PURDUE RANKS 8TH ON WSJ PUBLIC SCHOOLS LIST: More than two dozen public schools placed in this year’s top 100 of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, with 10 public schools making the top 50. These schools ranked highly in providing desired outcomes for graduates, despite lacking the resources of many private schools. Purdue ranked eighth in the public school list. On the overall list, Notre Dame ranked 32, Purdue 46, and Indiana University Bloomington at 123. The University of California, Los Angeles tops the chart for public schools and ranks No. 25 overall. In the rankings, UCLA placed highly in the environment and engagement categories, fifth and 11th, respectively, among all schools public and private. Environment measures diversity on campus, while engagement rates how involved students said they felt both inside and outside the classroom.

COATS TO RETURN TO INDIANA FOR 2 SEPTEMBER EVENTS: Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats returns to the Hoosier State and will address the Indiana Economic Club at noon Sept. 24 at the Indiana Convention Center (Howey Politics Indiana). It will be the former senator's first public event after he stepped down from the Trump administration on Aug. 15 after more than two years at the helm of the volatile Trump administration's intel network. Coats will also appear at a retirement event for the Indiana Family Institute's Curt Smith on Sept. 23. Smith is a former aide to Sen. Coats.

INDIANA LOSING $24M IN MILITARY FUNDS TO THE WALL: Two Indiana military construction projects are among those on hold because the Trump administration is diverting $3.6 billion in funding to help pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border (Brosher, Indiana Public Media). The Pentagon released a list of the funding cuts Wednesday. They include $16 million for construction of a railcar holding area at Crane Army Ammunition Plant, and building an $8 million small arms range at the Air National Guard’s Hulman Field in Terre Haute. U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana) says President Trump made a difficult but necessary decision in diverting the funds. "It's sad that we do have to divert funds from one area to the other for a need that has been out there for a long time, which is a border that has no order to it," Braun says. Braun says the projects aren't off the table, they'll just be delayed. Rep. Jim. Banks (R-Columbia City) says the projects are minor and can wait. “The most urgent construction project for our national security is the border wall,” Banks said in a statement. “We need and have a right to know who is coming across our southern border.”

PENCE'S IRISH MISSTEPS: Missteps during Mike Pence’s visit to Ireland that included controversial praise of the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, have led to accusations of betrayal and “humiliation”. One Irish Times columnist - Miriam Lord - concluded that the vice-president, a “much-anticipated visitor”, turned out to have “shat on the … carpet” (The Guardian). Pence’s problems started with his decision to stay for two nights at Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, County Clare, more than 140 miles from Dublin, necessitating costly and logistically complex travel. The move quickly drew fire from ethics experts and political rivals. The Irish Times columnist Miriam Lord responded to a tense meeting between the vice-president and the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in which Pence urged the republic to protect the “United Kingdom’s sovereignty”. “Let me be clear: the US supports the UK decision to leave the EU in Brexit,” Pence told Varadkar in a prepared statement. “But we also recognise the unique challenges on your northern border. And I can assure you we will continue to encourage the United Kingdom and Ireland to ensure that any Brexit respects the Good Friday agreement.” Among media responses, Irish Central asked: “Did VP Pence betray Ireland in his Brexit comments during Irish trip?” The Irish Examiner accused Pence of trying to “humiliate” the republic. The Cork Examiner’s political editor, Daniel McConnell, wrote: “The cheek of him coming here, eating our food, clogging up our roads and then having the nerve to humiliate his hosts.”

PENCE BOLSTERS BATTERED BORIS JOHNSON: Battered by serial defeats in Parliament, scolded by members of his own party, abandoned by even his own brother, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain looked this week like someone who could use a friend (New York Times). He got one Thursday — or at least a faithful understudy — in the person of Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Pence met Mr. Johnson at 10 Downing Street to pass along President Trump's support of the prime minister's plan to pull Britain out of the European Union. Mr. Trump himself offered Mr. Johnson a long-distance pat on the back Wednesday as Mr. Johnson battled a recalcitrant Parliament, telling reporters, "Boris knows how to win." On Thursday, Mr. Trump dangled again, via Mr. Pence, the prospect of a profitable trade agreement with the United States. “He told me this morning,” Mr. Pence said. “He said, ‘You tell my friend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that we’re ready to go to work on that free trade agreement just as soon as you’re ready.’”

TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN ON HIS ALABAMA HURRICANE PREDICTION:  President Donald Trump doesn’t make mistakes. At least according to him (AP). Trump’s relentless justifications of his erroneous warnings that Hurricane Dorian was threatening Alabama on Sunday, which created days of ridicule and skepticism, are just the latest example of the president’s lifelong reluctance to admit an error, no matter how innocuous. His fervent, dayslong pushback has displayed not only his prolonged focus on a personal spat but his willingness, notably again late on Thursday, to deploy government staff and resources to justify an inaccurate claim. Presidential proclamations can move markets, rattle world capitals and, in this case, unnecessarily alarm the residents of a state. Trump’s relationship with the truth and accountability threatened to, yet again, diminish the weight of any president’s words. “In the one model through Florida, the Great State of Alabama would have been hit or grazed,” he said in one of the tweets. “What I said was accurate! All Fake News in order to demean!”

BUTTIGIEG CALLS TRUMP 'PATHETIC': Pete Buttigieg said Thursday he feels "sorry for the President" after Donald Trump used an apparently altered National Weather Service map to vindicate his erroneous claim Hurricane Dorian would affect Alabama, calling the President's comments "literally pathetic" (CNN). In an interview on "New Day," the Democratic presidential hopeful called the doctored map, "an embarrassing moment for our country," telling CNN's Alisyn Camerota, "I feel sorry for the President, and that is not the way we should feel about the most powerful figure in this country, somebody on whose wisdom our lives literally depend." On Wednesday, Trump displayed an outlook map with what appeared to be a storm path extended over Alabama after he had erroneously claimed multiple times over the course of the storm's development that Alabama had been in the storm's path. The claim got pushback from weather experts, including the Birmingham, Alabama, branch of the National Weather Service. "I don't know if he felt it necessary to pull out a sharpie and change the map, I don't know if one of his aides felt they had to do that to protect his ego. No matter how you cut it, this is an unbelievably sad state of affairs for our country," Buttigieg told CNN.

TRUMP MEETS WITH MANCHIN ON GUN REFORMS: President Trump met with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin at the White House on Thursday to discuss a policy response to mass shootings that have killed dozens of people over the past several weeks, three people familiar with the matter said (Wall Street Journal). The 30-minute private meeting, which included several White House staffers, touched on a range of possible gun-related policy issues including background checks, the people said. Mr. Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) have long urged legislation expanding background checks for gun sales. Their bill failed to pass the Senate in 2013. “The president expressed interest in getting a result, so conversations will continue to see if there’s a way to create a reasonable background check proposal, along with other ideas,” a White House official said.

CVS, WALGREENS MOVE AGAINST OPEN CARRY: Drug chains CVS and Walgreens as well as grocery chain Wegmans Food Market joined the chorus of retailers requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in their stores even where state laws allow it (Axios).

DEATH TOLL RISING IN DECIMATED BAHAMAS: The death toll in the Bahamas rose to 30 on Thursday evening, the island nation's top health official said, as the full extent of the destruction and lives lost became more apparent (Accuweather). According to the New York Times, Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands said at least 20 of the fatalities were people from the Abaco Islands and at least three were from Grand Bahama. Officials worry the death toll may continue to increase as rescue and recovery efforts continue. "Our response will be day and night, day after day, week after week, month after month until the lives of our people return to some degree of normalcy," Bahamas Prime Minister Huber Minnis said when he addressed reporters Wednesday night. He went on to describe the scene as "generational devastation across Abaco and Grand Bahama." ABC News reported that at least 200 people have been reported missing and thousands are displaced.

BEARS WERE BAD AS 100TH NFL SEASON OPENS: It’s not good when the operative word of an enormously hyped football game is “boo.’’ It’s not good when the object of a crowd’s disgust is the quarterback of a team with Super Bowl aspirations and the head coach whose offensive creativity is supposed to make a team rise above. It’s not good when boos are raining down on the Bears during and after a 10-3 loss to the hated Packers at home in the opening game of the NFL’s 100th season, which happens to be the Bears’ 100th season, too (Chicago Sun-Times). It’s not good when, afterward, coach Matt Nagy is talking about his “high character players’’ and the great week of practice the Bears had leading up to Thursday night’s opener. It’s not good when the burning question of a year ago is still raging: Is Mitch Trubisky any good? From beginning to end Thursday night, the quarterback was not good. Very not good.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The 100th NFL season is upon us, and from the Hoosier perspective, the fate of our Bears and Colts depends on the quarterback. The Bears Mitch Trubisky laid an egg against the Packers last night. Late Sunday afternoon, we'll see if Jacoby Brissett can at least partially fill the shoes of the departed Andrew Luck for the Colts. With coach Frank Reich at the helm, I'll wager that Brissett will find more success than his Chicago counterpart. - Brian A. Howey


