SHERMAN WINS HD93: Dollyne Sherman, a former aide to Gov. Robert Orr, was elected to the vacant HD93 Tuesday evening (Howey Politics Indiana). She topped six other candidates to replace State Rep. David Frizzell. She served on the staffs of Gov. Orr and Gov. Mitch Daniels and worked for Rep. Susan Brooks (Indiana Public Media). Sherman says that experience will give her a boost as she steps into elected office for the first time. “I know who to go to when I need something done," Sherman says. "So, I can hit the ground running and there won’t be a learning curve in that area.” Sherman says one of the top issues she’ll focus on isn’t necessarily legislative – it will be monitoring completion of the final section of Interstate 69, which will cut through her district on the southside of Indianapolis.Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Kyle Hupfer said, "I'm excited to congratulate State Rep.-elect Dollyne Sherman, the newest member of the Indiana General Assembly and a new voice for Hoosiers in Marion and Johnson counties. Like former Rep. Frizzell, I know that Dollyne Sherman will carry on the Indiana Republican tradition of delivering results for Hoosiers at the Statehouse."

SEN. MELTON LAUNCHES INGOV EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE: In front of a packed house of teachers, parents and community members, State Sen. Eddie Melton announced his formation of a gubernatorial exploratory committee and statewide listening tour at the Gary Teachers Union (Howey Politics Indiana). Melton, who introduced a bill that would address the startling lack of compensation Indiana teachers receive, has been adamant about prioritizing public education and educators in order to properly invest in Indiana’s children. Indiana, which currently ranks 18th in teacher pay and 49th in per pupil spending nationally, also faces a prevalent and ongoing teacher shortage. “This announcement is not about me seeking a higher office,” Melton said. “This is a call to refocus on inclusive policies that reflect the voice of every Hoosier, not just a select few. This is about Indiana investing in a better future for ourselves and for our children.” Melton is the third Democrat to weigh a bid. State Rep. Karlee Macer told HPI last week she was seriously exploring a challenge to Gov. Eric Holcomb. Former Indiana and New York City health commissioner Woody Myers told HPI, “There are a lot of problems I believe I can solve. I’m very close to making a decision to enter the race.” Both Macer and Melton will have to give up their legislative seats should they enter and stay in the gubernatorial race beyond the filing deadline next February. In a refusal to adequately address the teacher pay crisis, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a Teacher Pay Commission which has been criticized for its lack of transparency and seriousness. The commission, which does not include anyone with experience in a classroom, has only met a handful of times and only behind closed doors without public input. “Behind-the-scenes negotiations are not how we should be solving our state’s issues,” Melton said. “Especially not when it comes to our educational system. No investment is more important than our students and teachers.” In an exclusive interview with The Times, Melton repeatedly declined to say when he'll decide if he's actually going to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in next year's general election.

WARREN TOWN HALL IN FORT WAYNE TONIGHT: MSNBC's Chris Hayes and a live audience will host w2020 Democratic candidate with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in Fort Wayne at 8 tonight (Howey Politics Indiana). It will be broadcast live on MSNBC. It is the first presidential town hall scheduled for Indiana. They will discuss how she plans to win back the industrial Midwest with her wide-range of policy plans affecting working families, including jobs and the future of American manufacturing, student debt, housing and her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax." Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m.. As this event will be filmed for a television broadcast, all guests will need to remain on site for the full duration. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

U.S. MANUFACTURING INDEX HITS 10-YEAR LOW: The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell by more than two-points to 50.5 in May, the lowest level since Sept. 2009, according to IHS Markit. New orders contracted for the first time since August 2009 (Bloomberg News). The overall index has fallen by almost six points over the last year. “May saw U.S. manufacturers endure the toughest month in nearly 10 years, with the headline PMI down to its lowest since the height of the global financial crisis,” said Chris Williamson, economist at IHS Markit. Manufacturing “production is set to act as a further drag on GDP.” Survey respondents stated that weak client demand drove the drop in new orders for the first time in almost a decade. Some firms also noted that customers were postponing orders due to growing uncertainty about the outlook.

PURDUE AG INDEX TUMBLES: Farmer optimism about the economy has been falling in recent months, mainly from ongoing trade disputes, very late planting and low commodity prices, and now it has dropped to a level not seen since the month before the November presidential election in 2016. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer was 14 points lower in May (Eubank, Hoosier Ag Today). Jim Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, says farmers’ assessment of their equity positions is just one area trending negatively. “Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they expect to see wealth decline in the next 12 months,” he said. “That compares to 39 percent back in February and 35 percent a year ago. So, farmers have become significantly more negative with respect to income and what’s likely to take place with regard to their wealth.”

