BIG TEN TO MEET TODAY ON FOOTBALL SEASON RESTART: Big Ten university presidents will meet Sunday to hear a presentation about playing a fall football season after all — maybe as soon as late October — amid pressure from parents, players, coaches and even the president to kick off (AP). A person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the Big Ten's Return to Competition Task Force met Saturday. The medical subcommittee, comprised of athletic directors, doctors and athletic training staffers, made a presentation to a subgroup of presidents and chancellors. The presentation included improvements in the availability of rapid, daily COVID-19 testing. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Big Ten was not planning to make any announcements about its efforts to return to play, said it was a "positive meeting" that led to the scheduling of a presentation to the full group of presidents and chancellors Sunday. The presentation will include medical, television and scheduling for football, the person said. A vote to start a season is not guaranteed to be conducted Sunday but could happen in the coming days.


COVID POSTPONES ACC GAME: Given all the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the ACC has a list of considerations in place that could potentially trigger the postponement of the season, including the likely cancellation of the national championship and other postseason opportunities (ESPN). According to a document Virginia Tech released Saturday related to the postponement of its game against Virginia, at least eight of the 15 ACC football teams need to move forward with games in order for the season to continue. Anything below that threshold could lead to a postponement. But perhaps the most interesting consideration is this: If either the SEC or Big 12 discontinues its plans to play football in the fall, along with likely postseason cancellations, the ACC would have to determine whether to continue forward.


PURDUE REOPENING TERMED 'MANAGEABLE':  Two things were happening at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus last week, about the time another major, four-year school – this time Big Ten rival University of Wisconsin – pivoted from its in-person, residential campus reopening plans to deal with spikes in student coronavirus cases during the first weeks of classes (Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier). The first, Purdue set its spring semester schedule. It was more than a hint that the university was thinking beyond the fall semester and that the university was finding things – as Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Protect Purdue Health Center, put it three weeks into Purdue’s highly-watched reopening effort – “manageable, so far.” Even with 389 student cases since Aug. 1 – including 184 recorded in the most recent seven days – Purdue’s campus testing positive rate of 3.8 percent over the past week was in range of Tippecanoe County’s rate of 3.9 percent and below the state’s 5.1 percent. “We don’t feel we like can say with certainty that things are going to go well,” Ramirez said.


BSU WON'T RELEASE STUDENT QUARANTINE STATS: Ball State University is declining to disclose how many students are in quarantine and isolation — one of the trends the school is monitoring in deciding how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic (Slabaugh, Muncie Star Press). BSU isn't the only university withholding that data, but some of its peers in the Mid American Conference are publishing such information on their COVID-19 dashboards, including Northern Illinois University, University of Akron, Bowling Green State University and  University of Toledo. Indiana State University's dashboard reports the number of students isolating on- and off-campus, the number of students quarantining on- and off-campus and the number of employees isolating and quarantining.


OXFORD TO RESUME CONVID TRIALS: Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U.K. (AP). In a statement, the university said in large trials such as this "it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety." It said that globally some 18,000 people have received the vaccine as part of the trial. Though it would not disclose information about the patient's illness for reasons of participant confidentiality, an AstraZeneca spokesman said earlier this week that a woman had developed severe neurological symptoms that prompted the pause in testing.


FOOD PANTRIES SEE SURGE AFTER BENEFITS EXPIRE: Local food pantries say they are seeing a surge in the number of people seeking help with groceries after $600 in weekly federal unemployment aid expired, resulting in the highest one-month increase in demand for food at Love Chapel in the organization’s history and a “huge increase” in people seeking food at Salvation Army (East, Columbus Republic). Last month, Love Chapel served about 4,150 people — an increase of more than 1,100 compared to July and the equivalent of around 5% of Bartholomew County’s population, said Kelly Daugherty, Love Chapel executive director. The organization distributed about 100,000 pounds of food in August, roughly 1.6 times the weight of all the copper in the Statue of Liberty, up 25,000 pounds from July. Love Chapel distributed 1.2 million pounds of food last year. “To see that kind of a jump in one month, that’s the first time it has ever been like that,” Daugherty said.


