DEMOCRATS CALL FOR HOLCOMB TO EXPLAIN ROLE IN AMAZON INVESTIGATION: Indiana’s governor is facing calls from Democrats to explain his role in Amazon being cleared of responsibility for a warehouse worker’s death despite initial findings of four major safety violations (Associated Press & Adam Pinsker, Indiana Public Media). Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb denies any involvement in the state Department of Labor’s investigation of the September 2017 death at Amazon’s Plainfield warehouse, as reported Monday by the nonprofit news outlet Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The three Democrats seeking to challenge Holcomb in next year’s election all said the governor needs to explain how he and his administration handled the Amazon safety report. State Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary, former state health commissioner Woody Myers and tech business executive Josh Owens also each called for an outside investigation of the case. “It’s a very serious matter, the people involved are responsible for worker safety in our state and if their duty wasn’t performed properly that’s an issue," says Myers. The governor’s office and a state Republican Party spokesman didn’t comment on the Democrats’ investigation request. State Rep. Lisa Beck of Hebron, the top Democrat on the Indiana House labor committee, said companies needed to be held accountable for meeting safety standards.

FIRST PHASE OF CHINA DEAL NEAR COMPLETE, TRUMP SAYS: President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that talks with China on the first phase of a trade deal were near completion after negotiators from both sides spoke by phone, signaling progress on an accord in the works for nearly two years (Bloomberg). “We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s going very well.” The president said later Tuesday in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that he’s holding up the trade deal to ensure better terms for the U.S.

FAST DROP IN CHINESE INDUSTRIAL PROFIT: Profits at China’s industrial firms shrank at their fastest pace in eight months in October, tracking sustained drops in producer prices and exports and underscoring slowing momentum in the world’s second-largest economy (Reuters). Industrial profits fell 9.9% in October year-on-year to 427.56 billion yuan ($60.74 billion), data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday, marking the biggest drop since January-February period and compared with a 5.3% decline in September.

CNN POLL FINDS NO CHANGE IN VIEWS ON IMPEACHMENT: After five days of public hearings in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, public opinion over whether the President ought to be impeached and removed from office remains exactly the same as it was in October, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. Half of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 43% say he should not. Neither figure has changed since October, with support for impeachment remaining at its highest level thus far in CNN polling. The partisan divide over the President persists as well, with roughly 80 points between Democratic support for Trump's removal and Republican support for it. Independents are closely divided on the question, 47% in favor, 45% opposed. Opinions on both sides are deeply held, with about 9 in 10 on either side saying they feel strongly in favor or against it. The President's approval rating has also held about even since October: 42% say they approve, 54% disapprove.

PRESIDENT DENIES SENDING GUILIANI FOR DIRT OF BIDEN: Donald Trump denied directing Rudy Giuliani to go to Ukraine to look for dirt on his political rivals, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly (Bloomberg). “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior,” Trump told O’Reilly in an interview streamed on the internet on Tuesday. Giuliani has said publicly that he conducted an investigation “concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption” on Trump’s behalf. Asked by O’Reilly what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump said “you have to ask that to Rudy.” “Rudy has other clients, other than me,” the president added. “He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years.”

HHS: AZAR AND VERMA SAID TO BE INCREASINGLY AT ODDS - President Donald Trump’s health secretary, Alex Azar, and his Medicare chief, Seema Verma, are increasingly at odds, and their feuding has delayed the president’s long-promised replacement proposal for Obamacare and disrupted other health care initiatives central to Trump's reelection campaign, according to administration officials (Politico). Verma spent about six months developing a Trump administration alternative to the Affordable Care Act, only to have Azar nix the proposal before it could be presented to Trump this summer, sending the administration back to the drawing board, senior officials told POLITICO. Azar believed Verma’s plan would actually strengthen Obamacare, not kill it. Behind the policy differences over Obamacare, drug pricing and other initiatives, however, is a personal rivalry that has become increasingly bitter. 

FORMER HAMMOND WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HELPING ISIS: Former Elkhart resident Samantha Elhassani pleaded guilty Monday to providing financial support to ISIS (South Bend Tribune). Elhassani, 33, was indicted in August 2018 on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and aiding and abetting others to provide material support to terrorists. However, in Monday’s plea deal, Elhassani pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of financing terrorism. As a condition of the plea deal, the prior charges were dropped.

