HOW PENCE'S TEAM CONVINCED TRUMP FOR THE TICKET: It was July 14, 2016, just four days before the Republican National Convention, and Donald Trump was still waffling on who to pick as his running mate. He had just told Indiana Gov. Mike Pence he was his pick, but then, a day later, here he was calling up New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (LoBianco, Politico). “Are you ready?” he asked, as Christie recalled. “I want to know that you’re ready and that Mary Pat is ready.” “If you want me to do this, we’re going to be ready,” Christie told him. “Stay by the phone tomorrow, because I’m making this call tomorrow,” Trump said. The previous Saturday, Trump had told a roomful of donors he liked Christie for vice president. That Tuesday, he told Pence’s good friend and Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell that the choice was down to Pence and Gingrich. And just the previous day, July 13, he’d called Pence and told him he was it. Hearing that timeline, a former Trump aide laughed. “He tells everybody yes.” How did Trump decide on Pence? A flat tire, some Hoosier hospitality, lots of prayers and Pence’s striking indifference — with which the Indiana governor impressed Trump in a meeting at the Governor’s Mansion — had gotten the Indiana governor to the brink of history. But it was a previously unreported threat from Pence’s political brain trust that would land him on the ticket and ultimately lift Trump over the finish line months later, changing the course of history. The morning of Friday, July 15, 2016, one of Pence’s deputies stood ready to deliver the papers to the Indiana secretary of state’s office that would remove Pence’s name from the ballot for governor and legally allow him to run for vice president. They had until noon. Trump called up Pence aides Marty Obst and Nick Ayers. “Guys, what do you need me to do?” he asked. Obst and Ayers repeated their threat: Make the announcement publicly now or they were backing out. It was a stunning request from the would-be running mate, leveraging the man at the top of the Republican ticket. Pence’s modesty and the miracle flat tire — both of these appeared to give Pence the edge in Trump’s selection. But with a famously indecisive nominee, the importance of Obst and Ayers’ last-minute push is hard to overstate. Trump asked if a tweet would do it. “Yes!” they screamed.

HUPFER EXPECTS INDIANA PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY TO HAPPEN: Republicans in South Carolina, Arizona, Kansas, and Nevada have all decided to not have Republican presidential primaries for the upcoming 2020 Presidential election, but what about Indiana? "I'm not familiar enough with how the other states are structured or how their election laws are set up, but in Indiana, it's not really an option. Our primary system is set up statutorily in Indiana code, so there's really not a mechanism to not have a Presidential primary," Hupfer said (Herrick, WIBC).  He says in other states it's a party function, but in Indiana, it's a governmental function and the governments from across the state will bear that expense. Hupfer says that in order to get on the ballot, you have to obtain 500 signatures that are verified from each Congressional district. "It takes quite a bit of work. We tend to be a state that, unless somebody is a serious candidate, they don't come here and jump through those hoops," Hupfer said. Hupfer anticipates that President Trump and Vice President Pence being the only serious team running on the Republican side this year. "If a town, for instance, doesn't have any opposition from one party or the other, they have the option to not hold that primary and the folks just go into the General Election. At the local level, there is some optionality, but at statewide, it's a full, statewide ballot in presidential years," Hupfer said. 

KHASHOGGI ASKED SAUDI KILLERS NOT TO SUFFOCATE HIM: In his final words, slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi urged his killers not to cover his mouth because he suffered from asthma and could suffocate, according to Turkey's Sabah newspaper (AP). Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkey's government, published new details of a recording of Khashoggi's conversation with members of a Saudi hit squad sent to kill him. The paper says the recording of Khashoggi's grisly Oct. 2, 2018 killing and reported dismemberment at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was obtained by Turkey's intelligence agency. According to the transcript, Maher Mutreb, a member of the Saudi hit squad, tells Khashoggi that he has to be taken back to Riyadh because of an Interpol order against him. The journalist objects, saying there is no legal case against him and that his fiancee is waiting for him outside. Mutreb and another man are also heard trying to force Khashoggi to send his son a message telling him not to worry if he doesn't hear from him, according to the paper. Khashoggi resists saying: "I will write nothing." Mutreb is later heard saying: "Help us, so that we can help you. Because in the end, we will take you to Saudi Arabia. And if you don't help us, you know what will happen in the end." Sabah also published Khashoggi's last words before he was apparently drugged and lost consciousness. "Don't cover my mouth," he told his killers, according to Sabah. "I have asthma, don't do it. You'll suffocate me."

