NO VIDEO OF EPSTEIN SUICIDE: There’s no surveillance video of the incident during which Jeffrey Epstein apparently hanged himself in a federal lockup in Lower Manhattan, law-enforcement officials told The Post on Sunday (New York Post). Although there are cameras in the 9 South wing where the convicted pedophile was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, they are trained on the areas outside the cells and not inside, according to sources familiar with the setup there. Pols who attended Sunday’s annual Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan demanded answers to the many questions surrounding Epstein’s Saturday morning death, which is being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department. “Something doesn’t smell right – and it’s not his dead body,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said. Adams noted the July 23 incident in which the multimillionaire financier was found nearly unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck, as well as the blockbuster court papers that were released on Friday and contained the names of other men – including former Maine Sen. George Mitchell and ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – who allegedly slept with an Epstein teenage “sex slave.” “Something is really troubling about that and I think it needs to be investigated extremely and very thoroughly to make sure there wasn’t any foul play,” Adams said.

PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED FOR MONITORING EPSTEIN: It was Friday night in a protective housing unit of the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, and Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of trafficking girls for sex, was alone in a cell, only 11 days after he had been taken off a suicide watch (New York Times). Just that morning, thousands of documents from a civil suit had been released, providing lurid accounts accusing Mr. Epstein of sexually abusing scores of girls. Mr. Epstein was supposed to have been checked by the two guards in the protective housing unit every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed that night, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of his detention said. In addition, because Mr. Epstein may have tried to commit suicide three weeks earlier, he was supposed to have had another inmate in his cell, two officials said. But the jail had recently transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone, a decision that also violated the jail’s procedures, the two officials said.

EX-INMATE SAYS 'NO WAY' ON EPSTEIN SUICIDE: The following account is from a former inmate of the Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan, where Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive Saturday, and declared dead at a hospital of an apparent suicide. The ex-convict, who spoke to the New York Post’s Brad Hamilton and Bruce Golding on the condition of anonymity, spent several months in the 9 South special housing unit for high-profile prisoners awaiting trial — like Epstein. "There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility. Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything. You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen. When you’re on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves. The clothing they give you is a jump-in uniform. Everything is a dark brown color. Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There’s a steel frame, but you can’t move it. There’s no light fixture. There’s no bars. They don’t give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death. You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper. Nothing hard or made of metal. There’s up to 80 people there. They could put two in cell. It’s one or two, but I’ll never believe this guy had a cellmate. He was too blown up.

TRUMP PROMOTES CLINTON/EPSTEIN CONSPIRACY: President Donald Trump on Saturday promoted a conspiracy theory linking the Clinton family to the death of multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, the latest instance of Trump propagating baseless conspiracy theories and falsehoods (CNN). Trump shared a tweet and video from conservative comedian Terrence Williams that claimed without evidence that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- Trump's 2016 presidential election rival -- were responsible for Epstein's death. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Bill Barr said Epstein died in an "apparent suicide" while in federal custody. As a result of Trump's retweet, the video received more than 3 million views on Twitter by Sunday morning -- more than triple Williams' most recent videos. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were friendly with Epstein in previous decades, but Trump seized on the conspiracy theory Saturday in his latest dig at the Clintons. The tweet also falsely claimed that Epstein died while on suicide watch, even though Epstein had been taken off of suicide watch before his death. Angel Ureña, a spokesman for the former president, called the conspiracy theory "ridiculous, and of course not true." "And Donald Trump knows it," Ureña tweeted. CNN has also reached out to a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton.

BIDEN GAFFES ALARM DEMS: Joe Biden has made a series of gaffes in recent days that reinforced his reputation as an inconsistent campaigner and raised questions among some in the party about whether he is the strongest Democratic challenger to President Trump (Wall Street Journal). The former vice president’s bumpy ride has played out in national media and at events across Iowa, which hosts the first Democratic presidential primary balloting in less than six months. The most recent missteps came on Thursday and Saturday as the 76-year-old Mr. Biden worked through a four-day tour of a state where anything short of a first-place finish could seriously damage his prospects for winning the party’s nomination next year. The most recent slip came Saturday afternoon at a forum here organized by gun-control advocates, where he said he had met as vice president with students after the deaths of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. That massacre happened in 2018 and Mr. Biden left office in January 2017.