IT'S GONNA BE WINDY TODAY: Half of Indiana will be under a high wind warning Wednesday, and the other half will be under an advisory (DePompei, IndyStar). The National Weather Service predicts gusts up to 60 mph in areas north of I-70, where the warning will be in effect. The advisory area south of I-70 is expected to experience gusts of up to 50 mph. Winds are expected to be strongest between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. NWS warns that travel will become difficult, trees could be downed and loose items will be blown around. Residents are asked to secure loose outdoor items and use caution while traveling.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: If you’re looking for a mostly safe topic around the dinner table tomorrow, you might note the Old Oaken Bucket is on the line this weekend as the Indiana Hoosiers challenge Purdue on the Boilermaker gridiron. While my late father might have been disappointed in his Boiler’s performance this season, the Cream & Crimson, my alma mater, appear to be in their best form in decades and are a seven-point favorite. Both teams always bring their best game to this 95-year rivalry, which will be renewed Saturday at noon. – Mark Curry

Campaigns

TRUMP RALLIES IN FLORIDA: President Donald Trump was welcomed by supporters Tuesday to his new home state of Florida, where he held his first campaign rally since changing his address from New York to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach (USA Today). Trump took the stage Tuesday night and tossed several of his trademark "Make American Great Again" hats into the crowd before angrily attacking Democrats, telling supporters "their sinister plans are failing" and "their crimes are being revealed." The president claimed he "solidly" won the last two weeks, referring to a series of public hearings that took place before the House Intelligence Committee. The backlash from the impeachment inquiry, he said, is "going to walk us right through that election." He claimed polls are showing more support for him than for Democrats. "The Democrats are going down in a landslide and that landslide will begin right here in the great state of Florida," he said of the 2020 election.

TRUMP TO RAISE CASH DURING NATO TRIP TO LONDON: When President Trump visits London next week for the NATO summit, he'll also use his brief time on the ground there to raise big bucks for his 2020 campaign, according to an invitation reviewed by Axios and conversations with people familiar with the event (Axios). The Dec. 3 fundraiser, which hasn't previously been reported, will be hosted by Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, co-chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., national finance chairman Todd Ricketts, and Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale, according to the invitation. The Trump team expects to raise $3 million from the event, according to a source familiar with the planning. It's standard practice for presidential campaigns to solicit money from wealthy U.S. citizens living overseas. In 2011, President Obama's re-election campaign drew $237,000 from expatriates in the U.K., $128,000 from France and $113,000 in Switzerland, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

WHEN NEGATIVE ADS OVERREACH: When discussing a candidate who lost, people often blame it on negative ads (Souder, Howey Politics Indiana). When a candidate wins, commentators credit a fresh face, new ideas and a hopeful future. Unless they don’t like the candidate; then they blame it on negative ads.  The point is this: People say they don’t like negative ads, but they are influenced by them. They are also the ads that people tend to remember the most. Decades ago, I read a study of negative ads and response tactics. All responses to negative ads failed to varying degrees. One thing worked: have a more memorable negative ad.  This column highlights the one negative ad that sometimes fails, if the candidate comes back with an ad that is a response that doesn’t look negative.

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG PHONES ROOT WRITER WHO SAID CANDIDATE WAS 'A LYING MF': South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) called The Root writer Michael Harriot on the phone this week after an op-ed he wrote about the presidential candidate’s past comments on minorities and education went viral online (The Hill). In the viral opinion piece, which is titled “Pete Buttigieg is a Lying MF,” Harriot took aim at comments Buttigieg made in 2011 that recently resurfaced. The remarks came during a televised discussion Buttigieg participated in during his campaign for local office at the time, according to CNN. Harriot wrote that the mayor’s comments prove "men like him are more willing to perpetuate the fantastic narrative of negro neighborhoods needing more role models and briefcase-carriers than make the people in power stare into the sun and see the blinding light of racism.”

WARREN'S SUPPORT PLUNGES NATIONWIDE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren's support among Democratic primary voters nationwide plunged 50 percent over the past month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll, signaling that the shake-ups in the primary field are far from over (Politico). Former Vice President Joe Biden has retaken the lead in the poll after an autumn that saw him surrender his solid frontrunner status, climbing 3 points to earn 24 percent in the poll. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., surged into second, rising 6 points to 16 percent, with Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders not far behind at 14 and 13 percent, respectively.