TRUMP FIRES BOLTON: The last time national security adviser John Bolton spoke with President Trump was Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. in the Oval Office. Bolton offered to resign, Axios' Jonathan Swan, Alayna Treene and Margaret Talev report. That was about 22 hours before the president's tweet suggesting that he had fired Bolton, according to a person familiar with the situation. The timeline contradicts the president's account, and speaks volumes about how Trump runs his administration. It underscores Trump's pattern of adjusting facts to fit his narrative, a week after the "Sharpie" controversy involving the path of Hurricane Dorian. It also serves to warn Bolton's successor — whom Trump says he'll name next week — what they're signing up for. At around 11:30 a.m., Bolton submitted a resignation letter to the president, and hand-delivered copies to the offices of Vice President Pence and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. At 11:58 a.m., Trump tweeted that he had informed Bolton the night before that "his services are no longer needed at the White House." A Bolton tweet countered that, saying that he had offered to resign Monday night and Trump said: "Let's talk about it tomorrow."

PENCE WILL PLAY A ROLE IN NAMING BOLTON SUCCESSOR: President Trump is seeking input from Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Republican lawmakers and others on who should replace Bolton, two people familiar with the deliberations tell Axios. Contenders mentioned most often by people close to the White House include Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, a former Trump deputy national security adviser and assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea. CNN reported last month that he could be tapped as ambassador to Russia. Trump also has spoken favorably of the State Department's special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, and Pence's national security adviser Keith Kellogg, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News.

60% AGAINST TRUMP REELECTION IN CNN POLL: Six in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump does not deserve to be reelected, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, and more now say he's doing a poor job than a good one of keeping important campaign promises. Overall, the poll paints a picture of a President who has done little to improve negative impressions of him or his work during his time in office. Across several questions asked early in Trump's time in office and asked again now, the poll finds little positive change and deep partisan polarization. The 60% who say the President does not deserve to be reelected is similar to the 63% who felt that way in November 2017. That outpaces his most recent predecessors at a similar stage in their presidencies. In October 2003, a CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll found that 52% of Americans thought George W. Bush did deserve reelection, and Gallup's polling in 2011 found the share saying Barack Obama did not deserve to be reelected stood in the low 50s. The President's approval rating remains about where it was in mid-August, with 39% approving of the job he's doing and 55% disapproving.

71% DON'T TRUST INFO FROM WHITE HOUSE: Overall in the CNN Poll, 71% say they trust only some or nothing at all of what they hear from official White House communications, about the same as the 68% who felt that way in late 2017. Just 9% say they trust almost all of what they hear from the White House, and another 19% say they trust most of it.

RED LINE DRAWS 64K PASSENGERS: IndyGo opened the Red Line on September 1, the city’s first rapid transit line. The line received overwhelming public interest with people boarding the service more than 64,000 times in the opening week (Howey Politics Indiana). “We are thrilled to see such a positive response to the Red Line launch,” said Juan Gonzalez, chairman of the board for IndyGo. “These early ridership numbers send a clear signal that there is interest and demand for frequent, reliable transit service.

