HOLCOMB SEEKS BUSINESS TAX INCREASE: Gov. Eric Holcomb's administration is pushing for an increase in business taxes to provide $1 billion more for Indiana's unemployment trust fund. The proposed 17% increase would bring premiums paid by companies to a level recommended by the federal government, The Journal Gazette reported (AP). But key business groups urged lawmakers to weigh the impact of raising premiums against socking money away in the fund, which is used to pay unemployment checks when the jobless rate is high. "How much money do you take out of the economy and just have it sitting on the sidelines when that money could be invested and creating jobs?" asked Brian Burton, president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association. "It's a fine balance." The trust fund's current balance is $830 million, which is up from last year. Revenue is coming in slower than anticipated but is balanced by the current low unemployment rates, said Josh Richardson, chief of staff at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Last year, only $251 million was paid in unemployment claims, compared to $1 billion to $1.8 billion a year during the last recession. Indiana's jobless rate stayed around 3.5% all last year, but topped 10% for much of the recession years 2009-10. Republican Rep. Dan Leonard of Huntington, the Indiana House expert on the unemployment system, said the state is on track to hit $1 billion in unemployment fund reserves by the end of next year. U.S. Department of Labor guidelines indicate the state needs $1.8 billion on hand.

BIDEN MAINTAINS IOWA LEAD; BUTTIGIEG AT 14%: Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the crowded Democratic presidential field in Iowa, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in a tight secondary grouping alongside South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the latest poll of the first-in-the-nation presidential nominating state (POLITICO). The new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey of likely Iowa caucusgoers released Saturday shows that although Biden's support registered at 24 percent — down 3 percentage points since the last poll — he has stretched his lead to 8 points over Sanders, up from 2 points in March. Sanders and Warren registered at 16 percent and 15 percent respectively, with Sanders' support decreasing by 9 points since the previous poll. Sanders narrowly lost the 2016 Iowa caucuses to Hillary Clinton. Buttigieg made a strong debut at 14 percent — 1 percentage point behind Warren. Sen. Kamala Harris remains steady at 7 percent compared with the previous Iowa poll. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke dropped 3 percentage points and is at 2 percent. Sen. Amy Klobuchar registered at 2 percent, and Sen. Cory Booker at 1 percent.

MEXICO HAD ALREADY AGREED TO KEY PARTS OF DEAL: The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations (New York Times). Friday's joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the 'deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.' But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said. The centerpiece of Mr. Trump's deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. But that arrangement was reached in December in a pair of painstakingly negotiated diplomatic notes that the two countries exchanged. Ms. Nielsen announced the Migrant Protection Protocols during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee five days before Christmas.

TRUMP DEFENDS DEAL WITH MEXICO: President Trump and his acting Homeland Security secretary on Sunday defended their new agreement with the Mexican government to curb migration at the southern border, striking back at Democratic critics — including accusations that at least some parts of the deal predated Trump’s recent tariff threats (Washington Post). In a series of morning tweets, Trump said that Mexico “was not being cooperative on the Border” before the deal reached Friday. Now, he said, “I have full confidence, especially after speaking to their President yesterday, that they will be very cooperative and want to get the job properly done.” He also said he could move to reimpose tariffs if Mexico doesn’t follow through on its promises. Some aspects of the deal, he added, remain to be announced — “one in particular,” he said, “will be announced at the appropriate time.”

TRUMP HANGS ON TO TARIFF THREAT: President Donald Trump says he may renew his tariff threat against Mexico if the U.S. ally doesn't cooperate on border issues (AP). Trump says in a series of tweets Sunday that, "if for some unknown reason" such cooperation fails, "we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs." He says he doesn't believe that'll be necessary. Trump has defended the deal reached Friday with Mexico to avert a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods that was to take effect Monday. It was announced with much fanfare but includes few new solutions to quickly stem the surge of migrants entering the U.S. He insists it includes changes his and other administrations had pushed for, "but were not able to get them, or get them in full" until now.

