BOSTON GLOBE NH TRACKING POLL SHOWS PETE TRAILING BY 1%: Former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, building on his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, continued his surge among likely Democratic New Hampshire presidential primary voters, putting him and Senator Bernie Sanders in a statistical dead heat in a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll released Thursday night. Former vice president Joe Biden, whose campaign is stumbling after a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa, saw another modest dip in his numbers. That put him in fourth place behind Senator Elizabeth Warren in Thursday's poll, the fourth of seven the Suffolk University Political Research Center is conducting in the run-up to the nation's first primary on Tuesday. Sanders held steady at 24 percent, while Buttigieg nipped at his heels with 23 percent. Biden slipped to 11 percent, below Warren's 13 percent.

MONMOUTH NH POLL HAS SANDERS LEADING; PETE SURGING: A Monmouth University poll released Thursday shows Sanders, the senator from neighboring Vermont, with support from 24 percent of likely voters, putting him narrowly ahead of Buttigieg at 20 percent. Joe Biden, who finished fourth in Iowa, is in third at 17 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 13 percent (Politico). Taken together, the two newest polls suggest New Hampshire could deliver a similar verdict as Iowa: strong performances for Sanders and Buttigieg that could fuel their campaigns moving forward, and disappointing finishes for Biden and Warren that would question the viability of their campaigns. Still, New Hampshire’s primary is notoriously volatile, and with only eight days between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, there are lots of voters still weighing their options. Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said just 49 percent of voters say they are firmly decided. “Many voters in New Hampshire remain open to switching their support,” Murray said. “The muddle out of Iowa hasn’t narrowed the field, but there are some hints in the poll that Buttigieg could be helped and Biden hurt as the caucus results start to sink in.” The Monmouth University poll was conducted Feb. 3-5, surveying 503 likely voters, 130 of whom were interviewed before the first results from the Iowa caucuses were released on Tuesday.

BUTTIGIEG HAS FRACTIONAL LEAD WITH 100% IOWA COUNTED: Three days after the Iowa caucuses, the state Democratic party at last released all of the results, showing the tightest of races between Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) (Washington Post). With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Buttigieg held a narrow lead of 26.2 percent in state delegate equivalents, the traditional metric by which an Iowa winner has been determined. Sanders had 26.1 percent. The results followed a chaotic count marred by technical issues, and an official winner has not been declared. Sanders, however, held a lead in the popular vote, and he claimed victory earlier in the day, noting that he had an advantage of roughly 6,000 votes in the first round of the caucuses and about 2,500 in the second round. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) finished third, with 18 percent of state delegate equivalents. Buttigieg called the early results “the single best piece of news” his campaign has received. “This is definitely a victory for this campaign,” he told CNN on Tuesday, shortly after the early results were released. “I know we got some more math coming in, but any way you cut it . . . we’ve been able to do something extraordinary.” “Those national delegates, not the state delegates, are the ones that really matter in the nominating process,” Sanders said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATE AT 8 TONIGHT: One would be the youngest president in history — Pete. Buttigieg. The other would be the oldest — Bernie Sanders. The first and second place finishers in Iowa — we still don’t know who’s who — are entering Friday’s New Hampshire debate from 8 to 11 p.m. tonight with enough momentum to make everyone else on stage envious (New York Times). The question is if they will take aim at each other, especially Mr. Buttigieg, who has proved adroit at slicing his opponents, hit at Mr. Sanders by name in Iowa and hopes to bypass him by the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday. Pitching his own electability, Mr. Biden said after Iowa it would be a “risk” for the party to nominate a small-town mayor. Mr. Buttigieg hit back on The View on Thursday: “If that argument is about electability and the ability to win, we just had the first election of the 2020 process and I think that’s my answer.”

MAYOR HOGSETT ENDORSES BUTTIGIEG: Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has endorsed Pete Buttigieg for President of the United States, touting Pete’s Hoosier roots and his demonstrated ability to unite Americans around their shared values (Howey Politics Indiana). “Day after day, Hoosiers watch as the political climate in Washington produces more drama than results for working families,” said Mayor Hogsett. “But for mayors across the country, we can’t afford to spend our time focused on partisan posturing that has characterized national politics for far too long. It's why in recent years we've consistently seen the biggest ideas and the best results coming from leaders in cities and towns that have rolled up their sleeves, put aside the politics, and brought people together to get things done. That's why I am proud to endorse Pete, a friend that I have worked alongside and who represents the best of what makes America work."

