ELECTRIC GRID OPERATORS GIRDING FOR CAPACITY SHORTAGE: From California to Texas to Indiana, electric-grid operators are warning that power-generating capacity is struggling to keep up with demand, a gap that could lead to rolling blackouts during heat waves or other peak periods as soon as this year (Wall Street Journal). California’s grid operator said Friday that it anticipates a shortfall in supplies this summer, especially if extreme heat, wildfires or delays in bringing new power sources online exacerbate the constraints. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, which oversees a large regional grid spanning much of the Midwest, said late last month that capacity shortages may force it to take emergency measures to meet summer demand and flagged the risk of outages. In Texas, where a number of power plants lately went offline for maintenance, the grid operator warned of tight conditions during a heat wave expected to last into the next week. The MISO, which recently warned of potential supply shortages resulting from higher-than-expected summer demand, has lately undertaken an effort to better value different types of resources based on their ability to support the grid at different times during the year and under various conditions. MISO Chief Executive John Bear said those processes will help the grid operator as the energy transition progresses, but he foresees the risk of near-term shortages. “I am concerned about it,” Mr. Bear said. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource,” such as gas or coal.

 

ECONOMY MASKS INDIANA'S LOOMING CRISIS: Ten years ago, Mitch Daniels set an ambitious goal: Double the number of degrees and certificates awarded by Indiana colleges so that 60% of adults have a postsecondary credential by 2025 (Briggs, IndyStar). A decade of governance under Daniels, Mike Pence and Gov. Eric Holcomb has failed to improve Indiana’s status as one of the worst states in America for educational attainment. As of 2020, 28.9% of Hoosiers had a bachelor's degree or higher (11th-worst in the U.S.) That's up from 22.7% in 2010, yet growing at a far slower rate than the nation as a while. By Indiana's own standard, the state is going to fall far short of Daniels' 2025 benchmark, even when giving credit for almost every kind of certificate under the sun. As of 2020, only 38% of Indiana adults had an associates degree or higher. The state’s inability to educate children — and to entice college students to stay after they graduate — is pushing Indiana toward an economic crisis, which, so far, has been masked by low unemployment. But a reckoning is looming. Brookings, American Affairs and Ball State University have each published deep dives with similar findings: Indiana is underperforming the nation by most metrics, it caters too much to low-paying jobs and does not do enough to educate citizens or attract new residents with college degrees.

 

428K JOBS ADDED IN APRIL: America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing inflation, chronic supply shortages, the Russian war against Ukraine and much higher borrowing costs (AP). Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that last month’s hiring kept the unemployment rate at 3.6%, just above the lowest level in a half-century. The economy’s hiring gains have been strikingly consistent in the face of the worst inflation in four decades. Employers have added at least 400,000 jobs for 12 straight months. At the same time, the April job growth, along with steady wage gains, will help fuel consumer spending and likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise borrowing rates sharply to try to slow inflation. Early trading Friday in the stock market reflected concern that the strength of the job market will keep wages and inflation high and lead to increasingly heavy borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Higher loan rates could, in turn, weigh down corporate profits. “With labor market conditions still this strong—including very rapid wage growth—we doubt that the Fed is going to abandon its hawkish plans,″ said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

 

ABORTION STATS IN INDIANA: While Americans await an official abortion ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, expected before the end of June, here are facts about abortion in Indiana, including how many are performed, who has them and the hurdles to obtaining one. Unless otherwise noted, the data cited below come from the 2020 Terminated Pregnancy Report compiled by the Indiana Department of Health covering calendar year 2020 (Carden, NWI Times). The state health agency is due to issue its annual abortion report for the 2021 calendar year by July 1, 2022. In 2020, 7,756 women had an abortion in Indiana, up from 7,637 one year prior, a total of 119 more abortions, or a 1.6% increase, following a 5% decline in 2019. Records show there were 79,058 live births in Indiana in 2020, or more than 10 times the number of abortions. Hoosier women, coming from 90 of the state's 92 counties, accounted for 7,372 abortions, or 95%. Residents of other states obtained 384 abortions at Indiana clinics and hospitals, primarily women from Kentucky. Women in their 20s procured 4,599 abortions, or 59.3% of the state's total. Women in their 30s had 28.2% of Indiana's abortions; those age 19 and younger, 9.2%; and age 40 and up, 3.3%. Altogether, 5.7 per every 1,000 Hoosier women between ages 15 and 44 had an abortion in 2020, up from 5.5 per 1,000 Indiana women of childbearing age in 2019.

