FFA CONVENTION CANCELS IN HUGE BLOW FOR INDY: In a huge blow for a downtown already reeling from a severe slowdown in tourism and convention business, the National FFA Organization has decided to cancel the year’s edition of its annual convention that typically brings tens of thousands of people to Indianapolis’ core (Shuey, IBJ). Last year, FFA brought over 68,000 people—mostly high school students—with an economic impact of $38 million. This year’s convention, scheduled for Oct. 28-31, was expected to generate about $40.3 million for the city. Mark Poeschl, CEO of FFA, said the organization’s board of directors decided this week to halt planning for its in-person event and instead focus on online programming to “ensure that our members and guests [have] the full convention experience.” “As we continued to plan for our national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other pandemic-related challenges, made hosting our in-person event impossible in 2020,” he said.

IMS PLANNING INDY 500 AT HALF FAN CAPACITY: Indianapolis Motor Speedway is moving forward with plans to run the Indianapolis 500 in August, but plans to do so with a 50% capacity limit for the venue (Shuey, IBJ). Doug Boles, president of IMS, said the racetrack is taking extra precautions to ensure the risk of COVID-19 to fans is mitigated, working closely with local and state health officials. “We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures,” Boles said in a statement to IBJ. “We’ll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks.”

AS COVID RAGES, PENCE REMAINS SUNNY: At Friday's first coronavirus press briefing in two months, Vice President Mike Pence remained optimistic despite the United States setting daily records during the second spike during the first wave (Howey Politics Indiana). “As we stand here today, all 50 states and territories across the country are opening up, and safely and responsibly,” Pence said. It comes as a resurgence of the virus has spiked in the South and West, putting a number of medical systems at near capacity. The U.S. recorded the most new cases since April. Texas and Florida are pausing reopenings. Pence, who said in April that the pandemic would be "behind us by Memorial Day" and then wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week that the course of the pandemic should be "celebrated," said the Trump administration’s “approach has been a success,” and that “we’ve slowed the spread.” He said that the resurgence of the virus has comes primarily with young people.  “Roughly half of the new cases are Americans under the age of 35, which is at a certain level very encouraging news,” Pence insisted. Asked about masks, Pence declined to recommend their use and even declined to use the word. He said that Americans should follow “statewide guidance with regards to facial coverings.” Pence offered one more specific piece of advice: “Continue to pray.”

SHARED COVID SACRIFICE CAN'T OVERCOME INEPT LEADERSHIP: More than four months into fighting the coronavirus in the United States, the shared sacrifice of millions of Americans suspending their lives — with jobs lost, businesses shuttered, daily routines upended — has not been enough to beat back a virus whose staying power around the world is only still being grasped (New York Times). The number of new U.S. cases this last week surged dangerously high, to levels not ever seen in the course of the pandemic, especially in states that had rushed to reopen their economies. The result has been a realization for many Americans that however much they have yearned for a return to normalcy, their leaders have failed to control the coronavirus pandemic. And there is little clarity on what comes next. “There has to be a clear coherent sustained communication, and that has absolutely not happened,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “We’ve had just the opposite and now it’s hard to unring a whole series of bells.” That expectation was reinforced by President Trump, who has downplayed the severity of the crisis, refused to wear a mask and began calling for states to open even as the virus was surging. A lack of federal leadership also meant that states lacked a unified approach. With no clear message from the top, states went their own ways. Just as the country needed to stay shut down longer, many states — mostly with Republican governors — took their foot off the brake, and Mr. Trump cheered them on.

PARENTS WEIGH SENDING KIDS BACK TO SCHOOLS: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, Indiana schools are making plans for students to return to classes as early as late July, but with questions remaining about how instruction will happen -- whether online, in person, or a mix of both -- some parents say they won’t send their kindergartners to school this fall (Smith, AP). “Deciding what to do about getting the kids back to classes – it’s a heavy load to carry at the moment,” said Angelica Knight, an Indianapolis parent to 6-year-old twins Hayleigh and Jeremiah. She's decided to hold off on kindergarten this fall and send them to straight to first grade next year. “I want them to be able to actually walk into kindergarten and learn and play,” Knight said. “But with the virus, I just can’t let it happen for them right now.” Dave Marcotte, executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association, a group of 37 school districts in urban settings, said members expect from 5% to 35% of families not to return to schools this fall. “This is very concerning,” Marcotte said, adding that lower enrollment could mean less funding to schools’ budgets.