WAVE OF EVICTIONS FEARED: Pete Taddeo, board president of the Real Estate Investors Association of North-Central Indiana, expects a surge of evictions early next year, if the CDC lets the moratorium end in January, but he thinks it will occur over three or four months rather than all at once (South Bend Tribune). A limited number of local attorneys adept at handling evictions could cause a “bottleneck” in case filings, and judges typically are reluctant to evict people in January and February because of the cold weather, especially single mothers with young children, Taddeo said. Eviction cases also could be delayed if landlords are foreclosed upon, he said. “It’s not a good situation,” Taddeo said. “Our taxes are still coming due, our insurance, we still have to take care of the properties. We get no help on that side.”


65% PAN TRUMP PANDEMIC RESPONSE IN ABC POLL: Almost two in three Americans disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll released Sunday. An ABC News/Ipsos poll determined that 65 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the president’s management of the COVID-19 crisis, almost eight months after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Washington state. Thirty-five percent of poll participants said they backed the president’s response to the pandemic. Sunday’s poll was the fourth since early July in which Trump’s approval rating for his management of the pandemic stayed in the low-to-mid 30s.


PENCE CANCELS PLAN TO ATTEND QANON FUNDRAISER:  Vice President Mike Pence has canceled plans to attend a Trump campaign fundraiser in Montana following revelations that the event's hosts had expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory (AP). President Donald Trump's reelection campaign told The Associated Press on Saturday that Pence's schedule had been changed, but the campaign did not provide a reason or say whether the fundraiser might be held at a later time. The change comes after the AP reported Wednesday that hosts Cayrn and Michael Borland in Bozeman, Montana, had shared QAnon memes and retweeted posts from QAnon accounts. The baseless conspiracy theory alleges Trump is battling an entrenched bureaucracy and sex trafficking ring run by pedophiles.


MARIJUANA 'GREEN WAVE’ EXPECTED TO CONTINUE IN NOVEMBER: In 2016, the US election resulted in a green wave as cannabis legalization measures passed in eight out of nine states. Now, the industry and its supporters are hoping for another big win in November (AP). This year, voters in five states will decide whether to adopt either new medical or recreational cannabis laws -- or, perhaps, both in the case of one state. Marijuana legalization referendums are on the ballot in Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi. As it stands now, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis, and of those, 11 states have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use.


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: As the Big Ten reconsiders its decision to postpone the football season later today, Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota delivered a sobering assessment on NBC’s Meet The Press this morning: “The United States is experiencing about 40,000 cases a day” which was more than the “house on fire” days of last April. “we’re going to see these numbers grow substantially. We really have another 12 to 14 months with a really hard road in front of us. We don’t have a national plan.” - Brian A. Howey



HOLCOMB BEGINS NEW TV AD: Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reelection campaign began a new TV ad this morning, emphasizing more than $50 million spent on broadband expansion with Next Level funding (Howey Politics Indiana). "Connecting communities, connecting people," Holcomb says in the ad's voice over.


SPARTZ FUNDS CAMPAIGN OFF REAL ESTATE DEAL: Republican Victoria Spartz caught the attention of political observers this year when she contributed more than $1 million to her own congressional campaign. The big question: Where did that money come from? Before this year, Spartz had donated to other candidates and to her own state Senate campaign, but never in such large amounts (Erdody, IBJ). And although she has worked as an accountant in the past, she only claimed earned income of $71,000 from her work as a legislator last year, according to a financial disclosure form she filed as a candidate for the U.S. House. Instead, it appears clear from that disclosure form and other public records that Spartz and her husband, Jason Spartz, have largely made their money buying, selling, leasing and farming land. In fact, Spartz told IBJ she was able to fund her congressional campaign with money the couple made selling property in the past few years. Initially, they intended to use the money to buy or build a house. But that hasn’t happened, so she said she opted instead to invest in her campaign. State and local property records show that Victoria and Jason Spartz have, indeed, seen some successful real estate investments—most recently selling a property for $5.1 million in Noblesville for a commercial development. They bought the land for less than $1 million.


Presidential 2020


BIDEN LEADS BY 5% IN FOX NEWS POLL: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump by 5 percentage points among likely voters in a national Fox News poll released Sunday. Biden has a 51 to 46 percent advantage in the survey, Fox News’s first since the party conventions this summer and its first to question likely voters. The poll found Biden leading among women, suburbanites, seniors, millennials, Hispanics and African Americans, while Trump leads with white voters, men, rural voters, white Catholics, Generation X and veterans.


