MAYOR BUTTIGIEG LAUNCHED ID CARDS TO IMMIGRANTS: It was 2016 and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a problem. Wanting to coax the small city's approximately 4,500 undocumented immigrants out of the shadows to help them access services, Buttigieg toyed with the idea of some type of municipal identification card for those who couldn't obtain driver's licenses or other government ID's (NBC News). The result was an innovative, first-of-its-kind governmentally endorsed, privately run program — one Buttigieg could tout on the presidential primary campaign trail where Latinos are a key voting group. But he never does. Working closely with La Casa de Amistad, South Bend's main Latino outreach center, Buttigieg and the nonprofit's executive director, Sam Centellas, imagined a "Community Resident Card" program in which the IDs would be paid for, created and distributed by the group — a private organization — not the city. Buttigieg's part to make it all work was to sign an executive order requiring local services and institutions — like law enforcement, schools, the water utility and libraries — to accept the card as a valid form of identification. The city also enlisted local businesses, such as financial institutions and drugstores, so cardholders could open bank accounts and pick up prescriptions. As a result, undocumented immigrants in South Bend are now able to partake in many routine aspects of daily life. And they can do so without fear that their names or immigration status might end up in the hands of authorities or anti-immigrant groups. That's because La Casa, as a private organization, isn't bound by requests for public records the way the city might be if it were running the program.

MAYOR PETE AT IU TODAY: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in a bid to capitalize on his service as a Navy reserve intelligence officer, gives a speech on foreign policy at Indiana University at 11 a.m. Eastern (Howey Politics Indiana). He'll be introduced by former Rep. Lee Hamilton, who chaired the 9/11 commission. The event will be livestreamed here.

22,000 HOOSIER TEACHERS MUST RENEW LICENSES: Starting next month teachers will need to spend time focused on career awareness in order to renew their licenses. More than 22,700 – about a third of all teachers in the state – have started the process to renew their licenses compared to just 514 at this time last year (Lindsay, Indiana Public Media). The law itself requires educators to participate in an “externship” or some other career-focused professional development, and the governor’s workforce cabinet plans to send out a webinar for teachers to use. But Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says the new career awareness rule frustrates many educators – especially because of contradictory information they’re getting about how to fulfill the requirement. “The governor’s office put out guidance unbeknownst to us, so you can imagine our surprise when our phones starting ringing saying ‘you really are going to count a field trip for a PGP, for professional growth? I mean it’s disrespectful to our profession' – I’m like ‘what are you talking about?’” McCormick says. McCormick says she agrees with the concept, but her department pushed lawmakers to make the change optional before it became law. The Indiana Department of Education sent out guidance about how teachers might meet the requirements after the rule became mandatory, but McCormick says the different guidance sent by the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet suggested a class lesson or field trip would be enough, and she doesn’t agree with that.

U.S., MEXICO AT ODDS OVER TRUMP'S 'DEAL': Three days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal with Mexico to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, the two countries appear unable to agree on exactly what's in it (AP). Stung by criticism that the agreement mostly ramps up border protection efforts already underway, Trump on Monday hinted at other, secret agreements he says will soon be revealed. “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years,” Trump wrote Monday, saying it would “be revealed in the not too distant future.” Not so, said Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, holding up a paper and pointing to the previously announced details. He told reporters the two countries agreed on two actions made public Friday and said if those measures didn't work to slow migration, they would discuss further options. “There is no other thing beyond what I have just explained,” he said.

MEXICO BEGINS IMMIGRANT CRACKDOWN: A Mexican immigration officer clad in white shirt and khaki trousers stops a minibus, opens the sliding door and peers inside. Several federal policemen stand by, watching the improvised checkpoint (Wall Street Journal). Moments later, two illegal immigrants leave the minibus visibly annoyed. One is from Honduras, the other from Guatemala. “Mexico doesn’t want us here anymore,” whispers the Guatemalan. They are put aboard an immigration agency van with barred windows to be taken to a detention center in this sweltering tropical city near the border with Guatemala. It is a scene that has been playing out frequently in recent days across southern Mexico. Growing numbers of illegal immigrants are being detained along the key routes used by asylum seekers and human smugglers as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, under heavy pressure from President Trump, steps up efforts to stem the flow of migrants heading for the U.S.

