PORTER COUNTY RESULTS DELAYED UNTIL AT LEAST FRIDAY: Porter County voters and candidates are now going to have to wait until at least Friday before learning the outcome of Tuesday's general election (Kasarda, NWI Times). The delay in the vote count appears to be the longest in the county's history, according to election officials. "We told them reliable rather than fast," said J.J. Stankiewicz, the lone Democrat on the three-member county election board. The update on the vote count came as the election board members made a noon visit to the county voter registration office and then held a short press conference that attracted anxious candidates, voters and community activists. Republican Election Board Member David Bengs said more than half of the vote has been counted. But unlike regular elections nights, the results will not be released until all ballots are counted, he said. The count will still not be final, however. Normal provisional ballots and those cast Tuesday at the dozen precincts that had their hours extended by a judge due to a late opening will be counted Nov. 16, as is typically the case. The election workers have been instructed to keep counting until it is clear that fatigue is threatening the integrity of their work, at which time they are to call it quits and resume after getting some rest, Stankiewicz said. The group did not want to comment on the possibility of the count continuing into the weekend. Republican Election Board member and County Clerk Karen Martin, who has caught most of the blame for the election problems, having taken over the process earlier this year, declined comment. Martin is among the candidates on the ballots being counted. She is seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik.

ZODY PLANS TO STAY ON HAS DEM CHAIR: Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody says he plans to remain in his leadership position as his party tries to move forward from Tuesday's election (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Democrats no longer have a single statewide elected official after U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly's loss. Zody pointed to positives from Tuesday's results. Democrats picked up at least three state House seats and beat a state Senate incumbent for the first time in decades. And Zody says he plans to serve out his term as party chair, which would take him through the next presidential election. "I will stay here as long as I feel like I can make a positive impact on that," Zody says. "This job is not about me; this is about moving the party forward." Moving forward is also about looking back, Zody says, and analyzing this year's results. "I believe numbers and areas are changing in this state," Zody says. "We've got to make sure we are moving with that realignment, prioritizing appropriately." Zody says the party is focused on next year's municipal elections – where Democrats, he says, will try to build a bigger bench. Zody says Democrats will again study the loss to refine their strategy (WIBC). He says in Indiana and nationally, there's a realignment of voting patterns, which Democrats need to understand and address. Democrats haven't won statewide in six years, and with Joe Donnelly's loss, have no statewide officeholders. Zody says some losing candidates will be heard from again.

MOST TEACHERS LOST LEGISLATIVE RACES: Educators running for seats in the Indiana General Assembly for the most part fell short on election night, but at least one teacher candidate plans to continue advocating for his school and community (Lindsey, Indiana Public Media). John Hurley teaches career and technical education in Spencer County, and was running for a seat in Indiana's House of Representatives. He lost to incumbent Ron Bacon, but Hurley says his work isn't over. "Elections end, issues don't, and that's something we gotta keep focusing on - the reasons I got involved in this," he says. Indiana State Teachers Association president Teresa Meredith says ultimately, the teachers who ran for office helped boost awareness of education issues and different ideas to address them, or could give someone else the encouragement they need to run too. "That's always a good thing, when educators are more aware that their colleagues are stepping out because I think it will inspire some of them." At least one teacher already in the general assembly, Melanie Wright, managed a narrow victory to keep her seat. Another teacher, Tonya Pfaff from Terre Haute, also won her race and will represent Indiana's 45th district.

HOLCOMB CALLS HATE CRIME LAW ‘CRITICALLY IMPORTANT’: Amid a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with economic leaders in Southern Indiana on Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb revealed that hate crimes legislation will be on his legislative agenda come January (Thomas, News & Tribune). Holcomb made the announcement at One Southern Indiana's Governor's Luncheon event, also mentioning that he'll roll out his agenda the first week of December ahead of the General Assembly convening Jan. 14 in Indianapolis. Holcomb called the issue, also referred to as bias crimes, "critically important," and that the topic regularly comes up during economic development-related conversations. Indiana is one of five states that does not have a hate crimes law. "To be on a list of five, and not on a list of 46, could make a difference," Holcomb said to more than 150 Southern Indiana stakeholders at the Radisson Louisville North Hotel. "By the way, it's just the right thing to do. It's the founding principles of our country, equality and how we treat one another, that were expressed in our founding documents and philosophy."

TRUMP CONSIDERS CHRISTIE FOR AG: President Donald Trump is considering former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to replace fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, sources familiar with the matter said (CNN). Trump fired Sessions on Wednesday without immediately naming a replacement, instead installing Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Both Christie and Bondi are longtime political allies of the President's and were initially considered contenders for the Justice Department perch during the transition (CNN). Given Trump's longstanding frustrations with Sessions, other potential contenders have cropped up in Trump-friendly circles in recent months, including Whitaker, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, former Judge John Michael Luttig, Judge Edith Jones, former Judge Janice Rogers Brown, retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. If nominated, Christie, a former US attorney, could face similar calls to the ones Sessions faced to recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation given his role as a prominent 2016 campaign surrogate for Trump. But unlike Sessions, there is no indication he had contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign or transition.

MUELLER TEAM SAID TO HAVE STARTED FINAL REPORT: Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has started writing its final report after a months-long investigation into possible ties between President Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, multiple sources told CNN on Thursday (The Hill). Trump began reviewing his answers to Mueller's questions as he prepared to request Attorney General Jeff Sessions's resignation, CNN reported. A source familiar with the matter told CNN that they believe the Trump legal team will continue to approach Mueller's questions the same way, despite the shakeup in leadership at the Justice Department.

YOUNG LAUNCHES BID TO CHAIR GOP SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: Indiana Sen. Todd Young officially launched his bid to lead Senate Republicans' campaign arm on Thursday, a job that comes with a difficult Senate map and the balancing act of running alongside Donald Trump's presidential reelection campaign (Politico). Some on K Street are hoping that Mitt Romney runs for the job of chairing the NRSC. Young said he talked to Romney after he won the Utah Senate seat on Tuesday, though they did not discuss the NRSC. Unless Romney mounts a surprise challenge, Young appears to be the favorite even if he gets an opponent. The first-term Republican said he's "prepared" for a race against a GOP colleague, though for now he does not have any competition. Should he win, Young's job will be more difficult than his predecessor, Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Senate Republicans will be back on defense for the next two years, though mostly in states that Trump won in 2016. "I acknowledge that we have a lot seats up, 22 seats, but the good news is that 20 of them are in states that Donald Trump won. The challenge is that two of them are in states that he didn't win," Young said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "But I think we have a couple of pick-up opportunities and most importantly we have good candidates."

