JUDGE RULES GENERAL ASSEMBLY CAN CONVENE ITSELF: A Marion County judge ruled Thursday the General Assembly has the authority under the Indiana Constitution and state law to convene "emergency" legislative sessions without the governor's consent (Carden, NWI Times). Marion Superior Judge Patrick Dietrick said the tradition of a single, annual Indiana legislative session is not a prohibition on the House and Senate meeting any time they want, for as long as they want, so long as the date, time and place of each session is fixed by law. He said House Enrolled Act 1123, authorizing emergency sessions of up to 40 days when the Legislative Council determines action is needed to respond to a statewide emergency, meets that standard and passes constitutional muster following a 1984 revision that struck a constitutional mandate for the General Assembly to adjourn each year no later than April 30. "The General Assembly now has complete authority to set the rules governing the timing of its sessions. It may extend its session indefinitely, or enact measures such as HEA 1123, giving it the ability to commence a session limited to a specified agenda," Dietrick said. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb claimed the new law — enacted April 15 by the Republican-controlled General Assembly over the governor's veto — infringed on his exclusive authority to reconvene the Legislature following adjournment of its regular session.

 

$1B WORTH OF READI GRANTS SOUGHT: Seventeen regions representing all of Indiana's 92 counties are seeking funding for $1 billion -- twice the amount of money the state plans to give -- for initiatives to support economic development, quality of life and related projects (Green, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today announced the total of funding requests from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). The READI budget is $500 million. Northeast Indiana is seeking funding for 130 projects, which would require $129 million in funding. It submitted a 308-page proposal titled "Growing with Vision." The maximum expected to be granted to any one region is $50 million. Holcomb said he and Bradley B. Chambers, Indiana's secretary of commerce, are impressed with the "hard work and collaborative energy invested" in the proposals. “I have no doubt these plans will be the beginning of transformational progress that will impact Hoosiers for generations to come,” the governor said in a statement.

 

SENATE PASSES DEBT CEILING REPRIEVE: The Senate has dodged a U.S. debt disaster, voting to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December and temporarily avert an unprecedented federal default that experts warned would devastate the economy and harm millions of Americans (AP). The party-line Democratic vote of 50-48 in support of the bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling by nearly a half-trillion dollars brought instant relief in Washington and far beyond. However, it provides only a reprieve. Assuming the House goes along with the Senate’s Thursday night vote, which it will, Republican and Democratic lawmakers will still have to tackle their deep differences on the issue once more before yearend.

 

SENATE JUDICIARY REPORT DETAILS TRUMP COUP ATTEMPT:  A report by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority details Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election that he lost, with the Justice Department brought to the brink of chaos and top officials there and at the White House threatening to resign (AP). The report released Thursday offers new insight into how the Republican incumbent tried to undo the vote and exert his will on the department, asking leaders to declare the election “corrupt” and disparaging its top official for not doing anything to overturn the results. Trump’s actions led to a near-revolt at department headquarters that receded only after senior officials warned of a mass resignation, with one White House lawyer describing the efforts to undo the election as a “murder-suicide pact.” “In attempting to enlist DOJ for personal, political purposes in an effort to maintain his hold on the White House, Trump grossly abused the power of the presidency” and arguably violated a federal law that prevents anyone from commanding that federal employees engage in political activity, the report says.

 

TRUMP TO INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN JAN. 6 PROBE: Donald Trump intends to assert executive privilege in a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, a move that could prevent the testimony of onetime aides, according to a letter sent by lawyers for the former president (AP). The letter went to at least some witnesses who were subpoenaed by the House committee and it makes clear that Trump plans to invoke privileges meant to protect presidential communications from being shared with Congress. The substance of the letter was described Thursday by a person who has seen it and who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the letter was not yet public. Spokespeople for Trump did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

 

GREENFIELD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CAPITOL INSURRECTION: A Greenfield man who was among those charged with federal crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building has pleaded guilty (IndyStar). Israel Tutrow entered a plea deal Wednesday for one of the four crimes with which he was charged.  He originally pleaded not guilty May 3 to all four charges: knowingly entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business, disruptive conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. But on Wednesday he entered a plea agreement for the last charge. The maximum sentence he faces is six months imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 21.

