IU PRESIDENT WHITTEN SAYS SHE HAS BREAKTHROUGH COVID CASE: New Indiana University President Pamela Whitten said in a letter to the school's community that she has acquired a breakthrough COVID-19 infection (Howey Politics Indiana). "Just now I learned that while fully vaccinated for many months, I have tested positive for COVID-19," Whitten said Thursday. "I began experiencing mild cold symptoms this morning and immediately isolated myself. I got tested shortly thereafter and received the results a few moments ago. Gratefully, my symptoms are mild, and I will continue to work and lead the university during this time from my home office. While the vaccine is not 100% effective, I am so grateful to be protected from more serious symptoms. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can. I look forward to being back in the office soon and to seeing all of you on campus for the fall semester."

 

BUSINESSES CONCERNED AS COVID SURGE HITS STATE: Coronavirus has been roaring back, largely among the unvaccinated, who now account for most COVID-19 hospitalizations in Northwest Indiana (Pete, NWI Times). Indiana reported 878 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the most since May 20. The Indiana Department of Health reported the state's seven-day positivity rate climbed to 5.4%, the highest since Valentine's Day. Neighboring Illinois reported 1,993 new COVID-19 infections Thursday, the most since the state fully reopened. Businesses are concerned about the recent resurgence of COVID-19 that's been driven by a surge in mostly unvaccinated people contracting the Delta variant, which Franciscan Health estimates now accounts for 83% of coronavirus cases. "We are always concerned when COVID cases increase," said Dave Wilkinson, chief operating officer of Highland-based Strack & Van Til, which operates 20 supermarkets across the Region. "However, we still have in place all the extra COVID cleaning and safety protocols. We continue to follow all of the CDC safety recommendations. All associates and customers who are not vaccinated must wear face masks."

 

CDC EXPRESSES URGENCY ON UNVAXED: The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struck a new tone of urgency on Thursday about the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the United States is “not out of the woods yet” and is once again at “another pivotal point in this pandemic” as the highly infectious Delta variant rips through communities with low rates of vaccination (New York Times). The warning from the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing by members of the White House Covid-19 response team, was a marked shift from just weeks ago, when President Biden threw a big Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House to declare independence from the virus. It reflects a growing concern among administration officials that the gains they appeared to have made are being erased — and that the current surge in cases will overwhelm health systems in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and hospitalizations are high. Still, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their previous devastating peaks.

 

ALABAMA GOV. IVEY BLAMES COVID SURGE ON UNVAXED: On Thursday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey addressed concerns about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the state and its low vaccination rate (CBS42). “Let’s be crystal clear about this issue. And media, I want you to start reporting the facts. The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain,” Gov. Ivey said during an event for Landing in Birmingham Thursday. When asked how the state can get more shots into the arms of residents, Ivey did not hold back her displeasure with the lack of success previous plans have had. I don’t know, you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the vaccinated folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” she said. “I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something but I can’t make you take care of yourself.

 

LEGISLATORS TO HOLD REDISTRICTING HEARINGS STATEWIDE: Hoosiers are invited to attend one or more of a series of public meetings across the state on Aug. 6-7 and Aug. 11 to provide feedback on Indiana's redistricting process (Howey Politics Indiana). Before legislators are expected to return to the Statehouse in mid-to-late September to redraw the district boundaries, public meetings will be held in each of Indiana's nine congressional districts. The meetings will be grouped into geographic areas, including north, south and central. The northern group meetings will be in Lafayette and Valparaiso on Friday, Aug. 6 and in Fort Wayne and Elkhart on Saturday, Aug. 7. In addition, the southern group will host meetings in Anderson and Columbus on Friday, Aug. 6 and Evansville and Sellersburg on Saturday, Aug. 7. The central meeting will held in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 11. State Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola), chair of the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment, will chair the redistricting meetings in the north, and State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), chair of the Senate Committee on Elections, will chair the meetings in the south. Wesco and Ford are expected to co-chair the central Indiana meeting. "We look forward to hosting these important meetings across the state to hear directly from the public on Indiana's redistricting process," Wesco said. "Hoosiers can be confident that we'll continue to meet all of our statutory and constitutional requirements." "Public input on redistricting is extremely important to the map-drawing process," Ford said. "We look forward to hearing from Hoosiers from all over Indiana during these meetings." Campus meeting room information will be updated as it's available on the Indiana General Assembly's website at iga.in.gov. Meetings will be livestreamed and archived at iga.in.gov.

