BLINKEN, RAIMONDO IMPRESSED AT PURDUE:  In an extraordinary confluence of power, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo gathered at Purdue University Tuesday morning to tour what was billed as an emerging "semi-conductor ecosystem" in what was described as a renewal opportunity for American manufacturing, research and development (Howey Politics Indiana). Asked by Purdue President Mitch Daniels what the development of the American semi-conductor ecosystem would mean for the future, Sec. Blinken proclaimed, "You'll see a lasting recognition that America is back. I think if we get this right, which is not a guarantee, I think it does wonders for our standing around the world." The U.S. cabinet secretaries were joined by Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, who authored and was a driving force behind the CHIPS and Science Act that was signed into law by President Biden in August. Sec. Raimondo described as a $50 billion investment that will provide $39 billion for advanced manufacturing and $11 billion for research and development. "It will be the beginning of a new chapter of American manufacturing and research and development," Sec. Raimondo said after describing the tour of Purdue University this way: "This is what America needs. We've been blown away." "This is bringing together universities, with the federal government to solve problems," said Sec. Raimondo. Sec. Blinken added, "If you need a jolt of optimism, it's all right here."

 

MAYOR BRAINARD WON'T SEEK 8TH TERM: After seven terms in office, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will not run for reelection (Carloni, IndyStar). The decision, which Brainard announced Tuesday, marks the end of an era for Carmel in which the city saw tremendous growth in population and transformed through major development projects championed by the mayor. The city under Brainard’s tenure has earned awards and recognitions for being among the best places to live in the country. “I made the difficult decision not to seek re-election for mayor of Carmel in the 2023 election cycle,” Brainard said. Brainard’s decision opens the field of candidates for Carmel’s next mayor, which could shape the city for years to come.  City Council President Kevin Rider in February acknowledged he had conversations considering a run for mayor. As of Sept. 12, no other current city council members have filed paperwork indicating they will run.

 

GRAHAM'S ABORTION BAN BILL A GIFT TO DEMS: After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, most Republicans stuck to a simple message: The decision merely sent the issue back to the states; it was not a prelude to any national ban on abortion (Politico Playbook). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tossed all that out the window Tuesday, dropping a bill that would implement a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy while allowing states to pass more restrictive laws. The immediate effect was to put fellow Republicans, who had already been on their heels over Roe’s reversal, straight onto their butts. At a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday, Graham promoted his bill as good policy and good politics, noting that it would align U.S. abortion law with the rest of the industrialized world while giving GOP officeholders and candidates a proposal to rally around. Instead, the opposite happened. The GOP scattered in response, while Democrats all over the country began salivating. One told Playbook last night: “Graham’s stunt is a godsend and helps us remind voters Republicans want to ban abortion everywhere.” This — on a day when President Joe Biden should have been on the defensive after the monthly inflation report came in hotter than expected — gave Biden “an unexpected soft landing,” our colleagues Chris Cadelago and Jonathan Lemire write. Graham’s legislation surprised top Republican operatives, the pair write, who “likened [the bill] to a slow, telegraphed pitch down the middle of the plate."

 

INFLATION UP SLIGHTLY DESPITE LOWER GAS PRICES: Inflation rose more than expected in August as rising shelter and food costs offset a drop in gas prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday (CNBC). The consumer price index, which tracks a broad swath of goods and services, increased 0.1% for the month and 8.3% over the past year. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, CPI rose 0.6% from July and 6.3% from the same month in 2021. Economists had been expecting headline inflation to fall 0.1% and core to increase 0.3%, according to Dow Jones estimates. The respective year-over-year forecasts were for 8% and 6% gains. Energy prices fell 5% for the month, led by a 10.6% slide in the gasoline index. However, those declines were offset by increases elsewhere. The food index increased 0.8% in August and shelter costs, which make up about one-third of the weighting in the CPI, jumped 0.7% and are up 6.2% from a year ago.

 

LaPORTE COMMISSION SHOWN IN PHOTO WITH OATH KEEPER LOGO: LaPorte County Commissioner Joe Haney says he’s not an Oath Keeper despite appearing on a leaked list of purported members released last week by the Anti-Defamation League (WVPE). A May 2020 Instagram post shows Haney wearing a tactical vest with a patch that says "Oath Keeper" on it, but Haney says the patch is not a logo for the group and instead is just the phrase “oath keeper” and represents his duty to defend rights in the U.S. Constitution.

