934 NEW COVID CASES ON SATURDAY: The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced Saturday that 934 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories (Howey Politics Indiana). That brings to 61,520 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. A total of 2,698 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 11 over the previous day. Another 197 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days. To date, 690,274 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 678,749 on Friday.


FORMER CDC CHIEF SAYS U.S. A PANDEMIC 'LAGGARD': Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden on Sunday said the U.S. had been a “laggard” in addressing the coronavirus pandemic, specifically pointing to lack of centralized information. “I’ll be frank, we are a laggard,” Frieden said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We are one of the top in the world in terms of the cumulative death rate unlike many other countries that have high death rates, ours is continuing to increase.” “One of the things that concerns me most is we are not on the same page,” he added, noting the lack of uniformity on the information on state websites. “Every person in this country should be able to know very easily what’s the risk in my community and how well is my community doing bringing that risk down so I and my family can be safer …we need to know things like of the cases that were diagnosed today, how many of them were isolated within 48 hours.”


REGENSTRIEF SAYS MASK MANDATE COULD TAKE 2 WEEKS FOR IMPACT: Gov. Eric Holcomb is requiring Hoosiers to wear masks in public places through the end of August. The Director of Public Health Informatics of the Regenstrief Institute, says the data supports action to slow the resurgence of coronavirus in the state (Davis, WIBC). “It’s not just a handful of people in one spot. It’s multiple people in several spots around the state,” said Brian Dixon, Ph.D. He said the mandate and restrictions are not a punishment, but are meant to the virus and not people. Dixon said that while the actions of the governor, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and other public officials can have an impact on the spread of the virus, it could take two or three weeks for the results to become apparent.


WEINZAPFEL CALLS OUT ROKITA FOR NOT CLEARLY BACKING GOV: Democratic nominee for Indiana Attorney General, Jonathan Weinzapfel, called out his opponent for refusing to clearly back Gov. Holcomb’s mask order (Howey Politics Indiana). The campaign said that former Congressman Todd Rokita issued a "purposely muddled statement" Thursday that creates unnecessary confusion over his support of Holcomb’s executive order and his legal authority to issue it. “While Congressman Rokita might have learned to speak out of both sides of his mouth in Washington D.C., it’s not going to fly here in Indiana,” said Weinzapfel, who issued an unequivocal statement in support of the order yesterday. “We are facing a resurgence of this virus across the state and Hoosiers need and expect leadership, not more political doubletalk. This isn’t about politics, ideology or anything else. This is about keeping Hoosiers safe and stopping the spread of this potentially deadly virus. The fact that Congressman Rokita refuses to support Gov. Holcomb on something so basic to the health and safety of our citizens, and on something he clearly has the legal right to do, is disqualifying. Just like Curtis Hill, Todd Rokita is more worried about pleasing his rightwing base than doing what’s best for Hoosiers.”


PENCE AT MARIAN UNIVERSITY SAYS FED FUNDS COMING TO REOPEN SCHOOLS: Vice President Mike Pence discussed the importance of students returning to in-person learning during a panel discussion at Marian University in Indianapolis, Friday afternoon. Pence said Congress may make additional money available to make it easier for schools to reopen safely (Davis, WIBC). “We’ve actually requested the Congress in this new legislation that’s being debated as we speak, for another $105 billion to be made available to states for K-12 education and for higher education,” said Pence. He said he does not want finances to be a reason for schools not being able to open. “We understand that there are unique costs in implementing the safety measures that our schools are implementing today.” Pence was joined in the discussion by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx, and Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos. “There are so many measures that we need to be considering when we look at the importance of children getting back into school and into a classroom with their friends and peers and teachers,” said DeVos, echoing Pence’s sentiments, which are guided by President Trump’s insistence that school should re-open for in-person learning. His visit comes as Indiana had a record 1,011 new documented coronavirus cases, surpassing those during the apex of the disease during the state’s shutdown in April. Pence told Holcomb, "We fully support decisions you and your administration have made to keep Indiana opening up," Pence said to Gov. Eric Holcomb.


