TENTATIVE GM/UAW DEAL: Local GM workers were cautiously optimistic Wednesday that the tentative agreement struck between the Detroit automaker and the UAW is one they can support (Slater, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). But they won't know whether the deal is worth voting for until they see details. Neither General Motors nor the union has revealed what is included. Rich LeTourneau, bargaining chairman for United Auto Workers Local 2209, said many local members would like to end the strike that started more than four weeks ago. “But they've already got 30 days invested, and they want to make sure the details are right,” he said. “They're in this for the long haul. Otherwise, the 30 days was for nothing.” LeTourneau and Holli Murphy, Local 2209's president, were driving to Detroit Wednesday afternoon when they talked to The Journal Gazette. They are scheduled to learn details of the tentative agreement with General Motors today.

AG HILL SEEKS TO BLOCK TESTIMONY: Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is trying to block two women from testifying about allegations of sexual misconduct as he prepares for an upcoming disciplinary hearing on separate claims that he drunkenly groped four women at a bar last year (AP). The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission wants the women to testify about Hill’s actions when they were employees under him as the Elkhart County prosecutor before becoming attorney general in 2017. The disciplinary commission argues Hill faces a “heightened duty of ethical conduct” because of his position. One of the women is expected to testify about Hill’s “inappropriate sexual innuendo and propositions directed to her,” commission lawyers said in legal filings in the past week, first reported by The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette. The other woman could testify about Hill’s “character and reputation in the legal community.” Hill’s lawyers argue that such testimony about unrelated events shouldn’t be allowed during the hearing on professional misconduct charges against Hill that is scheduled to begin Monday before former state Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby. The hearing could lead to actions by the state Supreme Court including dismissal of the complaint, reprimands, and being stripped of his license to practice law. Selby didn’t rule during a conference Wednesday afternoon with the lawyers for Hill and the disciplinary commission on whether she will allow the testimony.

4 HOOSIER REPUBLICANS VOTE TO REBUKE TRUMP OVER SYRIA: Four of Indiana’s Republican House members voted to rebuke the president for pulling out of Syria (WIBC). Reps. Larry Bucshon, Susan Brooks, Jim Banks and Jackie Walorski, sides with Democrats Andre Carson and Pete Visclosky, in a House resolution. Reps. Jim Baird, Trey Hollingsworth and Greg Pence opposed the largely symbolic resolution, which not only rebukes the president, and condemns Turkey’s subsequent incursion into Syria, but requires Trump to outline a plan to defeat ISIS. The vote was 354-60, with 129 Republicans voting yes but n the resolution. Sen. Todd Young, a Republican, co-authored a similar measure in the Senate.

PENCE, POMPEO IN TURKEY: President Trump is sending Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to try to change the behavior of a foreign leader who says he has no intention of changing his behavior (Sherman, Politico Playbook). What will they get from sending the VP and SecState to Turkey? They do have leverage in the sanctions Treasury announced and the tougher measures pending in Congress, but it seems quite risky for the U.S.  The schedule in Ankara today is a meeting with Erdogan and Pence. We'll then go to Israel. The Netanyahu meeting is Friday. We'll then fly to Brussels for the NATO visit before returning to Washington. Pompeo dropped by the press cabin just before departure to say hello. He noted that it is Pence who is leading this delegation to Turkey, and said it is "our mission set to see if we can get a cease-fire" in Turkey's widening incursion into Syria. "See if we can get this brokered," he said.

TRUMP SAYS TURKISH INVASION 'HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US': President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Turkey's incursion of northern Syria "has nothing to do with us" and added that former US allies -- the Kurds -- are "not angels." He also falsely claimed the Kurds "are much safer now," despite his recent decision to pull US forces out of northern Syria -- where the US was fighting alongside Kurds in the region (CNN). "Our soldiers are not in harm's way, as they shouldn't be, as two countries fight over land that has nothing to do with us. And the Kurds are much safer now. The Kurds know how to fight and as I said, they're not angels," Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. "But they fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us and that's OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn't do so well when they didn't fight with us," he added. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's closest allies on Capitol Hill, slammed the President's comments Wednesday, saying they completely undercut diplomatic efforts by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who are about to travel to Turkey. "I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won't come back to haunt us, ISIS won't reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision. However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama's decision to leave Iraq," Graham tweeted.