 

CHILD POVERTY PLUNGES: Child poverty in America has dropped by more than 80% since 1993 (Axios). The child poverty rate was 27.9% in 1993, but fell to a record low of 5.2% in 2021, according to new census data. Why it matters: Growing up poor affects every facet of adult life, from health to wealth. "Fewer children growing up in poverty is good for the future," says Renee Ryberg, a co-author of a new report from Child Trends that digs into the data. "It's as simple as that." Not only are there immediate improvements to the well-being of kids and families, there are also long-term benefits for society, like lower rates of crime, lower health care costs and more tax revenue.

 

MORE DEPUTIES CALL FOR PUTIN TO RESIGN: Nearly 50 municipal deputies have now signed a petition demanding the resignation of President Vladimir Putin, 29 more than on Monday, according to one of those involved (NBC News). Ksenia Thorstrom, a municipal deputy of the Semenovsky District in Saint Petersburg, told CNN:  “Now we have 47 verified signatures. Their geography has expanded significantly. My colleagues and I wanted to support the deputies from Smolninsky, who were recently summoned to the police and will soon have a trial,” Thorstrom said. The petition says: “We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of its president Vladimir Putin are detrimental to Russia’s and its citizens’ future. We demand Vladimir Putin’s resignation from the post of the President of the Russian Federation.” “We decided to make our appeal so short that there would be less reason to find any fault with it from the authorities and so that as many municipal deputies as possible would sign the petition,” Thorstrom said.

 

PUTIN NUKE CONCERN GROWS AS HE FACES HUMILIATION: Over the course of the nearly seven-month war in Ukraine, Western officials and Russia experts have consistently expressed concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could resort to using nuclear weapons if he gets desperate enough (Business Insider). Retired US Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, a former defense attaché to Russia and senior fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said he's even more worried about the potential for Putin to tap into Russia's sizable nuclear arsenal now that Ukraine is rapidly regaining territory in a lightning counteroffensive that began less than a month ago. "I have been thinking about the pressure Putin must be feeling to do something dramatic — which causes me to think again about nuclear triggers," Ryan told Insider.

 

MICHIGAN GOP CHAIR CALLS BUTTIGIEG 'WEAK LITTLE GIRL': Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock is under fire after sending out a homophobic tweet about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (WXYZ). In the tweet, Maddock calls Buttigieg, who is gay, a "weak little girl," and references his move to Michigan. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, moved to Traverse City with his husband, Chasten, who grew up in Traverse City. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years and was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014. "We’re so blessed this weak little girl moved to Michigan! Looks like he’s bringing all his California Dreaming here with him," Maddock wrote. Democrats blasted Maddock for her tweet, with State Rep. Samantha Steckloff, from Farmington Hills, tweeting in part, "The @migop chair chose today to raise homophobic and bigoted attacks against Michiganders...the bigotry, homophobia, and anti semitism is so ramped in their chosen leaders."

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: In Thursday's weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana, with Indiana's abortion ban beginning, we'll continue to monitor the political fallout. Horse Race will adjust several General Assembly races. Plus, I write about who should be "aiming higher" in 2024. Look for it around 9 a.m. Thursday. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

ELDRIDGE BECOMES FIRST BLACK INDY CHAIR: Outgoing Marion County clerk Myla Eldridge has been elected in a landslide victory as the new Marion County Democratic Party chair, making her the first Black leader to hold the position, according to party spokesperson Jeff Harris (IndyStar). A party caucus was called Tuesday night to fill former party chair Kate Sweeney Bell's seat after she resigned earlier this summer. Eldridge won about 95.8% of the votes cast by 287 precinct committee chairs and vice chairs present at the caucus—a little over half of eligible voters cast ballots at the meeting. "This is a win for all of us," Eldridge, who campaigned for two weeks leading up to this election, said in her victory speech at the caucus. With a ‘Defend Choice’ badge pinned to her suit jacket, she said that she refers to the upcoming election as ‘Roe-vember’ and believes the near total abortion ban passed in Indiana will mobilize Democratic voters, especially women, to the ballot boxes. "We have a very important election in 55 days county-wide and statewide," she told IndyStar. "It's important for the county party chair, number one, to welcome more Democrats to be a part of the party."