 

SECOND U.S. STEEL SPILL CLOSES DUNES BEACHES: A second spill in less than two weeks has occurred at the local U.S. Steel Midwest plant into the nearby Burns Waterway that feeds into Lake Michigan, again shutting down lake access from nearby National Park and Ogden Dunes beaches (Kasarda, NWI Times). "This morning, we identified a sheen in the Burns Waterway outside of our Midwest Plant," Amanda Malkowski, lead media relations person with United States Steel Corp. said in a statement sought by The Times. "We have shut down the rolling mills, as we investigate," she said. "The sheen has been contained by an existing boom, and vacuum trucks are removing any accumulation. At this time the leak appears to be contained, and we are not observing any sheen outside the boomed area. We are working with IDEM, and notifications have been made to other relevant authorities."

 

CDC WARNS OF SEVERE FLU SEASON: Health officials are urging Americans to get both the flu and COVID-19 shot. The urgent warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting the flu season will be severe (AP). Flu experts said seasonal flu cases reached an all-time low last year. The agency said there were fewer cases because of mask-wearing and social distancing due to the pandemic. The CDC is concerned that reduced population-level immunity to the seasonal flu could place us at risk for a severe flu season this year.

 

'ADDICT'S WAKE' FILM FEATURES BROWN COUNTY: “Nearly every family, classroom, and workplace in Brown County feels the devastating ripple effects of heroin, meth, and opioid addiction,” that’s how the documentary “The Addict’s Wake,” describes the story of addiction in Brown County (WIBC). “It’s really a war going on,” said Executive Producer Amy Pauszek. “It’s just not down in Brown County, it’s across the nation.” “The Addict’s Wake,” will premiere at the Heartland Film Festival on Oct. 11. The documentary follows the stories of many in the community who have struggled with addictions or witnessed their family and friends struggle with addiction.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: We're running out of everything. Axios reports this morning we face a turkey shortage for Thanksgiving. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

DERNULC EYES SD1:  Lake County Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, absolutely loves serving on the financial governing body for the state's second-most populous county (Carden, NWI Times). But Dernulc, who also leads the Lake County Republican Party, admitted Thursday he's considering — just considering, for now — leaving the county council behind for a chance at serving in the Indiana Senate. The new legislative district maps adopted last week by the Republican-controlled General Assembly combined state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, and state Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, in Senate District 2, and created an open seat in the new Senate District 1 that includes Dernulc's hometown of Highland, along with Griffith, Dyer, Schererville, St. John, and southwestern Merrillville. Dernulc said he's already been asked by many people to consider running in the new district, and he acknowledged that he's taking those suggestions seriously and talking over what going to Indianapolis might mean to his family, friends, and political allies.

 

INDEMS CELEBRATE BIDEN'S ARP: The Indiana Democratic Party celebrated President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan for once again creating a better future for Hoosier families. This time, about $540 million will be used to help alleviate Indiana’s childcare crisis across the state, including pay raises and bonuses for workers, facility updates, and funding for childcare providers to pay rent and keep the doors open (Howey Politics Indiana). The Rescue Plan is solving today’s problems facing Indiana businesses and Hoosier families, but it’ll be President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that’ll take this initial investment to the #NextLevel. About 55% of Hoosier families currently live in a childcare desert, and after this once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment passes, Democrats will eliminate childcare deserts and deliver a better future for Indiana’s families. Unfortunately, not one Indiana Republican - from the state’s Congressional delegation to even Governor Eric Holcomb - supported the American Rescue Plan. Republicans’ extreme partisanship forced them to say “NO” to the Rescue Plan, which ultimately provided $250 million in state broadband internet investments, fully-funded Indiana’s public schools, and delivered a pay raise for educators.

