RECORD EARLY VOTE PRECURSOR TO BIG ELECTION DAY: An historic number of early voters is causing anxiety for county clerks, who are bracing for waves of voters and a late night spent tallying on Election Day (Hayden CNHI). In communities big and small, election officials have added voting machines, poll workers, and vote-count teams in anticipation of a still-rolling wave of voters turning out for a contentious presidential race and close contests elsewhere on the ballot. “The numbers are so big this year, that’s what’s going to slow everybody down. Everybody has more than what they’re used to,” said Debra Walker, chief election official in rural Henry County and president of the Indiana Association of County Clerks. As of late Sunday, Indiana had seen a record number of early ballots cast - more than 711,000 out of 4.7 million eligible voters. At that point, there was still one more day of early voting to go in many counties. That total was nearly 49,000 more early votes than were cast in 2008, when President Barack Obama narrowly won this historically Republican state. This time it’s the polarizing contest between Republican Donald Trump – whose running mate is Gov. Mike Pence – and Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, as well as close contests for U.S. Senate and governor, that are drawing voters to the polls. For Walker and other election workers, it’s meant more work and worry than ever. In Walker's small county of 45,000 people, she said she has added voting machines by one-third and added three more bi-partisan vote-count teams in anticipation of high voter turnout. Recruiting extra poll workers has been a challenge statewide, she said. Some longtime poll workers, mostly older ones, due to the potential for conflict in a contentious presidential race in which Trump has warned of a “rigged” election and called on supporters to monitor polling locations for fraud. “That’s what we’ve heard from older people who usually help us, worried there could be ruckuses at the polls,” she said. “You don’t know how disruptive people are going to be.”

 

PENCE TO VOTE IN INDIANA THIS MORNING: Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana First Lady Karen Pence will vote at St. Thomas Aquinas School at 11 a.m. (Howey Politics Indiana).  The school is located at 4600 N. Illinois Street, Indianapolis.  After voting, the Pence’s will depart from Indianapolis International Airport at noon for New York City where they will join Donald Trump and family to watch election results.

 

CLINTON UP 4% IN FINAL FOX POLL: With one day before Election Day, Hillary Clinton has a four percentage-point lead over Donald Trump, according to the final Fox News national pre-election poll of likely voters (Fox News). She’s ahead by 48-44 percent, while Gary Johnson receives 3 percent and Jill Stein 2 percent. In the two-way race, it’s also Clinton over Trump by 48-44 percent.

 

4% CLINTON LEAD IN CBS TRACKER: With just one day left in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton holds a four-point lead over Donald Trump nationally, 45 percent to 41 percent -- similar to last week. Few voters say their minds could change (CBS News). Trump leads among white men, whites without a college degree, and seniors. Clinton leads among women, African-Americans and younger voters, and she has an edge among whites with a college degree. Clinton voters are more likely to strongly favor their candidate than Trump voters, while Trump voters are slightly more likely than Clinton voters to cast their vote because they dislike the other candidates.

 

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT GIVES CLINTON 70% VICTORY CHANCE: First things first: Hillary Clinton has a 70 percent chance of winning the election, according to both the FiveThirtyEight polls-only and polls-plus models. That’s up from a 65 percent chance on Sunday night, so Clinton has had a good run in the polls in the final days of the campaign. Clinton’s projected margin of victory in the popular vote has increased to 3.5 percent from 2.9 percent (FiveThirtyEight). We’ll continue to collect polls through early Tuesday morning, at which point we’ll update the model for the last time and publish a more philosophical overview on the race. But I’m not sure how much more data we’re really expecting — most of it will probably just be state and national tracking polls that run one last update. As a lot of you noticed, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida flipped from red to blue over the course of Monday. We don’t think that’s a particularly meaningful metric, because the forecasts are probabilistic — Clinton’s chances of winning Florida increased to 54 percent from 48 percent, for instance, which is nontrivial but not an especially large change.

 

SENIOR HOLLINGSWORTH'S PAC MAKING ANTI-YODER ROBOCALLS: It seems Trey Hollingsworth's main backer is unaware of - or indifferent to - Indiana laws prohibiting political robocalls (Howey Politics Indiana). A robocall received and recorded on voicemail by HPI at dinnertime yesterday was attributed to Indiana Jobs Now, a political action committee funded solely by Joe Hollingsworth, Jr., the father of the Republican candidate in the race to represent Indiana's 9th CD. The 30-second robocall singled out the endorsement of Democratic candidate Shelli Yoder by Emily's List, a group of over 3 million members with the mission to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. "Shelley Yoder doesn't share our values," the robocall stated in closing. "Indiana Jobs Now PAC is responsible for the content of this advertising. It's not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. Indiana Jobs Now dot com paid for by Indiana Jobs Now PAC." In an article entitled "How to Buy a Seat in Congress" and published Nov. 4, Craig Fehrman of Slate, noting all of the PAC's $1 million in funding comes from the senior Hollingsworth, stated, "It's hard to think of a better campaign finance farce than a father supporting but not 'coordinating' with his son." As Fox59 reported Oct. 19, Indiana has some of the strictest laws in the nation when it comes to robocalls. State Attorney General Greg Zoeller said, "We have a strict prohibition against that and we will bring actions against any candidate, any company that breaks that statute." The phone number associated with the call carried an 812 area code.

 

YODER CAMPAIGN TO SEEK INJUNCTION FIRST THING THIS MORNING: Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's opinion is being sought on apparent last-minute computerized, automated 'robo-calls' made by 'Indiana Jobs Now,' the SuperPac of Joe Hollingsworth, on behalf of his son Tennessee Trey Hollingsworth, the candidate for Indiana's 9th congressional district, according to a news release from the Shelli Yoder for Congress campaign. "This is a matter worthy of review by Indiana's top law enforcement officer," said Alex Rosselli, Shelli Yoder's campaign manager. "After recent reports of Tennessee Trey falsely claiming residency in at least six states other than Indiana, his father has now violated Indiana law in his pursuit to buy the election for his son. The Hollingsworths seem to think that they are above the law, or don't believe that they will ever be caught or punished." The Yoder campaign stated it is seeking the counsel of the Indiana Attorney General's Office and will pursue an injunction first thing this morning.