TRADE WAR MESSAGE DIDN'T HELP DONNELLY, OTHERS: The trade war of 2018 was, in theory, supposed to hurt Republicans in states vulnerable to higher tariffs and Chinese retaliation (Mayeda, Bloomberg) The results from Tuesday's midterm elections suggest that didn't really happen. President Donald Trump's tariffs were a hot topic in farming regions and the Rust Belt -- places with a lot to lose in the dispute with China, which countered with duties on iconic American exports from soybeans to lobsters. Yet several candidates who opposed Trump's tariffs were defeated, while some who backed the duties won their races. In Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly lost his Senate seat. Donnelly and his opponent Mike Braun cast themselves as defenders of American manufacturers. Trade was mentioned in TV ads in the race more than any other Senate contest, according to Kantar Media's CMAG, which tracks political advertising. The outcome gives the U.S. president little incentive to soften his hawkish trade strategy. A potential turning point is coming at the end of this month, when the president is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

PURDUE STUDY FINDS MIXED RESULTS OF TRADE ROW IMPACT: While the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could help some farmers, an ongoing tariff squabble could negate any small financial gains, hurting the American agriculture industry that is already struggling. Purdue University researchers say in a new report, "It could be worse." (Horton, Indiana Public Media). Purdue agricultural economics professor Dominique van der Mensbrugghe says the new deal maintains market access and has some benefit for the dairy and poultry markets. "There is good news in the agreement," he says. "First of all, it consolidates the gains farmers have made." However Van der Mensbrugghe and his co-authors, say in the report that the replacement for NAFTA isn't enough to get farmers out of the hole, economically.

MELLENCAMP, RYAN ENGAGED: The on-again, off-again romance between Indiana rock star John Mellencamp and actress Meg Ryan appears to be the most "on" it can be (IndyStar). Ryan, known for films such as "When Harry Met Sally ..." and "Sleepless in Seattle," posted a drawing to Instagram today captioned "ENGAGED!" The drawing — artist unknown — depicts Ryan holding hands with a weathered-looking Mellencamp. Mellencamp and Ryan dated from 2011 to 2014. His preference of living in Indiana and her affection for New York City reportedly led to a break-up. "I'm too sensitive to live there," Mellencamp told Rolling Stone magazine in 2013. "I can't see poor people. I can't see the suffering. I can't see the trash on the streets." When it comes to paparazzi attention, he added, "I don't like it for (Ryan). "I'm not leaving Indiana. I'm going to die here." Mellencamp, 67, will release a covers album titled "Other People's Stuff" Dec. 7. He will launch a 2019 tour Feb. 7 in South Bend.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Final thoughts for this historic week: First, congrats to Mike Braun on his Senate victory Tuesday. He has the experience and demeanor to be an outstanding senator and we hope he can convince Republicans to build on the Obamacare components that work and use business principles to fix what isn't. There's a lot of work to do on that front. Second, the Porter County vote fiasco is a disgrace. We hope the county and state learn what went awry and comes up with solutions. Third, Indiana's voting system is aging and the state should explore and then executive a comprehensive update. Fourth, we hope President Trump seriously considers Chris Christie to be the next attorney general. We would have great confidence in the former DA and governor at the helm of the embattled DOJ. Finally, we agree with Congressman Banks, that the Mueller probe must be completed, and a full report should be presented to the American people. Have a great weekend, folks, and thanks for reading. - Brian A. Howey


Campaigns

BRAUN'S ALLIANCE WITH TRUMP KEY FOR MANY VOTERS: Republican Mike Braun's senate win over incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly says just as much about President Donald Trump as it does about him (Brosher, Indiana Public Media). The alliance the two formed during Braun's campaign resonated with many voters. It was hard to tell whether the Indiana GOP's election night watch party was a celebration of victories in the state this week, or Trump's performance as president. Many voters at the party say they supported Braun because they know he'll support Trump.

TRUMP ENERGIZED VOTERS FOR BRAUN: Purdue University political science students went to Tippecanoe County polls to conduct exit interviews with voters (Miley, CNHI). Among their questions, the students asked if voters would cast a ballot for Trump if his re-election was being held Tuesday. Only a third of those polled in the "purple" county said they would vote for the president. Of that amount, about 91 percent said they backed Braun, said James McCann, professor in the Department of Political Science at Purdue. "At least in the minds of these voters ... Trump was joined at the hip with Braun," McCann said.

BRAUN'S OUTSIDER STATUS PROVIDED BOOST: Republican challenger Mike Braun's election to a U.S. Senate seat from Indiana is proof of "a red state getting redder," a political scientist said Wednesday (Francisco, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Michael Wolf, chairman of the political science department at Purdue University Fort Wayne, said Braun's victory over Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly also showed that Republican voters increasingly favor political outsiders, which Braun campaigned as. Braun "doesn't have any of the anti-Washington mood connected to him. More than a blue shirt, it was about not being from Washington," Braun said in a telephone interview.

BAIRD & SON WIN RESPECTIVE RACES: With Jim Baird capturing the District 4 seat in the U.S. Congress and his son, Beau Baird, claiming the District 44 spot in the Indiana State Legislature, the Bairds of Greencastle have achieved something not even high-powered father-and-son Hoosier political tandems like Birch and Evan Bayh or Richard and Rodric Bray have ever accomplished (Bernsee, Greencastle Banner Graphic). The Bairds will be serving simultaneously in those powerful positions when they're sworn in as Jim succeeds Todd Rokita in Congress and son Beau follows in Jim's footsteps to the Indiana General Assembly.