TRUMP URGED ERDOGAN NOT TO BE A 'TOUGH GUY' IN LETTER: President Donald Trump warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey against being “a tough guy” and “a fool” in a bombastic letter last week that was apparently delivered as the Turkish military launched its invasion of northeast Syria (Politico). In the letter, which was authenticated by the White House, Trump urges his foreign counterpart to negotiate an end to Turkey’s assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, which has drawn widespread condemnation by the international community. The correspondence was made public Wednesday as the president continues to face fierce criticism for granting tacit approval of the incursion earlier this month, and as administration officials have sought to project a hard line against Erdogan's government amid sustained political fallout. “Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson,” Trump wrote in the letter, referring to sanctions the Treasury Department previously imposed on senior Turkish officials for the detention of an American evangelical clergyman. Turkish PresidentErdogan put U.S. President Donald Trump's letter 'in the bin,' the BBC has been told. In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: 'Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!' "Turkish presidential sources told the BBC that the letter was 'thoroughly rejected' by Mr Erdogan. On the day the letter was received, Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish-led forces.

TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT BLOCKADE CRUMBLES: The White House’s trenchant declaration to House impeachment investigators last week was unequivocal: No more witnesses or documents for a “totally compromised kangaroo court.” But just a week later, it has become clear that President Trump’s attempts to stonewall the Democrat-led inquiry that has imperiled his presidency and ensnared much of his inner circle are crumbling (New York Times). One by one, a parade of Trump administration career diplomats and senior officials has offered a cascade of revelations. Those accounts have corroborated and expanded upon key aspects of the whistle-blower complaint that spawned the impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his power to enlist Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election. The latest disclosures came on Wednesday, when a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered an inside account of what he said was a demoralized State Department, where career diplomats were sidelined and others apparently were pressed to use their posts “to advance domestic political objectives.” In six hours of voluntary testimony, the former aide, Michael McKinley, told impeachment investigators that he quit his post as Mr. Pompeo’s senior adviser amid mounting frustrations over the Trump administration’s treatment of diplomats and its failure to support them in the face of the impeachment inquiry, according to a copy of his opening remarks.

GALLUP FINDS 52% SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT: Public opinion on whether Trump should be impeached remains mixed, but Americans now lean slightly more in favor of impeachment and removal from office compared with where they stood in June, according to Gallup. Currently, 52% say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46% say he should not be. This is roughly the opposite of what Gallup found in June when asked in the context of special counselor Robert Mueller's investigation. This update, from an Oct. 1-13 Gallup poll, also finds that Trump's approval rating remains flat, at 39%, compared with 40% in the late September update. It is on the low end of the 37% to 46% range recorded in 2019 so far, with the 37% readings coming in January during the government shutdown. Currently, 87% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 5% of Democrats approve of the job Trump is doing.

AS TRUMP INTENSIVELY MONITORS SENATORS, BRAUN STEPS UP: President Donald Trump is intensely monitoring his standing among Senate Republicans as Democrats’ impeachment inquiry ramps up, according to senators who have been in contact with the president and White House officials. And with the microscope on their every move, some in the Republican Conference are taking a more proactive approach to demonstrate their loyalty. For example, take Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), who called up Trump last Friday to let him know that he and his voters have Trump’s back (Politico). “I just felt he needed to hear that Indiana is a state that’s grown more conservative and would epitomize a cross-section of conservatives in the country. And they are behind him wholeheartedly,” Braun said. Trump is monitoring comments from his GOP colleagues, Braun said, but added that Trump didn’t seem worried about a GOP mutiny over the rapidly unfolding Ukraine scandal: “I sense a feeling of confidence.”