AP POLL REVEALS TRUMP PANDEMIC RESPONSE AT 32% APPROVAL: Approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has hit a new low, with just 32 percent of Americans saying they support his strategy, according to a poll released Sunday (Politico). Notably, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found support for the president’s handling of the pandemic has dipped among Republicans, with 68 percent of Republicans now approving of his handling of it. The poll also found that 81 percent of Republicans approve of the president’s overall job performance, contradicting a claim Trump repeatedly makes — including in a tweet Friday — that his approval within his own party remains steady at 96 percent. Trump's overall approval rating remains fairly constant at 38 percent, although just two in 10 of those polled said the country is heading in the right direction, a new low for the Trump presidency. The poll found approval of the president’s handling of the economic crisis has dipped, too — with just 38 percent of Americans now saying the economy is good, down from the 67% in January, before the pandemic's spread.


MORE HS SPORTS PROGRAMS SHUT DOWN DUE TO COVID EXPOSURE: Athletic shutdowns continued across Northwest Indiana during the weekend as Munster and Chesterton became the latest schools to halt summer practices (NWI Times). The Munster athletic department announced Friday that the school was suspending athletic activity until Aug. 3, while Chesterton announced on Saturday that the girls basketball and girls soccer programs were halting workouts until Aug. 5. Munster released a statement on Twitter on Friday afternoon which read “Many of our athletes in several Fall sports may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID 19 at an event that they attended on July 18. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending athletics until August 3rd.” With Chesterton and Munster now stopping workouts, there have been at least 16 Region schools that have paused workouts for one or more sports. Other schools include Calumet, Clark, EC Central, Gavit, Hammond, Highland, Kankakee Valley, LaCrosse, Michigan City, Morton, Portage, River Forest and Valparaiso. Boone Grove previously suspended prep sports practices but resumed activity Monday.


27 OUT OF 415 PURDUE ATHLETES TEST POSITIVE: Purdue athletics announced 27 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 415 tests administered within its athletic department since its phased return to campus began June 8 (WLFI-TV). Twenty-two individuals have completed isolation. Five cases remain active. There have been no hospitalizations and most of the positive tests were asymptomatic or had minor symptoms that resolved within a few days. Purdue will continue to provide a weekly update each Friday.


SUBURBS MAY ABOLISH TRUMP: Donald Trump says Joe Biden wants to abolish the suburbs. But polls show a different truth: The suburbs want to abolish Donald Trump (Politico). If current numbers hold, the Republican Party will suffer its worst defeat in the suburbs in decades — with implications reaching far beyond November. It was in the suburbs two years ago that Democrats built their House majority, ripping through Republican-held territory across the country, from Minnesota and Texas to Georgia, Virginia and Illinois. It would be bad enough for the GOP if that had been a temporary setback. But with the prospect of a second straight collapse in the suburbs this year, it is beginning to look like a wholesale retreat. “We can’t give up more ground in the suburbs nationally without having a real problem for our party,” said Charles Hellwig, a former chair of the Republican Party in Wake County, N.C., describing a landscape in which “every year, every month, every day, we get a little bluer.” It is the same story in suburbs everywhere. In a Fox News poll last weekend, Trump was trailing Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by 11 percentage points in the suburbs. An ABC News/Washington Post poll had Trump down 9 percentage points there — larger margins in the suburbs than exit polls have recorded since the 1980s, when Republicans were winning there by double digits.


COLTS EXPECTING 25% ATTENDANCE: The Indianapolis Colts released new information regarding 2020 season tickets due to COVID-19 restrictions (CBS4). The Colts said Friday they currently anticipate being able to seat no more than approximately 25% of Lucas Oil Stadium’s capacity for games in 2020. The team recently announced a reduced capacity at the stadium to be in compliance with state and local regulations, as well as CDC social distancing guidelines. To be fair and equitable in offering limited seating options to season ticket members, the Colts announced the following: All season ticket members will have their 2020 tickets automatically deferred to the 2021 season with all payments credited to the 2021 season.


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: We’ve had a handful of sheriffs says they won’t enforce Gov. Holcomb’s face mask order, with a couple saying their “first” duty is to “defend the U.S. Constitution.” Sheriffs are also charged with keeping their constituents safe, and ultimately that’s what the governor’s executive order is designed to do. - Brian A. Howey



NW BUILDING TRADES ENDORSE MRVAN: The Region's unionized building trades workers are backing North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan in his bid to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, as Northwest Indiana's representative in Congress (Carden, NWI Times). The Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council this month announced it switched its endorsement to Mrvan, from Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., after Mrvan defeated McDermott and 12 additional Democratic candidates June 2 in the 1st District U.S. House primary election. "Our union membership voted overwhelmingly to endorse and support Democrat Frank Mrvan for U.S. Congress," said Randy Palmateer, business manager for the council.


