FBI SEARCHES TRUMP'S MAR-A-LAGO: FBI agents on Monday searched the Florida home of former President Donald Trump, an extraordinary development in what sources say is an investigation into the Republican leader’s handling of classified documents (Miami Herald). Experts called it one of the most significant actions in the law enforcement agency’s history — and one that immediately ignited a political firestorm nationwide. In a statement Monday, Trump said that his home at Mar-a-Lago, a sprawling resort owned by Trump and located in Palm Beach, was “under siege,” and “occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” Trump, who has been the subject of several investigations, said he had been “cooperating with the relevant Government agencies.” He did not elaborate. Federal prosecutors have been investigating Trump’s handling of classified information, as well as his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to a source familiar with the matter. A second source close to the investigation confirmed the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. The source said FBI agents obtained a search warrant from a federal magistrate judge in West Palm Beach to gather dozens of boxes containing alleged classified materials that President Trump had taken with him when he left the White House in January 2021. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Mr. Trump said, maintaining it was an effort to stop him from running for president in 2024 (New York Times). “Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries. They even broke into my safe!” he wrote.

 

SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE CALLED TO REPLACE WALORSKI: Gov. Eric Holcomb will be tasked with calling a special election in the second congressional district to pick the successor for U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, who was killed last week in an automobile accident (Beane, Indiana Public Media).  Walorski had represented the district, which includes South Bend and Elkhart, since 2012 and would have been seeking a sixth term this fall. But because her death came more than 74 days before the general election, U.S. and state laws say her position for the current term must be filled. Both the Republican and Democratic parties will caucus to decide who to put on the ballot for the special election.  “The party’s having a difficult time right now, because the chair of the of the party in the county (Zachery Potts) passed away in the accident as well,” said Michael Wolf, the chair of the political science department at Purdue Fort Wayne. “So, it’s going to be a very difficult time for the Republican Party to get their next nominee for this office.”  The Republicans will also caucus to select the candidate to fill Walorski’s spot on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 8. That person will run against Democrat Paul Stuery, who won the party’s primary in the spring.

 

MAJOR CORPORATIONS OPPOSE ABORTION BAN ... AFTER VOTE: Major Indiana companies that previously declined to publicly comment on a near-total abortion ban are now speaking out against the newly-enacted restrictions, saying the the move could inhibit business growth and make it harder to retain skilled workers (Smith, Capital Chronicle). One of Indiana’s largest employers and oldest companies, Eli Lilly and Company, was the first to step out, saying it will begin looking for expansion opportunities outside of the Hoosier State in the wake of new abortion restrictions. “Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana,” the statement continued. “Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.” Cummins Inc., an engine manufacturing company that employs some 10,000 people across Indiana, said the abortion restrictions could impact the company’s ability to attract and retain employees and will affect future decisions on growth. “Cummins believes that women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of gender equity, ensuring that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in the workforce and that our workforce is diverse,” Jon Mills, a company spokesman, said in a statement Saturday.  “This law is contrary to this goal and we oppose it.”

 

LILLY WILL LOOK TO EXPAND OUTSIDE INDIANA: The morning after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a near-total abortion ban into law, one of the state’s largest employers said the new restrictions will hinder its ability to attract talent (McCoy, Indiana Public Media). “Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state,” pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, said in a statement. The statement was the first comment Eli Lilly, which employs more than 10,400 people in Indianapolis, has made on the legislation. “Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana,” the statement said. “Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.”

 

GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO PLUMMET: Gas prices fell 21 cents a gallon in Indiana and Illinois last week, which both had among the 10 steepest drops in gas prices nationwide. The price dropped by as much as 50 cents a gallon in Newton County, where it now averages under $4 a gallon again (Pete, NWI Times). The national average of a gallon of gas dropped to $4.05 last week, according to AAA. The cost of fueling up one's ride is 67 cents less than a month ago and 97 cents more than a year ago, according to AAA. Gas now costs an average of $4.14 a gallon in Lake County, $4.08 a gallon in Porter County and $4 per gallon in LaPorte County, according to GasBuddy.com. As of Monday, the average price of gas was $3.89 in Newton County, $3.95 in Pulaski County, $4 in Starke County and $4.15 in Jasper County.