KAREN PENCE ENGAGES FOR TRUMP ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The first time Donald Trump ran for president, Karen Pence, the wife of his running mate, rarely hit the campaign trail to stump for the pair (Orr, Politico). Camera shy and appalled by Trump’s treatment of women, Mrs. Pence surfaced only to support her husband in his October 2016 vice presidential debate and to join him at rallies in the final weeks before the election. But when Trump began asking friends this summer for their thoughts about Vice President Mike Pence, the second lady decided it was time to step up. Fearful that the president might boot Pence — who has long had his eye on the 2024 presidential race — from his reelection ticket, she became eager to assist the campaign as a loyal female surrogate. “It was Mrs. Pence saying, ‘I want to be more involved and help the campaign out,’” said a GOP source familiar with Trump’s reelection operation, recalling that she volunteered to up her social media reach by joining Instagram and launching a campaign account on Twitter. Mrs. Pence’s sudden transformation, her participation in Trump campaign events and her gushing praise of the president stems from a desire to protect her husband’s political future and to fiercely defend him in an election contest that seems to get uglier by the day, according to eight current and former administration officials and people close to the Pence family who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity. It also comes as she and the vice president aim to restore their image as faithful foot soldiers for the Trump agenda following the release of separate books this summer, by journalists Tim Alberta of POLITICO and Tom LoBianco, that detailed a pair of episodes in which Mrs. Pence refused to kiss her husband on election night.

HPI SCHEDULE: The next weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana will be published next Tuesday.

YOUTH SUICIDES SHOOT UP 56%: Suicide and homicide rates have increased in recent years among young people in the U.S., according to a new federal report. The suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Wall Street Journal). The rate of homicide deaths decreased by 23% from 2007 to 2014 but then increased by 18% through 2017. Violent death, including homicide and suicide, is a major cause of premature death for the age group. Around 2010, the death rate of suicides among adolescents and young adults surpassed the rate of homicide deaths, according to the report. “The chances of a person in this age range dying by suicide is greater than homicide, when it used to be the reverse,” said Sally Curtin, a statistician at the CDC and an author of the report. “When a leading cause of death among our youth is increasing, it behooves all of us to pay attention and figure out what’s going on.”

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: As Vice President Pence arrives in Ankara for what looks to be a mission impossible foray as security and humanitarian crises unfold, the White House authenticated a letter President Trump sent to President Erdogan on Oct. 9. It is the most sophomoric rendering on White House letterhead ever released. Trump has pulled Pence into the Ukraine controversy, and now the Turkey/Syria debacle. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

HOGSETT SAYS BUCK STOPS WITH HIM ON CRIME: The buck stops with the mayor, said Indy Mayor Joe Hogsett, Wednesday. Hogsett, a Democrat seeking a second term, said he believes in his police chief and in what his administration has been doing to reduce violent crime (Davis, WIBC). "The level of gun violence that Indianapolis has experienced, and frankly most other urban areas throughout the country has experienced, is unacceptable and unprecedented," he said in an interview with WIBC News at the Steer Inn, on Indy's east side. "We've added a net increase of 150 patrol officers to IMPD," he said, when questioned about incidents like the downtown shooting near Steak n' Shake, where six people were shot.

HOLCOMB QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT: In rapid time, Gov. Holcomb's campaign has significantly surpassed the number of petition signatures required to earn him a place on the May 2020 Republican ballot (Howey Politics Indiana). “Today’s news is proof that this campaign is organized, mobilized and energized throughout our entire state,” said Kyle Hupfer, Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign manager. “In what feels like record time, our statewide team – powered by our strong local Republican Party leaders, our field staff, county coordinators and volunteers – have collected more than enough signatures to get Governor Holcomb on the ballot next year. It's a credit to the excellent relationships Governor Holcomb has built throughout Indiana that our grassroots network and campaign infrastructure is now up-and-running more than a year before next year’s election." While official records of when campaigns cross the required threshold aren’t kept, Hupfer commented that this was faster than other Indiana presidential, gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns in recent history.

Presidential 2020

538 SAYS BUTTIGIEG DID WELL IN DEBATE: If something is going to shake up the race before the Iowa caucuses, it’s likely to be a debate. So we partnered with Ipsos to once again track how Tuesday’s debate, hosted by CNN and The New York Times, affected likely primary voters’ feelings about the candidates. The FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, interviewed the same group of voters twice, on either side of the debate, to capture both the “before” and “after” picture. Both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar were relatively well-liked going in, but got even higher marks for their debate performance than their popularity alone suggests they should. In fact, Buttigieg received the third-highest debate performance grade. Only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren scored higher, but their debate performances were more in line with their pre-debate favorability ratings. Joe Biden, notably, didn’t have that bad of an overall debate grade, but it was still a bit lower than we might expect given how well-liked he is.