Presidential 2020


BIDEN REPORTEDLY TO ANNOUNCE VEEP PICK NEXT SATURDAY: Fox News Sunday reported this morning that Democrat Joe Biden will unveil his vice presidential nominee next Saturday.


BIDEN LEADS IN CNN POLLS IN AZ, MI, FL: Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump in Michigan, Arizona and Florida, three states the president carried in 2016, according to new polling from CNN and SSRS (The Hill). Biden leads Trump among registered voters by double digits in Michigan, with 52 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, while leading him by smaller margins in Florida (51 percent to 46 percent) and Arizona (49 percent to 45 percent). All three leads fall outside the poll's margin of error.


REAGAN FOUNDATION TELLS TRUMP CAMPAIGN TO CEASE & DESIST: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute formally asked the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to stop using the 40th president's name and image to raise money (Chron). The request came in response to a fundraising appeal sent from the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint effort of the Trump campaign and the RNC, offering two commemorative coins, one engraved with Reagan's image and the other with that of President Donald Trump to anyone who donates $45 or more for Trump's reelection. The email was "signed" by Trump. Melissa Giller, the Reagan Foundation's chief marketing officer, told Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty that the request to cease sales of the coins was made by phone to the RNC last week. Giller said the RNC agreed "within seconds" to stop using Reagan to solicit funds for Trump's reelection.


MICHAEL MOORE CHANNELS REGGIE & PACERS; WARNS DEMS TRUMP CAN STILL WIN: Michael Moore warned Democrats not to get too excited and underestimate a Trump victory in 2020 in an interview on Joy Reid's new MSNBC program. Moore also encouraged Joe Biden to act as if he is currently the president like a "shadow government" and start holding a "Morning Meeting" and have fireside-type chats with Americans from his basement. (Real Clear Politics) "If I were advising him, I would tell him just to start running the country right now, just act as if you are the president. That means nobody can assume the election is over," Moore said of Biden. "The basement is fine. Nobody should ridicule the basement. We want him safe." "I want to caution everyone, do not underestimate the evil genius that is Donald J. Trump," Moore warned. "There are many examples throughout history, whether it's Henry V facing the French on Saint Crispin's Day, they outnumbered him 4 to 1 and he was supposed to lose and he didn't. And or jump ahead to the 1995 NBA playoffs [ed. 1994], the Knicks are ahead with 15 seconds left, way ahead of the Indiana Pacers, and Reggie Miller scores eight points in nine seconds. With 15 seconds left."

Sunday Talk


MEADOWS SAYS NEW COVID TREATMENTS COMING: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday the administration is “hopeful” that it can announce new therapies to treat coronavirus “in the coming days.” Meadows told ABC’s “This Week” that the White House has been “working around the clock” with a focus on COVID-19 therapeutics, vaccines and mitigation therapies. “The president has been very clear – whatever amount of money and whatever amount of time needs to be invested, we’re doing that,” the White House chief of staff said. "We're hopeful that with some of the breakthrough technology on therapeutics that we'll be able to announce some new therapies in the coming days,” he added.


MNUCHIN SAYS UNFAIR TO PAY PEOPLE TO STAY HOME: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a hard-line Sunday against the $600 plus-up in unemployment benefits that was a part of the last coronavirus relief measure, saying “it just wouldn’t be fair to use taxpayer dollars to pay more people to sit home than they would working and get a job” (The Hill). GOP lawmakers have taken a hard-line against the plus up as they negotiate with the White House over a new relief measure. The initial bill won blow back from Republicans who said some people would make more money not working than going to work.


ECONOMIST MOORE SAYS BAD STIMULUS BETTER THAN NONE AT ALL: Economist Stephen Moore advised Republicans to focus on negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ahead of the next coronavirus stimulus plan to be introduced by Senate GOP Monday. The Trump economist said that Republican lawmakers have to present unity, and stop "negotiating with themselves," calling for partisan agreement among conservatives to "do something about those $600-a-week unemployment benefits," adding that they disincentivize people from rejoining the workforce. "Republicans have to say what they stand for here. They have to stand up for tax cuts, deregulation, school choice. All of these things that need to be in the stimulus bill, but right now it looks like they are not," Moore said Sunday on John Catsimatidis's radio show. "My message to Donald Trump is a bad stimulus plan is worse for the American economy than no plan at all," Moore added.