MERRITT SAYS HE SUPPORTS LGBTQ RIGHTS, VOWS TO MARCH IN PARADE: Republican Indianapolis Mayor nominee Jim Merritt says he's "learned over time" to support LGBTQ rights (Howey Politics Indiana). His comments came after he was disinvited to march in the Indy Gay Pride parade. "Indy welcomes all. It’s an important mantra we have been proudly proclaiming in our community for several years. This is the message I personally want to spread as well. That is why I have been planning for several months to walk in the Indy Pride Parade with friends," Sen. Merritt said. "My intention for walking in the Pride Parade is to show others that, over time, my opinions have progressed and theirs can as well. I own every vote that I have made in the legislature but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t learned along the way and that I would make the same votes today. As Mayor of Indianapolis my constituency would be different than it has been in my senate district. I will represent all citizens of Indianapolis. My campaign has spoken with Indy Pride, Inc. today and Indy Pride, Inc. clarified that my original plans of walking as a private citizen, not as a candidate for mayor, in the parade on Saturday is acceptable. I support LGBTQ+ rights. I voted for the hate crimes legislation this year."

TRUMP EXPECTS TO GO FORWARD WITH MEXICAN TARIFFS: President Trump said Tuesday he expects U.S. tariffs on Mexico to go into effect next week, despite ongoing negotiations to resolve a dispute over a surge in Central American migration to the U.S. (Wall Street Journal). Speaking at a press conference during a state visit to London, Mr. Trump said Mexico needs to step up and stem the flow of CentralAmerican migrants into the U.S. “I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on,” he said. He added it would be “foolish” if congressional Republicans blocked the tariff plan, referring to reports that lawmakers in the president’s own party were moving to stop him. Earlier Tuesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he thinks there is an 80% chance that Mexico can reach a negotiated solution with the Trump administration on migration to avoid the threatened imposition of tariffs on all of Mexico’s imports.

SENATE REPUBLICANS REBEL AGAINST MEXICAN TARIFFS: Republican senators sent the White House a sharp message on Tuesday, warning that they were opposed to President Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on Mexican imports, just hours after the president said lawmakers would be “foolish” to try to stop him (New York Times). Mr. Trump’s latest threat — 5 percent tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico, rising to as high as 25 percent until the Mexican government stems the flow of migrants — has riled Republican senators who fear its impact on the economy and their home states. They emerged from a closed-door lunch in the Capitol angered by the briefing they received from a deputy White House counsel, Patrick F. Philbin, and Assistant Attorney General Steven A. Engel on the legal basis for imposing new tariffs by declaring a national emergency. “I want you to take a message back” to the White House, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, told the attorneys, according to people familiar with the meeting. “You didn’t hear a single yes” from the Republican conference. He called the proposed tariffs a $30 billion tax hike on Texans. Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, said he warned the lawyers that the Senate could muster an overwhelming majority to beat back the tariffs, even if Mr. Trump were to veto a resolution disapproving them. Republicans may be broadly supportive of Mr. Trump’s push to build a wall and secure the border, he said, but they are almost uniformly opposed to the imposition of tariffs on Mexico. Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, fretted, “We’re holding a gun to our own heads.”

BUTTIGIEG, SOUTH BEND PANEL EXPLORES BLACK HOME OWNERSHIP: Less than a day after South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg voiced support in his presidential campaign for somehow paying reparations to African Americans for slavery, his administration hosted a conference Tuesday aimed at making more capital available for homeowners and small businesses in predominately black areas of South Bend (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The conference, at Century Center, convened city, community development and lending officials around the prospect of making South Bend a “CDFI Friendly City.” CDFIs, an acronym for community development financial institutions, lend money for personal credit building, small business support, home mortgages and other financial needs to businesses and individuals in low-income, high-minority areas who haven’t traditionally been able to obtain loans. In a panel discussion with Buttigieg and CDFI experts, Christina Brooks, the city’s diversity and inclusion officer, said having more access to capital would help more blacks obtain decent housing and enjoy more healthy neighborhoods. Afterward, a reporter asked Buttigieg if he would call more access to CDFIs locally “reparations.” He said it’s “one example” of what reparations could look like. “It’s interesting to explore how those two concepts might be connected,” Buttigieg said. “Part of how I would think about it is if you have a neighborhood where people are systematically less likely to do well economically, partly because that neighborhood’s been under-invested for generations, and not coincidentally was also on the wrong side of segregation, then you have a situation where policy led to an inequality and policy is going to have to lead us out of there.”

HARRY PEARSON FINDS FISH IN HIS WHEAT FIELD:  It's not unusual to see ducks and geese in waterlogged farm fields this spring, but fish are another story (Slabaugh, Muncie Star Press). "It's the first time in 50 years I've had fish growing on the farm," said Harry Pearson, a former president of Indiana Farm Bureau. "You can see fish jumping in the water." Meanwhile, short breaks in rainfall allowed Indiana corn and soybean planting to progress slightly last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop weather report. As of Sunday, only 31 percent of Indiana's corn had been planted — compared to 98 percent at this time last year — and corn-planting deadlines are fast approaching. Pearson hasn't been able to plant anything yet because of wet fields. He isn't certain how the fish got into water that has been standing in his wheat field along Blackford County Road 600-N but says the low area is not connected to a nearby ditch. "People tell me geese can carry fish eggs on their feathers," Pearson said.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Congrats to our friend, incoming State Rep. Dollyne Sherman, a great addition to the Indiana House. - Brian A. Howey


