MYERS SAYS REPUBLICANS 'COWARDS' FOR NOT REPRIMANDING TRUMP: Dr. Woody Myers said in a Howey Politics Indiana Interview Tuesday that President Trump's rhetoric is directly connected to the spate of massacres. "There is zero, zero, zero doubt in my mind that some of the acts of violence taking place have been in the minds of cowards that pull those triggers inspired by the rhetoric that President Trump has offered," Myers said. "I decry that. It is just wrong." The former Indiana and New York City health commissioner then talked about his Democratic gubernatorial challenge to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who dodged questions about President Trump's incendiary rhetoric in the weeks before this spate of atrocities. "He's desperately trying to hold to the minority of people who think his style and approach is the right way go to," Myers said of Trump. "It is not. What disappoints me even more than that is within the Republican Party, I know there are good people. I know they know that what President Trump is doing is wrong. I know they, in their hearts, want to speak out, but they are afraid. They are cowards. Until they get over this fear and cowardice, they are going to be extremely poor examples for the young Republicans coming up in the state today." Look for the full interview with Dr. Myers in Thursday's weekly HPI.

SEN. BRAUN FAVORS 'PRACTICAL' GUN REFORMS: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said Tuesday he wants to “throw everything and the kitchen sink” at federal legislation to curb gun violence. At the same time, Braun said he is wary of any proposal that would affect “law-abiding citizens” (Francisco, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). “I think when it comes to weapons, assault weapons and semiautomatic weapons, background checks, whatever is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill we need to look at in a different way, and we're just starting,” Braun told news media ahead of his appearance at Big G's Sports Cafe. “I'm going to say that I'm open to anything that is practical, that's going to be easy to enforce. ... I'd like to look at the places that have had laws on the books and to see if they're working or not,” the first-year senator said. “All I'm saying is that as responsible legislators, enough is enough, and we got to see what we can do that uses things that have some type of track record and maybe try some stuff that we haven't in the past,” he said in reference to two mass shootings that killed 31 people over the weekend in Dayton and El Paso, Texas.

TRUMP HEADS TO DAYTON, EL PASO TODAY: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will travel to Dayton and El Paso today (Howey Politics Indiana). His public schedule did not give any details about what the president will do there. President Trump  tweeted: "Will be going to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, tomorrow to meet with First Responders, Law Enforcement, and some of the victims of the terrible shootings." Trump later tweeted about El Paso native Beto O'Rourke: "Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement - & be quiet!" U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, along with the Border Network for Human Rights and  Women's March El Paso, plan a gathering at 12:30 p.m. in Washington Park. That's down the street from University Medical Center, where Trump is expected to meet with survivors of the shooting Saturday that left 22 people dead (El Paso Times). Organizers say the event is meant to honor those killed, call for gun control and confront white supremacy. "El Paso was targeted for the horrific shooting because we are a welcoming city that advocates for immigrant families," the groups said in announcing the event. "We were targeted for fighting against the dehumanization of our immigrant brothers and sisters, for pushing back against the criminalization of our border and for denouncing President Trump's attempts to paint our communities as something they're not."

EL PASO OFFICIAL URGED TRUMP TO STAY AWAY: Several El Paso officials have urged Presient Trump not to visit the city, where he never has been particularly popular. He won only a quarter of the vote in El Paso County in 2016 (El Paso Times). "Don't come here President Trump, you are not welcome," Cassandra Hernandez, the member of the city council representing the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, wrote on Facebook. Veronica Escobar, the Democratic congresswoman, said she was invited to join the president during his visit but declined. The congresswoman wrote on Twitter that she had requested a phone call with him in advance of his visit. "My message would’ve been that he needs to understand that his words are powerful and have consequences," she wrote. "Using racist language to describe Mexicans, immigrants and other minorities dehumanize us. Those words inflame others."  Escobar said she did not want to be an "accessory" to his visit without that conversation. "I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country," Escobar wrote on Twitter. Mayor Dee Margo said he will meet with the president. And other officials have said they will welcome "constructive dialogue."

