NATIONAL GUARD GEN. CARR RESIGNS AT HOLCOMB'S REQUEST: Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Courtney Carr will retire after requesting his resignation following a lawsuit that exposed a sexual affair and retribution (Howey Politics Indiana). “Upon my recommendation, Maj. Gen. Carr has announced his decision to retire. I received his resignation letter Saturday, and I thanked him for his service to our state and country,” Holcomb, announcing the retirement of Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Courtney Carr. It comes after news report that Carr was sued in Marion County Superior Court. WIBC reported that Carr is accused of having an affair with a subordinate, then having the woman who reported the affair harassed and intimidated. The Carr resignation comes after Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a "zero tolerance" policy on sexual harassment following an incident involving Attorney General Curtis Hill, a legislator and three General Assembly employees. Hill has ignored calls by Gov. Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and all four legislative caucus leaders to resign. According to WIBC, the woman who filed the lawsuit, Shari McLaughlin, who was a contract employee working with the Indiana National Guard, accuses Carr of getting her fired from her subsequent job after she had resigned from her contractor job with the Guard because of harassment.

BARR CITES 'SERIOUS IRREGULARITIES IN EPSTEIN DEATH: Investigators probing the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein have found “serious irregularities” at the federal jail in New York where the disgraced financier was being held on sex-trafficking charges, Attorney General William Barr said Monday (Wall Street Journal). “I was appalled and frankly angry to learn of the [jail’s] failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Mr. Barr said, speaking at a conference for police officers in New Orleans. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.” After Mr. Epstein was removed from suicide watch, he was downgraded to “special observation status,” which mandated that guards check on him every 30 minutes and also required him to have a cellmate, a person familiar with his detention said. But in the hours before Mr. Epstein’s death, his cellmate was gone, possibly out for a court appearance or another appointment, and not quickly replaced as required. And Mr. Epstein wasn’t receiving the regular check, this person said. “We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability,” Mr. Barr said. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” Mr. Barr said. “The victims deserve justice, and they will get it.”

HOOSIER FARMERS FACE 20% REVENUE DROP: An agriculture economist is projecting a nearly 20% drop in revenue for Indiana’s corn and soybean crops this year (AP). That prediction from Purdue University professor Chris Hurt comes after Indiana farmers faced several weeks of planting delays because of persistent spring rainfalls, followed a long summer dry spell. Hurt says those troubles and the ongoing U.S. trade fight with China could lead to a $1.3 billion revenue drop for Indiana’s corn and soybean crops from last year’s $6.8 billion. Purdue agricultural experts spoke Monday during a program at the Indiana State Fair. They said the state’s farmers face a risk that late-planted corn and soybeans won’t mature before the fall freeze. “Corn prices last year, US farm prices for the ‘18 crop, are going to average about $3.60 a bushel. For the 2019 crop, given where we are with the production reported by NASS today- $3.60 for the ‘19 crop; no change in price. So, it’s going to be very discouraging to our Indiana farmers who think they have, and many will have, lower yields and to have basically no help from the price side” (Hoosier Ag Today). 2018 soybeans were at $8.50/bushel and they’re estimated at $8.40 a bushel this year. Hurt said that Monday’s report would amount to total corn and soybean acres in Indiana dropping 8% from last year with corn yields down an estimated 12% and soybean yields down 15%.

TRUMP KILLING U.S. FARM MARKETS: U.S. farmers lost one of their biggest customers this week after China officially cancelled all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, a retaliatory move following President Donald Trump’s pledge to slap 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports (CNBC). China’s exit piles on to a devastating year for farmers, who have struggled through record flooding and an extreme heat wave that destroyed crop yields, and trade war escalations that have lowered prices and profits this year. “It’s really, really getting bad out here,” said Bob Kuylen, who’s farmed for 35 years in North Dakota. “Trump is ruining our markets. No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more.” Agriculture exports to China dropped by more than half last year. In 2017, China imported $19.5 billion in agricultural goods, making it the second-largest buyer overall for American farmers. In 2018, that dropped to $9.2 billion as the trade war escalated, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This year, China’s agricultural imports from the U.S are down roughly 20%, and U.S. grain, dairy and livestock farmers have seen their revenue evaporate as a result. Over the last 6 years, farm income has dropped 45% from $123.4 billion in 2013 to $63 billion last year, according to the USDA. Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said China’s exit is a “body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”

