SOUTH BEND AREA SCHOOLS STAGGERED BY DOUBLED Fs, ABSENTEES: In a pandemic year marked by shuttered schools, technology barriers and staggered reopenings, failing grades and student absences have grown across Michiana (Lanich, South Bend Tribune). Course failures have more than doubled in the South Bend Community School Corp. this year and chronic absenteeism has “skyrocketed,” one administrator said. With in-person instruction increasing this month and the state’s spring testing window around the corner, educators are using what they’ve learned over the last year to better understand learning loss and prepare for an eventual return to a more normal school year next fall. Still, challenges remain, such as shortages of teachers and reliable data. More than 35% of grades assigned to South Bend students this school year were Fs or Ns — a grade assignment created during the pandemic to show a student’s failure to master course requirements without penalizing their overall GPA. Last year, fewer than 15% of grades assigned in South Bend schools were Fs.


UNDEFEATED GONZAGA WINS ON MID-COURT SHOT AT BUZZER: Gonzaga has given fans the NCAA championship game they wanted with a shot for the ages (AP). Jalen Suggs banked in a shot from near midcourt at the buzzer, giving the heavily favored Zags a 93-90 overtime victory against upstart UCLA. Gonzaga, the No. 1 overall seed, will play second-seeded Baylor for the title Monday night. Those teams were 1-2 in The Associated Press Top 25 most of the season. The Bears manhandled Houston 78-59 in the other national semifinal. Johnny Juzang scored 31 points for UCLA, including a tying basket with 3.3 seconds left. But Suggs took the inbound pass, dribbled just past midcourt and launched the shot. It banked in after the buzzer sounded. Gonzaga is 31-0 and the first team since Indiana State in 1979 to carry an undefeated record into the national title game. Indiana was the last undefeated champion in 1976.


TOURNEY FAN DIES OF COVID: Health officials in Indiana said Saturday they are investigating whether anyone was exposed to COVID-19 by Alabama residents following Friday night’s death of a Crimson Tide fan who was in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament last weekend (AP). Luke Ratliff, a 23-year-old Alabama student, died after a brief illness, his father, Bryan Ratliff, told The Tuscaloosa News. The newspaper, citing multiple sources it did not identify, reported Ratliff died of complications related to COVID-19. The elder Ratliff could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday by The Associated Press. “Based on a recent news story, the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health are contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health to determine if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days,” the county said in a statement provided by the NCAA. “We are conducting an investigation following the county and state’s standard contact tracing procedures.”


INDIANA VACCINE ROLLOUT GETS MIXED REVIEWS: Slowly, Indiana seems to be emerging from the worst of the pandemic. Last week, the state notched up a noteworthy milestone: 1 million Hoosiers had been fully vaccinated, or about 16% of the state’s population, including children (Russell, IBJ). “We’re not just on the road to recovery. We’re onward and upward,” declared Gov. Eric Holcomb. But compared to other states, Indiana’s vaccination record is decidedly mixed. As of March 30, Indiana ranked sixth-worst for percentage of the population age 18 and older with at least one dose, at 32.4%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and the District of Columbia were lower. Indiana has methodically been vaccinating older people first, starting with people 80 and over, and gradually working down by five- or 10-year increments. On Monday, the state expanded the eligibility to Hoosiers 30 and older, and on Wednesday, threw it open to Hoosiers 16 and older. “Opening eligibility to every Hoosier is a huge undertaking,” said Dr. Kris Box, Indiana’s state health commissioner on March 24. “But it’s an important step that will bring us closer to the finish line.”


ST. ELMO'S CLOSES AFTER 9 EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID: The operator of St. Elmo Steak House, one of downtown’s oldest restaurants and a top draw for tourists, announced late Saturday night that nine employees have tested positive for COVID-19, leading to closure of the restaurant for deep cleaning (King & Shuey, IBJ). “We recently learned that nine employees have tested positive for COVID,” Craig Huse, president of Huse Culinary, said in a media release. “Out of an abundance of caution, St. Elmo’s has made the decision to close the establishment and conduct a thorough, deep cleaning of the restaurant. “While we regret not being able to serve our visitors, the safety and well-being of our employees and our guests is our top priority.”