 

INDIANA FARMLAND VALUES UP 12.7%: The 2022 average Indiana farm real estate value, including land and buildings, averaged $8,000 per acre, an increase of 12.7 percent from 2021 (Hoosier Ag Today). That’s according to Nathanial Warenski, State Statistician with the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Indiana Field Office. The Corn Belt region value, which includes Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio, was $7,560 per acre, up 14.9 percent from 2021. The value of farmland in States bordering Indiana were: Illinois, $8,900 per acre; Kentucky, $4,350 per acre; Michigan, $5,850 per acre; and Ohio, $7,200 per acre. Indiana’s cropland value was $7,750, up 14.0 percent from the previous year.

 

PENTAGON SAYS 80K RUSS KILLED, WOUNDED IN UKRAINE: As many as 80,000 Russian troops have been wounded or killed in less than six months of fighting in Ukraine, the Pentagon said Monday, the first time the U.S. military announced its estimates of the toll of the invasion on Russia (Wall Street Journal). According to U.S. estimates, Russia has suffered 70,000 to 80,000 casualties, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters at a press briefing Monday. In the days leading up to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, Western officials estimated that Russia had staged roughly 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s border. The U.S. casualty estimate “is pretty remarkable considering that the Russians have achieved none of Vladimir Putin’s objectives at the beginning of the war,” Mr. Kahl said.

 

INSIDE TRUMP'S WAR WITH HIS GENERALS: In the summer of 2017, after just half a year in the White House, Donald Trump flew to Paris for Bastille Day celebrations thrown by Emmanuel Macron, the new French President. Macron staged a spectacular martial display to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the American entrance into the First World War. Vintage tanks rolled down the Champs-Élysées as fighter jets roared overhead (Baker & Glasser, New Yorker). The event seemed to be calculated to appeal to Trump—his sense of showmanship and grandiosity—and he was visibly delighted. The French general in charge of the parade turned to one of his American counterparts and said, “You are going to be doing this next year.” Sure enough, Trump returned to Washington determined to have his generals throw him the biggest, grandest military parade ever for the Fourth of July. The generals, to his bewilderment, reacted with disgust. “I’d rather swallow acid,” his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, said. Struggling to dissuade Trump, officials pointed out that the parade would cost millions of dollars and tear up the streets of the capital. But the gulf between Trump and the generals was not really about money or practicalities, just as their endless policy battles were not only about clashing views on whether to withdraw from Afghanistan or how to combat the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran. The divide was also a matter of values, of how they viewed the United States itself. That was never clearer than when Trump told his new chief of staff, John Kelly—like Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general—about his vision for Independence Day. “Look, I don’t want any wounded guys in the parade,” Trump said. “This doesn’t look good for me.”

 

29 FREED BEAGLES ARRIVE IN MUNSTER: Thousands of beagles were recently rescued from a facility in Virginia that bred dogs to sell to laboratories for animal experimentation (WVPE). A federal judge ordered the release of approximately 4,000 dogs from the facility, owned by Indiana-based Envigo, after it was found in violation of several federal regulations. The U.S. Humane Society worked with federal authorities to rehome the dogs, and rescue groups across the country took them in. Twenty-nine of the rescued beagles went to an animal shelter in Munster. There were some initial concerns that the dogs — especially the older ones — would need time to adjust to life outside of the laboratory. But Humane Indiana Shelter Director Jessica Petalaf said the dogs are very well socialized. “I know that something that a lot of people were concerned about, if they would be super fearful or not,” Petalaf said. “And they're actually very sweet, and sociable with people.”

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Taegan Goddard observed last evening, “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” That line is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but the idea is as old as politics itself. The FBI search of Donald Trump’s home and office at his Mar-a-Lago resort is the most high stakes criminal case you can imagine. And if the Justice Department doesn’t have the goods on Trump, this raid could backfire spectacularly. In the near term, it could end any momentum Democrats may have found recently ahead of this fall’s midterms. In the medium term, it could dramatically influence the 2024 presidential race and basically guarantee Trump the Republican nomination. In the longer term, it’s hard to even comprehend what a second Trump presidency would be like if this FBI raid doesn’t find substantial evidence of substantial crimes by Trump himself. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

REPUBLICANS ERUPT OVER MAR-A-LAGO RAID: A growing number of Republicans are erupting over the news of an FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, accusing federal agents of unfairly targeting the former president for political purposes, with some suggesting that the law enforcement agency be “defunded” (The Hill). “In third world countries and banana republics they prosecute the former presidents/leaders and their staff,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted. “Right now, we look beneath them. We are in a race to the bottom.” “The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves,” wrote Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). “Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic.” “Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships,” wrote Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “But never before in America.”

