TRUMP PROMISES TO NOMINATE RGB REPLACEMENT; BIDEN OPPOSES: President Trump tweeted late Saturday morning: "We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!" (Howey Politics Indiana). Democratic challenger Joe Biden said that the process should wait until Jan. 20. "The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg," Biden said. "This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were nearly nine months before the election. That is the position the United States Senate must take now, when the election is less than two months away. We are talking about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. That institution should not be subject to politics." President Trump was described this morning as "salivating" to nominate Judge Barrett. Trump said after the Kavanaugh nomination that he was "saving" ACB for "Ginsburg." Barrett clerked for Justice Scalia. IndyStar: She has written that Supreme Court precedents are not sacrosanct, which liberals have interpreted as a threat to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. A former member of Notre Dame’s “Faculty for Life,” Barrett signed a 2015 letter to Catholic bishops that affirmed the “teachings of the Church as truth.” Among those teachings: the “value of human life from conception to natural death” and marriage-family values “founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman.”


McCONNELL SAYS TRUMP NOMINEE WILL RECEIVE VOTE: Expect 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett ("ACB") to emerge as the frontrunner for the nomination, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate" (Howey Politics Indiana). McConnell famously delayed a replacement of Justice Antonin Scalia following his 2016 death nine months before the election, saying it should be selected by the next president. On Friday night, he reversed that stance, saying, "Over the coming days, we are all going to come under tremendous pressure from the press to announce how we will handle the coming nomination. For those of you who are unsure how to answer, or for those inclined to oppose giving a nominee a vote, I urge you all to keep your powder dr. This is not the time to prematurely lock yourselves into a position you may later regret." Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said in 2016 that the delay in an election year would be "the new rule" and added, "I want you to use my words against me." Other GOP senators to watch include Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Cory Gardner. Collins, Gardner and Graham are all in tough reelection bids. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is on record saying the vacancy should be filled by who wins in November. U.S. Rep. Chuck Grassley stold reporters in July that if he were committee chairman, he would not hold hearings on a new nominee this year “because that’s what I promised … in 2016.”


SEN. GRAHAM REVERSES COURSE ON SCOTUS NOMINATION: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham reversed earlier statements on Saturday and said he will support “any effort” by President Trump to seat another Supreme Court justice (New York Post). In a series of tweets, Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “The two biggest changes regarding the Senate and judicial confirmations that have occurred in the last decade have come from Democrats.” The first was when former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rules to allow a simply majority, rather than a super majority, confirm Circuit Court nominees. The second, Graham said, was when Democratic New York Sen. “Chuck Schumer and his friends in the liberal media conspired to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh and hold that Supreme Court seat open.” “In light of these two events, I will support President @realDonaldTrump in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg,” tweeted Graham, who is in a tight reelection race.


SEN. COLLINS SAYS NOMINATION SHOULD AWAIT ELECTION: Republican Sen. Susan Collins said the Senate should wait until after the presidential election to vote on a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Collins is the first Republican to publicly say the Senate should wait for the election to be decided (WSBT-TV). "In order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently — no matter which political party is in power," Collins said in a statement. "President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee's beginning the process of reviewing his nominee's credentials. Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election. In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”


BRAUN SUPPORTS TRUMP NOMINATION: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said Saturday said Saturday night that he supports President Donald Trump's plan to nominate a Supreme Court nominee. U.S. Sen. Todd Young has not said how he'll proceed (Howey Politics Indiana). Young reacted to Justice Ginsburg's death, saying, “As Americans mourn the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we remember her extraordinary life. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer in the legal profession, rising to become the second female to serve on the nation's highest court and earning a special place in our nation's history." U.S. Rep. Jim Banks: "I hope the President will nominate Amy Coney Barrett and the Senate confirms her before the end of the year."