RURAL AMERICA FACES DOWNWARD SPIRAL: Many of the nation's current pathologies are centered in the majority-white population of rural America, heavily hit by the opioid crisis and facing falling populations, job losses and rising suicide rates, Axios' Stef Kight writes. Why it matters: The malaise and discontent that President Trump taps into goes beyond the racism of the past few weeks, and includes anger at a changing world and frustration at dwindling opportunities close to home. These trends are further entrenching the rural-urban schism that came to light in the 2016 election. The big picture: Political and economic power is shifting to the cities, and 20% of the population — 46 million people — is being left behind in the middle of America. These communities face increasingly higher barriers to education, wealth and health.

7 SHOT IN INDY: Seven people were shot in Indianapolis within less than six hours Sunday night into Monday morning (CBS4). The first call came in just after 9:15 p.m. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a report of two people shot in the 600 block of Udell Street, just south of Crown Hill Cemetery. Police found one victim, and medics transported that person to the hospital in critical condition. IMPD found the second gunshot victim six minutes later in the 600 block of Eugene Street. Medics took that person to the hospital in serious condition. Police believe these shootings are connected.

MASS SHOOTING SURVIVORS COME TO INDY: Dozens of people hit the Indianapolis pavement for a peace walk Saturday, including a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting from 2016 and a survivor of the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting (CBS4). They were here to support We LIVE Indy and Circle Up Indy as they marched in a peace walk to raise awareness about gun violence. People with all different backgrounds came together for the cause. "100 people die every single day from gun violence. Those are not just 100 people. That’s not just a number, those are lives. Those are futures. Those are families. Those are communities that have been ripped apart," Pulse Nightclub survivor Brandon Wolf said. Gun violence is something Wolf came face-to-face with three years ago in Orlando at Pulse Nightclub. "It’s hard to understand what’s going on. By the time I realized the second round of gunfire had broken out, I made a snap decision with folks in the bathroom with me to lock arms and make a run for the door," Wolf said.

MANUFACTURING FLUCTUATIONS MINOR IN RV BELT: National economic indicators show that U.S. manufacturing is beginning to slow down, but local economic leaders say the effects here have been minor, if noticeable at all (Garbacz, KPC News). But it’s something to keep an eye on, especially around the RV firms in LaGrange County, which are typically among the first industries to start contracting when economic times change. Recent measures of the U.S. economy show that manufacturing may be hitting a small skid after numerous months of boom. Hiring in the sector has slowed notably month-to-month compared to last year and the Federal Reserve declared that manufacturing is in a “technical recession” — meaning the sector has had shrinking output for the past two quarters. Nationally only about 8.5% of workers are employed in manufacturing, but that’s not the case in Noble and LaGrange counties, where about 50% of people are employed in manufacturing, meaning any major downturns in the sector cause major problems for the local economy. LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bill Bradley said he’s aware of the national data, but that the local economy isn’t showing any significant fluctuations yet. “It has been fairly minor, fairly small. I think the statistics show we’ve had a lessening in manufacturing like 320 jobs or so,” Bradley said, a small percentage of the thousands of LaGrange County workers working in industry.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: So our president is suggesting there is a conspiracy in the Jeff Epstein suicide and President Clinton. That's about as crazy an assertion as a presidential candidate accusing a primary rival's family of being involved in the JFK assassination. Oh, wait. Nevermind. That second thing actually happened. - Brian A. Howey



Presidential 2020

BIDEN SAYS ASSAULT WEAPON BAN WORKED: Joe Biden writes in a New York Times op-ed that the assault weapon ban worked: ""The 1994 assault weapons and high-capacity magazines bans worked. And if I am elected president, we're going to pass them again — and this time, we'll make them even stronger. We're going to stop gun manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor modifications to their products — modifications that leave them just as deadly. And this time, we're going to pair it with a buyback program to get as many assault weapons off our streets as possible as quickly as possible."