 

LAWSON'S OFFICE 'CONFIDENT IN INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS': With Election Day rolling in, the Indiana Secretary of State's office is taking extra measures to prepare for a potential cyber attack (Mullis, Statehouse File). "I can tell you we are confident in the integrity of our elections," said Valerie Warycha, communications director for the Secretary of State's office. Working with both local and national Homeland Security, FBI officials, Indiana State Police and other law enforcement organizations, Warycha said the Secretary of State's office is taking precautions. "[These federal agencies] have notified us of IP addresses to watch for that have tried to hack into other states statewide voter registration systems," Warycha said. "Indiana's voting equipment is not connected to the internet. In addition, there are 92 counties in Indiana and they don't all use the same equipment. This provides an extra layer of security in our state." Laura Albright, an assistant professor of political science at University of Indianapolis, said part of the reason Indiana still has the "old fashion system," instead of internet voting, is to avoid the possibility of invalid ballots. If a voter suspects fraud or a potential violation, they are encouraged to call the Secretary of State's office at 866-461-8683 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

 

MADISON COUNTY TO PAY RANSOM IN COMPUTER HACKING CASE: On the advice of their insurance company, Madison County officials are moving forward to pay ransom demands by a unknown group that attacked the county's computer system (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Madison County was hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend that prevented access to county records. The attack has not impacted the election board, where the records are maintained on a separate computer server. County officials are hoping the problem will be resolved by Wednesday once the encryption code is received from the hackers. "We're following the directions of our insurance carrier," Madison County Commissioner John Richwine said Monday. The amount of the ransom is not being provided by the commissioners, but Richwine said it was for an amount less than most county residents would have anticipated.

 

MAYOR HENRY RESTING FOLLOWING HEART SURGERY: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is recovering from heart surgery (McGowan, Inside Indiana Business). Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer will handle day-to-day operations with the help of other city departments. A statement issued by Henry's office says the bypass procedure was a success and "he is resting comfortably and anticipates returning to regular work activities in the next week to 10 days." Henry took office in 2008. Bandemer was named deputy mayor in 2013 after serving as vice president of downtown development for the former Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, which is now Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

 

CLINTON CARRIES DIXVILLE NOTCH: Dixville Notch, the quirky northern New Hampshire town that traditionally votes early on Election Day, has tallied this year's results — and Hillary Clinton is the local winner (Politico). Clinton won four votes, while Donald Trump picked up two. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson earned one vote, as did former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who isn't running. The small community — with a registered population of 12 in the 2010 census — is known for its tradition of casting their ballots shortly after midnight on Election Day while gathered in a single ballroom. The tradition dates back to 1960, when the town cast its nine votes for Richard Nixon's presidential bid. Dixville Notch had seen a tie in 2012, with Romney and Democratic incumbent Barack Obama each receiving five votes. In 2008, Obama had been the first Democrat ever to win the hamlet, collecting 15 votes.

 

ASTRONAUT VOTE OUT OF THIS WORLD: This election is officially out of this world (CBS News). NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the sole American currently off the planet, has filed his absentee ballot from the International Space Station. Kimbrough launched into space on October 19th, and cast his vote sometime over the past few days, NASA confirmed to the AP. Kimbrough told reporters before he left Earth that he is “pretty much apolitical,” but that he was excited to be able to say “I voted from space.”

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Howey Politics Indiana will be staffing both Republican and Democratic election return events tonight. Watch the HPI website throughout this evening for the latest election results. And to our subscribers and readers, thanks for reading HPI during this epic election year. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

 

SOME POLL WORKERS BACKED OUT FOR FEAR OF CONFLICT: Some longtime poll workers, mostly older ones, backed out of working the polls due to the potential for conflict in a contentious presidential race in which Trump has warned of a "rigged" election and called on supporters to monitor polling locations for fraud (Hayden, CNHI). "That's what we've heard from older people who usually help us, worried there could be ruckuses at the polls," said Debra Walker, chief election official in rural Henry County and president of the Indiana Association of County Clerks. "You don't know how disruptive people are going to be." Some election officials say it could all add up to delays in the release of results on Election Day.

 

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING FRAUDULENT VOTING TEXTS: State police and local election officials said early Monday they were investigating who is sending misleading texts to voters across Northwest Indiana (Dolan, NWI Times). Pat Gabrione, the ranking Republican member of the Lake County elections board staff, said Monday he has heard of voters receiving messages through social media directing voters on Election Day to polling place outside their home communities. "We've heard of texts that were sending Gary voters to Lowell, and to people in Rensselaer (Jasper County) to Gary," Gabrione said. Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Al Williamson said Monday: "We have a complaint from one individual who got the text. It has happened in LaPorte County as well. The number doesn't come back to anyone. It's just a blank text on social media; says bring your photo ID to vote, and I'll call you back to see how it turned out." Williamson said he also is trying to track a second text that allegedly directed a voter to a polling place outside their precinct. Gabrione said he is concerned someone may be attempting to discourage people from voting. "If someone can call all the Crown Point people who haven't voted early and they direct them to the other side of town, by the time they get back to where they are supposed to be, it will be too late," Gabrione said.

 

LEAKED SEARCH WARRANT STIRS VOTER FRAUD CONTROVERSY: Some Indiana Voter Registration Project employees may have fabricated voter information and filled out registrations for people who were already registered to vote in order to meet a daily quota, according to a search warrant obtained Monday by Call 6 Investigates (Lewbel, WRTV). The warrant stems from an investigation that began in August and which eventually grew to 56 Indiana counties. Possible misconduct by the Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP), which is run by the liberal-leaning Patriot Majority USA super PAC, was reported to Indiana State Police after county clerks began receiving registrations that were found to be "very sloppy and missing information." A subsequent investigation found dozens of voter registrations in Madison, Lake, Marion, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock and Johnson counties had missing or incorrect voter information or signatures that didn't match those on record. Some of the registrations were found to have been filled out for residents who were already registered to vote.