AMERICANS TRUST PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS: For months, President Trump has been contradicting his public health advisers over the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Over that same time, public health messages about the virus have been shifting. Advice that masks weren’t necessary changed to advice to wear masks. Guidance against mass gatherings was softened in the face of a recent wave of political protests (New York Times). In the Times survey, 84 percent of voters said they trusted medical scientists to provide reliable information about the virus, with 90 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans trusting the experts. Overall trust in the C.D.C. was 77 percent — 71 percent among Republicans and 83 percent among Democrats.

RUSSIA HAD BOUNTIES ON U.S. TROOPS: American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter (New York Times). The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year. Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion. The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said.

SEN. YOUNG BACKS 'PATH TO LEGAL STATUS' FOR DREAMERS: U.S. Sen. Todd Young said he supports a “path to legal status” for DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, as part of a broader immigration reform package. The U.S. Supreme Court recently prevented the Trump administration from ending the DACA program, but only temporarily (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Young said there are a variety of immigration challenges the U.S. needs to tackle, including better security at the southern border. But he said DACA recipients – who were brought to the U.S. as children – shouldn’t be penalized. He supports a path to legal status. “That may be citizenship, it may not," Young said. "My expectation is that it would be difficult over a longer period of time to sustain some sort of legal status that is not citizenship.”

INDIANA BEACH REOPENS: For many it was like homecoming. "It's an emotional day and a relief," said New owner of Indiana Beach Gene Staples (WLFI-TV). It was also a special day for Savannah Asbell. She's always wanted a VIP pass into Indiana Beach. So her mother surprised her. "Well my mom surprised me for VIP's and I am here doing a day at the beach," said Asbell. Indiana Beach workers held a ceremony in celebration of the park re-opening. A day full of emotions that new Indiana Beach owner Gene Staples felt. "It's just a relief that we got it open and it's not as perfect as I want but we'll get there and I'm just hoping that everyone's happy with what we've accomplished," said Staples. 

TRUMP REALIZES HE'S LOSING: Donald Trump knows he's losing. The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days, multiple people close to him told POLITICO, amid a mountain of bad polling and warnings from some of his staunchest allies that he's on course to be a one-term president. Trump has endured what aides describe as the worst stretch of his presidency, marred by widespread criticism over his response to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide racial unrest. His rally in Oklahoma last weekend, his first since March, turned out to be an embarrassment when he failed to fill the arena. What should have been an easy interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday horrified advisers when Trump offered a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question about his goals for a second term. In the same appearance, the normally self-assured president offered a tacit acknowledgment that he might lose when he said that Joe Biden is “gonna be your president because some people don't love me, maybe."

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: President Trump and Vice President Pence say they weren't briefed on the U.S. intelligence reports that the Kremlin was offering bounties on the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This brings the question: Why weren't they? - Brian A. Howey


CAUCUS SELECTS JOHNSON FOR HD100: Blake Johnson has been selected to serve as the State Representative for House District 100 after former state representative Dan Forestal resigned earlier this month (Smith, WRTV). Committee members of the Marion County Democratic precinct selected Johnson on Saturday to serve the remainder of the term, according to a press release from the Indiana General Assembly. He is succeeding Forestal, who resigned on June 15 after a recent arrest. Johnson, 33, is the president and CEO of IndyHub and the IndyHub Foundation, a non-profit organization working to connect and engage people in Indianapolis' future. He served as an Indianapolis City-County Councilor for District 12 from 2015 until Saturday, when he was selected to serve as a State Representative. "I’m honored by the opportunity to serve my neighbors in District 100 as their Representative in the Indiana General Assembly," Johnson said in the release. "I will work every day to earn the trust placed in me with this appointment, especially as we continue to tackle the current public health crisis, work to address issues of racial and social justice in this city, state and country, and strive to improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers."

