STATE'S NURSING HOME COVID DATA IS INCOMPLETE: More than 40% of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths can be traced back to the hundreds of long-term care facilities that care for the most vulnerable Hoosiers, but the state doesn’t breakdown the information by type of facility or track testing of facility staffers (Downard, CNHI). “Health care workers don’t always get tested in the same way that residents get tested,” said Dr. Kris Box, the state health commissioner. “They may go out and individually get tested (with state contractor) Optum(Serve Health Services) or with their own local health care providers. So consequently, I may not have that information show up in my data.” The state’s COVID-19 data portal combines deaths in nursing facilities, skilled nursing facilities, residential facilities, assisted living facilities and prisons under long-term care facilities, providing weekly updates. As of Monday, the latest information available, 732 Hoosiers in long-term facilities had died.

IU ANNOUNCES STEPS TO REOPEN: Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced the next steps in resuming operations, beginning with testing availability for students, faculty, and staff (Bouthier, Indiana Public Media). IU and  partner IU Health have entered into an agreement to make testing available to all persons in the IU community who have symptoms of COVID-19- those who think they have COVID-19 can start a screening  through One.IU on June 1st. Screening resources are available to all IU students, faculty, and staff even if they are not currently in the state.  After a person is screened, a medical provider will determine if a test is needed. All samples will be sent to IU Health’s pathology lab in Indianapolis. Any person who tests positive will be directed to self-isolate and contact tracing will be required under the Indiana State Department of Health guidelines. When testing begins June 1,  McRobbie’s statement says research activities can resume in phases. 

HPI MEMORIAL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: The HPI Daily Wire will return on Tuesday due to the Memorial Day holiday. The Howey Politics Indiana website will be updated daily. Have a safe and socially-distanced holiday.

YOUNG, BENNET ANNOUNCE RESTART ACT: U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act to support the small- and mid-sized businesses most affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis (Howey Politics Indiana). Answering the calls of the hardest-hit restaurants, gyms, hotels, retailers, and other businesses, the RESTART Act would give business owners who took out Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans the flexibility they need to utilize the PPP effectively. The RESTART Act would also create a loan program to provide funding to jump-start the hardest-hit businesses for the remainder of 2020 and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop against ongoing economic challenges. “The Paycheck Protection Program has been a tremendous asset, providing nearly $10 billion in loans to Indiana recipients, and saving more than 50 million American jobs. However, after speaking with some of the hardest hit businesses, it’s clear more is needed to help job creators navigate this pandemic. The RESTART Act addresses these issues by providing longer-term loans and more flexibility so that the businesses who have suffered the greatest economic hardship can resume operations," Young said. "The RESTART Act will jumpstart the next phase of recovery to allow businesses to reopen, paychecks to continue, and people to get back to work."

SUIT FILED SEEKING HILL ANSWERS: Four Indiana citizens filed a lawsuit in Marion County Superior Court asking the court to issue a ruling to answer the question that the Indiana Supreme Court failed to answer last week (Howey Politics Indiana). The plaintiffs believe that since he has been suspended from the practice of law for thirty days Curtis Hill is no longer qualified to serve as Attorney General.  And, because his office is now vacant, the Governor is the only person with the authority to appoint a successor. The four plaintiffs are Jim and Kathryn Perron, Julia Vaughn and John Windle. All are residents of Indianapolis. Perron is the former Democratic mayor of Elkhart, Hill's hometown.  They are being represented by Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth. Jim Perron said, “We bring this litigation today because leaving this important question unanswered weakens the foundation of Indiana government.  For the public trust to be upheld, the rule of law must be followed, particularly when public officials are involved.      We ask the court to take swift action to issue a ruling that gives Governor Holcomb clear direction to exercise his authority to fill a vacant office.”

FOX POLL SHOWS VOTERS TRUST BIDEN ON PANDEMIC, TRUMP ON ECONOMY: Most voters are concerned about the pandemic and the economy, so when they favor Joe Biden on coronavirus and Donald Trump has a narrow edge on pocketbook issues -- it makes for a tight race for the White House. The latest Fox News Poll finds voters trust Biden to do a better job than Trump on health care by 17 points, coronavirus by 9, and relations with China by 6.  Trump is trusted more on the economy by a slim 3-point margin. “That might be the election in a nutshell,” says Democrat Chris Anderson, who conducts the poll with Republican Daron Shaw.  “Trump has a slight advantage in a narrow debate about economic recovery, but a debate about coronavirus or public health more broadly benefits Biden.” In the 2020 ballot test, Biden leads Trump by 48-40 percent.  Biden’s 8-point advantage is outside the poll’s margin of error.  However, given that 11 percent are undecided or plan to vote for someone else, neither candidate hits 50 percent support. 