MOODY'S DOWNGRADES FORD TO 'JUNK' STATUS: Moody's downgraded Ford's credit rating to speculative or "junk" status on Monday, citing the company's weak financial outlook as it embarks on an ambitious restructuring (Yahoo Finance). Characterizing the auto giant's current overhaul as "unprecedentedly large and challenging," the ratings agency slashed Ford's debt to the non-investment-grade "Ba1" -- saying prospects for its cash flow and profit margins through the 2020-2021 period were poor. Ford's performance has eroded "during a period in which global automotive conditions have been fairly healthy," Moody's said. "Ford now faces the challenges of addressing these operational problems as demand in major markets is softening and as the auto industry is contending with an unprecedented pace of change relating to vehicle electrification, autonomous driving, ride sharing and increasingly burdensome emission regulations." However, Ford "does have a sound balance sheet and liquidity position from which to operate," said Moody's senior vice president Bruce Clark.

UNKNOWN EYES PRIMARY CHALLENGE TO HOLCOMB: Indiana Republicans might have a primary on their hands as a central Indiana businessman filed campaign finance paperwork Monday to challenge Gov. Eric Holcomb next year (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Brian Roth, who runs a leadership consulting firm in Carmel, didn't return a message seeking comment. To qualify for the primary ballot, he would have to collect 500 certified signatures from each of the nine congressional districts. He founded Employment 2 Deployment in 2017, which lists his wife and son as employees as well. The company offers leadership seminars, executive coaching, and organizational and team assessments. “We see ourselves as an organization that can help anyone, regardless of what they do, improve their leadership if they will do one thing ... change the way they thing (sic) about leadership,” the website says.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Brian Roth's plans to challenge Gov. Eric Holcomb in the Republican primary is a publicity stunt: Gin up business by running a hopeless race for the GOP nomination. - Brian A. Howey


HOGSETT LAUNCHES NEW TV AD: Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's reelection campaign launched a new TV ad today, touting "Back to back balanced budgets" along with "$400 million in investment, 150 new police officers" and a "criminal justice campus which could be his greatest achievement" (Howey Politics Indiana). 

TERRE HAUTE MAYORAL CANDIDATES DEBATE: A trio of candidates in this fall’s race for Terre Haute mayor addressed both the school and casino referendums, their plans for public safety in the city and a host of other topics Tuesday at a forum hosted by Citizens of Action (Modesitt, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). But it was a question about the city’s public safety spending that provoked the most heated discussion of the evening. When asked about a supposed plan to cut public safety, Goodwin went on the offensive saying people, likely his opponents and their supporters, have been spreading lies. Goodwin said he has no intention of cutting public safety, but added officials need to get away from the idea that spending more and more on police and fire equals support. “It’s not true, I never said it,” Goodwin told the dozens in attendance at the Booker T. Washington Community Center. “But here’s the thing; the public safety departments are around two-thirds of our general fund budget. Bennett didn’t address either of his opponents, instead opting to say the public’s safety and those that ensure it should be any mayor’s number one priority. “The most important thing you do as mayor is public safety,” Bennett said. “I can guarantee you everybody that calls me and thanks us for what we do, in answering the calls with good equipment and trained officers and firefighters, we’re going to continue to invest in that.

BISHOP WINS NARROWLY IN SUBURBAN NC CD: In a special election in North Carolina’s heavily Republican 9th congressional district, Bishop, a Republican, narrowly beat Democrat Dan McCready, 50.7% to 48.7%, in a race the GOP should have run away with (Raleigh News & Observer). Trump took credit as returns rolled in: "Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win." The tight results point to Republican weakness in suburbs, which showed up in the midterms and is a huge threat to Trump's re-election.