HUPFER COMMENTS ON MELTON EXPLORATION:  Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer released this statement ahead of first-term State Senator Eddie Melton’s announcement tonight that he is launching an exploratory committee for a potential run for governor of Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). “As Eddie Melton explores a potential campaign for governor he will keep hearing the same refrain: Gov. Eric Holcomb is one of the nation’s most popular governors,” said Hupfer. “That’s because Governor Holcomb is delivering real results for Hoosiers in every corner of the state, including, as Senator Melton knows well, in his own hometown of Gary. No town, city, county or region of Indiana is forgotten as Governor Holcomb leads Indiana to record job commitments, record infrastructure investments and new opportunities for all Hoosiers to build their skills and their careers. It’s happening everywhere, and Governor Holcomb is leading the charge.”

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG TALKS ABOUT HIS RACE PROBLEM: Pete Buttigieg, at a fundraiser over the weekend, acknowledged having fallen short in the past in demonstrating his commitment to African Americans, offering some of his most candid reflections to date on the challenge he faces in trying to win over a key Democratic constituency that has been slow to support his presidential campaign (NBC News). Buttigieg said that while he’s been building a campaign team that reflects his commitment to diversity, “I know that’s just the beginning.” The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, went on to tell the story of an activist he met with in his office’s conference room early in his term who told him, “We don’t feel like we have a seat at the table.” “He literally said this while literally sitting at my table,” Buttigieg said at the fundraiser in San Francisco, where Democrats had gathered for the party's California state convention. “I thought, what are you doing? You’re literally at my table. Well, if you’re in my office and at my table and you don’t feel like you have a seat at the table, what does that say about us?” “Does that mean we may have sent out an invitation, but it doesn’t mean you feel welcome?" he said. "And so making sure that not just our personnel but our practices reflect that good will is, I think, particularly important for communities that have seen Democratic and Republican politicians let them down.”

BUTTIGIEG TO CAMPAIGN IN ATLANTA: On Thursday, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will travel to Atlanta, GA to speak at the DNC African American Leadership Summit and host a grassroots event (Howey Politics Indiana).

TRUMP DOWN 12% IN MICHIGAN: Both former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont showed 12-point margins over the first-term Republican incumbent in a Glengariff Group public opinion survey of 600 likely voters released to The Detroit News and WDIV-TV (Local 4). Three other Democrats included in the poll were preferred over Trump by less substantial margins, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading 47-42%. Three years after he became the first Republican to win the state since 1988, fewer than 36% percent of Michigan voters say they would vote to re-elect Trump, compared with more than 51% who said they plan to vote for someone new.

BIDEN UNVEILS CLIMATE PLAN: Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has faced criticism from Democratic presidential rivals about his commitment to combating climate change, on Tuesday unveiled a plan that promised to reinstate the climate policies of the Obama administration but also included some unexpected proposals that would push significantly beyond what the previous White House achieved (New York Times). Mr. Biden, who in tone and substance is one of the most centrist candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, has insisted he is no moderate when it comes to protecting the environment, though progressives have been skeptical. Polls show that fighting climate change is a top priority for Democratic voters, and Mr. Biden selected the issue for his second policy rollout, after an education plan he released last week. “On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track,” his campaign wrote. “He will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change — he will go much further.”

ADDITIONS TO PENCE STAFF ON TRUMP REELECT: Jon Thompson, the former RGA communications director, will be deputy communications director for Vice President Pence operations on the Trump reelection campaign, and Faith Vandervoort, who was press secretary at Interior, will be deputy press secretary for the VP on the campaign (Politico Playbook).


BROOKS, ESHOO BILL HEADS TO TRUMP: The House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA), authored by Reps. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA18) to strengthen the country’s existing preparedness and response programs. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law (Howey Politics Indiana). “The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act is critically important legislation that works to make our nation better prepared for and able to keep Americans safer in response to natural disasters or biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear threats to our public health and national security,” Brooks said. “I am proud this bipartisan legislation is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law because it will ensure our health care professionals are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritize the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establish new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies.”

HOUSE VOTES FOR DREAMER DEAL: The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would provide permanent legal status and a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children—but the legislation is unlikely to be brought up for a vote in the Senate (Wall Street Journal). The bill would grant the young immigrants, often called Dreamers, a conditional permanent resident status for 10 years. To qualify, they would have to meet requirements including continuous residence in the U.S. for the prior four years and not having a criminal conviction that carries a prison sentence of a year or more. The vote came as lawmakers continued to debate how to address the Trump administration’s request for more border funding. In a 237-187 vote, seven Republicans joined 230 Democrats to pass the legislation in the House that has a broad coalition of support, ranging from liberal immigration groups to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Koch brothers’ political-advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. But numerous immigration bills have failed to pass both chambers in the past decade, creating little hope that the bill won’t have the same fate.