TRUMP VOWS HE WON'T SHUT DOWN ECONOMY AGAIN: With experts warning of a second wave of infections in parts of the South and Midwest as all 50 states ease pandemic restrictions, President Trump said the United States would not shut down again if the novel coronavirus comes roaring back (Washington Post). “We’re not going to close the country — we’re going to put out the fires,” Trump said Thursday as more than 25,000 new infections and at least 1,278 virus-related deaths were recorded across the United States.

TRUMP CALLS MAIL VOTE 'TOTAL ELECTION FRAUD': President Donald Trump on Thursday railed against mail-in balloting that in some cases has been promoted by his own reelection campaign, alleging without evidence that it leads to “total election fraud.” A day earlier, Trump threatened to pull federal money for states that support the practice (AP). “We don’t want anyone to do mail-in ballots,” Trump told reporters before leaving for Michigan. That state drew the president’s ire announcing this week it was sending ballot request forms to all voters to encourage safe voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, who has voted by mail absentee as recently as this March in Florida’s Republican presidential primary, did say he would support exceptions for those who are sick — or are president. “Now, if somebody has to mail it in because they’re sick, or by the way because they live in the White House and they have to vote in Florida and they won’t be in Florida, but there’s a reason for it, that’s OK,” Trump said. “To really vote and without fraud,” Trump said later in Michigan, “you have to go to the polling place.”

INDIANA BROADCASTERS SEE REVENUE GASH: Executive Director of the Indiana Broadcasters Association Dave Arland says the loss of live sports broadcasts, from the high school level up to the professional ranks, is creating a domino effect for radio and TV stations that would normally be able to sell commercial air time during these games (Pinsker, Indiana Public Media). “We’ve seen revenue drop as much as 60% in some cases, particularly for the month of April, as this thing really started in Mid-March,” Arland says. Arland says radio stations in southern Indiana, a hot bed for high school and major league baseball, have been hit particularly hard. “We’ve seen stations getting kind of creative, replaying NASCAR races from the past, maybe not as compelling as a fresh race, but at least it’s something that’s on the air,” Arland says.

BIDEN SEEKS TO VET KLOBUCHAR: Former Vice President Joe Biden has asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to undergo vetting to be a potential running mate, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion (The Hill). The source did not provide details on the discussion, which was first reported on Thursday by CBS News. A spokesperson for the Biden campaign declined to comment on the matter. It’s not yet clear if Klobuchar has consented to the vetting, which would delve deep into her private and public life to uncover any potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities as a vice presidential candidate. The vetting process will be handled by a select committee led by former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) and longtime Biden adviser Cynthia Hogan.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: I agree with the Fox News pollster, who says in a "nutshell" that Americans trust President Trump on the economy, but Joe Biden on the pandemic. That is how the November 2020 election will likely boil down. - Brian A. Howey


INGOP CONVENTION FILING DEADLINE PASSES: A total of five candidates have filed to seek the Republican nomination this year in races for Indiana lieutenant governor or attorney general. The deadline to file was Thursday at 5 p.m. (Howey Politics Indiana). Delegates to the Indiana Republican Party convention will vote on these candidates to choose the party’s nominees for the November general election. Lt. Gov.: Suzanne Crouch. “Our delegates will unanimously re-nominate the best lieutenant governor in the country, Suzanne Crouch,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party (Howey Politics Indiana). “The Holcomb-Crouch ticket is ready to earn four more years.” Attorney General: Nate Harter, Curtis Hill, Todd Rokita and John Westercamp. Due to necessary restrictions on large gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention will be held in a virtual format. Candidate speeches will be broadcast and streamed live by WISH-TV and delegates will vote by mail. Winners will be announced July 10. “Our party is excited for this historic convention, the first time ever our convention will be broadcast live, statewide on television,” Hupfer added. “The route we’ve taken to get to this point has been unusual compared to previous years, but the destination will be the same: Republican victories up and down the ballot in November.”