 

INDEMS FOCUS ON WORK POLICY: The Indiana Democratic Party brought to light how the Indiana Republican Party’s “work more for less” economy is once again failing Hoosier workers and the families they provide for each day. According to a new report by Fox59, low incomes for workers is contributing to many families being “priced out” of the communities they call home. Indianapolis is not alone because Hoosier families in Northwest Indiana are also feeling the same burden with many workers admitting to clocking in 80 hours a week just to afford basic rent (Howey Politics Indiana). Since 2012, Indiana’s so-called “right to work” laws have plunged wages for its workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 30-percent of Indiana workers make minimum wage or low-wage jobs. This means more than 892,000 Hoosiers earn less than $15.00 an hour. Hoosier families have seen diminished opportunity under the Indiana Republican Party, and this partisanship has led to the state’s workforce being handed an “F” grade from CNBC’s “Top States for Doing Business” report.  Indiana Democrats have a solution to fix this problem for Hoosiers, and it’s through President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

 

Polls

 

AP POLL SHOWS AMERICANS CONCERNED ABOUT MISINFORMATION:  Nearly all Americans agree that the rampant spread of misinformation is a problem. Most also think social media companies, and the people that use them, bear a good deal of blame for the situation. But few are very concerned that they themselves might be responsible, according to a new poll from The Pearson Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Ninety-five percent of Americans identified misinformation as a problem when they’re trying to access important information. About half put a great deal of blame on the U.S. government, and about three-quarters point to social media users and tech companies. Yet only 2 in 10 Americans say they’re very concerned that they have personally spread misinformation. More — about 6 in 10 — are at least somewhat concerned that their friends or family members have been part of the problem.

 

Congress

 

BRAUN DISCUSSES CLIMATE CHANGE: Indiana Sen. Mike Braun is one of only a handful of Republicans that are engaged in the discussion in Congress when it comes to climate change (WIBC). The issue is a heavy part of President Biden’s agenda, especially in the $3.5 trillion social spending bill that is up for discussion in the Senate. Braun is among those that believe something should be done to curb climate change, but also believes in doing it responsibly. “I’ve made it very clear that I want to be engaged in the issues,” Braun told a virtual town hall on Thursday. “But, I want to do it where we have honest pay-fors, and where we don’t borrow money from future generations.”

 

SHORT-TERM DEBT LIMIT DEAL REACHED: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Democrats and Republicans had reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December and that the Senate could pass the measure as soon as later Thursday, putting off a possible government default for several months (Wall Street Journal). “It’s our hope that we can get this done as soon as today,” said the New York Democrat in a brief statement on the Senate floor. A Senate aide said that the agreement is to raise the borrowing limit by $480 billion, as that is the amount that the Treasury Department says is needed to meet the country’s cash needs until Dec. 3. Mr. Schumer and his counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), briefed lawmakers of their respective parties on Thursday afternoon.

 

RIFT WIDENS BETWEEN HOUSE GOP, BUSINESS GROUPS: Lobbying efforts by some of the nation’s biggest business groups are falling on deaf ears with House Republicans just a few years after the two worked in lockstep to craft the 2017 tax bill that delivered massive corporate tax cuts (The Hill). Even after every major business group in Washington, D.C., urged House Republicans to support the Senate-passed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, only a handful of GOP lawmakers have said they would vote for the measure, according to The Hill’s tally. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in particular, has drawn public attacks from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other Republicans, revealing deep divisions between the two forces that were closely aligned for decades. House Republican leaders kicked the Chamber off their coalition calls this week after the Chamber’s top lobbyist criticized them for whipping votes against the infrastructure bill. “People care what their local Chambers of Commerce and business owners have to say, not the U.S. Chamber,” said Brett Horton, chief of staff to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). “If the U.S. Chamber sent me a meeting request right now, I wouldn’t even staff that meeting out to an intern, and I don’t see that changing.”

 

The SENATE is in. The HOUSE is out.

 

General Assembly

 

UNVAXXED SEN. KRUSE SPENT 10 DAYS IN ICU: An Indiana state senator who spent 10 days in a hospital’s intensive care unit with COVID-19 says he stands behind his decision to not get vaccinated against the illness (AP). Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn said he began experiencing body aches and uncontrollable shaking in early September about the time his wife was admitted to a Fort Wayne hospital with pain from her bone cancer. The 75-year-old Kruse told The Journal Gazette that several days later a physician friend took him to the hospital, where he was treated until returning home Sept. 27 having lost 20 pounds. His wife also tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t become ill, Kruse said. Kruse is among the most conservative members of the Indiana Legislature and announced in August he wouldn’t seek re-election next year, ending more than three decades as a lawmaker. Kruse said he believed God spared his life and he hasn’t changed his mind about COVID-19 vaccinations, which health experts say are the best way to avoid serious illness. “I chose to not do that. I don’t think it’s necessary,” Kruse said. “I believe in natural herd immunity. Let it take its course and move on.”