TRUMP EMBOLDENED BY HIS MEXICO 'DEAL': President Trump has concluded his tariff threat worked and forced Mexico to stop the flow of migrants. On Monday, he pivoted back to his trade fight with China and vowed to hit Beijing with more tariffs if it did not accede to America’s trade demands (New York Times). “The China deal’s going to work out,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on CNBC. “You know why? Because of tariffs. Because right now China is getting absolutely decimated by companies that are leaving China, going to other countries, including our own, because they don’t want to pay the tariffs.” The president has long favored tariffs as an immediate and unilateral policy tool. But his increasing confidence that the levies have helped accomplish his goals without harming the United States sets up an even more tumultuous period ahead for businesses, consumers and foreign countries. “Protectionism shows no signs of abating, rather it is intensifying,” said Joshua Shapiro, the chief United States economist at MFR Inc. Markets are already counting on the Federal Reserve to come to the rescue by cutting interest rates. Fed officials have begun signaling they are prepared to help prop up the economy to counter any slowdown from Mr. Trump’s trade war, a development that could give the president even more leeway to carry out an aggressive trade policy. Mr. Trump on Monday continued to attack the Fed for raising rates last year, saying it had put the United States at a competitive disadvantage to China, which has a fairly subservient central bank. “They devalue their currency. They have for years,” he said. “It’s put them at a tremendous competitive advantage, and we don’t have that advantage because we have a Fed that doesn’t lower interest rates.”

JUSTICE RELEASES MUELLER DOCUMENTS: The Justice Department has agreed to turn over some of the underlying evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller's report, including files used to assess whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Monday (AP). In the first breakthrough in weeks of negotiations over the report, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the department will begin complying with the committee's subpoena on Monday and provide some of Mueller's "most important files." He said all members of the committee will be able to view them. The Justice Department did not have an immediate comment. In response to the agreement, Nadler said the panel will not vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in criminal contempt, for now. But the House is still expected to vote on a resolution Tuesday that would empower the committee to file a civil lawsuit for the materials, if Democrats decide to do so. "We have agreed to allow the Department time to demonstrate compliance with this agreement," Nadler said in a statement. "If the department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps."

PENCE DEFENDS 'ONE FLAG' AT EMBASSIES: Vice President Mike Pence voiced support Monday for the Trump administration's move to prohibit U.S. embassies from flying the rainbow pride flag on their flagpoles during LGBTQ Pride Month, telling NBC News that "it's the right decision." In an interview with White House correspondent Kristen Welker, Pence confirmed an exclusive report from NBC News that said the U.S. Department of State had rejected requests from at least four U.S. embassies to fly the flag during June. Pence said he was aware the State Department had said the American flag was the only flag that should fly on the flagpoles, and he added, "I support that." "As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American," Pence said when pressed about what he would say to the LGBTQ community that feels the decision runs counter to President Donald Trump celebrating Pride Month in a tweet. "We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies," the vice president added.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: I've been to Tapachula, Mexico, where the Pan-American highway enters from Guatemala. This is jungle country. It will present Mexico challenges to stem the tide of immigrants. That nation at least is beginning to try after President Trump's deal to avert tariffs. In order for the deal to work, it is Tapachula which will have to become the chokepoint. - Brian A. Howey


FREEMAN-WILSON WON'T RUN AGAIN: Don't expect to see Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's name on a ballot again (NWI Times). The Gary chief executive, whose bid for a third mayoral term ended last month in a Democratic primary defeat, told listeners to Hammond's WJOB-AM radio Monday she's through running for elected office. "I don't envision myself in another public office during the course of my lifetime," Freeman-Wilson said.