PENCE SAYS 'TIME FOR CONGRESS TO STEP UP': Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday commended President Donald Trump for striking a deal with Mexico over tariffs and immigration, but called out lawmakers by saying that “now it’s time for Congress to step up” (Politico) “.@POTUS’ strong stand got Mexico to do things they have never done before: 6,000 National Guard at their southern border, immigration checkpoints throughout Mexico & allow ALL illegal immigrants from Central America to remain in Mexico pending their asylum claims,” Pence wrote on Twitter. “.@POTUS got Mexico to step up... Now it’s time for Congress to step up!” Pence continued. “The American people want Congress to work with this Administration to reform our asylum laws, secure our border, and fix this broken immigration system once and for all! Let’s get it done!”

RVs HAVE $32B INPACT ON INDIANA ECONOMY: A new study from the Virginia-based Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says the RV industry continues to have a major impact in Indiana. The RVs Move America Economic Impact Study says the RV industry contributes $32.4 billion to the Hoosier economy each year (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). The RVIA, which has an office in Elkhart, says the study "includes all companies involved in the manufacture, sale, rental, repair, storage, and service of recreation vehicles, as well as the aftermarket industry and the financing and insurance of RV purchases and the economic impact of recreation vehicle travel." Indiana tops the list of states for its total economic activity, accounting for more than a quarter of the $114 billion overall economic impact the RV industry has on the country. "What the study reveals is that RVs are not just the familiar highway scene of an American summer," Garry Enyart, chairman of the RVIA, said in a news release. "Indeed, RVs are the heart of an industry that has become an American juggernaut, a business that has tripled in size since the Great Recession of 2009."

RAYTHEON, UNITED TECHNOLOGIES TO MERGE: Raytheon, a massive U.S. defense contractor best known for manufacturing the Patriot missile defense system, has agreed to merge with industrial technology giant United Technologies in an all-stock deal, the two companies announced Sunday (Washington Post). The combined company would be the second-largest U.S. aerospace company, behind Boeing. The newly formed Raytheon Technologies would be combined with United's Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney, both leading producers of jet engines and engine parts. It would not inherit United's Carrier air conditioner business or its Otis elevator company, which are being spun off under the terms of an earlier deal. Raytheon has a plant in Fort Wayne, and United Technologies has operations in Huntington that have been part of its Carrier business.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR FIAT/CHRYSLER: Fiat Chrysler FCAU -0.75% Automobiles NV Chief Executive Mike Manley spent his first year in the job trying to motivate employees stunned by the sudden death last summer of his charismatic predecessor, Sergio Marchionne (Wall Street Journal). Now, the 55-year-old executive must once again rally the workforce following Fiat Chrysler’s failed merger proposal and a whistleblower lawsuit filed by one of the company’s highest-ranking American executives. Fiat Chrysler last week withdrew a proposal to merge with France’s Renault SA RNO +2.40% that would have created the world’s third-largest car company by volume, blaming the French government for creating barriers to the deal. If Fiat Chrysler had been successful, Mr. Manley—the former head of the company’s Jeep and Ram brands—would have moved to a new role, becoming one of two chief operating officers at the combined entity, say people familiar with the plan. Renault’s current chief, Jean-Dominique Senard, would have become CEO of the group, they say. The unexpected breakdown of talks leaves Mr. Manley to soldier on at the top, even as questions remain about whether the company will seek another merger partner—or return to talks with Renault.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The Mexican tariff story is classic Donald Trump. He unilaterally creates a crisis with, in this case, a really bad idea. Chaos ensues. Criticism builds. Then he comes up with a "deal" even if the solution is refried beans. He declares victory. We'll see if this weekend's deal stems the tide of illegal immigration. Anyone out there skeptical? - Brian A. Howey