 

CHAMBER PREVIEW NOV. 15: Join us November 15 at the Conrad Indianapolis to hear from a panel of legislative leaders – just one day before Organization Day – on the 2022 issues that will have the greatest impact on the Indiana business community (Howey Politics Indiana). Tickets are $65 for Indiana Chamber members and $75 for non-members. Registration includes lunch and optional networking coffee breaks. Click below to register online, or contact Lisa at events@indianachamber.com or (800) 824-6885.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB TALKS VAX MANDATE - After speaking at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the County luncheon Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state is seeking clarity on specific details of the rules. It is uncertain, he said, if the state could intervene in any dispute on behalf of companies that violate the directive (Knight, Anderson Herald Bulletin). “This is obviously going to be an OSHA-enforced effort (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), but we’ve still got a number of questions,” Holcomb said. “We need some clarification on how and what exactly they’re talking about doing, and we don’t have that yet.” Clayton Whitson, president and CEO of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said that while businesses are rightly encouraging their employees to get vaccinated, a federal mandate isn’t helpful. “I just don’t know that more government intervention is the solution,” he said. “All that’s going to do is continue to make this a polarizing political issue. This is a public safety, public health issue.”

 

GOVERNOR: CROUCH ANNOUNCES $500K MENTAL HEALTH GRANT FOR FARMERS - The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has received a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program (Howey Politics Indiana). ISDA is partnering with the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) and Purdue Extension to reduce mental health stigma and connect individuals engaged in agriculture-related occupations to existing stress assistance programs. “The agricultural community is an extraordinary one with hard working people and unique challenges, both economically and socially,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “This funding will assist rural residents with stress and help communities ensure residents know there are available resources help close to home.”

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL: ROKITA ANNOUNCES 'SEPARATION OF POWERS' WIN - In an important win for the separation of powers, the Marion Superior Court ruled late Thursday that the Indiana General Assembly may provide by law for a legislative session to commence if the Governor declares a statewide emergency. In its order, the Court upheld the statute known as HEA 1123, enacted during this legislative session and challenged in court by the Governor (Howey Politics Indiana). “This is a huge win for the people of Indiana and permits their voices to be heard through their legislators when the Governor invokes his own emergency powers,” Attorney General Rokita stated. In the lawsuit, the Governor had argued that his constitutional authority to call a special legislative session prevents the legislature from enacting a statute that authorizes a session during a public emergency. But in upholding HEA 1123, the court said that “[t]he Special Session Clause does not limit the General Assembly’s authority to schedule its sessions.” Indeed, the Court said, the Special Sessions Clause “was never understood to give the Governor any power to tell the legislature when it can or cannot meet.” Rather, it grants to the Governor an extraordinary right to exercise a legislative power to call a special session that is otherwise reserved to the legislature.

 

PURDUE: FARM BAROMETER DECLINES IN SEPTEMBER - The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer declined in September, down 14 points to a reading of 124. With producers feeling less optimistic about both current conditions on their farming operations as well as their expectations for the future, this is the weakest farmer sentiment reading since July 2020 when the index stood at 118 (Howey Politics Indiana). The Index of Current Conditions declined 12 points to a reading of 140 and the Index of Future Expectations fell 16 points to a reading of 116. The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted Sept. 27-29.

 

PURDUE: AWARDED $10M FOR CROP RESEARCH - Purdue University is being awarded $10 million for crop diversity research. The project "#DiverseCornBelt: Resilient Intensification through Diversity in Midwestern Agriculture" will aim to make corn and other crop more resilient at a number of different levels (WLFI-TV). Research will be done on corn and soybean fields across Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa over five years. The effects of COVID-19 on supply chains spurred the need for the project, with concerns over climate change looming. The aim will be to study the effects of crop diversity at farm, market and landscape. Project leader and head and professor of horticulture and landscape architecture at Purdue University Linda Prokopy explains. "It's really important for farmers to be resilient in the face of a changing climate, and the more they can diversify the crops that they grow, or the alternate things they're doing with their land, the better off they'll be as we move forward," Prokopy said.