Presidential 2020

WARREN ONLY DEM NOT TO BEAT TRUMP IN EMERSON POLL: Every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) beat President Trump in New Hampshire in a poll released Tuesday (The Hill). In theoretical match-ups, Emerson Polling found that all of the Democratic candidates won out over Trump except for Warren, with former Vice President Joe Biden leading. With a 10-point lead, Biden earned the votes of 55 percent of participants. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang was the runner-up against the president, winning 54 percent of voters in a head-to-head race. Yang has struggled to gain traction in the polls and has single-digit support in most surveys. “It is interesting to see Yang outperform his Democratic rivals against Trump. In this case, his lower name recognition may allow voters to idealize his candidacy,” Emerson Polling Director Spencer Kimball said in a statement. Warren, on the other hand, earned 49 percent of the vote, compared to Trump's 51 percent. Although she is often grouped with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as the more progressive candidates, 53 percent of respondents voted for Sanders over Trump.

BUTTIGIEG PICKS UP IOWA ENDORSEMENT: Pete Buttigieg has his first notable public endorsement for the Iowa Caucus: Jean Lloyd-Jones of Iowa City, a former legislator and the first woman who was nominated by a major Iowa party for a U.S. Senate race (Howey Politics Indiana). “I support Mayor Pete because he has the brains, the temperament, and the experience to make him an excellent president,” Lloyd-Jones, 90, said in a statement. “He represents a generation far removed from mine, and he sees the world with new eyes. He can reframe issues in ways that disrupt old patterns of thinking and he understands the balance between technology and humanity.”

BUTTIGIEG BROTHER-IN-LAW URGES ABORTION STANCE CHANGE: The brother-in-law of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg called on the mayor to reconsider his opinion on abortion (Fox News). In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Rhyan Glezman, an Evangelical pastor in Michigan, said Tuesday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that Buttigieg should read from Scripture to better appreciate how each life is made in God's image. "I'd like to make a plea with him that he reconsider, and actually open his Bible -- I actually ask all people to open up their Bibles as they're watching this -- to then turn to Psalm 139," he said. "How can you read those passages that talk about [how] we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, intrinsically, yet we are woven together in the woman's womb."

BIDEN MAKES MINORITY OUTREACH HIRES: Joe Biden's campaign adds six senior staff members to focus on attracting women and minority voters, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports: Laura Jiménez will be Latinx National Vote Director. Amit Jani is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) National Vote Director. Carissa Smith is Women's National Vote Director. Erika Dinkel-Smith is Director of Labor Engagement. Trey Baker National is Director of African American Engagement. Vincent Evans is Southern Political Director.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN OBSERVES 'HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH': Join Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. as it kicks-off Hispanic Heritage Month in Houston, Texas with a panel discussion featuring Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. National Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and local stakeholders (Howey Politics Indiana). The campaign is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by spearheading ‘Vamos to Victory’, a month-long series dedicated to acknowledging the historic strides President Trump’s leadership has accomplished for the Latino community. The event will include a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative (TVLI) training to empower Latino activists to register voters. WHEN: Thursday, September 12, 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM (CT): Houston, TX


YOUNG VISITS SAUDI ARABIA, UAE, OMAN: U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Angus King (I-Maine) yesterday returned from a Congressional Delegation to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. Senators Young and King met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah on Sunday. They pressed the Crown Prince on the humanitarian and security crisis in Yemen and releasing pledged humanitarian relief, as well as the death of Jamal Khashoggi (Howey Politics Indiana). During their visit to the region, Senators Young and King also met with other regional leaders including the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed, foreign diplomats, and U.S. military personnel serving aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Gonzalez. Their meetings were focused on tensions with Iran, countering global terrorism, the civil war in Yemen, and priority humanitarian issues. “As someone who has been laser focused on the ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the tensions with Iran, this trip provided an important opportunity to meet with and better understand three of the major players in the region,” said Senator Young. “Diplomacy is complicated and we’re not going to make progress without open dialogue. Candid conversations with these three countries are critical as we confront the serious threat posed by Iran, continue working to end the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and address the religious extremism that is fueling these challenges across the Middle East.”