BUTTIGIEG BACKED MEDICARE FOR ALL IN 2018 TWEET: Pete Buttigieg has spent recent Democratic presidential debates sparring with Medicare for All proponents, but the South Bend, Ind., mayor backed the concept in a 2018 tweet that resurfaced Wednesday (Politico). The February 18, 2018 message came as part of an exchange with other Twitter users pushing Democratic politicians to support the sweeping health care plan. "I, Pete Buttigieg, politician, do henceforth and forthwith declare, most affirmatively and indubitably, unto the ages, that I do favor Medicare for All, as I do favor any measure that would help get all Americans covered," Buttigieg tweeted in February 2018. "Now if you'll excuse me, potholes await."

BIDEN IN CASH CRUNCH: Stalled in the polls and on the heels of another uninspiring debate performance, Joe Biden's campaign was forced to respond to another troubling issue Wednesday: his lackluster fundraising. Just months ago, Biden's initial cash haul surprised naysayers who doubted he could compete with the money-minting machines that is Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But now the former vice president is bleeding money (Politico). Biden spent almost $2 million more than his presidential campaign raised last quarter, a predicament caused by sluggish fundraising coupled with the expenses of maintaining a big payroll and a nationwide operation — one that included luxury expenses such as swank hotel stays at the Westin and The W, and nearly $1 million for private jets. His cash on hand sum of $8.9 million is so low that it's almost four times lower than the $33.7 million banked by Sanders, nearly three times lower than Warren's $25.7 million war chest and more than twice as small as Pete Buttigieg's $23.3 million.

MOODY'S ANALYTICS PREDICTS TRUMP REELECTION: President Trump is favored to win reelection to the White House in 2020, according to a Moody's Analytics report, but several factors will have to fall into place for the commander-in-chief to receive another four years (Fox News). Moody's report, tweeted out on Tuesday, said early signs point to a Trump victory mostly fueled by a strong economy. However, the results will depend on voter turnout. "Our 2020 Presidential Election Models: Early signs point to Trump, though turnout is key," the tweet read. The report states that Trump has the advantage in several forecast models such as the economy, personal finances, and energy prices. "The current environment of stable to low gas prices favors Trump in his reelection bid. Moreover, the baseline forecast calls for gasoline prices to dip slightly in the year leading up to the 2020 election," the report reads.



Congress

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS DIES: Rep. Elijah Cummings, the powerful House Democrat who represented Baltimore for more than two decades and was a vocal critic of President Trump, died early Thursday after battling health problems, his office said in a statement (Fox News). Cummings, who was 68, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, his hometown. As chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he was one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, and played a key role in the House Democrats' ongoing efforts to impeach Trump. "This is a terrible tragedy," Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, tweeted. "Elijah is one of the most honest, thoughtful, decent people I ever met in politics. His moral compass was unfailing throughout his life in and out of politics. My deepest thanks to Elijah’s family for lending him to our country for all these years."

GRAHAM CASTIGATES TRUMP OVER SYRIA: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has generally been a key ally of Donald Trump, slammed the president again on Wednesday, arguing thathis statements regarding Syria could lead to "a disaster worse than President Obama's decision to leave Iraq" (Newsweek). Graham's criticism of Trump came after the president told reporters Wednesday that the ongoing Turkish invasion of Syria and targeting of the Kurds is "not our problem." The president also argued that Russia helping the Kurds is "a good thing." Trump argued that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist group, "is probably worse at terror, more of a terrorist threat in many ways, than ISIS [or the Islamic State]." "I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkey's invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won't come back to haunt us, ISIS won't reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision," the GOP senator wrote.