DAYTON REACTS TO TRUMP VISIT SET FOR TODAY: President Donald Trump is coming to Dayton today, but few details are available or being made public about the time and where he will be. Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed the president’s visit Tuesday, but did not have many details (Dayton Daily News). “I do not know much about the visit. My understanding is that the president is coming tomorrow,” DeWine said. “I was invited to be there.” “At this point I don’t know the final details,” he said.DeWine said he think it is “appropriate” for President Trump to visit Dayton.RELATED: Gov. DeWine wants red-flag law, stronger background checks “I think it’s always appropriate for a governor or the president to go where there is sorrow, to go where people are hurting. My understanding of the visit is that’s what it’s focused on,” DeWine said Tuesday in Columbus during an address unveiling proposals to fight gun violence.White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed Tuesday that the president was making the trip. He“has wanted to go there since he learned of these tragedies,” she said. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said she will greet the president, but said his “rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think people should stand up and say they are not happy if they are not happy he’s coming,” Whaley said. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he will not meet with the president during his visit to Dayton.

BACKFIRING MOTORCYCLE SETS OFF TIMES SQUARE STAMPEDE: The backfire from a motorcycle sparked panic in Times Square Tuesday night. The loud sounds from the motorcycle sounded like multiple gunshots being fired on the busy street around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Crowds began running away from the sounds (WTHR-TV). Video recorded from a 10th floor hotel bar above the square showed the crowds, with some pedestrians apparently falling to the ground amid the chaos. The employee of The Daniels Group, a UK-based construction design firm, who recorded the video said police later confirmed the incident was not an active shooter. "Please don't panic. The Times Square area is very safe!" NYPD's Midtown North precinct tweeted after confirming the sound game from a motorcycle. NBC New York reported one pedestrian was injured when they fell while running during the chaotic moments.

CALIFORNIA SHOOTER HAD CHURCH TARGET LIST: The gunman who killed three people and injured 13 in Gilroy, Calif., had a “target list” of religious institutions, Democratic and Republican political organizations, and federal buildings, the F.B.I. said Tuesday, announcing that it had opened a domestic terrorism investigation (New York Times). The suspect had been exploring several “competing” violent ideologies, said John F. Bennett, the F.B.I. special agent in charge in San Francisco, at a news conference. Mr. Bennett said investigators had not yet uncovered a motive and were trying to determine which ideology, if any, the gunman had ultimately subscribed to, and if anyone had helped him prepare for the shooting. The list also included courthouses and the garlic festival, Mr. Bennett said. He said no people were named on the list, and that all the organizations operated nationally. The F.B.I. was in the process of notifying the targeted groups. Mr. Bennett said the shooter did not have a manifesto.

DAYTON CONGRESSMAN BACKS ASSAULT WEAPON BAN: The Republican congressman who represents Dayton is calling for several gun control measures after nine were killed in a mass shooting there Sunday (Cincinnati Enquirer). Rep. Mike Turner said Tuesday he backs a ban on sales of military-style guns, magazine limits and "red flag" legislation to identify dangerous individuals and remove their firearms. Turner has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association and last year earned the organization's support for opposing a ban on semi-automatic firearms, commonly called "assault weapons." "I strongly support the Second Amendment, but we must prevent mentally unstable people from terrorizing our communities with military style weapons," Turner said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

FARM BELT BRACES FOR DEEPER PAIN IN TRADE WAR: The U.S. Farm Belt braced for deeper pain from the escalating trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies after China said it would suspend all imports of U.S. agricultural goods (Wall Street Journal). China’s move will affect farmers raising fuzzy green soybean pods in Illinois, milking cows in California and feeding hogs in North Carolina, all of whom have seen business suffer as a result of tariffs that Chinese officials implemented last year. China’s suspension of U.S. farm purchases is a “body blow” to U.S. farmers and ranchers, said Zippy Duvall, a Georgia farmer and head of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We urge negotiators to redouble their efforts to arrive at an agreement, and quickly,” he said. Feeding China’s growing appetite has meant big business for the U.S. farm economy. China was one of the biggest export destinations for U.S. agricultural commodities from 2009 to 2017 alongside Canada and Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2017, Chinese buyers imported $19.5 billion in farm goods. That dropped to $9.1 billion last year as China’s tariffs on U.S. soybeans, pork, milk and other products made them more expensive for importers there, prompting some to seek alternatives and scale back imports from the U.S. Over the first six months of this year, China’s agricultural imports from the U.S. were down 20% from the same period last year. Given the scale of China’s agricultural imports, it would be hard for U.S. farmers to make up for those sales even with much higher exports to other nations, economists say.

