PENCE REFUSED TO LEAVE CAPITOL ON JAN. 6: Mike Pence began his congressional career refusing a police order to clear the U.S. Capitol as Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001 was bearing down on the citadel of democracy. According to the new book "I Alone Can Fix It," Vice President Pence refused a Secret Service request that he leave the building on Jan. 6, 2021 as insurrectionists inspired by President Trump had invaded the building, chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" According to authors, Washington Post reporters Carol Leonigg and Philip Rucker, at 2:13, Pence’s Secret Service detail removed the vice president from the Senate floor and took him through a side door to his ceremonial office nearby, along with his wife, Karen, their daughter Charlotte, and his brother, Greg, a congressman from Indiana. The Pences were hurried across one of the Capitol’s many ornate marble hallways to get there, but the path proved eerily close to danger. One or two minutes later, marauders chanting Pence’s name charged up the stairs to that precise landing in front of the hallway, and a quick-thinking Goodman led the rioters in a different direction, away from the Senate chamber. Had Pence walked past any later, the intruders who called him a traitor would have spotted him. Tim Giebels, the lead special agent in charge of the vice president’s protective detail, twice asked Pence to evacuate the Capitol, but Pence refused. “I’m not leaving the Capitol,” he told Giebels. The last thing the vice president wanted was the people attacking the Capitol to see his 20-car motorcade fleeing. That would only vindicate their insurrection. The third time Giebels asked Pence to evacuate, it was more of an order than a request. “They’re in the building,” Giebels said. “The room you’re in is not secure. There are glass windows. I need to move you. We’re going.” At 2:26, after a team of agents scouted a safe path to ensure the Pences would not encounter trouble, Giebels and the rest of Pence’s detail guided them down a staircase to a secure subterranean area that rioters couldn’t reach, where the vice president’s armored limousine awaited. Giebels asked Pence to get in one of the vehicles. “We can hold here,” he said. “I’m not getting in the car, Tim,” Pence replied. “I trust you, Tim, but you’re not driving the car. If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car.”

 

McCARTHY MEETS WITH TRUMP AT BEDMINSTER: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy met with Donald Trump on Thursday at the former President's Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, as the California Republican is considering which members of his conference to appoint to a special committee tasked with investigating the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol (CNN). In a statement after the meeting, McCarthy said he and Trump had a "productive conversation regarding House Republicans' record fundraising, upcoming Congressional special elections, and the latest work being carried out to target vulnerable Democrats." "As the midterm elections draw closer, I look forward to working together to build upon our success in 2020 where House Republicans flipped 15 seats, lost zero incumbents and elected the most women in conference history," McCarthy said. "I appreciate President Trump's commitment to help House Republicans defeat Democrats and Take Back the House in 2022."

 

FORMER REP. FORESTAL DIES AT AGE 38: Former state Rep. Dan Forestal of Indianapolis has died. He was 38. Forestal’s manner of death wasn’t clear pending the return of toxicology results, the Marion County Coroner’s Office said (AP). The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department opened a death investigation Wednesday after officers conducting a welfare check found Forestal dead at a hotel, The Indianapolis Star reported. Forestal, a former firefighter, was elected to the Statehouse in 2012. He resigned in June 2020 shortly after he was arrested on preliminary charges of battery of a public safety official, resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct. Forestal had openly described his “struggles with mental health.” “The time is long overdue for me to focus on my mental health and get myself well,” Forestal said in a statement announcing his resignation in June of 2020. “Hoosiers should not have to live in fear of having their struggles with mental health be exposed and have attached to them the negative stigma that comes with suffering from mental health issues.”

 

JUSTICE BREYER UNDECIDED ON RETIREMENT: Justice Stephen Breyer has not decided when he will retire and is especially gratified with his new role as the senior liberal on the bench, he told CNN in an exclusive interview -- his first public comments amid the incessant speculation of a Supreme Court vacancy. Far from Washington and the pressures of the recently completed session and chatter over his possible retirement, Breyer, a 27-year veteran of the high court, said Wednesday that two factors will be overriding in his decision. "Primarily, of course, health," said Breyer, who will turn 83 in August. "Second, the court." Liberal advocates, law professors and some Democratic members of Congress have tried in public statements to persuade Breyer to leave the bench. They want Democratic President Joe Biden to be able to name a younger liberal while the Senate, which has the constitutional "advice and consent" power, holds a thin Democratic majority. When asked directly over coffee in rural New Hampshire whether he had decided when to step down, Breyer said simply, "No."

