ACB CONFIRMATION HEARINGS BEGIN TODAY: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings this week offer President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans one of their final chances before the election to shift the fall agenda away from the coronavirus pandemic and toward an issue they believe is more politically beneficial: solidifying a conservative majority on the nation’s high court (AP). But reminders of COVID-19 will be inescapable. The mere circumstances of the confirmation hearing—usually a packed affair on Capitol Hill that draws hundreds of supporters, protesters and observers—will be bare-bones, with rigorous social-distancing guidelines in place to avoid transmission among the few allowed inside the Hart Senate Office meeting room. At least two members of the Judiciary Committee will participate in the proceedings remotely, after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus or to protect themselves from COVID-19, the illness it causes.

 

BARRETT TO SAY JUDGES SHOULD NOT MAKE POLICY: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators that courts “should not try” to make policy, leaving those decisions to the political branches of government, according to opening remarks for her confirmation hearing obtained by the Associated Press. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, set to begin begin Monday as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the country, are taking place three weeks before Election Day and after millions of Americans already have voted. President Donald Trump nominated the federal appeals court judge soon after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. “I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” Barrett will tell the committee, according to her opening remarks. Barrett says she has resolved to maintain the same perspective as her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was “devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism.” She speaks extensively of her family in the statement, and says she will never let the law define her identity or crowd out the rest of her life. She says a similar principle applies to the courts, which are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.” “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people,” she says. “The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

 

YOUNG, BRAUN TO INTRODUCE JUDGE:  Indiana's two U.S. senators are expected to introduce Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor, during the first day of confirmation hearings at the Capitol (WPTA-TV). Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun will present Barrett, who is now a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the Judiciary Committee on Monday. The two Republican lawmakers have enthusiastically supported her nomination. Former Notre Dame School of Law Dean and Professor Patty O’Hara will also take part in the introduction, which is expected to be done virtually, limiting the number of people actually in the hearing room. Barrett says she is a firm supporter of the Constitution. In 2016 she said in a speech to students: "We shouldn't be putting people on the court that share our policy preferences. We should be putting people on the court who want to apply the Constitution.”

 

DEMS ACB HEARING GOAL TO PROTECT BIDEN: Democrats are heading into this week's confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett with one overarching goal: protect Joe Biden's election (Axios). They have little chance of stopping Barrett's confirmation unless more Republican senators test positive for the coronavirus or there's a truly unexpected disclosure, which sources from both parties say is unlikely, my colleague Sam Baker and I report. So Democrats are instead hoping to use the hearings as an opportunity to mobilize voters on key issues, like health care and voting rights. But they also recognize they risk energizing Republicans if they go too far in their attacks, and they're hoping to minimize self-damage when pressing her on topics about abortion and her deeply conservative religious views.

 

TEACHER PAY REPORT COMING AFTER ELECTION: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until after the Nov. 3 election (AP). The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission was selected in February 2019 to examine long-term solutions for increasing the state’s wages for educators. Initially, a 60-page draft report was expected this summer so lawmakers could review it while devising a new two-year state budget in January. But it was pushed to the second half of the year because of the pandemic. Chairman Michael Smith, a retired Indianapolis business executive, said it wouldn’t be fair to release the report because of the state’s fragile economic predicament. The report consists of more than 40 suggestions. Smith told The Journal Gazette that the public will eventually have an opportunity to see it, although he didn’t indicate when. “Likely not before the election, but it isn’t related,” he said. Holcomb spokeswoman Rachel Hoffmeyer said the pandemic substantially altered plans, but the commission is still working on a final report to be released before the end of 2020. “Commission members continue to monitor the financial impact of the pandemic, analyze data and work with stakeholders to develop recommendations,” he added.