JUDGE BARRETT CALLED FOR 'DISPASSIONATE' JUSTICES: In a talk at Hillsdale College in Michigan in May 2019, Amy Coney Barrett emphasized the courage a judge must have in setting aside personal opinions and making rulings that are dispassionate. A judge isn't on the bench to win a popularity contest, she said (South Bend Tribune). "The law simply does not align with a judge's political preference or personal preference in every case," Barrett, a federal judge and a Notre Dame law professor, told the audience. "And so it will be the case that judges have to make hard decisions and that they have to decide cases in ways that yield outcomes that are not the outcomes they would prefer." Later, when asked about the intersection of politics and the courts, she replied, "If we reduce the courts to mere politics, then why do we need them? We already have politicians." It was an affirmation of her stance that judges should act on the rule of law, not as policy makers. As an originalist, arguing that the Constitution should be interpreted based on the original understanding of its founders, Barrett has advocated for a strict interpretation of the text. It's one of the reasons, in addition to her personal background, that many conservatives are looking to her as a leading candidate — if not the top pick — to become President Trump's next U.S. Supreme Court nominee.


GINSBURG DEATH GIVES GOP 2020 ELECTION LEGAL FIGHT EDGE: The first signs of the impact of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s absence may come in a flurry of election-related disputes expected to reach the Supreme Court on an emergency basis in the coming weeks (Politico). Until Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts or other justices had the power to issue or deny emergency relief by joining with the court’s four liberals. It didn’t happen often, but it did sometimes happen. With the court shorthanded for the time being, the court’s three remaining Democratic appointees would now need two Republican-appointed colleagues to take emergency action. With scores of court challenges underway across the country seeking or opposing coronavirus-related changes to voting procedures, the change in the ideological balance of the high court could affect the outcome of such fights — even if a new justice doesn’t take the bench until after the election.


BIDEN NEARS 50% THRESHOLD: All summer long, we’ve been warned: Yes, Joe Biden is ahead in the polls — but so was Hillary Clinton. There’s one key difference that’s often overlooked, though. Biden is much closer to the magic 50 percent mark — both nationally and in key Electoral College battleground states (Politico). That puts Trump in a significantly worse situation, needing to not only attract skeptical undecided voters but also peel supporters away from Biden, whose poll numbers have been remarkably durable. And the president is running out of time for both. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, Biden is sitting at 49.3 percent in national surveys and has a 6.2 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump. That’s significantly higher than Clinton’s 44.9 percent mark this time four years ago, which was good for only a 1 point lead. It’s the same story in many of the battleground states: Biden is at or within 2 points of majority support in enough states to lock down an Electoral College victory, compared with Clinton’s low- to mid-40s scores in mid-September 2016 in the same states, some of which she would end up losing as late-deciding voters went decisively for Trump.


PENCE REACTS TO TROYE DEFECTION: Vice President Mike Pence reacted to former coronavirus task force aide Olivia Troye's defection to Joe Biden (Howey Politics Indiana): “It reads to me like one more disgruntled employee who has left the White House and now has decided to play politics during an election year. While some may want to play politics and say different things once they leave here than while they’re here, we’re going to stay focused.”


INGOP REMOVES McCORMICK FROM WEBSITE: The Indiana Republican Party has disavowed the state schools superintendent elected under its banner with her decision to support Democrat Woody Myers for governor. The Myers campaign announced Friday the endorsement from schools Superintendent Jennifer McCormick (AP). She said in a statement that Myers “combines personal intellect, sincere concern, and a commitment for education.” “Indiana’s students deserve leadership that invests in their future,” McCormick said. “Educators need leadership that will provide support and resources to meet their complex responsibilities.” Myers is challenging Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reelection bid but has raised little campaign cash and struggled to gain attention. The state Republican Party has removed McCormick from its website listing of GOP elected officials. “It’s not surprising that a Democrat is endorsing a Democrat,” state GOP spokesman Jake Oakman told The Indianapolis Star. “Jennifer has been angling for a position in a possible future Democrat administration for months now. Thankfully, there won’t be one. Gov. Holcomb has a strong record on education and he’ll keep putting students first for four more years.”