 

DEMS TO HOLD PRESSER TODAY:  Destiny Wells (Candidate for Secretary of State), ZeNai Brooks (Candidate for State Auditor), Jessica McClellan (Candidate for State Treasurer), Jocelyn Vare (Candidate for Indiana Senate - District 31), and Victoria Garcia Wilburn (Candidate for Indiana House - District 32) will hold an 11 a.m. press conference outside of the Indiana Statehouse to provide an update on the state of the 2022 elections for the State of Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). The press conference follows Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Republican Party’s choice to make getting an abortion against the law via Senate Bill 1. Since Eric Holcomb signed SB1 in the dead of night, major employers, community leaders, and tourism officials across Indiana have voiced opposition to the Indiana GOP’s choice to outlaw abortion access. Companies like Eli Lilly and Cummins announced they will take economic development to other states, and Visit Indy said the future of tourism could be at risk.

 

HAMMOND SAYS McDANIEL WILL SEEK 4TH RNC TERM: Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, shared a warm moment onstage with her predecessor last week for an announcement that Milwaukee had been picked to host the 2024 GOP presidential convention (NBC News). “One thing Ronna and I are good at is raising a lot of money,” former Chairman Reince Priebus, the chair of the Milwaukee Host Committee, said on the final day of the RNC’s summer meeting. But she didn’t do it alone. Donald Trump put her in the job, and his name and celebrity bankrolled the committee. McDaniel may soon face a fresh challenge: upholding her pledge that the national party will stay neutral in its coming presidential primary. McDaniel is preparing to run for a fourth consecutive term in January. If she wins, she would become the longest-serving RNC chair since the 1800s, refereeing a contested 2024 Republican presidential nomination fight in which her old boss is likely to be the front-runner. “She has not announced anything and is focused on the November elections,” said John Hammond, an RNC member from Indiana. “That said, my conversations with her indicate she is open to running again and likely to do so, which I believe would be very popular within the RNC membership.”

 

GRABOVSKY BACKS IRON DOME FOR ISRAEL: Republican congressional candidate for Indiana’s Seventh District, Angela Grabovsky, issued the following statement regarding the current conflict in Israel and Gaza (Howey Politics Indiana): “Since Friday evening, the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad has launched 580 missiles from Gaza aimed at civilian targets in Israel. 120 missiles, so far, fell short and landed in Gaza, killing innocent civilians there. According to the IDF, two hundred of the missiles were directed towards Israeli population centers and were intercepted and neutralized by Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome missile defense system. This represents a 97% success rate which is unmatched by any such system in the world. Americans should be proud of the fact that countless innocent lives are being saved today thanks to the support provided by the United States for Iron Dome.

 

DCCC ASSAILS GREEN FOR SB1: According to the DCCC Last Friday, Indiana passed a statewide abortion ban that leaves little to no room for exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother. This legislation – which is now law – will carry devastating consequences for women and families across Indiana, as well as women in neighboring states with abortion restrictions that relied on Indiana abortion providers (Howey Politics Indiana). This law was only made possible because of Republican calls to overturn Roe. It will cost Republicans, like GOP candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green, in November. Green is endorsed by the National Right to Life (NRTL) political action group, an organization that helped overturn Roe v. Wade and has supported banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother – similar to the Indiana law, which has very narrow exceptions. Green has even called for a nationwide ban on all abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. “Indiana’s devastating new law falls on the shoulders of Republicans in Congress who sought to overturn Roe and refuse to safeguard access to safe, legal abortion,” said DCCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “This new law is dangerous and deeply unpopular, and it will cost House Republicans in November when voters rally behind Democrats who will fight to protect our freedoms.”

 

REPUBLICAN GROUP RUNNING AD V. WALKER IN GEORGIA: Republican Accountability PAC’s latest campaign is pulling out all the stops to make sure Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker loses in November. Republican Voters Against Walker launches today with an ad airing in the Peach State that features Walker’s ex-wife recounting the harrowing story of a time he threatened to kill her. Listen to it here: Someone like that is unfit for the Senate. Georgia Republican voters can see it too. We look forward to amplifying their voices through the campaign season, so that every Georgian knows who the real Herschel Walker is.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: CROUCH SEEKS CUTEST HOOSIER DOG - Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) and Indiana's First Dog Henry are searching for adorable dogs in great locations across the state through the Visit Indiana Cutest Dog Photo Contest (Howey Politics Indiana). “I encourage all Hoosiers to make memories with your pup just like I do with my dog, Luna Lovegood (AKA Bubby)," Crouch said. "Show off your furry friends enjoying the beauty of Indiana whether that's at one of our incredible state parks, miles of trails or countless pet-friendly destinations." A different winner will be selected every week for one year. Each winning dog will get: A note from Indiana's first dog, Henry; An exclusive ‘More To Discover IN Indiana’ dog bandana; and A feature as one of the Cutest Dogs IN Indiana on the Visit Indiana social channels.