 

McCONNELL SAYS NATIONAL ABORTION BAN POSSIBLE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview with USA Today a national abortion ban is “possible” if Roe v. Wade gets overturned this summer (The Hill). “If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area,” McConnell told USA Today when asked if a national abortion ban is “worthy of debate.” “And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible,” he concluded.

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS COURT UNDER SIEGE: John Roberts is heading a Supreme Court in crisis (AP). The chief justice has already ordered an investigation of the leak this week of a draft opinion suggesting the court could be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion nationwide. What comes next could further test Roberts’ leadership of a court where his vote already appears less crucial in determining the outcome in contentious cases. “This is a time when the court is under siege, both externally and internally now,” said Roanoke College professor Todd Peppers, who writes about the court. “I just don’t think the spotlight has ever been brighter on the court in recent history.” Speaking Thursday at a judicial conference in Atlanta, Roberts called the leak “appalling,” according to CNN. Roberts’ court was facing challenges even before the leak, which the chief called a “betrayal of the confidences of the Court.”Polling has shown a notable decline in the public’s approval of the court. And there have been recent calls for term limits for the justices and for increasing the number of justices as well as for a code of ethics, particularly following reports that Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia, implored Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff to act to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Confirmation hearings for the court’s newest justices have been contentious.

 

BRAUN ADVOCATES FOR LGBTQ TV RATING: U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) signed a letter May 4 obliging the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to create a T.V. rating warning about LGBTQIA+ content in children’s programming (CBS4). The letter, addressed to Mr. Charles Rivkin, Chairman of the Board, begins with thanking the board for “empowering parents through the provision of tools that enable them to identify television content that is not suitable for certain ages”. The letter then goes on to warn the board about the “concerning topics of sexual nature becoming more aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming”. The Senators’ argument for a LGBTQIA content T.V. rating points back to a video that emerged showing an executive at Disney saying she supports having “many, many, many LBGTQIA+ characters in our stories”. The Senators explain in their letter that, “To the detriment of children, gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies.”

 

JAN. 6 PROBE ENTERING NEW PHASE: Congressional investigators are preparing to open a new, public phase of their probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, as they attempt to make a case that former President Donald Trump and people involved with his campaign motivated some rioters who took part in the violence (Wall Street Journal). The House select committee investigating the attack has focused on two separate but overlapping chains of events: the planning and execution of the rally by Trump supporters in their attempt to overturn the result of the presidential election and the ensuing storming of the building itself. Drawing connections between the two could determine whether the investigation implicates White House figures, including Mr. Trump, in a violent attempt to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Such a finding could then prompt the committee to consider criminal referrals to the Justice Department, which would then have to decide whether to proceed.

 

'VICTORY' SPOTLIGHT ON PUTIN: In a war like this one, what does winning even look like? That’s a question Russian President Vladimir Putin will have to answer, at least implicitly, when his country marks one of its biggest and most bombastic patriotic holidays, Victory Day, on Monday — a highly choreographed celebration of Moscow’s military might that awkwardly coincides this year with a smaller neighbor’s improbable defiance in the face of a withering 10-week assault (Yahoo News). “There’s no victory to announce,” said Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert at University College London. “So he’ll have to proclaim one all the more loudly.” The war on Ukraine — the “special military operation,” as the Kremlin dubbed its Feb. 24 invasion — can in no way be said to have gone according to plan. Putin’s armies have killed thousands, flattened once-vibrant cities, sent more than 5.7 million people fleeing into exile and inflicted billions of dollars in damage to Ukraine, a country of 44 million people that became a sovereign nation more than three decades ago when the Soviet Union imploded. But in these weeks of warfare, Putin’s once-vaunted military has failed to seize Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, or depose its government. Russia has also suffered the ignominious sinking of a flagship missile cruiser and suffered military casualties likely exceeding those of the Soviets’ signature debacle in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

 

RUSS COMMENTATOR PREDICTS WWIII: Vladimir Putin is more likely to launch a nuclear World War 3 than accept defeat to Ukraine, a top Russian state TV editor has terrifyingly claimed (Daily Star). Margarita Simonyan, editor of state broadcaster RT, made the explosive remarks on TV on Wednesday night, stating that the Russian leader unleashing a nuclear strike is "more probable" than failure. The comments are one of many from Russia warning the West of "consequences" for interfering its ongoing invasion. Ms Simonyan said: "Either we lose in Ukraine or the Third World War starts. I think World War Three is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader. The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events." “This is to my horror on one hand,” she told a panel of experts, “but on the other hand, it is what it is. We will go to heaven, while they will simply croak... We're all going to die someday.”