CHINA HALTS AG PRODUCT BUYS: China has reportedly told its commodity buyers to stop all imports of U.S. agricultural products. The move is in response to Trump’s planned tariff increase announced last week. Trump is using the tariffs to place pressure on China to reach a trade agreement (Hoosier Ag Today). China also announced the devaluation of its currency Monday, an action a Rabobank researcher told Bloomberg News is “among the worst-case scenarios.” China appears to be waiting out the upcoming November 2020 U.S. elections to see if the political climate in the U.S. will change. The announcement Monday by China follows news that it was buying U.S. ag products, as promised in prior talks, just not at expected levels due to “market conditions.” China claims demand for soybeans is weak in the nation as African swine fever has reduced its hog herd and need for feed ingredients. Trump administration officials claimed over the weekend that significant ag purchases may keep the U.S. from enacting the next round of tariffs, before China halted all purchases.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Look for our HPI Interview with Dr. Woody Myers when we cover the topics of mass shootings, teacher pay, the opioid crisis, and marijuana reforms. We'll publish around 9 a.m. Thursday  - Brian A. Howey


MYERS CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO MASS SHOOTINGS: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers called for a multi-level approach to stem an epidemic of atrocities sweeping the nation in an op-ed released Tuesday (Howey Politics Indiana). "Our country is in pain. Our nation is in shock," Dr. Myers said. "Gun violence in America is an epidemic - more dangerous than Ebola, because proximity is not required, and death can be transmitted from hundreds of yards away. And the precursors to this epidemic are easily spread in online chat rooms in all 50 states and from overseas." He continued, "A governor has no higher duty than to help protect the citizens of the state. And that protection is required before, during and after gun violence. Stronger federal gun laws (like mandatory background checks) are important, but not the only answer. Better systems to identify and to report those at high risk for committing mass murder (like law enforcement monitoring of online threats and “cooling off” periods and screening of those accused of domestic violence) before they can purchase firearms, is important, but, again, not the only answer. Research to better understand and to better predict the factors leading to gun violence is vitally important as well, but today is limited by what is called the 'Dickey Amendment' which cripples our health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control from conducting the research we desperately need."

MUELLER WON'T SEEK SOUTH BEND JOB BEFORE ELECTION:  Democratic South Bend mayoral candidate James Mueller won’t seek another job with the city before the Nov. 5 election, he said Tuesday (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Mueller in January took an unpaid leave of absence as executive director of the city’s Department of Community Investment to run in the May 7 Democratic Primary Election. After winning, he initially said he planned to return to work in mid-June, but when he hadn’t done so by July 1, Mueller confirmed that wouldn’t happen because he believed running the department while campaigning could violate the city’s ethics policy.

HOOSIER WOMEN FORWARD CHOSES NEXT CLASS: Two local women – one from Fort Wayne and the other from Huntertown – were among 24 Democrats chosen for Hoosier Women Forward's second class, the organization announced Tuesday (Gong, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Other participants will attend from cities including Gary, Evansville, Muncie, Indianapolis, Merrillville, Fishers, Granger, Bloomington, Pendleton, Greendale, Noblesville, Terre Haute, South Bend, Carmel and New Albany. "The group reflects the diversity – geographic, racial, religious and more – that makes our state and country so strong and a key element of the HWF program," Executive Director Amy Levander said. "Not only will they learn from one another, but will be exposed to speakers, topics and experiences that will shape their personal and professional lives going forward."