TROY, ALABAMA REMEMBERS REP. LEWIS: Civil rights icon and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis was remembered Saturday — in the rural Alabama county where his story began — as a humble man who sprang from his family’s farm with a vision that “good trouble” could change the world (AP). The morning service in the city of Troy in rural Pike County was held at Troy University, where Lewis would often playfully remind the chancellor that he was denied admission in 1957 because he was Black, and where decades later he was awarded an honorary doctorate.




GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SIGNS MASK MANDATE; REMOVES PENALTIES -  Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order mandating the wearing of masks for Hoosiers beginning Monday, July 27 (WRTV). Executive Order 20-37, which was signed Friday, will remain in effect until at least August 26. “Hoosiers have worked hard to get where we are today with businesses open and people back at work. We want to keep it that way. We don’t want to dial things back. Face coverings can and will help us blunt the increase of this virus,” Gov. Holcomb said. When the order was initially announced on Wednesday, Gov. Holcomb had said not wearing a mask would be a Class B Misdemeanor, but the final executive order signed Friday does not include criminal penalties for not wearing a mask.


BMV: EXACT CHANGE REQUESTED - The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is asking Hoosiers to pay with a credit card or check when possible to complete transactions (Columbus Republic). The BMV is making this request because of the national coin shortage which has directly impacted its branches. The United States Federal Reserve is experiencing a coin shortage. As a result, the BMV is unable to access additional coin inventory to replenish its supplies.



ATTORNEY GENERAL: 4 WOMEN SUE HILL - Following two dismissals from the Indiana Southern District Court, the four women who have accused Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill of sexual misconduct are taking their claims for battery, defamation and invasion of privacy to state court (Indiana Lawyer). Also, the women have filed a federal appeal of court rulings that dismissed Hill as a defendant in their ongoing civil case. The state court case was filed July 7 in Marion Superior Court before Civil Division 12 Judge P.J. Dietrick. The only defendant is Hill, who is sued in his individual capacity related to a March 2018 incident where he allegedly groped the four women: State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, Gabrielle McLemore Brock, Niki DaSilva and Samantha Lozano. After the allegations became public, the women say Hill began a public campaign that challenged their credibility. They are now seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Hill, as well as a retraction of his allegedly defamatory statements. “Hill had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the published statements that directly or implicitly accused Plaintiffs of misconduct in their trade, profession, office or occupation and the false light in which Plaintiffs would be placed by those statements,” the complaint in Niki Dasilva, et al. v. Curtis T. Hill, Jr., 49D12-2007-CT-022288, says.


ISP: NEW AVIATION HANGAR OPENS - A new Indiana State Police aviation base at a suburban Indianapolis airport is now in operation (AP). The agency began using the new hangar and office space at the Indy South Greenwood Airport this past week for its aviation fleet and special operations unit. The hangar will house state police helicopters and airplanes and replaces a temporary location at the airport that the agency began using last year after its lease expired at the Indianapolis Regional Airport near Mount Comfort just east of Indianapolis, the (Franklin) Daily Journal reported.


UTILITIES: EPA EYES COAL ASH CLEANUP - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking the public’s feedback on a proposed cleanup of coal ash buried along Lake Michigan that the agency believes is threatening wildlife at the Indiana Dunes National Park (AP). The EPA has drafted a cleanup plan for the eastern part of Northern Indiana Public Service Co.’s former Bailly Generating Station in Chesterton. The deadline for public comments is Aug. 19. EPA officials believe coal ash buried around the former coal-fired power plant is seeping through groundwater and threatening plants and wildlife at the national park. The 15,000-acre park along Lake Michigan’s southern shore is located about 50 miles southeast of Chicago, and contains one of the nation’s most biodiverse ecosystems. The Bailly Generating Station closed in 2018, but the EPA said NIPSCO buried coal ash — a byproduct of coal burned to produce electricity — there in the 1960s and 1970s about 25 feet underground.


MEDIA: WOLFSIE TO RETIRE FROM WISH-TV - Dick Wolfsie, whose folksy presence and humorous take on everyday life has been a constant on WISH-TV Channel 8 for three decades, will retire at the end of the month (IBJ). “How lucky I am to have had a job at WISH-TV that I loved doing for 30 years,” Wolfsie said in the channel’s announcement of his retirement. “I would have been lousy at … well, anything else.” Wolfsie, 73, has been a mainstay of Channel 8 since 1990, serving full-time as a feature reporter on “Daybreak” until 2010 and then as a “Weekend Daybreak” contributor. The channel estimates Wolfsie has completed more than 7,000 reports. As a broadcaster he has won dozens of honors including a Casper Award and two Emmys. Many of his video essays have been nationally syndicated.