BANKS ANNOUNCES ACADEMY BRIEFING: U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03) announced he will host a U.S. Service Academy Briefing on Saturday, September 28th at Bluffton High School for local students who are interested in attending one of the five U.S. service academies (Howey Politics Indiana). “Students and their parents and/or guardians in attendance will have the opportunity to meet representatives from the five service academies as well as members of the Third District Academy Advisory Board to learn about each service academy and their respective admissions processes,” said Banks. “I am proud to know that young Hoosiers and their families are willing to invest their lives for the future of our country.” The briefing will be held at Bluffton Community High School at 1 Tiger Trail, Bluffton, IN, 46714 in the Cafetorium. Doors will open for registration at 8:30 a.m., and the event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. The Congressman’s Service Academy Advisory Board and academy representatives will be present to provide information about applying to an academy. The value of an appointment to a service academy is equivalent to a $400,000 scholarship.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB CONCLUDES JAPAN TRADE MISSION - Gov. Eric Holcomb has concluded his trade mission to Japan, meeting with Subaru and Honda executives (Howey Politics Indiana). Holcomb tweeted, "The importance of our relationship with Japan cannot be overstated. This was a great week to showcase the Hoosier State, but @FLJanetHolcomb & I can’t wait to be back home again in Indiana. #INAsia." Holcomb spent Tuesday in Tokyo where his meetings included time with executives from Subaru and Honda, both of which have major auto assembly plants in Indiana. Holcomb spent two days in South Korea as he started the trip Sept. 4 before going on to Japan. The governor has more foreign travel plans coming up with a trip to China and India that’s scheduled for Sept. 22-Oct. 5.

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ORDERS FLAGS LOWERED FOR PATRIOT DAY - Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags at state facilities across Indiana to be flown at half-staff in honor of Patriot Day. Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 (Howey Politics Indiana). Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents statewide to lower their flags to half-staff in remembrance of the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB APPOINTMENTS - Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced several new appointments and reappointments to various state boards, commissions, and task forces.

21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force: The governor made one new appointment to the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force:  Dr. Paul V. Preckel (West Lafayette), faculty director of the State Utility Forecasting Group at Purdue University. His term expires Dec. 2, 2020. Dr. Preckel will serve in place of Dr. Wallace E. Tyner who passed away in August.

Drug Utilization Review Board: The governor made two new appointments to the board: Dr. Anu Dhamecha (Carmel), director of pharmacy benefits for Community Health Network. Her term expires August 31, 2020. Dr. Kosali Simon (Bloomington), professor and associate vice provost for Health Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. Her term expires August 31, 2022. The governor also made one reappointment to the board: Dr. T.R. Marshall (Indianapolis), internal medicine director with IU Health. His term expires August 31, 2022.

Graduate Medical Education Board: The governor made one new appointment to the board, with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2020: Dr. Michelle Howenstine (Zionsville), senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Indiana Parole Board: The governor made one reappointment to the board: Charles Miller (Indianapolis). His term expires July 31, 2023.

State Board of Nursing: The governor made four new appointments to the board: Judy Hamblen (Trafalgar), ADON/SDC with Aspen Trace. Her term expires April 30, 2023. Jason King (Martinsville), COO and CNO at IU Health Morgan. His term expires August 31, 2023. Angela Morris (Fishers), coordinator for the Indiana SANE Training Project with the University of Southern Indiana. Her term expires August 31, 2023. Susie Newkirk (Greenfield), practice administrator with IUHP Women’s Health. Her term expires April 30, 2023.

Storm Water Management Task Force: The governor made eight appointments to the new task force, with terms expiring December 31, 2019: Scott Dompke (Bloomington), executive director of Columbus Utilities. Matt Gentry (Lebanon), mayor of the city of Lebanon. Mark Kingma (DeMotte), Jasper County Farmer. Joe Schmees (Fishers), executive director of the Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts. Connie Stevens (Franklin), executive director, Alliance of Indiana Rural Water. Jon Stolz (Indianapolis), vice president of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC. Marty Wessler (Indianapolis), CEO of Wessler Engineering. Matthew Wirtz, (Leo), deputy director and chief engineer, Fort Wayne City Utilities. The governor also made two new appointments representing various state agencies, with terms expiring Dec. 31, 2019: Jodi Golden, executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Management & Budget.

Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District Board of Trustees: The governor made two reappointments to the board, with terms expiring July 31, 2022: Rex Heil (Syracuse), sales associate with Todd Realty. James Young (Syracuse), former field instructor for Matco Tools.

INDOT: COST INCREASE IN COLUMBUS RR PROJECT - The state is adding $5 million to its original cost estimate for Columbus’ railroad overpass over the State Road 46 and State Road 11 crossing on Columbus’ west side, bringing the total to more than $35 million (Columbus Republic). Columbus Board of Public Works and Safety members signed an amendment to an interlocal agreement between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the city of Columbus on Tuesday which raised the estimated cost of the project from $30 million to $35,324,010. The state is paying 50 percent and the city, with partners including Bartholomew County and the railroad, responsible for the rest. Bartholomew County is paying $1.5 million for the overpass with another $500,000 to be paid over a two-year period. The city’s share will include $4 million from Central TIF District funds, while other funding sources include about $5.5 million from the Cummins Engine Plant TIF District funds, up to $2.5 million in state or federal highway programs along with cost savings and $1.5 million from CSX and Louisville & Indiana Railroads.

EDUCATION: IU MEDIA SCHOOL OPENS INVESTIGATIVE CENTER - The Media School at Indiana University dedicated the new Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism Tuesday in Franklin Hall (Legan, Indiana Public Media). According to the school’s dean, James Shanahan, the center will have complete editorial independence and be staffed by student reporters.  “Four or five graduate students,” Shanahan says. “They’ll be doing independent investigations for the center as part of their graduate curriculum, but also just producing independent journalism.” Michael Arnolt graduated from IU in 1967 with a journalism degree. He helped fund the center with a $6 million gift. Arnolt says although it’s nice the center bears his name, he’s more excited about the work it will produce. “You know what? It’s not my name up here that’s important,” Arnolt says. “It’s what comes out of here that’s important. My hope is that we’re gonna have some fun, raise some hell and make a difference.”

EDUCATION: PELLEY SEES GOOD TIME TO BE REPORTER - Scott Pelley of CBS News said someone came up to him on the street in Manhattan recently and told him it must be a terrible time to be a reporter. Pelley replied that it was just the opposite (Reschke, Bloomington Herald-Times). “It’s the best time possible to be a reporter because the American people are looking at us right now, they’re paying attention to what we’re doing and this is an opportunity to show them what we do and how we do it and what our principles are and the indispensable role that journalism plays in our freedom,” he said.

EDUCATION: RECORD ENROLLMENT AT IUK - Indiana University Kokomo is continuing its place as one of the city’s bright spots, announcing that for the fifth year in a row the school is experiencing record enrollment (Kokomo Tribune). The school has said the fall semester — classes started Aug. 26 — began with 3,164 students on campus, which is an increase of 1.3 percent from fall 2018. Also up are total credit hours, at 38,633. The enrollment, along with the school’s incoming, under-construction Student Events and Activities Center and a private apartment complex recently finished just off campus, has solidified the university — starting its 75th anniversary year — as one of IU’s most celebrated regional campuses.

EDUCATION: PURDUE LANDS $40M STEM GRANT - Purdue University has announced a multi-million-dollar investment into its efforts to meet the growing demand for STEM graduates. The Purdue Research Foundation has received a $40 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. to go towards the creation of Purdue’s Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway Complex. The building project has an estimated $140 million price tag (Mills, Inside Indiana Business). The complex will include two buildings designed to be an interdisciplinary hub. The university says the 225,000 square foot complex will include laboratories, design studios and other collaborative spaces to be used by both the College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. “The need for world-class engineers, technologists and other STEM leaders has never been greater as the state of Indiana and the nation prepare for the jobs of tomorrow,” said N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO. “The intellectual and entrepreneurial energy on campus is magnetic. We are pleased to help build on this momentum by supporting Purdue’s efforts to prepare more graduates for promising careers in which they will help innovative companies thrive in Indiana and throughout the world.”