 

HOLCOMB CHALLENGERS FADING: If you don't know there is a contested race for Indiana governor on the general election ballot, you're likely not alone. As usual, the presidential campaign is overshadowing the contest for Indiana's chief executive, and coupled with COVID-19 all but eliminating traditional campaign activities this year, most Hoosiers know little about the men challenging Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's reelection bid (Carden, NWI Times). That has Holcomb in the catbird seat, able to tout both his speedy reopening of Indiana amid the coronavirus pandemic and his prepandemic economic growth initiatives that he promises soon will pay off — without having to even acknowledge his opponents, let alone spend a dime of his more than $8 million campaign war chest against them. Instead, Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch are providing voters an optimistic vision of Indiana's future focused on "One Indiana For All," which they say will lead to expanded job opportunities, increased education funding, continued balanced budgets, improved public health and unprecedented infrastructure investments. "We were on a roll before the pandemic hit here," Holcomb said. "What we saw was a record number of new job commitments come to the state of Indiana, over 100,000 in three years; we had a record low unemployment rate; and, oh by the way, those jobs that were coming were at a record-high $28.60 an hour."

 

MYERS SEES A DIFFERENT INDIANA: Dr. Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner and the Democratic nominee for governor, sees a different Indiana, an Indiana where too many Hoosiers, including women and minorities, aren't sharing in the largess envisioned by Holcomb (Carden, NWI Times). "Before COVID-19, Hoosier women were already ranked 49th in the nation when it came to economic status, with women making only 75 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts," Myers said. "As governor, I will do much more to give Hoosier women and their families long-term solutions to address the disparities they face every day." The Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, former Hammond state Rep. Linda Lawson, said a Myers administration would push the Republican-controlled General Assembly to get things done on behalf of Hoosiers whose needs are routinely ignored by state lawmakers, even when Holcomb comes knocking. "There's been a lot of talk and zero action at the Statehouse when it comes to actually fixing the disparities — fixing the enforcement of discriminatory practices, such as sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, pay discrimination failures and problems we face every day. Indiana needs to do more — now."

 

TRUMP SEEKS RESET FROM SELF-INFLICTED BLUNDERS: President Donald Trump is running out of time to recover from a series of self-inflicted setbacks that have rattled his base of support and triggered alarm among Republicans who fear the White House is on the verge of being lost to Democrat Joe Biden (AP). The one-two punch of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and his widely panned debate performance also has Republicans worried they could lose control of the Senate. With just over three weeks until Election Day, Senate races in some reliably red states, including South Carolina and Kansas, are competitive, aided by a surge in Democratic fundraising that has put both the Republican Party and Trump’s own campaign at an unexpected financial disadvantage. The president will aim for a reset this week, hoping an aggressive travel schedule and Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings will energize his most loyal supporters and shift attention away from a virus that has killed more than 214,000 Americans on his watch. This year’s campaign, other Republicans worry, may instead resemble 1980 or 2008: a close race until, at the end, it decidedly wasn’t. “It’s not good for my side,” said veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres. “Pretty obviously, in many ways down-ballot Republicans are in the boat with Donald Trump. That’s good for Republicans in deep-red states, but more problematic for those in swing states.”

 

CHICAGO WARNS OF TRAVEL TO INDIANA DUE TO COVID: Chicago health officials have added Indiana to a list of states its residents are "strongly advised not to travel to" as Indiana's coronavirus case rates continue to rise, according to the city of Chicago's website (IndyStar). Originally placed into effect July 6, the city of Chicago's Emergency Travel Order identifies 21 states and Puerto Rico as states that are reporting more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people each day, and are subsequently covered by the Order. Those states, which does not include Indiana for now, are designated as places that anyone returning to or visiting Chicago from should immediately begin quarantining for 14 days after their last contact within that state.

 

AFL-CIO FLAGS INDIANA FOR WORKER DEATHS: In an annual report, the country’s largest federation of labor unions ranks Indiana as one of the worst states in the country when it comes to worker deaths on the job (Indiana Public Media). The national AFL-CIO report looked at worker fatalities and injuries from 2018. Indiana saw 173 worker deaths that year, ranking it as the eighth worst state for fatalities and putting its death rate well above the national average of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Even so, the average amount businesses were penalized for serious violations or workplace fatalities falls below the national average. Brett Voorhies, president of the Indiana AFL-CIO, says the problem stems from a lack of OSHA inspectors after years of federal funding cuts under the Trump administration. Indiana’s OSHA office has just 37 inspectors to monitor more than 150,000 businesses. “I think that office has needed to be revamped for quite some time, but now I think it’s even worse” he said. “And it couldn’t come at a worse time, during the pandemic.”