MYERS CALLS ON HOLCOMB TO REFORM IOSHA: Indiana’s presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor Dr. Woody Myers calls on Gov. Holcomb to institute immediate reforms of the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Howey Politics Indiana). A recent federal investigation into IOSHA’s handling of the death of 59-year-old Phillip Lee Terry, an Amazon employee crushed to death by a forklift, which occurred while the state was also bidding for the company’s second headquarters, found: Amazon was “inappropriately coached” by state officials on how to prove employee misconduct and get the complaint dismissed, and “Indiana OSHA should have pursued evidence of enforcement of safety rules at the facility in question.” “Workers in Indiana should be able to trust that state safety laws will protect them. As Governor, I will responsibly put the safety of Hoosier workers first, well above corporate interests, unlike our current state administration. This is yet another example in Governor Holcomb’s long history of putting politics over people.”

MYERS 4 IOSHA REFORMS: Myers calls for the following reforms: Request federal OSHA to complete a comprehensive review of Indiana’s workplace safety rules and procedures and to provide recommendations for improvement. Make the optional training standards of federal OSHA mandatory in Indiana. Require employers covered by IOSHA rules to maintain an electronic log of which employees have completed training for the type of work the employee will be performing, with the log to be sent to IOSHA for review. Ensure IOSHA has sufficient inspectors to determine compliance with its worker safety standards.

HOLCOMB CAMPAIGN HITS 1M CONTACTS: Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reelection campaign announced today that its statewide army of volunteers has contacted more than one million Hoosier voters this election cycle supporting his reelection and Republican candidates up and down the ballot. Reaching this many voters in such a rapid time is a demonstration of the strength, organization and enthusiasm of the governor’s campaign team (Howey Politics Indiana). “Governor Holcomb preaches teamwork and what his campaign team has accomplished thus far is truly extraordinary,” said Kyle Hupfer, campaign manager. “We’re not taking a single vote for granted. Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor Crouch have provided Hoosiers exceptional leadership during these trying times and our supporters are doing what it takes to earn four more years.”

TALLIAN BACKS WORK SHARE: State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) announced her support for a work share program in Indiana. A work share program allows employers to reduce hours for their workers as needed, while state Unemployment Insurance still pays a portion of the remaining amount of a worker’s lost income. This allows employers to make the cuts they need without completely laying off their employees (Howey Politics Indiana). Over her fifteen years in the state legislature, Sen. Tallian has introduced numerous bills to implement work share in Indiana, especially during the last economic downturn of the Great Recession in 2009-2010. “Work share is a great tool to help both employers and employees get through an economic crisis,” Sen. Tallian said. “No employer wants to lay off their workers, but these are tough times for everyone right now. It’s a no-brainer.” Twenty-six other states currently have work share programs, including neighbors Michigan and Ohio.

Presidential 2020

TRUMP'S APPROVAL 39% IN ABC POLL: The latest ABC News/Ipsos survey, capping two months of polling on the coronavirus, shows Trump’s underwater approval hitting a new low, as the country is as uneasy as ever about contracting the disease. Only 39% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the crisis - driven, largely, by waning support among independents - compared to 60% who disapprove. Just over one-third of independents (35%) approve of the president’s response to the coronavirus, a dip from one month ago, when 42% of independents approved. In that same poll, released on April 17, 44% of Americans approved of Trump’s management of the pandemic, compared to 54% who disapproved. His newest marks are also a sharp decline from mid-March when his approval stood at 55%.

BIDEN HASN'T MADE VEEP CHOICE: Joe Biden to Stephen Colbert on CBS' "The Late Show," regarding his V.P. pick: "I honest to God don't know who. I promise you right now." Biden said the "very invasive process" of formal vetting by a team of lawyers — "every vote they've ever taken ... everything from their financial statements to their health circumstances" — is about to begin: "No one's been vetted." Biden said a team has gone down "a preliminary list of people" and asked general questions like: "Why would they be interested, or not interested, in the job?" "That process is coming to an end now," Biden said.

TRUMP'S ELECTION CONSPIRACY COLLAPSES IN FLA: A Trump election conspiracy theory has fallen apart after Florida’s law enforcement agency said it had found no widespread voter fraud in the 2018 races for Senate and governor (Politico). President Donald Trump had complained repeatedly about election “fraud” and theft in heavily populated, Democrat-rich Broward and Palm Beach counties, which had slowly but erratically updated their vote totals after polls closed on Election Day. With each updated tally, Republican candidates Rick Scott, who was running for U.S. Senate, and Ron DeSantis, in a bid for the governor’s mansion, saw their margins of victory narrow. Both races ultimately went to recounts.