 

McCONNELL 'PERPLEXED' ABOUT LOW VAX RATE: Red states have the nation’s lowest vaccination rates and are seeing many of the greatest increases in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Now let us count the ways in which this isn’t happening by accident. The former director of immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health says she was fired for relaying how kids ages 14 and higher can get vaccinated without their parents’ consent (Meet The Press Daily). The Tennessean also reports that the state’s Health Department has halted ALL vaccine outreach to Tennessee kids – not just for COVID-19, but for all diseases. In Missouri, Republican Gov. Mike Parson tweeted that he “directed” his state’s health department that sending the government door-to-door to promote getting the COVID-19 vaccine “would NOT be an effective OR a welcome strategy in Missouri,” even though he also said he encourages residents to get the vaccine and that he’s gotten it himself. In Georgia, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tweeted – misleadingly – that the vaccines are not safe. And conservative news outlets like Fox News and Newsmax have peddled misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “perplexed” why more Americans aren’t getting vaccinated. “I don't know how many times y'all heard me say this, but I'm a huge fan of vaccination. As a polio victim myself when I was young, I've studied that disease. Seventy years, 70 years to come up with two vaccines that finally ended the polio threat,” he said. “And so I'm perplexed by the difficulty we have in finishing the job.”

 

COLTS HAVE LOW VAX RATE: Four NFL teams remain under 50% vaccinated for COVID-19 less than two weeks from the start of training camp, a person familiar with the vaccination rates told The Associated Press. Washington, Indianapolis, Arizona and the Los Angeles Chargers had the four lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the league as of Thursday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t released the numbers. Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina and Denver have the highest vaccination rates and are among 10 teams that have achieved at least 85%. About 73% of players have been vaccinated. Teams on the lower end of the vaccination table face potential competitive disadvantages. The NFL doesn’t plan to cancel any games this season, the person said. Unvaccinated players must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren’t permitted to use the sauna or steam room and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling. Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions.

 

SCHUMER TO SEEK INFRASTRUCTURE CLOTURE VOTE NEXT WEEK: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday to finalize their infrastructure proposal, saying that the Senate will begin procedural votes for the bill next week (CBS News). Schumer announced that he will file cloture on a bill that will serve as a "vehicle" for the package on Monday, setting it up for consideration. The Senate will then vote on cloture, which would limit debate, with a motion to proceed on Wednesday. That vote requires 60 votes to advance — meaning that it will have to garner support from all 50 Democrats as well as at least 10 Republicans. "All parties involved in the bipartisan infrastructure bill talks must now finalize their agreement so that the Senate can begin considering that legislation next week," Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. He told reporters later on Thursday that he believes negotiators have "plenty of time to get it done."

 

DNR URGES PIKE COUNTY RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR BLACK BEAR: The black bear that has been seen in Pike County has gotten into garbage there and is likely still roaming around southern Indiana. If trash or recycling containers are easily accessible, the bear could start to associate people’s homes with a place to find food (Howey Politics Indiana). To protect the bear and personal property, residents of Pike and surrounding counties should secure those and other potential human-generated outdoor food sources. “Seeking out easily accessible food is normal behavior for many wild animals,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammologist. “Unfortunately, bears can become sick or even die when they eat items from our garbage.” DNR’s last confirmed report of the bear was in Pike County on July 8; however, bears can travel up to 20 miles a day.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The emerging details of new books "I Alone Can Fix It"  by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonigg and Philip Rucker and "Frankly We Did Win This Election" by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender are simply chilling. We are discovering how close the Trump-inspired coup d'etat came to derailing the cornerstone of American democracy, which is the peaceful transfer of power. We've learned that Gen. Mark Milley feared a Nazi-style coup d'etat, calling Trump a "classic authoritarian leader" with "nothing to lose." In a statement Thursday, Trump responded, "If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley." That's revealing. Little wonder that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was resistant to a bipartisan commission to investigate (he was meeting with Trump in Bedminster on Thursday) and now vacillitates on how to handle a Jan. 6 House select committee like a spineless isopod. But in a democracy, the true story and sordid details are destined to come out, like a consistent drumbeat of troubling details that in former days would have been released at 5 p.m. on a Friday. The remnants of the Republican Party are flirting with disaster in 2022 and 2024. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