 

SCHMUHL STATEMENT ON REDISTRICTING: Indiana Democratic Chairman Mike Schmuhl reacted to the General Assembly redistricting hearings (Howey Politics Indiana): “Over the last decade, Hoosiers have witnessed ‘right to work’ laws create a ‘work more for less’ economy, manufactured culture wars like RFRA unfairly attack our friends and family members, and a system that has gutted public school funding and diminished our children’s future – all tracing back to gerrymandered district maps drawn by the Indiana Republican Party. Hoosiers need balance to be restored. The Indiana Republican supermajority will no doubt be tempted to continue to rig the system against Hoosiers who simply want to choose their representatives in free, fair, and competitive elections. Indiana Democrats are ready to take this vital democratic debate across the state and demand that Republicans value and respect all Hoosier voices – not just elected Republican officeholders and operatives behind closed doors. Our state cannot go through another decade with this imbalance in our government. We will hold them accountable now -- and in future electoral cycles -- and we will never stop fighting for a better Indiana.”

 

BUTTIGIEG SITTING PRETTY: No matter what happens to BIF, Pete Buttigieg has already won (Politico Playbook). The Iowa caucus winner-turned-Transportation secretary has redefined the backwater Cabinet position where Democrats typically plant their obligatory Republican senior official and vice versa (e.g. Obama/LaHood, Bush/Mineta). Buttigieg has assumed celebrity status in D.C., a mainstay of Playbook “spotteds”: In the past six months we’ve seen him riding his bike to work. It’s Buttigieg who’s been on late-night TV not once, but twice — not to mention appearing on “The View” and hopping aboard an Amtrak for a “Today” show soft-focus feature. Back in April, he sat next to Biden in the armed seat typically designated for the VP. Buttigieg, in short, has gotten all the upside and none of the dirty work. He’s building valuable relationships with members of both parties around the country as he sells the infrastructure package, without the haggling and arm-twisting to get it passed.

 

GRAND JURY INDICTS TRUSTEE TEISING AGAIN:  A grand jury on Tuesday once again indicted Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising on a felony count of theft. The charge is the latest in a months-long grand jury investigation into Teising's residency (WLFI-TV). In the latest indictment, grand jurors allege Teising collected township paychecks from April to July this year while living outside the township's bounds. Prosecutors say that amounts to theft from the township. The grand jury already indicted Teising earlier this year on 20 similar counts of felony theft spanning from June last year to March. An initial hearing on the new charge is scheduled for 1 p.m. on August 3rd. News 18 reached out to Teising for comment but she declined to be interviewed.

 

WHY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OPTED OUT OF OPIOID SETTLEMENT: Nearly half of Indiana's cities and counties have sued opioid manufacturers, distributors and dispensers. Local governments want to recover funds they’ve spent on police, fire, treatment programs and prevention (South Bend Tribune). Under Indiana’s settlement plan, the state will receive 15 percent of any deal, localities share 15 percent and the Family and Social Services Administration will get 70 percent to distribute statewide, with local governments deciding how to spend about half. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a law this year that required cities and counties looking to pursue their own legal action to “opt out” of the attorney general's lawsuit by June 30. Indianapolis, Noblesville and Fishers are among the many local governments that opted out because they think they can get better settlements on their own. "We would not be able to recover that money from the several lawsuits we’ve filed on our own,” Noblesville city attorney Lindsey Bennett told IndyStar. “And it is unlikely we would recover as much money in the state’s lawsuit.” Localities could opt back into Indiana's settlement plan within 60 days after opting out.