Presidential 2020

TRUMP SEEKS TO WEAPONIZE IMPEACHMENT: President Donald Trump has no direct control over his impeachment, but that’s not stopping him from trying to weaponize the process (Politico). It’s shaping up to be a classic Trump scheme — counterattack, demean the opposition, predict absolute victory, reduce the argument to a few talking points, and never, ever, cede ground. And it’s a messaging strategy born of necessity. Since Trump and his team have no say in whether Democrats launch impeachment proceedings, they’re trying instead to bend the chatter around the issue to their advantage, knowing the topic will dominate the national conversation as the 2020 election ramps up.

BAYH ATTENDS BIDEN FUNDRAISER: Joe Biden addressed a room full of donors and some lobbyists, including Evan Bayh and Chris Dodd, at the home of Amb. Elizabeth Bagley in Washington, D.C. He spoke at length about the importance of supporting the middle class (Axios). "One of my competitors criticized me for not going to Iowa to talk for 5 minutes. ... My granddaughter was graduating. It was my daughter's birthday. I would skip inauguration for that.'"

TRUMP RETURNS TO IOWA WITH POLL NUMBERS UNDER WATER: After months of Democratic presidential hopefuls flooding Iowa, President Trump on Tuesday is making his first pilgrimage to the perennial battleground state this year (Wall Street Journal). Unlike the Democrats focused on the February caucuses, Mr. Trump will be looking ahead to the general election. He will visit a renewable-energy facility in Council Bluffs to highlight his administration’s recent approval of the expanded use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline and speak to a state Republican Party dinner in West Des Moines. Heading into 2020, polling suggests that the president’s support among Iowa Republicans has held firm, despite his aggressive tariff moves that have disrupted business for farmers and drawn bipartisan criticism from elected officials. But his standing overall in the state is more mixed—a recent Morning Consult poll showed Mr. Trump with a 42% approval rating and 54% disapproval among Iowans.

SPLIT SCREEN MOMENT AS BIDEN RETURNS TO IOWA TODAY: Joe Biden is to take on Donald Trump Tuesday in a wide-ranging speech that lambastes the president on everything from the impact of the tariff war with China to climate change, to the Trump administration’s past attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act (Politico). The former vice president plans to deliver a lengthy speech directly targeting the president as both he and Trump touch down in different parts of the heartland state. “There’s a lot of ways Trump fails the basic standard to be president — but one of them is this: Donald, it’s not about you. It’s about America,” Biden is expected to say later today in an address in Davenport, according to prepared remarks released by the campaign.

BIDEN HAS ENTHUSIASM ADVANTAGE WITH BLACK VOTERS: A new poll conducted for a black political group shows former Vice President Joe Biden continuing to hold a big enthusiasm advantage over his 2020 presidential rivals, while other Democrats have a chance to make inroads by focusing on the pocketbook issues of paramount importance to African American voters (Politico). Seventy-six percent of African American Democrats who answered the survey said they are enthusiastic about Biden, while 16 percent said they had some reservations or felt uncomfortable with his candidacy. The next closest candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, drew enthusiastic views from 64 percent of black Democrats, but 28 percent said they had some level of discomfort with him. Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, the most prominent black candidates running for president in 2020, generated enthusiastic responses from 53 percent and 43 percent of black Democrats, respectively. People know Biden, Cook said — “Obviously, he’s a former vice president, he’s polling very high. [Pete] Buttigieg is the lowest, but he’s also the least familiar of these candidates. So I think that as voters get to know these candidates, they’ll be into a position to really compare them.”