 

PATRIOT MAJORITY RESPONDS: After Call 6 Investigates obtained the search warrant Monday, a spokesperson for the organization released this statement (Lewbel, WRTV): "Patriot Majority USA is a respected organization dedicated to voting rights and fair elections. Today's selective leak of sealed court documents is both suspicious and outrageous given that it is less than 24 hours before the election. It is disturbing, to say the least, that the very first story by Channel 6 claimed that the source of the search warrant was the Indiana State Police. If this selective leak of sealed court documents was deliberate, it is misconduct and would constitute a contempt of court order. It should also be noted that the police and other authorities have copies of the organization's manual, which clearly states that quotas were not part of the program and clearly states that falsifying information of any kind is not allowed and is punishable by law."

 

JUDGE WANTS TO KNOW HOW SEARCH WARRANT WAS LEAKED: A Marion County judge wants to know how a sealed search warrant affidavit for an alleged voter fraud investigation was leaked (Haeberle, WISH-TV). Defense attorneys for a voter registration group, Patriot Majority USA, requested and were granted an emergency hearing Monday evening with a prosecutor and a Marion County judge after details of the document were published by another news outlet. I-Team 8 was present in the clerk's office Monday evening but were kept out of the meeting held in the judge's chambers. At issue is a search warrant affidavit that the judge told I-Team 8 remains under seal. Linda Pence, attorney for the voter registration group founded by a Democratic strategist, said that the Patriot Majority USA's local outlet - the Indiana Voter Registration Project - was a "respectable organization" that helped register 45,000 voters in Indiana. Pence said that the group has been the target of Republicans and denied allegations she says were levied against the organization. "There are no quotas, certainly if people aren't doing there work you expect them to have some applications… This is a respectable organization," Pence said in an interview with I-Team 8. "It is not voter fraud. It is not voter registration fraud. It is just making things up. I am angered by the fact that this information is being leaked the afternoon before the election."

 

DEMOCRATS TEXT INCORRECT POLLING PLACES TO VOTERS: The Indiana Democratic Party says a glitch in its voter mobilization text-messaging system sent hundreds of voters the wrong polling places for Tuesday's election (Associated Press). Party spokesman Drew Anderson says "a data-match error" resulted in texts being sent to some voters that listed their incorrect polling place. He said the party believes fewer than 2,000 voters received texts that included the wrong polling location. Anderson said the party is sending voters who received the incorrect texts a new message informing them to go to a website to confirm their polling location. He said the party apologizes "for any inconvenience" the situation created. U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Tim Horty said the Marion County Clerk's has alerted the agency to several voters who received texts listing their incorrect polling place.

 

SABATO MOVES GOVERNOR RACE TO 'LEANS D': We see a split in two open red state seats by narrowly favoring former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens (R) in Missouri and 2012 nominee John Gregg (D) in Indiana (Sabato's Crystal Ball). Perhaps there's a "time for a change" dynamic that could provide a tiny boost to Greitens and Gregg: Jay Nixon (D) is leaving the Missouri governorship after two terms, while Republicans have held the office in Indiana for three straight terms (one-term Gov. Mike Pence couldn't run for reelection after taking the GOP's VP slot, and he was preceded by the very well-regarded two-termer Mitch Daniels). Voters can tire of one party in the state's top job just like they can tire of one party in the nation's top job.

 

GREGG ADDS CHURCH STOP TO TODAY'S ITINERARY: An email from the John Gregg for Governor campaign indicated the Democratic candidate has added a stop to the afternoon itinerary published in yesterday's HPI Daily Wire (Howey Politics Indiana). After voting at 7 a.m. in Sandborn, Gregg will travel to Terre Haute to visit the Vigo County Democratic Headquarter at 9:30 a.m. He will join his running mate, Christina Hale, and a host of other party candidates and supporters at noon at Indy's Kountry Kitchen. Following, he is now slated to appear at 2 p.m. at the Messiah Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis. Hale begins the day at 7 a.m. to vote in Indianapolis. She next appears at the campaign field office in Fishers at 9:30 a.m. before visiting the Indianpolis field office at 2601 E. 46th St. at 11 a.m. After lunch with Gregg, Hale will stop by the Indianapolis field office located at IBEW 481 on N. College Ave. As the day ends, the candidates will gather for the Indiana Democratic Party's Watch Party at the Indiana Convention Center's 500 Ballroom. Howey Politics will be on hand to record the evening's events.

 

GREGG URGES SUPPORTERS TO SHARE VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER: Jeff Harris, Communications Director for the Gregg for Governor campaign, sent an email to supporters asking them to post any of six videos, with links included in the body of the email, with a friend or on social media. The videos variously discuss the candidates background, endorsements and plans for the state.

 

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT HAS YOUNG 2.5 POINTS OVER BAYH: FiveThirtyEight estimates Republican Todd Young has a 68.6% chance of winning Indiana's open U.S. Senate seat today (Howey Politics Indiana). Democrat Evan Bayh is at 31.4%. According to the analysis, FiveThirtyEight derived the figure after reviewing and adjusting 17 polls in Indiana, including our own WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana poll. Projected vote share is 49.7 for Young, 47.2 for Bayh. As for the Senate, FiveThirtyEight estimates nearly even chances of either party being in control after today's ballots are tallied, with Democrats having a slight edge 50.1% to 49.9%.

 

SABATO SEES SENATE SPLIT 50/50: We're forecasting Democrats to win control of the Senate, but only by the slimmest of margins (Sabato's Crystal Ball). Overall, we're picking a net gain of four for Democrats in the Senate, which results in a 50-50 tie in Congress' upper chamber. If we're right about the presidential contest, that means Vice President Tim Kaine (D) will be breaking ties after Inauguration. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) would appoint Kaine's replacement in the Senate (long-serving Rep. Bobby Scott, an African American, is the likeliest choice). If there is an evenly divided Senate, the next important date will be Nov. 7, 2017, when the Old Dominion will hold a special election for the remainder of Kaine's term in office (that seat also will be up for regular election in 2018). There's also the potential for a party change that alters the Senate's leadership if it is indeed 50-50. Regarding Indiana's tight race, Sabato wrote Democrat Evan Bayh "might manage a narrow win, but we think it's more likely that Rep. Todd Young (R, IN-9) will defeat Bayh once the votes are tallied."

 

YODER IN BLOOMINGTON, GREENWOOD, NEW ALBANY TODAY: A news release from the Shelli Yoder for Congress campaign indicated the Democratic candidate to represent the 9th CD will make stops in Bloomington, Greenwood and New Albany today (Howey Politics Indiana).