 

DAN RYAN EXPRESSWAY SHOOTINGS AT ALL-TIME HIGH: A Jeep Wrangler was left covered in bullet holes in the latest shooting on the Dan Ryan early Wednesday morning near 37th Street (CBSChicago). It was also the 43rd shooting on the Dan Ryan just this year, making it the most dangerous expressway in the area. CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported Wednesday on information from Illinois State Police, detailing every one of the shootings on the area’s expressways this year. The numbers show the Dan Ryan is not only the most dangerous expressway for shootings, but there are specific areas worse than others. CBS 2 mapped out every single one and found the five worst areas on the Dan Ryan. There were five shootings near 47th Street, four shootings near 95th Street, and three shootings each at 87th Street, 75th Street, and 63rd Street. It’s not just the where — it’s the when. CBS 2 found a plurality of the 134 expressway shootings this year happened between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

 

COVID SUBDUED OLYMPICS OPEN TONIGHT: The Olympics opening ceremony began Friday stripped of pomp after the pandemic forced a change to the bustling celebrations that opened previous Games (Wall Street Journal). A simple stage featuring a model of Mt. Fuji was set up as the focus of a show seen by fewer than 1,000 people at the National Stadium in Tokyo. Performances will highlight the challenges of the pandemic for athletes and remember those lost to Covid-19. Planners are hoping to hold the attention of the global television audience with celebrations of Japanese culture, including the use of a medley of videogame songs during the “parade of nations” featuring athletes from more than 200 countries.  Only around 5,700 athletes will join the parade, down from more than 10,000 in the opening ceremony in Rio in 2016. The U.S. group is set to be around 260, less than half of the 613 athletes in Team USA.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The surge of the COVID Delta variant building across the nation and state in the face of widespread availability of a free vaccine brings to mind a quote from the great philosopher Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us." - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

TRUMP WEIGHING VEEPS (BUT NOT PENCE): Donald Trump and his advisers are convinced that if he runs again for president in 2024, the Republican nomination will be his. Their confidence is so supreme that they view almost all of the emerging field not as competition but as possible vice presidential picks (Politico). As things stand now, Trump is extremely unlikely to run again with former Vice President Mike Pence as his number two, advisers say. Some Trump aides have also written off Pence’s political future, at least at the presidential level, privately arguing that he has failed to capture anything close to the same kind of enthusiasm as Trump. They point to anger among the most diehard Trump supporters over Pence’s decision to carry out his Constitutional duty in certifying Biden’s election win. “The vice president is an incredible man and was a great vice president, but he has a huge obstacle — problem — in trying to be the nominee after dealing with what he’s dealt with over the last six months,” said another Trump adviser, pointing to his recent reception at conservative events. Asked specifically if there was a chance Pence could serve as Trump’s number two again, the adviser replied: “zero.”

 

DeSANTIS FACES ISSUES ON HOMEFRONT:  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing mounting pressure on the home front as he looks to cement his superstar status among Republicans nationally (The Hill). Over the past week, COVID-19 infections have surged in Florida to the point that the state now accounts for about 1 in 5 new cases. The vaccination rate, meanwhile, has begun to level off. At the same time, Florida’s Gulf Coast is suffering from a particularly harsh bout of red tide, prompting local officials to call on the governor to declare a state of emergency. The troubles in Florida are putting pressure on DeSantis as he seeks to carve out a more robust national profile for himself in anticipation of what his supporters and critics alike see as a potential 2024 presidential run.

 

DeSANTIS RAISING CASH OUTSIDE OF FLA: Almost half of the money to re-elect Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is coming from outside the state, with more people donating from outside Florida than in, Selene San Felice writes in Axios. The Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC has more than $44.5 million on hand. 47% of the PAC's donations this year — $17 million of $36.7 million — came from 6,929 out-of-state donors. It's gasoline on the fire of a possible presidential run.