PRESIDENT XI TOUGHENS UP: Facing another U.S. tariff hike, Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting tougher with Washington instead of backing down (AP). Beijing fired what economists called a “warning shot” at Washington by letting its yuan currency weaken in response to President Donald Trump’s latest threat of more punitive import duties on Sept. 1. Chinese buyers canceled multibillion-dollar purchases of U.S. soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that might face curbs on their operations. Both sides have incentives to settle a trade war that is battering exporters on either side of the Pacific and threatening to tip the global economy into recession. But Xi’s government is lashing out and might be, in a revival of traditional Chinese strategy, settling in for prolonged wrangling in response to what it deems American bullying and attempts to handicap China’s economic development.

FARMERS REMAIN LOYAL TO TRUMP: Farmers are an important voting base for Trump, who is running for reelection next year. While he’s given no indication of backing off in the trade war, struggling farmers appear to remain loyal (CNBC). Trump’s overall approval rating is 79% among farmers, according to a Farm Pulse survey taken last month. And a record-high number of farmers, some 78%, said the trade war will ultimately benefit U.S. agriculture, according to a July survey from Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. More than 75% of rural farmers voted for Trump in the 2016 election. Mike Knipper, a grain farmer from Iowa who likes some of Trump’s policies and dislikes others, said that most farmers in his community are Trump supporters who will continue to support him through the trade war. “It doesn’t matter who is president. People like Trump and will support him, and few will change their ideas,” he said. “Everyone’s willing to see this through, and those government subsidy checks might help them get by for another year.” Bob Kulyn, the North Dakota farmer who does not support Trump, said he was frustrated that many in his community were still supporting the president despite trade issues. “A lot of farmers are in love with Trump. People say the problems have nothing to do with Trump,” he said. “Don’t complain to me how badly you’re doing, and support the person that put you there. It’s terribly frustrating.”

BRAUN TO TALK TO FARMERS IN ATTICA TODAY: The Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee (ISA) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) have organized a second Shop Talk session with U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and added USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce to the list of speakers (Hoosier Ag Today). Braun and Fordyce will listen to farmers’ concerns from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at Cottingham Farms near Attica, Ind. Farm Credit MidAmerica is sponsoring the Shop Talk. ISA and ICGA present Shop Talks to allow Hoosier farmers an opportunity to discuss vital farm policies with federal lawmakers.

McGRATH WON'T RUN IN 5TH: We're somewhat amazed at the slo-mo Republican field for the open 5th CD. It was early June when U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks announced she wouldn't run in 2020 (Howey Politics Indiana). We figured there would be a big field assembling quickly, but two months in, so far only Rev. Micah Beckwith has filed FEC paperwork. Others including former state senator Mike Delph, Treasurer Kelly Mitchell (who has put her house up for sale to move into the district), former BMV commissioner Ken Abernathy, businessman Terry Henderson and former state rep and DWD director Steve Braun are acting like future candidates. State Sen.. John Ruckelshaus is still pondering. But former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard took a pass and this morning, so did Fishers Deputy Mayor Leah McGrath (she had some potentially powerful supporters in the wings). “I am grateful and humbled by the encouragement I received and for the people who shared their time and advice with us," McGrath said. "After much discernment, however, we concluded it is not the right time for our family. There is more I can do to serve my community here at home." Sen. Victoria Spartz has reportedly signaled to supporters she won't run. So, what's going on? Not sure. Some view the 5th as an emerging "purple" district, but we're not convinced it's there yet. Could there be reticence over running on a ticket with President Trump? Perhaps, but this is a +9 Republican district and Vice President Pence remains popular. Maybe a mix of Trump's racially-tinged rhetoric and anxiety on the farm due to the China trade war are causing some second thoughts. Perhaps. We'll keep you posted. Expect a flurry of announcements after Labor Day.