INDEPENDENT ENTERS LOGANSPORT MAYORAL RACE: Two members of Logansport's City Council — one a lifelong Democrat, the other a lifelong Republican — are teaming up to challenge incumbent Democratic mayor Dave Kitchell in this year's general election (Logansport Pharos-Tribune). On Saturday, councilman at-large Terry Doran announced that he will run as an independent candidate for mayor, joining Republican Chris Martin in challenging Kitchell. Doran’s running mate is Ward 5 councilwoman Teresa Popejoy — the only Republican in an otherwise Democratic administration. Popejoy has served on City Council since 2012, including serving as the Finance Committee chair for the entire duration and as council president from January 2016 to January 2019. Doran also announced that his campaign's chairperson will be former mayor and Eel Township trustee Mike Fincher. Fincher served two terms as mayor and one as Eel Township trustee, losing his reelection bid by just 26 votes to Republican Mark Strong in 2018. He is also a former street commissioner, director of the Cass County Solid Waste Management District and City Council member.

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG, HUSBAND OWE $130K IN STUDENT LOANS: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg knows firsthand the burden of six-figure student loan debt (AP). He and his husband, Chasten, are far from alone, though, and their personal college indebtedness is helping to keep the issue on the national stage. With loans totaling more than $130,000, they are among the 43 million people in the United States who owe federal student loan debt. The debtors are so numerous and the total debt so high—more than $1.447 trillion, according to federal statistics—that several of the Democratic candidates have made major policy proposals to address the crisis. Their ideas include wiping away debt, lowering interest rates, expanding programs that tie repayment terms to income and making college free or debt-free. If elected, Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would likely be the first president with student loan debt.

DEMS FLOCK TO IOWA: Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren took selfies — with each other. Senator Bernie Sanders marched with striking fast-food workers. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., played the blues on an electric keyboard. And former Representative John Delaney brought a team of bagpipers (New York Times). The Democratic Party gathering in Iowa on Sunday, the state’s first major event of the 2020 election cycle, had the atmosphere of a circus, and one with a very, very big tent. The 19 presidential candidates in attendance chatted with reporters, gabbed with voters and tried to grab a breakout moment to distinguish themselves in the party’s historically crowded primary field. A three-hour marathon of speeches by the candidates underscored the stratified reality of the early months of the primary race. There is a set of candidates — at most eight — who consistently break 2 percent in polling nationally and in early voting states, including Iowa. Then, there is everyone else. “They’re dividing it into the A group and the B group,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said. “I’m proud to be in the A group.”

BUTTIGIEG SEEKS TO BECOME BIDEN ALTERNATIVE: Bernie Sanders spent three days hopscotching across Iowa, from a college auditorium to an LGBTQ pride festival to a Democratic jamboree, where he made a new case against presidential rival Joe Biden (Washington Post). Elizabeth Warren has blanketed the state with some 50 staffers courting supporters with kaffeeklatsches, happy hours and trivia nights. During her eighth visit this year, which concludes Monday, she refreshed her contrast with the former vice president, as a new Iowa survey showed her surging. And Pete Buttigieg whisked around Iowa presenting himself as a new generation leader and warning against reverting to the “old normal” that, he seemed to imply, was associated with Biden. Buttigieg is preparing to ramp up his modest ground operation in the state, according to a campaign adviser. The battle in all-important Iowa to emerge as the main alternative to Biden, who sits atop the polls here and nationally, has kicked into high gear. Nineteen candidates for the Democratic nomination blitzed the state over the weekend, including the Vermont and Massachusetts senators and the South Bend, Ind., mayor.

BIDEN'S HIGH RISK PRIMARY STRATEGY: He brags about his ability to get along with Republicans. He’s not in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s good graces. His campaign has sent mixed messages on climate change and abortion funding (Politico). If it seems like Joe Biden is running for the nomination of a different Democratic Party than the rest of his rivals, that’s because he is. From his schedule to his messaging to his policy positions, the former vice president is carving a divergent path through the primaries based on a theory that few of his rivals appear to believe — that the Democratic base isn’t nearly as liberal or youthful as everyone thinks. It’s a high-risk strategy at a time when the progressive wing is pulsing with energy. There is a danger of looking disconnected from the rising Obama coalition, or seeming to adhere to an outdated view of the party.