 

General Assembly

 

REDISTRICTING HEARING INFORMATION: Below is the complete schedule of public meetings regarding redistricting: North – Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 at the following Ivy Tech campuses: Lafayette, 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 6; Valparaiso, 3-5 p.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 6; Fort Wayne, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 7; and Elkhart, 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. South - Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 at the following Ivy Tech campuses: Anderson, 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 6; Columbus, 4-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6; Evansville 9-11 a.m. CDT Saturday, Aug. 7; Sellersburg, 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. Central – Wednesday, Aug. 11 at the Statehouse, Indianapolis, 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 in the House Chamber at the Indiana Statehouse

 

Congress

 

PELOSI MULLS ADDING REPUBLICANS TO JAN. 6 COMMITTEE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seriously considering adding more anti-Trump Republicans to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger as the leading contender (Politico). Pelosi suggested Thursday that she would consider appointing more Republicans to the Jan. 6 probe, less than 24 hours after she nixed two vocally pro-Trump GOP lawmakers for the select panel. Her GOP appointee to the investigation, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), separately made clear that she would support two well-known additions to the committee: Kinzinger (R-Ill.), her partner in conservative opposition to Donald Trump, and former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), a possible pick as Cheney's outside adviser in the investigation. “We’ll see,” Pelosi told reporters when asked if she’d appoint more Republicans to serve alongside Cheney. “It’s not even bipartisan; it’s nonpartisan. It’s about seeking the truth and that’s what we owe the American people.”

 

PELOSI 'DEADLY SERIOUS' ABOUT JAN. 6: Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Thursday that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will take on its “deadly serious” work whether Republicans participate or not (AP). The Republicans’ House leader, Kevin McCarthy, called the committee a “sham process” and suggested that GOP lawmakers who take part could face consequences. McCarthy said Pelosi’s rejection of two of the Republicans he had attempted to appoint was an “egregious abuse of power.” The escalating tension between the two parties — before the investigation has even started — is emblematic of the raw partisan anger that has only worsened on Capitol Hill since former President Donald Trump’s supporters laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

 

YOUNG INTRODUCES TRUCK/TRAILER EXCISE TAX REPEAL: U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2021. The bipartisan bill would repeal the federal excise tax (FET) on heavy trucks and trailers, which was established over 100 years ago to support efforts to pay for World War I (Howey Politics Indiana). Today, the 12 percent FET is the highest percentage excise tax levied on any product and at the same time it is an unpredictable and minimal source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. The tax also discourages private investment to modernize America’s truck fleet with cleaner and safer trucks and trailers. “It’s time to repeal this outdated and onerous tax on our Hoosier truckers,” said Senator Young. “Our bipartisan bill will open the floodgates to investment in safer and cleaner trucks and trailers that will benefit our economy and the environment.”

 

YOUNG REINTRODUCES INVESTING IN MAIN STREET ACT: U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) reintroduced their Investing in Main Street Act to increase investment in small businesses by permitting banks to invest up to 15 percent of their capital in Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC). The dramatic increase in capital for the SBIC program would be deployed to domestic small businesses at no cost to the taxpayer (Howey Politics Indiana). Since 1958, Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) have proven that capital can be directed to a variety of novel businesses in order to expand its competitive edge and hire American workers. Over the last 10 years, the Small Business Administration’s SBIC Program has channeled roughly $719 million to 139 small businesses throughout Indiana, which has contributed to creating or maintaining more than 15,000 Hoosier jobs. “The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is one of the great successes of the Small Business Administration. The positive effects of this program can be seen in countless Hoosier small businesses and companies,” said Young. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure we can spur more investments in innovative startups and unlock capital for existing, high-growth businesses across the state.”

 

WALORSKI INTRODUCES MOTORSPORTS ACT: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act of 2021, to make permanent the seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes (Howey Politics Indiana). This commonsense solution would provide certainty and equip industry leaders to make long-term investments in safe racing environments. “As Hoosiers know firsthand, the motorsports industry supports a beloved American pastime and creates family-sustaining jobs in our community,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This commonsense legislation will provide long-term certainty to facilities like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – home of the Indy 500 – so they can continue to invest in our communities, create good jobs, and drive economic growth across the country.”

 

THE SENATE and THE HOUSE are out.

 

State

 

ISDH: THURSDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health announced Thursday that 878 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 763,688 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. To date, 13,535 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of one from the previous day. Another 428 probable deaths have been reported to date based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. A total of 3,643,561 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 3,639,990 on Wednesday. A total of 11,095,174 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26, 2020.