 

HOGSETT STATEMENT ON ELDRIDGE: “Myla is a dedicated public servant who has exemplified the kind of principled leadership that Marion County residents have come to expect from Democratic Party candidates and elected officials," Mayor Joe Hogsett wrote in a statement after Eldridge's election (IndyStar). "As Chair, I am confident that her personal brand of tireless advocacy will lead to even more success in this critical election cycle, and beyond.”

 

ELSENER STATEMENT ON ELDRIDGE: Statement from Marion County GOP Chairman Joe Elsener on Indy Democrats Replacing Kate Sweeney Bell as Chair (Howey Politics Indiana): "Kate Sweeney Bell was encouraged by some in her party to resign her position as chair because leaders in the Democrat Party felt she had run the party in a way that '...promotes backdoor politics and isolates candidates of color.' Furthermore, they felt it was a conflict of interest for Bell to be county chair and run for Marion County Clerk. While Bell is out as chair, she is still the Democrat's candidate for Marion County Clerk. The clerk in Marion County is charged with running efficient, fair, and transparent elections; yet members of her own party felt she was failing to deliver on those expectations for them. As such, how can Marion County voters trust Bell to execute the duties of Clerk for the county as a whole?  This November, Marion County voters can put their faith in businessman Andrew Harrison as their next county clerk. Andrew will bring decades of private sector experience to run fair, transparent, and efficient elections in Marion County. "

 

1ST CD RACE TAKES TO TV: Campaign ads for and against the candidates running to represent Northwest Indiana in the U.S. House are popping up more often as the number of days before the Nov. 8 general election shrinks (Carden, NWI Times). So far, the ads mainly have been funded by donations to the two candidates in the race: U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland; and Jennifer-Ruth Green, a Crown Point Republican. Ironically, those ads all focus on Green. Green's ad touts her background as an Air Force veteran and founder of MissionAero Pipeline, a nonprofit organization that aims to steer at-risk youth to careers in the aerospace industry, as reasons to elect her as representative for Lake, Porter and northwest LaPorte counties. Republican congressional candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green talks about what inspired her to run for Congress in this campaign ad. "Lately, the American Dream has been only for the wealthy, and that's why I'm running for Congress," says Green, standing in a civilian flight suit in front of an airplane. "Costs and crime are soaring, jobs are leaving, politicians are doing nothing and I've had enough." Mrvan's ad, meanwhile, warns voters that Green wants to ban all access to abortion with no exceptions, including rape, incest or when the health or life of a pregnant woman is at risk. "Republican Jennifer-Ruth Green would take away every woman's choice, no matter the consequences. We 100% can't send Jennifer-Ruth Green to Congress," his ad intones.

 

Polls

 

CORRECTION ON OHIO SENATE POLL: Monday’s Playbook PM misstated the results of the latest Suffolk/USA Today poll in the Ohio Senate race. Tim Ryan leads J.D. Vance, 47% to 46%.

 

State

 

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB SCHEDULE - Gov. Holcomb Public Schedule for Sept. 14. 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14: Gov. Holcomb will join local officials and executives from Diamond Pet Foods for an economic development announcement at 2606 N State Road 3, Rushville. Gov. Holcomb will announce his appointment to serve on the Indiana Court of Appeals and replace the position vacated by Judge Edward W. Najam, Jr. due to retirement at 1 p.m. along with Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

 

GOVERNOR: CROUCH VISITS PLYMOUTH FOR RURAL ROUNDTABLE - Indiana’s second-in-command made a pit stop in Plymouth for the first of six statewide “Thriving Rural Communities” roundtable discussions (WNDU-TV). On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch heard from various Marshall County stakeholders inside the Marshall County Historical Society. That’s after Ball State research has found rural communities, like Marshall County, are poised for growth due to various lifestyle factors, such as lower crime, good school districts, and quality of life improvements. “We used to think that people would go to where the jobs are. But our research shows that really, jobs follow people,” explained David Terrell, Executive Director of the Indiana Communities Institute. Crouch said smaller towns are an asset to the Hoosier State. “The real opportunity for rural Indiana is if we can do things right, people are going to want to live in our smaller, rural communities where there’s a sense of community and collaboration and the quality of life that they can’t always experience in larger cities,” remarked Crouch.