 

STATE GOP TO GATHER AT J.W. MARRIOTT TONIGHT: Candidates and supporters of the Indiana Republican Party will gather this evening at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis (Howey Politics Indiana). Doors open at 6 p.m. to the White River Ballroom. Howey Politics will be on hand to record the evening's events.

 

INDEM WATCH PARTY AT INDY CONVENTION CENTER: The Indiana Democratic Election Night Watch Party opens to the public tonight at 6 in the Indiana Convention Center 500 Ballroom (Howey Politics Indiana). Attendees are advised to use the doors at the intersection of Capital Ave. and Georgia St. Howey Politics will be on hand to record the evening's events.

 

RECENTLY DECEASED CANDIDATE TO REMAIN ON ALLEN COUNTY BALLOTS: The Allen County Election Board had a special public meeting Monday to decide what to do about the death of Allen County Council Republican candidate Roy Buskirk - and decided to do nothing (Rodriguez, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Buskirk's name will remain on the ballot, and the 72-year-old incumbent will be eligible for votes, even though he succumbed to cancer Friday. Board members discussed whether they should post notices in polling places informing voters of the death or remove Buskirk's name from contention. They also briefly discussed the potential impact of the death on the validity of votes cast in early or absentee voting and how those votes could affect the election's outcome. But in the end, the three board members took no vote, saying any action would be outside the scope of state law. According to the board, votes for Buskirk will be certified as valid, and if he wins, the Republican Party will caucus to select a successor. That person would fill out the remainder of Buskirk's term and likely serve his upcoming term, which begins Jan. 1.

 

BAIRD FACING FIRST-TIME CANDIDATE IN HD44: One thing is certain in the District 44 state representative race on Tuesday's election ballot: You don't need a crystal ball to predict that the winner will be a local resident (Bernsee, Greencastle Banner-Graphic). That's because incumbent Republican Jim Baird, seeking his fourth term in the statehouse, is being challenged by Democrat Kim Fidler, a first-time candidate. Both Baird and Fidler reside in Greencastle. A lifelong resident of Putnam County, Baird was first elected to the statehouse in November 2010 when he defeated incumbent Democrat Nancy Michael, the former three-term Greencastle mayor. A lifelong resident of Owen and Putnam counties, Fidler resides in Greencastle. A Spanish teacher at South Putnam High School for 16 years, she has been a UniServ director for the Indiana State Teachers Association for the past 10 years. A Vietnam veteran, farmer and small business owner, Baird says District 44 residents are concerned about jobs, education, infrastructure and substance abuse.

 

MANY ELKHART CANDIDATES UNOPPOSED, INCLUDING SD 9 & HD 49: Though it's not yet Election Day, the outcome of several Elkhart County races isn't in doubt (Vandenack, Elkhart Truth). Numerous candidates holding or seeking posts that serve Elkhart County are named on the ballot but face no opponents and are all but assured victory. According to the Elkhart County Clerk's Office website, they include: Ryan Mishler, a Republican from Bremen seeking re-election to the District 9 Indiana Senate spot, and Wes Culver, a Republican from Goshen seeking re-election to the District 49 Indiana House seat.

 

RECORD 854K HOOISERS VOTED BY MONDAY MIDDAY: According to the Indiana Secretary of State's Election Division, as of 1 p.m. on Monday, more than 854,000 people had voted early, either through mail or at polling locations - far surpassing 2008's modern record of 662,000 ballots (Fentem, Indiana Public Media). That number doesn't include travel or military votes, and is expected to rise.

 

WILL RAIN HELP REPUBLICANS TODAY? If the old saying holds true, Republicans have been praying for rain for Election Day (Hays, IndyStar). The National Weather Service has predicted rain in the Indianapolis area for Tuesday, but it shouldn't be more than a light drizzle - with an accumulation of less than a tenth-of-an-inch. And if the old American adage holds true, a little rain on Election Day could help the Republicans. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Politics showed that increased precipitation on Election Day does, sometimes, affect voting trends. According to the study, which examined voter turnout in relation to weather from 1948 to 2000, for every one inch increase in rain above the normal, the Republican presidential candidate received an extra 2.5 percent of the vote. For every increase of snow above normal, the Republican candidate received an extra 0.6 percent of the vote share. But Paul Helmke, former Fort Wayne mayor and current professor of practice at IU Bloomington's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said Tuesday's chances of a drizzle likely won't be substantial enough to sway the election.

 

TRUMP WINS NORTHEASTERN H.S. MOCK ELECTION 65-18%: Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the U.S. presidential race in Northeastern High School's mock election (Emery, Richmond Palladium-Item). Grades 9-12 were eligible to participate in the election at the Fountain City school. The polls opened Friday and were closed Monday. The election was conducted through a program called Survey Monkey via the students' iPads. Trump earned 65 percent of the vote, followed by Hillary Clinton with 17.69 percent, Gary Johnson with 15.77 percent and Jill Stein with 1.54 percent. Sixty-one percent of students voted, said social studies teacher Mike Roeder. "I have held these student mock elections during five presidential elections and this is, by far, the largest participation percentage we have ever had," Roeder said. "They usually parallel the adult vote fairly closely."

 

FAMILES, FRIENDS FEEL RIFT AS ELECTION NEAR CONCLUSION: This highly-contentious election season has made some Americans angry and caused rifts in families, leaving many people concerned about what could happen after the election (Longnecker, WTHR-TV). A national Monmouth University Poll conducted in September found 70 percent thought the presidential election has brought out the worst in people. While an overwhelming 93 percent said this election hasn't cost them any friendships, 7 percent said it has. Such division is the reason the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis held prayer vigils at their churches across the city Monday. "The election has been so filled with vitriol that there is a lot of stress being experienced across the nation and I think the need for healing is pretty great," said Rev. Michelle Roos with St. Phillips Episcopal Church. Episcopal priests say they've seen the toll the election has taken on their flocks.

 

COMEY PUTS HOUSE OUT OF DEM’S REACH: Top Democrats have all but ruled out a House takeover, saying fallout from FBI Director James Comey’s decision to publicly revisit the Hillary Clinton email probe days before the election likely derailed their hopes to reclaim the chamber (Politico). During an afternoon caucus call Monday, Democratic leaders insisted there was clear indication that several tossup House races had tightened after Comey's announcement — regardless of the FBI director again clearing Clinton Sunday. “Republicans were coming home anyway, but a couple of points nationwide has an impact on our races,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on the call.