 

INDOT: NEW YORK STREET TO CLOSE - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced today that the full closure of New York Street under I-65/I-70 in downtown Indianapolis scheduled to begin July 25 will now occur on or after August 2. In anticipation of this closure, traffic patterns on local streets in the area will also shift (Howey Politics Indiana). Beginning on or after Monday, August 2, New York Street between East Street and Pine Street will be closed through August 10, weather permitting. All eastbound vehicular traffic wishing to continue on New York Street will be directed south onto Ohio Street. Motorists wishing to travel northbound can use New York Street to access College Avenue. All pedestrian traffic will be redirected to Vermont Street. Also, beginning on July 23, local access traffic patterns on Davidson Street will shift. To prep for this shift, Davidson Street from Michigan to New York streets will close on Thursday, July 22 from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Friday for crews to implement the traffic pattern change.

 

IU: RECORD INCOMING FROSH CLASS - Indiana University Bloomington is expecting to start the fall semester with a freshman class of record size (Bloomington Herald-Times). The university received more than 46,000 applications — the most it's ever gotten. According to David Johnson, IU's vice provost for enrollment management, the number of accepted, incoming freshman students is nearly 9,400. Not all those students will actually wind up in local classrooms, as some may still choose to attend another school where they also have been accepted or decide to sit out the fall semester. A census shortly after classes start Aug. 23 will give a truer picture of enrollment.

 

AUTOS: CHIP SHORTAGE CLOSES FORT WAYNE GM PLANT - The Fort Wayne General Motors Assembly plant is halting production for a week as the company continues to grapple with the global chip shortage (WPTA-TV). A spokesperson for the company confirmed the Fort Wayne plant will pause production the week of July 26. The company expects to be back online Monday, Aug. 2. “The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid, but GM’s global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to minimize the impact to our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SLAPS SANCTIONS ON CUBA - President Joe Biden on Thursday announced plans to slap targeted individual sanctions on Cuba regime officials and entities, bucking the progressive voices in his own party who called for an end to the embargo (Politico). The sanctions target Alvaro Lopez Miera, the head of the armed forces in Cuba, and the Cuban Ministry of the Interior’s Special National Brigade, known as the "black berets," for their involvement in the crackdown after historic protests in more than 40 cities across the island. "This is just the beginning — the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people," Biden said in a statement.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SAYS CDC WILL RECOMMEND MASKS FOR KIDS -  President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will "probably" advise children under age 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to wear masks in school this fall (NBC News). Biden said at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati that kids older than 12 who are fully vaccinated should not wear masks, but he acknowledged that it could be difficult for some school districts to determine who is and is not vaccinated. "It's going to get a little big tight in terms of, well, are Mom or Dad being honest that Johnny did or did not get vaccinated? That's going to raise questions," Biden said. "It's a matter of community responsibility."

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schduled: 10 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. Noon: Biden and Harris will have lunch together. 7:45 p.m.: Biden will participate in a campaign event for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Lubber Run Park in Arlington, Va. 8:45 p.m.: Biden will leave the White House en route to Wilmington, Del., where he is scheduled to arrive at 9:40 p.m. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 12:30 p.m. First lady Jill Biden and Mariko Suga participated in a bilateral engagement at Akasaka Palace at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. The first lady met virtually with members of the USA Olympic team at 10:30 p.m. EDT Thursday. She met Emperor Naruhito of Japan at the Imperial Palace at 1:30 a.m. EDT. Biden will attend the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony as head of the U.S. delegation at 7 a.m. EDT.

 

JUSTICE: BLOOMINGTON MAN CHARGED IN CAPITOL INSURRECTION - A Bloomington man has been charged with four crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol (Indiana Public Media). Antony Vo, 28, is accused of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without authority and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. Vo is not currently in jail, and will appear in court on July 26. Vo graduated from Hamilton Southeastern in 2011 and frequently appeared on the honor roll. He now must surrender his passport and submit to regular monitoring. Vo last attended IU in Spring 2020, but is not enrolled now, a university spokesperson said. One of Vo’s former classmates from high school and college was not surprised when they first learned of the charges. “He just kind of became a crazy Trump guy.”