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The last two U.S. Supreme Court openings have changed the election dynamic over the past two cycles. Sen. Joe Donnelly pins his 2018 loss to Mike Braun on the opening and his vote against Justice Kavanaugh. In 2016, the SCOTUS nominations gave Mike Pence his biggest appeal point in getting wayward Republicans to return home to vote for Donald Trump. How the Ginsburg vacancy impacts the 2020 election is something we'll keep an eagle eye on over the next six weeks. - Brian A. Howey



ROKITA CAMPAIGNS AT LAKE COUNTY FREEDOM RALLY: Lake County Republicans gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate their patriotism and rally around President Donald Trump. “Are you guys ready to win again?” Todd Rokita shouted at those gathered at the Lake County Fairgrounds for the GOP Freedom Rally (Dolan, NWI Times). Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state and congressman and a Munster native, fired up the crowd with a speech about why he is running for Indiana attorney general this fall. “I’m running to help President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence make America great again," Rokita said. "I’m sick and tired of watching looters and rioters on television. Let's show these anarchists, these Communists what America is all about.”


MYERS REACTS TO GINSBURG DEATH: Dr. Woody Myers, the Democratic candidate for governor, called Ginsburg "an icon for so many of us who counted on her steadfast jurisprudence as America continues to seek justice for all its people."


DEM WOMEN RALLY FOR GINSBURG IN EVANSVILLE: Several people came together on Evansville’s east side this weekend to remember Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away Friday at the age of 87 (WFIE-TV). The group “Nasty Women of Indiana” held a rally at Vann Park on Saturday to discuss how to make a difference in the 2020 local election, as well as pay homage to the work that Ginsburg had accomplished over the course of her career. 14 News spoke to women at the event who say they looked up to her as someone who paved the way for women’s rights everywhere. "Being a minority business owner, less than 10% of women own bars and restaurants in the United States, so having someone to look up to - to realize that we can attain the most high, in this case, the Supreme Court - just to be able to see those things,” Amy Word, school board candidate for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation said.


IF KELLY WINS AZ SENATE SEAT, HE CAN BE SEATED BY NOV. 30: Democrats have almost no power to stop a pre-election vote on President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, but they see a glimmer of hope in a bank-shot scenario if they capture a Senate seat in Arizona in the November election (New York Times). If Mark Kelly, the Democratic nominee, wins, he could be seated in the Senate as early as Nov. 30, six weeks before the other winners are sworn in, according to elections experts from both parties. Mr. Kelly currently leads Senator Martha McSally, a Republican, in the polls. There are many ifs: If the Arizona results can be rapidly certified, and if Senate Republicans hold a confirmation vote in the postelection lame-duck session and if three Republicans defect, Mr. Kelly could cast the deciding vote to defeat Mr. Trump’s as-yet unnamed pick to the high court.


Presidential 2020


BIDEN LEADS BY 8% IN NBC/WSJ POLL: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds an 8-point lead over President Trump among registered voters, according to a new national poll. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released early Sunday showed Biden leading Trump, 51 to 43 percent. Biden held a 50 to 41 percent lead among registered voters last month. Biden currently has an edge in support from Black voters, voters ages 18-34, women, white voters, independents and seniors, pollsters noted, while Trump has advantages among white voters, men, and white voters without college degrees. The new survey also showed Biden is ahead of Trump by a combined 6 points in 12 key swing states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — 51 to 45 percent.


RASMUSSEN HAS TRUMP WITH FIRST LEAD: President Trump has now edged to a one-point lead over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the latest Rasmussen Reports’ weekly White House Watch survey. While statistically insignificant, it’s the first time Trump has been ahead. The new national telephone and online survey finds the president with a 47% to 46% lead over Biden among Likely U.S. Voters. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, while four percent (4%) remain undecided.


BIDEN TO LINK SCOTUS NOMINATION TO PANDEMIC: For months Joseph R. Biden Jr. has condemned President Trump as a failed steward of the nation’s well-being, relentlessly framing the 2020 election as a referendum on the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic (New York Times). Now, confronted with a moment that many believe will upend the 2020 election — the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the prospect of a bitter Supreme Court confirmation battle — Mr. Biden’s campaign is sticking to what it believes is a winning strategy. Campaign aides said Saturday they would seek to link the court vacancy to the health emergency gripping the country and the future of health care in America.