PEREZ CALLS FOR IOWA RECANVASS: Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is calling on Iowa Democratic officials to immediately recanvass Monday's caucus vote after days of uncertainty and growing concerns about "inconsistencies" found in the data (NBC News). "Enough is enough," Perez said in a tweet. "In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass." In a statement released later Thursday, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price did not address the request from Perez and instead said that the party would take on a recanvass if any of the presidential campaigns request it. "We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results," Price said, noting that officials "identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors. This is an ongoing process in close coordination with precinct chairs, and we are working diligently to report the final 54 precincts to get as close to final reporting as possible." As of Thursday morning, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was clinging to the narrowest of leads in Iowa over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with 97 percent of the caucus vote released.

TRUMP LASHES OUT AT DEMS, ROMNEY IN EAST ROOM: President Donald Trump on Thursday unloaded on his perceived political enemies, declaring that the investigations into him have been "all bullshit" in a sprawling and teleprompter-free address at the White House less than a day after senators acquitted him on two articles of impeachment (Politico). And the president was in a mood to celebrate, Trump-style. He lit into his antagonizers from the opulent East Room, lobbing verbal attacks at everyone from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and calling them "some very evil and sick people." He singled out Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the lone Republican in either chamber of Congress to break with his party on impeachment, and Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president whose foreign business dealings were at the heart of the investigations Trump sought from international leaders. "Failed presidential candidate," Trump said about Romney, as he renewed his attacks from the night before. Trump praised Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks as he spent the first part of the event citing congressional allies (Howey Politics Indiana).

TRUMP USES PRAYER BREAKFAST TO ASSAIL ENEMIES: During his appearance at the 68th National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump took a few thinly-veiled swipes at his top political rivals, and submitted a rare apology for not always loving his enemies (Christian Broadcasting Network).  "They (people of faith) like people, and I'll be honest, they sometimes hate people. I'm sorry. I'm trying. When they impeach you, it's not easy. I'm trying my best," Trump said. But that was after the normally politics-free morning of prayer had already taken a partisan turn. "I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," Trump said in a possible reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "I don't like when people say, 'I pray for you' when that's not so…" Historian Kevin Kruse tweeted that “I’ve studied the National Prayer Breakfast a good bit, and I can’t say how bizarre it is for a president to use the moment — traditionally one devoted to bipartisanship and unity — to strike such a petty, vindictive tone at the event” (Vox).

LAKE COUNCIL BACKS POT SUMMONS; NO JAIL AFTER ARREST: The Lake County Council is wholeheartedly on board with a proposed state law encouraging police to routinely issue court summons for nonviolent misdemeanor crimes, instead of hauling the alleged perpetrators off to jail. The bipartisan council unanimously endorsed House Bill 1076 Thursday, and called on the Indiana Senate to promptly advance the legislation to the governor after it cleared the House, 97-1, on Jan. 28 (Carden, NWI Times). A council resolution supporting the measure notes it would help reduce county jail overcrowding across Indiana and prevent misdemeanor offenders from losing their jobs, or suffering other consequences, because they were stuck in jail unable to make bail. In addition, Lake County taxpayers would save the cost of paying to incarcerate people nabbed in Indiana for possession of marijuana they purchased in Illinois or Michigan, where recreational marijuana is legal, according to the resolution. Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, and the council's attorney, Ray Szarmach, said the state proposal is superior to a county ordinance they've been crafting, authorizing police to issue tickets for marijuana possession, because the state legislation allows police to issue summons for all nonviolent misdemeanors.

STUTZMAN, KRUSE BUY AMISH ACRES: Historic Amish Acres auctioned off for a total of $4,255,000 on Wednesday evening. John Kruse and former congressman Marlin Stutzman, were thrilled to be two of the new owners of the Amish Acres property (ABC57). "We are excited to build off the legacy that's here and really focus on the community and our core belief of excellence so that we can make this a spectacular venue for decades into the future," said Kruse. As for the future, Kruse and Stutzman plan to take what the Pletcher family did and build on top of it. "It's going to be a lot of fun working in this space," said Stutzman. "I'm sure there will be changes, but we're excited to get to work on it." Amish Acres has been owned by the Pletcher family for over 50 years and it was a sentimental goodbye as the family passed ownership off to eager bidders. "I'm excited for the town of Nappanee that new life is going to be breathed in to Amish Acres," said Jenni Wysong, daughter of the Pletchers. "It will be a viable part of this community as it always has been."