Sunday Talk

BLUNT SAYS TRUMP SENDS MESSAGE TO CHINA WITH MEXICO: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Sunday that President Trump’s use of tariffs as leverage in negotiations with Mexico also sends a message to China amid an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. “I think the biggest message here is not to Mexico but to China that the president is clearly willing to use tariffs,” Blunt said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding that, despite his own reservations about tariffs, “the president believes tariffs are a significant positive economic tool … something he has always said should be part of our arsenal.”

SEN. JOHNSON SAYS TRUMP USED TARIFFS 'BRILLIANTLY': Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Sunday that President Trump used the threat of tariffs on Mexican goods as leverage “brilliantly” in recent negotiations aimed at reducing illegal immigration. Johnson, the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, demurred when asked on “Fox News Sunday” if Trump would have faced a revolt from Republican senators had proposed 5 percent tariffs gone into effect. “I think the caucus definitely supports tariffs as leverage to get our trading partners to treat us fairly with reciprocal treatment,” Johnson said. Johnson added that while he was concerned about a slowdown in hiring in May and believed tariffs to be a “tax on consumers,” he had talked to numerous constituents who said that they supported Trump’s trade policies, regarding both Mexico and China, despite "short-term pain." “We’ve got to conclude these trade deals so we can bring the certainty back to the economy that the president provided,” Johnson told Fox News’s Bret Baier.

IMMIGRATION CHIEF PRESSED ON 'NEW' DEAL WITH MEXICO: Fox News host Bret Baier pushed acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Sunday amid reports that President Trump's deal with Mexico to avert U.S. tariffs in exchange for tighter border security is largely the same as one that had previously been agreed upon.  "How much of this is new?" Baier asked McAleenan after Trump denied a New York Times report that Mexico had agreed to take action at the border months ago. “Your predecessor, Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen, testified that these things were happening to the House Judiciary Committee. There were talks about moving national guard troop to the southern border with Guatemala. You're saying this is different than that?” Baier asked. McAleenan, however, claimed that the deal announced by Trump was "very different" than what had previously been discussed.

SANDERS SAYS NO ONE WILL GET 50% IN IOWA: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he doesn't think any candidate in the Democratic primary will break 50 percent in the first in the nation Iowa caucuses.  On CNN's "State of the Union" the 2020 presidential hopeful said a crowded field means the sort of support both he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saw in Iowa in 2016 is unlikely. Clinton narrowly won the Iowa Caucuses that year but both she and Sanders got just shy of 50 percent of the vote. "We're not going to get 50 percent of the vote in Iowa, I don't think anybody will," Sanders said.

KLOBACHAR HAPPY WITH IOWA POLL: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Sunday she is happy to be among the top six Democratic presidential candidates in a recent poll of Iowa voters. Klobuchar said on CBS' "Face the Nation" she's happy with the poll, which shows her receiving 2 percent support, noting she's ahead of 18 other candidates and even with former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas). "So I think you see a fluid race and yes, there are a lot of candidates and you're going to see that narrowed down over time," she said.

BULLOCK ENDORSED BY SEN. TESTER: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said on Sunday that he has secured the endorsement of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in his White House bid. Bullock said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he's "awfully excited" about the support from his fellow red state Democrat. "I've known and worked with him for a long time now," Bullock said.

O'ROURKE DISMISSES IOWA POLL: Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke on Sunday morning dismissed a just-released Iowa Poll that shows him with just 2 percent support in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. The former Texas congressman dropped from being the first choice of 11 percent of Iowa Democrats in December to being the first choice for 2 percent this month. "I don't know that this many months out from the caucuses in Iowa these polls really indicate what our prospects are," O'Rourke told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week."

CICILLINE DOESN'T HAVE PROBLEM WITH PELOSI 'PRISON' COMMENT: Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said Sunday he didn’t have “any difficulty” with a report that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she wanted to see President Trump in prison rather than impeached. “I don’t have any difficulty with those words,” Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday." “It’s kind of rich to have the president complain about this when he began a campaign with ‘lock her up’ as his bumper sticker and led an effort to delegitimize the first African-American president,” he added.