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: PETE STRENGTHENS BASE BUT NOT WINNING OVER OTHERS - Demographic cross-tabs in as FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll show that Pete Buttigieg mainly made inroads among groups where he already enjoyed a disproportionate amount of support, like the college-educated, white voters and older voters. He had little success winning people over among groups where he has tended to struggle, like with black and Hispanic voters. This lack of diverse support may be a part of why Buttigieg is struggling to gain traction outside Iowa and New Hampshire and continues to sit at about 8 percent nationally, far behind the other three front-runners in the race. And if Buttigieg can’t appeal to people outside his existing base, he might have a hard time getting his numbers up any higher.

REPORT SLAMS BUTTIGIEG'S OVER PAC EXPENDITURES: Pete Buttigieg launched a political action committee in June 2017, dubbed “Hitting Home,” that would “mobilize resources to elect Democrats, at every level and in communities both red and blue, who will put the lived experiences of Americans front and center,” Buttigieg wrote (HuffPost). Two years later, as his 2020 presidential campaign began to take off, Buttigieg shut down the group. And it hadn’t come close to living up to his billing of its aims. Of the slightly more than $400,000 Buttigieg raised for the PAC, it donated just $37,000 to other Democratic candidates.

Congress

YOUNG THANKS TROOPS: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) released the following statement in advance of Thanksgiving: “From my family to yours, I want to wish all Hoosiers a happy Thanksgiving. This year, America has a lot to be thankful for. We remain a country of unprecedented prosperity and enduring freedom, founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is only made possible by the brave men and women who are currently overseas, defending the freedoms we so cherish. Because some of these brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are not able to be home this Thanksgiving, I want to especially recognize their daily sacrifices, and the sacrifices of their families, that allow us to remain safe and secure in our great nation.”

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE IMPEACHMENT HEARING DEC. 4: The House impeachment inquiry will enter a new phase next week when the Judiciary Committee holds its first public hearing to begin deciding whether President Trump will become only the third president in history to face impeachment (Los Angeles Times). The Dec. 4 hearing, which could include the president’s lawyers, will focus on the historical and constitutional basis for impeachment, the definition of an impeachable offense, and the process going forward.   Democrats did not indicate plans to call back the dozen fact witnesses who testified to the House Intelligence Committee this month about the president’s dealings with Ukraine. That committee is preparing a report for the Judiciary Committee, which ultimately must decide whether to draft articles of impeachment for the full House to vote on.

PRESIDENT INVITED TO HEARING: The House impeachment inquiry shifts into a new phase next week with a public hearing in the Judiciary Committee where President Donald Trump will be invited to present his defense, according to Chairman Jerrold Nadler (Bloomberg). The hearing aims to explain the constitutional framework for impeachment and the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” as well as whether Trump’s actions as detailed in the evidence gathered so far warrant articles of impeachment, Nadler said Tuesday in a letter to Trump, notifying him of the process. Nadler, a New York Democrat, gave Trump a deadline of 6 p.m. Dec. 1 to say whether he or his attorney plans to participate. The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.

TWO MORE TESTIMONY TRANSCRIPTS RELEASED: The three House committees that led the first phase of the impeachment inquiry released transcripts of closed-door testimony from two more witnesses on Wednesday (CBS News). Philip Reeker, an assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, testified behind closed doors on October 26. Mark Sandy, an official at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), appeared several weeks later, on November 16. The transcripts show Sandy raised concerns about the legality of the delay in hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine. He told lawmakers the first formal implementation of the hold came on July 25 — the same day as President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine, in which Mr. Trump urged him to investigate the Bidens and conspiracy theories about the 2016 election. Reeker testified about the "outrageous smears and attacks" against Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled from her post after a campaign to discredit her led by Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials.

HOUSE PANEL SUES BARR, ROSS OVER CENSUS SUBPOENAS: The House Oversight and Reform Committee has picked a court fight with the Trump administration, filing a lawsuit Tuesday to enforce subpoenas for documents sought in the panel’s investigation of the failed effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census (Roll Call). In the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, the panel asks that Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be ordered to comply with subpoenas issued as part of its investigation. The committee argues it needs the information to make sure the administration has not undermined the decennial count used to apportion federal representation and more than $1.5 trillion in annual federal spending.