HALL KICKS OUT PRESS AFTER LOSS: Republican Incumbent Jackie Walorski held onto her seat by nearly 15 points over Democratic challenger Mel Hall (Weingart & Shroyer, Indiana Public Media). Members of Mel Hall's staff ushered the press out of the room at the A Loft Hotel before Hall spoke to only staff and supporters who could be heard applauding through the door.I t was a tough night for the Democratic challenger to Jackie Walorski. After a long primary and general election campaign the former Press Ganey executive faired little better than the last two challengers to the Jimtown Republican.

BUTTIGIEG SAYS 'WE'RE GONNA LEARN A LOT OF LESSONS': South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said even with the loss in the second district there are lessons to be learned (Weingart & Shroyer, Indiana Public Media). "What I know is that it's not written in stone that any state or district is the way it is. I've seen this state go blue and I've seen it go red and we're gonna learn a lot of lessons from tonight and try to take them forward."

‘MANY, MANY VOTES’ NOT COUNTED YET IN ST. JOE: Catherine Fanello wanted to defend the performance of the St. Joseph County Election Board. When she saw that a Facebook friend had posted a Tribune story about late vote results, she weighed in with a comment on Thursday morning (Booker, South Bend Tribune). Fanello, chair of the election board, started to explain why the election board this year decided to count all absentee and early votes in one location, the County-City Building, instead of various precinct locations, as in past years. “We now count them centrally,” she wrote on Facebook about absentee votes, “because many, many went uncounted in past years when pollworkers counted them at the precinct. Quite frankly, since we have started central counting, they ALL GET COUNTED!”

HOWARD DEMOCRATS 'SUSPICIOUS' OF VOTING DELAY: The Howard County Democratic Party is claiming a prominent government leader caused the Carver Community Center, one of 14 vote centers in the county, to open late today and cost voters "valuable available time to vote." (Myers & Cawthon, Kokomo Tribune). The controversy, which officials say was prompted by a wireless internet malfunction, erupted after the party took aim at Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore. The political party also accused Moore of prohibiting Democrats from legally distributing election information more than 50 feet from the vote center.

INTERNET GLITCH LED TO LATE RETURNS IN VANDERBURGH: The final election results for Vanderburgh County were still not known until 9:20 or so, more than three hours after vote centers closed at 6 (Martin, Evansville Courier & Press). At 7:30, Vanderburgh County was the only major metropolitan area in Indiana with no election returns showing. The long voting lines at 6 p.m. appear to have been one reason for the delay in publishing election results. Other reasons weren't entirely clear, but Carla Hayden, who as Vanderburgh County Clerk is in charge of running local elections, cited an unexpected "glitch." "There was no glitches in tabulating, counting or anything like that," Hayden said. "It was in getting results posted to the internet. That's where we ran into an error. It took a while to get that resolved."

REVISED VOTE TALLY FLIPS ST. JOSEPH JUDGE RACE: The St. Joseph Probate Court judge was unseated in Tuesday's election, reversing earlier results showing Republican Judge James Fox had retained his office. Official final vote totals now show Democratic challenger Jason Cichowicz narrowly defeated Fox in the state's closest judicial race (Indiana Lawyer). Cichowicz edged out Fox by a 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent margin, winning by fewer than 600 votes out of more than 90,000 cast when all the ballots were counted in the northern Indiana race, according to the Indiana Secretary of State's office.

VOTERS APPROVE $272M INDY SCHOOLS TAX HIKES: Voters in the Indianapolis Public Schools district have approved the district's request to raise property taxes in referendums to pay for higher teacher salaries and better school facilities (Colombo, IBJ). IPS said both referendums had been approved by more than 70 percent of the voters, with 85 percent of precincts reporting. The district's operating referendum is expected to generate $220 million in extra revenue over eight years. And the district's capital referendum is expected to raise $52 million in extra funds to pay for upgrades to school buildings.

DEEPENING GULF BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS: Red states got redder. Blue districts got bluer. And the gulf between Republicans and Democrats got deeper (USA Today). The hotly fought midterm elections delivered control of the House to Democrats, increased the Senate majority for Republicans and gave each side some of the gubernatorial victories they wanted most. They reinforced a chasm between the two major parties that has been growing in the Age of Trump. In Tuesday's elections, divisions between the two parties were sharply drawn, based not only on ideology but also on race, gender, age, education and geography. This partisan realignment and the political exploitation of the divisions it reflects contributed to the growing unwillingness by some partisans to see the other side as warranting respect and cooperation.

KAVANAUGH 'LIKE AN ADRENALINE SHOT' FOR GOP VOTERS: Republicans lost dozens of House seats and the majority in that chamber Tuesday, while simultaneously expanding their control of the Senate (CNN). At least one factor in those countervailing results is Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday the confirmation process woke up Republican voters. "I think the Republican, sort of, core voters in the states what were critical to us, were highly offended by the questioning of the presumption of innocence and the tactics," McConnell said. "And I think it was like an adrenaline shot. We were worried about lack of intensity on our side, and I think the Kavanaugh fight certainly provided that. It was extremely helpful."

BLOOMBERG, STEYER SEEN AS DEMOCRATIC KINGMAKERS: Billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer became powerful kingmakers for Democrats running to unseat Republicans in this year's midterm elections as they each contemplate a run for president in 2020 (CNBC). Bloomberg became a game-changing figure for Democrats as his candidates stormed the U.S House of Representatives to help retake the majority. Based on voting projections, Bloomberg is expected to see 21 of the 24 House candidates he supported through his super PAC Independence USA win their races.

13 HOUSE RACES, 3 SENATE RACES YET UNRESOLVED: Two days after Election Day, three Senate races and 13 House races remain unresolved (Roll Call). A runoff later this month will determine the winner of the Senate race in Mississippi. House Democrats have already passed the threshold for a majority by winning 225 seats so far, wresting control of a chamber they haven't held since 2010. In the Senate, the GOP not only held the line, but managed to flip Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri, states that President Donald Trump won by double digits in 2016.