PEETE TO CHALLENGE REP. HATFIELD: A Republican Party caucus on Saturday chose Greg Peete as the party's candidate for Indiana House District 77 in the Nov. 3 general election. Peete will challenge incumbent Rep. Ryan Hatfield, a Democrat first elected in 2016. House District 77 contains much of the Evansville city limits (Martin, Evansville Courier & Press). Peete served 10 years in the Army Reserves, including a deployment to Iraq and work as a trainer at Camp Atterbury. He's been a certified volunteer firefighter and first responder for 13 years and is active in local veterans affairs, through American Legion Post 265 on Fares. "I chose to run for this seat for all veterans in the state and community," Peete said in prepared remarks to the caucus. "My passion is wanting to be able to help straighten out the Indiana Veterans Affairs and get them the help they deserve." Peete won the Republican caucus over Steve Ary. Ary was an independent candidate for Evansville mayor in the 2019 general election, receiving 15 percent of the vote.

BASHAM OPENS HD34 CAMPAIGN OFFICE IN MUNCIE: Retired educator Dale Basham, who is running for the seat in the Indiana General Assembly held by state Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, has established office hours at his headquarters (Muncie Star Press). A Republican, Basham is occupying the former Munson Motors car dealership at 600 E. Wysor St., which will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays or by appointment (765 749-4349, dale@basham34.com). Basham received 2,648 votes in the GOP Primary Election, while Errington collected 4,671 votes in the Democratic Primary in House District 34 — which favors Democrats, though Basham wouldn't be the first Republican to represent it.

POSEY COUNTY SHERIFF SWITCHES TO GOP:  Posey County Sheriff Tom Latham, who was elected to the office in 2018 as a Democrat, has switched to the Republican Party, citing national platform issues (Martin, Evansville Courier & Press). Latham said in a Facebook post that he believes Democratic rhetoric in response to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota — who died as a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes — has gone too far. “I have always lived my life by conservative values and have felt strongly that a political party does not define me as a person. That being said, my values – and the values of today’s Democrat platform – are so different that I can no longer call myself a Democrat," he said on Facebook. "The unity and hope once idealized by John F. Kennedy has been replaced with divisiveness and anger. Personally – and professionally – I can no longer be a member of an organization that promotes this agenda. I will not sit silently as Democrats urge the defunding of police across our nation. I will not be complicit in advocating for division."

Presidential 2020

PENCE CANCELS TRIPS TO HOTSPOT FLA, AZ: Vice President Mike Pence has canceled campaign events in Florida and Arizona as coronavirus cases spike in those states (USA Today). A spokesperson for President Donald Trump's campaign confirmed to USA TODAY the events, which included stops as part of Pence's "Faith in America" tour, were canceled "out of an abundance of caution" as cases climb in Florida and Arizona. A spokesperson for the Vice President said Pence would still travel to Texas, Arizona, and Florida this week to meet with governors. On Tuesday, Pence was scheduled to give remarks at a "Faith in America" event in Tucson and to meet with Gov. Doug Ducey about the COVID-19 response. Pence had planned to travel to Florida on July 2 for a bus tour, meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis about coronavirus, and to deliver remarks both at a "Faith in America" event in Sarasota and after touring Oakley Transport Inc. in Lake Wales. The two states have seen record numbers of cases as the nation experiences spikes in several states. The United States reported a second day of record cases Saturday.

BIDEN SLAMS TRUMP OVER BOUNTY REPORT: Joe Biden sharply criticized President Donald Trump over a report that he said, if true, contains a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander in chief and his failure to protect U.S. troops and stand up to Russia (AP). The New York Times has reported that American intelligence officials concluded months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. “The truly shocking revelation that if the Times report is true, and I emphasize that again, is that President Trump, the commander in chief of American troops serving in a dangerous theater of war, has known about this for months, according to the Times, and done worse than nothing,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said during a virtual town hall.