VOLKER TESTIFIES: The former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday to review testimony he gave the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees in a private session on October 3 (CBS News). In that testimony, Volker depicted Rudy Giuliani as the driving force behind an effort to get Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and 2016 election interference, according to sources familiar with the testimony. He also expressed misgivings about Giuliani's influence on the president's view of Ukraine. But Volker said he was "never asked to do anything" he thought was wrong, "including by the president," sources said.

SONDLAND TO TESTIFY TODAY: Lawmakers plan to grill Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Thursday about a private discussion he had with top Ukrainian officials in the White House in which he explicitly mentioned the Ukrainian gas company linked to Hunter Biden, amid negotiations over granting Ukraine's new president an audience with President Donald Trump, NBC News has learned. Sondland's meeting with the Ukrainians just steps away from the White House Situation Room came minutes after a larger West Wing meeting that included then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, who had been noncommittal about scheduling a meeting between Trump and new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

REPUBLICANS FORCE FLOOR VOTE ON SCHIFF: House Republicans took steps on Wednesday to force a floor vote on a measure formally condemning Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump (Politico). Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, filed the censure resolution as “privileged,” meaning the House now has to act within the next two legislative days. While Democrats will likely just move to table the symbolic measure, it represents the GOP’s most aggressive offensive yet as the party tries to coalesce around a strategy to beat back Democratic impeachment efforts.



State

ISP: $8K RAISED FOR FALLEN TROOPER - More than $8,800 has been raised in memory of fallen Indiana State Police Trooper Peter (Bo) Stephan, according to an Old National Bank spokesman (WLFI-TV).  An account was opened Saturday on behalf of Stephan's family. You can donate at any Old National branch in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The account is listed under the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation/Peter Stephan. Trooper Stephan leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old daughter.

ECONOMY: GREAT LAKES SHIPPING DOWN 6% - International cargo shipments on the Great Lakes are down 6% so far this year (Pete, NWI Times). The U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. reported that in September shipments of salt rose 14.9%, cement and clinkers by 2.2%, coke by 10.9%, gypsum by 21.8% and ores and concentrates by 47.6%. "As we head into the busiest few months of the navigation season, robust cargo movements continue at our ports and through the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System," said Craig Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. "Project cargo continues to be strong and heavy machinery is a leading commodity, with the ports of Cleveland, Toledo, Duluth, Detroit and Manistee all reporting September shipments of machinery from foreign markets."

HEALTH: DATA BREACH FOR METHODIST HOSPITALS - A northwestern Indiana hospital system is warning more than 68,000 patients that their personal information, including Social Security numbers and health records, may have been exposed during a data breach (AP). Methodist Hospitals has been mailing letters to patients detailing the steps they can take to safeguard themselves against possible fraud, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported Wednesday. Methodist, which has campuses in Gary and Merrillville, said it was alerted in June to questionable activity on a staffer’s email account and that it learned in August that two employees had fallen victim to an email phishing scam in which an unauthorized user got access to their accounts, the hospital system said in a news release.

EDUCATION: WAVE OR RESIGNATIONS AT ST. JOSEPH'S COLLEGE - A wave of resignations from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer is causing new confusion among alumni. It all started on October 2nd (WLFI-TV). The university's Facebook page announced Bill Hogan decided to resign from his role as Vice President for Advancement. After that, Board of Trustees Ned Tonner and Mara Davis resigned, and Chief Information Officer Michael Kohlman is stepping down too. Kohlman said his last day will be November 1st. Hogan's resignation is the only one that has been officially announced by the university. Monday was his last day.

CLIMATE: HUGE WAVES ON LAKE MICHIGAN - Mid-October gales from the northwest sent huge waves rolling across southern Lake Michigan on Wednesday, including in St. Joseph (South Bend Tribune). Waves as high as 12 to 18 feet were forecast, pushed by 35-knot winds and gusts up to 40 knots. The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood advisory for the day, a wind advisory a little farther north, and predicted beach erosion and minor flooding. Neither is a surprise with Lake Michigan at a near-record high. Back in early 2013, the lake was at a near-record low but has gone up 6 feet since then, in part because of a “longer term wet pattern” especially this past year, according to information from the weather service.