FLA GOV RACE TIGHTENS: All eyes were on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on Thursday, as vote margins in Florida's close contests for governor and Senate tightened (NBC News). Gillum's campaign stoked intrigue by releasing a statement about "counting every vote" — but not explicitly asking for a recount. On Tuesday night, Gillum conceded in his race against Republican Ron DeSantis and his team was clear Wednesday that it hadn't met the threshold to trigger an automatic recount. Gillum has 49.1 percent, or 4,023,124 votes, while DeSantis has 49.6 percent, or 4,066,059 votes, for a margin of just under 43,000, according to NBC News.

FLA ENTERS RECOUNT ZONE FOR GOV, SEN RACES: Nearly two decades after hanging chads transfixed the nation, Florida is once again headed toward a high-stakes election recount, as vote margins narrowed in Democrats’ favor Thursday in the state’s marquee U.S. Senate and governor’s races (Washington Post). Hundreds of party and interest-group volunteers spent the day trying to track down people who had cast provisional ballots, seeking affidavits to prove their votes should be counted. And in an echo of the 2000 presidential election, state Republicans tried to preempt the coming fight by accusing Democratic lawyers of heading to Broward County to “steal” the election. In the Senate race, Gov. Rick Scott (R) had a lead of just more than 15,000 votes, or 0.18 percent, over Sen. Bill Nelson (D) as of Thursday night. In the governor’s race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) trailed former congressman Ron DeSantis (R) by more than 36,000 votes, or 0.44 percent.

SINEMA TAKES LEAD IN AZ SENATE RACE : Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema took a narrow 9,610-vote lead over GOP Rep. Martha McSally Thursday evening as Arizona’s election authorities counted more ballots in the state’s uncalled Senate race (Politico). The lead amounts to less than half a percentage point with more than 1.8 million votes counted. McSally was up by 17,703 votes earlier in the day, before the counties processed another 160,000 votes — but about a half-million more votes remain to be counted across Arizona, according to both campaigns.

KEMP RESIGNS AS GA SEC OF STATE: Republican Brian Kemp resigned as Georgia's secretary of state on Thursday, a day after declaring victory in his tight race for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who has not conceded the race (NBC News). Kemp said he was resigning to focus on the transition process. "In addition to having the right team, you need energy and focus," Kemp said at a news conference in Atlanta alongside Gov. Nathan Deal, also a Republican. "That is why effective 11:59 a.m. today, I'm stepping down as secretary of state." Kemp holds a narrowing lead over Abrams after Tuesday's vote, but the race remains too close to call, according to NBC News. Kemp leads Abrams, 50.3 percent to 48.7 percent. Kemp said Thursday that even if Abrams received "100 percent" of the remaining provisional ballots, he would still come out on top. "The votes are not there for her," Kemp said.


Congress

YOUNG TO HOST SEC. ACOSTA IN NOBLESVILLE, TERRE HAUTE: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced in a press release that today he will host U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in Indiana for events focused on apprenticeships, workforce development, and retirement security (Howey Politics Indiana). At 10:45 a.m. EST, Senator Young and Secretary Acosta will participate in an apprenticeship and workforce development roundtable at Gaylor Electric in Noblesville. The discussion will focus on the importance of apprenticeships and innovative measures to address the skills gap. At 2:30 p.m. EST, Senator Young and Secretary Acosta will participate in a panel discussion at Indiana State University in Terre Haute regarding the importance of retirement security, the vital role employers play in helping their employees plan and save for retirement, and current federal legislative and regulatory efforts to expand access to workplace retirement plans.

BANKS HEADS INTO MINORITY FOR FIRST TIME: As Republican Rep. Jim Banks heads back to Congress for his second term, it will be for the first time in his political career as member of the minority party (KPC News). With Democrats forecast to win enough seats to enter 2019 with a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, Banks and other congressional Republicans will be out of the driver's seat in setting the lower house's agenda. Banks served on the Whitley County Council with all Republicans. There were super-majorities of Republicans in both sides of the Indiana General Assembly when he was a state senator. And he took office in the Capitol with Republicans in control of the White House, the U.S. House and the Senate in 2016. That won't be the case for the next two years. The GOP still has President Donald Trump at the lead and widened its margin in the Senate — including ousting Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly for Republican Mike Braun — but now the House will likely come under the direction of California Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker again. Despite the change, Banks doesn't see total gridlock ahead. The big, politicized issues like a border wall with Mexico or repealing Obamacare may go nowhere now, but that just means if Congress wants to be productive it will have to shift to instead take up issues where both parties meet on common ground. "It will certainly be a lot different than my first two years, but I serve on a couple of committees that are known for bipartisanship," Banks said. "I've never been in the minority before. It will be a different experience."

MINORITY NEW FOR BUCSHON: 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon woke up Wednesday morning to a new reality — one he had hoped wouldn't come with his smashing re-election victory (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). Bucshon must go where no Bucshon has gone before — into the minority in the U.S. House of Representatives. It will not be a welcoming place. Democratic control of the House presages big changes that Bucshon, a Republican, never supported. The lower chamber now likely will work to frustrate President Donald Trump's objectives, investigate his personal finances and potential ties to Russia and maybe even impeach him. Moreover, Democratic control of the House won't do any favors for Bucshon's profile on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The majority party on any House committee chooses more of the witnesses for hearings than the minority and decides which hearings to conduct in the first place. Republican legislation, in general, will be harder to advance in a Democratic House ruled by members determined to flex their muscle after years in the wilderness. Bucshon wasn't available to comment the day after his 65-35 percent re-election victory over Democrat William Tanoos, but he said during the campaign that other House Republicans had warned him of what awaited him in the minority. "It's not good," he said.

10 DEMOCRATS OPPOSE PELOSI FOR SPEAKER: Ten Democratic incumbents or members-elect told POLITICO that they will vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker on the House floor, exposing a serious problem for the California Democrat in her bid to reclaim the gavel (Politico). Eight sitting lawmakers or their offices said on Thursday that they will oppose Pelosi on the floor. Two candidates who won on Tuesday previously said the same. That’s an issue for Pelosi, who has led the Democratic caucus for 16 years, and significantly narrows her margin for error in her bid to lock down the 218 votes needed to return to the speakership.