WALORSKI PRAISES MEXICO DEAL: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump announced an agreement with Mexico that suspends tariffs set to take effect today (Howey Politics Indiana): “I’m grateful the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement to address the border crisis and avoid costly tariffs that would have hurt American businesses and consumers. Now it’s time for Congress to move toward final approval of USMCA. This modernized trade deal will be good for Hoosier manufacturers, farmers, workers, and families, and I look forward to passing it without delay.”

HOUSE WEEK AHEAD: The House Judiciary Committee has its hearing with John Dean and former U.S. attorneys about the Mueller report. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. in 2141 Rayburn. It's supposed to be an explanatory session about obstruction and various other elements of the Mueller report (Politico Playbook). The House expects to vote on Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Trump's former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, per a senior Democratic aide. (A long court fight will likely ensue.) House Democrats also plan to put a $1 trillion package of five spending bills on the floor on Wednesday, which will include "the two largest of the 12 annual appropriations bills: the defense bill and the labor, health and human services, and education bill. It will also include legislation covering energy and water, the State Department and foreign operations spending bills and funding for the legislative branch," per The Hill (Axios).

SENATE WEEK: The Senate will confirm the following nominees, per a Republican leadership aide: Sarah Daggett Morrison as judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Pamela Barker as judge for the Northern District of Ohio. Corey Landon Maze as judge for the Northern District of Alabama. Rodney Smith as judge for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas Barber as judge for the Middle District of Florida. Jean-Paul Boulee as judge for the Northern District of Georgia. David Stilwell as assistant secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs). Edward Crawford as ambassador to Ireland (Axios).


JUSTICE: SURPREMES TO REVIEW PORTER TRAFFIC STOP CASE - The United States Supreme Court is being asked to review the legality of a Porter County traffic stop that, if left to stand, would further erode the constitutional rights of all motorists, Highland-based attorney Michael Campbell believes (NWI Times). Campbell filed the petition for writ of certiorari after the Indiana Supreme Court in February upheld a local court's ruling that Hebron Reserve Officer Sean Dolan satisfied the reasonable suspicion standard before stopping Zachariah Marshall, of West Lafayette, on Oct. 29, 2016 and arresting him on charges of operating while intoxicated.

AGRICULTURE: USDA, PURDUE TO LEND RURAL ASSISTANCE - The USDA Rural Development has named 47 rural communities and regions that will receive assistance to develop long-term economic development plans (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). The federal agency’s Rural Development Innovation Center is partnering with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the Purdue Extension Community Development program as well as three other partners selected by USDA RD to support the federal initiative. The Purdue team will give assistance to four sites located in the Midwest region of the country while the University of Kentucky team will focus on four rural communities in the south.

MEDIA: THOMAS TO RETIRE FROM WRTV - WRTV-TV Channel 6 will say goodbye to reporter Derrick Thomas after 40 years and about 12,000 stories when he retires at the end of June (IBJ). Thomas, a Chicago native, started his career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before moving to Minneapolis, before then-WRTV News Director Bob Gamble recruited him to Indianapolis.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE - Monday: President Trump will have lunch with VP Mike Pence, attend a meeting on Major League Baseball's "efforts to combat human trafficking" and will meet with Team Penske, which won the Indianapolis 500. Tuesday: Trump is going to Iowa, and will tour Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, and speak there, as well. Wednesday: Trump will meet with the president of Poland. The two will have lunch and hold a press conference. Friday: Trump will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

AGRICULTURE: NO TRADE AID FOR UNPLANTED CROPS - There won’t be any trade relief payments for farmers with unplanted crops. Politico quotes an unnamed official as saying USDA has made the determination. However, a department spokesman did not confirm or deny that a decision had been made either way. Last month, the department said it would pay up to $14.5 billion directly to producers who’ve been hit hard by President Donald Trump’s trade war (Hoosier Ag Today). The payment rate would be determined partly by the total amount of a farm’s planted acres. Growers who didn’t get a crop in the ground wouldn’t be eligible for the help. Ag economists raised concerns that producers might plant crops just to try and collect some trade aid help when they otherwise wouldn’t put a crop in the ground. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said USDA was looking at whether or not they could legally offer trade aid for unplanted acres, noting that, “You have to have something to sell or trade for a tariff impact.”