 

PELOSI CALLS COMEY BOMBSHELLS INAPPROPRIATE: House Democratic leaders told rank-and-file members on a conference call on Monday that FBI Director James Comey's letter sent to Capitol Hill in late October indicating more Clinton emails were under review hurt the party's chances in the effort to retake control of the House of Representatives (CNN). The top House Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, who has been publicly critical of the FBI director, called Comey's letter "out of line" according to one Democrat on the call, but said it did have the benefit of boosting fundraising efforts from some small donors to House candidates.

 

CALIFORNIA COULD TIP POT SCALES: If marijuana becomes legal in California, the world's sixth-largest economy and the country's most populous state, it could have the biggest impact on the national scene (CNN). In 1996, the state was the first to make medical marijuana legal. A "yes" on Proposition 64 would make it legal for people 21 or older to use it recreationally. There would be a 15% sales tax, and its cultivation would be taxed. The money would be used in part to study drug research, to study treatment and to help with enforcement of the law. The state's two largest newspapers back the measure, as does the California Democratic Party, while Republicans are against it. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times Friday that she plans to vote in favor of it. That makes Pelosi the highest-ranking, sitting elected official in either political party to support legalizing a drug the federal government currently considers a Schedule 1 narcotic. A Schedule 1 narcotic is a drug with no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. The category also includes heroin.



Presidential 2016

 

CLINTON, TRUMP MAKE FINAL PITCH: Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump hopscotched from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Michigan on Monday in the final, frenzied hours of the presidential campaign, offering clashing closing arguments as the sprawling map of the United States was reduced to a string of must-win states (New York Times). Accompanied by rock stars, ex-presidents, old friends and their grown children, the Democratic and Republican nominees pleaded with voters to end a traumatic campaign with an emphatic endorsement of their visions for the country. In Philadelphia, Mrs. Clinton drew the biggest crowd of her 19-month campaign to the vast plaza in front of Independence Hall, where Bruce Springsteen, the balladeer of working-class America, rhapsodized about her values and the candidate portrayed herself as a protector of freedom and equality. “Tomorrow we face the test of our time. What will we vote for — not just against?” Mrs. Clinton asked. “Every issue you care about is at stake.” In Manchester, N.H., Mr. Trump took the stage with his family at Southern New Hampshire University Arena as “God Bless the U.S.A.” blared, blue laser beams illuminated the dark hall and a smoke machine piped a haze over the crowd. Mr. Trump asked a country polarized over his personality and tactics to embrace his plan to thoroughly shake up Washington. “I am asking for the votes of all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents,” Mr. Trump said, “who are so desperately in need of change.”

 

CLINTON EARLY FLORIDA VOTE SURGES: In a final surge, Florida Democrats stormed early voting polling stations in the Sunday before Election Day and widened their lead over Republicans to 88,000 ballots cast thanks to the strong support of African-Americans and Latinos in the nation’s biggest battleground state (Politico). The Democrats nearly tripled their Saturday lead thanks to historic voting numbers in just two counties: Miami-Dade and Broward. About 100,000 voters showed up to those two counties Sunday, casting almost 39 percent of the ballots in the 16 counties that held a final day of in-person early voting before Election Day.

 

TRUMP SAYS IT’S ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’: The Trump Train's final stop was not a heartfelt appeal to voters in a crucial state on the GOP nominee's path to the White House (NBC News). Instead, it was a winding road of his greatest hits — the same riffs that earned him notoriety through the primaries and were pillars of his general election message, despite the efforts of advisers. Assuming the stage for his fifth appearance of the day, Trump seemed worn but kept his usual confidence including the classic call-and-response: "Who's going to pay for the wall? MEXICO! Trump declared Tuesday "our Independence Day" and looked forward to closing "the history books on the Clintons and their lies and schemes and corruption." "We are hours away from a once in a lifetime change," he said. Trump swore an end to Syrian refugees being let into the U.S. and laid the groundwork for "a lot" more visits to the Mitten state as he works to bring jobs and factories back here.

 

HILLARY ENDS CAMPAIGN WITH GAGA: Hillary Clinton capped off 18 months of campaigning with a star-studded midnight rally in this crucial battleground state (NBC News). "This election will end but our work together will be just beginning," she said to a deafening crowd at North Carolina State University. "We have to bridge the divides in this country." Pop star Lady Gaga and New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi performed before Clinton took the stage. Afterward, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton spoke briefly to introduce the Democratic nominee. "She stands before us proud, like a lady," Gaga said. She's ready to be president."

 

TRUMP SAYS ‘WE DON’T NEED GAGA’: While Hillary Clinton is making her final election-day sprint with a team of celebrities by her side, Donald Trump says he's better off without them (NBC News). "We don't need Jay Z or Beyoncé. We don't need Jon Bon Jovi. We don't need Lady Gaga. All we need is great ideas to make America great again," Trump said at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the last four days Clinton has hosted a star-studded line-up spanning the political and celebrity spectrum. In addition to the top musicians name-checked by Trump, the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, LeBron James and Katy Perry have made guest appearances at Clinton rallies. Trump, for his part, had rocker Ted Nugent joining him onstage.

 

LEFT SWINGS TO CLINTON: On Saturday morning, shortly before Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) was introduced to his last Iowa audience of the campaign, an Iowa State organizer named Kaleb Vanfosson stepped up to the microphone. He started talking about student loan debt and how “full-time bigot Donald Trump” had no plan to alleviate it. Then he argued that Hillary Clinton had no plan, either (Washington Post). “She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost a grip on what it’s like to be an average person,” he said as a campaign worker appeared to direct him to an exit. “She doesn’t care. Voting for another 'the lesser of two evils,' there’s no point.” The moment, which went a little viral, was jarring not because it represented a trend; it was jarring because it didn’t. After the most ideologically fraught Democratic primary since at least the 1980s, and after a convention that saw multiple walkouts by some Sanders delegates, Clinton appears to have less of a challenge on her left flank than Al Gore did in 2000; final polls show her enjoying party loyalty comparable to that of Barack Obama in his two campaigns.