SPORTS: NOTRE DAME EYES FULL ACC GRID MEMBERSHIP - The Atlantic Coast Conference and Notre Dame are considering whether the Fighting Irish will give up their treasured football independence to play as a member of the league for the 2020 season that has been thrown into question by the coronavirus pandemic (AP). Two people involved in the ACC’s discussions about scheduling for the upcoming season told The Associated Press on Friday the ACC is looking at an 11-game schedule that would include 10 conference games and start Sept. 12. There are other models also being considered. Under the 10-plus-one plan, Notre Dame would play a full ACC schedule, the people told AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are still ongoing and details have not been disclosed. Whether those games would count in the standings and the Irish would be eligible to participate in the ACC championship game — and be eligible for the conference’s guaranteed spot in the Orange Bowl — is still to be determined.




WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP MONITORING HURRICANES - President Donald Trump on Saturday said his administration is “closely monitoring” a pair of major storms in Texas and Hawaii as the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season made landfall along the pandemic-stricken Texas coast (Politico). “We continue to coordinate closely with both states,” the president tweeted from his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, urging residents to listen to emergency management officials to protect families and property.


TREASURY: MNUCHIN PROMISES $1,200 STIMULUS CHECKS IN AUGUST - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that Republicans were set to roll out the next COVID-19 aid package Monday and assured there was backing from the White House after he and President Donald Trump’s top aide met to salvage the $1 trillion proposal that had floundered just days before (Nexstar). Mnuchin told reporters at the Capitol that extending an expiring unemployment benefit — but reducing it substantially — was a top priority for Trump. The secretary called the $600 weekly aid “ridiculous” and a disincentive for people to go back to work. He also promised a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks would be coming in August. “We’re prepared to move quickly,” Mnuchin said after he and Mark Meadows, the president’s acting chief of staff, spent several hours with GOP staff at the Capitol. He said the president would “absolutely” support the emerging Republican package.


COVID: McDONALD'S, CHIPOTLE REQUIRE MASKS - McDonald’s and Chipotle announced they would soon require customers to wear masks or other face coverings as cases of Covid-19 surge across the United States (CNN). McDonald’s announced Friday that starting August 1, customers who walk into its restaurants will have to wear face coverings. Chipotle’s mask requirement was effective Friday, and signage has been put up at restaurants to let people know about the policy, a spokesperson told CNN Business.


MEDIA: REGIN PHILBIN DIES - Regis Philbin, the genial host who shared his life with television viewers over morning coffee for decades and helped himself and some fans strike it rich with the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” has died at 88 (AP). Philbin died of natural causes Friday night, just over a month before his 89th birthday, according to a statement from his family provided by spokesman Lewis Kay.


KENTUCKY: GOV. BESHEAR ASKS CHURCHES TO PAUSE SERVICES - Friday saw over 700 new COVID-19 cases in the state. It’s the reason Governor Andy Beshear is calling on church leaders to take a break from in-person services (WFIE-TV). During a news conference Friday the governor said he is requesting the break for two weeks as cases continue to climb. He told the public, if cases do not fall over the weekend, recommendations and action can be expected by early the following week. “Let me be clear,” said Beshear. “There is no mandate, there is no order, there is no executive order, there is no regulation, there is nothing like that. But I recommended for the next two Sundays with the escalating number of cases we have that it is a very dangerous time and recommended people do the virtual or drive-up services.”


KENTUCKY: MILITIAS COLLIDE IN LOUISVILLE - Three people were injured in downtown Louisville when a member of an armed black militia group carrying semiautomatic weapons accidentally discharged a firearm as they marched to a demonstration (Daily Mail).  Despite earlier reports that the shots were fired as a result of an argument between the group and a far-right organization gathered nearby, it was later confirmed that a member of the Atlanta-based ‘Not F*****g Around Coaltion' (NFAC) had accidentally fired on other members as they assembled in Baxter Park. An estimated 350 armed members of the group had gathered there before marching toward the main protest site in downtown Louisville, where about 50 member of the far right militia group Three Percenters were also gathered.