McCARTHY, JORDAN JOCKEY FOR POWER: House Republicans began openly maneuvering ahead of next week's House GOP leadership elections after months of below-the-radar jockeying as GOP lawmakers braced to return to the chamber's minority for the first time since 2011 (Wall Street Journal). For now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) remained the front-runner for the minority leader post, after formally announcing he would run for the role Wednesday. Hours earlier, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, an influential conservative, said he intended to challenge Mr. McCarthy for the post. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), who is retiring, has endorsed Mr. McCarthy to succeed him, but House Republicans' losses Tuesday could work against him in next week's elections if GOP lawmakers decide they want a fresh face leading them. "Today is a difficult day," Mr. McCarthy said in a letter to his colleagues announcing his bid. "I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this and I have what it takes to do it again." If elected, Mr. McCarthy said he would "be a listener every bit as much as a leader."

McCONNELL BELIEVES MUELLER WILL FINISH PROBE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he doesn't think there is "any chance that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish," after Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker took charge of the investigation on Wednesday (CBS News). Many Democrats and some Republicans raised concerns after Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned under pressure, and oversight of the probe passed from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be hindered in conducting his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "The President has said on multiple occasions the Mueller investigation should be completed. He wish it would happen sooner. But I don't think there's any chance that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish," McConnell told WVLK in an interview Thursday.

McCONNELL WARNS OF PERILS OF 'PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT': Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Democrats of the perils of "presidential harassment" Wednesday, saying efforts to obtain President Trump's tax returns and conduct oversight of his administration would backfire politically (Washington Post). In his first remarks since the election, McConnell praised Trump after a mixed night for Republicans in which they ousted Democratic incumbents in Republican states, adding to their Senate majority — but lost control of the House. McConnell (R-Ky.) said the results were a clear vote for bipartisan cooperation and predicted the American public would not tolerate efforts to target the Trump administration with subpoenas, investigations and lawsuits over the next two years.


TRUMP'S FEUD WITH MAXINE WATERS TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS: The public feud between Rep. Maxine Waters and President Trump is poised to reach new heights when the California Democrat is granted subpoena power as head of a powerful congressional committee overseeing the financial sector (The Hill). Waters, a fierce critic of both the president and the banking industry, is in line to wield the gavel on the House Financial Services Committee, giving her the authority to launch investigations into Trump's bank transactions.

HOUSE GOP'S CLIMATE CHANGE CAUCUS DECIMATED: The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus lost nearly half of its Republican members in Tuesday's elections, including co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, posing a setback in efforts to break the GOP firewall on environmental issues (Roll Call). Still, the group behind the initial formation and growth of the caucus says the loss, which came both through retirements and defeats at the polls, does not signal its end.


General Assembly

BOSMA WELCOMES GIAQUINTA: House Speaker Brian C. Bosma welcomed State Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) as the next Democratic caucus leader, saying, "I look forward to working with Phil and his leadership team as we head into the next legislative session. Indiana lawmakers have a track record of reaching across the aisle and working together on the majority of issues we face. Phil is a long-time friend and I appreciate his commitment to public service."


State

GOVERNOR: POTENTIAL 4TH PORT PURCHASE AGREEMENT EXTENDED - Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced that the Ports of Indiana has entered into an agreement to extend the option to purchase land near Lawrenceburg that could potentially be the state's fourth port (Howey Politics Indiana). A news release stated the Ports of Indiana entered into an agreement in Sept. 2017 to purchase up to 725 acres of land that was formerly the American Electric Power plant. That option was set to expire Dec. 31, 2018. This action provides an extension up to six months, through June 30, 2019, for the seller, Tanners Creek Development, LLC, to finalize environmental work plans for the land.

GOVERNOR: ESTES APPOINTED TO PORTS COMMISSION - Gov. Eric J. Holcomb released a news release to announce the appointment of Kari Pfau Estes of Jeffersonville to the Ports of Indiana Commission (Howey Politics Indiana). Estes replaces Christine Keck on the commission. Her term expires in 2020. Indiana has three ports, with locations in Jeffersonville, Mount Vernon and Burns Harbor that handle cargo for all 50 states and more than 30 countries. The Ports of Indiana operates approximately 2,800 acres along Indiana's navigable waterways, contribute over $7.8 billion per year to the state economy and support nearly 60,000 jobs.

GOVERNOR: FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF TO HONOR CALIFORNIA SHOOTING VICTIMS - Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced he is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of the tragedy at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California (Howey Politics Indiana). Flags should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff.

STATEHOUSE: AG HILL JOINS COALITION SUPPORTING TRUMP ENERGY PLAN - Indiana joined a 21-state coalition in support of President Donald Trump's proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants (Stancombe, Indiana Lawyer). Comments filed last week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the coalition described the president's Affordable Clean Energy rule as "far preferable to the patently unlawful regime" sought by the CPP. The Obama-era plan sought to reduce greenhouse gases by imposing caps on states' carbon dioxide emissions, which received serious criticism from the Hoosier state and others that failed to halt the plan in 2015.

STATEHOUSE: HEC URGES IDEM TO CLARIFY MEETING DATE - An attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council said Wednesday the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's counsel has confirmed an informational meeting is set for Nov. 13 on a controversial dairy proposal (Reese, NWI Times). However, residents have reported receiving emails from an IDEM official with different meeting dates, said Kim Ferraro, senior staff attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council. The distribution of conflicting information to residents is problematic, Ferraro said.

COURTS: FORMER PARK TUDOR ATTORNEY ACCUSED OF MISCONDUCT - An Indianapolis attorney is accused of committing professional misconduct in his handling of 2016 child sexual abuse allegations against former Park Tudor basketball coach Kyle Cox, records obtained by IndyStar show (Kwiatkowski & Evans, IndyStar). The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission accused attorney Michael Blickman of violating state and federal laws by failing to immediately report the allegations to authorities and by copying and possessing child pornography — which were explicit images and videos exchanged between Cox and his underage victim, according to the disciplinary complaint dated Wednesday.