WALORSKI SEEKS PPE FOR MANUFACTURING: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis highlighted the need to strengthen domestic manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical medical supplies in light of China’s efforts to conceal the severity of the coronavirus outbreak and hoard the global supply of PPE (Howey Politics Indiana). “One clear lesson of this pandemic is the importance of an adequate, domestically-produced supply of PPE,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “It’s so critical to focus on domestic manufacturing because, quite simply, we can’t trust China. It’s becoming clear that China manipulated the basic economic laws of supply and demand by hoarding supplies and downplaying the true scale and danger of the virus, allowing it to spread even farther and wider.” 

SENATE CONFIRMS RATCLIFFE FOR DNI: The Senate on Thursday confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe as President Donald Trump’s top intelligence official, in a move aimed at ending nine months of reshuffling at the top of the nation's spying establishment (Politico). Lawmakers voted 49-44 in a party-line vote to confirm the Republican congressman from Texas as the sixth director of national intelligence since the office was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The split was a contrast to the 85-12 vote in 2017 that had confirmed Ratcliffe's predecessor, former Republican Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, and comes amid an escalating feud between Trump and Democrats over the political use of intelligence.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ANNOUNCES STAGE 3 REOPENING – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced that because health indicators remain positive, most of the state will advance to stage 3 of the Back On Track Indiana plan on Friday, May 22 (Howey Politics Indiana). Indiana Back On Track has five stages. For Cass, Lake and Marion counties – which started Stage 2 after other counties, stage 3 may begin on June 1. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines. “We continue to remain vigilant about protecting Hoosiers’ health while taking responsible steps to further open our state’s economy,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Moving to stage 3 is possible because Hoosiers across the state have worked together and made sacrifices to slow the spread.” Gov. Holcomb has used data to drive decisions since the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March and he will continue to do so as the state contemplates a sector-by-sector reset. The state will move to reopen while continuing to monitor and respond to these four guiding principles: The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days; The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators; The state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders, and frontline employees; Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing.

GOVERNOR: NIRPC COLLECTING LAKESHORE DAMAGE INFO - The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is collecting information from municipalities about damage caused by Lake Michigan shoreline erosion and its high water level in an effort to convince the state to declare a disaster emergency there (Steele, NWI Times). The effort follows NIRPC's passage of a resolution earlier this year urging Gov. Eric Holcomb to declare a public emergency. Days earlier, Holcomb had issued an executive order that directed the departments of Natural Resources and Homeland Security to assist in mitigation efforts, including the collection of information on the damage wind and water are causing. NIRPC Chairman Michael Griffin, clerk-treasurer of Highland, said the executive order met many of the regional organization's requests, but that the state officials in charge of disaster response have said an emergency declaration would require "a specific incident, a specific time and a specific dollar amount."

GOVERNOR: SKILLMAN TO CHAIR CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN - The Indiana Conference for Women is appointing former Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman as chair of the 2020 conference. The nonprofit says the 10th annual event will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in November (Willkom, Inside Indiana Business). Skillman will work with the conference’s board of directors to develop the event. The organization says it will focus on selecting lead breakout session speakers and aims to provide an environment where relationships can be forged and skill sets can be grown and strengthened.

ISDH: BOX SAYS STATE CAN'T TEST ALL NURSING HOMES - State Health Commissioner Kris Box says Indiana can’t test every nursing home resident and employee by next week, as the White House recommends (Smith, Indiana Public Media). The state has repeatedly been pressured to release the names of long-term care facilities that have positive COVID-19 cases. But state officials refuse to do so. Box insists she’s not trying to protect anyone by shielding the information. “What I am trying to do is emphasize the importance of that communication occurring between the facility, with the residents and with their representatives,” Box says.

SECRETARY OF STATE: LAWSON OP-ED ON PPE - Secretary of State Connie Lawson penned this op-ed article, excerpted here (Howey Politics Indiana): "Every election cycle, Indiana election officials take great care to ensure your vote is safe and secure. This year is no different, but the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to safeguard a new aspect of the Election Day experience: your health. COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction, but we must remain vigilant in the days to come. My office has been working to supply all 92 Indiana counties with personal protective equipment, or PPE, so that poll workers and election staff are properly outfitted for Primary Election Day. Using federal dollars, many of our PPE supplies have been contracted from Indiana suppliers, and we have purchased thousands of units of hand sanitizer, dispenser bottles, disinfectant cleaner, microfiber cloths, disposable gloves, face masks, face shields, and sneeze guards. The Indiana National Guard has been invaluable, taking the lead on receiving, sorting, and shipping supplies to all 92 counties. Without the support of the Guard, we wouldn’t have been able to stay on schedule with this project."