RICHMOND: SCHOOLS OPEN WITH HYBRID PLAN — Students at Richmond Community Schools' three largest schools will be divided into two groups for a mixture of in-person and virtual classes during at least the first six weeks of school (Emergy, Richmond Palladium-Item). The Board of School Trustees on Wednesday approved a change to the district's reopening plan that implements a hybrid model for Dennis and Test Intermediate schools and Richmond High School. The need for the adjustment became evident as administrators and staff worked through each school's individual opening plan. “As Test, Dennis and the high school were working through those building-level plans, the administrators and teachers just had some concerns," said Jennifer O'Brien, whom the board appointed as interim superintendent Wednesday. "Even with adding extra lunch periods and extra lunch spaces, they still felt that it was still not enough social-distancing space. We thought this was a good way to scale things down. It makes it a little more manageable.


INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT BULLISH ON DOWNTOWN - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is bullish on downtown, despite problems that include an increase in panhandling and homelessness, the pandemic that has kept conventions and office workers away, and recent riots and crimes along the Central Canal (IBJ). The mayor, who is in the first year of his second term, acknowledged the challenges—and even some naivete when it came to the riots. But Hogsett, a Democrat, said he’s confident in the ability of residents, the business community and leaders to address them. “The thing about Indianapolis is, no matter what we have ever been handed, we’ve been able to handle,” he said. “That is part of our DNA, and I remain optimistic about Indianapolis’ resiliency.” Hogsett’s comments came during a Zoom conversation with IBJ’s Editorial Board. Seven IBJ representatives asked Hogsett questions: Nate Feltman, co-owner and CEO; Bob Schloss, co-owner; Greg Morris, publisher; Greg Andrews, editor; Lesley Weidenbener, managing editor; Tom Harton, contributing editor; and Samm Quinn, city government and urban affairs reporter.


INDIANAPOLIS: ISO CANCELS 20-21 INDOOR SEASON - The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 indoor season has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak and “unforeseen economic pressures” (Indiana Public Media). Orchestra management and the Orchestra Committee, which represents the ISO’s musicians, released a joint statement announcing the cancellation. “Although we will not be able to bring you the performances we had planned, we are committed to collaboratively exploring creative ways to continue to connect with our patrons and return to performing if conditions allow,” the statement said. The joint statement did not elaborate on the ”unforeseen economic pressures.”


LAFAYETTE: 3 COPS UNDER EXECESSIVE FORCE PROBE - An external investigation involving three Lafayette police officers is underway. The Madison County prosecutor has reached out to Indiana State Police to help look into an alleged excessive force case here in Tippecanoe County. The Black man involved claims Lafayette officers used excessive force during his arrest because of his race. Tippecanoe County Judge Sean Persin appointed Mary Hutchinson as the special prosecuting attorney. She requested ISP's help in the investigation on Jun. 22 (WLFI-TV). This police-involved incident that happened just after midnight on Saturday, May 9 now has one Lafayette man fighting for racial justice after having to fight for his life. Lafayette police Lt. Matt Gard said officers responded to a 911 call at 12:24 am about a reported fight happening at a home on Brampton Dr. When they arrived they found 46-year old Richard Lee Bailey Jr., who they came to arrest for suspected battery and intimidation. According to police he fought with and threatened to stab the three people living in the home on Brampton Dr. Gard reports, officers attempted to detain Bailey but he resisted. In the video, you can hear officers warn Bailey they will deploy the K-9 if he continues resisting. Police report Bailey was intoxicated during the incident. The incident left Bailey in a coma for six days according to his lawyers. He has now opened a criminal lawsuit against the three officers involved.


ELKHART COUNTY: SHERIFF WON'T ENFORCE MASK ORDER - Elkhart County Sheriff Jeff Siegel said his department will not enforce a statewide mask order that goes into effect Monday (Elkhart Truth). Gov. Eric Holcomb revised his order Friday saying he would remove a penalty provision.


ELKHART COUNTY: HEALTH OFFICER WILL DETERMINE IF SCHOOLS REOPEN - The reopening of local schools for in-person classes depends on if the spread of the COVID-19 virus can be reduced during the next two weeks, according to the county’s health officer (Goshen News). Dr. Lydia Mertz announced late Wednesday that the health department is monitoring the spread of the virus in the county and that the spread must decrease before schools can reopen. “We will be monitoring the Elkhart County citizen’s ability to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 over the course of the next week. If we do not see the downward trend of positivity rates, we will be forced to consider delaying the reopening of our schools. This decision will be discussed with the school superintendents by July 31, 2020,” Mertz said in the news release.