 

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: KHARBANDA LEAVING HEC - After nearly 14 years leading the largest environmental policy organization in the state, Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC), has decided to conclude his tenure at HEC. Kharbanda will take on a new initiative related to the global biodiversity crisis and to society’s addiction to factory farming; he will remain at the helm of HEC until his successor is in place (Howey Politics Indiana).  “It has been my pleasure to support Jesse's leadership, during which time HEC has solidified its reputation as the leading voice for environmental issues throughout the state,” said HEC Board President Tom Barrett. “I’m humbled to have led HEC for nearly a decade and a half,” said Kharbanda. “Our staff, our partnerships, and our capabilities have only grown stronger during this time. Against serious odds, we’ve won legislative, legal, and organizing victories for our health and environment. I hope that our successes—in very tough political terrain—give heart to Hoosiers as we grapple with not only ongoing environmental challenges but the increasing imprints of the climate crisis.”

 

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: JOHNSON LEAVING SAVE THE DUNES - Natalie Johnson, executive director of Save the Dunes — which advocates for the protection of dunes natural areas and Lake Michigan — is ending her tenure there of nearly a decade. She plans to move closer to her family in St. Louis (Indiana Public Media).

 

DNR: TROUT STOCKING IN FW AND HUNTINGTON - The DNR will stock two locations in Fort Wayne and one in Huntington with rainbow trout measuring 12-14 inches long (Howey Politics Indiana). In Fort Wayne, Shoaff Park will receive 300 fish, and Spy Run Creek will receive  200. Memorial Park in Huntington will be stocked with 200 fish. There will not be any special events associated with the Fort Wayne stockings. Fishing can take place once the fish have been stocked, which will occur on Oct. 15.

 

AUTOS: STELLANTIS RETOOLING KOKOMO PLANTS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES - Automaker Stellantis plans to spend nearly $230 million on retooling three Indiana factories so they can produce transmission systems that work with both traditional gasoline-powered vehicles and gas-electric hybrid versions (AP). Company executives joined state and local officials in announcing the project Thursday at the Kokomo Transmission Plant. The investment by the company that combined Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot will also involve the Kokomo Casting and the Indiana Transmission plants in Kokomo. In July, Stellantis outlined its plans for a major push toward electric vehicles, saying nearly all of its models in Europe and North America will have fully electric or plug-in gas-electric hybrid versions by 2025.

 

MEDIA: DISH LOSES NBC AFFILIATES - Dish TV customers in Indianapolis have lost access to local NBC affiliate WTHR (IndyStar). Viewers found a "special message" on the TV station's website, announcing that satellite TV company Dish has taken away access to their station. Tegna, which owns WHTR, had been warning customers this week that they may lose access to local stations beginning Wednesday evening, according to USA TODAY. The drop in service is happening because Dish and Tegna have not been able to reach a new carriage agreement, or the rights to carry and retransmit broadcasts. It's affecting nearly 3 million customers across 53 other TEGNA markets, including Louisville, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN PUSHES VAX IN ILLINOIS - President Joe Biden is in Illinois Thursday to promote his administration’s push for COVID-19 vaccine mandates for large employers, as a new White House report outlines the importance of those requirements in driving up vaccination rates and helping Americans return to work (ABC News). "This extensive analysis looks at existing vaccination requirements in healthcare systems, educational institutions, businesses - and the public sector have seen vaccination rates already soar by 20%," White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday aboard Air Force One en route to Illinois.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN MEETS WITH MANCHIN - President Biden met with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday about his economic agenda as the president tries to unify Democrats behind a compromise reconciliation package containing many of his priorities. The White House confirmed the meeting, which took place privately before Biden headed to Chicago for an event to promote coronavirus vaccinations Thursday afternoon. “The president and Senator Manchin had a good conversation about the president’s Build Back Better agenda,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One. “We’re staying in close touch about this. We’re talking to him and also his team. I don’t have specifics about the meeting beyond that.”