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: As the U.S. auto fleet begins transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric, my question is do we have enough energy capacity to serve this switch? Today's top Wall Street Journal story suggests we don't. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

INDEMS ON BRAUN LGBTQ 'STUNT': U.S. Sen. Mike Braun joined a group of Republican Senators yesterday in calling for a new TV-rating system that could allow parents to block children from any content featuring LGBTQ characters (Howey Politics Indiana). In response to this partisan stunt, the Indiana Democratic Party issued the following statement: "There should be a warning label put up everytime Mike Braun goes on TV because his antics are more about extreme partisanship and debunked conspiracies than actually creating a better future for all Hoosiers. Mike Braun sure seems to care a lot about other peoples' love lives -- from telling LGBTQ Hoosiers how they should act to believing that interracial marriages should be voided. Democrats join with the majority of Hoosiers and Americans in telling Mike Braun: get a life!" said Drew Anderson, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party.

 

INDEMS SAY HOLCOMB MENTIONED ARP FUNDED PROGRAMS: The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today thanked Governor Eric Holcomb for complimenting the impact the American Rescue Plan is having on the Hoosier State (Howey Politics Indiana). After Eli Lilly’s CEO criticized the state for its dismal education and workforce systems, Holcomb said the state is “reinvesting, into workforce development programs, into education, into the health and well being of our citizens”. The problem for Holcomb: Democrats’ American Rescue Plan made these investments possible. Thanks to the Rescue Plan, Indiana received a $500 million investment for the state’s regional economic development program known as READI. About $250 million was sent to help expand broadband internet access across the state. Close to $540 million is being used to mitigate the state’s childcare crisis. And, thanks to Democrats, the state’s public education system received funding at levels not seen since before the Great Recession. Indiana Democrats like André Carson and Frank Mrvan delivered these kitchen-table issues for Hoosier families.

 

MAGA RALLY FINDS BOOING FOR OZ: Some attendees of former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania rally booed when he introduced Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, while a group also protested the GOP contender by turning their backs to the stage as he spoke (Newsweek). Trump's endorsement of Oz, a physician and popular television personality, has drawn substantial backlash from some Pennsylvania Republicans as well as prominent right-wing allies of the former president. Critics of Trump's decision to back Oz question the celebrity doctor's conservative credentials, with many preferring Republican Senate candidates David McCormick or Kathy Barnette. As the former president addressed supporters at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg Friday evening, he announced Oz ahead of the GOP contender's remarks to the crowd. "My friend Dr. Mehmet Oz, he's a great man," Trump told the crowd. While many cheered, audible boos and groans could be heard in a livestream of the event on Newsmax. Later, as Oz addressed the Trump supporters, a group near the front of the stage turned their backs in an apparent protest against him.

 

PENCE RESPONDS TO HARRIS ON ROE: Former Vice President Mike Pence blasted Vice President Harris in a speech Thursday over her support of abortion rights as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade (The Hill). On Tuesday at an EMILY’s List conference, Harris chastised Republicans who aim to restrict abortions.  “Those Republicans leaders who are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women — how dare they?” she asked. “How dare they tell a woman what she can do and cannot do with her own body? How dare they? How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?” Pence, at a gala for the Carolina Pregnancy Center, responded to Harris’s comments saying “62 million unborn boys and girls ended in abortion” since Roe v. Wade was decided. “Since 1973, generations of mothers enduring heartbreaking and loss that can last a lifetime. Madame Vice President, how dare you?”