General Assembly

BRAY, BOSMA ANTICIPATE LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS HEALTH CARE COSTS: The Health Care Cost Institute calculates Indiana's costs rank 14th in the nation as of 2017, and hospital stays rank fifth (Berman, WIBC). Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray says lowering costs is a multiyear task, but says legislators can take some relatively simple steps now, like requiring hospitals to make clear up front what they charge for different procedures. House Speaker Brian Bosma envisions an online transparency portal where patients, doctors and insurers can see for themselves what he says are sometimes "shocking disparities" in the cost for the same procedure. Both parties support efforts to tighten Indiana's protections against so-called "surprise billing," where you don't find out until after a hospital stay that not all your doctors were part of your network.

RSLC SELECTS BOSMA TO LEAD NATIONAL 2020 EFFORTS: The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced that Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma will serve as chair of the RSLC’s 2020 efforts to elect Republican legislators and protect Republican majorities across the country (WBIW). Speaker Bosma, who was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1986 and has served as the chamber’s Speaker in six nonconsecutive terms (2004-2006 and 2010-present), has been a key partner of the RSLC in the two decades since the committee’s inception.  “Winning is our singular focus at the RSLC – and strong leaders like Speaker Bosma are the reason we’ve been one of the most successful political committees in the nation over the past twenty years,” said RSLC President Austin Chambers. “The RSLC has been one of the most important supporters of state legislators in the country, and in these critical elections ahead, our work together has never been more crucial,” said Speaker Brian Bosma. 

State

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB GRANTS CLEMENCY TO ELKHART MAN - In an executive order issued on November 20, Governor Eric Holcomb granted clemency to Berto N. Dooley, who was convicted of possession of cocaine in 2003 (Hudson, ABC57). Dooley was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the conviction because he was deemed a habitual substance offender. Dooley has served 16 years of his sentence. The governor granted Dooley's clemency because he has completed his GED, and earned his associates degree and a bachelor's degree while incarcerated. Because of his work helping other inmates and to improve himself, he was transferred to a short term offender facility and since May 2017 has worked for the several state agencies, including the Indiana Archives and Records Administration and the Department of Administration. Clemency was supported by family, friends and public officials, the governor said.

ECONOMY: HOOSIER STEELMAKERS RAISING PRICES - U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal have been raising steel prices of late (Pete, NWI Times). Both steelmakers, two of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, have raised flat-rolled steel prices three times in less than a month. U.S. Steel has increased prices by $110 a ton since Oct. 25, and is now charging a target price of $590 for hot-rolled steel and $790 a ton for cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized, according to the trade publication Argus Metals. ArcelorMittal has boosted prices to $600 a ton for hot-rolled steel and $810 a ton for cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized.

ECONOMY: IU PROF LINKS CUMMINS LAYOFFS TO TRADE DISPUTE - A professor at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business says the announced layoffs at Columbus-based Cummins Inc. are a signal of the continuing impact of a trade dispute between the U.S. and China (Mills, Inside Indiana Business). “We're seeing a significant slowing in the global economy,” said Phil Powell, professor of business economics. “What we need to realize is that Cummins is a global company, and a lot of their sales are in the faster-growing economies in emerging regions of the world, including China.” Powell says China’s economy is forecast to grow 5-6% in 2020. While that appears strong compared to other countries, including the U.S., Powell says China’s economy had been growing by 10% annually. And he warns that other Indiana manufacturers that rely on the export market could feel the same pain if the trade conflict doesn’t resolve soon. On Monday, Cummins announced it was laying off 2,000 salaried workers worldwide in a cost-cutting move.

SAFETY: EXTRA TROOPERS TO PATROL OVER HOLIDAY - Extra state troopers will be out patrolling during the Thanksgiving holiday, traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year (Terre Haute Tribune Star). Troopers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which is a federally funded project and will allow additional troopers to patrol area highways through Sunday, Sgt. Matt Ames of the Putnamville district said in a news release. Troopers will be aggressively observing for moving violations, dangerous and impaired drivers and for those drivers and passengers not buckling up. Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday period, 12 fatal crashes occurred on Indiana roadways.