BUMBLE BEE POPULATIONS TUMBLE: Bumblebee populations in North America and Europe have plummeted as a result of extreme temperatures, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science (Washington Post). The number of areas populated by bumblebees has fallen 46 percent in North America and 17 percent in Europe, and the new research found that regions with sharp bee declines also experienced strong variations in climate — and especially higher temperatures and worse heat waves.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: President Trump had one hell of a National Prayer Breakfast. He used it to lash out at those who have let him down. He leveled veiled threats at his perceived enemies. His "victory lap" performance in the East Room displayed more vitriol as he maintained he had made a "perfect call" to Ukraine President Zelensky that ignited his impeachment. President Trump and his laughing supporters are a long, long way from Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount. For those of you who attended and found the president's performance humorous, my question to you is what were you laughing about? - Brian A. Howey


MYERS TO FILE THIS MORNING: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers will officially file the necessary paperwork to be on the ballot for governor at 10:30 a.m. today (Howey Politics Indiana). Myers submitted more than 5,000 petition signatures, more than the 500 required in each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts, to qualify for the ballot. Those certified signatures will be delivered by Myers to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office Friday morning. The Indianapolis native and lifelong Democrat served as Indiana’s Health Commissioner under both Republican Governor Robert D. Orr and Democratic Governor Evan Bayh.

BRIZZI ENTERS 5TH CD RACE: Former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi is joining the crowded field of Republicans seeking nomination to run for Indiana’s 5th CD (Indiana Lawyer). Brizzi, now a private attorney, told IBJ on Thursday that he plans to file paperwork making his campaign official on Friday morning. He said he’s been thinking about tossing his hat in the ring for a while, but just recently made his decision. Brizzi served as Marion County Prosecutor for two terms, from 2002 until 2010, before going back into private practice. He was known as a political up-and-comer who had a high conviction rate, especially for narcotics and sex-crimes cases. For years, Brizzi was embattled in controversy stemming from accusations he accepted bribes while in office. He was investigated by the FBI for accepting $25,000 in campaign contributions from the father of a woman who was seeking a modification to a murder sentence and for arranging a lenient plea bargain for a business partner’s client. He was never charged with a crime. Then in 2017, he was suspended from practicing law in Indiana for 30 days after the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission found he violated prohibitions against representing a client in a case in which he had a personal interest. “I’ve been through the trenches,” he said. “I don’t think anyone has been more investigated or vetted than I have been, so I see it as a plus.”

VIEW PAC ENDORSES MITCHELL: Value In Electing Women PAC (VIEW PAC) announced its endorsement of Kelly Mitchell for Congress in Indiana's 5th Congressional District. VIEW PAC supports credible, electable Republican women and is dedicated to protecting and increasing the number of Republican women in the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate (Howey Politics Indiana). VIEW PAC's goal is to strategically provide financial support where and when it is needed most and has directly contributed and helped raise over $8,500,000 for Republican women running for Congress since its founding. Julie Conway, the Executive Director of VIEW PAC said, "By electing Kelly Mitchell, Hoosiers have the opportunity to send a strong leader and a fighter to represent them in Congress and we are excited to endorse her. Kelly's background, experience, and accomplishments make her stand out in this crowded primary field and her bold leadership style will shake things up in Washington."

SENATE DEMS AIM DIGITAL AD V. SEN. SANDLIN: The Indiana Senate Democrats Committee, the campaign arm of the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus, today announced “Big Government Jack Sandlin,” a new digital ad buy focused on Senate Bill 436 and its co-author State Senator Jack Sandlin (SD-36) (Howey Politics Indiana). SB 436 would have allowed the state government to supercede prosecutorial discretion and prosecute Hoosiers who are simply following their local city policies. This bill is a direct contradiction to the Indiana Republican Party’s political attacks on “big government” over the last decade.

PRIMARY FILINGS: The primary filing deadline is noon today. We'll have full analysis of presidential, gubernatorial, congressional and General Assembly races in the Feb. 13 weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana.