REP. PENCE SECURES FUNDING FOR BRIDGE: A grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to update the aging Graham Creek Bridge will rehabilitate the 140-year-old structure, which connects Jefferson and Jennings counties in Indiana’s 6th District (Madison Courier). U.S. Rep. Greg Pence, who is the 6th District congressman, hailed the grant award, which became known at the end of last week.  Rep. Pence and Sen. Todd Young earlier this year urged the department to support funding of the project. “I visited the Graham Creek Bridge before my election, where I met with the leadership of Madison and North Vernon to study this issue,” Rep. Pence said. “Replacement of this bridge will benefit southeast Indiana by removing a potential safety risk, creating new jobs and economic opportunity for Hoosiers. “As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I understand the vital role freight rail plays in getting Hoosier-made and Hoosier-grown products to market,” Pence added.

AMASH LEAVES FREEDOM CAUCUS: Rep. Justin Amash quit the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Monday night, weeks after becoming the lone Republican to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment (Politico). The Michigan lawmaker told a CNN reporter that he has “the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” but he “didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.” Amash’s decision to step down was confirmed to POLITICO by his office. Amash, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, has long been a lone wolf in Congress, routinely bucking GOP leadership and defying Trump on a number of issues throughout the past two years.

HOUSE DEMS POSTPONE PAY DECISION: House Democrats are postponing consideration of a bill that would include a pay raise for members of Congress, after facing a major backlash from the party's most vulnerable members (Politico). The bill was part of a roughly $1 trillion funding package scheduled to be voted on by the House this week.

DEAN TESTIFIES IN HOUSE: The House Judiciary Committee kicked off a series of hearings on the Mueller report with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean and former U.S. attorneys testifying Monday to offer their insights on President Trump's "most overt acts of obstruction" (CBS News). Dean is best known for his bombshell testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities during the Watergate scandal, which paved the way for Nixon's dramatic resignation from office. Dean testified that there were "exhaustive" and "remarkable" parallels between special counsel Robert Mueller's report and the findings compiled in the wake of the Watergate scandal. He said "events in both 1972 and 2016 resulted in obstruction of the investigations."

General Assembly

REP. SHERMAN SWORN IN: Indiana's newest state legislator has roots in Indiana politics going back more than 30 years (WIBC). Indianapolis Rep. Dollyne Sherman was sworn in on Monday to replace Republican David Frizzell, who announced his resignation in the final week of this year's session, to focus on family health issues. A Republican caucus chose Sherman last week from among seven candidates to complete Frizzell's term. Sherman was press secretary for Governor Robert Orr in the 1980s. She held the same post for Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith and did work for Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Goldsmith and Brooks were both on hand for Sherman's swearing-in, and Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa administered the oath of office -- he was an Orr speechwriter and had the office next door to Sherman's.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MAKES APPOINTMENTS – Gov. Eric Holcomb recently made several new appointments and reappointments to various state boards and commissions. They include the Integrated Public Safety Commission,Task Force for Services for Individuals with Intellectual & Other Developmental Disabilities and the Indiana State Egg Board. The appointments include:

21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force: Bill Fine (Greenwood), Utility Consumer Counselor for the State of Indiana; John Graham (Bloomington), retiring dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Kay Pashos (Indianapolis), partner at IceMiller legal counsel, practicing in the area of energy and utilities law; Philip Powell (Indianapolis), associate dean of academic programs, clinical associate professor of business economic and public policy, and Daniel C. Smith Faculty Fellow at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business; Wallace E. Tyner (West Lafayette), James & Lois Ackerman chair and professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University; Donna Walker (Bloomington), president and CEO of Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Juan Pablo Carvallo (Berkeley, CA), scientific engineering associate in the electricity markets and policy group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County: Sarah Fisher (Indianapolis), retired IndyCar driver, CEO and business owner; Earl Goode (Indianapolis), chief of staff for Gov. Eric J. Holcomb.