 

MOOK, CONWAY MAKE FINAL ASSESSMENT: There’s nothing left to do but spin. The campaign managers for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began the last day before election day with a blitz of the morning TV news shows, each portraying confidence based on varying assessments of the political map (Los Angeles Times). Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Kellyanne Conway said Trump was a candidate riding a wave of momentum to victory, pointing to what she said were massive crowds the Republican nominee has been drawing in states that Democrats should have locked up. “We’re going into her 248 blue wall,” Conway said, referring to the number of electoral college votes represented by typically blue states such as Minnesota, where Trump held a rally Sunday. “We have six different routes to 270,” she added, referring to the total number of electoral votes needed to clinch the White House. Robby Mook, at the helm of the data-obsessed Clinton campaign, seemed to scoff when asked about the confidence Trump’s team was exuding based on enthusiasm and momentum. “Those are subjective terms,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “We think we have those on our side now. What I know we have as well is record turnout.”

 

TRUMP DIDN’T RELEASE TAX RETURNS:  Election Day is just hours away and one of the campaign's greatest mysteries remains unsolved: Donald Trump never released his tax returns (ABC News). The Republican presidential candidate's campaign was full of firsts, but he also earned the title of the first major party candidate not to release his tax returns since President Gerald Ford. Trump repeatedly claimed that his taxes were under routine audit and said that he would release them as soon as the audit was completed. He later said that he would do so if Hillary Clinton released the 33,000 emails that she deleted.

 

FBI DIDN’T HAVE TO REVIEW 650K WEINER EMAILS: Out of hundreds of thousands of emails seized last month from disgraced former Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a substantial number turned out to be copies of documents already reviewed by F.B.I. agents and analysts, allowing the agency to wrap up in days a review that some had feared would take weeks, if not longer (New York Times). The F.B.I. discovered approximately 650,000 emails on a computer that agents had seized while investigating Mr. Weiner on allegations of sexual improprieties. Some of those emails belonged to Huma Abedin, Mr. Weiner’s estranged wife and a top aide to Hillary Clinton. As it turned out, law enforcement officials said, there was no need to review all of the emails, only Ms. Abedin’s. Those emails numbered in the thousands, and even many of those were duplicates of messages that had been looked at previously, officials said. That allowed the F.B.I. to sort through the emails faster than many, including some at the agency, had expected. “You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days,” Donald J. Trump said at a rally on Sunday. Maybe not, but they didn’t have to.

 

PRO-TRUMP SUPER-PACS SPEND $46.2M THIS MONTH: Super-PACs working to elect Trump have spent $46.2 million in November, while super-PACs on Team Hillary have spent $27.7 million (Choma, Mother Jones). Not surprisingly, the vast majority of that super-PAC money has been spent on negative ads attacking the candidates. Of the $35 million in attack ads hitting Clinton in the last week, a full $28 million of it has come from either Future 45, a super-PAC that has raised $10 million from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, or from the 45 Committee, a dark-money group that is closely affiliated with Future 45 but which does not disclose it's donors. Of the $23 million spent attacking Trump, $13.6 million has come from the pro-Clinton super-PAC Priorities USA. In its last fundraising report, Priorities USA disclosed that it had raised $18 million from a variety of prominent Democratic donors.



Congress

 

PERDUE SAYS SCOTUS STALL WOULD BE ‘DERELICTION OF DUTY’: Georgia Sen. David Perdue dismissed a recent plan floated by conservatives to indefinitely block Hillary Clinton from ever confirming a Supreme Court justice, calling plans for a unilateral blockade a “dereliction of duty” (Politico). Heritage Action for America along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have all floated the idea of unified GOP opposition to a Clinton nomination, though Burr and McCain both walked back their initial comments. Though there will be enormous pressure on Republicans from conservative activists to stop Clinton from filling the existing vacancy, Perdue said the GOP should “absolutely” give any Clinton nominee a fair shake if she is victorious on Tuesday. “I hear what’s being said about that, but I think that’s a dereliction of duty. We’re called to advise and consent. We can say no, but that means you have a hearing,” Perdue, a conservative Republican who serves on the Judiciary Committee, told reporters in the Capitol on Monday. “I’m going to be one that says look, our oath of office says that we’re going to govern. And that’s what we should do.”

 

General Assembly

 

TAYLOR TO PROPOSE CHANGES TO EASE INDY EARLY VOTING WOES: The Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus issued a news item to media yesterday that indicated State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) will be proposing a bill during the 2017 legislative session that would require a majority vote by the Marion County Election Board - instead of the unanimous vote currently required by state law - to provide additional satellite early voting locations in Marion County. "Many less-populated Indiana counties have multiple satellite polling places available for early voting," Taylor stated. "Meanwhile, all residents of the state's largest county are restricted to voting early at one location, downtown at the City-County Building, with limited options for parking and a long line waiting for them."



State

 

GOVERNOR: AUTO SUPPLIER GROWING PRODUCTION IN MADISON COUNTY - ELSA Corporation announced plans to increase its automotive parts production in Indiana to support growth at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) in Lafayette, the governor's office announced yesterday (Howey Politics Indiana). With its growth, the company plans to create a total of 114 new jobs to support increased production. The company, which is a subsidiary of Japan-based Sakamoto Industries, is investing $111 million into a multi-phase expansion, which once complete, will expand the company's operations to cover 686,000 square feet across multiple buildings on the company's Elwood campus. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered ELSA Corporation up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's plans to create up to 83 new jobs by 2018. The city of Elwood was set to consider additional tax incentives at a meeting last night.

 

ECONOMY: SANDERS ASKS JUSTICE DEPT. TO INVESTIGATE LILLY - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has expanded his criticism of Eli Lilly and Co. beyond 140 characters (Briggs, IndyStar). Days after Sanders blasted the pharmaceutical giant on Twitter, he and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Lilly and two other drugmakers for possible price collusion on insulin. The Democratic lawmakers cited research showing that the price of Lilly's fast-acting insulin Humalog increased by 103 percent from 2010 to 2014. Sanders and Cummings say Lilly might be colluding with French drugmaker Sanofi and Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk. They pointed to several instances in which the three drugmakers have "increased prices in lockstep," according to research and news reports. Bloomberg reported on the trend, called "shadow pricing," in May. From 2002 to 2013, the overall annual cost of insulin more than tripled, from $231 to $736, according to analysis by STAT.