OPIOIDS: GRANT TO FUND STUDY IN 11 COUNTIES - A recently-launched program targeting opioid use disorders in rural areas throughout the state is exploring expansion (McGowan, Inside Indiana Business). The Linton-based Indiana Rural Health Association has received a $200,000 federal grant that will fund a comprehensive planning process designed to boost treatment support in 11 counties with high overdose rates. The plan, which the nonprofit says builds on the work of its Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium, will target four areas: best practices, access, additional recovery communities and reducing the stigma associated with the issue.

DEVELOPMENT: BOSTON CO. EXPANDING INTO PURDUE RESEARCH PARK - A Boston-based seed development and plant breeding company is expanding into the Purdue Research Park (Ober, Inside Indiana Business). Inari will open what it calls the world's first Seed Foundry at the complex. The company says the work done there can help "revolutionize the seed industry" and create a more resilient and sustainable food system. Inari Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Stowers says the 26,000 square-foot facility will ultimately house about 50 people, but adds there is plenty of room for growth.

ECONOMY: TARIFFS HANG HEAVY FOR SOME MANUFACTURERS - The 2018 tax increase on goods from China and other countries coming into the United States continues to hang heavy over Indiana manufacturers (Weik, New Castle Courier-Times). "It matters very much here for Henry County's largest private sector employer," said Nate LaMar, international regional manager of Draper Inc. LaMar explained that small pieces of the Draper products are created in China and then shipped to the Spiceland plant to be used in the production of the larger end-products. Those small Chinese components cost an additional 10 percent now that the tariffs are in place.

ECONOMY: NE INDIANA HOME BUILDING CONTINUES MOMENTUM - The number of new homes permitted in a six-county region of northeast Indiana in the first three-quarters of the year continued to increase steadily, but this year's growth was largely due to Allen County (Lipp, Fort Wayne Business Weekly). The number of new homes permitted in Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Wells and Whitley counties rose from 1,159 in the first nine months of 2017 to 1,216 in the same period of this year, an increase of 5 percent.

ECONOMY: GAS PRICES FALLING - AAA Hoosier Motor Club says gas prices in the state are the lowest they've been since April (McGowan, Inside Indiana Business). The nonprofit is reporting regular unleaded gas is averaging $2.59 per gallon, a $.30 dip since last month. AAA says the price throughout the country has gone down over the last month to $2.75 on average. Last year at this time, prices in Indiana averaged around $2.75 per gallon.

USPS: NEW POSTMASTER FOR INDIANAPOLIS  -Postal service veteran Christi Johnson-Kennedy will be the new Postmaster of Indianapolis after her installation Friday (Parker, Inside Indiana Business). She will become the first African-American woman to serve in the position. The Indianapolis native is a graduate of Lawrence North High School and IUPUI with a degree in criminal justice.

EDUCATION: CONWELL RESIGNS AT ROSE-HULMAN - Jim Conwell is stepping down from his role as president of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The school Board of Trustees accepted his resignation Wednesday (Indiana Public Media). A press release states Conwell's resignation will take effect Nov. 15. The release says the resignation is a mutual decision between Conwell and the board due to board concerns and Conwell's desire to focus on a health issue in his family. "Jim has moved this institution forward—we have a beautiful new student union, additional land on which to grow, and a new academic building in the works," Board Chair Niles Noblitt said in the release. "We wish him well."

EDUCATION: SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS EXPANDING CAMPUS - Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College plans to expand its campus in the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods historic district (Parker, Inside Indiana Business). SWMC agreed to purchase 160 acres from the Sisters of Providence. The College plans to use the land for amenities, including possibly an equine event center, new athletic complex for baseball, tennis and track and field, locker rooms, press box facilities and parking.

MEDIA: NUVO REDUCING PRINT SCHEDULE - Indianapolis-based alternative newspaper Nuvo has been cranking out a print edition every week since 1990. That is due to change beginning this month (IBJ). Nuvo announced Tuesday that will reduce its print publication schedule from weekly to every other week starting immediately. "While our overall readership has stayed consistent, we have seen a slow migration of readers moving from print to digital since we launched our first website in 1995, with many readers using both mediums," Nuvo owner and publisher Kevin McKinney said in written comments.

CRIME: IUPUI COACH ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN - The head volleyball coach at IUPUI has been arrested on a child pornography charge, according to school officials and court records (IndyStar). Steven Payne, 54, was booked into Marion County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of possession of child pornography. Details on his arrest and the charges weren't immediately available Thursday. Records show Payne remained jailed as of Thursday evening and is due in court on Friday. In a statement to IndyStar, Indiana University said Payne has been terminated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, effective immediately, due to the "serious nature of the charges."


Nation

WHITE HOUSE: ‘GUARDRAILS OFF’ FOR TRUMP - Following this week’s midterm elections, President Trump ousted his attorney general, seized control of the Russia investigation for a partisan loyalist and suspended the credentials for a journalist he deemed too adversarial (Washington Post). And that was just the first 24 hours. After voters delivered a mixed verdict in the first national referendum of his presidency, Trump has been unbound, claiming more of a popular mandate than exists — “very close to a complete victory,” as he put it Wednesday — and moving swiftly to press some of the buttons he had previously resisted pressing. “All of the guardrails are off and the rule of law is under an unprecedented threat,” said Joyce White Vance, who served as a U.S. attorney in Alabama during the Obama administration.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP LAWYER SAYS HE WON'T AFFECT MUELLER - Jeff Sessions's ouster from the Justice Department won't change the course of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, according to Donald Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow (Bloomberg News). Sekulow, speaking Thursday on his radio show, said there will be "no effect day-to-day" on Mueller with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, Sessions's former chief of staff, in charge. Whitaker has taken responsibility for supervising Mueller's probe even though he has written critically about the special counsel's work and publicly criticized it.

WHITE HOUSE: WHITAKER ONCE CALLED JUDICIARY ‘INFERIOR BRANCH’ - The acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, once espoused the view that the courts “are supposed to be the inferior branch” and criticized the Supreme Court’s power to review legislative and executive acts and declare them unconstitutional, the lifeblood of its existence as a coequal branch of government (New York Times). In a Q. and A. when he sought the Republican nomination for senator in Iowa in 2014, Mr. Whitaker indicated that he shared the belief among some conservatives that the federal judiciary has too much power over public policy. He criticized many of the Supreme Court’s rulings, beginning with a foundational one: Marbury v. Madison, which established its power of judicial review in 1803. “There are so many” bad rulings, Mr. Whitaker said. “I would start with the idea of Marbury v. Madison. That’s probably a good place to start and the way it’s looked at the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of constitutional issues.”