 

PENCE SEEKS SUPPORT IN DOUBTFUL SC:  In theory, Nate Leupp should be exactly the sort of political influencer Mike Pence can count on as he plots out a 2024 presidential run. The Greenville director of a Christian music store has been a mainstay in the evangelical wing of the GOP in upstate South Carolina for 16 of his 42 years. He has admired Pence for decades. He watched as his bloc of similarly minded Republicans leading the Greenville County chapter was ousted for not being sufficiently loyal to Donald Trump (Huffpo). And yet, should the 2024 South Carolina primary come down to a choice between the former president who tried to overthrow democracy to remain in power or the former vice president who saved it by refusing to go along, Leupp said he will probably go with Trump. “For all the negatives of President Trump, I’d take him again,” he said. So as Pence returned to South Carolina last week in his continuing pre-presidential campaign, such was the looming challenge: Figure out a path in the critical early-voting state without relying on two significant segments of eligible primary voters. “His problem is: What part of the Republican Party does he see as his base?” wondered Winthrop University political science professor Scott Huffmon.

 

Polls

 

NATION DIVIDED ON ROE REPEAL: The leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has voters divided almost evenly over the landmark abortion ruling. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters would approve of a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, including 32% who would Strongly Approve. Forty-five percent (45%) would disapprove of overturning Roe v. Wade, including 35% who would Strongly Disapprove.

 

60% EXPECT INFLATION TO BE BIG ISSUE: Most voters rate President Joe Biden poor for his handling of the economy, and say inflation will be a very important issue this fall in the midterm elections. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 83% of Likely U.S. Voters believe inflation will be an important issue in this year’s congressional elections, including 60% who think the issue will be Very Important. Only 14% don’t expect inflation to be important in the midterms.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SCHEDULE - Gov. Holcomb Public Schedule for May 9: 10 a.m. Monday, May 9: WorkPlace Innovation Series – A Conversation with the Governor with Lisa Daugherty, president & CEO, Center of Workforce Innovations, Avalon Banquet Center, 3550 E Lincoln Highway Merrillville. 11 a.m. Monday, May 9: 15th Annual Northwest Indiana Business & Industry Hall of Fame luncheon, Avalon Banquet Center.

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MAKES APPOINTMENTS -  Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced several appointments to various state boards and commissions.

 

Indiana Election Commission: The governor made two reappointments to the commission, who will serve until July 1, 2024: Suzannah Wilson Overholt (Indianapolis), partner with SmithAmundsen; Litany Pyle (Covington), attorney with Justice & Pyle, Attorneys at Law.

 

Indiana State Fair Commission: The governor made one new appointment to the commission, to a term beginning May 23, 2022 and ending September 30, 2025: Cheri Daniels (Carmel), former First Lady of Indiana.

 

Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority Board of Directors: The governor made one new appointment to the board, to a term ending March 31, 2026: Jason Gilliana (Valparaiso), partner with Gilliana Pools LLC.

 

ISP: OVERTURNED TRUCK BLOCK NB/SB LANES ON I-65 NEAR FRANKLIN - A semi-trailer rolled on Interstate 65 at the State Road 44/Franklin exit Sunday morning, partially blocking both northbound and southbound traffic (WTHR-TV). The semi came to rest over the median, perpendicular to the travel lanes on both the northbound and southbound sides of I-65. Fire crews responded and are checking for spilled fuel at the scene. There is no word on injuries. There is no estimate of how long traffic will be blocked, but traffic will be able to exit at Franklin to bypass the crash and get back onto I-65 in the same direction of travel until the scene is cleared.

 

PURDUE: ST. VINCENT'S TO BUILD SMALL HOSPITAL NEAR CAMPUS - Ascension St. Vincent said Friday morning it plans to build a small hospital near Purdue University with an emergency room and eight inpatient beds (Russell, IBJ). The Indianapolis-based health system said the new hospital will bring inpatient and emergency care into the city of West Lafayette for the first time.  The city is home to urgent care centers and medical clinics, but the nearest acute-care hospital, Indiana University Health Arnett, is about three miles away, in Lafayette. “Our expansion in West Lafayette comes at a time when access to convenient health care options is more important than ever,” Jonathan Nalli, chief executive of Ascension St. Vincent Indiana, said in written remarks. “We are responding to the community’s need to access high-quality care in a way that fits into everyday life.” The hospital will be constructed on the northeast corner of Airport Road and Highway 231 in the Discovery Park District, a mixed-use area known for its Purdue-affiliated business startups, on the eastern edge of the campus on seven acres of land that Ascension St. Vincent bought from the university.