 

DNR: PATOKA LAKE KAYAK TOUR - Patoka Lake is hosting a kayak tour on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. The tour leaves from the Fisherman’s Campground boat ramp. Participants will have a chance to see an active bald eagle nest. Other wildlife including beaver and osprey can also be seen (Howey Politics Indiana). Bring binoculars, kayak, cameras, preferred refreshments, and sunscreen for this two-hour long journey. Participants should arrive at 8:45 a.m. to unload equipment and get their boat in the water so the tour can leave promptly at 9 a.m.

 

DNR: MONROE LAKE CEMETERY OPEN HOUSES - Monroe Lake will dive into the history of several local cemeteries during two open houses. The events are part of Salt Creek Valley History Week, a celebration of the Salt Creek Valley’s past that runs Sept. 10 to 16 (Howey Politics Indiana). The first open house on Sept. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. will share information on three small cemeteries that are located south of Monroe Lake in Hoosier National Forest and named after the Hays family. The open house will be at the Paynetown Activity Center, 4850 S. State Road 446 in Bloomington.

 

AGRICULTURE: CORN, SOY CROPS 50% GOOD TO EXCELLENT - Indiana’s corn crop is rated at 52 percent good-to-excellent, while Indiana’s soybeans are 51 percent good-to-excellent. That is according to the USDA’s Weekly Crop Progress Report for the week ending Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022 (Hoosier Ag Today). That is a jump from 50 percent for corn, while soybeans were at 48 percent from the previous week. Across the rest of the U.S., 58 percent of the nation’s corn crop is rated good-to-excellent, which is a drop of three percent from the week before. The nation’s soybean crop is at 59 percent good-to-excellent, a decrease of one percent from the previous week. “Scattered showers throughout the State helped maintain crop and pasture conditions,” according to Nathanial Warenski, State Statistician with the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Indiana Field Office. “Soil moisture levels increased from the previous week, with 70 percent of topsoil moisture reported as adequate or surplus.”

 

Congress

 

BANKS OBJECTS TO MAR-A-LAGO RAID: U.S. Rep. Jim Banks tweeted, "Hunter Biden skates free while DOJ executes a political plot to destroy lives of political opponents. This is un-American and @Jim_Jordan led Judiciary Committee hearings in January can’t come soon enough!"

 

McCARTHY PROMISES GARLAND PROBE: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised on Monday that if Republicans take back the chamber after November’s midterm elections, they will investigate the Department of Justice, telling Attorney General Merrick Garland to “clear your calendar” (The Hill). “I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” McCarthy said. “When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.” “Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” McCarthy said.

 

YOUNG TARGETS ZOMBIE WAR AUTHORIZATIONS: Advocates for reining in decades-old presidential war powers have their eyes on must-pass defense legislation as a vessel for finally achieving their goal in the Senate (Politico). A push to repeal the 2002 Iraq War authorization, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), has garnered bipartisan support. The move, which is backed by President Joe Biden, has yet to come up for a vote despite a pledge last year by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to do so. That has senators eyeing adding the proposal to the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act to get the job done, mirroring a move by the House last month. “I’ve talked with Senator Schumer about it [and] he had promised a floor vote on this at some point,” Kaine told POLITICO. “He obviously wants to do it in a way that does not chew up the maximum amount of time, so we’re trying to figure that out.” Kaine said tacking the repeal onto the defense policy bill or holding a standalone vote in connection with the 20th anniversary of the vote that preceded the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime are possibilities. Sen. Young: “I agree that the NDAA is the most logical vehicle, but frankly we’ll hitch a ride wherever we can catch it. It’s a busy calendar.”