WHITE HOUSE: CNN'S ACOSTA CREDENTIALS SUSPENDED - The White House has suspended CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press credential after he and President Trump clashed again during a postelection news conference (Wall Street Journal). In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr. Acosta's hard pass, which allows journalists to enter White House grounds, was being suspended because he "placed his hands" on a White House intern who was trying to take the microphone from him after Mr. Trump indicated he was no longer going to address him. Mr. Acosta sought to keep holding the microphone but, based on video of the exchange, didn't appear to inappropriately touch the intern. "Pardon me, ma'am," he said as he held on to the microphone. "President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration," Ms. Sanders said. "We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable." Mr. Acosta tweeted that Ms. Sanders's statement is a "lie."

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP HEADS TO PARIS - Sullen and combative after an electoral humbling, President Donald Trump jets Friday to Paris, hoping to use the global stage to restore some standing as he faces a tumultuous political future at home (CNN). The President and first lady are visiting the French capital for a ceremony commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I, a weighty moment for the world to remember the conflict that did not wind up ending all wars.

WHITE HOUSE: MICHELLE OBAMA BOOK CALLS TRUMP ‘MISOGYNIST’ - Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Trump in her new book, writing [that] she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to 'block it all out,'" per AP's Deb Riechmann: In her memoir "Becoming," out Tuesday, Obama "reflects on early struggles in her marriage to Barack Obama as he began his political career and was often away. She writes that they met with a counselor 'a handful of times,' and she came to realize that she was more 'in charge' of her happiness than she had realized. 'This was my pivot point ... My moment of self-arrest.'" As the first black first lady, she knew she would be labeled 'other' and would have to earn the aura of 'grace' given freely to her white predecessors. She found confidence in repeating to herself a favorite chant: 'Am I good enough? Yes I am.'"

INTERIOR: ZINKE PREPARES FOR EXIT - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been exploring potential roles with Fox News, the energy industry or other businesses amid growing signs that he will leave President Donald Trump's Cabinet as he faces investigations into his ethics, according to people knowledgeable about the discussions (Politico). The news comes just a day after Trump told reporters that word on Zinke's fate may come "in about a week" — and as the president is in the early stages of what could be a dramatic post-election house-cleaning of Cabinet officials and top aides, starting with Wednesday's ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

SCOTUS: JUSTICE GINSBURG HOSPITALIZED AFTER FALL - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday morning after falling in her office Wednesday night, the court announced (USA Today). Ginsburg, 85, went home after the fall but continued to experience "discomfort overnight" and went to George Washington University Hospital early Thursday. Tests revealed she fractured three ribs on her left side and she "was admitted for observation and treatment," according to the statement. The fall kept Ginsburg from attending Thursday's formal investiture ceremony for new Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The event attracted President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, all other Supreme Court justices and leaders of Washington's legal community. Ginsburg, the court's eldest justice, has served for 25 years after being appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. She is the leader of the court's liberal wing.

COURTS: JUDGE REJECTS TRUMP DACA MOVE - A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration's bid to move ahead with its planned cancellation of a program that has provided protections and benefits to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. when they were children (Wall Street Journal). The ruling, by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said the administration voiced inadequate and flawed reasons for its decision in September 2017 to terminate an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Those challenging the administration's decision "are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA—at least as justified on this record—is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law," the court said.

MUELLER: WHITAKER WON'T RECUSE - Matthew Whitaker, President Donald Trump's new acting attorney general, has no intention of recusing himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite having openly criticized his Russia probe, according to a person familiar with the matter (Bloomberg News). Whitaker would, however, consult Justice Department ethics officials if a particular matter arose, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous speaking about the sensitive issue. Democrats have demanded that Whitaker step back from Mueller's continuing investigation based on his past criticism of the probe. Trump named Whitaker to run the Justice Department temporarily after ousting Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - "Fox News Sunday": Panel: Rich Lowry, Jane Harman, Josh Holmes and Jim Messina. Power Player: Hershel "Woody" Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War Two. CBS "Face the Nation": Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ... Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ... House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Panel: Rachael Bade, Dan Balz, Mark Landler and Ed O'Keefe. (Margaret Brennan will anchor on her first Sunday back since returning from maternity leave.) ABC "This Week": Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ... Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). Panel: Mary Bruce, Matthew Dowd, Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel and Sara Fagen. NBC "Meet the Press": Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Panel: David Brooks, Matthew Continetti, Donna Edwards and Eliana Johnson. CNN "State of the Union": Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) ... Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Panel: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Rick Santorum, Mike Rogers and Nina Turner. CNN "Inside Politics": Josh Dawsey, Julie Pace, Manu Raju and Rachael Bade.

CALIFORNIA: 12 KILLED BY EX-MARINE - At least 12 people, including an officer, were killed late Wednesday when a gunman opened fire in a packed Southern California bar during its "college night," leaving the community of Thousand Oaks in shock and in mourning (ABC News). The lone suspect, 28-year-old Ian David Long, was found dead inside the Borderline Bar & Grill after the overnight shooting, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. Authorities believe he shot himself. Long was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Dean said. His only weapon was a legally purchased .45-caliber handgun, Dean said. Long added an extended magazine to the Glock gun, the sheriff said.

MISSOURI: INDICTMENT FILED FOLLOWING DUCK BOAT TRAGEDY - Federal charges have been filed against the captain of a duck boat that crashed near Branson, Missouri, in July, killing 17 people including nine members of an Indianapolis family (Fox59). U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison said 51-year-old Kenneth Scott McKee faces 17 counts of misconduct, negligence or inattention to duty by a ship's officer resulting in death. Garrison said such charges are typically known as "seaman's manslaughter."

MICHIGAN: COULD BE BELLWETHER FOR LEGAL POT IN MIDWEST - Michigan is aiming to build a potentially lucrative industry from the ground up with passage of a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana (Associated Press). It could do more by serving as a model for the rest of the Midwest — and possibly beyond. Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana, with voters Tuesday passing a ballot measure that will allow people 21 or older to buy and use the drug.