ROLLING STONES THREATEN TO SUE TRUMP: The Rolling Stones are threatening President Donald Trump with legal action for using their songs at his rallies despite cease-and-desist directives (AP). The Stones say in a statement Sunday that their legal team is working with music rights organization BMI to stop the use of their material in Trump's reelection campaign. The Stones had complained during Trump's 2016 campaign about the use of their music to fire up his conservative base at rallies. The Rolling Stones’ 1969 classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was a popular song at Trump events, including his latest rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

CABLE NETWORKS IN CONVENTION POOLING TALKS: Two years ago, CNN staffers descended on Charlotte, N.C., to start planning coverage of the 2020 Republican convention, scouting hotels and broadcast sites and even picking out a local watering hole where the network would host political power players (Wall Street Journal). These days, the cable-news network’s executives are working with rivals in an effort to reduce the number of employees it sends to both parties’ conventions, as the coronavirus pandemic has lowered their prominence and created safety risks for attendees and journalists. Rashida Jones, senior vice president of MSNBC and NBC News, said she is having regular calls with leaders at CNN and Fox News to coordinate “pool” coverage, enabling the networks to use one video feed and reduce the number of journalists in potentially infectious areas. Pool cameras have long been a mainstay of election coverage, but coordination with other networks has become increasingly important because of the pandemic, she said.

Sunday Talk

AZAR SAYS CONTAINMENT WINDOW CLOSING: Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday the “window is closing” to stop the spread of coronavirus, as cases across the South and West surge. Azar said the country is in a different situation than at the last peak of the epidemic a few months ago, noting new therapeutics and advancements of COVID-19 vaccine research, but he added that “the window is closing.” “We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social-distance. We need to wear our face-coverings if we're in settings where we can't social-distance, particularly in these hot zones,” Azar said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Azar also dismissed the idea that the surge in cases is tied to states reopening and lifting restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. “This isn't about reopening or not reopening. We've got many communities in states that are just as reopened as these southern states but aren't experiencing this,” Azar said. “We've got to get to the bottom of why we're seeing these cases surge in this area, but at its core, we all own as individuals, our individual behavior to make sure that we are practicing appropriate social distancing and wearing facial covering when we're not able to, and practicing good personal hygiene and especially protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

FRIEDEN WARNS COVID HAS 'UPPER HAND': Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) head Tom Frieden warned Sunday that despite an optimistic tone from the White House, there is “no doubt” the coronavirus “has the upper hand.” Asked by Fox News’s Chris Wallace about comments by Vice President Pence touting progress on the virus, Frieden responded: “There’s no doubt we’re doing more testing, our hospitals are better prepared, but there’s also no doubt the virus has the upper hand.” “This virus is not going to go away on its own, we have to stop that, and only we can do that by working together,” he added. “We’re all sick and tired of staying home but the virus is not tired of making us sick.”

PELOSI CALLS FOR MASK MANDATE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday a nationwide mandate to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus is “definitely long overdue.”  “Definitely long overdue for that,” Pelosi told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's “This Week.” “And my understanding that the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] has recommended the use of masks but not required it because they don’t want to offend the president.” The speaker called on President Trump to “be an example” to the U.S. and wear a face covering, saying “real men wear masks.”

SEN. SCOTT SAYS TRUMP SHOULD TAKE DOWN VIDEO: Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said President Trump should take down the “offensive” video he retweeted Sunday morning praising people who can be heard saying “white power.” “There's no question he should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down,” Scott said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Scott, the only Black Republican senator, if the video offends him. “Does it offend you, though? I mean it offends me, and I’m white,” Tapper said. “If you watch the entire video, you can’t play it because it was so profanity-laced. The entire thing was offensive, certainly the comments about the white power was offensive. There’s no question,” Scott responded.


REP. CHENEY CALLS FOR BOUNTY ANSWERS: House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.) is calling for answers from the White House regarding an explosive report that intelligence officials concluded Russia placed bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan (The Hill). Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in Congress, said on Twitter that if the reporting on the issue is accurate, the Trump administration needs to answer a set of questions about what it knew about the intelligence and how it responded. She also zeroed in on the White House's denial that President Trump and Vice President Pence were briefed on the intelligence, saying there needs to be more information provided on why this was the case.  "If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed?" she asked. "Was the info in the PDB? 2. Who did know and when? 3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?"


