SUPREME COURT DENIES HOLCOMB REQUEST TO INTERVENE IN HILL SUSPENSION: The Indiana Supreme Court denied Gov. Eric Holcomb's request to clarify and intervene in Attorney General Hill's suspension which began today. It means that Hill will be able to return to office on June 17, the day before the Indiana Republican Party's virtual convention (Howey Politics Indiana). It will be Hoosier Republican delegates who will decide Hill's immediate political future. He faces a convention challenge from Decatur County Prosecutor Nathan Harter, Zionsville attorney John Westercamp and possibly former congressman Todd Rokita. The high court cited three cases, ruling they are "a key component in maintaining the separation of powers under Indiana Constitution." The justices noted that Holcomb sought an opinion on two issues: Whether Hill during his suspension is “duly licensed to practice law” and if Hill is not, whether that creates a vacancy in the office of attorney general under the Indiana Constitution and statute. "These issues were not litigated by the parties and are extraneous to our disciplinary opinion, making intervention inappropriate," the ruling read. The ruling states that "courts generally should not issue advisory opinions," citing Snyder v. King, in 2011, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Zimmerman in 1985), and Pence v. State, in 1995. "These principles, too, counsel for judicial restraint and against allowing intervention," the ruling states. "Accordingly, the Court DENIES the 'Emergency Motion to Intervene and Request for Clarification on Attorney Discipline Order.'”

HOLCOMB PLANS NO FURTHER ACTION AGAINST HILL: In a statement issued following the Supreme Court ruling, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he intends to do nothing more in regard to Hill remaining in office (Carden, NWI Times). "With the Supreme Court's decision to suspend the attorney general for 30 days, my judicial inquiry was to, one, determine if that suspension created a vacancy and, two, if so, what was my constitutional and statutory responsibility to fill that vacancy," Holcomb sad. "With those two questions left unanswered, there is no further action on my part."

MODERNA ANNOUNCES VACCINE HEADWAY: An experimental vaccine from the U.S. biotechnology company Moderna showed signs that it can create an immune-system response to fend off the new coronavirus, offering tentative hopes in the global effort to combat the pandemic (Washington Post). The results are just a sample from the small, first study designed to look at the safety of the shot in human volunteers, and should be viewed with caution. But they showed no major safety worries, a key first hurdle since a vaccine would be given to millions of otherwise healthy people. “This is a very good sign that we make an antibody that can stop the virus from replicating,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in an interview. The data “couldn’t have been better,” he said. The company is moving ahead with plans for a larger test to pick a dose of the vaccine and further study its effectiveness, as well as a phase 3 test with many thousands of patients.

AZAR REBUKES NAVARRO OVER CDC CRITICISM: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar  rebuked a senior White House aide who blamed the CDC for early coronavirus testing problems, calling those comments "inaccurate and inappropriate" (Politico). Azar's criticism of the remarks came a day after Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's trade adviser, said the CDC "really let down the country" and set back efforts to combat the virus by bungling the rollout of the first diagnostic test. Navarro's attack on the CDC was seen as a sign of the White House's mounting frustration with the health agency, which has been unusually sidelined during the pandemic. Azar conceded in a Fox News interview that the CDC's initial test was problematic, but he contended it didn't set back the coronavirus response. “That was never going to be the backbone of testing in the U.S.,” said Azar.

WHITE HOUSE STRUGGLES TO KEEP EMPLOYEES SAFE: As President Donald Trump urges businesses across the country to reopen and Americans to return to work, he and his administration are projecting a sense of normalcy after months of disruption because of the coronavirus (Politico). Trump is spending the week meeting with governors and restaurant executives at the White House, while Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Florida to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and deliver personal protective equipment to a nursing home. Not far behind the scenes of the West Wing, however, normalcy is still a ways off. Trump’s own top staffers are increasingly working from home. The most prominent office in America — with all of the testing, resources and doctors it needs — is still struggling to keep its employees and leaders safe, even as more than a dozen states reopen businesses, restaurants, parks and beaches.

TRUMP SAYS HE'S TAKING HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE: President Donald Trump announced he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he’s touted as a potential cure for Covid-19 despite scientists' concerns about its effectiveness (Politico). “A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it,” Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that he’d consulted with his presidential physician about the drug. Initial data from observational studies have shown the drug has limited or no proven benefits for coronavirus patients, and may even be harmful when used in certain combinations.