AP POLL SHOWS 25% WON'T GET VACCINE: The race is on to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against COVID-19, but a significant number of people in the United States are still reluctant to get the shots, even in places where they are plentiful. That’s according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll reports that 25% of Americans say they probably or definitely will not get vaccinated. The holdouts are leery about possible side effects. They tend to be Republican, and they are usually younger and less susceptible to becoming critically ill or dying if they catch COVID-19. There’s been a slight shift, though, since the first weeks of the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign, which began in mid-December. An AP-NORC poll conducted in late January showed that 67% of adult Americans were willing to get vaccinated or had already received at least one shot. Now that figure has climbed to 75%.


SUSPECT IN CAPITOL ATTACK HAD INDIANA TIES: The suspect in the death of a Capitol Police officer has ties to Indiana, according to reports. Noah Green, 25, has been identified by law enforcement as the man who drove the vehicle into two U.S. Capital police officers on Friday afternoon (IndyStar). The driver rammed his vehicle into two USCP officers near the Capitol and then continued to hit the barrier on Constitution Avenue, acting U.S Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement. The suspect proceeded to exit the car, brandishing a knife and "started to lunge aggressively toward U.S. Capitol Police officers," ignoring verbal commands, Pittman said. Officers then shot the suspect, who later died at a hospital. The officer, William 'Billy' Evans, died "from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant," Pittman said. Several law enforcement sources said Green has connections to Indiana and Virginia.  The Washington Post reported Friday evening that it had interviewed Green's brother, Brendan Green, who said Noah had indeed lived previously in Indianapolis but then had moved to Africa. More recently, Brendan Green told the Post, his brother had moved in with him in his Virginia apartment.


SCHUMER VOWS TO MOVE AHEAD ON MARIJUANA REFORM WITHOUT BIDEN: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer really likes to talk about weed. Schumer has been making waves on cannabis policy since he first introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in April 2018 (Politico). It was part of his pitch for voting Democrat in the 2020 election, and now — with the majority in hand — he is putting together new federal marijuana reform legislation with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). This week, Schumer’s home state of New York legalized marijuana use for adults, after years of failed efforts. More than 40 percent of Americans now live in states that have embraced full legalization. President Joe Biden has been a conspicuous outlier among Democrats when it comes to supporting marijuana legalization. But Schumer said Biden’s reticence won’t deter the Senate from taking aggressive action to loosen federal restrictions. “I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will,” Schumer said in an interview with POLITICO this week. “But at some point we're going to move forward, period.“


SHERIFF HOLLEY'S CAR RETURNED FROM DILLINGER ESCAPE 87 YEARS LATER: Lake County put on a homecoming worthy of a big screen gangster movie for the return of the Lillian Holley car (Dolan, NWI Times). The jet black 1934 V-8 Ford that depression-era desperado John Dillinger stole in his famous jail escape 87 years ago cruised back to the Sheriff’s House on Saturday afternoon. It arrived with a motorcade, directed by Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr., of county police cars, motorcycle and two county police helicopters. A crowd of several hundred cheered as it stopped in the middle of South Main Street and gathered in a scrum to photograph it, take selfies, and touch and admire this piece of Hoosier history. Roger Pace, a longtime Crown Point Realtor and organizer of the event, called it the most famous escape car in the country. Pace recounted for the crowd Dillinger's escape in it, north on Main Street and west on 93rd Avenue into Illinois, before abandoning it that night on a Chicago street.


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Gonzaga barely escaped the Lucas Oil Stadium Curse of the Undefeated with a buzzer-beating halfcourt shot to down UCLA. In 2012, the New England Patriots were upset by the New York Giants in the Super Bowl at the stadium, and in 2015 Kentucky lost an NCAA semi-final game to Wisconsin, both teams losing their undefeated status. Baylor has a shot Monday night to continue the curse as Gonzaga strives to become the first undefeated NCAA men's team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. - Brian A. Howey




TRUMP'S EASTER MESSAGE: Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America (Howey Politics Indiana): “Happy Easter to ALL, including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!”


TRUMP, WIN RED STEERED SUPPORTERS INTO UNWITTING DONATIONS: Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the Trump campaign and the RNC's Win Red had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election (New York Times). Contributors had to wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out. As the election neared, the Trump team made that disclaimer increasingly opaque, an investigation by The New York Times showed. It introduced a second prechecked box, known internally as a “money bomb,” that doubled a person’s contribution. Eventually its solicitations featured lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language. The tactic ensnared scores of unsuspecting Trump loyalists — retirees, military veterans, nurses and even experienced political operatives. Soon, banks and credit card companies were inundated with fraud complaints from the president’s own supporters about donations they had not intended to make, sometimes for thousands of dollars. The sheer magnitude of the money involved is staggering for politics. In the final two and a half months of 2020, the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts issued more than 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors.