Indiana State Egg Board: Bryan Johnson (Orleans), with Riverview Farms, representing the Indiana Farm Bureau; Darrin Karcher (West Lafayette), with Purdue University, representing the Office of Agricultural Research Programs; Blair Kriner (Indianapolis), with Delco Foods, representing the food service industry; Thomas Lafferty (Noblesville), with Blackford County Foods, representing the Indiana Grocery & Convenience Store Association; Alex Seger (Jasper), with Wabash Valley Produce, representing the Egg Council of the Indiana State Poultry Association

Integrated Public Safety Commission: Hon. Jim Fulwider (Crawfordsville), president of the board of Commissioners of Montgomery County; Hon. Michael Nielsen (Lebanon), sheriff of Boone County.

Task Force for Services for Individuals with Intellectual & Other Developmental Disabilities: Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch will chair the Task Force as the Governor’s designee; Jonathan Burlison (Indianapolis), CEO of Bridges of Indiana; Steve Cook (Brownsburg), president of INARF; Kim Dodson (Westfield), executive director of The Arc of Indiana; Shawn Fulton (Marion), president of Self-Advocates of Indiana; Joe Langerak (Evansville), attorney with Jackson Kelly PLLC

Kathleen McAllen (Indianapolis), senior consultant with G2 Group; Jason Meyer (Roanoke), president and CEO of Passages, Inc.; Danie’l Mize (Columbus), board member of The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana

State agency representatives based on statutory requirements: Christine Dahlberg, director of the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities; Trent Fox, chief of staff for the Indiana State Department of Health; Eric Heater, interim Deputy Director of Adult Services with the Division of Mental Health & Addiction; Dr. Nancy Holsapple, special education director with the Indiana Department of Education; David Reed, deputy director of Child Welfare Services; Sarah Renner, deputy director of the Division of Aging; Julie Reynolds, director of strategic initiatives with the Division of Disability & Rehabilitative Services; and Allison Taylor, director of the Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning.

JUDICIARY: JUDGE BLOCKS HILL ON ABORTION CLINIC - A federal judge has rejected an attempt by Indiana's attorney general to prevent an abortion clinic from opening in northern Indiana (Indiana Public Media). U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker on Friday denied Attorney General Curtis Hill's request for an immediate stay to prevent the clinic from opening until Indiana's appeal is considered. The South Bend Tribune reports Barker wrote that she's allowing the South Bend clinic that will perform medication-induced abortions to open confident that it "could and will be regulated by the state." Barker granted an injunction May 31 allowing the Texas-based Whole Woman's Health Alliance to open the clinic without a state-required license, pending a final ruling in the case.

AGRICULTURE: 3 CHARGED AT FAIR OAKS - Three former employees of a large northwestern Indiana dairy have been charged with animal cruelty following the release of undercover video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves, officials said Monday (AP). The misdemeanor charges for the beating of animals come amid a public backlash against the popular agritourism destination Fair Oaks Farms, which is also the flagship farm for Fairlife, a national brand of higher protein, higher calcium and lower fat milk. Newton County officials didn't identify those charged or release details of the allegations against them on Monday, saying the investigation was continuing. The video released last week showed calves being hit with steel rods and burned with branding irons by farm workers. Newton County Prosecutor Jeff Drinski said those charged didn't include the investigator for the Miami-based animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission who secretly recorded the video last year while working for several months at Fair Oaks. "But he has been identified and will be interviewed," Drinski said. "The video footage is being translated, and further interviews will be conducted to determine if allegations of complicity by the planted employee or others are in fact true."

INDOT: WORK BEGINS ON OAKTOWN J-TURN - State highway crews have begun work on a new intersection that’s aimed at making a deadly stretch of a southwestern Indiana highway safer. Workers with the Indiana Department of Transportation started work Monday on the project that will essentially eliminate movement across all four lanes of U.S. 41 in Knox County near Oaktown. The so-called J-turn that will be put in place will create two median U-turn intersections intended to make that portion of the highway safer for motorists. The Vincennes Sun-Commercial reports that the stretch of roadway about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Vincennes has been the scene of accidents that have caused nine fatalities since 2003. INDOT officials say the J-turn design will help reduce the number of severe right-angle crashes that often result in death.