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: It will be interesting to see who shows up and who social distances at MAGA rallies as President Trump hits the campaign trail claiming he is "immune" from COVID. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

NWI TIMES ENDORSES HOLCOMB, ROKITA: The NWI Times has endorsed Gov. Eric Holcomb and Republican attorney general nominee Todd Rokita. "Incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb continues to ensure projects and priorities for Northwest Indiana remain at the top of his agenda. Holcomb has demonstrated a keen understanding of how our Region's economic fortunes feed the state as a whole," the Times writes. "His steadfast support for commuter rail expansion, one of the biggest economic development plans in recent memory, shows that he understands what will move the Region’s economic needle, bolster our sense of place and keep our state connected with the vital nearby economy of Chicago. Holcomb deserves another term to see this and so many other initiatives through." On the AG's race, it says: "We endorse Region native and former Republican Congressman Todd Rokita for the office of attorney general. There's a benefit to having the state's top legal mind also grasp the ins and outs of Northwest Indiana. Under past attorneys general, important work was done to weed out political corruption and voter fraud in our Region. Rokita would make a worthy watchdog in this role and has shown the type of tough posture to be effective. Rokita also would inherit an office reeling from the alleged groping scandal that embroiled incumbent Attorney General Curtis Hill. Hill's own party declined to place him on the ballot, and rightly so. Rokita will need to do some reputation repair in the office, and he’s up to the task."

 

HD19 REMATCH A TOSSUP: Calling a winner won’t be easy in the race for the 19th House District. State Rep. Lisa Beck, of Hebron, who has represented this section of south county since her narrow victory two years ago, is running for reelection (Dolan, NWI Times). Julie Olthoff, of Crown Point, who was the 19th District representative for four years before her defeat to Beck, wants that seat in the Indiana House of Representatives back. As the incumbent, Beck has the advantage of proving she can do the job from her recent accomplishments in the General Assembly, which she has reminded her constituents in glossy mailers. Olthoff can hope the voters fondly remember her past public service. Neither candidate is assuming anything. “This is a toss up district,” Julie Olthoff said. The district is centered on Crown Point and its rural outskirts, which were solidly Republican until three decades ago when Democrats increasingly made their presence felt in local elections. Jim Wieser, the Lake County Democratic Party chairman, argues the Republican-controlled General Assembly tried to turn back the clock by redrawing the 19th’s boundaries several years ago to include heavily Republican precincts in Porter County. That redistricting favored Olthoff in 2014 and 2016, when she narrowly outpolled her Democratic candidates. Wieser said Democratic Party candidate Beck just out-hustled Olthoff two years ago. “And (Beck) is working very hard again,” he said. Dan Dernulc, the Lake County Republican chairman, said 2018 was a fluke year when Democrats prevailed almost all the way across the ballot. He said Olthoff, “is working her tail off this year and I’m confident she will win this time.”

 

SLAGER WORKING HARDER TO DEFEAT CHYUNG: The Nov. 3 election for the 15th District state representative will be a repeat of the 2018 legislative contest between Democrat Chris Chyung and Republican Hal Slager (Dolan, NWI Times). Slager lost by only 82 votes two years ago in a stunning upset to Chyung, a political newcomer, who won what had been considered a solid Republican district since its boundaries were redrawn after the 2010 census to encompass Dyer, Schererville, much of St. John and Griffith. Dan Dernulc, the Lake County Republican chairman, said Slager was a victim of a Democratic tsunami of votes two years ago that overcame many local Republicans. “I’m confident he will win this time. He is working 10 times harder than before,” Dernulc said. Slager had served three terms on 15th District House seat from 2012 to 2018 and a decade before that on the Schererville Town Council. He said some critics complained he had been in office too long. “But Democrats have had no problem reelecting state Sen. Frank Mrvan Jr. for the last 40 years,” Slager said. Slager said he was overconfident two years ago. “Our polling was off and I didn’t put in the work, but this year I have really been getting into it and I’ve been well received.

