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Brian and Emily Herx on Thursday’s ‘Today’

Furthermore …

An unhealthy environment

Hoosiers celebrated Earth Day in a variety of ways last Sunday, but one woman’s approach might be the most unusual. Andrea Jane Ginther chose to start a fistfight with a woman who tossed a piece of paper on the ground.

Ginther, who told police she “does not take littering lightly,” was driving on the south side of Muncie when she saw the woman toss the trash.

She stopped her car and confronted the alleged litterer. When police arrived a few minutes later, they reported finding Ginther punching the other woman in the face.

They ordered her to stop fighting, but Ginther wouldn’t let go of Mercadies Lanette Kirby’s hair when officer Matthew Hollans and another patrolman tried to separate the women.

Ginther, an Indianapolis resident, was arrested on preliminary charges of battery resulting in bodily injury, resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct. Kirby also was charged with disorderly conduct.

‘Today’ features teacher’s case

The Hoagland woman whose lawsuit against the local Catholic diocese is making national news was on “Today” on Thursday; correspondent Katy Tur appeared from Fort Wayne with some local scenes in the background.

Emily Herx seemed poised and somewhat demure as she discussed her love of teaching and surprise over being fired. Herx sometimes deferred to her attorney, Kathleen Delaney, who appeared with her along with Brian Herx, Emily’s husband.

Herx is a sympathetic figure in this case, which has much potential to be of national significance in the debate over how to treat conflicts between religious freedom and law.

Delaney’s comments suggest the legal case may well be complex. The Supreme Court early this year ruled against a Lutheran school teacher who claimed she was the victim of workplace discrimination, giving the religious school a “ministerial exception” to workplace discrimination laws. But, as Delaney noted, the teacher was ordained as a minister, taught religious classes and performed “important religious functions.” Herx, on the other hand, taught English.