PENCE HEADS TO SOUTH CAROLINA: Vice President Mike Pence is heading to the early primary state of South Carolina to headline Rep. Jeff Duncan's (R-S.C.) ninth-annual Faith & Freedom BBQ on Aug. 26. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will also speak (Politico Playbook).

NEAL JOINS BUTTIGIEG CAMPAIGN: South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign has brought on a new senior adviser to connect with Democratic Party leadership and help lead the campaign's African American support (Politico Playbook). Brandon Neal has served as the Democratic National Committee's national political director and has previously done stints working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Democratic Governors Association, Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)

PROFANITY UPSETS TRUMP EVANGELICAL SUPPORTERS: Paul Hardesty didn’t pay much attention to President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., last month until a third concerned constituent rang his cell phone (Politico). The residents of Hardesty’s district — he’s a Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator — were calling to complain that Trump was “using the Lord’s name in vain,” as Hardesty recounted. “The third phone call is when I actually went and watched his speech because each of them sounded distraught,” said Hardesty, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat. Here’s what he would have seen. Trump crowing, “they'll be hit so goddamn hard,” while bragging about bombing Islamic State militants. And Trump recounting his warning to a wealthy businessman: “If you don't support me, you're going to be so goddamn poor.”

'MOOCH' SAYS GOP MAY NEED TO REPLACE TRUMP/PENCE TICKET: Anthony Scaramucci, who famously served as President Trump's communications director for 11 days, says Republicans may need to pick a different candidate in 2020. In an Axios phone interview on Sunday afternoon, Scaramucci compared Trump to a melting nuclear reactor and said he may support a Republican challenger to Trump. "We are now in the early episodes of 'Chernobyl' on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process," Scaramucci said. "A couple more weeks like this and 'country over party' is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020."



Sunday Talk

CONWAY SAYS TRUMP 'WANTS EVERYTHING INVESTIGATED' ON EPSTEIN DEATH: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday the president "wants everything to be investigated" related to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein after the president's elevation, without evidence, of conspiracy theories linking Epstein‘s death to former President Bill Clinton. President Donald Trump on Saturday retweeted baseless conspiracy theories around Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell Saturday after an apparent suicide. Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges over his alleged abuse of underage girls. Asked about the president's retweets on “Fox News Sunday,“ Conway said Trump "just wants everything to be investigated" before shifting to the 2016 presidential election.

O'ROURKE RIPS TRUMP OVER CONSPIRACY TWEET: Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke criticized President Donald Trump on Sunday for sharing unfounded conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, accusing Trump of misusing the presidency to “attack his political enemies.” “This is another example of our president using this position of public trust to attack his political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories,” O’Rourke, who is running for president, said on CNN’s "State of the Union."

BOOKER CITES 'MORE RECKLESSNESS': Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., another presidential candidate, also slammed Trump for his tweets during an appearance on CNN. “This is just more recklessness," Booker said. "What he is doing is dangerous. He is giving life to not just conspiracy theories but really whipping people up into anger and worse against different people in this country."

HARRIS SAYS ICE RAIDS WILL DISTORT CENSUS: Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris decried recent immigration raids as part of the Trump administration's "campaign of terror" that will distort the upcoming 2020 census. “This administration has directed DHS to conduct these raids as part of what I believe is this administration's campaign of terror, which is to make whole — whole populations of people afraid to go to work," the Californian told NBC's Chuck Todd.

SCALISE SAYS TRUMP NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MASSACRES: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise on Sunday called it “a very slippery slope” to blame President Donald Trump’s rhetoric for mass shootings in recent weeks. The Louisiana Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “there's no place” for attacks based on someone’s ethnicity. “But to try to assign blame to somebody else, I think, is a very slippery slope because the president's no more responsible for that shooting as your next guest, Bernie Sanders, is for my shooting,” said Scalise, who was shot in June 2017 during a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. “And he's not, by the way, responsible. The shooter is responsible,” Scalise added. Scalise was gravely wounded in the attack but has recovered to return to continue to serve in the House.