Presidential 2020

BIDEN WILL SAY TRUMP 'ALIGNS WITH DARKEST FORCES': Joe Biden remarks, prepared for delivery in Burlington, Iowa, at 2:30 p.m. ET (Axios): "How far is it from Trump's saying this 'is an invasion' to the shooter in El Paso declaring 'his attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas?' Not far at all. How far is it from the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville — Trump’s 'very fine people,' chanting 'You will not replace us' — to the shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh saying Jews 'were committing genocide to his people?' Not far at all. In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation. We have a president who has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation. We’re living through a rare moment in this nation’s history. Where our president isn’t up to the moment. Where our president lacks the moral authority to lead. Where our president has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington."

BIDEN LEADS IN QUINNIPIAC; BUTTIGIEG AT 5%: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the big winner in the second round of Democratic presidential debates, but former Vice President Joseph Biden retains his front-runner status with 32 percent of Democrats and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 21 percent among Democrats, with 14 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 7 percent for California Sen. Kamala Harris. This compares to results of a July 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, showing Biden with 34 percent, Warren with 15 percent, Harris with 12 percent and Sanders with 11 percent. Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets 5 percent and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke have 2 percent each. There are 4 candidates with 1 percent each and 14 candidates at less than 1 percent each. Biden gets 47 percent of black Democrats, with 16 percent for Sanders, 8 percent for Warren and 1 percent for Harris; Women Democrats go 31 percent for Biden, 24 percent for Warren, 10 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Harris;

BIDEN LEADS IN NH POLL: Former Vice President Joe Biden is holding on to his front-runner status in New Hampshire after a second round of presidential primary debates in Detroit last week, according to a poll out Tuesday (Politico). The Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely Democratic voters is one of the first to come out since last week’s debate, and it lands as candidates close in on the six-month mark until New Hampshire's primary, set to be the second contest in the race for the Democratic nomination. The New Hampshire survey found Biden with a 5-point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 21 percent support from those in the poll compared with Sanders’ 17 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren rounds out the top three with 14 percent. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, candidates who have both surged into the upper tier of the race at several points over the past few months, come in at fourth and fifth place with 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

BUTTIGIEG BLASTS GOP ON ATROCITIES: Mayor Pete Buttieig castigated Republicans for not standing up the President Trump on rhetoric leading up to last week's mass shootings (Howey Politics Indiana). This White House and [their] party don’t want to act because they are embarrassed about their own relationship to this kind of extremist ideology at home, but that is no excuse for allowing it to fester, and in many cases, allowing it to kill,” Buttigieg said on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday. "Consider this, over 70 percent of arrests related to international terrorism happen before an attack takes place. The reverse is true when it comes to domestic terrorism, over 70 percent happen, unfortunately, after there has been an attack or after there has been an act of violence. [...] There's so much more we could be doing if we were serious, and I'm proposing that we invest a billion dollars in countering violent radicalism and extremism at home, empower the Department of Homeland Security to act on these threats, and come up with a legal framework that gets ahead of these kinds of hate crimes and these kinds of homegrown terror networks." He cited GOP inaction. "I remember a time when the Republican Party was associated with security, with the idea of keeping us safe. And it's very clear that what we have right now is an intersection of two things that make us very unsafe, that undermine our security. One of them is the loose gun safety laws in this country, the other one is domestic terrorism powered by white nationalism and white supremacist ideology. We have seen the two of them combine with deadly effect -- and this president is incapable, and this party refuses to do anything about it."

BUTTIGIEG TARGETS SUPER DELEGATES: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is ramping up his outreach to Democratic Party superdelegates with a phone call to them outlining the scope of his 2020 presidential campaign (AP). The outreach suggests Buttigieg's campaign is looking beyond the early primary states to the possibility of a convention fight for the nomination. Superdelegates, who include Democratic National Committee members, elected officials and other party dignitaries, have historically held an outsized influence over the nominating process. Top members of his staff introduced themselves Monday, with campaign manager Mike Schmuhl saying the campaign now employs 240 staffers, 37% of whom are people of color and 28% of whom are LGBTQ. A majority are women. Buttigieg says he sees a "great opportunity" in being relatively unknown because "we've got a lot of room to grow."