STEEL: PRODUCTION DECLINES FOR 5TH STRAIGHT WEEK - Great Lakes steel production fell by 8,000 tons to 673,000 tons in the last week of August, a decrease of 1.17% as compared to the previous week (Pete, NWI Times). It was the fifth straight week of decline and the 11th time in 12 weeks that Great Lakes steel output decreased. Steel mills in the Great Lakes region made 681,000 tons of metal the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Most of the steel made in the Great Lakes region is produced around the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Lake and Porter counties, which are home to half the nation's blast furnace capacity.

TRANSPORTATION: FRONTIER OPENS FLIGHT FROM INDY TO CANCUN - Denver-based Frontier Airlines has announced it will add a direct, non-stop flight, from Indianapolis International Airport to Cancun, Mexico starting in December. The low-cost carrier says the seasonal flight will run on Mondays and Fridays (Inside Indiana Business). "Today's Frontier announcement adds to the growing number of flights it is offering out of Indianapolis and makes it the first of its class to offer an international destination,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. The airline already offers nonstop flights from Indy to Denver, Orlando, Ft. Myers and Las Vegas.


WHITE HOUSE: POMPEO LAST MAN STANDING - The end of John Bolton’s fractious tenure as national security adviser leaves one man at the helm of the Trump administration’s foreign policy as it manages crises from Iran to North Korea: Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (Bloomberg). From the moment Bolton arrived at the White House in April 2018, he brought a hawkish foreign policy vision honed over decades -- a mindset that would inevitably collide with the unorthodox style of Donald Trump and culminate in his firing on Tuesday. Bolton’s approach stood in contrast to Pompeo’s deference to the president, first as Central Intelligence Agency chief and then as secretary of state. Pompeo is now without peer on Trump’s national security team. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is weeks into his job, there’s no confirmed director of national intelligence and United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft was confirmed on Tuesday. Among the president’s advisers, Pompeo will have the biggest sway on decisions about brokering a deal with Iran, restarting talks with North Korea and finding a way to draw down forces in Afghanistan.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will participate in a moment of silence at 8:40 a.m. They will also participate in a Sept. 11 Pentagon observance ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

STATE: RICE RELIEVED BY TALIBAN TALKS DEAD - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she's "relieved" that the U.S. walked away from talks with the Taliban to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. President Trump announced the abrupt end of negotiations after a plan to meet with representatives of the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David this week fell through over the weekend. "I'm relieved that we walked away from these talks," Rice said in an interview on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday. Rice, who served in the George W. Bush administration, has co-written a new book with Philip Zelikow called "To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth." Rice said that there were some "bad tell-tale signs" that the Taliban was not willing to negotiate seriously with the U.S., including the Taliban's unwillingness to recognize the Afghan government, as well as the uncertainty as to whether the organization would support the Afghan constitution.


CITIES: INDY COUNCIL APPROVES HOTEL - The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night approved nearly $10 million in financial incentives for a Denver-based developer that is planning a 13-story apartment, retail and office project across the street from the Indiana War Memorial (IBJ).

CITIES: FIRST NEWBORN AT HAMMOND BABY BOX - A newborn baby girl was surrendered Friday to Franciscan Health via the hospital's Safe Haven Baby Box, officials say (NWI Times). Monica Kelsey said staff was notified as soon as the infant's mother opened the outside door and immediately jumped into action, retrieving the newborn within 90 seconds before providing medical care.