BENNET SAYS AMERICANS 'SICK' OF TRUMP REALITY TV SHOW: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democratic candidate for president, casts himself as moderate, pragmatic and restrained alternative to President Trump, saying Sunday the American people are exhausted by Mr. Trump's tumultuous and divisive tenure in the White House. "I think that people are so sick and tired of waking up in Donald Trump's reality TV show," Bennet said on "Face the Nation." "I think they're sick of a president who's dividing us. I mean, it's very clear what he's trying to do. He acquired power by dividing the American people against themselves. He's trying to hold onto the power by doing the same thing and every day he just tries to keep the reality TV show alive."

SANDERS SAYS TRUMP CREATES 'DIVISIVENESS': Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted President Trump for fostering "divisiveness" with his rhetoric, but stressed he does not believe the president wants to see people be killed in mass shootings like the recent ones in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. "President Trump and nobody else wants to see people mowed down and killed, and I've never said that. He does not want to see that," Sanders said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. Nevertheless, the Vermont independent suggested — like many Democrats have — that Mr. Trump's fiery rhetoric emboldens people prone to carrying out violent acts because of racial animus. "I think he creates a climate where we are seeing a significant increase in hate crimes in this country, hate crimes against Muslims, against Mexicans, against Jews," Sanders added. "He is creating the kind of divisiveness in this nation that is the last thing that we should be doing. So he creates the climate."

ACTING CUSTOMS CHIEF COMMENTS ON CRYING GIRL: Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, on Sunday downplayed an emotional video showing an 11-year-old girl sobbing and begging for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to let her parents go following raids on Mississippi food processing plants (CNN). "I understand that the girl is upset and I get that. But her father committed a crime," Morgan told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State on the Union." Morgan said the girl was reunited with her mother shortly after the video was shot.



General Assembly

ELLINGTON CALLS FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT CHANGES: State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) said he would consider changing some information on Indiana's campaign finance report to remove the threat of "doxxing" (Howey Politics Indiana). This is a direct result of the reckless actions of Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). "I would remove street addresses of donors, while continuing to support most disclosure. I believe I am the first state lawmaker in 2019 to propose changing the rules in any state or the federal government," Ellington said. "I should not be the last. People like Joaquin Castro are going to get someone hurt. Names, amount of donations, occupations (but not employers), and city or county of residence would still be included in Indiana's public release under a proposal I am considering. Email addresses could be added as a substitute and a compromise on street addresses.  But street addresses would be eliminated in the forms. The change would not affect federal statements, as Indiana has no control over filings to the Federal Election Commission by U.S. senators, U.S. House members, and presidential candidates. I urge federal officials to also consider removing sensitive personal information from federal filings, including street address and employer information. It is clearly being used to intimidate people."

State

GOVERNOR: FAITH LEADERS TO PRESENT HOLCOMB PETITION - On Tuesday, August 13, at 11 a.m., leaders from Faith in Indiana, (formerly IndyCAN!) will host a press conference and hand deliver a sign-on letter from Indiana clergy to Gov. Holcomb, urging him to denounce the ideology of white supremacy and introduce gun safety measures in the 2020 legislative session: ban assault weapons, mandate background checks, and invest in public health approaches proven to curb gun violence (Howey Politics Indiana). The event is hosted by Faith in Indiana, a catalyst for marginalized people and faith communities to act collectively for racial and economic justice. The sign-on letter outlines efforts to urge congress to pass HR8 -the bipartisan background check bill passed in the house – as well as a request a meeting with the governor in the next 60 days, so we may work together to build a safer and more inclusive Indiana and nation.