INDEMS CELEBRATE ARP CHECKS: The Indiana Democratic Party celebrated the continued impact President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan is having on communities across the state. Hoosier families this week will see checks hitting their mailboxes and bank accounts to help make ends meet and put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror (Howey Politics Indiana). This provision expands on the Child Tax Credit and will help lift more than 80,000 Indiana children out of poverty. Further, Indiana Office of Management and Budget Director Cris Johnston admitted yesterday that because of the Rescue Plan, Indiana found itself in a strong fiscal position to end FY2021, and it’s why Hoosiers could receive an additional tax credit next year. The American Rescue Plan is why Indiana and Hoosier families are beginning to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror. But, not a single Indiana Republican in the Congressional delegation supported the Rescue Plan. In fact, Republicans now have a track record of using federal dollars provided by the American Rescue Plan for the state’s use - including $250 million in broadband expansion, $500 million in economic development projects, and infrastructure projects. The problem? Indiana Republicans tout these projects as their own even though they voted “no” on the Rescue Plan dough.

 

SEAT RAISES $15K: Republican treasurer candidate Pete Seat set a record by raising more in his first 27 days on the campaign trail than any other candidate for State Treasurer in a contested convention race in at least the past 20 years (Howey Politics Indiana). Seat raised $15,596.59 in those 27 days, $14,403.12 of that being direct contributions from supporters.

 

STATEMENT FROM TRUMP: Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America (Howey Politics Indiana): "Despite massive Voter Fraud and Irregularities during the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, that we are now seeing play out in very big and important States, I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government. So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of "coup," and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley. He got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him. To me the fact that Mattis didn’t like him, just like Obama didn’t like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people's advice who I don’t respect. In any event, I lost respect for Milley when we walked together to St. John’s Church (which was still smoldering from a Radical Left fire set the day before), side by side, a walk that has now been proven to be totally appropriate—and the following day Milley choked like a dog in front of the Fake News when they told him they thought he should not have been walking with the President, which turned out to be incorrect. He apologized profusely, making it a big story, instead of saying I am proud to walk with and protect the President of the United States. Had he said that, it would have all been over, no big deal, but I saw at that moment he had no courage or skill, certainly not the type of person I would be talking “coup” with. I’m not into coups! In fact, around the same time Milley, in a conversation, was an advocate of changing all of the names of our Military Forts and Bases.  I realized then, also, he was a much different person than I had hoped. I said to him, “spend more time thinking about China and Russia, and less time on being politically correct.” But never during my Administration did Milley display what he is showing now. He was not “woke.”  Actually, I don’t believe he ever was, but the way I look at Milley, he’s just a better politician than a general, trying to curry favor with the Radical Left and the absolute crazy people espousing a philosophy which will destroy our Country!"

 

ANOTHER STATEMENT FROM TRUMP: Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America (Howey Politics Indiana): "Nobody had ever heard of some of these people that worked for me in D.C. All of a sudden, the Fake News starts calling them. Some of them—by no means all—feel emboldened, brave, and for the first time in their lives, they feel like "something special," not the losers that they are—and they talk, talk, talk! Many say I am the greatest star-maker of all time. But some of the stars I produced are actually made of garbage."

 

SCOTT JONES SPENT $400M: Nearly two decades ago, Scott Jones was among the most powerful people in Indiana. A fixture on the pages of Indianapolis Business Journal and on Inside Indiana Business, Jones has doled out nearly $1 million in political donations to state Republican politicians and committees since 1999 (Wren, Indianapolis Monthly). But in the last five years, Jones told me has spent the last millions of his once-vast personal fortune of more than $400 million and has a negative net worth. Jones says he has $1,332 left in his checking account. He says he owes his parents, Barbara and George Jones, more than $1 million in loans and credit card companies some $140,000. 

 

Congress

 

BRAUN INTRODUCES REPEAL MASK MANDATE: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun has cosponsored the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021, legislation to prohibit the imposition of mask mandates on public transportation (Howey Politics Indiana). This legislation was introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (AZ-5) will be introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. This bill is cosponsored by Tom Cotton (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). “It is far, far past time to end the federal government’s contradictory one-size-fits-all COVID mandates, including the rule requiring masks on planes and public transportation,” said Braun.