 

PAYDAR CONFIRMED: Nasser Paydar, who spent seven years as chancellor of IUPUI before retiring March 1, has been confirmed as assistant secretary for postsecondary education for the U.S. Department of Education, the department announced Friday (IBJ). Paydar, who was nominated to the post by President Joe Biden, will work under U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

 

THE HOUSE and THE SENATE are out.

 

General Assembly

 

SEPT. 15 WON'T END ABORTION DEBATE: The Indiana abortion ban taking effect September 15 isn’t the end of legislators’ debate on the issue (Berman, WIBC). House and Senate leaders are pledging a fresh look at expanding prenatal screenings, child care, and other services, to handle the expected increase in births. Hours before passing the abortion ban, legislators approved $87 million for wraparound services. LaGrange Senator Susan Glick (R) says they’ll take a fresh look at those programs when the new session starts in January. Glick says many women testified they opted for abortion because they lacked the resources to handle pregnancy or motherhood. “I hope and pray we can tell the women of Indiana that should not be a choice they have to make in the future,” Glick says. Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor (R-Indianapolis) calls the funding inadequate. He notes just over half the money isn’t earmarked for a specific program, but is left to the State Budget Agency to decide. And he says even if Republicans do increase funding in the new budget, it’ll be nearly a year from now before that money’s available. And while Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says Indiana has a “decent infrastructure” of existing programs to build on, the state has one of the worst rates of mothers and babies dying within the first year after birth. About a third of Indiana counties have no hospitals with ob/gyn services. Some anti-abortion legislators still hope to pursue further restrictions when the General Assembly returns in January, while Glick says it’s possible legislators could revise the new law’s 10-week limit on abortions in cases of rape or incest after seeing what happens in the first three months under the new law.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: IRAN NUKE TALKS TO CONCLUDE WITH FINAL DRAFT -  Indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal are expected to conclude Monday in Vienna, putting the final draft of an agreement in front of negotiators from Washington and Tehran (Politico). Western officials told POLITICO on Monday that they had finished negotiating technical questions that had remained open in the final draft text circulated by the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on July 21. The final draft determines the steps that Iran and the U.S. will have to take to return to full compliance with the original 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The deal rolled back U.S. and European sanctions against Iran in exchange for steps by Iran limiting its nuclear program and an agreement to allow intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’s nuclear watchdog.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SHIFTS SECURITY FOCUS TO CHINA - In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China (AP). One year after ending the war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden and top national security officials speak less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic and military threats posed by China as well as Russia. There’s been a quiet pivot within intelligence agencies, which are moving hundreds of officers to China-focused positions, including some who were previously working on terrorism.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule - 9 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 10 a.m.: Biden will sign the CHIPS and Science Act into law and deliver remarks on the South Lawn, with VP Kamala Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Ustr Katherine Tai and OMB Director Shalanda Young in attendance. 2 p.m.: Biden will sign the ratification of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and deliver remarks in the East Room, with Harris in attendance. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief at 2:40 p.m.

 

STATE: RUSS WON'T ALLOW NUKE INSPECTIONS - The crisis over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spilled into the realm of arms control on Monday when Moscow said it won’t support the resumption of inspections of its nuclear arsenal under the New START nuclear arms treaty because of travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. (Wall Street Journal). The accord, which cuts long-range nuclear arms, is the last major agreement regulating the nuclear competition between Washington and Moscow. Both sides have been observing its limits. Weapons inspections were paused in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The U.S. wanted to have a team of inspectors resume on-site monitoring, U.S. officials said.

 

HHS: INDIANA AWARD $2M FOR HEALTH CENTERS - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $1,979,675 in American Rescue Plan funding to 31 community health centers in Indiana to advance health equity through better data collection and reporting (Howey Politics Indiana). On Friday, August 5, President Biden issued a proclamation on National Health Center Week to recognize the vital role health centers play in safeguarding the well-being of Americans and honor the heroic staff who keep these facilities running. The Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to ensuring an equitable pandemic response and recovery, and these awards will help strengthen efforts to eliminate inequities in COVID-19 care and outcomes within communities of color and other underserved populations. The nearly $90 million in funding announced nationally today also builds on the $7.6 billion invested from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to strengthen the health center workforce, renovate facilities, and equip them with essential COVID-19 medical supplies over the past year. “We have prioritized advancing equity in our COVID-19 response and throughout all of our work,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Community health centers have played a pivotal role in the nation’s COVID-19 response, and now serve more than 30 million people across the country. Today’s investments will help ensure that all patients have equitable access to the high-quality health care they deserve.”