MEDICAL EXPERTS ALARMED: “That seems to me to be a crazy thing to do,” said David Juurlink, head of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto (Politico). “If the drug had no side effects, it would be a reasonable thing to do.” Trump would appear be part of the cohort most at risk of taking the drug in this manner. The president has a common heart disease, with a buildup of plaque in his blood vessels, according to records the White House released after his 2018 physical exam. Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, said he and the president had “numerous discussions” about the evidence surrounding hydroxychloroquine, according to a newly released White House memo that didn't specify a treatment regimen. “We concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” Conley wrote.

SOCIAL SECURITY INSOLVENCY BY END OF DECADE: Social Security could be insolvent by the end of this decade because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to some new estimates, creating new pressure for Congress to fix the troubled program after decades of inaction (Politico). The last official government projection had the program running out of money by 2035. But some outside economists are looking at the trends and moving up the date when the program starts paying out more than it takes in: Tens of millions of workers are suddenly unemployed and not paying into the government account that funds benefits for retired workers. At the same time, a flood of older Americans who’ve lost jobs are expected to start drawing benefits as soon as they’re eligible. It’s unclear whether the new timeline is enough to force lawmakers into finally acting given that it’s been almost four decades since they last shored up the Depression-era program — and solutions like raising taxes, cutting benefits, or raising the retirement age are politically difficult.

INDY CONSIDERS STREET CLOSURES TO EXPAND DINING: The city of Indianapolis might close portions of Massachusetts Avenue, Monument Circle and Broad Ripple Avenue in an effort to accommodate more outdoor dining as restaurants reopen to sit-down customers (Quinn, IBJ). Last week, Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine announced that Marion County restaurants would be able to begin reopening Friday for outdoor dining as Marion County’s enters the second phase of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reopening plan.

BEAVER'S 'EDDIE HASKELL' DIES: Ken Osmond, who was best known for his role as Eddie Haskell on the comedy series “Leave It to Beaver,” has died, Fox News can confirm. He was 76. "He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father," Osmond's son Eric said in a statement obtained by Fox News on Monday. "He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed." The actor starred in "Leave It to Beaver" from 1957 to 1963. Per Variety, Osmond's part as Haskell was only supposed to be a guest appearance, however, he did so well in his portrayal that he became a mainstay throughout the show's six-season run.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: President Trump says he's taking hydroxychloroquine. If he really is, it is reckless for several reasons. The first is that medical experts say this drug could have harmful effects. Losing the president at this point of the pandemic would be even more destabilizing than what we've experienced. Secondly, there was a run on this drug when Trump first mentioned it in March, creating shortages for people who really need it. - Brian A. Howey


STEELWORKERS ENDORSE MYERS: The United Steelworkers is pleased to announce it is officially endorsing Dr. Woody Myers for governor (Howey Politics Indiana). “We are in unprecedented times as our workers face layoffs, and those who continue working face unique safety challenges in the workplace,” said United Steelworkers District 7 Director Mike Millsap. “United Steelworkers are confident that Dr. Woody Myers will look out for the health, safety and economic security of our members. He is the best candidate for the job and we are thrilled to support Dr. Woody Myers for Governor of Indiana.” “I am honored to have the endorsement of Indiana’s thousands of United Steelworkers members,” said Myers. “I pledge to ensure all Indiana workers have additional economic opportunities, safer working conditions and a voice in our state.”

VISCLOSKY MAKES APPEAL FOR MRVAN: 1st CD Democrat Frank Mrvan touted a video endorsement from retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky (Howey Politics Indiana). “Frank is certainly positioned to excel as a Member of Congress," Visclosky says in a video posted on Facebook. "He is an empathetic listener who wants to leave the world a better place and help every individual and family he encounters.”

TEAMSTERS ENDORSE McDERMOTT: Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott has been endorsed by Teamsters Local 142 (Howey Politics Indiana). "Thrilled to announce another endorsement from Northwest Indiana’s unions – I have been formally endorsed by Teamsters Local 142," McDermott announced on Facebook. "It is an honor to be endorsed by the Teamsters, whose members have been performing essential work during this crisis. I will continue to be a strong advocate for organized labor in Congress and am grateful to have the Teamster’s endorsement."