TRUMP LOOKS TO RESTRICT LEGAL IMMIGRATION: The Trump administration is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration, denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance, officials announced Monday (AP). Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents and gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. -- a "public charge," in government speak -- but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them. It's part of a dramatic overhaul of the country's immigration system that the administration has been trying to put into place. While much of the attention has focused on President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, the new change targets people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status. It's part of an effort to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants' skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: At the Indiana Ag Forum late last month, Kent Yeager expressed concerned over a permanent loss of U.S. agriculture markets that were developed over decades. The news of today leads us to believe we are now facing a protracted trade war with China that appears to be based on an incoherent strategy, where elusive victory cannot be described. - Brian A. Howey


MERRITT REACTS TO HOGSETT BUDGET: Jim Merritt, candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis, issued the following statement following today’s budget announcements by Mayor Hogsett (Howey Politics Indiana): “Once again, Mayor Hogsett has proposed a budget unilaterally, with little to no input from many members of the City County Council. Last year’s budget was inadequate from the beginning. Over the course of the past 8 month’s, the mayor has gone back to the council no less than eight times for additional appropriations. This raises serious questions about transparency and an honestly balanced budget proposal. We deserve better.”

Presidential 2020

SANFORD HEADING TO NH TO EXPLORE CHALLENGE TO TRUMP: Mark Sanford, still mulling a possible 2020 presidential bid, will travel to New Hampshire on Tuesday as he nears a final decision on launching a serious run against Donald Trump. In an interview with The Post and Courier, the former South Carolina congressman and governor said his trip to the key early presidential primary state will not include public events. Instead, he will be “quietly having meetings” with individuals he trusts to give him honest feedback on the best political path forward.

GABBARD HEADS TO NATIONAL GUARD TRAINING FOR 2 WEEKS: Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced Monday that she will leave the campaign trail for two weeks of active-duty training in Indonesia to fulfill her National Guard obligation (AP). "While some people are telling me, 'Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign. Can't you find a way out of it?' That's not what this is about," the Hawaii Democrat said in a news release. "I look forward to joining my fellow soldiers for a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military, focused on counterterrorism and disaster response."


BRAUN BACKS TRUMP PLAN ON DRUGS FROM CANADA: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) says he supports President Donald Trump’s proposal to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Braun says it should be part of a broad solution to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. The Trump administration recently announced it may set up a system to allow Americans to legally get lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. Braun says that move – along with continued reform efforts in Congress – should send a message to health care companies. “That should be like the two-by-four across the head that ‘Wake up, we don’t like what you’re doing,’” Braun says. Still, the Hoosier Republican is skeptical of the ability of the federal government to fix the health care system. “Do it at the local and state levels," Braun says. "Don’t rely on the federal government to have to browbeat things into working.”

DEMS OPTING FOR ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN: As Congress wrestles with how to respond to a wave of mass shootings, leading Democrats are raising an idea once viewed as political suicide: reviving the ban on assault weapons, which barred Americans from purchasing certain military-style firearms for a decade until Republicans let it expire in 2004 (New York Times). The idea is gaining traction on the presidential campaign trail, where former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., an architect of the original 1994 assault weapons ban, and nearly all of the other Democratic candidates have embraced it. In an opinion piece published Monday in The New York Times, Mr. Biden vowed to make the 1994 law “even stronger,” adding, “We have to get these weapons of war off our streets.” Two centrist Democrats who flipped Republican House seats last year — Representatives Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Jason Crow of Colorado — also came out on Monday in favor of the ban, with an opinion piece in USA Today. Both are military veterans; Mr. Crow ousted a Republican incumbent after running on an aggressive platform of combating gun violence.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB FOLDS DEFENSE AGENCY INTO IEDC - State officials have named a new point person for the agency charged with helping grow Indiana’s defense sector and are folding the agency into Indiana Economic Development Corp., which leads efforts to help businesses locate and expand in the state (IBJ). Gov. Eric Holcomb announced on Monday that the Indiana Office of Defense Development—created in 2013 to spearhead a more strategic approach to enhancing the state’s defense industry—would become a business unit of the IEDC. In addition, Holcomb has appointed Major General Omer C. Tooley to lead defense development. Tooley will leave his current role as CEO and board chairman of the Indianapolis-based National Center for Complex Operations to take the new position. Prior to joining the private sector in 2016, Tooley served as an Assistant Adjutant General-Army of the Indiana National Guard and was responsible for the development of the Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations. He served in the U.S. military for 41 years. In his new role as president of defense development, Tooley will be responsible for promoting the state’s defense assets, assisting in business development, and attracting and supporting defense-related industry partnerships.