Sunday Talk


PRESIDENT CLINTON SLAMS GOP OVER SCOTUS NOMINATION: Former President Bill Clinton slammed Republicans on Sunday over their push to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just weeks ahead of Election Day. Clinton said the decision is hypocritical, noting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked former President Obama’s nominee when there were still 10 months before the 2016 election.  “Well of course its superficially hypocritical, isn't it. Mitch McConnell wouldn't give president Obama's nominee Merrick Garland a hearing 10 months before the presidential election, and that meant that we went a long time with eight judges on the court,” Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is what they do. I think both for Sen. McConnell and President Trump, their first value is power, and they’re trying to jam the court with as many ideological judges as they can, Clinton added.


SHORT DISMISSES ‘HYPOCRISY’: Marc Short, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, on Sunday dismissed concerns that a rushed vote on President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death will hurt vulnerable GOP senators in light of the Republicans' position four years ago to block then-President Obama’s nominee. Host Jake Tapper asked Short on CNN's "State of the Union" if he thinks there is a risk that “this obvious hypocrisy may cost Republicans in competitive races,” referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) decision to block Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy 10 months before the 2016 election. Short responded that he “rejects the notion” of hypocrisy, adding that the “historical precedent” is for the president to nominate a replacement and for the confirmation process to continue when the same party is in power in the White House and the Senate. “[I] don't think there’s hypocrisy,” Short said. “Regarding the politics of it, the people of America elected Trump in 2016.”


PELOSI VOWS TO STOP NOMINEE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Sunday the House had its “options” when asked about the possibility of impeaching President Trump and Attorney General William Barr should the White House and Senate Republicans jam a Supreme Court nominee through the process during a lame duck session after Election Day. “We have our options, we have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” Pelosi told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” "But the fact is, we have a big challenge in our country. This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made. So right now, our main goal… would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the American people from the coronavirus.”


COONS CALLS ON GOP SENATORS TO 'LIVE WITH PRECEDENT': Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) called on Senate Republicans on Sunday to "live with the precedent they set" and not rush a confirmation to the Supreme Court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Coons, an ally of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, told “Fox News Sunday” that he plans to talk to GOP colleagues in the upper chamber this week to convince them to "respect tradition" and follow their 2016 precedent that a Supreme Court justice should not be confirmed during an election year. “I’m going to be working this weekend, this week to reach across the aisle and see if I can persuade some friends to respect tradition, to respect the precedent they set in 2016 and to let the voters decide,” he said.


KLOBUCHAR SEES 'RAW POWER' DYNAMIC: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Sunday the Republican Party set a precedent in 2016 in blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee ahead of and upcoming election and urged her Republican colleagues to block a vote on any appointee nominated by President Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper questioned Klobuchar on CNN on her comments pushing for a vote on Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, ahead of the 2016 election, asking her if the “Constitution is still clear,” as she said at the time in pushing for a vote. “A new rule was set by our colleagues,” said Klobuchar, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, of the Republicans' decision to block Obama’s nominee in 2016. “They set this precedent, they can’t mess around and use raw political power right in the middle of an election,” she added.


WALLACE PRESSES COTTON ON 'HYPOCRISY': Fox News’s Chris Wallace pressed Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday on whether there is “any hypocrisy” between the Arkansas Republican's 2016 comments to avoid a Supreme Court justice confirmation ahead of an election and his current view to “move forward without delay.” Cotton told “Fox News Sunday” that the GOP-led Senate has a “mandate to perform our constitutional duty” and fill the Supreme Court vacancy after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday.  Wallace then replayed Cotton’s remarks on the Senate floor in 2016 when the Arkansas senator asked: “Why would we squelch the voice of the people? Why would we deny the voters to weigh in on the makeup of the Supreme Court?”




CARSON REACTS TO GINSBURG DEATH: U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat, remembered Ginsburg as a "tireless defender of civil rights" (Howey Politics Indiana). "Our entire nation mourns the enormous loss of Justice #RuthBaderGinsburg. I knew her to be smart, humble and kind. America knew her as a fearless and tireless defender of civil rights. We must keep up her life's work to guarantee America's freedoms and opportunities for all."