LAKE STATION DEMS ENDORSE McDERMOTT: The Lake Station/Hobart Township Democrats have endorsed Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott for 1st CD (Howey Politics Indiana). "I am happy to announce that my campaign has been endorsed by another regional Democratic precinct organization — thank you to the Lake Station/Hobart Township Democratic Precinct Organization for your endorsement of my campaign and for recognizing my accomplishments as a proven leader. I am committed to being a positive voice for Indiana’s First Congressional District in Congress."

WAPO ON 1ST CD RACE: Indiana has two open seats and no real competition beyond that — after two failed attempts to win back the ancestral Democrats of the 9th District, the party has basically given up (Washington Post). In the 1st District, where Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky is retiring, 14 Democrats and six Republicans have filed for what should be a safely blue seat. Tom McDermott, the mayor of the Chicago suburb of Hammond, has raised the most money for a campaign with echoes of Pete Buttigieg's presidential run; McDermott even favors “Medicare for all who want it.” But Latino groups have gotten behind state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, who'd be the state's first Latina member of Congress.

WAPO CITES 'CROWDED' 5TH CD PRIMARY: The Republican primary in the 5th District is far more crowded, with 16 candidates looking to replace retiring Rep. Susan Brooks (R) in the only part of the state that has trended left. (Mitt Romney won it by 17 points; Donald Trump won it by 12.) (Washington Post). The Club for Growth has gotten behind state Sen. Victoria Spartz, who says she “experienced firsthand the dark side of socialism” by growing up in Ukraine, but there is no clear front-runner, while Democrats have largely rallied behind Christina Hale, their 2016 nominee for lieutenant governor.

HENDERSON DESCRIBES PERSONAL BATTLE WITH COVID: As Indiana continues to navigate the complexities of reopening the state to restore the economy, Republican 5th CD candidate Beth Henderson has been personally impacted by this terrible virus (Howey Politics Indiana). Over the past few weeks, Beth Henderson has personally watched friends, colleagues and now family struggle with the wrath of COVID-19. “My physician had it, my Christian spiritual advisor and his wife suffered through it and he lost his mother to it.”  Henderson went on to say, “watching friends and colleagues struggle with the wrath of COVID-19 is gut-wrenching. Now this week, our 25-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19.  She is an active young lady working as a TV weather anchor in Champaign, Illinois.  As her mother, I am hoping and praying for the best, but I am very concerned. “ She said China must be held accountable for their role in our nation’s health and economic crisis. “The United States must eliminate our dependence on China,” states Henderson.  “Currently 95% of our country’s medications and supplies are manufactured in China. American’s need to insist on a return to Made in the USA standards.”

GEORGE P. BUSH ENDORSES MITCHELL: Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, announced that George Prescott Bush is endorsing her 5th CD campaign. This endorsement is only his second this cycle in a primary outside of Texas (Howey Politics Indiana). Bush said, “It has been my great fortune to know and work with smart and inspiring leaders from across the country. Kelly Mitchell is one of those leaders. She has a strong record as a thoughtful and results-oriented champion for conservative values. She is a fighter and someone who will always put Hoosiers first.” Said Mitchell, “If anyone knows the meaning of being a strong conservative leader, it’s George. He learned from some of our nation’s best. I’m proud and humbled to have his support.”

Presidential 2020

RNC CHAIR VOWS CONVENTION WILL OCCUR: Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Monday that the party “will not be holding a virtual convention,” pledging that the presidential nominating convention in late August will be conducted at least partly in-person (AP). The coronavirus outbreak forced Democrats to move their convention from July to August, and it’s still unclear whether that event will be entirely online. On a call with reporters about election lawsuits, McDaniel initially demurred when asked about the GOP gathering, slated for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the party is set to formally choose President Donald Trump as its nominee. “It’s quite a ways away, and there’s ample time for us to adjust, if necessary,” McDaniel said. But later, in response to a question about the Minnesota Republican Party’s online convention possibly being disrupted by hackers, McDaniel said: “We will not be holding a virtual convention.”

TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPENDS RECORD AMOUNTS ON LEGAL FEES: President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is spending unprecedented amounts of donor dollars on lawsuits and case-and-desist orders as it wages an expensive reelection battle (Open Secrets). The Trump campaign has spent more than $16 million on legal and compliance services between the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, according to OpenSecrets’ analysis of campaign expenditures. That sum accounts for roughly 10 percent of the campaign’s total spending through the end of March. No other presidential campaign has ever spent that much money on legal services, including President George Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign ($8.8 million), Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign ($6.5 million) and President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign ($5.5 million). The Trump campaign spent its biggest sum, totaling $7.9 million, with Jones Day, the law firm that retains former White House counsel Don McGahn.