General Assembly


RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL TAKES 180-DEGREE TURN: A bill that would have overridden local ordinances that restrict or prohibit wind power in Indiana has taken a “180 degree turn” after pushback from local officials (Gibson & Bowman, IndyStar). HB 1381 would establish statewide standards for how close wind and solar projects can be to other properties. But a new amendment would allow county and local governments to maintain restrictive ordinances, while also offering a hefty incentive for abandoning them. The bill was amended in the Senate Utilities hearing Thursday morning to include the option for counties to adopt “renewable energy districts.” Essentially, these districts would provide a space for governments to approve wind projects — if a group of property owners want the turbines on their land — while maintaining local control over their siting. The key is that the bill no longer requires localities to change their standards or approve projects as the previous iteration did. Instead, it dangles a carrot for them to do so.


PREGNANT WORKER BILL FALLS SHORT OF HOLCOMB GOAL: Indiana legislators are turning aside — for the second straight year — an appeal from Gov. Eric Holcomb for a law requiring more businesses to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant women (AP). But Republicans who dominate the Legislature have sided with major business groups rather than the GOP governor on the issue. After rejecting a Holcomb-backed bill last year, lawmakers are advancing a proposal that would prohibit businesses from retaliating against women who ask for accommodations but would not require managers to grant any of the requests. Republican Sen. Chip Perfect, whose family owns the Perfect North Slopes ski area near Lawrenceburg, said he still believed the proposal went too far as many businesses are struggling to find workers and are willing to grant reasonable requests from pregnant women. He also said that pregnant women whose accommodation requests aren’t met can leave those jobs. “If you can’t get people, and you have employees that you have mistreated disparaging you, you even further can’t get good people,” Perfect said. “Everything in this bill is something that can already be done. It is not reflective of the world that we’re living in right now.”


NONE OF REP. BAUER'S MATERNITY BILLS RECEIVED HEARING: Maternal health has received little attention in the statehouse this year, despite Indiana having the third-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation (Downard, CHNI). Indiana's rate is even higher than countries such as Vietnam and Iraq. Rep. Maureen Bauer, D-South Bend, introduced several bills aimed at improving women’s health, including bills that would help doulas direct bill through Medicaid and prohibit the practice of shackling incarcerated women during labor. Doulas are trained professionals who provide information, as well as physical and emotional support to mothers before, during and after childbirth. “Most of these (postpartum) deaths happen up to a year after birth, and these are complications that are often preventable,” Bauer said. “But none of my bills received a hearing.”


VIGO TEACHERS WARILY WATCHING STATE BUDGET BILL: As president of the Vigo County Teachers Association, Heidi McDonald is closely monitoring the General Assembly and funding measures as well as legislation that will affect public schools (Loughlin, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). House Bill 1001, the state budget bill, includes an estimated $377 million increase for K-12 school spending. However, $144 million of that would go for private school voucher programs and educational scholarship accounts over the next two years, or about 1/3 of the new funding, while public education would receive $233 million, McDonald said. At the same time, Indiana faces a serious teacher shortage and one big factor is lack of competitive pay, something outlined in the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission report, released in December. “It’s very concerning,” she said, and VCTA — as well as teachers across the state — are sharing their concerns with legislators. Some are listening, “but sometimes we feel like our concerns are not being heard,” she said.




GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB STICKS TO MASK ADVISORY ON TUESDAY - Governor Holcomb is sticking with plans to lift a mask order and state gathering limits on Tuesday (Berman, WIBC). But he’s warning Indiana’s fight against the coronavirus isn’t over. COVID-19 is accelerating again in most of the eastern two-thirds of the U-S. Indiana is averaging a thousand cases a day, the highest pace in five weeks. And the last week saw Indiana’s first cases of more dangerous Brazilian, South African and California variants. President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control have urged governors lifting mask orders to reconsider. And Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in an interview he’d urge Holcomb to keep the mask order in place. Holcomb acknowledges there’s been an uptick in cases, but says that’s not the only number he’s watching. He says Indiana hospitals now have the space, manpower and equipment to handle an increase in patients.