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SAYS BLOCKING TESTIMONY PROTECTS FUTURE PRESIDENTS - President Trump on Tuesday defended blocking top officials from testifying as part of the House impeachment inquiry, arguing the decision was made to protect the office of the presidency and “future presidents” — even as he claimed he'd otherwise support the testimony (Fox News). “The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress. I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Other than that, I would actually like people to testify."

WHITE HOUSE: TWO OMB OFFICIALS RESIGNED OVER UKRAINE CONCERNS - Two officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget recently resigned while voicing concerns over the holdup on Ukraine aid, a career employee of the agency told impeachment investigators, according to a transcript of his testimony released Tuesday (Washington Post). Mark Sandy, the only OMB official to testify in the impeachment inquiry, did not name the employees in question. He said one worked in the OMB legal division and described that person as having a “dissenting opinion” about how the security assistance to Ukraine could be held up in light of the Impoundment Control Act, which limits the ability of the executive branch to change spending decisions already made by Congress. The other person, who resigned in September, “expressed some frustrations about not understanding the reason for the hold,” Sandy said.

WHITE HOUSE: CLAIMS TRUMP KNEW ABOUT COMPLAINT BEFORE RELEASING AID - President Trump had already been briefed on a whistle-blower’s complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he unfroze military aid for the country in September, according to two people familiar with the matter (New York Times). Lawyers from the White House counsel’s office told Mr. Trump in late August about the complaint, explaining that they were trying to determine whether they were legally required to give it to Congress, the people said.

STATE DEPT: POMPEO CRITICIZES CHINA FOR ABUSES - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that a cache of leaked documents proves that Chinese authorities are engaged in massive and systemic repression of Muslims and other minorities in western China, as a number of foreign governments expressed serious concern about the scale of the campaign (Associated Press). Pompeo said the documents underscored “an overwhelming and growing body of evidence” that China’s leaders are responsible for gross human rights violations in the Xinjiang region.

COURTS: JUDGE HALTS HEALTH INSURANCE RULE FOR IMMIGRANTS - A U.S. judge in Oregon has granted a preliminary injunction blocking a Trump administration proclamation that would require immigrants to show proof of health insurance to get a visa (Associated Press). U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon said in a written opinion Tuesday that the proclamation could not take effect while a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality makes its way through the courts.

HEALTH: AMERICANS DYING YOUNG AT ALARMING RATES - Death rates from suicide, drug overdoses, liver disease and dozens of other causes have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults, driving down overall life expectancy in the United States for three consecutive years, according to a strikingly bleak study published Tuesday that looked at the past six decades of mortality data (Washington Post). The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was immediately hailed by outside researchers for its comprehensive treatment of a still-enigmatic trend: the reversal of historical patterns in longevity.

ECONOMY: MARKET'S 100th RECORD CLOSE UNDER TRUMP - Stocks closed on record highs Tuesday helped by a batch of positive retail earnings, a new record for Disney and more positive developments on U.S. - China trade talks (Fox News).  Tuesday's record close was the 100th since Trump took office.

NRA: EXECUTIVE PAY BOOSTED AS PROGRAMS ARE CUT - Compensation for top officials at the National Rifle Association surged by 41 percent last year, according to a new tax filing, as the nation’s largest pro-gun organization sharply reduced spending on programs central to its mission (Washington Post). The jump from 2017 to 2018 for the NRA’s officers, directors and highly paid employees included a 57 percent increase for chief executive Wayne LaPierre that boosted his overall compensation to $2.15 million.

World

'BLEAK' UN REPORT ON CLIMATE PERIL: With world leaders gathering in Madrid next week for their annual bargaining session over how to avert a climate catastrophe, the latest assessment issued by the United Nations said Tuesday that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising dangerously (New York Times). “The summary findings are bleak,” said the annual assessment, which is produced by the United Nations Environment Program and is formally known as the Emissions Gap Report. Countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions despite repeated warnings from scientists, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, further increasing their emissions last year. The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.”

CHINA SAYS IT HAS MET CARBON REDUCTION GOALS EARLY: China has realized its 2020 target for reducing carbon emissions ahead of schedule, the ecology and environment ministry reported Wednesday (Associated Press). The ministry said China’s CO2 emissions per unit of GDP had fallen last year by 4% from a year earlier to stand at 45.8% less than in 2005.