BANKS URGES MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS ON CHINA: U.S. Jim Banks (R-IN), member of the House China Task Force, Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Lance Gooden (R-TX), sent a letter urging Secretaries Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin to impose Magnitsky Sanctions on seven Chinese Communist Party Officials for gross human rights abuse, and negligent and hostile behavior that greatly increased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic (Howey Politics Indiana). On May 14, 2020, the Global Times, a state-owned propaganda outlet, reported that Communist Party Officials plan to impose “severe consequences” that will, “impact the upcoming November elections,” on Reps. Banks, Gooden and Crenshaw, for their work to hold the Chinese regime accountable for its coronavirus cover-up. Said Rep. Banks: “The Chinese regime’s open threat to interfere in American elections is just the latest of many aggressive, hostile actions. It is desperate to avoid responsibility, so it has reverted to desperate tactics.”

PELOSI CONCERNED ABOUT TRUMP: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN's Anderson Cooper, “As far as the president is concerned, he’s our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group -- morbidly obese, they say. So, I think it’s not a good idea.”

McCONNELL TAPS RUBIO TO HEAD INTEL COMMITTEE: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will serve as the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, replacing Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who stepped aside last week after FBI agents seized his cellphone, seeking evidence related to stock sales he made before the coronavirus pandemic crashed global markets (Washington Post). “The senior senator for Florida is a talented and experienced Senate leader with expertise in foreign affairs and national security matters,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

General Assembly

BARTLETT CRITICAL OF HOLCOMB ON LUCAS MEME: State Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) today released the following statement, which criticizes Governor Holcomb's reactions to two separate scandals that have been popular media stories in the past weeks (Howey Politics Indiana). "Last week, the governor was quick to challenge the Court to be more specific on whether the Attorney General Curtis Hill, an African American, was losing his position," Bartlett stated. "When he learned what the Court's decision was, Holcomb repeated his belief that Hill should step down from his position. During the last legislative session, the governor was also poised to sign legislation that would keep Hill from running for the office he currently holds. "Based on these reactions, it's obvious that the governor feels comfortable criticizing – and even removing – those in elected positions, so why not Rep. Jim Lucas? Lucas, a white man, made his latest racist remark on social media Tuesday, but the governor has yet to say one word. This isn't a great look for our state governor, and I urge him to reevaluate the severity of Rep. Lucas's actions and take a bigger stand for all Hoosiers."

FORMER REP. BUDAK DIES: Mary Kay Budak, 89, of La Porte died Thursday, May 14, 2020. Mary Kay was State Representative for 26 years from 1980-2006 and the former owner of Budak Memorials (Michigan City News-Dispatch). She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 26, 1930, to Mary and Francis McMahon. She moved to this area in 1953 upon marrying Michael Budak. She was a member of Queen of All Saints Church. Throughout her life she traveled the world and enjoyed family and friends. Her greatest achievements were bills she authored for children, seniors and the State Police.

CHAMBER ISSUES LEGISLATOR RATINGS: The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released its annual report scoring state legislators on how they voted on key business legislation in the recent General Assembly (Howey Politics Indiana). The overall marks are lower this year – ranging from 33% to 90%. “The purpose of the Legislative Vote Analysis is to show citizens and employers how their lawmakers voted on issues vital to the state’s economy,” says Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “The lower scores reflect that this General Assembly simply passed on too many economic opportunities by outright defeating vital legislation or letting the measures die. In addition, an unusually large number of bad bills were filed and moved through at least portions of the legislative process, diverting time and focus away from important business community priorities.”


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ANNOUNCES $1M IN NALOXONE FUNDING - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced the state will fund a nearly $1 million distribution of the opioid reversal agent naloxone to ensure the medication reaches Hoosiers who are at-risk of overdose (Howey Politics Indiana). “In the face of COVID-19, it’s even more imperative that we provide resources and support for people with substance use disorders,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Making potentially lifesaving treatments more readily available is one of the top ways we can address this crisis.” Funds were made available by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s state opioid response grant. Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medication approved to prevent overdose by opioids. Naloxone is given when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose. It blocks the toxic effects of the overdose and is often the difference between a patient living and dying.