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN/HARRIS SCHEDULES - President Biden's schedule — 9:30 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. — 10 a.m.: Biden will sign the HAVANA Act of 2021 and K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 into law. — 11:30 a.m.: Biden will deliver remarks on the September jobs report. — 1:45 p.m.: Biden will deliver remarks on restoring protections for national monuments and conservation. — 2:30 p.m.: Biden will receive the weekly economic briefing. — 6:15 p.m.: Biden will depart the White House for Wilmington, Del., where he is scheduled to arrive at 7:10 p.m. VP Harris: — 9:35 a.m.: The vice president will depart D.C. en route to Newark, N.J. — 11:45 a.m.: Harris will participate in a roundtable conversation on the importance of federal investment in child care at the Ben Samuels Children’s Center at Montclair State University. — 2:40 p.m.: Harris will tour a vaccination site at Essex County College. — 4:35 p.m.: Harris will depart Newark to return to D.C. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 2:30 p.m.

 

FDA: PFIZER SEEKS APPROVAL FOR 5-11 YEAR OLDS - U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize their coronavirus vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old, the companies announced Thursday (Washington Post). An estimated 28 million children in the United States would be eligible for the shots if regulators give the green light — a process expected to take several weeks. The coronavirus vaccine would be the first available in this country for children younger than 12 years old. An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine. Officials have said its authorization could occur between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

 

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - CBS “Face the Nation”: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Fiona Hill, Scott Gottlieb, Chris Krebs. “Fox News Sunday”: Panel: Jason Riley, Jacqueline Alemany and Harold Ford Jr. Power Player: Alec Lace. ABC “This Week”: Panel: Donna Brazile, Chris Christie, Julie Pace and Maggie Haberman. NBC “Meet the Press”: Panel: Donna Edwards, Yamiche Alcindor and David French. MSNBC “The Sunday Show,” guest-hosted by Tiffany Cross: Michael Li, Phillip Atiba Goff, Jacqueline Charles, Yvonne Kwan, Versha Sharma. CNN “Inside Politics”: Panel: Tamara Keith, Eva McKend, Lauren Fox, Jeff Stein, Michael Warren and Leana Wen.

 

IDAHO: GOVERNOR RESCINDS LG'S ORDERS - The Idaho governor on Wednesday issued an executive order repealing his political rival’s executive order from the previous day involving Covid-19 vaccine passports and mandatory testing (Politico). Republican Gov. Brad Little issued the order while still in Texas, a move that challenges the state’s longstanding practice of making the lieutenant governor acting governor when the governor is out of state. Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, a far-right Republican who is running to take Little’s job, issued her order Tuesday and also sought to activate the Idaho National Guard and send soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border. Little is in Texas meeting with nine other Republican governors over concerns on how President Joe Biden is handling border issues. In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor don’t run on the same ticket. Little was expected back late Wednesday.

 

NBA: 18 PLAYERS CHARGED IN FRAUD CASE - Eighteen former National Basketball Association players have been indicted on charges they participated in a conspiracy to defraud an N.B.A. health care plan of nearly $4 million, the federal authorities said on Thursday (New York Times). The scheme lasted from at least 2017 through last year and involved the submission of fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental services that had not actually been provided, according to a federal indictment unsealed in Manhattan. For the most part, the 18 former players charged in the scheme played in the N.B.A. in the late 1990s and the 2000s. Two of the most notable are Ronald Glen Davis, nicknamed “Big Baby,” and Tony Allen, both of whom played on the Boston Celtics team that won the N.B.A. championship in 2008.

 

MLB: ASTROS OPEN PLAYOFFS WITH 6-1 OVER CHISOX - The Houston Astros defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-five American League Division Series on Thursday evening. The Astros are now two wins away from securing a fifth consecutive trip to the AL Championship Series (CBS Sports). The Astros scored early and often, jumping ahead by a 1-0 margin in the second on a Jake Meyers single. Houston tacked on two more in the third, including one on a Yordan Alvarez double that narrowly missed clearing the wall. Alvarez did get his home run later, launching a solo shot in the fifth to push Houston's lead to 6-0. On the run prevention side of things, the Astros were paced by starter Lance McCullers Jr. whose performance said: no Justin Verlander? No problem. McCullers held the White Sox to just four hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings.

 

MLB: TAMPA SHUTS OUT RED SOX 5-0 -  Randy Arozarena is off and running in October again (New York Post). The do-it-all rookie became the first player to hit a home run and steal home in a postseason game, propelling the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in their AL Division Series opener Thursday night.