BROOKS VOTES AGAINST HR6: U.S. Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) provided the following statement after voting against H.R.6 (Howey Politics Indiana): “There is no question that our immigration system is in desperate need of repair, but as I have said before, we must find compassionate solutions that will fix our broken immigration system while prioritizing our nation’s security. Unfortunately, H.R. 6 is not one of those solutions. “I have supported in the past and will continue to support compassionate legislative solutions that provide DACA recipients, individuals who were brought to this country by no fault of their own and currently make positive contributions to the social and economic well-being of the United States, reassurance they will be able to continue living their lives as they always have. H.R. 6 goes too far and under this bill, a much larger group of immigrants would be eligible for green cards and a special pathway to citizenship whether they entered the country legally or illegally, regardless of how old they are now, and whether or not they are DACA recipients."

BRAUN, BAIRD SEEK USDA RESEARCH FACILITY FOR INDIANA: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and U.S. Rep. Jim Baird are advocating Indiana for a USDA research facility in an op-ed (Howey Politics Indiana). "When first announced last August, the proposal to relocate departments within the U.S. Department of Agriculture out of Washington, D.C., opened a floodgate of reaction," Braun and Baird wrote. "The idea of moving a part of the federal government out of the D.C. beltway caused uproar among some in Washington — as well as praise from many of the millions of Americans who work in the field of agriculture in the remaining 99.9 percent of our country. For U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the concept is simple: Move those who serve in a research arm of agriculture near the farmers for whom they serve. We live in a global agricultural and economic society, but proximity ensures that resources are never far from the farmers, growers, farm supply and university researchers who can provide real-time feedback in the policymaking process. After accepting 136 proposals from 35 states, the USDA has selected Indiana as one of the three finalists for their new research facility. As the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana is one of the top agriculture producing states in the country. The industry contributes an estimated $31.2 billion to the state’s economy each year, with 56,800 farming operations averaging a farm size of 259 acres.  Ninety-seven percent of farms are family-owned or operated."

YOUNG, WALORSKI SEEK AFFORDABLE HOUSING: As the country continues to grapple with an affordable housing and homelessness crisis, a bipartisan, bicameral group of U.S. Senators and Representatives today introduced legislation to increase investment in affordable housing and provide more resources and stronger protections for at-risk groups (Howey Politics Indiana). The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 was introduced by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-02), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.-01), Kenny Marchant (R-Texas-24), and Don Beyer (D-Va.-08). “As I travel around Indiana, one thing is clear: We need affordable housing now more than ever. If we strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, we can improve life outcomes for Hoosiers from Gary to Jeffersonville and everyone in between, and that’s exactly what the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act does,” said Senator Todd Young. “Our bipartisan legislation would leverage the private sector to increase the stock of affordable housing for families in urban and rural communities and tackle the housing affordability crisis head on.”

HOUSE DEMS PONDER TRUMP CENSURE: House Democrats are eyeing a move to censure President Trump as a possible alternative to impeaching a president they have accused of gross wrongdoing while in office (The Hill). A censure resolution — essentially a public reprimand — lacks the teeth of impeachment’s intrinsic threat to remove a sitting president. But supporters say it would send a clear and immediate message to voters that Democrats are taking seriously their constitutional responsibility to be a check on executive misconduct. The censure consideration comes at a time when Democrats are moving forward with other congressional tools to go after Trump administration officials. The House is expected to vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for declining to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report and related evidence.

HOUSE HEARING SET ON DEEP FAKE VIDEOS: The House Intelligence Committee has slated a hearing in June that will examine a series of national security matters, including the threat of videos manipulated by artificial intelligence (AI) that look strikingly real, a panel aide said (The Hill). The congressional hearing on June 13 will be one of the first to primarily focus on so-called deepfakes, which experts and lawmakers say pose a major disinformation threat heading into the 2020 election. The hearing comes amid a spotlight on a fake video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that made its way across Facebook and other social media platforms in late May. Top U.S. intelligence officials including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before Congress earlier this year that hostile foreign actors are expected to try to weaponize deepfakes to sow discord and breed doubt. “Adversaries and strategic competitors probably will attempt to use deep fakes or similar machine-learning technologies to create convincing—but false—image, audio, and video files to augment influence campaigns directed against the United States and our allies and partners,” reads the intelligence community’s 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, which was released in January.