ISDH: SATURDAY COVID STATS - Following are the latest COVID-19 numbers from the Indiana State Department of Health. The department updates its data daily based on information received through 11:59 p.m. the previous day. COVID-19 cases; New cases: 496, total cumulative cases reported Saturday: 44,575; Total cumulative cases reported Friday: 44,140; Increase in cumulative cases: 435; Increase in cases reported June 21-27: 2,612; Increase in cases reported June 14-20: 2,651. COVID-19 deaths: New deaths: 21; total deaths: 2,424. COVID-19 testing: New tests: 9,359; total cumulative tests reported Saturday: 463,017; total cumulative tests reported Friday: 453,890; increase in cumulative tests: 9,127; percentage of total testing positive: 9.6%.

BMV: LATE FEES RETURNING JULY 1 - Late fees are returning to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles next week (WRTV). All administrative penalties, also known as late fees, were waived early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but they return on July 1. Any Indiana residents with expired driver’s licenses, permits, state identification cards, and vehicle registrations should complete their transactions before July 1 to avoid paying the late fee. The BMV resumed walk-in service on June 15, to record crowds. Customer-facing BMV employees are required to wear masks and customers visiting a branch are encouraged to do the same.

SUPREME COURT: MANDATES IN RACIAL TRACKING IN COURTS - All 92 Indiana courts will be implementing a rule to track ethnicity when filing court cases (WLFI-TV). This is a way state leaders are working to get to the root of racial disparities happening within the criminal justice system. If racial identity is documented for every person who enters the court system, then state leaders can use that information to find if and where the un-equal treatment is taking place among people of different racial groups. Earlier this month, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush wrote a letter in response to the nationwide protests fighting for racial equality. In it, she called out the racial disparities happening right within the Indiana justice system. Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington agrees that these disparities are something to address. He said this mandated rule can be useful for everyone.

SPORTS: IU ATHLETICS FACE $12M SHORTFALL - An internal forecast projects IU athletics to require a cost savings of nearly $12 million for the coming fiscal year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — and that forecast suggests the shortfall can be covered without reductions in staff or sports (IndyStar). According to a departmental memo obtained by IndyStar, Indiana’s athletic department will need to implement measures to save approximately 10% on expenses that would otherwise project to $118,915,508 for the coming fiscal year. That would require a necessary savings of approximately $11.8 million. That memo, distributed by Athletic Director Fred Glass and AD-in-waiting Scott Dolson, outlines the first phase of the cost-savings plan that will address that shortfall. A second phase will be left open-ended in case the financial impact of the ongoing pandemic deepens through the first half of the fiscal year.


WHITE HOUSE: DENIALS THAT TRUMP, PENCE WERE BRIEFED ON BOUNTIES - The White House denied Saturday that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed on an intelligence finding that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops and other coalition forces in Afghanistan (USA Today). “The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day, and they are subject to strict scrutiny,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. While the White House does not routinely comment on intelligence or internal deliberations, “the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” McEnany said.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP THANKS PEOPLE IN 'WHITE POWER' VIDEO - President Donald Trump on Sunday widely shared a video he said is from the Villages, a community in Florida, in which a man driving a golf cart with Trump campaign posters is seen chanting “white power” (CNN). The President retweeted the video that showed the community’s Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters arguing with one another. The President thanked the “great people” shown in the video. “Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!” he wrote in the tweet.

KENTUCKY: 1 DEAD IN LOUISVILLE PROTEST SHOOTING -  The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) confirms they are investigating a deadly shooting that happened at Jefferson Square Park Saturday night. LMPD deployed additional officers to the scene, some in riot gear while they cleared the area to investigate the shooting (WHAS-TV). Officers say around 9 p.m. there were reports of shots fired in Jefferson Square Park. Sheriff’s Department officers who were in the park started performing life-saving measures on a man who was hit. They were unable to save him, police say he died at the scene.

MICHIGAN: 85 COVID CASES LINKED TO EAST LANSING RESTAURANT - At least 85 coronavirus cases have been linked to a restaurant near Michigan State University’s campus, a local newspaper reported (Washington Post). The Ingham County Health Department said that most of those infected visited Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in East Lansing between June 12 and 20, according to Lansing State Journal. The restaurant, which is popular with college students, announced Monday that it would temporarily close to make public health improvements.