President: Michael R. Bloomberg, D; Tulsi Gabbard, D; Bernie Sanders, D; Elizabeth Ann Warren, D; Andrew Yang D; Donald J. Trump, R.

Congress: Andrew Sylwestrowicz, D, CD1; Christopher Glenn Davis, R, CD2; Jeffrey Michael Alberts, R, CD4; Victoria Spartz, R, CD5.

Indiana Senate: Belinda Drake, D, SD32.

Indiana House: Tom Wallace, D, HD37; Kevin Short, D, HD40; Amanda Qualls, D, HD49; Michael M Stephenson, D, HD51; Stephen A Folz, D, HD76; Timothy Hughes, D, HD100; Blake Johnson, D, HD100; John P. Schmitz, R, HD97; Wayne (Gunny) Harmon, R, HD100.

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG SURGING IN NH EMERSON POLL: Support for former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg among Democratic and Independent voters in New Hampshire is gaining as the 2020 field gears up for the state's primary next week, the latest polling data shows (Newsweek). The figures—gathered daily by 7 News and Emerson College Polling—showed that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders maintains a healthy lead in the state where he won more than 60 percent of votes in the 2016 contest. On Wednesday, 38-year-old Buttegieg closed the gap by four points from Tuesday, a overall nine-point boost for the candidate since Monday. Sanders' support dropped one point from Tuesday to Wednesday. Wednesday's figures put Sanders at 31 percent, Buttigieg at 21 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren tied at 12 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 11 percent.

MAYOR PETE AT CNN TOWN HALL: Pete Buttigieg took the stage for his CNN town hall Thursday night (Howey Politics Indiana). CNN's Chris Cuomo asked him about his finish in the Iowa caucuses. What is your reaction? Pete Buttigieg: "Oh, that's fantastic news to hear that we won. First of all, I want to say Sen. Sanders clearly had a great night too, and I congratulate him and his supporters. And for us, this is a campaign that a year ago -- I think a lot of people were questioning why we were even making the attempt. And to see over the course of that year -- having started with four people on the staff of the committee -- we had this little cramped office in South Bend, no national name recognition, no personal fortune, no big email list that you would get from having run for president before. We just had this idea that we could build a different kind of politics of belonging based on bringing people together and to see how that led to that win for us in Iowa was fantastic. But I also know that we're in New Hampshire now. We got to look ahead and New Hampshire is a state that has never been told what to do. And we've got to earn every vote and earn a win on Tuesday night right here."

BUTTIGIEG CITES KEY TO DEFEATING TRUMP: On MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday, Pete Buttigieg was asked what is the key to defeating President Trump. He responded, "The key to defeating Donald Trump is to deny him the ability to change the subject. Putting up some equal but opposite version of him is a recipe for failure because folks are going to go for the original. We need to do something completely different. And, you know, everyone's got their approach they're taking to this, but I gotta think that if there's one thing that we have learned over the years, it is that if you want to confront a new challenge, you gotta approach it with a new solution."

BUTTIGIEG APPEARS ON THE VIEW: Pete Buttigieg appeared on ABC's "The View" on Thursday. Asked about the Iowa woman who changed her vote when she found out Buttigieg was gay, Buttigieg said, "What I want her to know is that I'm running to be her president too. Of course, I wish she was able to see that my love is the same as her love for those that she cares about, that my marriage means as much to me as hers if she's married. But if she can't see that, and even if because she can't see that, she won't vote for me, I am still, if I am elected president, going to get up in the morning and try to make the best decisions for her and the people that she loves as I will work to serve every American, whether they supported me or not." On Speaker Pelosi ripping up President Trump's SOTU speech, Buttigieg said, "You know what ripping up the constitution looks like? Sending your lawyer into the well of the Senate to say that anything you do, even at the expense of national security, anything you do to benefit your own campaign is by definition the right thing to do and legal. That's ripping up the constitution."

BIDEN MIA IN NH: Outside the castle-themed Radisson Hotel where Joe Biden has been staying, his campaign bus was parked and ready for events (Washington Post). But on Thursday, just five days before the crucial primary here, the candidate was nowhere to be found. Biden spent Thursday gathered with his top advisers at his home in Wilmington, Del., seeking a reset and perhaps a last-ditch effort to save his candidacy, beginning with a debate Friday night. He held no public events.