SENATE COULD BLOCK SAUDI ARMS DEAL: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat and a close congressional ally of President Trump are teaming up to try to block 22 arms deals largely benefiting Saudi Arabia, a move that seeks to quash the administration’s attempt to use emergency powers to circumvent congressional objections (Washington Post). Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in an interview Tuesday that he would introduce “22 resolutions of disapproval” — one for each deal the Trump administration informed lawmakers last month it would push through, raising objections from Democrats and Republicans. Joining him in the effort is Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said Tuesday that he is “on board with Menendez.” Graham, one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, also has been one of the most vocal critics of his embrace of Saudi leaders, particularly in the wake of last year’s brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


STATEHOUSE: 7TH CIRCUIT VACATES CONSENT DECREE CONTESTED BY HILL - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Monday vacated a consent decree contested by Attorney General Curtis Hill because it resulted from a federal district court’s encroachment upon the rightful authority of the State of Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). On July 10, 2018, a federal district court entered a consent decree under which the Marion County Election Board agreed to establish five in-person early voting satellite offices for the 2018 general election and thereafter a minimum of two satellite offices for primary elections and five satellite offices for general and municipal elections. The consent decree followed a lawsuit alleging that the board violated federal law when it did not unanimously approve any satellite offices for early voting over the course of several consecutive elections. The plaintiffs alleged that the lack of satellite voting burdened voters’ rights. While strongly supporting the operation of satellite early-vote centers, Attorney General Hill argued that the federal court was wrong to override Indiana state law – which required a unanimous vote by county election boards to establish satellite centers for early voting. And since no party in the case was willing to defend Indiana’s statutes, the Attorney General assumed responsibility for doing so.

STATEHOUSE: LAWSON CREATES SENIOR EXPLOITATION COUNCIL - Every year, older Americans lose an estimated $36.5 billion dollars to financial exploitation, abuse, and scams, which is destroying the security of older adults and their families (Howey Politics Indiana). By the year 2030, 1 out of every 5 Hoosiers will be age 65 or older, according to population projections by the Indiana Business Research Center with the IU Kelly School of Business. Having so many older adults in the state of Indiana creates a “growing marketplace for those who may be looking to take advantage of vulnerable adults,” says Chris Naylor, with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. That’s why Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has partnered with other experts in fraud prevention to form the Indiana Council Against Senior Exploitation, or IN-CASE. “My office is already a leader in elder justice. The Indiana Securities Division protects Hoosier investors against securities fraud. With IN-CASE, we saw an opportunity to amplify our efforts by teaming up with others who are equally committed to protecting our state’s senior citizens,” says Secretary Lawson.

EDUCATION: PETERSON URGES PROTECTION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS - As the school choice debate emerges as an issue in the presidential election, an architect of Indianapolis’ charter-school movement says the controversial schools aren’t fighting back strongly enough against their critics (Irish & Chang, Chalkbeat). “We’re seeing a very concerted effort nationwide to try to suggest that charter schools as a whole are bad for public education, that they’re bad for kids,” said former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson. “And the charter sector needs to step up its game and work a lot harder on telling the truth and telling the story about the successes of charter schools.” Peterson, a Democrat, campaigned for the 2001 state law that allowed charter schools in Indiana, and as mayor, he oversaw the first charter schools in Indianapolis. He now leads Christel House, a network of local charter schools and international schools, and on Monday received an award from The Mind Trust, the city’s key advocacy group that he helped launch, for his work championing charter schools.

JUSTICE: DOCTOR'S CONVICTION UPHELD - A state appeals court has rejected an attempt by a doctor who ran several Indiana pain clinics to overturn his convictions of illegally writing drug prescriptions (Indiana Public Media). The 3-0 court ruling upholds the convictions against 56-year-old William Hedrick, who operated clinics in Muncie and the Fort Wayne area. A Delaware County jury convicted him last year on felony counts of forgery and prescription-related registration offenses. He was sentenced to two years of electronic detention at his Hamilton County home. The court found it was part of Hedrick's business practice to write prescriptions using the name and Drug Enforcement Administration registration number of a nurse-practitioner who had worked for him.

INDOT: FULL CLOSURSE COMING TO I-65 - The Indiana Department of Transportation will be closing portions of I-65 NB and SB on the Northwest side in 15 day increments (Howey Politics Indiana). The first closure will be on I-65 N from I-465 up to the I-865 interchange. It will start at 9 p.m. on June 14 and will stay closed until July 1. Crews will be milling and repaving the roadway. After the 15 days, the closure will switch and I-65 SB will be closed from July 12 to July 29 in the same location.

INDOT: LANE CLOSURE ON U.S. 31 - The northbound lanes of U.S. 31 are closing today from Indiana 931 to Indiana 18, while road crews complete a bridge project (Kokomo Tribune). The Indiana Department of Transportation says it will be diverting traffic to the southbound lanes of U.S. 31 using recently constructed crossover lanes. All traffic will use the southbound lanes while work is being done in the area of the northbound lanes. Although the northbound lanes will be fully shut down, traffic will be able to move in one lane in both directions in the southbound lanes. During the lane closures, crews will be repaving, patching and constructing a new bridge over Deer Creek.

DNR: WHITE RIVER BODY WAS INDY MAN - The unidentified body located in the White River just north of the State Road 144 Bridge on June 2 has been identified through an autopsy as Terrance Williams of Indianapolis by Morgan County Coroner Annette Burcher (Howey Politics Indiana). Williams has been missing since May 25 when he was last observed floating alongside his capsized canoe in the White River north of 16th Street near the Lake Indy boat ramp. Burcher has preliminarily identified the cause of death to be drowning.