 

TEACHER CHALLENGING REP. SOLIDAY: The 4th District race for the Indiana House of Representatives seat is a rematch between seven-time Republican incumbent Ed Soliday and elementary school music teacher and former Valparaiso Councilperson Deb Porter, a Democrat (Wieland, NWI Times). Porter, 61, an elementary school music teacher in the Portage Township School District, has served as the teachers' union president, working with the legislature on bills. Being on the union’s bargaining team has also given her a good understanding of the budget process, she said. “I’ve seen the damage the legislature has done to my profession,” she said. “The biggest priority of the upcoming session will be the budget and we will have to address the declining state income as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. The other thing is the state of public education. “We have a teacher shortage and declining salaries, and the emphasis is on testing that has meant less mastery and a narrower curriculum rather than the broader one the students need. We are teaching to the test.”

 

Presidential 2020

 

TRUMP'S INDIANA LEAD IN CBS TRACKER 10%: In the CBS Battleground Tracker updated on Sunday, President Trump maintains a 54-44% lead over Joe Biden in Indiana. In Arizona, Biden leads 51-46%; Florida Biden leads 51-47%; Georgia Biden leads 50-48%; Iowa is tied at 49%; Michigan Biden leads 52-46%; Minnesota Biden leads 54-44%; New Hampshire Biden leads 54-44%; North Carolina Biden leads 51-48%; Ohio Trump leads 50-49%; Pennsylvania Biden leads 52-46%; Texas is tied at 49%; Wisconsin Biden leads 53-46%.

 

DONNELLY, KHAN IN VIRTUAL EVENT: At 8:30 p.m. today, Khzir Khan, former senator Joe Donnelly and Kentucky State Representative Nima Kulkarni will lead a roundtable discussion on how the 2020 election impacts the South Asian community and how a strong coalition is critical toward winning in November (Howey Politics Indiana). The discussion is sponsored by Indiana for Biden and moderated by former Pete Buttigieg presidential campaign National Policy Director Professor Sonal Shah and 2018 Indiana House candidate Poonam Gill. Khzir Khan, Sen. Joe Donnelly, Rep. Nima Kulkarni, Indiana for Biden and the South Asian community

 

TRUMP WANTS TO BE ON TRAIL EVERY DAY: President Trump has asked his campaign to put him on the road every single day from now until Nov. 3. His team is in the process of scheduling events to make that happen, two sources familiar with the discussions (Axios). But not everyone thinks this is a good idea. One adviser said, “He’s going to kill himself.” Look at the polls. Trump is in need of a rebound, and he's betting he's got a better chance on the move than sitting around the West Wing. The campaign is more worried than ever that seniors — a crucial voting bloc — are abandoning Trump over his handling of the pandemic "He really f----d up with seniors when he said not to worry about the virus and not to let it control your life," one Trump adviser told Axios. "There are so many grandparents who’ve gone almost a year without being able to see grandchildren."

 

FAUCI SAYS TRUMP AD OUT OF CONTEXT: Dr. Anthony Fauci did not consent to being featured in a new advertisement from the Trump campaign touting President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the nation's leading infectious disease expert told CNN his words were taken out of context (CNN). "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials," Fauci said in a statement provided exclusively to CNN when asked if he agreed to be featured in the ad. The Trump campaign released the new ad last week after the President was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for Covid-19. The 30-second ad, which is airing in Michigan, touts Trump's personal experience with the virus and uses a quote from Fauci in an attempt to make it appear as if he is praising Trump's response. "President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America," the ad's narrator says. "Together we rose to meet the challenge, protecting our seniors, getting them life-saving drugs in record time, sparing no expense."

 

BIDEN SCHEDULE: Vice President Joe Biden's schedule: Monday: Biden will deliver remarks on economic recovery in Toledo, Ohio. Later he will attend a voter mobilization event in Cincinnati. Thursday: Biden will participate in an ABC town hall in lieu of the second presidential debate, which was canceled on Friday.



Sunday Talk

 

GRAHAM DISMISSES DELAYING ACB HEARINGS: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday dismissed calls from fellow senators to delay Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, saying the lawmakers will “go to work safely” on Monday. Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo asked Graham on “Sunday Morning Futures” about some senators requesting to postpone the hearing after two GOP members of the panel tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. “Well, we're going to do what every American has to do come Monday – go to work safely,” Graham answered.