CARVILLE CALLS ON PEREZ TO RESIGN: James Carville, who has said [DNC Chairman Tom Perez] should resign, pointed to another controversy this week that has been overshadowed by the Iowa chaos: the ouster of the top aides who had been planning the party's nominating convention in Milwaukee. He cited it as another sign of the party's disarray (New York Times). 'We can't count votes, put on a convention or deliver a winning message,' said Mr. Carville, the longtime Clinton strategist.

INSIDE BUTTIGIEG'S IOWA COMEBACK: As the hours crawled by Monday night with no official Iowa caucus results, Pete Buttigieg’s senior advisers were getting more and more frustrated as they huddled around a TV — until they turned their full attention to the cheers coming from down the hall (Politico). That’s where Buttigieg’s field staff was stationed at makeshift desks in an office park just south of Des Moines, jotting down real-time results phoned in by their precinct captains — 1,678 organizers who played a decisive role in winning the votes in the first place. Buttigieg dominated among voters picking their second choice as part of Iowa’s arcane caucus system, growing his total support by more than one-sixth over the course of the night, more than any other Democrat. That’s what propelled Buttigieg toward the top of what could be the closest Iowa caucuses ever, a tight battle for first with Bernie Sanders. And Buttigieg's results — and his early victory lap, which deeply annoyed his rivals — created a swell of momentum heading into the New Hampshire primary, a key moment for him before the campaign transitions to more diverse states where he has struggled to break through. The story of Buttigieg’s second-choice surge began months earlier, when his campaign decided to go all-in on building an army of highly trained persuaders to deploy on caucus night, after raising a huge $25 million in the spring and spending part of the summer figuring out how to best spend it.

STATES EYE REPLACING IOWA: States are jockeying to be the first contest of the Democratic nominating process following the Iowa counting debacle (Wall Street Journal). Criticism that the state is too white and the caucuses too archaic to go first already put its status at risk. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker jumped into the debate early, suggesting his was the “most representative state in the country” and therefore an ideal first primary location. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is also supportive. A Pennsylvania congressman made the case for Delaware. Other possibilities: Have all four current early primary states—Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina—go on the same day, since together they roughly match nationwide demographics. Some warn against a national primary, arguing that it would kill retail politics in favor of campaigns that can afford huge media budgets.

General Assembly

NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM TO END IN 2021: Needle exchange programs in Indiana could be discontinued as early as summer 2021. This comes as Bill 207 died on the floor Tuesday. The bill proposed lifting the expiration date on a 2015 initiative which allowed local health departments to run needle exchange programs (Indiana Public Media). Senator Jim Merritt authored Bill 207. He says that even though the bill terminating the expiration date of needle exchange programs died, he hopes to find another way to extend those services. “There are house bills and possibly senate bills that are going over the house of representatives that we might be able to mend the language into,” Merritt says. He says adding language onto a passed bill could extend the life of needle exchanges an extra year, giving him more time to get a bill passed that would lift the expiration date on the program all together.

TAX AMNESTY BILL PROPOSED: Homeowners and businesses unable to come up with the money needed to cover the penalties and interest on their unpaid property taxes soon may be able to take advantage of a tax amnesty program (Carden, NWI Times). The Indiana Senate voted 47-2 Tuesday for Senate Bill 435, authorizing counties to waive interest and penalties accrued prior to Jan. 1, 2020, if the property owner pays all the past and current property taxes and special assessments due on their land by May 1, 2021. "Right now, the penalties and interest on delinquent property taxes are making it nearly impossible for Hoosiers to ever repay those fines," said state Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, the sponsor. Indiana Senate endorses amnesty plan for penalties and interest on delinquent property taxes. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, Lake County has — by far — both the highest amount of unpaid property taxes in the state at $107.4 million, and is owed the most in penalties and interest at nearly $135.5 million. State records show unpaid property taxes total $8 million in Porter County.

FILM INCENTIVES BILL MOVING: The Indiana General Assembly is considering a bill that would create incentives for film and other media productions in Indiana (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). Senate Bill 262, which was nearly unanimously approved this week by the Senate, would allow the newly-established Indiana Destination Development Corp. to create a film and media incentive program to entice more production to Indiana. Tony Samuel, president of Samuel Solutions Group, says having such a program will be a boon for economic development in the state. Currently, 32 states have some form of incentive program. Samuel tells Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman media production is a $300 billion industry and Indiana is currently getting just a small slice of that pie. "Compared to Ilinois, for example, they generate almost $2 billion per year in wages in media production. We're only at less than $250 million. Kentucky is about $800 million. Pennsylvania (is at) about $900 million. So there's more that we can do but every state has incentives that attract producers to that state and we don't have one in Indiana; we need one to be competitive with other states." The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee and passed by the full Senate by a vote of 47-2.