ILLINOIS: CIG, GAS TAX COULD SEND BUSINESS TO INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana side of the Indiana/Illinois border is lined with gas stations and smoke shops that may see a jump in traffic because of the gas and cigarette tax hikes that take effect in the Land of Lincoln on July 1 (NWI Times). As part of a flurry of legislative activity that included a $45 billion infrastructure plan and the addition of a Chicago casino, lawmakers in Springfield voted to increase Illinois's state gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents per gallon. Indiana's state gas tax is 29 cents per gallon.


CITIES: PUMA DISTRIBUTION CENTER GOING TO WHITESTOWN - Westford, Massachusetts-based Puma North America Inc. plans to spend at least $40 million to open a distribution center in Whitestown and hire 90 people, according to paperwork filed with Boone County (IBJ). The sports footwear and apparel company is negotiating a lease to open in a roughly 635,000-square-foot building at 3519 Perry Boulevard. The $40 million would be spent equipping the facility for Puma distribution operations. According to a tax abatement application, the company would begin equipment installation in August.

CITIES: MAYOR WINNECKE'S FATHER DIES - Ralph Winnecke, the father of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, has died (WFIE-TV). The Mayor’s family confirms he died Friday night. Mayor Winnecke tells us, “It’s been a difficult last few days, but it was a blessing to be with my two sisters and two nieces as he passed peacefully. A son could not have a more loving and supportive father.” His obituary says he was 89 years old and died from complications related to diabetes.

CITIES: ANDERSON PD OFFICER ARRESTED - An Anderson police officer was arrested Friday after allegedly entering a woman's home without her permission and battering her, Indiana State Police said (WIBC). Police were called to a woman's home in Anderson after Adam Watters, 23, of Anderson, allegedly went into her home between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday and battered her.  Indiana State Police were called to investigate after the Anderson Police Department requested their assistance since the incident allegedly involved an off-duty Anderson police officer.  Watters was arrested at his father's home on initial charges of residential entry and domestic battery. On Friday night, state police updated the initial charges: official misconduct of a public servant, criminal confinement and strangulation.

CITIES: ROSWARSKI PUSHES LAFAYETTE BASEBALL STADIUM - Lafayette’s mayor doesn’t plan major changes to plans for a new city baseball stadium even though construction bids totaled nearly $4 million more than expected (AP). The new 2,500-seat stadium would be built at the same site as the current Loeb Stadium in Columbian Park southeast of downtown Lafayette. Mayor Tony Roswarski tells the (Lafayette) Journal & Courier that no modifications will be made that would diminish the stadium’s functionality or its value as a gateway into the city. Roswarski blames higher steel and labor costs for bids exceeding the project’s $16.5 million estimate. The current stadium is home to the Lafayette Aviators of the amateur Prospect League. Demolition is planned for this fall, with the new stadium opening in spring 2021.

CITIES: SEYMOUR TO GET BABY BOX - The state's ninth Safe Haven Baby Box will go live in Seymour later this week (WRTV). The Seymour Fire Department installed the box this month at their station at 605 Meadowbrook Drive. The station was chosen to host the box because of how close it is to I-65. The Seymour Baby Box was paid for by Columbus North High School student Hunter Wart who raised money for the box as part of his senior project. Wart worked for nearly a year to earn the $10,000 for the box, which was initially planned as a gift to the city of Columbus. The city declined the box, saying it did not align with their current standard which includes providing care to both the infant and emotional support for the surrendering parent.