 

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: JILL BIDEN VISITS UKRAINE - First lady Jill Biden crossed the border into Ukraine on Sunday, entering an active war zone in a rare move for the spouse of a sitting president (Washington Post). Biden entered the country on Mother’s Day from Slovakia after she visited a processing center at the Vysne Nemecke border crossing and met with refugees. Inside Ukraine, she met with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has not previously appeared in public since the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of her country. “I wanted to come in Mother’s Day,” Biden said before the start of a closed-door meeting between the two first ladies. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

 

GEORGIA: JUDGE ALLOWS REP. GREENE TO STAY ON BALLOT - Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conspiracy theory-peddling Georgia Republican, shouldn't be disqualified over her role in the January 6 insurrection, a judge said Friday in a significant legal blow to the voters and advocacy groups who tried to throw her off the ballot (CNN). State Judge Charles Beaudrot said in a 19-page recommendation that even if it is assumed that the US Capitol riot was an insurrection, "challengers have produced insufficient evidence to show that Rep. Greene 'engaged' in that insurrection after she took the oath of office on January 3, 2021." The recommendation was submitted to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, who accepted the decision later on Friday night and formally ruled that Greene will stay on the ballot. The anti-Greene challengers said in a statement that they'll appeal Raffensperger's decision in state courts. The Republican primary in Georgia is scheduled for May 24.

 

KENTUCKY: 80-1 RICH STRIKE WINS DERBY -  Anyone anticipating a return to normalcy in the Kentucky Derby got a dose of crazy Saturday when an 80-1 shot came charging up the rail to win at Churchill Downs (AP). With favorite Epicenter and Zandon engaged in a duel at the front, Rich Strike stole the show with the second-biggest upset in the Derby’s 148-year history. The chestnut colt beat 4-1 favorite Epicenter by three-quarters of a length. Zandon finished another three-quarters of a length back in third. “I about fell down in the paddock when he hit the wire,” winning trainer Eric Reed said. “I about passed out.”

 

MLB: CHISOX DEFEAT BOSTON 3-1 - Boston Red Sox fans were fed up with Matt Barnes after the team lost 3-1 in extra innings to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday (Fansided). The Boston Red Sox entered Saturday, May 7 on a three-game losing streak. One of those losses came on Friday against the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox had the chance to even up the three-game series with a win, and they were seemingly headed that way. The Red Sox had a 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning, but it got sent to extra innings after  Hansel Robles surrendered a sacrifice fly by Leury Garcia. In the bottom of the tenth, Red Sox manager Alex Cora called upon Matt Barnes, who already had two losses to his credit on the season. Barnes surrendered two runs on two hits, resulting in Boston losing 3-1.

 

MLB: LA BLANKS CUBS 7-0 -  Clayton Kershaw remembered getting knocked out in the shortest start of his stellar career. Fair to say, things went a little better for him in his return to Wrigley Field (ESPN). Kershaw dominated over seven innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the struggling Chicago Cubs 7-0 in the opener of a split doubleheader on Saturday. Freddie Freeman doubled three times and scored twice, helping the NL West leaders win for the 16th time in 21 games. Austin Barnes homered and drove in three runs.

 

MLB: PIRATES TOP REDS 8-5 - Josh VanMeter had just one thought when he suddenly realized the Pittsburgh Pirates needed him as a catcher (ESPN). "Pure panic," he said. Forced into an emergency role, VanMeter had a rough time Saturday when he moved from second base for his first try behind the plate since he was a teenager. The Cincinnati Reds took advantage to end a nine-game losing streak, beating the Pirates 9-2 in the opener of a doubleheader. In the nightcap, Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a two-run homer and Yoshi Tsutsugo and Diego Castillo had back-to-back home runs as Pittsburgh won 8-5 for a split.

 

Sunday Talk

 

KLOBUCHAR SEES SWIFT ROE REACTION: "The fall will be swift" if the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Sunday, adding that the Senate will do everything it can to codify federal abortion protections. "With this leaked opinion, the court is looking at reversing 50 years of women's rights and the fall will be swift. Over 20 states have laws in place already," Klobuchar, D-Minn., told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz. "If we are not successful then we go to the ballot box," Klobuchar added. "We march straight to the ballot box and the women of this country and the men who stand with them will vote like they've never voted before."