TRUMP SAYS NEVADA ELECTION WILL BE 'RIGGED': President Trump on took aim at Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) during a campaign rally Saturday night, accusing the state leader and other Democrats of using mail-in voting to “rig” the upcoming November election (The Hill). Trump began his rally in Minden, Nev., on Saturday night taking aim at Sisolak, saying that the governor tried to prevent his campaign from holding the event. "You know the governor of your state," Trump said before pausing to a chorus of boos, "tried very hard to stop us from having this event tonight." "He tried to stop us. He tried to stop us. The governor of Nevada. He tried to stop us and we went to different venues," Trump said.


TRUMP BLASTS BIDEN, PRESS: President Donald Trump set the tone early on at his rally in northern Nevada Saturday night, warning that he was prepared to "be really vicious" in the final weeks of the presidential campaign (Politico). Fuming over a new ad about his alleged disparagement of U.S. military personnel, Trump arrived here with a torrent of insults ready to go. “Pathetic Joe. He’s a pathetic human being to allow that to happen,” Trump said of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the ad Biden's campaign released last week, which seized on comments Trump reportedly made about America’s fallen soldiers.


Sunday Talk


NAVARRO DEENDS TRUMP ON PANDEMIC: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed concerns on Sunday that President Trump was purposely downplaying the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year in light of recently released recordings that show Trump privately acknowledged the threat to journalist Bob Woodward in February. Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday why the president was misleading the public, Navarro responded by noting Trump’s so-called travel ban on China imposed at the end of January and plans the White house created in early February to prepare for the virus.  “You’re not answering my question, you're talking about what you were doing privately,” Tapper told Navarro.  Tapper pressed Navarro on the contradiction between Trump’s public comments and those to Woodward, noting that even some Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), called Trump out after the recording was released. “Why wasn’t the president straightforward with the American people?” Tapper asked. “He was straightforward,” Navarro responded, adding that Tapper was “cherry picking.”


BIDEN CAMPAIGN ACKNOWLEDGES WORK TO DO WITH LATINOS: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s senior adviser, Symone Sanders, said Sunday that the campaign is aware it has “work to do” to gain support from Latino voters. On ABC’s “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos questioned Sanders about “relatively weaker” support numbers for Biden among Latino voters in Nevada and Florida and asked whether the campaign planned to follow Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) suggestions for stronger outreach to Latino, younger and progressive voters. “Well, George, look, we know that we have work to do,” she responded. “And we have said from the beginning – and Vice President Biden has been very clear about this, as has Sen. [Kamala] Harris [D-Calif.] that we are really working to earn every single vote in this country, and we want to earn the votes of the Latino, Hispanic community.”


BIDEN ADVISOR DEFENDS MARCH CAMPAIGN RALLIES: Joe Biden campaign advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday defended the Democratic nominee holding crowded campaign events in early March, saying President Trump had information about the virus that Biden did not. On “Fox News Sunday,” Fox News’ Chris Wallace pressed Sullivan on why Biden held such events at the same time he warned Trump was ill-prepared to handle a pandemic. “Because he wasn’t the president, and he didn’t get the information from government experts telling him this was deadly and airborne the way President Trump did,” Sullivan replied. “He wasn’t being told by his national security adviser the way Donald Trump was that this was going to be the worst crisis of his presidency,” he continued. “He didn’t have access to the kind of information that Donald Trump had and Donald Trump got all that information, learned this virus was deadly, learned it was airborne, learned it was worse than the flu and then lied to the American people and did nothing about it.”


GARCETTI SLAMS TRUMP ON WESTERN FIRE RESPONSE: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) slammed President Trump on Sunday over his response to the wildfires blazing across California and his dismissal of climate change as their cause. Garcetti during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" praised cooperation from federal officials, but said the leadership “at the very top” needs to be stronger, and that Trump needs to focus on helping Americans in need, regardless of party, instead of basing decisions "on an electoral map." He also hit Trump for blaming “blue states over red states,” noting that the "million Republicans in the city of Los Angeles” don't change the mayor's response to the blazing fires. “We need leadership that is equal across this country,” Garcetti said.


MOORE CALLS ON PELOSI, SCHUMER TO GET DEAL DONE: Economist and economic adviser to President Trump Stephen Moore called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to "get a deal done" amid a stalemate to pass a fifth coronavirus relief package. "Come on Nancy Pelosi. Come on Chuck Schumer. Come together for the good of the country. Get a deal done! ... What is holding things up? I think it's pure politics," Moore told radio host John Catsimatidis on his show broadcast on WABC 770 AM Sunday.