GOVERNOR: CROUCH SCHEDULE - Below is Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch's public schedule for August 13-15, 2019. Tuesday, August 13, Crouch joins Visit Indy for a conference announcement, 10am ET, Visit Indy, 200 S Capitol Ave., Suite 300, Indianapolis. Crouch chairs Indiana Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission, 1:30pm ET, Indiana State Library, 315 W Ohio St., Indianapolis. Wednesday, August 14: Crouch speaks at Diversity in Agriculture Day, Indiana State Fair, 12:50pm ET, Farm Bureau Building, 1202 E 38th St., Indianapolis. Crouch speaks at River-Friendly Farmer Awards, Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, 1:15pm ET, 4-H Exhibit Hall, 2nd floor auditorium, 1202 E 38th St., Indianapolis. Crouch speaks at Rural Caucus, Legislative Rural Caucus, 3pm ET, Normandy Barn, 1202 E 38th St., Indianapolis. Thursday, August 15, Crouch speaks at Kokomo Chamber, 11am ET, Bel Air Events, 3014 S Webster St., Kokomo. Crouch speaks at Lt. Governor's Celebration of Agriculture Awards, 3:30pm ET, Normandy Barn, 1202 E 38th St., Indianapolis.

HEALTH: IDOH WARNS OF VAPING ILLNESS - Indiana officials are asking health care providers to report any young patients with a history of vaping who unexpectedly developed severe respiratory illnesses (Indiana Public Media). The Indiana State Department of Health sent an advisory last week to Indiana hospitals and other health care providers after the states of Illinois and Wisconsin reported that numerous teenagers and young adults were hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses. Those patients reported using e-cigarettes in the weeks and months prior to their illness. The young patients experienced symptoms that included shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, and some became so ill they needed mechanical ventilation.

EDUCATION: IU TRUSTEES APPROVE PROJECTS - The Indiana University Board of Trustees has made several approvals. The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design has received the green light for a new building; the university's annual repair and rehabilitation plan has been approved, along with 12 new degrees. The new degrees include a bachelor's degree at IU Bloomington, a master's degree at IUPUI, two bachelor's degrees at IU South Bend and eight degrees via IU Online (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). The 2020 Repair and Rehabilitation Plan was also approved, and includes routine maintenance and operational updates. The effort will also focus on roofing, building facades, elevators, electrical, fire protection, mechanical and plumbing systems, steam, and utilities.  Several campuses will also receive classroom and site improvements. The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in Bloomington will construct a new building as part of a $20 million gift to the school from Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. The 10,000-square-foot building will include space for lectures, workshops, student collaborations and offices. "I am delighted that the new home for the Indiana University Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design is in a structure designed by world-renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, one of the greatest architects of the modern era," IU President Michael McRobbie said in a news release.

EDUCATION: IU'S CENTURY TIME CAPSULE MAY BE UNDER KROGER PARKING LOT - There’s a chance the time capsule buried for Indiana University’s centennial will be unearthed 100 years later. For years, the time capsule was believed to be underneath the Seminary Square Kroger grocery store. A curious IU staff member started looking at maps and determined it’s actually north of the building, under the parking lot. The owner of that lot told The Herald-Times on Monday he still has questions, but is open to the idea of digging it up.

ENVIRONMENT: ASIAN CARP COULD FLOURISH IN LAKE MICHIGAN - As Asian carp have stormed up the Illinois River in the past several decades, looming precariously close to Lake Michigan, scientists have been forced to ponder an alarming question: What if the invasive species actually breached the world’s fifth-largest lake? Many fishery managers have already resigned themselves to the fact that bighead and silver carp, the two most-feared species of Asian carp, may never be eradicated from Illinois waterways, as a single female can lay over 1 million eggs each year (Chicago Tribune). The research, published Monday in Freshwater Science, suggests that bighead carp, in particular, could fare a lot better than expected in Lake Michigan because scientists have underestimated the flexibility of their diet. In addition to plankton, the opportunistic eaters can sustain themselves by feeding on the feces and mucous-coated regurgitation of invasive mussels.