JUVENILE SENTENCING BILL CLEARS SENATE: Legislation headed to the Indiana House would allow 12-year-olds to be sent to the Department of Correction for crimes that include attempted robbery (Indiana Public Media). That bill cleared the Senate as the 2020 session’s first half finished. The bill expands the list of crimes that could send a delinquent child to the Department of Correction and lowers the age of those children to as young as 12. It also potentially puts children in DOC longer, up to age 22 (while they’re currently released at 18). Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) worries the bill exacerbates a juvenile justice system that’s already skewed against people of color. He discussed that in a back-and-forth with Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis), the bill’s co-author.


GOVERNOR: CROUCH ANNOUNCES DISTILLERY TRAIL - Indiana Grown today released its newest map of local artisans, the Indiana Grown Distillery Trail. This guide adds to the previous five maps, trails and guides Indiana Grown has created over the past two years to highlight the various segments of agriculture within their membership (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The Distillery Trail features 18 distilleries and their craft spirits, such as whiskey, vodka and gin. Participants will discover members like Old 55 Distillery, which is Indiana’s only sweet corn distillery and Hotel Tango, a veteran-owned distillery whose name pays tribute to the owner’s military service. The distilleries are all members of Indiana Grown and many choose to partner with Indiana Grown member farms as well for their ingredients.“Indiana has a wealth of agritourism destinations and by creating these resources, Indiana Grown is helping shine a spotlight on their members who can attract consumers both inside and outside of the state,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “Our hope is that Hoosiers, and more broadly all Americans, will realize the quality products Indiana has to offer to those near and far.

GOVERNOR: CROUCH HONORS RURAL COMMUNITIES - Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch along with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs recognized more than 85 individuals and communities who partnered with the agency throughout 2019 to collaboratively shape and execute their vision for local community and economic development opportunities (Howey Politics Indiana). "By working together, these communities applied innovative changes to their public buildings, parks, walkways, main streets and economic developments," Crouch said. "In partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, local leaders are able to utilize this funding to incorporate the plans to further their economic and community development." Crouch said more than $56 million local community dollars were combined with the $35 million OCRA funding to complete quality of place improvements like water system enhancements, building of public facilities, main street revitalization, historic renovation and downtown enhancement.

AGRICULTURE: KRON TO SERVE ON NATIONAL BOARD - Indiana farmers will have one of their own representing them on the American Farm Bureau leadership (Indiana Public Media). Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron has recently been elected to serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors during the annual national convention. “Part of it’s to make sure the Midwest has a voice when we bring all of agriculture together,” says Kron. “You know the best thing about farm bureau is, we have to have to sit down and have a unified voice and that’s part of my role I think.”

IU SPONSORS 'SEX FEST': New video and photos out of Indiana University show an individual being publicly whipped as part of a university-sponsored “sex fest” (Campus Reform). The Indiana University Health Center’s three-day 4th annual sex fest includes booths showcasing various sex toys and flogging mechanisms, complete with diagrams showing students how to use them. Some of the exhibits include free cupcakes and contraceptives, as well as free HIV testing, according to the Indiana Daily Student. Attendees also receive t-shirts that say "I love sex." "Our public health researchers have found some evidence to suggest that people are engaging in a broader range of sexual activities and as a result, it is the IU Health Center's mission to make sure they practice it safely." On Tuesday, Debbie Herbenick hosted Lexx Brown James, a licensed marriage and family therapist, on a panel titled "Kick-off to Kink."