ISDH: SATURDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health today announced that 1,076 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the state laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 104,561 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. Today’s results include 20,517 tests for 11,552 individuals from a testing facility that recently began reporting results electronically. A total of 3,213 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 17 from the previous day. Another 224 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by the state and occurred over multiple days.      


ISDH: FRIDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health today announced that 1,282 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the state laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 103,505 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. Today’s totals include 15,814 tests from a laboratory that recently began submitting electronic results. Of those total tests, 279 were positive. A total of 3,196 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 10 from the previous day. Another 224 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by the state and occurred over multiple days.          


CRIME: INDIANA FILED NO HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASES - Anew report placing Indiana last in the nation in 2019 for filing no new human trafficking cases in federal court does not tell the whole story, according to Thomas Kirsch II, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana (Kasarda, NWI Times). The annual report by The Human Trafficking Institute only identifies cases charged under certain statutes, he said. "It does not reflect the full scope of federal and state law enforcement efforts to combat this problem," Kirsch said. "Human trafficking continues to be a serious and dangerous issue for our community. We are actively working and meeting with other agencies, nonprofits and service providers to find multi-disciplinary solutions to the challenges that result from human trafficking. Indiana was not alone in filing no new federal human trafficking cases last year, HTI Associate Legal Counsel Kyleigh Feehs said. "Nineteen other states and U.S. territories also failed to file new criminal prosecutions last year," she said.


SPORTS: NOTRE DAME EXTENDS KELLY CONTRACT - Four years after getting a midseason vote of confidence in a humbling season from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Brian Kelly on Saturday was able to share receiving something far more substantial (South Bend Tribune). A contract extension — and one that had been incubating for months. Notre Dame finally announced at the end of the first quarter of the season opener with Duke, that the 11th-year Irish head coach had three years added onto his current deal that ran through 2021. He is now signed through 2024.


MEDIA: LINN RETIRES AT WANE-TV AFTER 43 YEARS - WANE 15 News Director Ted Linn retired Friday after 43 years in the news industry. Linn came to Fort Wayne as the WANE 15 News Director in 2004, but his time in broadcasting started on March 7, 1977. Linn’s first job was as a reporter at WLFI in Lafayette.




WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP BESTOWS MEDAL OF HONOR -  President Donald Trump bestowed the Medal of Honor on a U.S. soldier Friday for his role in a daring 2015 mission to rescue dozens of hostages who were set to be executed by Islamic State militants in Iraq (AP). Trump picked the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to honor Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, who negotiated a barrage of enemy gunfire and repeatedly entered a burning building in a harrowing effort that saved nearly 70 hostages.


WHITE HOUSE: KAREN PENCE TAKES ON SUICIDE STIGMA - The Second Lady believes there is a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic: people are talking about mental health more (WIBC). Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence, spoke to Harris Faulkner on Fox News Thursday. “Everybody is feeling some type of anxiety. Everybody is feeling a sense of isolation. It’s an opportunity for us to talk more and bring up the conversation of suicide prevention,” said Pence. “Honestly, you don’t have to have all the answers. Just reaching out to someone in need is a way to start the conversation and let them know that you are willing to help.”




INDIANAPOLIS: CIB FACES MAJOR LOSSES - Major budget deficits continued to plague the Capital Improvement Board in July despite some small events returning to its facilities (Shuey, IBJ). The board on Friday said July income—composed of operational funding from July and tax-based revenue from June—was off by about 70% from the prior year and budget projections. The Indiana Convention Center, which is operated by the CIB, began hosting socially-distanced events—mostly youth basketball—in early July, marking the first real activity at the venue since the pandemic began. While the convention center began seeing some activity during July, those events had very little impact on the venue’s operating income for the month. The CIB’s operating revenue was $148,273 in July. That’s nearly 91%, or $1.4 million, off budget and 95%, or $3.1 million, below 2019 figures for the same period.


GARY: DEBATE OVER ARMED GUARDS — City leaders continue to debate the mayor’s desire to mandate armed guards at certain gas stations across the city (NWI Times). Gary Police Chief Brian Evans said while he welcomes Mayor Jerome Prince’s proposal to require security cameras and guards posted up at 24/7 businesses that attract violence, he clarified those guards wouldn’t have the same arresting powers of a sworn officer. An armed guard can detain someone for shoplifting, and do what they must to protect themselves or employees inside the business, Evans said. But they would not have law enforcement authority to arrest and detain for suspicion of another crime.