Local

CITIES: PROSECUTOR DENIES TARGETING MICHIGAN CITY MAYOR - LaPorte County Prosecutor John Lake denied accusations Tuesday of pursuing the arrest of fellow Democrat Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer's stepson for political reasons (Kasarda, NWI Times). Lake's testimony came as 55-year-old Meer made an initial court appearance on criminal charges stemming from accusations of fabricating a story with Michigan City police in an attempt to clear his stepson from a separate criminal case and frame Lake as a conspirator in his son’s arrest. His defense attorney, Scott King, asked the judge to replace Lake with a special prosecutor.

CITIES: ELKHART MAYOR-ELECT SAYS TRANSITION MOVING FORWARD - Mayor-elect Rod Roberson announced on Tuesday that his transition team is moving forward with hiring department leaders and making board and key-staff appointments (Jorgensen, Elkhart Truth). “I will be opening all department head positions to a search process that will be fair and transparent. This will ensure that our city benefits from ‘unparalleled service’ throughout my tenure as leader of this city,” the Democrat said in a news release.

CITIES: HEARING ON RECOUNT FOR PIVOTAL COLUMBUS COUNCIL SEAT - The path to determine which political party will have the majority on the Columbus City Council for the next four years was described Tuesday by a local judge. (Webber, Columbus Republic). But following that path could keep a final decision up in the air until the Friday before Christmas. A hearing was conducted Tuesday before Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge James Worton regarding the recount petition filed by incumbent Republican District 1 Councilman Dascal Bunch.

CITIES: BUTTIGIEG CLIMATE PLAN APPROVED IN SOUTH BEND - The city’s Common Council has unanimously supported one of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s final initiatives, a plan aimed at preventing catastrophic global changes by reducing the city’s carbon emissions (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). At a public hearing Tuesday night, everyone who spoke asked the council to pass a resolution supporting the plan but some people said it should merely be a first step toward bolder action later.

CITIES: BLOOMINGTON SEEKS MASTER PLANNING & DESIGN SERVICES - The city of Bloomington’s Redevelopment Commission has issued a Request for Information seeking a team to provide Master Planning and Design services for the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Redevelopment Project (McLaughlin, Inside Indiana Business). Officials say the hospital site will be available for redevelopment when IU Health leaves its current buildings and moves its operations to the new IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center on the east side of Bloomington in late 2021. 

CITIES: INDYGO RED LINE TO START COLLECTING FARES - After multiple delays, the IndyGo Red Line bus rapid transit is ready to start collecting fares (Hignite, WISH-TV). The temporary pay system can be found at every Red Line stop. News 8 was able to see the system put to use before the big launch on Sunday. It has been a tough road in terms fare collection for the Red Line. The company, Flow Bird, who is in charge of the online pay system didn’t deliver the product in time. After multiple push backs, IndyGo has been able to set up a temporary pay system to start collecting money for rides.

CITIES: $433K HUD GRANT FOR LAFAYETTE HOUSING - Lafayette heard Tuesday that it would receive more than $400,000 in additional federal funding to help people with mental illnesses and other disabilities get into suitable housing (Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier). Kimberly Wize, field office director U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the $433,718 coming Lafayette Housing Authority’s was nearly half of the $911,336 Indiana received from the agency’s Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program.

COUNTIES: BRIEFING OFFERS DETAILS ON POSSIBLE VIGO CASINO - Prospective Terre Haute casino operator Spectacle Entertainment on Tuesday morning briefed Vigo County officials on a proposed $125 million casino that would be located on 22 acres south of Walmart East next to Holiday Inn Express (Greninger, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). John Keeler, a Spectacle vice president, said the casino would be called the “Rocksino by Hard Rock,” would be 100,000 square feet and employ about 600 workers if the company is awarded the state casino license. The Rocksino would include sports betting, a 300-seat entertainment theater called The Velvet Lounge, a buffet, a cafe, bars, a steak house and other features, Keeler said.

COUNTIES: POSSIBLY MORE FUNDS FOR MARION CORONER - Some City-County Council leaders say the Marion County Coroner's Office needs more money to address the rise in death investigations (Campbell, WTHR-TV). The agency's budget was cut this year, but now there's a proposal to increase it by more than $300,000. The coroner's office recently expressed concern over staffing shortfalls, supplies and pathology costs. FOP President Rick Snyder says while the money is needed, it's evidence of violence surging in the community.