BUTTIGIEG SCHEDULE: Mayor Pete Buttigieg will host a grassroots event in Orlando, FL with Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky today (Howey Politics Indiana). On Thursday, Pete will address the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Aventura, FL. On Friday, Pete will attend a house party and speak at the Iowa Democratic Party Wing Ding Dinner in Clear Lake, IA. On Saturday, Pete will join the Everytown For Gun Safety Forum in Iowa, and host a grassroots event in Austin, TX.

TRUMP, RNC SUES CALIFORNIA OVER TAX RETURN LAW: President Trump and his re-election campaign filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging a new California law requiring presidential candidates to make public their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary-election ballot (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Trump didn’t release his tax returns during the 2016 election, a departure from longstanding practice by candidates, and has refused congressional Democrats’ demands that he do so. He has said he is under audit, though that wouldn’t preclude him from releasing the records. The suit contends that the U.S. Constitution sets qualifications for the president and that states don’t have power to supplement them. It also raises First Amendment concerns and asserts the California law is driven by partisanship. “The Democratic Party is on a crusade to obtain the president’s federal tax returns in hopes of finding something they can use to harm him politically,” according to the complaint filed in the Eastern District of California. “In their rush to join this crusade, California Democrats have run afoul of these restrictions on state power over federal elections.”


YOUNG TO HOLD ACADEMY DAYS: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, will host a series of Academy Day events to serve as informational sessions for current high school students interested in attending one of the U.S. Military Service Academies. The first event will take place this Thursday, August 8, at 5:30 p.m. in Indianapolis, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Indiana National Guard, Lawrence Readiness Training Center, 9920 E 59th Street, Indianapolis. Monday, August 19: Clark County, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana, Horsehoe Community Room, 8204 Hwy 311 Sellersburg, IN. Wednesday, August 28: Bartholomew County, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Columbus North High School, 1400 25th St, Columbus. Thursday, August 29: St. Joseph County 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Indiana National Guard, Armed Forces Reserve Center, 1901 Kemble Ave, South Bend. Thursday, September 5: Marion County, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Naval Operations Support, 9801 E 59th Street, Lawrence.

CARSON TO HOST JOBS FAIR: This Thursday, August 8, Congressman André Carson, in cooperation with Ivy Tech Community College, will hold the tenth annual Central Indiana Job Fair. For a decade now, this helpful event has connected hard working Hoosiers with quality employers in Central Indiana. “I’m honored and excited to once again host the Central Indiana Job Fair,” Congressman Carson said (Howey Politics Indiana). “There are so many smart, driven and qualified people in our community, and I’m happy to help them advance their careers through this job fair. With around 130 employers in attendance, I have no doubt that job seekers will be able to connect with a number of wonderful opportunities that provide not only a great job, but a better future." The job fair will be held from 10am to 2pm at Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center, located at 2820 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public with no RSVP required.

YOUNG TO HOST HOUSING ROUNDTABLES: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) is holding roundtables in South Bend and Fort Wayne as part of his Fair Shot Agenda to discuss the affordable housing crisis in Indiana and across America. Senator Young will be joined by Matt Desmond, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book Evicted, as well as local community leaders (Howey Politics Indiana). “South Bend has the 18th highest eviction rate in the nation and Fort Wayne has the 13th highest. As I’ve learned through my Fair Shot Agenda, tackling this issue is going to take a multifaceted approach and will require action from federal, state, and local governments,” said Senator Young. “I invited my good friend Dr. Matthew Desmond to join me in South Bend and Fort Wayne to meet with local officials about housing affordability in these communities and solutions to help tackle this issue.”


GOVERNOR: NO EXPLANATION ON DCS RESIGNATION - There is still no explanation on the abrupt resignation of Department of Child Services Associate Director Todd Meyer on July 19 (Howey Politics Indiana). HPI reached out to the governor's office Tuesday for an explanation, and was referred to Mikka Jackson at the State Personnel Department. Jackson did not respond to questions about Meyer's resignation. Meyer helped lead an overhaul of the agency’s legal team.