 

COVID: ADAMS SAYS DELTA VARIANT COULD SHUT SOCIETY DOWN - Dr. Jerome Adams, former U.S. surgeon general, and WISH-TV’s medical expert, says the best way to protect children attending school in person is for as many people as possible to get vaccinated (WISH-TV). Adams spoke with News 8’s Phil Sanchez Tuesday and gave his thoughts on the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending universal masking in schools for everyone over the age of 2. “What people need to remember is last year when kids were in school, they were mostly masked up,” Adams said. “They were socially distanced. There were a lot fewer people in school and we didn’t have a Delta variant that is four times as likely to be passed along. So different environment this year. And that’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics says if we don’t want quarantines, if we don’t want shutdowns, if we really want to keep our kids in school until we can get them vaccinated, we need to look at other measures and one of those measures — the most important one — is masking.”

 

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - ABC “This Week”: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Donna Brazile and Margaret Hoover. The launch of “One Nation Under Fire,” a new project chronicling a week of gun violence in America. “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). Panel: Jason Riley, Catherine Lucey and Juan Williams. Power Player: Bryan Cranston. MSNBC “The Sunday Show”: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Texas state Rep. Jarvis Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, Kathryn Grody, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). CBS “Face the Nation”: Jerome Adams, Scott Gottlieb, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. CNN “Inside Politics”: Panel: Seung Min Kim, Melanie Zanona, Asma Khalid, Lisa Lerer and Jonathan Reiner.

 

MLB: 'RETIRED' YERMINATOR RETURNS - Less than 24 hours after saying he was stepping away from baseball, Yermin Mercedes was in uniform for the White Sox’ Triple-A Charlotte Knights for their game in Durham, N.C., on Thursday (Chicago Sun-Times). That word came from the White Sox, who learned from everyone else Wednesday that Mercedes, demoted from the major-league club to Charlotte after falling into a prolonged hitting slump, said on Instagram that he was quitting. “It could be just a little frustration,“ White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "I’ll explain to him that he has a big-league future.” Apparently it was just that. Mercedes apologized for his actions Thursday. “I will never give up,” Mercedes posted. “I last 10 years in the minor leagues. My dream is to be a player established in the big leagues. “I apologize.”

 

MLB: CARDINALS DOWN CUBS 3-2 - Kwang Hyun-Kim earned his fifth straight win on his 33rd birthday and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Thursday night (ESPN). Nolan Arenado and Dylan Carlson homered as the Cardinals improved to a game over .500 at 49-48. It's the Cardinals first winning record since being 36-35 after winning the first game of a doubleheader at Atlanta on June 20.

 

Local

 

EVANSVILLE: SBOA TO PROBE PARKS DEPARTMENT - The investigation into the Evansville Parks Board has shifted from EPD’s financial crimes unit to the State Board of Accounts (WFIE-TV). City officials say state investigators will be in Evansville next week to go through paperwork and conduct interviews. They say the city will have to pay for the investigation. As we reported last week, Parks Director Brian Holz resigned amid the investigation into seven “questionable” invoices. Mayor Winnecke called them “inappropriate.” Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer has assumed management of the Parks Department for the time being.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: LIBRARY EMPLOYEES WANT CEO TO RESIGN - Some Indianapolis Public Library workers are calling for the resignation of CEO Jackie Nytes after former and current employees say she has contributed to racism, discrimination and a toxic work environment in the library system for years (IndyStar). Workers are also calling for the resignation of the library board president, Marion County superior court judge Jose Salinas, after he muted a former library worker, who attempted to share her concerns, during a virtual library board meeting in May. 

 

MICHIGAN CITY: MEDICAL USE FOR OLD HOSPITAL — A dedication was held Thursday for part of the old Franciscan Health hospital in Michigan City that will be put back to medical use (Maddux, NWI Times). About two-thirds of the former hospital at 301 W. Homer St. is currently being demolished. The remaining space of over 100,000 square feet will be used by Franciscan Health for prenatal care, inpatient behavioral health services and adult medical day care. According to hospital officials, the cost of demolition, scheduled to be completed in December, and repurposing what’s left of the facility is $20 million. “This is going to be a nice, vibrant, beautiful hospital. Smaller but beautiful and doing a great job,” said Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairman of the board of Franciscan Alliance.