 

SAFETY: I-65 AMONG MOST DEADLY HIGHWAYS IN THE COUNTRY - Interstate 65 is the 12th deadliest highway in the country, easily the deadliest per driver mile in Indiana and has been for years (Rutter, Post-Tribune). That estimation comes from FARS, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System of the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration. The study assessed the past five years (2011-15) and counted the number of accidents that occurred on every highway in the United States to identify fatal accident trends. Interstate 65 rings the bell at No. 12, with 36.5 deaths per 100 miles. But Indiana's share of risk is not comparatively high. Between 2004 and 2008, the road's 261 miles inside the state hosted 157 fatal accidents, but 50 state slices of other Interstates are more perilous. I-64 which skims across Indiana's east-west southern tier ranks No. 22. The 954-mile highway had 238 deaths during the period, for a rate of 25.0 per 100 miles. No. 1 on the list is state route 99 in California, with 62.3 deaths per 100 miles.

 

AGRICULTURE: SOYBEAN PRICES RALLY ON CHINA DEMAND - With Indiana's grain harvest nearly finished, the soybean market is getting a last-minute boost from export demands in countries like China (Ropiek, IPB News). China buys almost two-thirds of the world's soybeans every year. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says they come from two main markets, in two different hemispheres: "They buy aggressively from the United States in September, October, November, December; aggressively from South America in March, April, May and June," said Hurt. South America had a lackluster soybean harvest this year, thanks to bad weather. So now, Hurt says American soybean prices are seeing a late-season rally, as China and others try to offset that shortage by buying more from the U.S. But the rally may not last. Farmers in Indiana and other states are expected to plant even more soybeans in the coming years, to offset low grain prices. Hurt says that means, if South America has a good harvest next year, supply will be up, demand will be the same, and prices will go down. As of this week, Indiana's soybeans are 91 percent harvested. Hoosier corn is just behind, at 87 percent.

 

AGRICULTURE: FARMLAND VALUES DROP - Farmland values went down about 5.8 percent from 2015-2016 in Indiana, according to analysts at Farm Credit Mid-America (Quinlan, Indiana AgriNews). In the same time frame, the four-state region of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee saw a collective average value increase of 0.18 percent. "Compared to other states in our region, Indiana farmers are going to have more pressure - given their heavier reliance on the corn and grain industries," said Dennis Badger, vice president of collateral risk management for Farm Credit Mid-America. "Some of the other states might have a more diversified product line that helps maintain their values because they are less reliant on corn."

 

ENVIRONMENT: STATE PARKS TO CLOSE FOR DEER HUNTS - Eighteen Indiana state parks will temporarily close their gates to visitors this month for hunts targeting deer that threaten native plants (Associated Press). The parks will close to visitors on Nov. 14 and 15, and Nov. 28 and 29, but open to hunters eligible to take part in the hunts. Reducing the parks' deer populations helps maintain habitat for other animals and state-endangered plants. State wildlife biologists evaluate which parks need a deer reduction based on each park's habitat and previous deer-kill rates. This year's chosen parks are: Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, McCormick's Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. A hunt is also set for Spring Mill State Park's Cave River Valley Natural Area.

 

VANDALISM: STONE HEAD MARKER DECAPITATED - Stone Head no longer has a stone head (Couch, Brown County Democrat). The 165-year-old marker at State Road 135 South and Bellsville Pike was severely damaged and the head taken, reported "unofficial caretaker" Mike Kelley, who owns the House at Stone Head directly behind the historic marker. Kelley said he received a text message this morning from a friend asking what happened to the marker. He and his wife were out of town on vacation, and Kelley believes the incident may have happened last night. Kelley said it looked as if someone may have taken a sledgehammer to the statue. The original stonehead was placed to mark directions and distances to Indianapolis, Columbus and to other places which now no longer exist. This isn't the first time the marker has been damaged or stolen. A new head was created after it was stolen in 1974, Kelley said. Once the original was found, it replaced the replica, he said. The head was believed to be carved in the likeness of George Summa, a township road supervisor. The 1974 story said Cross carved it as payment of his road taxes.

 

Nation

 

JUSTICE: WATCHING POLLS IN 28 STATES - The Justice Department announced Monday that it is deploying more than 500 people to 67 different jurisdictions Tuesday to monitor polls during the general election (CBS News). The personnel are from the department’s civil rights division and they are deploying to jurisdictions in 28 states to help enforce the federal voting rights laws that protect voters’ access to ballots on Election Day. “As always, our personnel will perform these duties impartially, with one goal in mind: to see to it that every eligible voter can participate in our elections to the full extent that federal law provides,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “The department is deeply committed to the fair and unbiased application of our voting rights laws and we will work tirelessly to ensure that every eligible person that wants to do so is able to cast a ballot.”

 

MEDIA: JURY AWARDS $3M IN ROLLING STONE CASE - A federal jury has awarded $3 million in damages to a former University of Virginia associate dean after finding that a Rolling Stone magazine article sullied her reputation by alleging that she was indifferent to allegations of a gang rape on campus (Washington Post). The 10 jurors heard arguments for damages in the case Monday, determining that Nicole Eramo’s suffering should cost a reporter and Rolling Stone multiple millions as a result of the article, which was retracted after its serious flaws were exposed. Eramo testified during the trial that after the article published, she faced threats, lost her ability to pursue her life’s work as a sexual assault prevention advocate, and took a major hit to her professional credibility.



Local

 

CITIES: DISAGREEMENT OVER SOUTH BEND HOMELESS PLAN - Financial adviser Leo Priemer, whose downtown South Bend office is a block away from a tent city for the homeless that's developed under the Main Street viaduct, said he already locks his doors during regular business hours (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Those people living in the tents, many of whom are ineligible for the array of homeless programs in that part of the downtown because of their behavior or drug and alcohol abuse, could soon move much closer to Priemer. The city plans to give Hope Rescue Mission $125,000 to buy the former Kraz building on Monroe Street, next door to Priemer's office, to shelter people living in the tents this winter. The city's Board of Public Works has approved the expenditure, to come from Economic Development Income Tax money, which still must still pass the city's legal review. If that happens, Priemer said, he will consider moving out of the location he has operated for 25 years. But Mayor Pete Buttigieg stressed Friday that the city wants to have a more permanent solution in place by next winter, such as a plan to convert the former Olive School in the Rum Village neighborhood to housing units that would serve such individuals.