GOVERNOR: DRUG ABUSE COMMISSION TO MEET THURSDAY - Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Indiana State Library. At the meeting, Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement Jim McClelland and other commission members will discuss continued efforts related to the drug crisis. The meeting takes place Indiana State Library, History Reference Room 211.

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SCHEDULE - Below find Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s public schedule for August 7, 2019. Gov. Holcomb, Consul General of Japan in Chicago Naoki Ito,  6 p.m., Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St.

STATEHOUSE: HILL SUPPORTS TRUMP ON RED FLAGS - Attorney General Curtis Hill today expressed support for President Trump’s embrace of “red flag laws” in the wake of recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. Red flag laws are statutes allowing law enforcement officers to take possession of firearms from people they believe to be dangerous as defined in the statutes (Howey Politics Indiana). Indiana was one of the first five states in the nation to enact red flag laws, passing such a statute in 2005. Today, 17 states and the District of Columbia have such laws. “Indiana’s red flag law is a common-sense measure that in no way inhibits the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Attorney General Hill said. “As President Trump takes concrete actions to stop gun violence in our country, he is wise to encourage more states to adopt these kinds of provisions.” Under Indiana’s law, a person is considered “dangerous” if the person presents an imminent risk of physical injury to himself or others. A person can also be considered dangerous if the person presents a potential risk of physical injury and has either been diagnosed with a mental illness and failed to take prescribed medication, or if there is documented evidence that the person has “a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: SCHOOL BUS GRANTS AWARDED - Dozens of Indiana police departments are getting a combined $380,000 to boost traffic enforcement at school bus stops and help impose new penalties for motorists who put children in danger by driving past stopped school buses (AP). The funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute comes as Indiana children are heading back to school following the summer break. The grants, which will cover overtime enforcement for 39 police agencies over the next two months, range from $49,975 for police in Fort Wayne — Indiana’s second-largest city — to $1,050 for police in the small southern Indiana town of Paoli. Gov. Eric Holcomb, whose office announced the funding on Monday, said Indiana police officers “will be enforcing increased fines and penalties for drivers who recklessly pass bus stops and drive aggressively.” State lawmakers included those tougher fines and penalties in a state law adopted last spring to protect the thousands of children from distracted or inattentive motorists when they converge daily at bus stops. The changes were spurred by the deaths of three siblings fatally struck last October by a pickup truck in northern Indiana’s Fulton County while crossing a road to board their stopped school bus.

EDUCATION: KKK FLIERS FOUND AT IU - Indiana University Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel sent an email to the campus community Tuesday saying groundskeepers found five flyers purporting to be from the Ku Klux Klan. The email says they were identical to "neighborhood watch" flyers residents found throughout Bloomington Monday (Indiana Public Media). The email says IU Police are investigating. They're working with Bloomington and state police. In her message, Robel says the KKK is a vile organization and its views are shared by at least one of the suspects in mass shootings this week. "It is particularly cruel and reprehensible that the KKK has decided that now is an opportune time to litter our community with flyers, appearing with the organization's typical cowardice under cover of night."

EDUCATION: SWASTIKA FOUND AT UINDY - A swastika was found on the wall in a residence hall on the University of Indianapolis campus last night (WTHR-TV). The students were offered an alternate place to stay and the university launched an investigation. They are now working to review thousands of people from outside organizations who rented out housing at the university over the summer. The university is also looking into who else might have had access to the room. "The University of Indianapolis has been in contact with Lindsey Mintz, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, to ensure that we are working together to create appropriate responses, and discuss ways to create learning moments for our campus community."

HEALTH: DROWNINGS UP 87% IN LAKE MICHIGAN - The year is a little more than halfway over, but 2019 is already shaping up to become one of the most dangerous years on record for the Great Lakes (South Bend Tribune). According to recently updated data from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 54 people have drowned in the Great Lakes this year. In Lake Michigan, which is typically the most dangerous out of all the Great Lakes, drownings are up by nearly 87 percent from this time last year. “It’s difficult to try and name trends as they’re happening,” said Bob Pratt, executive director of education and one of the co-founders of the GLSRP. “What we do know from previous years is that whenever we get warm water and wind on the weekends, we tend to have more rescues and drownings. So it’s a combination of a lot of things.”