 

KLOBUCHAR SAYS ALITO TAKING US BACK TO '1850s': Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Sunday said Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is “taking us back to the 1850s” in his draft majority opinion that shows the bench poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. “This is 50 years of rights in a leaked opinion where Justice Alito is literally not just taking us back to the 1950s, he’s taking us back to 1850s. He actually cites the fact that abortion was criminalized back when the 14th Amendment was adopted,” Klobuchar told anchor Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”

 

GRAHAM SAYS ABORTION 'RIGHT' DIDN'T EXIST: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) on Sunday said the 1973 Supreme Court precedent Roe v. Wade “created a constitutional right that didn’t exist” when justices ruled Americans have a right to privacy and legalized abortion in the U.S. Graham told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Brett Baier the ruling has divided the public since its inception. “Roe v. Wade created a constitutional right that didn’t exist in the writ constitution,” Graham said. “This created division from the day it was decided until now.”

 

GRAHAM SEEKS TO LABLE RUSS STATE SPONSOR OF TERROR: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday pushed to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and called for the expansion of the western security alliance NATO to deter the Kremlin from future invasions. Graham told “Fox News Sunday” guest host Brett Baier the U.S. was fighting “for the future of Europe” against Russia amid the war in Ukraine. “NATO needs to get bigger, not smaller,” he said. “If Finland and Sweden join NATO, and Europe breaks away from dependence on Russian oil and gas and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is declared a war criminal, that would be the best outcome for the world writ large.”

 

Local

 

INDIANAPOLIS: COP KILLER SENTENCED TO 55 YEARS - A man convicted of fatally shooting an Indiana police officerwho came to his aid following a car crash in 2017 was sentenced Friday to 55 years in prison (Indiana Public Media). A Marion County judge sentenced Jason D. Brown to 58 years, with three years suspended, in the killing of 38-year-old Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan. The sentence followed hours of emotional testimony from relatives of the late officer, Brown’s family and Brown himself. Allan’s father, James Allan, told the court the shooting was a “tragedy” for everyone in the courtroom. “But it was one gentleman’s choice that has cost us all to still be here today. And that was you, Jason,” he said, looking at Brown. “It was your decision. You’re the one who pulled the trigger.” Brown, 33, apologized and told the court he would never forgive himself for what he did.

 

ELKHART: CITY TAKING STAND AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE - Elkhart city leaders and officials are coming together to take a stand against gun violence (WNDU-TV). The Best of Us Foundation teamed up with the city for an event at Roosevelt Park, bringing in speakers to discuss gun violence, while distributing anti-gun violence yard signs, wristbands, and more. Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson was also in attendance, stressing why holding community events like these can ultimately save lives. “We want to keep our kids safe. Violence is a part of our community, but it doesn’t have to be,” Roberson said. “And so, these organizers wanted to organize an event, and the city wanted to be behind that.”

 

OWEN COUNTY: COMMISSIONER WILL HAVE TO FACE CHARGES - Owen County Commissioner Dale Dubois will have to face the corruption charges filed against him (Indiana Public Media). Special Judge Valeri Haughton on Thursday denied Dubois’ motion to have his official misconduct, conflict of interest and misdemeanor theft charges dropped. She also denied his request to have some evidence in the case suppressed. Dubois was charged last November after an Indiana State Police investigation found he had allegedly ordered county employees to repair a road for his personal advantage. Dubois has denied any misconduct.

 

ALLEN COUNTY: COMMISSIONERS TO MEET JAIL DEADLINE - May 15th is the deadline Allen County Commissioners must meet to present their plan for solving the problems with overcrowding and living conditions within the Allen County Jail (WANE-TV). This comes after a federal judge told the sheriff and commissioners they had 45 days to make changes back in April. “If we take a look at the population as we did last week, we know that a large portion of those folks don’t belong in jail. They belong in some mental health facility getting help and assistance to get back on their feet,” Allen County Commissioner Rich Beck said. He told ABC21 he and the other commissioners plan to meet that May 15th deadline. He says a new facility will be built but they’re not sure where it will be built. He says he’s not certain how many beds should be planned for the facility.