 

PENTAGON: NAVY RECOVERS JET - A U.S. Navy team recovered a military jet from a depth of 9,500 feet in the Mediterranean Sea on August 3 after the aircraft had blown overboard during "unexpected heavy weather" in July, a release from US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said (CNN). The jet was aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier, when it blew overboard on July 8, the release said. The service members who recovered the aircraft used a remotely operated vehicle to attach "specialized rigging and lift lines" to the jet while it was underwater.

 

MEDIA: COX ENTERPRISES BUYS AXIOS - Axios, the digital media company that quickly gained traction since its founding five years ago with its distinctive bulletin-style scoops on the realms of politics, business and technology, said on Monday that it agreed to sell itself to Cox Enterprises (New York Times). The deal, which is set to close this month, values Axios at $525 million, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. The deal is structured so that the company’s three founders — Jim VandeHei, the chief executive; Roy Schwartz, the president; and Mike Allen, a journalist — have financial incentives to stay at the company. Each will be a minority shareholder and will continue to make day-to-day newsroom and business decisions. Alex Taylor, the chief executive and chairman of Cox Enterprises, will join the Axios board.

 

MEDIA: AUTHOR DAVID McCULLOUGH DIES AT AGE 89 - David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89 (AP). McCullough died Sunday in Hingham, Massachusetts, according to his publisher, Simon & Schuster. "David McCullough was a national treasure. His books brought history to life for millions of readers. Through his biographies, he dramatically illustrated the most ennobling parts of the American character," Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp said in a statement.

 

MICHIGAN: AG SEEKS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR - The Michigan Attorney General's office is asking that a special prosecutor investigate whether a Republican candidate for state attorney general and others should be charged in connection with an effort to gain access to voting machines after the 2020 election, according to published reports (CBS News). The Detroit News reported Sunday that Attorney General Dana Nessel's office has asked that the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council, a state agency, appoint a special prosecutor to consider charges against nine people, including Republican attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, state Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf. The newspaper reported that the details of allegations were made in a letter sent Friday by Nessel's chief deputy attorney general, Christina Grossi, to Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

 

GEORGIA: LIFE SENTENCES IN ABERY MURDER - A federal judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, to life in prison for committing a hate crime and other federal violations during their murder of Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 (Wall Street Journal). William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., a neighbor who was also convicted in the murder, was sentenced to a 35-year term. The McMichaels and Mr. Bryan were convicted in February for interfering with Mr. Arbery’s civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels also were convicted of a firearms charge, and Travis McMichael, who shot Mr. Arbery to death with a shotgun, was convicted of shooting a firearm during a crime of violence. The guilty verdict meant jurors found that the men acted “because of Mr. Arbery’s race and color.”

 

MLB: CUBS DOWN NATIONALS 6-3 - Keegan Thompson pitched six effective innings, rookies Nelson Velázquez and Christopher Morel homered in the third inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Monday night (ESPN). Thompson (9-5) didn't walk a batter for the second time in three starts while scattering five hits over six innings. Luke Voit hit a homer with one out in the sixth to end Thompson's shutout bid.

 

MLB: METS TOP REDS 5-1 -  Chris Bassitt scattered eight hits over eight innings and Starling Marte hit a two-run homer in the first, leading the New York Mets to a 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night (ESPN). With their 13th victory in 15 games, the Mets extended their NL East lead to seven games over idle Atlanta. New York just took four of five from the defending World Series champions at Citi Field last weekend.

 

Local

 

SOUTH BEND: PD RELEASES STATEMENT ON KITTRELL DEATH -  The South Bend Police Department released a statement on Monday afternoon regarding the investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting last month (WNDU-TV). The statement can be read in its entirety below: "Since the officer-involved shooting on July 29, the South Bend Police Department has been fully cooperative with the ongoing investigation led by the St. Joseph County Police Department. The South Bend Police Department has turned over all evidence including, but not limited to, in-car camera and body-worn videos from the officers who responded. If the videos are not released by St. Joseph County investigators, the South Bend Police Department will make them available once the investigation concludes and the prosecutor reviews the facts, statements, and evidence. We acknowledge the community request to see the videos, and we also feel it is important to release them to maintain the transparency of our department’s response. The officers involved in the shooting remain on administrative leave until the investigation and prosecutor review is complete."