ISDH: SATURDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health announced Saturday that 1,159 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 689,965 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. To date, 12,667 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of five from the previous day. Another 407 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. A total of 3,272,565 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 3,267,629 on Friday. A total of 9,008,225 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26, 2020.


ISDH: FRIDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health announced Friday that 1,256 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 688,916 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. To date, 12,662 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 20 from the previous day. Another 407 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record.  


COVID: AMISH FACING VACCINE BARRIERS - The local Amish population faces barriers to getting vaccinated for COVID-19 that other groups do not, as Hoosiers generally need to make vaccination appointments online or by phone and clinics are located in towns and cities (Jorgensen, Elkhart Truth). About 26,000 Amish residents live in Elkhart and LaGrange counties, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. In Elkhart County, a direct effort to get shots to the Amish has yet to launch, according to county Health Officer Dr. Bethany Wait. First, she said, the county and state are reaching out with information. “We are at the point where they are not ready to choose vaccines. I think we are at the point where they want more information about vaccines. At least that’s the feedback that we’re getting,” she said. Wait believes the Elkhart County Health Department, not the state, should be in charge of getting doses to the Amish community when that time comes. “We’re going to have to do that. I think we have the closest relationship, in general, with the Amish population,” she said.


IHSAA: BASKETBALL CHAMPS - Here are the results from the IHSAA boys basketball championship games: Class 4A Carmel 51, Lawrence North 46; Class 3A Silver Creek 50, Leo 49; Class 2A Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 55, Parke Heritage  40; Class A Barr-Reeve 64, Kouts 48.


NBA: PACERS SNAP 3-GAME SKID - Caris LeVert scored 26 points and the short-handed Indiana Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 139-133 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night (AP). “We just wanted to come out and try to just have fun with the game again,” LeVert said. “I feel like we were kind of letting the losses take away from the fact we get to play basketball for a living. I think today we got back to just having fun and it showed out there on the court.” Indiana had a season-high point total even with injuries sidelining Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb.


MLB: ANGELS TOP WHITE SOX - Justin Upton's tiebreaking homer capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels, helped by a flyball that bounced off the head of Chicago center fielder Luis Robert, beat hot-hitting Yermín Mercedes and the White Sox 5-3 on Saturday night (AP). Mercedes homered, doubled and singled to become the first player since at least 1900 to begin a season with eight straight hits. The 28-year-old rookie flied out in his final at-bat, ending the streak.


MLB: CUBS NOTCH FIRST WIN VS. PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Ke'Bryan Hayes left Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs with a left wrist injury after taking an awkward swing in the first inning of the Pirates' 5-1 loss to the Cubs (AP). Hayes, 24, eventually drew a walk but then was attended to at first base after sliding back into the bag with his left hand to avoid a tag. He stayed in the game until he was pinch hit for in the third inning.


MLB: CINCINNATI DEFEATS ST. LOUIS - Nick Castellanos stood over, flexed and jawed at St. Louis pitcher Jake Woodford after scoring, setting off a series of scuffles that included relievers shoving in the outfield as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cardinals 9-6 Saturday (AP). St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright was knocked around for six runs and chased in the third. The next inning, the teams started tagging each other. "Our whole group was in there, fast and furious," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.




GEORGIA: MLB PULLS ALL-STAR GAME FROM ATLANTA - Baseball fans are divided about Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Georgia over a new voting law that critics say will hurt communities of color (AP). Gov. Brian Kemp vowed Saturday to defend the measure, saying “free and fair elections” are worth any threats, boycotts or lawsuits. Some fans upset about the decision say they won’t watch or attend any games because of it. Others who support the league's move say not taking a stand would have alienated those who oppose the law.


Sunday Talk


GRANDHOLM SUGGESTS RECONCILIATION: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday suggested that the White House is open to passing its $2 trillion infrastructure plan using reconciliation if no Republican lawmakers support the legislation. When pressed by host Jake Tapper on CNN’s "State of the Union" if the White House would be willing to pass the infrastructure package through reconciliation, a parliamentary process that requires a simple majority to pass bills, Granholm said the president came to Washington to do a job, and “he’s going to do that.” “As he has said, he was sent to the presidency to do a job for America, and if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, across the country support spending on our country and not allowing us to lose the race globally, then he's going to do that.”