 

Local

 

ELKHART: NATIONAL GUARD AT EGH - More boots on the ground – literally – for a local hospital (WSBT-TV). The Indiana National Guard is in Elkhart right now supporting hospital workers at Elkhart General Hospital. EGH is currently over 90 percent capacity. According to a hospital spokesperson, this isn’t about not having enough workers, this is all about supporting a staff that is feeling the added stress and effects of the pandemic.

 

ELKHART: EPD COP RESIGNS — Lt. Carl Conway, facing a disciplinary proceeding this week to remove him from the ranks of the Elkhart Police Department, has resigned, according to a news release from the department (Elkhart Truth). Conway’s resignation was unexpected and not the product of any agreement with the chief of police, Police Merit Commission or mayor, the release said.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: IMPD SEEKS MORE OFFICERS — Small to mid-size police departments are seeing officers jump ship to agencies offering better pay and benefits (WRTV). The largest city police department in Indiana, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, is not alone in finding about 200 people to fill a Metro Police uniform. The department is undertaking an aggressive recruitment push to attract individual to law enforcement. As of today, IMPD has 1,674 officers on the job. The agency is budgeted to have a force of 1,743. So Metro could hire 69 people today. New funding from through President Biden's federal rescue plan will pay for an extra 100 officers as outlined by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

 

INDIANAPOLIS: CITY TO WIDEN MONON TRAIL - After years of delays, the Monon Trail is finally about to get wider. Construction bidding is scheduled for November, with work on the trail in full swing by next spring, according to the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (IBJ). Indianapolis officials first pitched a wider Monon in 2014, and planned to start construction in 2020 with $2 million from a 2015 federal grant and $5 million in city bonds. That didn’t happen. Instead, city lawyers unearthed a 2012 Indiana Supreme Court case during due diligence that said railroad easements couldn’t be transferred to new public trails. Indianapolis had purchased the physical rails from CSX, owner and operator of the former Monon Railroad, but not the land underneath. “It was found last-minute on a legal check, before we submitted everything, that basically redefined former rail law in Indiana,” DPW Director Dan Parker said. “And the case was from … years prior to the submission of this project, and obviously, long before any of us were here.”

 

ELKHART: AMAZON TO HIRE 1K AT NEW WAREHOUSE — Amazon is preparing to build two new facilities in northern Indiana that the company says will employ more than 1,000 people (AP). The online retail giant announced Thursday its plans to build an 800,000 square-foot (74,322 square-meter) warehouse near the Indiana Toll Road just outside Elkhart along with a smaller order processing center. Amazon’s announcement follows a secretive process in which Elkhart County officials approved an estimated $10 million tax break package for the project without revealing the company involved. Some opposed the tax incentives as the area has a low unemployment rate and the large warehouse would compete with existing businesses for workers, The Elkhart Truth reported.

 

PERU: COUNCILWOMAN SEEKS IMPEACHMENT OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT — Peru City Councilwoman Patricia Russell said she had looked into trying impeach Council President Betsy Edwards-Wolfe, but decided against it after hearing criticism about how poorly the council was conducting itself (Logansport Pharos-Tribune). Russell read a statement during Monday’s council meeting to address “accusations about rumors” that she was trying to impeach Edwards-Wolfe, who had brought up the impeachment in passing during last month’s council meeting. Russell started her statement by saying the dictionary definition of impeachment was to charge someone with a crime or misdemeanor. She then said she had called City Attorney Dustin Kern to ask if she could make a vote to impeach Edwards-Wolfe to remove her as council president. Kern said she could do that, but advised her to think it through.

 

TIPPECANOE COUNTY: FAIRFIELD TRUSTEE RELENTS ON CREMAINS - Fairfield Township Trustee Taletha Coles, who kept the cremated remains of indigent residents in a safe in her office for the past year, gave the ashes back to a Lafayette funeral home this week (Bangert, Based in Lafayette). Jonathan Fisher, owner of Fisher Funeral Home, on Thursday said he went to the township offices on Wabash Avenue on Wednesday to pick up the remains of three people the township paid to have cremated. Coles confirmed that but gave no other details, a week after she agreed to let Fisher take them and give the people a proper resting place. “They are in my care,” Fisher said Thursday. “Seal was never broken. Returned just the way they were. … I will arrange the burial tomorrow for some time next week.”