 

HEALTH: STATE DESIGNATES BOOSTER SHOT SITES -  The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced today that it has added locations that are offering the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines, which protect against the two most common strains of the virus, to its map at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/. Appointments are not yet available online but can be made by contacting a pharmacy or healthcare provider, or by calling 211 (866-211-9966) for assistance (Howey Politics Indiana). Additional locations will be added as vaccine shipments continue to arrive in the state. The FDA authorized the bivalent boosters on Aug. 31, and the CDC endorsed their use Sept. 1. The new boosters include protection against the Omicron variant that is the dominant strain circulating and replace previous boosters, which covered only the original COVID-19 strain. “The Omicron variant has been the main cause of COVID-19 infections for months, so having a vaccine that specifically targets this variant as well as the Delta variant will help keep Hoosiers healthier as we enter the fall and winter, when respiratory illnesses often increase,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I encourage individuals who are eligible to consider getting the new COVID-19 booster when they schedule their annual flu shot and make protecting themselves against COVID-19 part of their annual healthcare strategy.”

 

EDUCATION: $4.2M AWARDED TO SCHOOLS - At the first-ever Indiana Educational Excellence Awards Gala, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) awarded up to $4.21 million to schools across the state to celebrate their progress and achievement in supporting student excellence and growth (Howey Politics Indiana). “Indiana’s educators bring passion and energy to classrooms across the state – and it’s important that we celebrate them with that same passion and energy,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Indiana’s first-ever Educational Excellence Awards Gala brought together some of our most impactful educators and school leaders, whose daily work is helping countless students to ignite their own purpose, know their value and understand the possibilities for their life’s path. We know that real impact for students happens at the educator-level, and our team remains dedicated to supporting educators and amplifying their good work.” The gala, which was hosted in Indianapolis last Friday, brought together nearly 400 educators and guests from across the state. The event recognized the 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year top 10 finalists, Indiana’s 2021 Milken Educator and also awarded the school corporation and teacher who engaged most with the Indiana Learning Lab, a professional development resource for Indiana educators.

 

DNR: WARNS HUNTERS OF AVIAN FLU - DNR officials are on alert for a potential comeback of the avian flu as the waterfowl hunting season continues (WFIE-TV). Officials say some states have seen a recent jump in wild bird deaths due to the disease. DNR spokespeople say symptoms vary and some birds do not show any. Officials say waterfowl will often act unusually, such as swimming in circles, tremors, a twisted neck and/or have a general lack of coordination.

 

Congress

 

YOUNG ANNOUNCES REGULATORY BILL: U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and 37 senators recently introduced the Simplify Timelines and Assure Regulatory Transparency (START) Act. The bill would allow for comprehensive federal regulatory permitting and project review reform (Howey Politicis Indiana). “Permitting delays, regulatory inefficiencies, and red tape are all reasons why our nation’s energy infrastructure – from renewable energy to fossil fuel projects – are stuck in limbo,” said Senator Young. “At a time when advancing our domestic energy security is vitally important, the START Act is a much-needed step to reduce self-imposed barriers and provide certainty for our supply chains.”

 

BRAUN CALLS 'INFLATION BOMB' AN 'INSULT': U.S. Sen. Mike Braun released the following statement about President Joe Biden’s event this afternoon at the White House billed as a “celebration” of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” a tax-and-spend spree that continues Biden’s Inflation Bomb agenda that has produced the highest rate of inflation in 40 years, crushing Hoosiers with high prices on everything (Howey Politics Indiana). As millions of Americans make sacrifices to make ends meet, President Biden and his allies in D.C. continue to spend money we don’t have on their pet projects. “Today, Joe Biden is holding a ‘celebration’ for his latest inflation bomb spending bill, as new consumer numbers show another month of crushing high prices. This is an insult to every American struggling to make ends meet this month.” – Senator Mike Braun