CITIES: USA TODAY RANKS JASPER, CARMEL HIGH - USA Today ranked the 100 best U.S. cities to live in, with Carmel and Jasper in the top 20: 20. Jasper, Indiana: Population: 15,716, 5 yr. population change: +4.9%, Median household income: $55,878, Five-year unemployment rate: 2.6%. Jasper is one of the most affordable places to live in the nation. The cost of goods and services is just 83.6% of the average cost nationwide. The low cost of living gives residents a relatively high amount of purchasing power, even though the median household income in Jasper of $55,878 is lower than the U.S. median. Jasper residents are much less likely to struggle with money than the average American. Nationwide, 14.6% of U.S. residents live in poverty. In Jasper, the poverty rate is 11.0%. 17. Carmel, Indiana: Population: 88,595; 5 yr. population change: +10.7%; Median household income: $109,201; Five-year unemployment rate: 2.1%. People with a college degree tend to have higher incomes and better health outcomes than those without a degree. In Carmel, Indiana, 71.0% of adults 25 and older have a bachelor's degree. Nationwide, the college degree attainment rate is 30.9%. With such a high educational attainment rate, Carmel adults are more likely to be qualified for high-income jobs. This is likely why the city has a six-figure median household income, one of the highest in the country. Carmel also has a 3.7% poverty rate, a fraction of the 14.6% U.S. rate.

CITIES: FORT WAYNE COUNCIL NIXES TRASH PICKUP - In a 6-3 vote, the Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday shot down a non-binding resolution encouraging the city to abandon citywide trash collection contracts in the future (Gong, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). The resolution's goal was to promote free market trash collection service, in which home and business owners would individually arrange and pay for trash to be collected by independent haulers, rather than employing a single garbage collection contractor. Sponsored by Councilmen Jason Arp, R-4th, and Paul Ensley, R-1st, the proposal called upon city officials to levy the fullest fines possible on Red River for missed garbage and recycling collections and set out a procedure for officials to follow in the event that Red River abandons its seven-year contract. Because the proposed resolution was non-binding, however, it would have been unenforceable even if approved.

COUNTIES: LAKE MAY SLASH RECORDER BROWN'S SALARY TO $1 - A Lake County elected official, who seemingly no longer shows up for work, could see his annual pay reduced next year to just $1 (Carden, NWI Times). On Tuesday, the seven-member Lake County Council voted unanimously to direct its attorney to investigate whether it legally can shrink the salary of Democratic Recorder Michael B. Brown to $1, from the approximately $65,000 Brown is due to earn this year. The potential move arises from Brown's chronic absenteeism, county officials said.

COUNTIES: ST. JOE FACES 'FISCAL CLIFF' - The onset of the so-called “fiscal cliff” will begin next year for St. Joseph County, as the full brunt of state-mandated property tax caps will go into effect (Bauer, South Bend Tribune). With the introduction of the 2020 budget at the St. Joseph County Council meeting Tuesday night, county officials outlined plans for deficit spending in the next few years. But because of past savings in the county’s reserves, no substantial cuts will have to be made according to financial projections, despite the drop in property tax revenues coming next year. The county is in a unique situation with regards to the implementation of the “circuit breaker” property tax caps that were enshrined in the state constitution in 2008.

COUNTIES: TIPPECANOE COUNCIL PASSES INCOME TAX HIKE - The Tippecanoe County Council voted in favor of a public safety income tax increase Tuesday 6-1. The increase, which is not final until the city and town councils vote on the measure, would add a .18-percent increase to the 1.1-percent county income tax (WLFI-TV). It's all in the name of public safety. Part of Councilman Roland Winger's slideshow explaining why he voted 'nay.' "We don't just increase taxes to increase taxes so that we can have a pot of money. If you give someone a pot of money, they're going to spend it," said District 3 Representative Kathy Vernon. "But this is a tax that will help all of us, all in this community. You know what? It's a shame we have to do this, that society has placed us in this point where we have to have more money for crime prevention." District 2 County Councilman Roland Winger was the only 'no' vote, saying he thinks the county can absorb the cost without raising taxes. "I favor raises, I just don't favor these raises," said Winger.