MEDIA: EMMIS SELLS TEXAS RADIO STATIONS - Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. has announced plans to sell its controlling interest in eight radio properties in Austin, Texas. The company says its partner, Virginia-based Sinclair Telecable Inc., will acquire the interest in a more than $39 million deal (Inside Indiana Business). The radio cluster includes KLBJ-AM, KLBJ-FM, Bob FM, La Zeta, Star 93.3, 101X, Austin City Limits Radio, and Latino 102.7. The group will be rebranded as Waterloo Media.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CALLS FED 'DESTRUCTIVE' - President Trump said Monday that the Federal Reserve's policies have been "very destructive" to the U.S., complaining that Chinese President Xi Jinping's control of the country's central bank gives that country an unfair advantage (CBS News). Mr. Trump made clear in an interview with CNBC his frustration with a century-old system that provides political independence for America's central bank -- something most economists see as vital to its credibility. Mr. Trump noted that China's president, by contrast, is essentially also head of the Chinese central bank. "They devalue their currency. They have for years. It's put them at a tremendous competitive advantage, and we don't have that advantage because we have a Fed that doesn't lower interest rates," Mr. Trump said.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP COMPARES HIMSELF TO NIXON - President Donald Trump, whose actions during the Russia investigation have prompted comparisons to the Watergate scandal, drew a distinction between himself and President Richard Nixon on Monday: “He left. I don’t leave. A big difference” (Politico). He made the comment on the same day that John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which outlined possible obstruction of justice by Trump. Dean testified that he saw “remarkable parallels” between Nixon’s actions and Trump’s. The president spoke to reporters a short while later from the South Lawn of the White House and answered questions about the possibility of impeachment. “We have no collusion, no obstruction, no anything,” Trump said during an event honoring this year’s Indianapolis 500 champion, Simon Pagenaud, and Team Penske. “When you look at past impeachments, whether it was President Clinton or — I guess President Nixon never got there. He left. I don’t leave. A big difference. I don’t leave.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will leave the White House at 12:15 p.m. en route to Council Bluffs, Iowa. He will tour the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy facility at 2:45 p.m. Central. Trump will give a speech on renewable energy at 3:20 p.m. He will then leave for Des Moines, where the president will give a speech at 6:30 p.m. at the Republican Party of Iowa annual dinner. Afterward, he will return to Washington.

CIA: KIM'S SLAIB HALF BROTHER WAS ASSET - Kim Jong Nam, the slain half brother of North Korea’s leader, was a Central Intelligence Agency source who met on several occasions with agency operatives, a person knowledgeable about the matter said (Wall Street Journal). “There was a nexus” between the U.S. spy agency and Mr. Kim, the person said. Mr. Kim, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia in February 2017, when two women smeared his face with the nerve agent VX. U.S. and South Korean officials have blamed the attack on North Korea, which it denies.

ALABAMA: CHEMICAL CASTRATION BILL SIGNED INTO LAW - Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed a bill into law that requires someone convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 to begin chemical castration a month before being released from custody (CNN). The law requires individuals convicted of such an offense to continue treatments until a court deems the treatment is no longer necessary. It says offenders must pay for the treatment, and they can't be denied parole solely based on an inability to pay. "This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama," Ivey said. Both houses of the Alabama Legislature approved the legislation late last month, after it was put forward by state GOP Rep. Steve Hurst.


CITIES: CAMBRIDGE CITY CITIZENS BALK AT INDOT PLAN - If there was any lingering doubt after nearly a half hour of discussion Monday night, the sea of hands raised in the air at the Cambridge City Town Council meeting brought certainty (Richmond Palladium-Item). The more than 30 people who packed the room at the town building were firmly in opposition to a "road diet" proposal for U.S. 40 running through the community. A standing-room only crowd was on hand to listen to and have their voices heard by a representative of the Indiana Department of Transportation. And some certainly made it clear that they didn't appreciate INDOT's proposal to do away with the current four-lane configuration. "Downtown businesses are already limping along. We're trying. We're doing the best we can. We don't need another nail in the coffin from INDOT," said Nick Elder, owner of The Old Tin Roof antique store. "This bears all the hallmarks of a problem that has been created by somebody trying to justify themselves having a job. This is a solution in search of a problem."