DEESE PITCHES INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE: The head of the National Economic Council said Sunday that the White House is aiming to create sustained job growth with a multi-trillion infrastructure package proposed by the administration last week. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Brian Deese told host Chris Wallace that the Biden administration's goal is to pass legislation that does more than boost job growth for just 2021, while pointing to the significant segment of the U.S. population still out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic. "We have a long way to go. We are still down 8.4 million jobs from where we were a year ago, we have millions of people out of work. More than 2 million women have left the labor force because they've had to choose between caring for their family members and their jobs," Deese said.


BLUNT SUGGESTS SCALED BACK PLAN CAN GET GOP SUPPORT: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Sunday the Biden White House could score "an easy win" on infrastructure if it would just reduce its new plan to focus solely on infrastructure. Speaking to host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," Blunt said that of the $2 trillion plan offered last month by President Joe Biden, only about 30 percent of it was truly dedicated to what has traditionally been called infrastructure. "I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30 percent, even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some, it's about 30 percent of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending," he said.


SANDERS CALLS BIDEN PLAN CREDIBLE: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday called President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan a “serious proposal,” but signaled that “a lot more work has to be done” in what he is calling “human infrastructure.” When pressed by host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” if initiatives that are not traditionally considered infrastructure should be included in the bill, including plans to address student debt, Sanders said it “depends on what you call infrastructure,” adding that there is a “crisis in human infrastructure.” “Roads and bridges and tunnels are infrastructure. But I think many of us see a crisis in human infrastructure, when a working class family can't find good quality affordable child care, that's human infrastructure,” Sanders said.




INDIANAPOLIS: LILLY ENDOWMENT GIVES $93M TO COMBAT POVERTY — Nearly 30 groups will share more that $93 million in grants from the Lilly Endowment aimed at boosting the financial security of poor Indianapolis residents (AP). The grants, which range from $180,000 to more than $8 million each, are going to 28 organizations to fund new programs aimed at financial security or to expand existing programs that address poverty-related challenges. Lilly said the grants will support numerous efforts such as expanding access to early childhood education and mentoring programs and helping residents find jobs that could pay at least $18 per hour.


COLUMBUS: WHITE SUPREMACIST GRAFFITTI PROBED - Various areas and buildings in downtown Columbus, including a church and the Cummins Inc. Corporate Office Building, were defaced with a stenciled logo and web address promoting a Texas-based white supremacy group (Columbus Republic). The Columbus Police Department is investigating the incident, said spokesman Lt. Matt Harris. He said he hoped to have details by Monday after gathering information from several officers. The city has had surveillance cameras in the downtown area since 2014. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) both classify the group named in the stencils, Patriot Front, as a hate group.


MISHAWAKA: HUMMER PLANT TO MAKE ELECTRIC VEHICLES — An Indiana factory that once produced Hummers will be churning out electric vehicles later this year (AP). Electric Last Mile Solutions plans to make light-duty delivery vehicles in Mishawaka in the third quarter, the South Bend Tribune reported. The company said it has more than 45,000 orders for the Class 1 vehicle, which means trucks or vans weighing less than 6,000 pounds. The van can go about 150 miles on a charge. Employment could reach 100 people by the end of the year. “We’re excited by the anticipated first-to-market opportunities and thankful for the state of Indiana’s support as we look to begin production later this year,” said James Taylor, co-founder of the Troy, Michigan, company.


MUNCIE: ARREST BODY CAM VIDEO CRITICIZED - Body camera footage from Muncie Police Department officers of a 2018 arrest is raising new questions about possible excessive force. The newly obtained video by WRTV shows a different story than the one the department told at the time of Joshua Douglas’ arrest in April 2018. WRTV also found Officer Alex Moore, the officer who punched Douglas during the arrest, had been disciplined twice before the incident, and no officers involved with the arrest were disciplined after an internal review of the incident, a Muncie assistant attorney told WRTV in a letter in February. The Muncie Police Department has faced scrutiny in recent years amid allegations of excessive force. Since 2019, WRTV has been requesting body camera footage from the department on several cases where excessive force is alleged.


VALPARAISO: PARK UPGRADES COME WITH $37M PRICE TAG - The Valpo Parks master plan being drafted comes with a price tag of nearly $37 million for improvements at existing parks (Wilk, NWI Times). Aquatics ranked high on the list of priorities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean building a community pool, said consultant Dan Seder, project manager with Colorado-based GreenPlay. See a day in the life of Valparaiso Police Lt. John Patston in the 14th installment of Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops. “People want some type of aquatics in the community, and there is a need out there,” he said. “This doesn’t necessarily mean building a pool, but there is a need for better aquatics.”