 

McDANIEL SAYS BIDEN SEEKS COURT PACKING: Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that “all the media’s" focus should be on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s refusal to answer whether he would pack the Supreme Court if elected. CBS’s Margaret Brennan questioned McDaniel on “Face The Nation” about the Trump campaign’s plans for any in-person fundraisers leading up to the election and whether coronavirus restrictions would be implemented. McDaniel responded by saying, “We’re going to do everything that we need to do, but let’s go back to the issue Margaret. You have a candidate running for president right now… doing an absolute power grab.” “Joe Biden is running on the biggest power grab in history, and you guys want to talk about fundraising protocols?” she asked.

 

ERIC TRUMP SAYS FAMILY HAS 'LOST A FORTUNE': Eric Trump defended his father's business dealings in response a New York Times article published on Saturday that unveiled reported White House favoritism toward hundreds of companies, lobbying groups and foreign leaders who stayed at President Trump's commercial properties. The newspaper reported that the president used his political position to create new, more lucrative forms of income through his hotels and golf courses. "We've lost a fortune. My father has lost a fortune running for president. He doesn't care. He wanted to do what was right. The last thing I can tell you Donald Trump needs in the world is this job. He wakes up in the morning, and he has to fight you, and he has to fight the entire media. He has to fight the Democrats, and he gets punched in the head every single day," Eric Trump told Jonathan Karl of ABC's "This Week."

 

GOV. HUTCHINSON CRITICAL OF MAGA RALLIES: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Sunday that large public events, including campaign rallies for President Trump, should not take place without social distancing efforts. Hutchinson, asked on CNN’s “State of the Union,” if he would feel comfortable with his family attending such a rally, noted that such rallies offer masks and screening for attendees. “Certainly, we want to have an engagement in the presidential campaign this year. It is the topic, as it should be. But, yes, there should not be any mass gathering without social distancing. The social distancing is so important, or wear a mask,” Hutchinson said. “If you're going to sit next to somebody, wear a mask. And it's important that we have seen, by illustration, the challenge of the virus in a spreader event when you don't socially distance.”

 

WHITMER DECRIES 'ARTIFICIAL' VOTE RESULT DEADLINES: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Sunday that the results of the state's election will not be announced before "artificial deadlines" set by "people with political agendas." The Michigan governor declined to tell CBS’s “Face The Nation” how long it will take for the state to determine the official results of this year’s election. “Michigan will be able to announce results, but we are not going to have artificial deadlines set by, you know, people with political agendas,” she said. “We’re gonna get this right.” “It will be soon after polls close,” she added. “I’m not gonna put a number on it, but we’re gonna get it right.” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) has said the battleground state that President Trump won in 2016 will not be able to report the election results on Nov. 3.

 

SASSE ACCUSES DEMS OF 'SUICIDE BOMBING': Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said on Sunday that Democrats expanding the Supreme Court and ending the filibuster would be “suicide bombing” and called Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s refusal to clarify whether he would expand the court “grotesque.” “It’s grotesque that Vice President Biden won’t answer that very basic question,” Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” The Nebraska Republican said an expansion of the court, combined with the elimination of the filibuster, would constitute a “suicide bombing” that would “blow up” their respective branches of government and “turn the Senate into just another House of Representatives.”

 

RICHMOND ON BIDEN COURT PACKING: Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the co-chair of Joe Biden's campaign, refused to answer whether or not he or the Democratic presidential nominee supported expanding the Supreme Court -- a question Biden and other Democrats been avoiding in recent weeks. "I think it's a legitimate question for you to ask, but it is a distraction with 22 days before the election," Richmond said on ABC's "This Week." Speaking with guest host Jon Karl, the congressman was asked where Biden stood on the issue of court-packing. Rep. Richmond said, "That's a better question for me. I'm in Congress. It would take legislation from the United States Congress and the United States Senate to do it. But I think that Joe Biden and Senator Harris are very clear, that it is a distraction. We should not be talking about a hypothetical court packing once this nominee is confirmed. What's -- when we're talking about packing, we're talking about all the judges that he is packing on the court right now."