General Assembly


DEVON LAUDS FOSTER ADOPTION RANKING: State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger), chair of the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, lauded Gov. Eric Holcomb's announcement touting Indiana for being the top state in the nation for adoption. "Hoosier families are stepping up and changing lives. Every child deserves a safe, loving home, and as a state lawmaker and father, I remain committed to helping families who open up their hearts to kids in need,” Devon said. “This is great news for Indiana, and those who work tirelessly in our foster care and adoption system deserve recognition. We will continue to work on policies to strengthen the state's child welfare system even more, and we cannot rest until every child is protected against violence, abuse and neglect."




GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ORDERS FLAGS LOWERED FOR GINSBURG - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered that flags be flown at half-staff on the day of Ginsburg's internment (Howey Politics Indiana). “As a pioneering woman who triumphed in life, fighting for equality and justice for all Americans, tonight Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes her place in heaven," Holcomb said in a statement. "She leaves an everlasting legacy for which we can all be proud. Janet and I send heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Ginsburg family.”


ISDH: SATURDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health today announced that 1,104 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 110,759 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. A total of 3,278 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of nine from the previous day. Another 225 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. To date, 1,292,615 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 1,281,438 on Friday. A total of 1,844,301 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26.


SUPREME COURT: CHIEF JUSTICE RUSH ON GINSBURG - Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush issued a statement Saturday afternoon, saying that she, like many others, is mourning "the passing of a trailblazer, change-maker, and inspiration to many" (Howey Politics Indiana). "Justice Ginsburg’s work provided both men and women an opportunity to better their lives," Rush said in a statement. "She was a hero to many of us in our legal careers, and a cultural icon outside the legal profession. And her civility and genuine friendship with those who had differing opinions show her as an example of a leader to model."


SPORTS: IU, PURDUE FOOTBALL SCHEDULES - The Big Ten 2020 football schedules were released Saturday morning. Both Indiana University and Purdue University will start the season with games on Oct. 24 (WRTV). On Wednesday, conference officials announced plans for a season. IU's schedule: Oct. 24: vs. Penn State; Oct. 31: at Rutgers; Nov. 7: vs. Michigan; Nov. 14: at Michigan State; Nov. 21: at Ohio State; Nov. 28: vs. Maryland; Dec. 5: at Wisconsin; Dec. 12: vs. Purdue. Purdue's schedule is below: Oct. 24: vs. Iowa; Oct. 31: at Illinois; Nov. 7: at Wisconsin; Nov. 14: vs. Northwestern; Nov. 21: at Minnesota; Nov. 28: vs. Rutgers; Dec. 5: vs. Nebraska; Dec. 12: vs. Indiana.




WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SAYS HE'LL PICK FEMALE SCOTUS NOMINEE - President Trump said Saturday that he will name a woman next week to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, signaling a contentious nomination fight during the final weeks of the presidential election (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Trump made the declaration during a rally in North Carolina. He has promised a speedy process and earlier in the day called on Republicans to move urgently, saying on Twitter that filling the seat is an obligation they must consider without delay. In North Carolina he said: “I will put forward a nominee next week. It will be a woman.” He had previously told reporters he was likely to pick a woman.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP GIVES 'BLESSING' TO TIK TOK DEAL - President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s given his “blessing” to a proposed deal between Oracle and Walmart for the U.S. operations of TikTok, the Chinese-owned app he’s targeted for national security and data privacy concerns (AP). Trump said the proposed deal will result in a new company likely to be based in Texas. “I have given the deal my blessing,” he said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.”


WHITE HOUSE: ENVELOPE WITH RICIN MAILED TO TRUMP - An envelope containing the poison ricin and addressed to President Trump has been intercepted by authorities this week, law enforcement sources told news outlets (AP). Federal officials intercepted the envelope addressed to the White House, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Saturday. CNN first reported that the FBI and Secret Service were investigating. Authorities are looking into the possibility that the ricin package came from Canada.


WHITE HOUSE: PENCE SAYS NURSING HOMES SHOULD OPEN UP - Steps are being taken to allow visitors again at nursing homes across the country. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued new guidance for visitation. During a roundtable discussion Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence says the guidance lays out a framework (WIBC). “Outdoor visits are encouraged. Indoor visitation is allowed if there are no new cases in the previous two weeks and if certain core principals — like screening, resident and staff testing, hygiene, social distancing, and cleansing — are put into effect,” said Pence.