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: DAY 1,000 BRINGS INFANTILE MEETING WITH LEADERS - You know a White House meeting has gone off the rails when the president of the United States and the speaker of the House cannot agree over the precise insult one called the other (New York Times). According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump called her a “third-grade” politician during a combative meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Wednesday about the worsening situation in northern Syria. The White House and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump actually called Ms. Pelosi “third-rate.” At one particularly tense moment, Ms. Pelosi informed the president that “all roads with you lead to Putin,” referring to Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president. And so, on Day 1,000 of his presidency, that is where things stand between Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi, who have a fraught history of derailing meetings shortly after pledging to work together, including one in January, when the president abruptly stood up, said “bye bye,” and stormed out. A meeting in May basically ended before it began.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - The president will leave the White House at 10:30 a.m. en route to Fort Worth, Texas. He will arrive at 12:45 p.m. Central time and travel to the City Club of Fort Worth. Trump will participate in a roundtable with supporters at 1:45 p.m. followed by a joint fundraising committee lunch. Trump will depart at 3:10 p.m. en route to the Naval Air Station Reserve Base Fort Worth. He will leave at 3:40 p.m. for Alvarado, Texas, where he will head to a Louis Vuitton factory. He will tour the facility at 4:20 p.m., followed by remarks and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:45 p.m. Trump will then fly to Dallas, where he will hold a political rally at 7:05 p.m. Afterward, he will return to Washington.

HEALTH: OPIOID CRISIS COSTS $630B; CLAIMS 400K LIVES - The opioid crisis cost the U.S. economy $631 billion in just four years (2015-2018) — and it may keep getting more expensive, according to the Society of Actuaries (AP). The biggest cost driver over the four-year period is unrealized lifetime earnings of people who died, followed by health care costs, AP's Geoff Mulvihill reports. Governments bear less than one-third of the cost. The rest of it affects individuals and the private sector. More than 400,000 American lives have been lost to the opioid crisis since 2000.

ILLINOIS: CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE - Chicago parents and community groups are scrambling to prepare for a massive teachers' strike set to begin today, prompting the city to preemptively cancel classes in the nation's third-largest school district (AP). Picket lines went up this morning. The Chicago Teachers Union confirmed Wednesday night that its 25,000 members would not return to their classrooms today after months of negotiation between the union and Chicago Public Schools failed to resolve disputes over pay and benefits, class size and teacher preparation time. “We want this to be a short strike with an agreement that will benefit our schools and our teachers. We have a ways to go,” Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said during a union news conference.

Local

SULLIVAN: CITY HALL, BLOCK EVACUATED - The continued degradation of a former law office building in Sullivan forced the closure of City Hall and several other businesses Wednesday as officials fear a partial collapse could entangle nearby power lines and affect an adjacent gas main (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb said 12 North Court Street, a three-story building and former home of Bodine Law Office, showed unexpected structural degradation this morning. The city, therefore, decided to evacuate the block. The area affected includes Sullivan City Hall, Sullivan County Community Corrections, Followell Real Estate, Followell Law, Paws & Claws, and Toys Auto Parts (NAPA).

SOUTH BEND: PD TAPE CASE HINGES ON EMPLOYEE - The fate of the city’s long-standing police wiretap case could hinge on whether a former police employee will confirm to Common Council members what she heard on the recorded tapes, one council member says (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Karen DePaepe, the ex-communications director for the Police Department, has been at the center of the case for years. She first approached former Chief Darryl Boykins about her concerns about the secret recordings of officers, and has indicated she heard them making racial slurs and discussing illegal activities. DePaepe detailed what she heard in a document answering questions from the city’s legal staff, and The Young Turks website recently published what it says are excerpts from that document.

EVANSVILLE: TV STATIONS CHANGE FREQUENCIES - If you watch Evansville-area local television stations via an over-the-air antenna, you'll need to make some adjustments to your TV or analog converter to continue viewing those channels (Evansville Courier & Press). The channels are WFIE-NBC (14), WEVV-CBS (44), WKOH-PBS (31), WKMA-PBS (35), WTVW-CW (7) and WJTS-CD (18). The transitions are supposed to take place on Oct. 18, according to the Federal Communciations Commission (FCC), which regulates radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable frequencies in the U.S. Over-the-air viewers will need to find the rescan setting on their television or converter box - typically this is called "channel scan," "channel tuning" or "auto search" and can be found in a menu labeled "channels" or "setup" - then choose the automatic scan option. According to the FCC, the channel numbers of these stations will not change, only the frequency at which they are broadcast.