Local

CITIES: NON-STUDENT ARRESTED WITH HATCHET AT MUNCIE SCHOOL - A non-student was arrested in Central High School last week after he was allegedly found wandering the school's hallways wearing a backpack that contained a hatchet (Walker, Muncie Star Press). Montrez Lamont Willen, 18, was arrested by a school security officer on a preliminary count of possession of a knife – apparently referring to the hatchet – on school property.

CITIES: 8-YEAR-OLD TAYLORSVILLE STUDENT HAD 'HIT LIST' - Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation is responding after a student reportedly showed a "hit list" on a school bus (WTHR-TV). The incident happened Wednesday and involved an 8-year-old at Taylorsville Elementary. The district reports the student had shown a "hit list to another student on the bus." Law enforcement was then notified and the student was "suspended until a meeting with the family."

CITIES: NOBLESVILLE VOTERS APPROVE SCHOOL SAFETY SPENDING - Voters have agreed to fund improved security at a suburban Indianapolis school district where a 13-year-old girl and a teacher were shot in May (Associated Press). Unofficial results show about 58 percent backed the measure Tuesday to collect an additional $50 million over eight years for Noblesville Schools. The money would be used to employ more school resource officers, safety staff and mental health counseling staff, and to recruit and keep teachers.

CITIES: MICHIGAN CITY MAN ALLEGED TO THREATEN MAYOR - Following alleged death threats toward Michigan City's mayor at City Hall, a Michigan City man has been released on bail and a judge said no probable cause was found regarding the incident (Ortiz, NWI Times). Rodney McCormick, 55, allegedly threatened Mayor Ron Meer on Friday and was released on bail late that same day, Sgt. Chris Yagelski said. Probable cause was not found to exist on Monday and the court granted a 72-hour extension of time for an investigation to continue, Judge Greta Friedman of LaPorte Superior Court 4 said.

CITIES: ANDERSON SCHOOL CLOSED TO CLEAN MOLD - Anderson Community Schools closed Edgewood Elementary School for the remainder of the week to allow for a thorough cleaning of the building after mold was found during a recent roof leak inspection (Bibbs, Anderson Herald Bulletin). "At no time were students or staff exposed to harmful contaminants in the classroom setting," Anderson Community Schools superintendent Dr. Timothy Smith said in a letter sent to parents on Wednesday.

CITIES: MUNCIE REJECTS ALL AMBULANCE BIDS - The city of Muncie's plan to create its own ambulance service appears to have come to a halt (Roysdon, Muncie Star Press). In Wednesday morning's meeting of the Board of Works and Public Safety, attorney Maura Hoff of the firm DeFur Voran — which has been reviewing emergency medical service bids for the city in the weeks since they were received — asked the board to reject the bids.

CITIES: SHELBYVILLE REACTS AFTER ALLEGED ILLEGAL LEVEE BORING - Members of the Shelbyville Board of Works are waiting for an engineering report on a hole bored through the River Road levee before deciding a course of action (Walker, Shelbyville News). City officials allege that in April, 2017, QC Communications Inc. of Wabash bored the 4-inch hole through the levee that protects Shelbyville from flooding by the Big Blue River after the city denied permission for QC to do the work.

CITIES: INDY LAUNCHES NEW EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM - Area police, firefighters and 911 dispatchers now have new tools to help you in an emergency (WTHR-TV). The city has launched a new emergency communication system that gives first responders better information. Using GPS, the city can now more accurately track police, fire crews and paramedics to get them to emergencies more quickly.

COUNTIES: MASSIVE DRUG BUST IN JOHNSON - Law enforcement and the prosecutor in Johnson County are announcing the results of a major drug raid (WTHR-TV). 120 people are facing charges including dealing and possessing Meth, Heroin, Cocaine and Marijuana. 61 have been arrested so far. The charges include: Meth – 136, Narcotic (Heroin) – 24, Cocaine – 8, Marijuana – 3, Other - 20 Police say there were no injuries in today's raid for either the people arrested or the officers.

COUNTIES: HUNTINGTON WOMAN SETTLES HARASSMENT SUIT WITH EX-JUDGE - A Huntington County woman has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit accusing a former judge of harassing her (LeBlanc, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Heather Malone was the county's chief probation officer and alleged Huntington Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hakes sent her unwanted messages and emails from 2015 to 2017.

COUNTIES: VIGO JAIL CONSTRUCTION TO START IN JULY - Construction for a new Vigo County Jail is slated to start in July, with completion in February 2021, according to a timeline presented to a federal judge as part of a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions in the county's current facility (Greninger, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The court filing states a jail of 484 beds with an estimated cost of $45 million to $50 million, excluding financing costs.

COUNTIES: JAIL A PRIORITY FOR NEW DEM MAJORITY IN VANDERBURGH - Jeff Hatfield didn't just win an election for a seat on the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners Tuesday — he altered the balance of power at county government's highest level (Langhorne, Evansville Courier & Press). Hatfield said Wednesday he will move to make fellow Democrat Ben Shoulders the board's new president and will push to resolve funding questions in time to complete the planned jail expansion project in the first quarter of 2020.

COUNTIES: LAKE COUNCIL NOT RECEPTIVE TO FOOD/BEVERAGE TAX - The Lake County Council put up a roadblock to White Lodging's plans for the Interstate 65 and U.S. 30 interchange on Thursday, when most members said they would not support a food and beverage tax to help subsidize the company's proposed $350 million development (Dolan, NWI Times). White Lodging's executive leading the effort to develop The Farm at Crossroad Commons said he was disappointed by the council's reaction. "What I heard is, no, there's not an immediate appetite to do this," said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of White's investment and development division. "I just didn't walk away optimistic that was going to happen." Yiankes told the council that, with the demolition of the "functionally obsolete" Radisson Hotel, followed by the Star Plaza and now the Twin Towers, an opening exists to develop the property in a way that will be impactful for 40 or 50 years. "We're here to suggest to you this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Yiankes told council members at their monthly study session.