 

BUCSHON HONORED BY CANCER SOCIETY: U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.) issued the following statement after being awarded the American Cancer Society’s 2022 National Distinguished Advocacy Award for his work on the bipartisan, bicameral DIVERSE Trials Act and the VALID Act (Howey Politics Indiana). “I am proud to be selected for this year’s 2022 National Distinguished Advocacy Award. With estimates projecting that cancer will cause approximately 13,570 Hoosier deaths this year alone, it is critical that we do all we can to advance patient care initiatives through Congress. I look forward to continuing to fight for Hoosiers’ access to quality care in Congress,” said Dr. Bucshon. 

 

SEN. GRAHAM ANNOUNCES ABORTION BAN BILL: GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, embracing more severe restrictions on the procedure just as Democrats seek to elevate the issue of abortion rights ahead of November's elections (CBS News). The bill from Graham is a more stringent version of a proposal introduced by him and other Republicans last year that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Called the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, the new measure prohibits doctors from performing abortions five weeks earlier in a pregnancy, after 15 weeks. It includes exceptions for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and would leave untouched state laws that are more restrictive.

 

THE SENATE will meet at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of LARA MONTECALVO’s nomination to be U.S. circuit judge for the 1st Circuit, post-cloture and at 11:30 a.m., will vote on confirmation. Then, the Senate will vote on a motion to invoke cloture on SARAH MERRIAM’s nomination to be U.S. circuit judge for the 2nd Circuit. — The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on SHAILEN BHATT’s nomination to be Federal Highway Administration administrator at 10 a.m. — CDC Director ROCHELLE WALENSKY, FDA Commissioner ROBERT CALIFF, ANTHONY FAUCI and Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Response DAWN O'CONNELL will testify on the government’s monkeypox response before the Senate HELP Committee at 10 a.m.

 

THE HOUSE will meet at 10 a.m. The House Foreign Affairs Committee will receive a closed-door briefing on Iran nuclear deal negotiations at 8:30 a.m.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN LAUDS INFLATION ACT - President Biden and Democratic lawmakers gathered Tuesday at the White House to celebrate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the new tax, climate and health care law that Democrats hope will help propel them to victory in November's midterm elections (CBS News). The president, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed hundreds of people on the White House South Lawn to hail the enactment of the $750 billion piece of legislation. Mr. Biden signed the bill into law last month, but the White House waited until Congress returned from summer recess to hold a formal ceremony celebrating the law. "Today offers proof that the soul of America is vibrant, the future of America is bright, and the promise of America is real," Mr. Biden told an enthusiastic crowd. "It is real, it is real."

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN TO TOUT EVs IN DETROIT TODAY - President Joe Biden will be in Detroit Wednesday for the start of the North American International Auto Show in Michigan (Gray). When the event kicks off, Biden is scheduled to highlight how his economic plan is driving what the White House calls “an electric vehicle manufacturing boom.” “Under President Biden, the private sector has invested over $100 billion to make more electric cars and their parts in America, create jobs for our autoworkers, and strengthen our domestic supply chains,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. The president’s visit to Detroit comes on the heels of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law last month.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule - 8:30 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 8:45 a.m.: Biden will depart the White House en route to Detroit, Mich., where he is scheduled to arrive at 10:30 a.m. 11:15 a.m.: Biden will tour the Detroit Auto Show. 1:45 p.m.: Biden will deliver remarks on electric vehicle manufacturing. 3:10 p.m.: Biden will participate in a DNC reception. 4:05 p.m.: Biden will depart Detroit to return to the White House, where he is scheduled to arrive at 5:40 p.m. VP Harris: 10:25 a.m.: The VP will depart D.C. en route to Buffalo, N.Y. 12:15 p.m.: Harris will participate in a clean energy and sustainability tour at the GRoW Clean Energy Center at The State University of New York at Buffalo. 2 p.m.: Harris will deliver remarks at an Inflation Reduction Act climate event. 4:30 p.m.: Harris will depart Buffalo to return to D.C.