CALIFORNIA: CASH-STRAPPED CITIES EYE MARIJUANA REVENUE - California local governments scrambling to find tax revenues during the coronavirus pandemic are turning toward an industry they had considered taboo until now: cannabis (Politico). It has been almost four years since voters legalized recreational marijuana in California, and nearly 70 percent of cities and counties have yet to embrace pot businesses because they see regulatory problems or have concerns about public safety and negative publicity. But some, facing insurmountable budget gaps as unemployment rises to its worst level since the Great Depression, would now rather open their doors to cannabis than lay off more workers or cut services. So far, a handful of cities have begun developing cannabis tax measures for the November ballot since voter approval is required to add local taxes. It's a trend many in the industry expect to continue over the next month absent approval of a federal bailout for state and local governments.


EVANSVILLE: 7 ELLIS PARK EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE - Ellis Park Racing and Gaming confirms seven people associated with the track have tested positive for COVID-19 (WFIE-TV). Park officials say six of those cases are employees of a single trainer and one case is an individual who worked closely with them. Six people are said to have been residing in the same dormitory. The Green River District Health Department found positive cases while conducting a mandatory test required by Ellis Park. Park officials state all individuals are asymptomatic. They say employees of the barn and trainer are under a stay-in-place order and have been quarantined inside the dorm where the outbreak was discovered. One additional individual is quarantined at their home. “We have notified all Ellis Park employees and all personnel currently working on the backside of these test results,” Jeff Inman, general manager at Ellis Park said.

EVANSVILLE: LST325 REOPENS DOWNTOWN - The brand new LST 325 Museum and Visitors Center opened up along Riverside Drive on Saturday morning (WFIE-TV). Organizers have spent the last several weeks making final touches to the inside of the welcome center. A couple of weeks ago, the LST 325 moved to its new location across from Tropicana Evansville.

HAMMOND: OFFICIAL 'RESIGNS' AFTER DUI - The city's mayor says longtime Hammond public official Michael Opinker resigned his paid position on the Hammond Water Board Saturday morning amid the public disclosure of a police body camera video in Opinker's pending drunken driving case (Chase & Cross, NWI Times). But Opinker's criminal defense attorney told The Times Saturday evening that his client has not and will not resign the seat. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said Saturday that Opinker tendered his water board resignation earlier that morning. The mayor also said city officials are reviewing any impact the drunken driving case may have on Opinker's employment as the Hammond Fire Department's assistant chief of inspections. "I thank Mike Opinker for voluntarily resigning his board position with the Hammond Water Department," McDermott told The Times Saturday morning. "I will seek an appointee to fill his position who can focus, without distraction, on what is in the best interests of the Hammond Water Co., as well as its employees and the residents of the city of Hammond."

CONNERSVILLE: COUNCILMAN DENIES RACIST FACEBOOK POST - A member of the Connersville City Council is denying that he posted a racist message on his Facebook page. People who have seen the post are calling for his resignation (Connersville News-Examiner). Mike Bishop on Friday afternoon said his Facebook account had been hacked and that he took down a post that someone else made as soon as he became aware of it. He said he is very upset that someone had done this to him and, " I don't have a racist bone in my body." Bishop said he took down the post as soon as he found out it was there. However, a screen shot of the post, with Bishop's name included, was posted on a local resident's Facebook page, along with a call for him to resign from City Council and the Board of Public Works and Safety. The post has two photos. One is a bunch of monkeys jumping on and around a car. The second photo shows several Black people, some standing on a car and some around it. The caption is "Monkey see, monkey do?"

VIGO COUNTY: 60 MARCH OVER SCHOOL OFFICER FIRING - Some 60 people rallied and marched through downtown Terre Haute on Saturday, refusing to let slip the momentum created over the past month concerning racial justice and police reform (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The Reform Movement of Terre Haute organizers Dominique Morefield and Emma Crossen said racism is alive and well in Vigo County, and pointed to the firing of a Vigo County School Corporation resource officer this week as proof. The corporation confirmed Friday the firing of Mike Anderson, a resource officer and longtime Vigo Sheriff's Office deputy. A call to action: Dominique Morefield (left) and Emma Crossen (right) praise the Vigo County School Corporation’s decision to fire Lt. Mike Adams from his role as a school protection officer after his inflammatory Facebook posts prior to Saturday’s March for Change. Among other things, the corporation's termination letter to Anderson cited the current turmoil in the county, state and nation and Anderson's frequently avowed support for the Confederate battle flag.