ISDH: BOX SAYS STATE HAS FIRST CHILDREN’S SYNDROME CASE - Indiana has its first confirmed case of a new condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (Smith, Indiana Public Media). State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says the syndrome is linked to COVID-19. “Patients under the age of 21 present with fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation and evidence of clinically severe illness involving multiple organ systems that requires hospitalizations,” Box says.

JUDICIARY: REVERSAL ON CITIZENSHIP NAME CHANGE - Citizenship in the United States is not required in order to obtain a name change, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, reversing a trial court and ruling for two transgender men (Stancombe, Indiana Lawyer). After coming to the US from Mexico as children with their families, Jane Doe and R.A.C. each respectively received a grant of deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. R.A.C has a pending petition for a visa, while Doe became a lawful permanent resident in 2016.

EDUCATION: NOTRE DAME TO REOPEN AUG. 10 - University of Notre Dame officials announced Monday the school’s campus will reopen to students on Aug. 10, with social distancing, a mask requirement, testing and contact tracing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (IBJ). The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame president, said the university will open to students two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. He says there won’t be a fall break and the semester will end before Thanksgiving. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”

EDUCATION: GRACE COLLEGE TO REOPEN IN FALL - Another northeast Indiana college has signaled its plans to reopen campus this fall (WPTA-TV). Grace College said on Monday it intends to bring students and staff back to the Winona Lake college for the upcoming school year. “Like our mission statement says, we are first and foremost a community – a  ‘Christian community of higher education,’" President Bill Katip said. "While we have done our best to maintain community by virtual means this spring, we know that face-to-face instruction, dorm room camaraderie and dining hall conversations are all essential to who we are and what we achieve,” said Katip.

SOUTH SHORE: RIDERSHIP DOWN 90% - South Shore Line ridership continues to be down more than 90% from normal during the coronavirus shutdown, but federal aid will help sustain the commuter railroad through this year and into next (Steele, NWI Times). The Federal Transit Administration is distributing $25 billion in CARES Act support to transit providers across the country, including $73 million to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, operator of the South Shore Line.

MEDIA: GANNETT EDITOR ADDRESSES LAYOFFS - Media companies Gannett and GateHouse merged late in 2019 creating the largest newspaper chain in the United States. Katrice Hardy is the Gannett Midwest Regional Editor and executive editor of the Indianapolis Star. She says when Gannett and GateHouse merged in November, it meant layoffs to consolidate resources (Bouthier, Indiana Public Media). To handle strained finances during the pandemic, Hardy says Gannett has used furloughs. Hardy says the company prioritized keeping reporters and photographers. “We still have, people with seasoned experience, they love the community. That’s not going to change. We still have onsite editors. That won’t change. I think where we’re focused right now is how we can elevate our work, how we can do more with the resources we have.”

MEDIA: 6 TO BE INDUCTED INTO BROADCAST HOF - Six Hoosier broadcasters will be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame (Inside Indiana Business). This year’s Hall of Fame class will be inducted later this fall during the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference.  The new honorees: Linda Jackson, anchor WPTA-TV Fort Wayne; J Chapman, owner and President of Woof Boom Radio broadcast group; Terri Stacy, on-air personality WIBC Radio; Paul Mendenhall, host, WTTS “Morning Show” in Bloomington; Bob Forbes, first sports anchor at WTHI-TV Terre Haute; the voice of the Indiana State Sycamores; and Bob Ross, host of the nationally syndicated program “Joy of Painting” that was produced by WIPB-TV Muncie.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP THREATENS PERMANENT WHO FUNDING - President Trump told the director-general of the World Health Organization he would permanently end all funding to the organization if it did not “commit to substantive improvements within the next 30 days,” according to a copy of a letter he posted to Twitter late Monday night (New York Times). Mr. Trump also wrote that the United States would reconsider its membership in the W.H.O. because it was “so clearly not serving America’s interests.”

WHITE HOUSE: ADMINISTRATION TO SIGN PHARMA DEAL - The Trump administration will announce on Tuesday that it has signed a $354 million four-year contract with a new company in Richmond, Va., to manufacture generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients that are needed to treat Covid-19 but are now made overseas, mostly in India and China (New York Times). The contract, awarded to Phlow Corp. by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, meshes President Trump’s “America First” economic promises with concerns that coronavirus treatments be manufactured in the United States. It may be extended for a total of $812 million over 10 years, making it one of the largest awards in the authority’s history.