IDEM: BEACH ADVISORIES ISSUED OVER ALGAE - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued a recreational advisory for a couple of Lake Monroe beaches after recent testing suggested possible high levels of blue-green algae (Bloomington Herald-Times). IDEM issued the recreation advisory for the Fairfax and Paynetown state recreation areas at Lake Monroe and other state recreation areas across the state on Friday following tests for the presence of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and the toxins that may be produced by certain types of it.

DNR: DEER DEATH IN CLARK COUNTY DUE TO DISEASE - A sample of dead deer preliminarily tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease earlier this month in Clark County, says the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (WIBC). EHD is a viral disease that may affect white-tailed deer to some degree every year. It typically occurs during the late summer and early fall. The DNR also says there is evidence that outbreaks may be worse during drought years. EHD is transmitted by flies commonly known as biting midges, sand gnats, and "no-see-ums." Hemorrhagic disease is often fatal to deer, but some will survive it.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SEEKS OVERHAUL IN ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTIONS - The Trump administration on Monday rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades to enforcement of the landmark Endangered Species Act, allowing the government to put an economic cost on saving a species and other changes critics contend could speed extinction for some struggling plants and animals (CBS News). The changes included allowing economic cost to taken into account as the federal government weighs protecting a struggling species, although Congress has stipulated that economic costs not be a factor in deciding whether to protect an animal. That prohibition is meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections on economic grounds for a forest-dwelling animal. Other changes include ending blanket protections for species newly listed as threatened and a revision that conservation groups say could block officials from considering the impact on wildlife from climate change, a major and growing threat to many species.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will leave Bedminster for the airport at 11:30 a.m. He will fly to Pittsburgh for a visit to Monaca, Pa., about 40 minutes north of the city. He will arrive at the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemical Complex at 1:35 p.m. for a tour. At 2:10 p.m., he will speak about "America's Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival." At 3:40 p.m., he will leave Pittsburgh for New Jersey. He will land back at Bedminster by 5:10 p.m.

NRA: NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT LaPIERRE MANSION SCHEME - In May 2018, the National Rifle Association sent a $70,000 check to an obscure Delaware entity called WBB Investments LLC, which had been incorporated a week earlier. The check, a copy of which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, raises new questions about the NRA’s attempts to explain a tangled transaction involving its then-outside advertising agency and an abortive plan to purchase a $6 million Dallas mansion for NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. The advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, recently turned over documents to the proposed house purchase to the New York attorney general’s office, which is probing Mr. LaPierre’s dealings with the agency as part of a broad investigation of the NRA. When the Journal broke the story last week, the NRA initially said the plan to buy the mansion was hatched by Angus McQueen, the ad agency’s late co-CEO, as a kind of safe house for Mr. LaPierre. The NRA chief had concerns about his security in the wake of the February 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

NRA: 4TH BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS - Julie Golob, a professional sport shooter and a strong public advocate for gun rights, announced Monday she was resigning from the National Rifle Association board before the end of her three-year term (Washington Post). She is the fourth member in the past two weeks to leave the board of the NRA in a sign of further upheaval within the nation’s most powerful gun rights group. Golob, a regular on shooting shows who has won multiple competitions and is an advocate for women’s use of firearms, did not state a reason for her departure in a note posted on her website. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the NRA but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director,” she wrote. Golob was a well-known personality in the gun rights world and produced videos for the NRA with titles such as “Helping Women Choose a Gun.”


CITIES: HOGSETT UNVEILS $1.2B BUDGET - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Monday evening unveiled his $1.2 billion spending proposal for the city’s 2020 budget, most of which is dedicated to public safety, the criminal justice system and public works spending on roads and bridges (Colombo, IBJ). But there’s at least one big change: Starting next year, the city of Indianapolis will no longer fund a preschool program that launched five years ago under former Mayor Greg Ballard. Starting next school year, the 4-year-olds that were served by the city’s program will be absorbed into the state’s On My Way Pre-K program, eliminating the need for city funding. However, the state did not provide funding for 3-year-olds and the city will not provide funding either. The Indianapolis preschool program, launched as a five-year program by former Mayor Greg Ballard, cost the city $4 million annually and is administered by the mayor’s Office of Education Innovation. Hogsett’s chief of staff, Thomas Cook, said the mayor’s office sought corporate and philanthropic support to keep the preschool program for 3-year-olds running. But, he said, “Ultimately, neither the corporate or philanthropic [communities] expressed an interest in continuing to fund just 3-year-olds.” Without outside support, Cook said, “There wasn’t a particularly compelling financial argument to just fund the 3-year-old program.”