 

Congress

 

PELOSI CITES IMPASSE IN RESCUE TALKS: The latest, beefed-up White House offer on a new coronavirus package hit resistance from both Democrats and Republicans over the weekend, deflating hopes that a bipartisan agreement was imminent (Wall Street Journal). Democrats criticized the nearly $1.9 trillion offer from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as insufficient, particularly in its funding and strategy for coronavirus testing and tracing. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, balked at the offer’s cost and its proposed expansion of the Affordable Care Act. The concerns from both sides of the Capitol lowered expectations that had risen Friday when President Trump approved the most generous GOP offer to date in the negotiations. In a letter to House Democrats on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said the new administration offer provided inadequate funding and no national plan for testing, contact tracing and treatment of the coronavirus. “This past week, the president demonstrated very clearly that he has not taken the war against the virus seriously, personally or nationally. This attitude is reflected in the grossly inadequate response we finally received from the administration on Saturday,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote. “Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.”

 

HOUSE PREVIEW: The House is on recess through the election.

 

SENATE PREVIEW: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has postponed floor activity through Oct. 19. Opening statements for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett begin on Monday.

 

State

 

ISDH: BOX SEES CAUSE FOR CONCERN ON COVID - Indiana’s health commissioner says a rise in coronavirus cases over the last week-and-a-half is cause for concern but says there’s no plan to retighten restrictions (Berman, WIBC). For the first time in nearly a month, Indiana’s positivity rate is at 5%, the point where health officials warn risk levels to become significant. Health Commissioner Kristina Box says 39 Indiana counties are still below that level. While that’s nearly a third fewer than last week, it’s still close to half Indiana’s 92 counties. Box says the administration concluded last month, as the average fell below 4%, that it no longer made sense to keep the whole state under the same restrictions. Box emphasizes that the move two weeks ago to Stage 5 of Governor Holcomb’s reopening plan doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. She notes social distancing is still required, a mask order remains in place, and local health departments must approve plans for large events. Box cautions the state could reimpose restrictions if people don’t follow those rules, plus other precautions like washing your hands regularly and staying home if you feel sick.

 

ISDH: SUNDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health today announced that 1,579 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 134,981 the total number of Indiana residents known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. A total of 3,562 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of seven from the previous day. Another 227 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by the state and occurred over multiple days. To date, 1,486,182 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 1,474,639 on Saturday. A total of 2,336,228 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26.

 

DNR: ALL TERRAIN WHEELCHAIRS AT DUNES - Three new all-terrain wheelchairs have been added for guest use at Indiana Dunes State Park (Indiana Public Media). The park in Northwest Indiana says the chairs were purchased by the Friends of Indiana Dunes. Two of the chairs are designed for use on trails, and one chair is designed for use on the Lake Michigan beach. The wheelchairs are available at the park’s nature center from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Chairs to use on the park’s beach can be borrowed through the lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CLAIMS HE'S 'IMMUNE' - President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he is “immune” to the novel coronavirus and “can’t give it,” even though the White House has not released any negative test results and immunity to the virus remains poorly understood (Washington Post). The tweet was quickly flagged by Twitter, which said it contained “misleading and potentially harmful misinformation” related to the coronavirus. It was the latest example of the social media giant pushing back against the president’s posts on the deadly virus, and it appeared to refer to Trump’s claim to immunity. Some recovered patients with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, have been reinfected, and experts say many questions remain about immunity, including how long it lasts. “A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday,” Trump said. “That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!”

 

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump's schedule: Monday: Trump will speak at a rally in Sanford, Florida. Tuesday: Trump will speak at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Wednesday: Trump will speak at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

 

KENTUCKY: GOV. BESHEAR TO QUARANTINE - Kentucky’s governor said Sunday that he will quarantine after a member of his security detail who drove with his family the day before later tested positive for COVID-19 (Politico). Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his family feel fine and show no coronavirus symptoms. Beshear’s wife and their two children also will quarantine.

 

SPORTS: LAKERS WIN 17TH NBA TITLE – The Los Angeles Lakers defeated Miami, 106-93, in Game 6 on Sunday, outlasting the plucky underdogs to claim the 17th championship in franchise history.