WHITE HOUSE: BURR ASKS TRUMP TO DECLASSIFY RUSSIA PROBE - In a final act before stepping down as chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has asked the Trump administration to quickly declassify the last portion of the Senate Intelligence Committee's bipartisan report on Russian election interference, a 1,000-page volume on the committee's "counterintelligence findings" (NBC News). In a joint announcement with ranking Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia, Burr noted that President Donald Trump's nominee to be director of national intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe R-Tex., "affirmed his commitment as DNI to an expeditious review of the committee's report" during his May 5 confirmation hearing. Ratcliffe is expected to be confirmed. Burr has agreed to step down as intelligence chairman while the FBI investigates whether he sold stock based on inside information about coronavirus.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP ASSAILS FOX NEWS' CAVUTO - President Donald Trump on Monday night issued a flurry of angry messages against Fox News’ Neil Cavuto — and the network itself — after the host criticized the president for saying he’d been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against coronavirus. Speaking Monday afternoon, Cavuto said on his show: “The president insisted that [hydroxychloroquine] has enormous benefits for patients either trying to prevent or already have Covid-19. The fact of the matter is, though, when the president said, ‘What have you got to lose?’, the number of studies [show] the population have one thing to lose: their lives.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will deliver remarks in support of U.S. farmers, ranchers and the food supply chain at 11 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room. He will hold a Cabinet meeting at 3 p.m. in the East Room.

STATE: POMPEO SAYS HE DIDN'T KNOW I.G. WAS PROBING HIM - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Monday that he asked President Trump to fire the State Department inspector general because his work was “undermining” the department’s mission, but he declined to describe any specific concerns (Washington Post). In a telephone interview, Pompeo said the decision was not an act of political retaliation, because he did not know beforehand that the official, Steve Linick, was investigating allegations that he had an aide run personal errands for him. “I went to the president and made clear to him that Inspector General Linick wasn’t performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to, that was additive for the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says he’s supposed to be doing,” he said. “The kinds of activities he’s supposed to undertake to make us better, to improve us.”

JUSTICE: BARR WON'T PROBE OBAMA, BIDEN - Attorney General Bill Barr said Monday he does not expect U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review into the origins of the Russia probe will lead to a “criminal investigation” of either former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden -- while noting that their concern of “potential criminality” in the conduct of that probe is “focused on others” (Fox News). Barr, during a press conference otherwise focused on the December 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, spoke at length about the Durham investigation. “As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”

FBI: PENSACOLA SHOOTING TIED TO AL QAEDA - A Saudi aviation student who killed three people on a Florida Navy base last year had extensive ties to al Qaeda, details that investigators were able to learn by accessing the gunman’s iPhones after months of delays, top U.S. law-enforcement officials said Monday, accusing Apple Inc. of providing virtually no help in the investigation (Wall Street Journal). The gunman, Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, had been communicating with a number of operatives of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for years, even before he began training with the U.S. military, officials said, a discovery that was made based on information recovered from his two locked iPhones.  “We received effectively no help from Apple” to access the phones, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray said, delaying the probe and potentially jeopardizing public safety.

FBI: PISTOLE UNINTERESTED IN JOB - Contrary to the conjecture of one website that Anderson University’s president might rise to become director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, John S. Pistole says he hasn’t been asked, and even if he were, he’d be unlikely to accept (Bibbs, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). In the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice decision not to prosecute Gen. Michael Flynn, there have been rumblings that Christopher Wray’s days as FBI director are numbered, leading to speculation as to who might replace him. “That’s a bad rumor. I think people just like to speculate,” Pistole said Monday. “The fact is Chris Wray is still the director, and as far as I know, he is planning to stay for his entire term. I think Chris Wray is doing a fine job.”

PENTAGON: USS ROOSEVELT HEADS BACK TO SEA - The USS Theodore Roosevelt will return to sea later this week, nearly two months after the ship was sidelined in Guam with a rapidly growing coronavirus outbreak, U.S. officials said as the crew finished final preparations to depart (AP). In an interview from the aircraft carrier, Navy Capt. Carlos Sardiello said Monday the ship will sail with a scaled-back crew of about 3,000, leaving about 1,800 sailors on shore who are still in quarantine. Those include up to 14 sailors who recently tested positive again, just days after getting cleared to return to the carrier. The puzzling COVID-19 reappearance in the sailors adds to the difficulty in getting the ship’s crew healthy again, and fuels questions about the quality of the testing and just how long sailors may remain infected or contagious.