EDUCATION: DEETZ TO HEAD VU FOUNDATION - The Vincennes University Foundation has named Kristi Deetz Executive Director. Deetz will also serve in the newly-formed role of Senior Director of Advancement for the institution (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). Deetz most recently worked as the Foundation’s interim director while simultaneously holding the position of senior director of external relations. Deetz has more than 25 years of experience working at the university.She was communications manager at VU for two years, following 13 years as producer/director for WVUT-TV, housed in the VU broadcasting department. During her time at WVUT she was also an adjunct instructor of broadcasting.

SPORTS: WARREN NEW BIG 10 COMMISSIONER - The Big Ten Conference hired Minnesota Vikings executive Kevin Warren as its new commissioner Tuesday, bringing on a former college basketball player and sports agent with a law degree from the University of Notre Dame to replace Jim Delany and become the first black commissioner of a Power Five conference (AP). The 55-year-old Warren has been the chief operating officer for the Vikings since 2015, the first African-American to hold that position for an NFL franchise. "I'm ready for the challenge. I'm excited. I'm energized," he said at his introductory news conference. "But most of all, I'm grateful."


WHITE HOUSE: FORMER AIDES TOLD TO IGNORE SUBPOENAS - The White House has directed former Trump administration officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to hand over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House, two sources told NBC News on Tuesday. It's the latest in a bitter back-and-forth between the White House and Capitol Hill, with the Trump administration blocking a number of congressional oversight requests by Democrats for interviews and documents from current and former aides. An attorney for Hicks told the committee Tuesday that she would turn over some documents that lawmakers had requested from her time on the Trump campaign. In a statement, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the White House “has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request."

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP PONDERS 2ND EMERGENCY DECREE - Senate Republicans said Tuesday that the administration has floated declaring a second national emergency to implement new tariffs on Mexico, a move that would set up a high-stakes clash with Congress (The Hill). GOP senators emerged from a closed-door lunch with White House deputy counsel Pat Philbin and Justice Department officials saying the issue was discussed during the meeting, but that the administration indicated it had not yet reached a resolution on whether or not it would need to take the controversial step. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told reporters that Republican senators pressed administration officials during the lunch on whether or not there would need to be a new national emergency declaration. "I think that was somewhat up in the air. … I think that's a distinct possibility but I don't think there's any definitive answer," Johnson added. 

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CONSIDERS BAN ON GUN SILENCERS - President Trump told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that there’s “always a chance” of military conflict with Iran and that he’s “seriously” considering a ban on gun silencers following last week’s deadly shooting in Virginia (Bloomberg News). His comments follow the deadly shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach last week, where police recovered a high-capacity magazine and a silencer mechanism from the scene.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP BANS CUBAN CRUISES - The Trump administration on Tuesday ended the most popular forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travel in an attempt to cut off cash to the island's communist government (AP). Cruise travel from the U.S. to Cuba began in May 2016 during President Barack Obama's opening with the island. It has become the most popular form of U.S. leisure travel to the island, bringing 142,721 people in the first four months of the year, a more than 300% increase over the same period last year. For travelers confused about the thicket of federal regulations governing travel to Cuba, cruises offered a simple, one-stop, guaranteed-legal way to travel. That now appears to be over. "Cruise ships as well as recreational and pleasure vessels are prohibited from departing the U.S. on temporary sojourn to Cuba effective tomorrow," the Commerce Department said in a statement to The Associated Press.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE TOURS TULSA FLOOD DAMAGE - Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence touched down in Tulsa around 11:40 Tuesday morning (KRMG-TV). The couple went straight to the the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan was also there. Vice President Pence also went to the Town and Country Neighborhood in Sand Springs to talk with homeowners. Air Force Two took off from Tulsa International Airport around 3pm. President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Oklahoma on Saturday.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE - President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will leave London at 9:35 a.m. British time en route to Portsmouth for a photo op with leaders at 10:45 a.m. at events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. They will participate in a D-Day event at 11:15 a.m. followed by a meet and greet with Queen Elizabeth and D-Day veterans at 12:45 p.m. Afterward, Trump and the first lady will participate in a reception at 1:10 p.m. with Prince Charles and other leaders attending the D-Day commemoration. Trump and the first lady will participate in a meet and greet at 1:35 p.m. with U.S. service members, followed by a luncheon, before departing for Shannon, Ireland. At 5:15 p.m., Trump will participate in meetings with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Trump and Melania Trump will then travel to Doonbeg, Ireland, where the president owns a golf club. Vice President Pence meets with Mexican negotiators at the White House.

TREASURY: MNUCHIN TO RESUME TALKS WITH CHINA - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this weekend will have his first chance to break an impasse in a deepening trade war with China -- if officials from the two countries decide they want to jump-start talks at an international summit in Japan (Bloomberg News). Mnuchin is set to meet Chinese central bank Governor Yi Gang during a gathering of G-20 finance ministers from June 7 to 9 in Fukuoka, according to a Treasury department statement on Tuesday.

