Posted: H-T Report

Do you know Indiana’s state fossil?

Did you know Indiana had a state stone? Those of us here in southern Indiana shouldn’t be surprised it’s Salem limestone. And a local state legislator wants to honor the fossil behind that limestone and the industry that followed. That’s right: a state fossil. It’s the elegant sea lily that could join the ranks of the state bird (cardinal); state motto (”The Crossroads of America”); state tree (tulip tree); and state flower (peony).

Good luck to state Sens. Mark Stoops, of Bloomington, and Philip Boots, of Crawfordsville, in pushing the bill forward in the Statehouse, a place in which the surface is built on the fossil. And while we’re at it, let’s change our state beverage to something more flavorful. Water? We can do better, Hoosiers.

New look in Congress shared by at least two

There’s a new-look Congress this year with Republicans in charge of both the House and Senate, and some GOP members are sporting a new look as well — 9th District Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind. among them.

The Bloomington Republican, clean shaven on election night in November, is now sporting a full beard. Constituents watching the televised floor debate Thursday on Young’s Save American Worker’s Act may have thought something was wrong with their reception as a furry-faced Young spoke. The beard also turned up in wire service photos of Young with Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a meeting this week of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ryan also is sporting new facial hair, although Young’s spokesman, Trevor Foughty, said that’s just coincidental.

As for the Indiana congressman’s whiskers, Foughty said Young decided to go a few days without shaving over Christmas break and decided he liked it.

Foughty said the feedback on the new look generally has been positive so far.

A different kind of speaker comes to Ivy Tech

Generational lines were showing this week with the announcement that Sir Bob Geldof has been booked as the speaker for this spring’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraiser at Ivy Tech Community College.

For those older than a certain age, it was “Bob who?” And for those younger than a certain age, blank looks and puzzlement greeted the interest shown by those for whom the 1980s was not just a decade, but a personal statement.

For the latter, Geldof is more than a philanthropist with a royal title; he is “Pink” from the movie version of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” the co-writer of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” organizer of the Live Aid concerts, a passionate political activist and the guy who inspired fellow Irish rocker Bono to get involved in Africa.

Previous O’Bannon speakers have included Colin Powell, Laura Bush, George McGovern and Tom Brokaw. It will be interesting to see how Sir Bob stacks up to that crowd.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.