 

INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT SEEKS TAX CREDIT FOR HOMEOWNERS — Mayor Joe Hogsett wants to give homeowners a tax credit next year as Marion County residents are getting hit with high inflation and higher property taxes (Ryckaert, WRTV). The $27 million tax relief proposal is part of the proposed 2023 fiscal package Hogsett introduced to the City-County Council on Monday night. "While the city does not control the price of consumer goods," Hogsett said, "we can ensure that the smart fiscal strategy that we have followed benefits residents at a time when they are hurting." Hogsett is proposing a $1.46 billion budget plan plus additional spending from federal COVID relief and other sources. He wants to give an automatic one-time $150 credit on the 2023 tax bills for homes worth $250,000 or less. Homes worth up to $400,000 would receive a $100 credit.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: GEN CON WILL RETURN IN 2023 — Despite Gen Con leaders casting criticism toward Indiana in regard to the recent abortion ban, Gen Con announced “The Best Four Days in Gaming” will return to Indianapolis Aug. 3-6 in 2023 (CBS4). Gen Con, the largest and longest running tabletop gaming convention in North America, attracted over 50,000 people to downtown Indianapolis this past weekend and generated an estimated $57.4 million in economic activity for restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in Indianapolis. “Our goal this year was a return to the level of scale and spectacle that make Gen Con a can’t-miss annual event for gaming fans from around the world, and we absolutely feel we achieved that,” said Gen Con President David Hoppe.

 

EVANSVILLE: SBA COMPLETES PARKS DEPT AUDIT - The Indiana State Board of Accounts has completed its audit of the Evansville Parks Department. Click here for the full report. It shows a total of $575,541 is certified for collection (WFIE-TV). In April, former Evansville Parks Director Brian Holtz was charged with 12 counts including fraud, official misconduct, counterfeiting, and forgery. He resigned from his position in July 2021. He’s accused of falsifying dozens of documents that resulted in financial loss for the city. The state board audit shows it’s more than $215,000 higher than the Controller’s Office calculation.

 

FORT WAYNE: MAJOR INVESTMENT FOR NORTH RIVER SITE - The City of Fort Wayne Administration and Community Development Division today announced a major private investment is planned for the North River site (Howey Politics Indiana). More Brewing Company, which has three locations in the Chicago area, is planning to invest approximately $6 million to build a two-story, 16,000 square foot restaurant and brewery, located just north of the riverfront public space and near the intersection of Fourth and Calhoun streets. This would be the first project to be constructed at North River. Later today, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will be asked to approve an economic development agreement as the first step in the process for the proposal to move forward. The approval of this agreement highlights the plans for continued development and investment along the riverfront. “Being able to advance a significant development at the North River site is a tremendous win for our community,” said Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer. “Successful public-private partnerships have positioned Fort Wayne as a leader in bringing new and unique amenities for residents, visitors, and businesses to enjoy.” The North River property is comprised of 29 acres generally bounded by Clinton, Fourth and Harrison streets and serves as an important gateway into downtown. The site was previously used as a rail yard and other industrial type uses, dating back to 1902. The land has not been actively used since 2006. The City of Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission acquired the property in 2017.

 

JEFFERSONVILLE: 2 NEW ROUTES TO LOUISVILLE OPEN — Two new options to get workers from Louisville to River Ridge are officially hitting the road (News & Tribune). On Sunday Transit Authority of River City launched new routes, one from East Louisville and another from West Louisville, that take people directly to the area. TARC worked with employers in the area to get the routes going and figure out traffic patterns, employee needs and shift times. “We’re excited about the opportunity for workers living throughout the Louisville MSA to be able to explore alternative transportation options to get into River Ridge,” said Josh Staten, River Ridge Director of Business Development and Community. The new Route 74 will go from Chamberlain Lane in East Louisville to River Ridge. The route takes the Lewis and Clark Bridge and the trip is about 40 minutes. There will be three morning and afternoon peak roundtrips during the week.

 

SOUTH BEND: COUNCIL TABLES MENTAL HEALTH PROPOSAL - South Bend Common Council members indefinitely tabled a bill proposal Monday night (WNDU-TV). The resolution aimed to implement a mental health crisis response team within the South Bend Fire Department. The bill was sponsored by South Bend Common Council members Henry Davis Jr. and Lori Hamann. Some council members claimed it wasn’t filed correctly, but Davis and Hamann say otherwise. During a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor James Mueller spoke out about the The Mental Health Crisis Response Resolution. “We believe it is premature and perhaps even reckless by the bill’s authors to put forth such statements that haven’t been confirmed by the investigation or other evidence,” said Mueller.