HEALTH: SOUTH BEND ABORTION CLINIC EMBLEMATIC OF NATIONAL CONFLICT - A young woman exited the back door of the clinic clutching a fistful of crumpled tissues in one hand and some paperwork in the other as she made her way to the parking lot (Lourgos, Post-Tribune). A trio of volunteers in bright pink vests labeled Pro-Choice Clinic Escort walked beside her until the patient reached her SUV. As she drove off the property, the escorts each deployed a rainbow-hued umbrella, hoisting them over their shoulders to form a colorful barrier between the vehicle and several protesters out front. Some were praying, others bore signs declaring “Abortion takes a human life” and “It’s a child, not a choice.” With reproductive rights increasingly under fire across the country, the clinic opened June 27 in a particularly curious state of limbo: A federal judge in May granted a preliminary injunction allowing Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend to perform medication abortions even as the clinic remains unlicensed by the Indiana State Department of Health, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the clinic’s owner. The state has appealed the temporary opening to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SAYS KIM MADE 'SMALL APOLOGY' - President Trump said Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wanted to hold another summit after the conclusion of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises. The president also claimed that Kim included a "small apology" in a recent letter for testing of short-range missiles (CBS News). "In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. The U.S. and South Korea have conducted joint military exercises for decades to prepare in case of a North Korean attack, and Mr. Trump has previously considered ending the exercises as a show of good faith to Kim.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP FALSE STATEMENTS REACH 12K - President Trump’s proclivity for spouting exaggerated numbers, unwarranted boasts and outright falsehoods has continued at a remarkable pace. As of Aug. 5, his 928th day in office, he had made 12,019 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement the president has uttered (Washington Post). Trump crossed the 10,000 mark on April 26, and he has been averaging about 20 fishy claims a day since then. From the start of his presidency, he has averaged about 13 such claims a day.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump has no events scheduled today. The president is in Bedminster, N.J. Tuesday: Trump will tour the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania, and then will give a speech on "America's Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival."

Thursday: Trump has a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

CLIMATE: $1.2B IN DAMAGE SO FAR THIS YEAR DUE TO WEATHER - Storms and flooding did a combined $1.2 billion in damage to U.S. infrastructure across 24 states during the first six months of 2019, according to an Associated Press tally (The Hill). The news service included damage to roads, bridges, utilities, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment and parks. The $1.2 billion total is expected to rise as several states have yet to complete assessments for recent disasters, including Tropical Storm Barry in Louisiana, the AP noted. Most of the damage included, but not all, will be eligible for federal aid, it added.

AUTOS: GM, VW PULL PLUG ON HYBRIDS - Auto makers for two decades have leaned on hybrid vehicles to help them comply with regulations on fuel consumption and give customers greener options in the showroom. Now, two of the world’s largest car manufacturers say they see no future for them in their U.S. lineups (Wall Street Journal). General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG  are shifting the bulk of their future investment into fully electric cars, seeing hybrids, which save fuel by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor, as only a stopgap to ultimately meeting tougher tailpipe-emissions requirements, particularly in China and Europe. GM plans to launch 20 fully electric vehicles world-wide in the next four years, including plug-in models in the U.S. for the Chevy and Cadillac brands. Volkswagen also has committed billions to producing more battery-powered models, including introducing a small plug-in SUV in the U.S. next year and an electric version of its minibus around 2022.

World

GIAMMATTEI ELECTED PRESIDENT OF GUATEMALA: Guatemalans on Sunday elected Alejandro Giammattei as their next president. When he takes office Jan. 14, he will inherit a nation plagued by years of political scandal, where a recent surge in migration has laid bare the monumental challenges ahead (Washington Post). Giammattei, the right-wing Vamos party candidate who is a former prisons director, beat out former first lady Sandra Torres for the next four-year term. The presidential runoff election came at a crucial moment — as Guatemala prepares for the possible implementation of a “safe third country” agreement with the United States, a plan touted by the Trump administration but with potentially grave consequences for a country whose own citizens are fleeing in droves. Guatemala is the leading country of origin of migrants and asylum seekers apprehended at the U.S. southern border. During his campaign, Giammattei outlined his plan to keep people from wanting to leave, pledging to build an “economic wall” through job creation.

Local

CITIES: BLOOMINGTON PARKING FEES RISE - Starting Thursday, the cost of residential neighborhood parking, downtown employee parking and all-zone parking permits will increase (Bloomington Herald-Times). “The city council adopted the changes to parking rates after an extensive analysis of parking fees that was conducted by the parking commission, which includes city staff,” said Michelle Wahl, parking services director.

CITIES: COLUMBUS COUNCIL PASSES TIF FOR SCHOOLS - Three Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. programs will receive a combined $750,000 from the city through tax increment financing this school year (Columbus Republic). The Columbus City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to grant the local school district the funding for three student programs: iGrad, STEM and transition planning for students with disabilities. The funds will be allocated for one year with an option to renew. The district has received $750,000 in TIF funds for the past three years from the city under an agreement, which requires BCSC to report its progress on an annual basis.