MEDIA: 500 MORE LAYOFFS - Over 500 people in the U.S. news media were laid off last week (Axios). Layoffs at Vice (155 people), Quartz (80 people), The Economist (90 people), Condé Nast (100 people) and furloughs at BuzzFeed News (68) and Condé Nast (another 100) were posted last week. Hundreds more are expected in coming months. Our thought bubble: The digital era blew up the old business model of the news industry, and it has spent 25 years searching for a new one. But instead of finding a lasting solution, the industry took a long ride on a pendulum swinging between ad revenue and subscription income. It bet heavily on the first during flush times and rushed wildly to the second when recessions hit. That pendulum now feels like a wrecking ball.

D.C.: REOPENING BEGINS - With the daily coronavirus death counts relatively flat or declining in D.C., Virginia and Maryland, local leaders announced further efforts to inch back toward normalcy on Monday (Washington Post). D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said that if current trends hold, she could announce a date for reopening sectors of the city’s economy as soon as Thursday. She intends to describe her plan in greater detail later this week and said the city is six days away from meeting the goals she set to safely reopen. In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced the first beaches in the state will be open for swimming and sunbathing on Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend and welcome news to the merchants who urged the governor to let them compete with newly reopened beachfront businesses in North Carolina and Maryland.

MICHIGAN: WHITMER REOPENS NORTHERN COUNTIES - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that retail businesses in much of northern Michigan, including restaurants and bars, can reopen starting Friday (AP). The bars and restaurants will have to limit their capacity to 50%. Groups will be required to stay 6 feet apart and servers will wear face coverings. The move affects two of the eight regions identified in the governor's gradual reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. One covers the Upper Peninsula and another includes 17 counties in the northern Lower Peninsula, including the Traverse City area.

KENTUCKY: STATE FACES $1.3B SHORTFALL - The coronavirus pandemic will cost states hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, according to an NBC News survey of 33 states and Washington, D.C. (NBC News). With most states starting their new fiscal year early this summer, the projections in many cases will serve as the basis for severe budget cuts states may have to make if massive federal government aid doesn't come soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., initially suggested he'd prefer states go bankrupt. McConnell later changed course and said the only way he would be OK with more money to the states is if Congress removed legal liability for companies that bring workers back amid the coronavirus outbreak. Trump has backed that call, adding he also wants to see "the elimination of sanctuary cities" and other tax cuts. McConnell's own state is projecting a revenue shortfall of nearly $1.3 billion through the upcoming fiscal year; the state's annual budget is about $12 billion. As Kentucky State Budget Director John Hicks wrote in a state economic report late last month, "The national economic outlook for the third quarterly report of FY20 is undoubtedly the most abrupt quarterly change ever encountered."


EVANSVILLE: COUNCIL BORROWS $16M TO OFFSET REVENUE LOSS - Monday Evansville City Council gave its OK to borrowing $16 million to cover an expected revenue shortfall from late property tax payments (Wilson, Evansville Courier & Press). The council voted 6-3 in favor of an ordinance to apply for a low-interest, short-term loan from the Indiana Bond Bank. The loan includes $15,139,000 for the city's general fund and $878,300 for the Park and Recreation Fund. It will be repaid with property tax revenues as they become available. City Controller Russ Lloyd, Jr. said the money will make up for the expected delay in spring property tax payments normally due on May 11. Late payments are normally assessed a 10 percent penalty. However, local governments across the state are anticipating that at least some of those payments will arrive late as residents take advantage of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's 60-day extension with no penalty.

CARMEL: CITY BEGINS TESTING EMPLOYEES - The city of Carmel said it plans to begin testing for COVID-19 antibodies in city employees as soon as June 1 (IBJ). Carmel is already paying Aria Diagnostics to conduct viral tests on city employees on a weekly basis at a cost of $135 per employee, racking up a bill of more than $350,000 so far. The hope is that the cheaper antibody test, priced at $53 per employee, will save the city money. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said testing employees has many positives. He said slightly more than 4% of the city work force has tested positive, and a majority of them were asymptomatic. “Spending money to test employees for the virus helps us save lives, stop the spread of the virus and avoid having to pay the estimated $100,000 cost of hospitalization for a week for just one employee,” he said in written comments.