CLIMATE: LAKES SUPERIOR, ERIE SET WATER LEVEL RECORDS - Wet spring weather has pushed Lake Erie’s water level to its highest point ever recorded (AP). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday the shallowest of the Great Lakes hit the milestone in May, surpassing the previous peak set in 1986. Lake Superior also reached its highest known level for the month of May, although it has been even higher at other times of year. The Corps began measuring Great Lakes levels in 1918. Chief watershed hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz of the Corps district office in Detroit says precipitation in the region last month was 21% above normal. He says Lakes Huron, Michigan and Ontario might also set records this summer.

AUTOS: RENAULT PONDERS FIAT/CHRYSLER DEAL - The board of Renault SA RNO 0.65% said it needs more time to weigh a merger proposal from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCAU 3.98% NV that would create the world’s third-largest auto maker by production, with a market value of about $40 billion (Wall Street Journal). The French auto maker’s board said Tuesday it “has decided to continue to study with interest the opportunity of such a combination and to extend the discussions on this subject,” adding that it would meet again Wednesday evening. Renault directors haven’t seen a final proposal from Fiat Chrysler, according to people familiar with the board meeting. Contours of a merger were still being negotiated as the board met.

FLORIDA: PARKLAND COP ARRESTED  - Prosecutors say the Florida deputy who failed to confront a gunman during last year’s Parkland massacre has been arrested on 11 charges (AP). State Attorney Mike Satz announced Tuesday that 56-year-old Scot Peterson faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges. Peterson, then a Broward County deputy, was on duty during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but never went inside. Satz says the charges carry a combined prison sentence of nearly 100 years. Peterson’s bail was set at $102,000. A Peterson lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Twenty-year-old Nikolas Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted of killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in the attack. He has offered to plead not guilty in return for a life sentence, but prosecutors have refused that offer.

ILLINOIS: EMANUEL BIKES AROUND LAKE MICHIGAN - Rahm Emanuel, who left office as Chicago's mayor last month and now is an ABC News contributor, posts on Facebook: "For more than 900 miles, through four states, Lake Michigan was at my side. Completing a long held dream, I just finished circling the entire Lake on a bicycle. I saw awesome sunsets from Michigan and breathtaking sunrises from Wisconsin. I rode the new Chicago bike trail and the old rail lines of Indiana. I saw ... the crumbling smokestacks of old industry and the glimmering solar panels of the new. When I shared the photos with the family, my brother Zeke teased, calling me "Rahmsel Adams."

VIRGINIA: McAULIFFE PONDERS GOV RUN - Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was popular when he left office last year, is hinting to Democrats that he may run for governor again in 2021 (Axios). Why it matters: McAuliffe, who bowed out of the 2020 presidential race, could help his party recover from the chain of scandals that began with the racist yearbook photo of McAuliffe's successor, current Gov. Ralph Northam (D). A quirk of Virginia law lets a governor serve only one term in a row, but non-consecutive terms are allowed. So McAuliffe is free to run again.


CITIES: FBI SERVING WARRANTS IN MUNCIE - The FBI was back in Muncie on Tuesday, serving search warrants at multiple locations (Walker, Muncie Star Press). An FBI spokesperson confirmed to The Star Press that the agents were at – among other places – Barber Contracting Inc., 810 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. That firm is owned by local contractor Rodney A. Barber, 51, who has reportedly done projects for both the city of Muncie and the Muncie Sanitary District. FBI agents also served search warrants at other locations, including a building at Willard and Hackley streets, a property also believed to have ties to Barber. Other sources said Tuesday's search warrants involve both the longstanding investigation of Muncie city government and an unrelated fraud case.

CITIES: CLARKSVILLE COP ACKNOWLEDGES BLACKFACE COSTUME - The Clarksville police chief plans to update sensitivity training after photos surfaced on social media of an officer dressed as a well-known black rapper for Halloween several years ago (News & Tribune). Early this week, the News and Tribune was made aware of Facebook photos showing Clarksville Capt. Joel DeMoss, a 20-year veteran of the department, dressed as Kanye West at a Halloween party. DeMoss, who is white, was tagged in one of the photos, none of which appear on his public Facebook page. The officer issued a statement today in response to questions to the department by the News and Tribune. "Four years ago, my wife and I attended a Halloween party dressed as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West," DeMoss stated. "At this time, I was uneducated on the meaning of blackface. "Since then, and speaking with close friends, I understand that this could be seen on my part as being insensitive. After educating myself of the history of blackface, this is obviously something I would never do again. For this, I deeply apologize. My wife and I were not raised to judge anyone by their race, but their character and who they are as an individual. My wife and I try to instill these same values to our children."

CITIES: GREENTOWN WOMAN GETS PROBATION FOR RACIST LETTER - A Greentown woman who police say admittedly left a racist letter at the home of a family with a biracial son was sentenced to 180 days of unsupervised probation during a change of plea hearing in Howard County Superior Court 3 on Tuesday. Cantwell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and harassment during Tuesday's hearing, each carrying probation terms of 180 days (Kokomo Tribune). But since the sentences will run concurrently — at the same time — Cantwell's probation period will be complete after 180 days. Another misdemeanor charge of intimidation was dismissed.