 

BRAUN OPPOSES DEM SPENDING: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun has joined Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) to release the following joint statement in response to Democrats’ partisan spending package (Howey Politics Indiana). “Our nation is nearing $30 trillion in debt. There is a day of reckoning if we don’t get our fiscal house in order. We appreciate our colleagues’ efforts to get a bipartisan deal done. But supporting this infrastructure deal enables the Democrats to pass their $3.5 trillion spending package. Joe Biden said it himself: These two issues are welded together. Everyone agrees America needs to invest in infrastructure. But with our national debt growing out of control and Democrats dedicated to passing a 100% partisan blowout spending package totaling $3.5 trillion, we cannot support any additional deficit spending on Joe Biden’s, Nancy Pelosi’s, Chuck Schumer’s and Bernie Sanders’ liberal wish list."

 

BAIRD APPLAUDS RURAL INTERNET ACT PASSAGE: U.S. Rep. Jim Baird released the following statement after the unanimous passage of the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act (Howey Politics Indiana): “Over the last year, we’ve seen the harmful impact the digital divide has had on thousands of Hoosiers and Americans across the country living in rural communities,” said Congressman Baird. “My colleagues and I on the House Committee on Agriculture recognize how essential reliable connectivity is for our farmers, and we agree that Congress must act swiftly to bridge the gap that persists among rural and urban communities. Yesterday’s unanimous passage of the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act is a big win that prioritizes our rural communities by making a historic investment in rural broadband that will help us achieve our goal of delivering high speed and reliable broadband to all Americans.”

 

BAIRD BACKS HYDE AMENDMENT: U.S. Rep. Jim Baird released the following statement after the House Committee on Appropriations approved the FY2022 LHHS bill excluding the Hyde Amendment on a partisan basis (Howey Politics Indiana). “For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has saved millions of lives from abortions and has rightfully earned the support of every president since Jimmy Carter, until now,” said Congressman Baird. “Taking the life of an unborn child is simply unconscionable and pursuing legislation that forces taxpayers to subsidize abortions when the majority of them do not support that effort is unacceptable. Even as Democrats attempt to roll back historically bipartisan protections for the unborn, as a proud pro-life advocate, I remain committed to fighting for the most vulnerable among us.”

 

SPARTZ ADDS PINEGAR AS LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR: Rep. Victoria Spartz’s (R-Ind.) office has added Phillip Pinegar as legislative director (previously in then-VP Mike Pence’s office), replacing Erica Barker, who has moved up to be deputy chief of staff and counsel.

 

THE HOUSE will meet at 9 a.m. in a pro forma session. THE SENATE is out.

 

REP. BEATTY ARRESTED AT HART BUILDING: Rep. Joyce Beatty was arrested by US Capitol Police on Thursday afternoon after participating in a voting rights protest that culminated in a march inside the Senate Hart Office Building atrium (CNN). Beatty, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, participated in a small rally alongside 12 activists outside the Supreme Court building before marching to Hart, singing songs including "We Shall Overcome" and "This Little Light of Mine." After a warning from police to clear the area, Beatty was the first person arrested. Other members of the group were also arrested. The Ohio Democrat shared photos of herself being zip-tied on her Twitter account with the caption, "Let the people vote. Fight for justice," subsequently tweeting, "#GoodTrouble," a reference to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who served as a civil rights icon for his 60-plus years of social activism.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB STATEMENT OF REP. FORESTAL - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement regarding the death of former Indiana lawmaker Dan Forestal (Howey Politics Indiana). “Former State Representative Dan Forestal proudly served his constituents as a legislator and as an Indianapolis firefighter. He led with conviction and intention and was passionate on his mission to serve Hoosiers. Janet and I offer his loved ones our condolences and hope that they find peace and comfort in the coming days.”