CITIES: COLUMBUS ACHIEVED MUCH IN STRATEGIC PLAN - Making downtown Columbus a more attractive place to live, work and play has been a focal point for development since the turn of the century (East, Columbus Republic). In 2004, city officials put into place a process to define the future of downtown, called Vision 2020. After a year of planning, soliciting public input, among other activities, city officials approved the 2005 Strategic Development Plan. The plan, among other things, sought to redefine the Commons Mall, add a multi-level parking garage and a hotel, add office and commercial space downtown, among other goals, according to the plan. The plan yielded projects such as the redeveloped Commons, Hotel Indigo, The Cole apartment complex, the redesigned Fourth Street, three parking garages and the Cummins downtown office space was president of the Columbus Redevelopment Commission when the 2005 plan was put into place.

CITIES: EPA TO HOST HEARING IN FRANKLIN  - Residents in a central Indiana city will get an update from federal officials this week about planned sewer work near a tainted industrial site (AP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host Wednesday’s meeting at the Johnson County Library in Franklin. Sewer work will begin soon in the city about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Indianapolis near the site of a plant electronics manufacturer Amphenol Corp. once operated. Tests have confirmed groundwater and sewer vapors in the community have cancer-causing chemicals at levels exceeding Indiana’s safe limits.

COUNTIES: TIPPECANOE NOW GRAPPLES WITH SOLAR FARMS - Months after banning large wind farms – and taking on the scorn of sustainable energy fans and a rebuke from the West Lafayette City Council – Tippecanoe County planners are in early talks about how to deal with large solar farms (Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier). Land use regulations for solar energy, if they happen, could be six months or more away, said Sallie Fahey, executive director of the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission. And there are no pending solar field projects – other than a few relatively small ones tied to Purdue – pressing Tippecanoe County to rush into anything, she said. “But we’re in a position to get ahead of this and ask: What do want to do as a county?” Fahey said. “Our motive is to make sure – especially for the individual owner or business or even a developer who wants to do a smaller solar farm to help power a subdivision – that there are clear paths to allowing that to happen.”

COUNTIES: AGREEMENT REACHED FOR CLARK FIRE SERVICES - Details have been released in the settlement of a civil lawsuit between two entities responsible for fire services in Union, Carr and Silver Creek townships in Clark County (News & Tribune). Terms of the settlement were finalized July 25 between the Tri-Township Fire Protection District and the Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department, stemming from the lawsuit filed in May. Both sides say the details are a compromise that works — the Sellersburg department will retain control of Station No. 1 in downtown Sellersburg, and the Tri-Township District will assume control of Station Nos. 2, 3 and 5 once the contract between the two entities expires Sept. 20. The Sellersburg fire department owns Station No. 4 at the Clark Regional Airport, which is not part of the agreement. The Tri-Township District also will pay a portion of a loan the department has with New Washington State Bank for equipment and repairs — $225,000 over three years starting on or before the end of 2020. The Sellersburg department will give the Tri-Township district two fire trucks.

COUNTIES: BROADBAND EXPANSION IN HOWARD, TIPTON - Two major projects are set to significantly expand broadband access to rural parts of Howard and Tipton counties (Kokomo Tribune). The largest project is being completed by Ohio-based Watch Communications, which recently received $52.4 million in federal money to expand broadband in 67 counties in three states. In Howard County, the company said it plans to use the money to install wireless technology on existing cell towers, grain elevators, water towers and other towers that the company will construct. Watch Communications is also partnering with Microsoft Corp. to use unused TV frequencies to expand broadband coverage in the county. The frequencies are useful in lower population density areas that have terrain challenges such as heavy tree coverage. Frank Glaszner, vice president of sales and marketing for Watch Communications, said using the TV frequencies will help reach parts of Howard County that were previously inaccessible. “It’s pretty cool, because it allows us to start offering service in pockets that are really hard to get to,” he said. The new broadband coverage will offer up to 25 mbps download speeds and 3 mbps upload speeds.