HEALTH: IU CANCER CENTER RECEIVES ELITE STATUS - The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has received an elite federal designation. The center is now recognized as a National Cancer Institute-Comprehensive Cancer Center, making it the only one of its kind in Indiana and just the 51st in the nation (Inside Indiana Business). The IU Simon Cancer Center received an "outstanding" rating by NCI reviewers and has been awarded a five-year, $13.8 million grant to support its research programs and shared facilities. IU Health says the designation affirms that Indiana residents "have access to the most advanced, research-guided therapies, as well as hundreds of clinical studies that test the most promising new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer."

SPORTS: PURDUE FORT WAYNE JOINS HORIZON LEAGUE - Purdue University Fort Wayne has announced it will join the Horizon League and begin competition during the 2020-2021 academic year. The university will officially join the league in July 2020 (Inside Indiana Business). The Horizon League currently includes ten universities: Cleveland State University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky University, Oakland University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Wright State University, and Youngstown State University.  “This is a wonderful day for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and fans,” said Purdue Fort Wayne Chancellor Ronald Elsenbaumer in a news release. “Our student-athletes and coaches are ready and eager to compete at the highest levels, and this move will provide incredible opportunities for them to shine. We are honored to join such an impressive group of universities in a league that is such a perfect fit for us.”


WHITE HOUSE: PENCE CANCELS DETROIT ECONOMIC CLUB APPEARANCE - Vice President Mike Pence will not be speaking to the Detroit Economic Club this week (WTVB-TV). Pence has canceled Thursday's appearance due to the mass shootings over the weekend in Ohio and Texas. The Detroit Economic Club says all ticket purchases will be automatically refunded within the next seven days.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE TO VISIT KENTUCKY THURSDAY - Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Kentucky this week (Lex18). On Thursday, Pence will join Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary at the Eastern Kentucky University branch in Manchester. Bevin will brief Pence on the Innovative Readiness Training Program, which provides medical care and infrastructure needs to underprivileged communities. After the briefing, Pence will talk about the opioid crisis and how Kentucky is responding.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump and Melania Trump will leave the White House at 9 a.m. Eastern time en route to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. They will leave the base at 12:45 p.m. to travel to El Paso. They will depart Texas at 4:20 p.m. Central time to head back to Washington.

FBI: PROBE OF LAST THREE ATROCITIES - The FBI opened an investigation into what role ideology played in the weekend’s mass shooting in Ohio and one a week earlier in California, part of a widening federal inquiry into the recent violence as domestic terrorism (Wall Street Journal). As President Trump prepared to visit the sites of back-to-back weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio, which left 31 people dead, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the 19-year-old who killed three people at a Gilroy, Calif., festival on July 28 had made a list of religious and political targets. The Gilroy shooting is also being investigated as domestic terrorism. While investigators haven’t uncovered connections among the three attacks, authorities are looking at all three to determine whether the shooter’s ideology motivated the violence.

DNI: TEAM COATS STILL INFLUENTIAL IN WASHINGTON - Dan Coats, the former director of national intelligence who just resigned, may no longer be pushing the buttons in Washington but his old staff, sprinkled inside and outside the Beltway, are and will be for years (Washington Examiner). Twice a senator who was also a former House member and ambassador to Germany, the conservative Coats has a long list of former aides who are now in key jobs and ready to carry on his Hoosier legacy. There is Sharon Soderstrom, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chief of staff, who was a Coats chief of staff. There’s pundit Michael Gerson, who was Coats’ first speechwriter and who led former President George W. Bush’s speechwriting team. One-time staffer Ziad Ojakli also worked for Bush and then moved first to Ford Motor Co. where he was a vice president then to Softbank as senior vice president. Former aide Tom Keller is the president of Keller Partners & Co., a boutique lobbying and government relations firm. Former media aide Tim Goeglein, who also worked in the Bush White House, is a vice president at Focus on the Family in Washington. Outside the Beltway, former aide Curt Smith is the director of the Indiana Family Policy Council. “If Dan Coats is not a good man, there are no good men,” said Goeglein during a stop at the Heritage Foundation to talk about his new book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation.