 

INDOT: INDY ROAD CLOSURES AT NORTH SPLIT - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced Thursday the full closure of Market Street. This closure is part of the larger North Split reconstruction project (Howey Politics Indiana). Beginning on or after Thursday, July 15, Market Street between East Street and Highland Avenue will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for overhead bridge demolition over Market Street. The work is estimated to be completed on or after August 2. During this local street closure, local access will still be available between Highland Avenue and Pine Street. All other eastbound and westbound traffic on Market Street will be detoured to Washington Street. Pedestrian traffic will also be detoured to Washington Street. Access to downtown Indianapolis will be maintained via: I-70 westbound exit ramp to Michigan or Ohio St.; Pine St. entrance ramp to I-70 eastbound

I-65 northbound/I-70 eastbound exit ramp to Washington St.; I-65 northbound and southbound to Martin Luther King. Jr./West St.; I-65 southbound to Meridian St.; All existing ramps on I-70 west of the South Split. Project information can be found at northsplit.com.

 

ISDH: THURSDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health announced Thursday that 586 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 759,618 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. To date, 13,513 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of one from the previous day. Another 426 probable deaths have been reported to date based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. A total of 3,625,957 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 3,623,059 on Wednesday. A total of 11,008,756 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26, 2020.

 

DNR: SICK SONGBIRDS IN 69 COUNTIES - Sick and dying birds are being reported in 69 of Indiana’s 92 counties. The Department of Natural Resources says a mysterious illness is affecting 10 species of birds (WIBC). The reports of the sick and dying birds started coming in during May. The illness was initially found primarily in blue jays, robins, cardinals, and starlings. However, the DNR added more bird species to the list, including brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, sparrow, house finch, red-headed woodpecker, and wren. Other species of birds could be affected as well. The DNR is looking into that.

 

PURDUE: SCHOOL GIRDS FOR RECORD FROSH CLASS - Record enrollment has Purdue getting innovative when it comes to student housing (WLFI-TV). "It's the sheer number," said Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life Barb Frazee. "We just weren't anticipating that there would be so many students." Purdue Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey said getting 15,000 students into housing can be a challenge. "All hands were on deck figuring this out," said McCuskey. Purdue will start the 2021 fall semester with its largest incoming freshman class in history, and the incoming class has almost 1,200 more students than last year. So, McCuskey said the university had to get creative. "Some of these might be small double rooms that we have used for singles for a while," she said. "So, we did go back to using those as a double. Some might be, like in this case, where it's used for studying or for meetings that we've been able to accomodate students in a bedroom setting."

 

NCAA: EMMERT CALLS FOR DECENTRALIZED COLLEGE SPORTS - NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday the time is right to consider a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports, shifting power to conferences and campuses and reconsidering how schools are aligned (AP). Emmert said the recent Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA along with the lifting of restrictions on athletes monetizing their fame should be a catalyst to “rethink” what college sports is about. In a 30-minute interview with a small group of reporters, Emmert stressed he was not putting forth a mandate or even a recommendation. But he laid out a vision for the future of college sports that puts fewer limitations on athletes and de-emphasizes the role of a national governing body like the NCAA, which was founded 115 years ago and oversees more than 450,000 students who play sports.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN HERALDS CHILD TAX CREDIT - President Joe Biden said Thursday that the monthly child tax credits that Americans began receiving this week will be among his administration's proudest accomplishments, touting the payments as a game changer for middle-class and working-class families (Politico). "It's historic and it's our effort to make another giant step towards ending child poverty in America," Biden said Thursday. "I think this will be one of the things the vice president and I will be most proud of when our terms are up." In one of the largest tax cuts for families with children in recent history, the plan will cover around 39 million households, or 88 percent of the nation’s children, according to the White House.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN MEETS FOR FINAL TIME WITH MERKEL - President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented a united front on energy and environmental issues after their bilateral meeting Thursday, despite ongoing disagreements over Nord Stream 2 (Politico). At the joint press conference following the meeting, Biden said he reiterated his concerns about the $11 billion pipeline from Russia to Germany, which is almost fully built. “Chancellor Merkel and I are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors," the president added, reflecting significant domestic congressional pressures to rein in Russia's actions on Ukraine. Of the pipeline, Biden said “good friends can disagree” and noted that it was almost completed when he took office while defending his decision to waive sanctions against the company behind the pipeline.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN WON'T SEND TROOPS TO HAITI - President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will bolster security at its embassy in Haiti following last week’s assassination of that country’s president, but sending American troops to stabilize the country was “not on the agenda" (AP). Haiti’s interim government last week asked the U.S. and the United Nations to deploy troops to protect key infrastructure following President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination. Biden signaled he was not open to the request, which comes as he is drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan this summer. “We’re only sending American Marines to our embassy,” Biden said. “The idea of sending American forces to Haiti is not on the agenda,” he added.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN/HARRIS SCHEDULES - 7:30 a.m.: The president will take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ virtual retreat. 10 a.m.: Biden and VP Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 12:20 p.m.: Biden and Harris will have lunch together. 1 p.m.: Biden will get a pandemic/vaccination briefing. 2:30 p.m.: Biden will leave the White House for Camp David, where he’ll receive the weekly economic briefing at 3:45 p.m. The White House Covid-19 response team and public health officials will brief at 11 a.m. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 12:30 p.m.