 

LABOR: PEABODY COAL FINED OVER MINE SAFETY - A federal commission leveled $96,000 in penalties against Peabody Midwest Mining for a safety failure at an Indiana site that could have been “catastrophic.” No one was injured or killed (Indiana Public Media). “Very thankful here that nobody was hurt, but [the penalty] sends that message to miners that there's an agency out there that's … looking out for their safety and health,” said Chris Williamson, U.S. Department of Labor assistant secretary of mine safety and health. “[And it] also sends the message to the operators that you have to take the standards seriously.” Workers the Francisco mine in southeastern Indiana were at risk when a mine manager failed to act as a drill released potentially-explosive methane in July 2018. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission ruling announced details earlier this month.

 

JUSTICE: KEN STARR DIES - Ken Starr, a noted attorney who helped impeach one president and defended another from the same fate, died Tuesday at the age of 76. Starr died in Houston of complications from surgery, the statement said (Fox News). "We are deeply saddened with the loss of our dear and loving Father and Grandfather, whom we admired for his prodigious work ethic, but who always put his family first,: Starr's son, Randall P. Starr, said in a statement released by his family. "The love, energy, endearing sense of humor, and fun-loving interest Dad exhibited to each of us was truly special, and we cherish the many wonderful memories we were able to experience with him. He is now with his Lord and Savior."

 

Local

 

INDIANAPOLIS: COUNCIL PASSES 3 HOGSETT FISCAL ORDINANCES — On Monday, the City-County Council unanimously passed three pieces of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s 2023 fiscal package (WRTV). Hogsett introduced the package on August 8, consisting of the 2023 proposed operating budget, the second half of the City’s allotment of federal American Rescue Plan funds, a fiscal to improve residential streets and major thoroughfares, a fiscal to provide Marion County homeowners with property tax relief, and a general obligation bond for capital projects to upgrade public facilities. “These transformative investments will enhance the infrastructure, public safety, and prosperity of neighborhoods across Marion County,” said Mayor Hogsett. “My thanks to President Osili, Vice President Adamson, and Leaders Lewis and Mowery for their partnership. I look forward to continued collaboration with the City-County Council to improve the quality of life for residents, especially as we approach the passage of the proposed 2023 operating budget.”

 

INDIANAPOLIS: BROAD RIPPLE HS TO BE MS - Indianapolis Public School’s Superintendent Alessia Johnson released the final draft of the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan on Tuesday night which proposes major district changes including closing certain schools and rebuilding others (Beck, IndyStar). Under the Rebuilding Stronger plan, multiple facilities will be upgraded or completely rebuilt as part of the proposed plan. The old Broad Ripple High School building would be used as a new middle school and is scheduled to open for the 2024-2025 school year. The 6-8 grades there would co-locate with the Purdue Polytechnic High School that’s already been using the building this year.

 

FORT WAYNE: COUNCIL TABLES RATE INCREASE – City Council has been looking at a way to slowly increase the inevitable rates consumers will be paying for solid waste disposal (WANE-TV). The idea is to use the American Rescue Plan Act funds to offset an upcoming rate hike now that the city has switched to a more expensive service with GFL. Councilman Russ Jehl has taken a hard stance that the rate payer needs to come out on top on whatever decision council makes. His plan calls for taking some of the ARPA funds the city has at its disposal to negate the incoming $2.80 difference between what Red River charges the city per household and what GFL Environmental will charge the city per household. The solid waste department stands in opposition to Jehl, but at the council meeting Tuesday night, a third plan of action appeared. Councilwoman Michelle Chambers introduced a resolution to the bill that solid waste had put on the table.

 

EVANSVILLE: MAYORAL CANDIDATE SUED FOR DEFAMATION - Gabriel Whitley, a conservative political activist and declared candidate for Evansville mayor, is being sued for defamation after reportedly calling a radio talk show host a pedophile (Loesch, Evansville Courier & Press). A lawsuit was filed in Vanderburgh Superior Court on behalf of Robert Kendall, a political commentator at WIBC-FM in Indianapolis. The lawsuit names Whitley as the operator of a Facebook group titled Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana. The lawsuit also names Spencer McDaniel and Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana. McDaniel posted via Facebook that he was told Monday about the lawsuit. The post was shared on the Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana page. "Gabriel Whitley had no part in this, I run the page but it was a joke and I take full responsibility for the joke," he stated. "We will win and all charges will be dropped." The suit alleges the Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana Facebook page posted statements alleging Kendall was a pedophile.