DNR: CAMPGROUNDS, INNS REOPEN - Beginning May 22, most DNR campgrounds, property-operated cabins and camper cabins, inns and restaurants will reopen. These changes are part of Stage 3 of Gov. Holcomb’s Back on Track plan (Howey Politics Indiana). Guests with a current campsite or property-operated cabin reservation for Sunday night, May 24, have been contacted with a message by phone or email concerning their options. As of 10 a.m. today, new reservations for the coming weekend could be made by visiting New reservations for Memorial Day weekend will require a three-night minimum, per DNR’s standard policy for holiday weekends. Camping reservations that were previously canceled, regardless of the cancellation date, unfortunately cannot be reinstated. Confirmation letters from any three-night Memorial Day weekend reservations for 2020 made earlier in the year are no longer valid. Holders of these letters whose reservations were previously canceled will need to make new reservations in order to secure a campsite for the weekend. The Garrison Restaurant at Fort Harrison State Park, located in Marion County, will remain closed to inside dining until June 1, but will begin menu-only patio seating on Sunday, May 24.

EDUCATION: ILEARN WOULD HAVE LOWERED SCHOOL SCORES - The Indiana Department of Education is releasing new school accountability data after low test scores on the state’s first spring ILEARN exam prompted a "hold harmless" year in A-F school grades (Lanich, NWI Times). The new data released last week show more than half of Indiana’s schools would have earned a lower grade in the 2018-19 school year if no measures were taken to hold teachers and schools harmless of the state rating tied to teacher evaluations and funding. In Northwest Indiana, two-thirds of public school districts across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties would have seen their accountability grades drop without “hold harmless” measures in place.

EDUCATION: BUTLER TO REOPEN, BUT FALL WILL BE 'VERY DIFFERENT' - Butler University President James Danko has a prediction for the fall semester at the Indianapolis school (MacCabe, WRTV). He shared it Thursday in a letter to students. "While no one can know for sure what the next few months will bring, I am certain that the fall semester will be unlike any ever experienced by American universities." Danko and other colleges administrators across the state and country are planning for the fall semester after closing their schools in March over COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. "As I write this letter in mid-May, there remains a great deal of uncertainty around the ongoing impact of the coronavirus, from the standpoint of both health risks and any restrictions that may be imposed upon us," he wrote.

EDUCATION: PURDUE FACES 2ND CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT - Purdue University faces a second proposed class-action lawsuit filed by a student who says he and others are owed refunds for tuition and fees paid for in-person classes and activities that were changed to remote education when campuses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Indiana Lawyer). Elijah Seslar filed a complaint against Purdue on Wednesday in Tippecanoe Circuit Court. Seslar is a full-time student studying finance at the university’s Fort Wayne campus. His suit seeks a class of Purdue students who allege they are owed refunds for tuition and various fees paid for the spring 2020 semester. The case mirrors claims made in a suit the same attorneys filed last month against Indiana University in Monroe Circuit Court.

EDUCATION: MANCHESTER U. ANNOUNCES REOPENING PLANS - Manchester University intends to open its main campus as well as one in Fort Wayne for the Fall 2020 semester, school officials announced on Thursday (WPTA-TV). Faculty, staff and students are being notified of the move by email. “The health, safety and well-being of students and everyone in the Manchester community remain top priorities, and we are developing strategies to deal with physical distancing, cleaning, use of masks, additional technical equipment and more when we return to campus," President Dave McFadden said. "We are using local, state and federal health guidelines, as well as the expertise of our own health-care experts, to set up the best practices possible."