 

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Panel: Karl Rove, Susan Page and Harold Ford Jr. Power Player: Masih Alinejad. MSNBC “The Sunday Show”: Texas state Rep. James Talarico, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Michael Wolff, Robin DiAngelo, Joe Walsh. CBS “Face the Nation”: Chris Krebs, Scott Gottlieb, new polling with Anthony Salvanto. CNN “Inside Politics”: Panel: Rachael Bade, Toluse Olorunnipa, Jackie Kucinich and Tamara Keith. ABC “This Week”: Panel: Rick Klein, Julie Pace and Michel Martin.

 

MEDIA: HUNT LEAVES ‘WAY TOO EARLY’ - NBC’s Kasie Hunt announced that today was her last show as host of “Way Too Early” in MSNBC’s 5 a.m. hour.

 

MLB: COVID OUTBREAK SUSPENDS YANKEE/RED SOX GAME - The New York Yankees were supposed to open the second half of the 2021 MLB season hosting the rival Boston Red Sox on Thursday night (Yardbarker). It's now unknown when either club will next take the field. Shortly after the Yankees canceled their batting practice due to alleged COVID-19 issues, multiple outlets reported Thursday's matchup was called off. MLB insider Jon Heyman added the Yankees are dealing with a "major" coronavirus setback.

 

Local

 

SOUTH BEND: CITY TO GET $59M IN ARP FUNDS - Over the next three years, the South Bend Mayor James Mueller administration will propose spending about 80% of the city’s nearly $59 million in American Rescue Plan money on “equitable recovery,” Mueller told a city common council committee Wednesday (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The administration, to receive half the money this year and the rest next year, will submit spending requests to the council each fall at budget time, and is required by the federal law to incur any expenses paid with the money by the end of 2024. Personnel and Finance Committee chair Troy Warner organized the meeting to give council members and the public a chance to hear the administration’s plans for the money, ask Mueller questions, and give their input into how they would like the money to be spent. Mueller said his “equitable recovery” priorities, worth about $47 million in broad areas that will be more detailed later, will include: Safe, affordable housing, such as home repair, lead remediation, new construction, homeownership assistance and permanent supportive housing; Neighborhood infrastructure, such as lighting, curbs and sidewalks, and traffic calming; Public safety, including technology upgrades and “interventionists,” such as anti-violence groups. Deferred maintenance, including commercial demolitions and athletic courts; Pre-Kindergarten expansion and youth opportunities; Economic opportunities, such as workforce development, small business financing and an “opportunity fund” to “help get businesses who don’t have access to the financing they need to be successful, to be able to build their business and grow.”

 

INDIANAPOLIS: GRAND JURY INDICTS 19 FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING — A federal grand jury has indicted 19 people on charges alleging their involvement in a drug-trafficking organization believed to be linked to homicides in Indianapolis, officials said Thursday (AP). The announcement came one day after a series of raids in which FBI agents and police seized 35 gun, $70,000 in cash, 1.75 kilograms of fentanyl, 14 pounds of methamphetamine, 6 ounces of cocaine and 30 pounds of marijuana, Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress said at a news conference. Seventeen of the 19 people have been taken into custody and are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, officials said. Two people remained at large. The operation delivered methamphetamine and fentanyl across Indiana, officials said.

 

PORTLAND: ISP PROBES PD CHIEF — The police chief in Portland has stepped down amid an investigation into the department by Indiana State Police (WANE-TV). Chief Josh Stephenson resigned Tuesday, Portland Mayor John Boggs told WANE 15. He is still an officer with the Portland Police Department, Stephenson said. Boggs said Stephenson told him that with the recent unrest in the department and for the good of the department it would be best for him to step down.