 

CITIES: JEFFERSONVILLE TO STUDY DOWNTOWN ZONING CHANGES - The Jeffersonville City Council decided Monday not to vote on downtown zoning changes that would allow eight-story residential buildings, among others (Beilman, News & Tribune). But it opened up the floor for the public to express their concerns or support of the changes. The downtown residential overlay district is intended to further spur development in the area by bringing more residents downtown. It's also a response to an internal study that predicts Jeffersonville will need 4,700 new housing units in the next five years - 705 of which the city wants downtown. The changes include increasing the maximum residential building height from 40 feet to 100 feet, requiring new developments to be close to the street and parking to be behind buildings. They signify a move away from traditional single family homes to a more diverse mix of housing. "I want to reinforce the idea of bringing people to our amenities," Planning and Zoning Director Nathan Pruitt said. However, almost all the downtown residents who spoke opposed the overlay district, specifically because of the building height increase.

 

CITIES: WEST LAFAYETTE SUPPORTS ADDING PROTECTED CLASSES - Anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and veteran status could soon be codified in ordinance in West Lafayette (Ervin, Lafayette Journal & Courier). On Monday, the West Lafayette City Council voted unanimously in favor of amending the Human Relations Commission ordinance to included the four new protected classes. The ordinance amendment must still pass a second reading at next month's city council meeting. Previously, these four classes received protection from resolutions. The city passed a resolution with protections for sexual orientation in 1993. Gender identity, gender expression and veteran status got a resolution in 2010. "(The amendment) takes (the classifications) from those two resolutions and puts it into our code book as actual ordinances, as opposed to just resolutions," West Lafayette's city attorney Eric Burns said. "It takes an ordinance for it to become effective as a local law."

 

CITIES: PLAINTIFFS APPEAL CARMEL CLASS-ACTION TRAFFIC RULING - The plaintiffs in a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Carmel for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance are appealing the dismissal of the case in early October (Erdody, Indianapolis Business Journal). U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson dismissed the lawsuit on Oct. 6, saying the complaint did not tie the alleged harm to the Carmel defendants. Attorney Edward Bielski, president of Bielski Law LLC, filed the lawsuit at the end of last year against Mayor Jim Brainard, Carmel City Council members from 2014 and 2015, Carmel City Court, Carmel City Judge Brian Poindexter, Carmel attorney Doug Haney and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Superintendent Kent Abernathy, alleging the city knowingly enforced an illegal traffic ordinance and wrongly collected money from citations "to maximize city revenue." The lawsuit named 18 plaintiffs, of which only two were Carmel residents. All had been cited under Carmel's local traffic ordinance, which was deemed invalid by the Indiana Court of Appeals in a separate lawsuit last year. Carmel had argued that the "harm" the plaintiffs described would have occurred regardless of how they were cited because all of them admitted to the traffic violations.

 

CITIES: $1.2M INVESTMENT PLANNED FOR COLUMBUS AIRPORT - The Columbus Municipal Airport will invest $1.2 million on capital improvement projects next year that will include adding more hangar space, along with renovations to Blackerby's Hangar 5 Restaurant (Columbus Republic). Airport director Brian Payne said the airport intends to build a set of six aircraft condo units, which can be used to house multiple aircraft or a large jet. Construction of that $600,000 project is expected to take place in the spring. The airport's 22 T-hangars, which can store one airplane at a time, are all full and the waiting list for hangar space has grown to 10, Payne said. "Over the course of the last few years, we've been very successful in our marketing of the airport and people want to be here," he said.

 

COUNTIES: ELKHART SPENDS $50K TO STUDY NEW CONVENTION CENTER - Elkhart County redevelopment officials hope to have a feasibility study for a possible convention center completed by early spring (McGrath, Elkhart Truth). Laura Coyne, the county's redevelopment coordinator, said the Elkhart County Redevelopment Commission contracted with Chicago-based Johnson Consulting and Indianapolis-based Design Concepts in October to conduct the study. The commission is paying the two companies a total of $50,000, she said. The proposed event center would also include an outdoor rally site and could be located near the RV/MH Hall of Fame near C.R. 17 and the Indiana Toll Road, Coyne said. However, the facility would be separate from a proposed expansion at the Hall of Fame that would roughly double the size of its building and add a large camping area on the property. The feasibility study should determine whether an event center could be self-sustaining by the private sector and, as well as the potential size of the facility.

 

COUNTIES: TIPPECANOE SHERIFF OVERSPENT SOME AREAS BY $235K - Sheriff Barry Richard overspent several line-items this year by nearly a quarter-million dollars, according to documents presented at a Monday county council meeting (Paul, Lafayette Journal & Courier). Because the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office was not at full staff for most of this year, a balance in the salaries and wages account made up for the difference. But the funds transfer of $235,000 raised questions about the fiscal well-being of the department moving forward. Richard told the Tippecanoe County Council that the majority of the shortfall was due to an unexpected 40 percent rise in the jail's inmate population. This year, for example, the population has ranged from as few as 300 to as many as 500 inmates, he said. As a result, the department's budget for food and utilities at the jail was overspent by $160,000. Richard attributed the spike in inmates to a recent change in the criminal code that shifts low-level felony offenders back to county jails. "I think with the increased ability to sentence for county time, that increased the population quite a bit," he said.

 

COUNTIES: SHELBY NIXES COMMUNICATION TOWERS - It's back to the drawing board for telecommunications company Mobilitie LLC (Shelbyville News). On Monday morning, the Shelby County Commissioners voted unanimously to deny a request by the California company to construct two communication towers. Mobilitie wanted to build the 120-foot towers in the county's roadside right-of-way at County Road 2501-2693 W 400 N, and at 4964 N. Michigan Road, in order to lease space on the towers to telecommunication carriers. The commissioners were concerned about how the size of the towers would impact the right-of-way space. A company representative asked if he could continue to work with County Plan Commission Director Sam Booth on alternatives and the commissioners said that would be fine.