 

EVANSVILLE: CITY SETTLES LAWSUIT FOR $1.7M - The City of Evansville has settled a lawsuit stemming from a crash in 2017 that killed a man and his two children (WFIE-TV). On Monday night, Evansville City Council approved $1.75 million to settle the suit filed by Janae Carter, the only survivor in her car. Her children, 2-year-old Princess Carter and 7-month-old Prince Carter, as well as their father, 26-year-old Terrance Barker, were all killed. The lawsuit alleged that the city was negligent when EPD officers chased a man who then crashed into the car carrying Janae Carter and her family.

 

TERRE HAUTE: CITY IN GOOD FISCAL SHAPE - Terre Haute will be spending a little more in the coming year, but it can afford to, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said as he met Monday with the City Council to discuss the 2023 budget (Kronke, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). “We are spending a little bit more because we’re able to,” said Bennett as he presented the budget proposal he’s pent the past three months crafting. The proposed 2023 operating budget is $104,662,879; anticipated revenues total $105,732,140. Bennett noted that the 2023 budget will be the eighth straight balanced budget. He said he was pleased with the amiable tenor of the discussion. “I’ve not had any questions or feedback prior, and they’ve had the budget for a few weeks,” he said. “We’ve met all the goals and exceeded a lot of them that we set a few years ago. It makes me feel good when the questions the council has are more about ‘What’s coming down the road?’ rather than ‘What are we doing about this right now?’”

 

COLUMBIA CITY: MAYOR DANIEL SEEKS U.S. 30 INPUT — Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel is calling for public input on future improvements to U.S. 30 (WANE-TV). ProPEL US 30, an INDOT project designed to gather data on the highway from the Indiana-Ohio state line to Valparaiso, is allowing citizens to submit comments and questions regarding the study. Whitley County’s Planning Committee reported last year the aging roadway could be upgraded to an interstate-level freeway in order to better accommodate traffic across the state. Citizens can also sign up for email updates to learn about the latest news regarding the project.

 

JEFFERSONVILLE: JEFFBOAT REDEVELOPMENT COMING — When it comes to the redevelopment of the former Jeffboat property in Jeffersonville, the possibilities are endless. That was the word Tuesday afternoon from Mayor Mike Moore (Cunningham, News & Tribune). Moore, along with Jeffersonville’s Redevelopment Commission, representatives from American Commercial Barge Line and The Wheatley Group announced changes are coming to the 80 acres of Ohio River shoreline that used to host the country’s largest barge maker. “We want to see green space, we want to see some residential aspect we want to see some commercial aspect, it’s an empty canvas,” Moore said. “It’s an incredible view.”

 

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY: COUNCIL DEBATES BATTERY PLANT - An electric vehicle battery plant, Ultium Cells LLC, could be coming to New Carlisle (WNDU-TV). On Tuesday, St. Joe County leaders amended a resolution in their efforts to attract a multi-million dollar electric vehicle battery plant to New Carlisle. However, before it gets the all clear, community members had questions about the plant possibly coming to the area. Based on residents’ feedback, county officials are taking an extra two weeks to fine-tune the development agreement. “What transpired this evening was just an amendment to the declaratory resolution to the Ultium... The reason we are doing the amendment tonight is just a...error on the resolution itself,” St. Joseph County Council President Rafael Morton said.

 

PULASKI COUNTY: JAIL OFFICER ARRESTED - A Pulaski County correctional officer was arrested this past weekend after an investigation into her possible relationship with an inmate in the Pulaski County Jail (WNDU-TV). When the correctional officer, identified as Stacy Small, arrived for her evening shift that night, she was questioned by the deputy. During the interview, the deputy learned that she brought controlled substances into the Pulaski County Jail, and they were given to the inmate. She also allegedly confirmed the relationship between herself and the inmate. Small, was booked into the Pulaski County Jail on preliminary charges of trafficking with an inmate and official misconduct. She was later taken to the White County Jail.