 

Local

 

INDIANAPOLIS: HOGSETT LOOKS TO CLARIFY IMPD REPORT - The City-County Council is poised to grant unprecedented citizen oversight to the rules that govern the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Mayor Joe Hogsett tells CBS4 News he is seeking some clarification on requirements about who can serve on the proposed General Orders Board. 17 of 25 councilors have signed on as co-sponsors of Proposal 237 which comes up for a final vote Monday night. The proposal would establish a General Orders Board and charge it with writing the rules that govern IMPD, everything from uniforms to Internal Affairs and fatal Use of Force investigations. Currently, a three-member General Orders Committee, made up of two appointees by the Chief of Police and one by the officers, writes and oversees 534 pages of rules. Under the new plan, the mayor and the Council would each appoint two citizens, the chief would name two and the Fraternal Order of Police would nominate one, giving community members a 4-3 voting majority. “What Proposition 237 really embodies is what I believe is the will of our city is given the challenges of what our city has faced,” said Hogsett. “I support 237 because I think it’s a step in the right direction and it is keeping in my estimation what the people of the city of Indianapolis demand, more accountability in terms of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.”

 

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY: HEALTH OFFICIALS TIGHTEN BAR RULES - St. Joseph County health officials are looking to bars are restaurants to help stop some of the community spread of coronavirus (WSBT-TV). Last week the health department issued final warnings to 6 bars in St. Joseph County for violating coronavirus safety regulations. For now, most have fixed the problems. The county visited 5 of the 6 bars Friday night and all of them were in compliance. These checks come as Indiana is seeing record high case counts, two weeks after the state moved into stage 5. People still need to wear a mask at bars and restaurants if they aren’t sitting down and eating or drinking. That's a rule the owner of Corby’s Irish Pub said he's constantly having to explain to customers, which can be tricky at 1 in the morning. "I tell them it's not red versus blue, it’s not about if you think you need to be wearing a mask or not, it's not anything except for the pure fact that if we don’t do this we will have to close down," said Joe Mittiga.

 

ALLEN COUNTY: COVID CLOSES SCHOOL - An influx of COVID-19 cases at a Northwest Allen County middle school is prompting a week of remote learning for that building, the district announced Sunday evening (Sloboda, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Maple Creek Middle School's extracurricular and after-school activities also are canceled, but they could be rescheduled as early as the week of Oct. 19, the district said. Teachers will work on-site this week, the district said, and custodial staff will thoroughly clean the school. The pivot from in-person classes followed an increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Maple Creek in the past two weeks, the district said. “Because of the number of students being quarantined at the moment, and because of the number of confirmed cases during such a short period of time, we are taking extra steps to help keep our students safe and on track,” Principal Bill Toler said in a statement.

 

LAKE COUNTY: COMMISSIONERS SUE FIRM FOR LED LIGHTS - The Lake County Board of Commissioners is trying to recoup the $415,000 they paid to a company two years ago to purchase LED lights that were never delivered (Cross, NWI Times). The owner of LTN Solutions, Ryan Rettig, of Crown Point, breached his contract with the county and failed to pay his supplier and California lender, court records allege. At least 570 light fixtures are sitting in LTN and Rettig’s supplier’s warehouse waiting for shipment to America, the county has claimed. The county's crossclaim — which targets both LTN and sole owner Rettig — alleges LTN is not properly funded. The county also claims Rettig accepted the $415,000 payment, stopped efforts to fulfill his contract, and failed to reimburse his supplier.

 

MARION COUNTY: INMATE MURDERED - A 38-year-old inmate at Marion County Jail has died after alleged assault by another inmate, authorities said Sunday (Indiana Public Media). The inmate was identified as Martin Cruz. Authorities said he was found unresponsive Saturday evening and was transported to an Indianapolis hospital where he was declared dead around 11:30 p.m. The apparent homicide is under investigation by several agencies including Indianapolis police, the Marion County sheriff’s office and the county coroner’s office. Cruz had been in custody since July on child molestation charges. His trial had been set for December, according to online court records.