WHITE HOUSE: AL QAEDA TERRORIST KILLED IN YEMEN - The White House announced Thursday evening that Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in an airstrike in Yemen. CNN reported last week that the US conducted a strike targeting Rimi, who led the terror group’s franchise based in Yemen that has repeatedly expressed interest in conducting attacks targeting the United States, a US official said. The Pentagon did not comment when asked at the time about the report. The US government had offered a $10 million reward for information on Rimi.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SEEKS NASA FUNDING BOOST - President Trump will propose a 12% boost to NASA’s 2021 budget, with most of the increase aimed at fulfilling his goal of returning U.S. astronauts to the moon’s surface by 2024, according to administration officials (Wall Street Journal). The increase includes nearly $3 billion in new funding to develop human landers, these officials said, with total agency outlays projected to climb to $25.6 billion in one of the largest overall spending increases requested for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since the 1990s. Expected to be highlighted as part of the budget package set for release next week, the numbers indicate Mr. Trump is doubling down on oft-repeated pledges to have industry-government partnerships transport NASA back to the moon by 2024.

WHITE HOUSE: SPOTTED IN THE EAST ROOM - VP Mike Pence, A.G. Bill Barr, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, acting COS Mick Mulvaney, Stephanie Grisham, Hogan Gidley, first lady Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Barron Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Jay Sekulow, Pat Cipollone, Pam Bondi, Tony Sayegh, Brent Bozell, Matt Schlapp, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), David Bossie, Rick Santorum, Julia Hahn, Ory Rinat, John Ullyot, Austin Cantrell, Joe Grogan and Chris Liddell (Politico Playbook).

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will leave the White House at 11 a.m. en route to Charlotte. He will travel to Central Piedmont Community College and speak at 1:20 p.m. at the Opportunity Now Summit. Afterward, he will fly back to Washington. Trump will leave the White House at 7 p.m. to travel to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. He will speak at the Republican Governors Association's finance dinner at 7:30 p.m. Afterward, he will return to the White House.

LABOR: JOBS REPORT COULD SHOW SHIFT - The January employment report will be released Friday, with U.S. payrolls figures offering a gauge of labor-market strength at the start of the year. For longer-term context, keep an eye on annual benchmark revisions to employment (Wall Street Journal). A preliminary tabulation, released in August, showed employers added about 2 million jobs in the year through March 2019, 501,000 less than initially thought. Final benchmark revisions out Friday will spread that loss from April 2018 to March 2019. Other adjustments could affect the remainder of 2019’s job figures. There really shouldn’t be any major surprises. But how the revisions fall could signal less momentum heading into 2020.

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - "Fox News Sunday" (live from Bedford, N.H.): Pete Buttigieg. Panel: Karl Rove, Julie Pace, Dana Perino and Juan Williams. Power Player segment: Lonnie Bunch. ABC "This Week": Joe Biden. Panel: Yvette Simpson, Jon Karl, Barbara Comstock, Matthew Dowd and Jen Psaki. NBC "Meet The Press": Panel: Joshua Johnson, Kasie Hunt, John Sununu and Claire McCaskill. CNN "State Of The Union": Panel: Rick Santorum, Mia Love, Karen Finney and Wajahat Ali. CNN "Inside Politics": Mike Shear, Jackie Kucinich, Catherine Lucey and Toluse Olorunnipa. CBS "Face the Nation": Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), CBS' Anthony Salvanto. Panel: Jamal Simmons, Jeffrey Goldberg, Gerald Seib and Salena Zito.


INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT BRISTLES IN WAKE OF QUADRUPLE HOMICIDE - Police and Mayor Joe Hogsett are defending Indy's record on violent crime after a quadruple murder on the eastside (WIBC). Neighbors in the Carriage House East Apartments called 911 after noticing a rear door shattered, possibly by gunfire, and saw people running from the apartment. Inside, police found four people shot to death. The victims have been identified as 20-year-old Marcel Wills, 21-year-old Braxton Ford, 21-year-old Kimari Hunt, and 19-year-old Jalen Roberts. Hogsett calls the murders heartbreaking. But he bristles at the idea the city hasn't done enough to fight crime. The shootings took place just hours after a City-County Council committee rejected a proposal from the Fraternal Order of Police and council Republicans to create a study commission on crime. Hogsett says the proposal boils down to whether a committee or a commission should study the crime problem, and says to suggest that "one more bureaucratic entity studying violence" would solve the problem is "ludicrous."

KOKOMO: FCA WORKERS TO RECEIVE $7K IN PROFIT SHARING - Around 7,100 FCA Chrysler employees at the Kokomo and Tipton plants will receive a $7,280 profit-sharing payout this year as part of the contract agreement negotiated in 2015 between the company and the United Auto Workers union (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). FCA announced Thursday it will make the profit-sharing payment to the 44,000 eligible UAW-represented employees across the country. Workers will receive the money on March 13. In Kokomo and Tipton plants, the payment will boost the total payroll by more than $51.6 million.