CITIES: INDY CIB SEEKS $360M IN BONDS - A committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council has signed off on bonds and financing the Capital Improvement Board needs for its share of the $360 million overhaul of Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Erdody, IBJ). The CIB’s commitment to spend $270 million to help renovate the downtown arena is part of a larger, 25-year deal to keep the Indiana Pacers in the city. The team and the CIB reached an agreement in April.  Now, the CIB plans to issue $320 million in new debt to cover its cost for the fieldhouse project. The additional $50 million is intended to provide a cushion for capitalized interest and a debt reserve fund, CIB Executive Director Andy Mallon told the Rules and Public Policy Committee of the City-County Council on Tuesday evening. The CIB also intends to issue $140 million in bonds—on top of the $320 million—to refinance existing debt for Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mallon said refinancing the old fieldhouse debt will prevent confusion in the bond market when they go to sell the new bonds. The CIB also is asking the City-County Council to approve an amendment to its 2019 budget, which moves $29 million from a reserve fund to its operating fund. As of the end of 2017, the CIB had $133.6 million in unrestricted cash reserves.

CITIES: GARY SELLS PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING - The Gary Common Council approved an ordinance to sell and lease back the city’s public safety building during its public meeting Tuesday night, despite opposition from some council members wary of taking on a long-term debt obligation (Racke, NWI Times). In a 6-3 vote, the council passed Ordinance 2019-33 on a third and final reading. The measure had already passed by the same tally in earlier readings last year, but was deferred as the city sought more favorable terms on the deal.

CITIES: KITE/MILHAUS TO BUILD GLENDALE APARTMENT COMPLEX - A pair of local developers with plans for an extensive apartment complex in Glendale Town Center said Thursday they hope to break ground on the project before the year’s end (IBJ). Glendale owner Kite Realty Group Trust and Milhaus, both based in Indianapolis, held a public information session Tuesday night at the vacant former Macy’s store at the mall to share more about their plans for a seven-building, 267-unit complex along Rural Street in parking areas for the mall. The project is part of a larger effort by Kite to breathe new life into the shopping center at 6101 N. Keystone Ave.

CITIES: BLOOMINGTON GARAGE PLAN ADVANCES - A final design plan for a new downtown fourth street garage will go before Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission on June 17th (Indiana Public Media). The city hired CSO Architects to lead the design process and outline key amenities for the new structure. Plans call for a 550 space parking structure with first floor retail space, LED lighting and bike parking. The garage would also feature environmentally-friendly amenities, including electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels. There have been multiple public meetings for residents to give feedback on the proposed size and scale of the garage as well as suggestions for an art component. If approved by Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission, the final design will go before the Plan Commission July 8th.

COUNTIES: HENDRICKS JUDGE SUSPENDED -  The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended a suburban Indianapolis judge for 45 days for judicial misconduct stemming from an estate case he oversaw (AP). The state's highest court Tuesday unanimously found Hendricks Superior Court Judge Robert W. Freese "engaged in judicial misconduct by appointing an unqualified friend as trustee of a trust and personal representative of a related estate." The court found Freese failed to disclose the friendship or a financial relationship with the friend and didn't act promptly "when faced with mounting evidence of the friend's mismanagement and embezzlement of the funds entrusted to him." The Indianapolis Star reports $254,000 was embezzled.

COUNTIES: PORTER ASSESSOR SNYDER SPARED PRISON TIME - Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder, who helped feds nab his brother — former Portage Mayor James Snyder — was given probation over a federal tax violation (NWI Times).  U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John Martin granted Snyder’s request Tuesday to spare him prison time.

COUNTIES: 2ND MIAMI TORNADO CONFIRMED - The National Weather Service has determined a second tornado hit Miami County on Memorial Day during an outbreak of severe weather across the region (CBS4). The agency said the EF-1 twister briefly touched down for 4 minutes, starting at 7:34 p.m., and traveled just over a half-mile near the intersection of 150 East and 550 South. Most of the damage caused by the tornado occurred in the area of 550 South, where it first blew off shingles and siding at a residence and knocked down a fence. A TV tower also was bent halfway up.

COUNTIES: BARTHOLOMEW TO ADD 13 EMPLOYEES - Bartholomew County Council members will soon consider hiring 13 new county employees even though they have discouraged requests for additional staffing for several years (Columbus Republic). Bartholomew County Auditor Pia O’Connor presented job descriptions, along with cost estimates for salary and benefits, on Monday during the council’s monthly work session. While most requests call for additional personnel to be hired next year, the council will consider adding three new employees this summer at its June 11 meeting — a jail addiction treatment counselor and two new dispatchers for the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations 911 Center. At this time, it appears the annual amount of $113,839 required for the counselor’s salary and benefits will come from a local income tax funds earmarked specifically for correctional facilities, O’Connor stated.