 

SOUTH BEND: CITY OFFERING SOLAR LIGHTS -  Homeowners have until Aug. 15 to take advantage of a lamppost program, which aims to bring more light into the city’s neighborhoods (Semmler, South Bend Tribune). The program is part of the Light Up South Bend initiative that was launched in 2015. It provides subsidized solar-powered lampposts for homeowners ? in addition to more and better street lights ? as part of an effort to eliminate dark spots in the city. “We know that lighting in our neighborhoods makes residents feel safer, and some studies have shown it does create safer neighborhoods,” Mayor James Mueller said via email. “The Lamppost Lighting Program is another example of the city’s efforts to create affordable and sustainable lighting enhancements for more vibrant neighborhoods.” Safety is what motivated Mary Adamo to take advantage of the lamppost program. 

 

CARMEL: BRAINARD SPENT $17K ON TRAVEL - At a total cost of more than $17,000, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has significantly outspent his Hamilton County counterparts in travel expenses so far in 2022 (Carloni, IndyStar). Invoice records show Brainard's travel within the U.S. and internationally was largely for conferences and meetings, such as those held by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Airfare and hotels made up the major costs of the trips. "We compete with leading cities across the nation for jobs and corporate headquarters - the presence of which have helped keep our local residents’ property taxes very low … among the lowest in Indiana for cities our size," city spokesman Dan McFeely wrote in an email to IndyStar. "It is important to know what our competitor cities are doing and to be on the cutting edge of new design ideas and principles." 

 

NOBLESVILLE: SMC PLANTING TREES IN CITY PARKS - SMC Corporation of America and the Noblesville Parks Department recently worked together on a sustainable program to help restore the Hague Road Nature Haven. The project, aimed at sustainability and to beautify, involved removing invasive species that are a problem in the area (Howey Politics Indiana). “As we continue to battle this ever-growing problem, we are starting to restore the area with new trees that will aid in the process of removing invasive plants,” said Jonn Russell, certified arborist and parks maintenance staff member. With SMC Corporation’s contribution of time, manpower and materials, the group was able to plant 30 new native sapling trees. Native tree species planted included Red Maple, Hackberry, Yellowwood, Kentucky Coffeetree, Black Gum and Swamp White Oak. As trees were planted, safety cages were built and placed around the samplings to help prevent damage from the nibbling creatures.

 

LAKE COUNTY: BROWN RETURNS AS CLERK -  Michael A. Brown has returned to the role of Lake County clerk after being caucused in Saturday morning.  Brown replaced former Lake County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Arredondo, who resigned July 14 due to continued health issues following a Jan. 13 fall. County Clerk Chief Deputy Nikki Angel temporarily led the clerk's office after Arredondo's resignation (Carden, NWI Times). Brown was the only person to declare his candidacy for the caucus. He won the Democratic nomination for county clerk at the May 3 primary and will run unopposed for a four-year term in the Nov. 8 general election. Brown previously served as Lake County clerk from 2010 to 2018. He resigned in 2018 after he was caucused in to fill the at-large Gary Common Council seat previously held by current state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, D-Gary. Brown has continued to work as an administrator in the county clerk's office.

 

KNOX COUNTY: READI FOR $5M - More than $5 million will likely be funneled into Knox County as part of Indiana First’s successful READI application, Chris Pfaff, president of Knox County Indiana Economic Development, announced to members of the organization’s board of directors Friday (Vincennes Sun-Commercial). After months of toiling, Pfaff said members of a regional planning committee have narrowed the scope of their application, prioritizing a handful of projects to receive the $15 million allocated to Indiana First — a partnership between Knox, Pike, Spencer, Perry and Harrison counties — as part of the state’s READI program. Among them are three for Knox County, including money to bolster a multi-family housing development planned for the city’s east side, money for nurse training equipment at Good Samaritan and funds to entice a major battery manufacturer.

 

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY: FORMER DCS WORKER GETS PROBATION — A former Indiana Department of Child Services family case manager in Bartholomew County will serve three years of probation and must pay $1,741 in restitution after pleading guilty to several criminal charges (Kenney, WRTV). Elizabeth Funk pleaded guilty to ghost employment, a felony, official misconduct, also a felony, as well obstruction of a child abuse assessment, a misdemeanor.