle school category in the Young Playwrights in Process competition — open to middle school and high school students statewide.

The competition offers students a chance at cash prizes, tickets to the Indiana Repertory Theater, a professional reading of their plays and a full scholarship to the IRT Summer Conservatory.

The fact that this is the first time Central students have participated in the competition makes their achievement all the more impressive.

While one high school and one middle school student still must be chosen as winners among the six semifinalists, Central’s students already have achieved a remarkable accomplishment.