PENTAGON: KIM WARNS U.S., SOUTH KOREA - North Korea said Wednesday leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire demonstration of newly developed, short-range ballistic missiles intended to send a warning to the United States and South Korea over their joint military exercises (Politico). The official Korean Central News Agency said two missiles launched from a western airfield flew across the country and over the area surrounding the capital, Pyongyang, before accurately hitting an island target off its eastern coast.

NRA: LaPIERRE WANTED FIRM TO BUY HIM MANSION - National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre was in discussions to have the group’s then-outside advertising agency help him buy a Dallas mansion last year for more than $5 million, but the deal fell through, according to people familiar with the matter (Wall Street Journal). The aborted house deal and conflicting explanations for why it fell apart are coming to the fore as the New York attorney general’s office is probing the NRA, including Mr. LaPierre’s dealings with the ad agency. The ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, recently turned over information about the contemplated house purchase to the AG’s office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

OHIO: GOV. DeWINE PROPOSES GUN LAWS - Prompted to act by the bloodshed in Dayton, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed a package of measures Tuesday that he says will address mass shootings, declaring, “We can come together to do these things to save lives” (AP). Yet members of his own party have repeatedly blocked gun control measures in the Legislature, leaving the fate of his proposals uncertain. Even the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, could not move Ohio Republicans to act on most elements of a gun-control package proposed last year by then-Gov. John Kasich, also a Republican. Republican lawmakers sought to expand gun owner protections in a bill Kasich ultimately vetoed. DeWine's proposals include requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales in Ohio, allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats, increasing community support to identify mental health risks, expanding use of the state's school safety tip line and beefing up social media monitoring. “We know there's going to be some violence; it's the world we live in,” the governor said. “But I can tell you this: If we do these things, it will matter. If we do these things, it will make us safer.”


CITIES: EPA REMOVES SOIL IN EAST CHICAGO - Contractors working for the Environmental Protection Agency removed about 3,600 cubic yards of lead and arsenic contaminated soil from the old Carrie Gosch Elementary school property in East Chicago, Indiana. But residents say the EPA moved forward with the cleanup without addressing their concerns (Indiana Public Media). The EPA removed the top two feet of soil from areas of the Carrie Gosch school property which had lead and arsenic levels that exceeded the agency’s recommendations. Members of the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group have asked the EPA for months to retest the property before cleaning it up. They say the agency didn’t do a thorough test and that contamination could have drifted over from the demolition of the nearby West Calumet Public Housing Complex. Mark Templeton is the director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. It represents some residents affected by the USS Lead Superfund site. “I think this shows once again, that EPA is moving forward without engaging the community and answering their questions," Templeton says.

CITIES: HAMMOND LOOKS TO REVAMP DOWNTOWN - A safer, more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly Hohman Avenue — coupled with the planned Gateway train station — will help shape the future of the city’s downtown (Cross, NWI Times). That’s according to a draft master plan unveiled Tuesday night by Speck and Associates, a highly sought after consulting firm hired last year to generate ideas for the downtown district. At least 130 people attended the standing-room-only presentation at Towle Theater, where Jeff Speck, author of "Walkable City: How Downtown Saves America, One Step at a Time," revealed proposals for street reconfigurations, housing developments and retrofitted use of older buildings.

COUNTIES: WHITLEY FIRM LANDS DEFENSE CONTRACT - The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a contract to Columbia City-based Ultra-Electronics, Undersea Sensor Systems Inc. The contract, valued at nearly $25 million, calls for the Whitley County company to build and deliver hydrophone, an underwater device that detects sounds from multiple directions (Inside Indiana Business). The company also manufactures anti-submarine sonobuoys for the U.S. military. The DOD says the work will be performed in Columbia City and is expected to be completed by July 2024. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, in Newport, Rhode Island, is the contracting activity. According to the Whitley County Economic Development Corp., USSI started as a division of Magnavox, then Raytheon acquired the business in the mid-‘90s. In 1998 USSI became a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Ultra Electronics.