USDA: ANNOUNCES ANOTHER $14B TO HELP STRUGGLING FARMERS - The federal government said Friday that it will give farmers an additional $14 billion to compensate them for the difficulties they have experienced selling their crops, milk and meat because of the coronavirus pandemic (AP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture released details of its plan that it said will provide “financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” President Donald Trump first mentioned the aid in a speech Thursday night in Wisconsin, a presidential battleground state that is considered vital for his chances to win a second term.




RICHMOND: WWII MARINE LAID TO REST — A Marine knelt before Malcolm Manlief and handed him the flag that had draped the coffin of Private First Class Louis Wiesehan Jr. "I wanted to cry," Manlief said of the moment Saturday during the funeral service for his uncle, who was killed as a 20-year-old Marine during World War II (Emery, Richmond Palladium-Item). "There were two or three times I've wanted to cry." The ceremony with full military honors included a 21-gun salute, a bugler playing "Taps" and a bagpiper playing while the flag was folded. It was then presented to Manlief, who sat under a tent with his sister, Patricia Wisehart; his daughter, Kimberly Gardner, and other family members. Manlief also received the shell casings from the Marines' 21-gun salute.


CARMEL: HACKED CITY WEBSITE BACK ONLINE - Carmel’s official city website was restored online Friday evening while officials investigated a hacking incident that prompted them to take down the website for most of the day (IBJ). “Changes have been made to avoid a similar disruption in the future,” city spokesman Dan McFeely said in a terse media statement Friday evening. The city said its information technology department discovered shortly after 8 a.m. Friday that had been been hit by hackers. The city immediately took down the website.


MONTICELLO: 2ND ROUND OF BUSINESS GRANTS ANNOUNCED — Small businesses in Monticello will now be able to apply for a second round of grants (WLFI-TV). According to a statement sent out by the City of Monticello, businesses that have been established and operational in the City of Monticello since January 1, may be eligible for the maximum award amount of $10,000.00. The funds will be used for payroll and operational costs. The deadline to apply for the grants is October 2nd and due to limited funding, not every business will receive grants.


ANDERSON: PD OFFICER SUSPENDED - An Anderson police officer has been suspended without pay for 90 days by the Anderson Board of Public Safety (Anderson Herald Bulletin). The Anderson Board of Public Safety conducted an executive session Friday to consider a request by Police Chief Jake Brown to terminate the employment of Tyray Wilson. During a public meeting, the safety board approved an agreement to suspend Wilson without pay for 90 days after the officer was charged with driving his patrol car in uniform while intoxicated in July. Wilson will also be placed on probation for 18 months and must undergo a substance abuse and mental health evaluation.


MICHIGAN CITY: JUDGE REJECTS PLEA DEAL FOR EX-MAYOR'S SON — It’s back to the drawing board in the criminal case against Adam Ross Bray, the former mayor’s 34-year-old stepson who was arrested on gun and drug charges last fall (LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch). Bray pleaded guilty in August in an agreement he reached with the state, but at his argued sentencing hearing Thursday, Judge Michael Bergerson declined to approve the agreement, which would have called for no more than 2.5 years in prison and a total sentence of no more than 5 years for Bray.


CASS COUNTY: COUNCIL PASSES ZINC PLANT BONDS - On Friday, the last county-level hurdle for the proposed zinc reclamation plant passed (Logansport Pharos-Tribune). The Cass County Council approved the issuance of two bonds for the Waelz Sustainable Products on a vote of 5-2, with Council President Mike Stajduhar, 3rd District, and David Redweik, 1st District, voting against both issues. Prior to the council’s vote to pass the bond issues, Stajduhar and Redweik were the only two to vote for a proposal to continue tabling the two bond issues until Oct. 16, the next council meeting. That proposal included possibly calling a special meeting to approve the bond issues before the meeting. The council had originally tabled the votes on the bonds at its last meeting, Aug. 21, with the stipulations the bond issue ordinances return to the Cass County Redevelopment Commission and that WSP and the Cass County Citizens Coalition (CCCC) work together on issues and concerns.