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP DONS A MASK (BRIEFLY) AT FORD - President Trump blasted the attorney general of Michigan late Thursday after she said she was going to have a “very serious conversation” with Ford Motor Co. for allowing the president to go without a mask during part of a tour of the company's Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti (Fox News). “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask,” Trump tweeted after his tour. “Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!” Trump did wear a mask for part of the tour of the plant that has been repurposed to make medical supplies, but refused to put it on in front of reporters -- although at least one photographer snapped a photo that was posted on social media. It showed the president wearing a mask that included the presidential seal.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP LASHES OUT AT SCIENTISTS - “A Trump enemy statement,” he said of one study. “A political hit job,” he said of another (AP). As President Donald Trump pushes to reopen the country despite warnings from doctors about the consequences of moving too quickly during the coronavirus crisis, he has been lashing out at scientists whose conclusions he doesn’t like. “If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape. They were very old, almost dead,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “It was a Trump enemy statement.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO PULL OUT OF ARMS ACCORD - President Trump has decided to withdraw from another major arms control accord, he and other officials said Thursday, and will inform Russia that the United States is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, negotiated three decades ago to allow nations to fly over each other’s territory with elaborate sensor equipment to assure that they are not preparing for military action (New York Times). Mr. Trump’s decision may be viewed as more evidence that he is preparing to exit the one major arms treaty remaining with Russia: New START, which limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed nuclear missiles each. It expires in February, weeks after the next presidential inauguration, and Mr. Trump has insisted that China must join what is now a U.S.-Russia limit on nuclear arsenals.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will participate in a ceremony honoring veterans and prisoners of war in the Blue Room balcony at 11:30 a.m. Kayleigh McEnany will hold a press briefing at 2 p.m.

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - “Fox News Sunday”: Mark Parkinson. Panel: Josh Holmes, Donna Brazile and Jonah Goldberg. Power Player of the Week: Tom Day. NBC “Meet the Press”: Panel: O. Kay Henderson, Andrea Mitchell and Jeh Johnson. ABC “This Week”: Panels: Jonathan Karl, Pierre Thomas, Julie Pace … Chris Christie and Rahm Emanuel. CBS “Face the Nation”: Geoff Ballotti … Eric Rosengren … Scott Gottlieb.

LABOR: MANY JOBS AREN'T COMING BACK; OUTLOOK GRIM - Even as states begin to reopen for business, a further 2.4 million workers joined the nation’s unemployment rolls last week, and there is growing concern among economists that many of the lost jobs are gone for good (New York Times). The Labor Department’s report of new jobless claims, released Thursday, brought the total to 38.6 million since mid-March, when the coronavirus outbreak forced widespread shutdowns. While workers and their employers have expressed optimism that most of the joblessness will be temporary, many who are studying the pandemic’s impact are increasingly worried about the employment situation. “I hate to say it, but this is going to take longer and look grimmer than we thought,” Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University, said of the path to recovery.

ILLINOIS: CHICAGO RESTAURANTS TO REMAIN CLOSED -  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot threw cold water on hopes that the city's restaurants might resume outdoor service later this month, a day after the governor said such service would be allowed under certain conditions as of May 29 (AP). Lightfoot said the coronavirus is still too much of a threat to the city and that June is a more likely target date for allowing any type of in-person service at restaurants. She said there are many factors to consider, such as meeting public health metrics on coronavirus cases and making sure restaurants of all sizes have similar opportunities, but she would be open to the possibility of closing certain streets to traffic so that restaurants would have additional space to operate. “The ‘when' question is going to be dependent on the public health data,” she told reporters. "I need to understand and be certain that restaurants across the city ... have a means to protect their employees and members of the public that will patronize them.”

MICHIGAN: COVID DEATHS UNDER COUNTED - Fresh data from Michigan, one of the states hardest hit by the new coronavirus, show that a testing shortfall there is likely fueling a substantial undercount of deaths attributed to Covid-19 and points to the broader challenge of tracking deaths from the disease nationwide (Wall Street Journal). An exclusive Wall Street Journal analysis of death certificates indicates that Michigan could have undercounted hundreds of fatalities connected to Covid-19 during a period in March and April when deaths had surged above normal levels. More than 13,000 people died in the state from March 15 through April 18, compared with an average of about 9,300 deaths yearly during the same five-week period over the previous six years, according to the state’s death-certificate data.


DuBOIS COUNTY: HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY COVID HOTSPOT CONTAINED - A week after an outbreak of COVID-19 at a turkey processing plant in Huntingburg, Dubois County health officials are confident the outbreak is contained to that facility (Indiana Public Media). At a news conference Thursday in Jasper, Dubois County health  officials confirmed that a strike team from the Indiana State Department of Health tested workers at the Farbest Foods processing plant. Nearly six hundred employees were tested at the plant last week. 106 results came back positive for COVID-19. The plant was closed for several days but has since reopened. Huntingburg Mayor Dennis Spinner says he’s happy with the response by local and state health teams. “We’re certainly concerned but not alarmed by some of those numbers, and I think that there has been a consistent effort to manage it in a proper way.”