FORT WAYNE: ELECTRIC WORKS ANCHOR TENANT TO BE REVEALED - The company behind the Electric Works project at the former General Electric campus said it will announce its new anchor tenant at a news conference on Feb. 13 (WPTA-TV). The event follows the January disclosure that such a tenant had been identified and committed to the project. It prompted RTM Ventures to seek a deadline extension to allow for the process to be finalized before public funding was withdrawn. Mayor Tom Henry last week said he supported extending that deadline. With board approval, it would be the second such extension in recent months.

INDIANAPOLIS: CULTURAL TRAIL TO EXTEND -  For the first time in its nearly 10-year history, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail will undergo its first major expansion. Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. says the effort is being led by a $20 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. (Inside Indiana Business). The project will add new stretches to the trail along South Street and Indiana Avenue in downtown Indianapolis. The gift from Lilly Endowment will be combined with a previously-announced $5 million commitment from the city of Indianapolis. “From its inception, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick has been a shining example of how public-private partnerships enhance quality of life for our residents. The Cultural Trail has moved our city forward by integrating cultural and economic development with opportunities to improve community health and vitality,” Kären Haley executive director of Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., said in a news release.

CROWN POINT: HOSPITAL GROUNDBREAKING NEARS - The new Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point is one step closer to breaking ground (NWI Times). The City Council on Monday unanimously agreed to rezone a 50-plus-acre parcel of land in the development. Franciscan Alliance owns around 155 acres near the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231, where a 510-acre, multi-million-dollar plan that includes a new hospital is in place, said Jeff Ban, of DVG, Inc. The 50-acre parcel was zoned B-3, while the rest of the acreage was zoned OS-1, which created a conflict for the development, Ban said.

MARTINSVILLE: CONTAMINATION PLUME DISCOVERED - There's something in the water in Martinsville, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes it's been there for years (CBS4). A recent study from Dr. Sa Liu, Assistant Professor at the Purdue University School of Health Science, confirmed a chemical known as PCE (perchloroethylene) infiltrated the city's water supply along with private wells. On Wednesday, researchers will join with members of the Martinsville Superfund Site Association in presenting the findings to the community. What caused the problem? According to the EPA, it likely began decades ago. The administration discovered a slow moving, underground mass of contaminated water known as a plume.

EVANSVILLE: BRIDGE CLOSES INDEFINITELY - A Vanderburgh County bridge has been closed indefinitely and the Indiana Department of Transportation plans to seek legal action against those who caused damage. Our partners at WEHT-TV report the driver of a semi carrying an oversized load attempted to drive under the Pigeon Creek Bridge on Highway 41 last month, but hit steel beams supporting the bridge. INDOT has since been assessing the damage and says the 80-year old bridge may be beyond repair. Crews say the semi caused beams to completely break apart, while others are partially broken.

GREENWOOD: NEW PARK PROPOSED - Greenwood’s mayor announced plans for a new park during his state of the city address Thursday (CBS4). The new park would be built on 40 acres near the I-65/Worthsville Road interchange. The park would cater to local and traveling sports teams. Plans include an outdoor sports complex with several ball diamonds, a multi-use playing field, splash pad, and an inclusive playground. Greenwood also plans a downtown fieldhouse that would provide year-round recreational and fitness opportunities for residents. The fieldhouse would be equipped for a variety of sports including volleyball, futsal, badminton, soccer, baseball, basketball, and pickleball.

BRISTOL: PONTOON COMPANY BRINGING IOWA JOBS -  A pontoon boat company plans to close its Iowa plant and move production to an Indiana location (WANE-TV). The Messenger reports that about 45 employees will lose their jobs at the Misty Harbor plant in Fort Dodge. Misty Harbor President Jeff Miller says the work done in Fort Dodge will be moved to the Bristol, Indiana, plant to “optimize operational efficiency and reduce logistic costs.”

SPENCER COUNTY: SCHOOL CLOSE DUE TO FLU - Due to illnesses spreading, all South Spencer schools will be out for the rest of the week (WFIE-TV). According to the South Spencer Schools Facebook page, students will have e-learning days on Thursday and Friday instead of going to class.