WESTFIELD: GRAND PARK TO REOPEN MAY 24 - The Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield has a preliminary plan to begin reopening on May 24, but it wants to make sure the public is OK with the steps it is taking to reactivate youth sports (Christian, IBJ). Park officials announced Friday that they are working with the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute on a nationwide study to gather feedback on efforts youth sports facilities are taking to safely and satisfactorily return from their pandemic-related hiatus. “We know that one of the biggest challenges to reactivating youth sports in the wake of this pandemic is getting families comfortable with the ‘next’ normal,” Westfield Mayor Andy Cook said in a written statement.

INDIANAPOLIS: MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE CLOSES - The downtown Indianapolis location of Morton’s The Steakhouse appears to be latest victim of the economic paralysis brought on by the coronavirus crisis (IBJ). The Facebook page for the restaurant lists the location at 41 E. Washington St. as “permanently closed.” It has been removed from the company’s online list of restaurants, and its local phone number no longer works. Other recent permanent restaurant closures—beyond the eateries that have temporarily shut their doors due to the ban on on-premises dining—have included Bravo! Cucina Italiana Restaurant at 2658 Lake Circle Drive; Brugge Brasserie at 1011 E. Westfield Blvd.; Next Door at 4573 N. College Ave.; Redemption Alewerks at at 7035 E. 96th St.; and all of the locations of the Stacked Pickle sports bar chain.

VALPARAISO: BUS SERVICES BACK ON JUNE 1 —  City bus service to Chicago and the local South Shore trains is scheduled to be up and running again June 1, more than two months after being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Matt Murphy announced Monday morning (Kasarda, NWI Times). The services, which will be free of charge through the end of June, are being phased back in slowly with changes that will allow riders to keep the social distancing called for to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, said Beth Shrader, director of planning and transit for the city of Valparaiso.

NEWBURGH: 9TH RESIDENT AT NURSING HOME DIES — A ninth resident of The Village at Hamilton Pointe nursing home in Newburgh has died from complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (Evansville Courier & Press). The resident, a 97-year-old woman, died over the weekend, according to Warrick County Coroner Sarah Seaton. The coroner said she doesn't know which day. In addition to nine Hamilton Pointe residents who have died from coronavirus-related complications, 12 residents at Signature HealthCARE nursing home in Newburgh and a Signature nurse have died.

SHELBYVILLE: FORMER A.D. CHARGED WITH THEFT — Former Shelbyville High School Athletic Director Ryan Mack has been arrested on felony charges of theft and corrupt business influence (CBS4). The Shelbyville Police Department says into investigation into Mack began when the Golden Bear Booster Club informed the department Mack may have been involved in stealing funds from the booster. Through the investigation, SPD found that on June 21 and June 22 of 2017 and September 28, October 8, October 12 and October 31 of 2019, Mack intentionally exerted unauthorized control over property of Shelbyville High School and/or Golden Bear Booster Club with the intent to deprive the owner(s) of the value of said property, in an amount of more than $750 but less than $50,000. These finding resulted in six counts of felony theft.

DuBOIS COUNTY: SPIKE IN COVID CASES - The Dubois County Health Department confirms 43 more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 161 cases (DuBois County Herald). Thirty-one of the 161 cases have recovered, according to the department. Two deaths have been reported in the county. The department reminds the public that they are only able to report positive cases as they receive the results. The agency reported eight new cases in the county on Saturday and 33 on Sunday. The department said in a press release that the spike in numbers was expected due to the Indiana State Department of Health Strike Team testing at locations in the county last week. The strike team was expected to test at the Dubois County Community Corrections Center Thursday of last week and at the Farbest plant in Huntinburg on Friday. “Testing is a primary method in preventing COVID-19 from spreading in a community,” the press release states. “Testing helps people isolate and helps slow the spread of transmission.”

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY: HALF COVID DEATHS IN NURSING HOMES - A growing number of public health officials are pushing for universal testing of all nursing home residents and staff as outbreaks of COVID-19 continue to have a devastating impact on the nation’s long-term care facilities, including those in Bartholomew County (East, Columbus Republic). As of last week, roughly half of the then-27 coronavirus deaths in Bartholomew County were linked to long-term care facilities, said county health officer Dr. Brian Niedbalski. Niedbalski, however, declined to reveal the number of cases or deaths at specific facilities but said there have been “a number of deaths at several facilities in the county attributed to COVID-19.”