VANDERBURGH COUNTY: ELECTION FRAUD ALLEGED - A furious but misplaced reaction to alleged voter fraud has Vanderburgh County election workers crying uncle (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). It all started with last week's news that Democratic Party activist Jan Reed is accused of illegally sending hundreds of absentee ballot applications with instructions leaving voters no choice but to participate in her party's June 2 primary election. The Vanderburgh County Election Board referred the matter to Prosecutor Nick Hermann. Some people apparently got angry at that news, election officials told the board on Thursday. They directed their anger not at Reed, but at election office employees. Elections Supervisor Marc Toone said "well over 150" raged at the election office about Reed after the news broke.

ALLEN COUNTY: HEALTH COMMISSIONER TO BE PART-TIME - As plans were made for the retirement of Allen County’s long-time health commissioner, Dr. Deb McMahan, it was unknown her exit would line up with a global pandemic. Adding to the stress level, the health department has started looking for approval to split the full-time role into two part-time positions (WANE-TV). Department of Health Administrator Mindy Waldron appeared in front of the Allen County Council Thursday, getting approval of a plan to change the health commissioner’s pay from a full-time salary of $164,000 to a range of $40,000 to $60,000 for a part time position.

ALLEN COUNTY: BONUS PAY FOR HEALTH DEPT. EMPLOYEES - Some Allen County employees will receive additional pay for work performed while government buildings were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, following approval Thursday from the County Council (Gong, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). In a 6-1 vote, the council approved two salary ordinances providing supplemental pandemic pay to some county workers and a bonus for salaried Allen County Department of Health employees who have been working long hours responding to the pandemic. The Allen County commissioners approved the policy in April.

LaPORTE COUNTY: COMMISSIONERS TO OPPOSE UTILITY RATE HIKES - La Porte County officials are pushing back against a potential rate hike that several Indiana power companies — including NIPSCO — want to impose on customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Yoakum, Michigan City News-Dispatch). On Wednesday, the La Porte County Board of Commissioners authorized attorney Shaw Friedman to formally file an intervention with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission opposing a possible rate increase from NIPSCO, Indiana Michigan Power Company and several other utilities, which are looking to recoup revenue lost due to the coronavirus outbreak.

MIAMI COUNTY: FAIR TO BE HELD VIRTUALLY - The Miami County 4-H Fair Board announced Thursday that the 2020 fair will not take place in person (Kokomo Tribune). Non-animal projects will be judged at the fairgrounds July 20-22. This will be a closed judging and is not open to the public, according to the release. All animal exhibitions will not be in person this year, but judging will be offered virtually, according to the release. Rusty Merritt, Miami County 4-H Fair Board president, wrote in the statement that he and Kim Frazier, Miami County Purdue Extension 4-H Youth Development educator, have been fielding concerns about the fair since the board’s meeting on May 15. “[We] understand the multitude of emotions that come with a decision of this magnitude,” he wrote. “Some people will be relieved with the decision, while others will be sad or mad. At the end of the of the day, the requirements from Purdue Extension at the University level to have an in-person fair were daunting, and compliance with those requirements would have been nearly impossible.”

CARMEL: BRAINARD ANNOUNCES REOPENINGS - Carmel will reopen the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza beginning at noon today (CBS4). Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard first closed these areas because he said too many people were in close proximity to maintain social distancing. City leaders say they will keep it open as long as there’s no evidence it will trigger a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. There will be signs throughout the area encouraging everyone to wear a face mask or face covering. “We trust that our residents and visitors will use caution and treat this pandemic situation with the life-or-death seriousness that it demands,” said Mayor Jim Brainard. “If you a feel sick, stay home; If you live with someone who has tested positive, stay home; If you suspect you may be positive, get tested.”

LaPORTE: HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION STOPS DUE TO COVID OUTBREAK — Construction on the new LaPorte Hospital has been suspended after 10 workers contracted COVID-19 (South Bend Tribune). Joe Forsthoffer, spokesman for general contractor Robins & Morton, based in Birmingham, Ala., said the project was shut down Tuesday night when test results came back positive for four workers showing symptoms of the virus. Six other workers had also been diagnosed with the virus, he said. “This is an evolving thing, so that number may go up a little yet,” he said.