 

ELKHART: MERIT COMMISSION DOESN'T FIRE PD OFFICER — A police officer was suspended for 60 days and put on probation Thursday by the Police Merit Commission, despite Chief Kris Seymore’s request to fire her (Jorgensen, Elkhart Truth). The chief wanted to terminate the officer, Cpl. Taryn Lanzen, and her husband, Sgt. Nathan Lanzen, as a result of them allegedly gaining “complete financial control” of an Elkhart resident’s assets, including his home, in a relationship that began on official police duty. Sgt. Lanzen’s hearing is scheduled for Monday.

 

MUNCIE: CITY GETS COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER - In a short virtual meeting on Wednesday, the East Central Indiana Regional Planning District voted to transfer ownership of the former justice center to the city of Muncie.  The building has been empty since jail and court activities were moved to the former Wilson Middle School earlier this year (Indiana Public Media).  Now the city is looking for ideas on what the building could become, with the aim to keep it on the city’s tax rolls. Developers could choose to tear down the building.  But Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour hopes they keep the 1992 construction, which he says needs work, but is very sound.  That’s even if it’s turned into housing. “We would not run away from the fact that this was a justice center.  We would expect that whoever develops it would embrace the fact that it was a justice center – and now look what it is.”

 

ZIONSVILLE: COUNCIL BACKS RESOLUTION FOR $9M IN LIBRARY BONDS - The Zionsville Town Council has approved the issuance of up to $9 million in bonds to pay for a new branch of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library to be built in Whitestown (IBJ). Construction on the $9 million project is expected to start in October so that the library’s new branch can open in the fourth quarter of 2022. “I’m not just excited about the possibility of having another branch to increase the amount of things you do currently. I’m excited about what additional opportunities you’re going to be able to offer there,” Zionsville Town Council Member Alexander Choi said last week after voting to approve the funding resolution. “I know the price tag is high, but we’ve grown by so much. I think this is a necessary next step for us.” The resolution passed by a 5-1 vote, with the only opposing vote coming from council member Brad Burk.

 

TIPPECANOE COUNTY: NALOXBOXES INSTALLED IN 3 COUNTIES — A local ambulance service this week is installing emergency boxes with life-saving medication in Tippecanoe, White and Clinton counties. As News 18 previously reported, the boxes, known as opioid rescue kits or "Naloxboxes," contain the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. They're being hung in public places in several communities in hopes the medication will be in the right place at the right time to save a life. "Today we're installing this here at Bauer on the south side, and then later we're going to install a similar Naloxbox at City Hall in downtown Lafayette," says Daniel Somerville, director of marketing for Phoenix Paramedic Solutions. "We have five additional locations in Tippecanoe County."

 

LAKE COUNTY: TOURISM CHIEF BATISTATOS REMOVED - Longtime South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Speros Batistatos was removed from his position at a board meeting Thursday (Pete, NWI Times). Batistatos, who began with the SSCVA three decades ago, has been in conflict with its board of directors for weeks, after board members raised concerns during contract negotiations about his total compensation, which exceeds $330,000 between salary and benefits. The board voted 12-2 to remove Batistatos from his role in the day-to-day operations of Lake County's tourism agency, which is funded largely by hotel taxes and promotes tourism, conventions and sporting events across Lake County and greater Northwest Indiana. He will continue to be paid until his contract runs out at the end of December or his attorney reaches an agreement with the SSCVA.

 

LAKE COUNTY: CARTER SEEKS HIGH CRIME TECH UNIT - Lake County officially is in the running for one of the High Tech Crime Units set to be deployed across the Hoosier State beginning in January (Carden, NWI Times). On Thursday, the Lake County Council unanimously agreed to give Prosecutor Bernard Carter the go-ahead to apply for a $600,000, two-year grant to establish and operate a High Tech Crime Unit serving at least the 24 police agencies in Lake County, and perhaps all of Northwest Indiana. Carter said he's confident the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council will see fit to award one of the 10 expected High Tech Crime units to Lake County, and he believes Porter County has a good shot of getting one of its own to serve several adjacent counties to the east.