CITIES: CARMEL COUNCIL EYES E-CIG BAN - City officials met Monday to discuss expanding a proposed e-cigarette ban and outlawing all smoking at Carmel bars (WIBC). The original ordinance was introduced in May to regulate the use of e-cigarettes in "public places" following reports of rampant vaping among Carmel High School students. During a Finance, Utilities and Rules Committee meeting Monday night, officials discussed adding parks, trails, multi-use paths and school buses to the list of public places covered by the ordinance. The committee also discussed adding police officers and community service officers to the list of officials eligible to enforce the ordinance, and creating a "comprehensive smoke-free policy" by revoking smoking ban exemptions from bars and private clubs. "We're thrilled to hear that the city of Carmel is considering a comprehensive ordinance," said Nick Torres, an advocacy director for the American Lung Association. "When we talk about the harm of e-cigarettes, we certainly can't leave out addressing the harm of other tobacco products like traditional tobacco cigarettes in public."

CITIES: INDY COUNCIL PANEL APPROVES SOUTH TIF DISTRICT - The Indianapolis City-County Council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee on Monday unanimously approved a proposal that would create a tax-increment financing district and economic development area in the Old Southside Historic District (IBJ). The plan will need final votes from the full council and Metropolitan Development Commission. The Old Southside is bounded on the north by South Street, on the south by the CSX Railroad and Adler Street, on the east by Madison Avenue, and on the west by the White River.

CITIES: MASCOTT HALL OF FAME OPENS IN WHITING - Giant fuzzy gorillas, badgers, birds, and whatever the Phillie Phanatic is descend on northwest Indiana this weekend (WIBC). The original Phillie Phanatic, Dave Raymond, founded the Mascot Hall of Fame as a website in 2005, and inducted 17 mascots in three years. That was it until 2017. Executive director Orestes Hernandez says a mutual friend introduced Raymond to Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura, who was looking for a tourist attraction. The three-story interactive children's museum opened its doors six months ago. The new inductees show a hometown influence with the election of the mascots of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, who play 20 miles from the museum's front door. They'll be joined by the Penn State Nittany Lion and the Kansas City Royals' lion mascot Sluggerrr. Inductees receive a trophy for display at their home stadiums.

COUNTIES: BARTHOLOMEW WANTS TO TEST CHILDREN - Bartholomew County health officials are stepping up efforts to have more children tested for lead — a toxic metal linked to numerous developmental difficulties and neurological damage (Columbus Republic). Only around 10 percent of children in the county age 6 or younger are tested for lead, according to county health officials. The federal threshold currently is 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, or the equivalent of five-millionths (0.000005) of one gram in one-tenth of a liter of blood. “We’re just trying to get the information out (about lead) because lead is here, and it’s been here for dozens of years,” said Mary Shaffer, lead case manager at the Bartholomew County Health Department.

COUNTIES: EXOTIC ZOO TO MOVE TO BELMONT - Zoo’Opolis has received permission to officially move from Bartholomew County and reopen in Belmont (Columbus Republic). The owner of the exotic petting zoo, Kathleen Bowen, went before the Area Plan Commission in April and May and the Brown County Commissioners in June to try to have about 5 acres of land along State Road 46 West rezoned. The land had been residential; she needed it to be general business in order to operate her zoo there. The APC voted unanimously on May 28 to recommend the change to the commissioners; the commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of it on June 5. Commissioners President Dave Anderson voted no after hearing about 1 1/2 hours of comments from the public.