INDIANAPOLIS: COUNCIL CONDEMNS IMPD THREATS – The 25 members of the Indianapolis City-County Council released a statement condemning threats against officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (McKinney, WRTV). IMPD has reported 26 threats since a deadly officer-involved shooting earlier this month. Dreasjon Reed was killed on May 6, near the intersection of 62nd Street and Michigan Road. Police say he led them on a chase, then exited his vehicle and confronted officers. IMPD says gunfire was exchanged. Reed livestreamed the incident on his Facebook page. Several shots could be heard, but video of the shooting was captured. “We as a Council maintain our commitment to address the underlying causes and resulting trauma that breeds violence in our community and we encourage you to contact us to share concerns, issues and ideas,” the statement reads.

INDIANAPOLIS: AMBROSE SEEKS ZONING CHANGE FOR WATERSIDE - Ambrose Property Group is asking the city of Indianapolis for a change in the zoning of the former GM Stamping Plant site in downtown Indianapolis. The developer says the request to permit the 91-acre property, which had been targeted for a $1.4 billion redevelopment, for light industrial use could lead to job creation (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). Ambrose previously worked to transform the site into the Waterside mixed-use development until last September, when the developer announced it was shifting its business focus to e-commerce and industrial development. The developer says the current zoning for the three areas of the property allows for a mix of residential and commercial use, but only one area permits light industrial use. Ambrose is requesting all areas be permitted for light industrial use, which includes artisan manufacturing, light manufacturing and warehousing, wholesaling and distribution.

INDIANAPOLIS: PARKS APPROVE BROAD RIPPLE BUILDING - The Indianapolis Parks Department has preliminarily agreed to pay nearly $1 million per year to lease space in a new family center planned for Broad Ripple Park (Shuey, IBJ). The parks board on Tuesday unanimously signed off on a 30-year lease to occupy 25,000 square feet inside the proposed center, which would be constructed through a public-private partnership with BR Health Holdings LLC. The two-level facility also is expected to have a 15,000-square-foot medical clinic operated by Community Health—a partner in BR Health with local firm Avenue Development LLC. The city will retain ownership of the land beneath the building. The $19.66 million building will replace the existing 11,000-square-foot center, which opened as the Broad Ripple library branch in 1986. Parks officials say the facility is at the end of its useful life and too small to accommodate the community’s needs.

LEBANON: 2 PD OFFICERS TEST POSITIVE - The Lebanon Police Department announced Thursday that two members of the department have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. According to a released statement, both officers are under quarantine for the next 14 days and prior to returning to work, both officers will be required to be asymptomatic and have a negative test (WLFI-TV). Both officers began showing symptoms on Saturday and self-quarantined. Neither officer has been in the police station nor had contact with other officers since they began showing symptoms. The facility was also cleaned thoroughly and disinfected upon them notifying the administration of their symptoms.

SOUTH BEND: HS GRADUATIONS TO TAKE PLACE AT STADIUM — South Bend’s Class of 2020 will be celebrated with in-person graduation ceremonies in July at Four Winds Field (South Bend Tribune). “We have worked closely with Dr. Mark Fox, deputy health officer for St. Joseph County, to ensure that you and your guests can celebrate together while observing social distancing and following all necessary health protocols,”  Superintendent Todd Cummings wrote in a letter to graduating seniors.

SOUTH BEND: COUNCIL TO GRILL MAYOR ON HOMELESS SHELTER - South Bend Common Council members have lots of questions, and some skepticism, about Mayor James Mueller’s plan to launch a city-run homeless shelter. They’ve asked him to address the issue at their next meeting Tuesday (South Bend Tribune). Mueller has yet to develop details but will attend the meeting as requested, said his spokesman, Caleb Bauer. “This is the early planning stages and we aren’t going to have all the answers right now,” Bauer said.

WHITELAND: LOGISTICS PROJECT APPROVED - The Whiteland Town Council has scheduled a special meeting May 26 to consider a tax abatement related to the proposed development of a $55 million, 997,000-square-foot logistics building on 121 acres east of the Johnson County town (IBJ). The developer, Mohr Development, was successful last week in getting the property at the northeast corner of Graham and Whiteland roads rezoned from agricultural to industrial. The building would take up 70 acres of the property, which is just west of Interstate 65. Whiteland Town Manager Norm Gabehart told the Daily Journal that the developer has a tenant lined up to use the entire building for a logistics operation. The developer has not publicly named the tenant. The project is expected to create about 200 jobs, Gabehart told the newspaper.