CITIES: 2% RAISE FOR INDY PD, FD - Other highlights of the mayor’s spending plan, which will have to be vetted and approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council, include a 2% raise for police officers and firefighters, $2 million for a new Indianapolis Fire Department training center at the city’s criminal justice complex in Twin Aire, $1.2 million for body camera equipment for police officers, and $500,000 to address food insecurity (IBJ). The budget will take in roughly $171,500 more than it spends, leading Cook to characterize it as the “third consecutive balanced budget” since Hogsett took office in 2016. The city’s transportation infrastructure investment for 2020 is a planned $118 million, including $40 million in bonds that will separate approval from the council. More than $31 million will be dedicated to stormwater projects, and $1.5 million will be added to the Department of Public Works’ budget for the department to create a second personnel shift. Other highlights of the budget include the mayor’s plan to make permanent a recently launched pilot program wherein the city hires panhandlers to do city beautification work, as well as a $250,000 increase for the city’s crime prevention grant program, a $1.3 million increase for Indianapolis’ three community mental health centers, and a $100,000 increase for the Indianapolis Arts Council.

CITIES: INDY DEMS COMMENT ON HOGSETT BUDGET - The following statement can be attributed to Indianapolis City-County Council Democratic Caucus in response to Mayor Joe Hogsett’s 2020 budget introduction (Howey Politics Indiana): "We thank the mayor for presenting a budget proposal that highlights the critical needs of our community. As in previous years, residents can be assured your democratic caucus will be asking the challenging questions and reviewing every proposed agency budget to ensure our city operates with sufficient financial resources to serve all of our residents." 

CITIES: EXPERT TO REVIEW SOUTH BEND PD - The city will hire a national expert on police-community relations to review the police department’s policies and practices, including those related to body cameras and use of deadly force, under an additional budget appropriation unanimously approved Monday night by the common council (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The move comes two months after former officer Sgt. Ryan O’Neill fatally shot Eric Logan in a downtown parking lot as Logan allegedly was burglarizing cars and came at O’Neill with a knife. Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said he has no problem with an outside review of his department. “We have a highly trained and professional police department, contrary to what a handful of people are saying,” Ruszkowski said. “With that being said, I don’t mind anybody coming in and looking and going, this is what we think you’re doing right, this is what we think you’re doing wrong, and we could take it and make it better. I have no problem with that.”

CITIES: BLOOMINGTON EYES FARM MARKET OPTIONS - Bloomington’s mayor says the city is considering several options when it comes to addressing rising tensions at the farmers’ market over the presence of a vendor with alleged white supremacist ties, but he didn’t mention any specifics (Indiana Public Media). The city won’t announce plans for reopening the farmers’ market after a two-week suspension until Tuesday, but did take questions about the market during a Facebook discussion. Much of it focused on rehashing what’s happened over the past few weeks, and why the city hasn’t removed Schooner Creek Farm from the market. Director of Parks and Recreation Paula McDevitt said they aren't aware of Schooner Creek violating their vendor contract, and Mayor John Hamilton reiterated removing the farm from the market for its owner's beliefs would violate the First Amendment. 

CITIES: MUNCIE STUDENT CHARGED IN GUN CASE - The 15-year-old boy who threatened Muncie Central High School and had a gun has been formally charged (WIBC). The teenager isn't being named, but he's charged with three counts of intimidation, one count of Possession of a Firearm on School Property, one count of Dangerous Possession of a Firearm, and one count of Resisting Law Enforcement. Court documents say the boy showed a witness the gun he was carrying, and told the witness he "had beef" with some people and that he might have to shoot a couple people.