EVANSVILLE: PARENTS TO DEAD SOLDIER SPEAK - The parents of Drew Watters are speaking only to 14 News for the first time since the report of their son’s death was released last week (WFIE-TV). A year ago, Scott and Karen Watters visited Drew, who was on base in Tacoma, Washington. “It was just a really, really, nice day," Karen recalls. "And looking back, you almost wonder, was that part of God’s plan? You know?” Three weeks later Sgt. Drew Watters was killed in a training accident, pinned under a large armored vehicle. “It was clearly an accident, I don’t think there is any doubt about that but, again, the penalty was so, so immense for what happened,” explains Scott.

INDIANAPOLIS: ALCAPULCO JOES CLOSES FOR REMODELING - Change is coming to an iconic downtown restaurant (WTHR-TV). Acapulco Joe's at Illinois and Vermont streets has changed hands and has closed for remodeling. New owner Ezequiel Fuentes says he will use all of the traditional Acapulco Joe's recipes when he re-opens in two weeks. Previous owner Grant Redmond was severely beaten by a customer in March of 2018.

SEYMOUR: POLICE SEARCH FOR MOTHER OF ABANDONED BABY - Seymour police are looking for the mother of a newborn baby girl abandoned and left in a plastic shopping bag. The baby is alive and, according to police, doing remarkably well (WTHR-TV)). Tuesday afternoon, a woman walking her dog past a grass-covered lot was pulled toward a fence line, through the leaves to a discarded plastic shopping bag. "The dog owner discovered some movement inside the bag and picked the bag up and discovered there was a child left inside," Seymour Police Det. Sgt. CJ Foster explained.

CLARKSVILLE: PD OVERTIME DISPUTE SETTLED - A dispute into overtime pay for Clarksville police officers spanning the past five years has been settled, with an agreement in place to make sure compensation is appropriate moving forward (New & Tribune). The town council approved the settlement for $500,000 to be paid to past and present salaried Clarksville officers who were not compensated for the four hours over 80 they worked each pay period, after the department went to 12-hour shifts in 2013. The union, Clarksville FOP Lodge #144, approved the settlement agreement the following day and on Tuesday, the council approved a $500,000 additional appropriation to the 2019 budget to be paid to the officers.

MARION COUNTY: MEARS USES NEW LAW IN FENTANYL DEATH - Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears says for the first time, his office filed a charge of “dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death” against a man accused of dealing drugs that led to a another man’s death (CBS4). In addition to this level 1 felony charge, Dewayne Mahone already faced six charges related to drug dealing as a result of evidence allegedly found in his home during the investigation into the death of Tony Harrell. The charge is new for Indiana, first enacted by lawmakers in 2018 to help address drug overdoses. It can result in a sentence of 20-40 years. ”We’re going to make sure the people that are peddling these drugs, the people that are destroying our communities and literally pumping poison into peoples bodies for profit; that we are going to be the ones that stand up and say no we’re going to hold you accountable,” Mears said.

VANDERBURGH COUNTY: BURN BAN LIFTED - The burn ban for Vanderburgh Count has been lifted (WFIE-TV). Commissioners and the Evansville Environmental Protection Agency made the decision on Wednesday. Several counties still have bans in place including Gibson, Pike and Spencer.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY: ELECTION BOARD COMPLAINT REJECTED - The Tippecanoe County Election Board says it will reject a challenge against current Dayton Town Board President Tyrone Taylor (WLFI-TV). The challenge was filed by community activist Cindy Marsh, who is also the wife of current town board member Ron Koehler. She filed a complaint Tuesday claiming that a felony theft conviction 20 years ago should have kept Taylor from being appointed to the board in 2015, and should keep him from running for re-election on Nov. 5. Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush said the final day to submit formal complaints was Sept. 4, which is why the election board said it will be rejecting it.