McDERMOTT'S GOP OPPONENT BOOTED FROM BALLOT: Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. is certain to win a fifth term at the Nov. 5 election after the bipartisan Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration unanimously agreed Thursday to remove Republican Edward Lipkovitch from the ballot (Carden, NWI Times). It is undisputed that Lipkovitch, who was nominated to run against the Democratic incumbent by Hammond Republicans in June, failed to sign his financial disclosure form, known as the CAN-12, that's required by state law to be properly filed in order to be a candidate for local office. Lipkovitch argued to the board that the intent of the statute was fulfilled since he submitted a completed form, even if it didn't include his signature affirming its truthfulness, because the form was signed by a notary to whom Lipkovitch verbally confirmed the veracity of his financial report. Both Republican and Democratic board members were unpersuaded by that argument. They said a notary only can confirm that he or she witnessed a person signing a document; the notary's signature cannot take the place of the person otherwise required to sign. That's especially true, the board reasoned, in the case of Lipkovitch's CAN-12, whose first words read: "I, Edward Lipkovitch, the undersigned, certify the following." "The form clearly speaks in the first person," said Joseph Allegretti, a Democratic board member. "Suggesting that the person making the affirmation must be the signatory, not a third person or a proxy, otherwise the statement makes no sense."

FOP ENDORSES HOGSETT: The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #86 voted to support Mayor Joe Hogsett for re-election, landing a critical law enforcement endorsement for the Mayor (Howey Politics Indiana). “Over the last four years, we have made great strides to prioritize public safety and rebuild IMPD. We have returned our officers to community-based beat policing, funded a net gain of 150 police officers to the force, invested in the improved technology that our officers need to be successful, and worked to rebuild community trust,” said Mayor Hogsett.

SEAT JOINS BOSE PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Bose Public Affairs Group in Indianapolis has named Pete Seat vice president (Ditton, Inside Indiana Business). He most recently served as executive director of strategic communications and talent development for the Indiana Republican Party. Seat has worked as the communications director for statewide campaigns including Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2016 gubernatorial campaign and Dan Coats’ 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts.

Presidential 2020

4 STATES CANCEL GOP PRIMARIES & CAUCUSES: Four states are poised to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses, a move that would cut off oxygen to Donald Trump’s long-shot primary challengers (Politico). Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are expected to finalize the cancellations in meetings this weekend, according to three GOP officials who are familiar with the plans. The moves are the latest illustration of Trump’s takeover of the entire Republican Party apparatus. They underscore the extent to which his allies are determined to snuff out any potential nuisance en route to his renomination — or even to deny Republican critics a platform to embarrass him. Trump advisers are quick to point out that parties of an incumbent president seeking reelection have a long history of canceling primaries and note it will save state parties money.

MAYOR PETE TALKS ‘MORALITY’ ON MORNING JOE: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg made the claim on the morality of dealing with climate change on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday (Howey Politics Indiana). "The climate debate fundamentally is about how we're treating each other, whether we think it's OK for some Americans and some people around the world to suffer more today and for whole generations in the future to suffer more tomorrow because we're unwilling to make the tough political choices and to summon the national ambition to actually do something about this," Buttigieg said. "I do think that whether it's that issue, certainly the gun issue, or any number of other things we're facing, we have got to be willing to engage at the moral level and do away with this idea that only one side of the aisle is going to talk in moral language. And I think one of the reasons why we haven't gotten as far as we should on the climate debate is, we're sometimes talking about it as a scientific debate or a political debate when we should really be talking about it as a moral debate. It's why I'm actually a little bothered by the phrase 'save the planet' as if it's just this abstract thing of this planet-- look, the planet in some form is going to be here no matter what. I'm interested in saving people who have to live on this planet. This is about harm being done to human beings, and that has moral weight, especially when you layer in the fact that disadvantaged communities are usually those who bear the brunt of natural disasters and other climate change impacts."

BUTTIGIEG DESCRIBE HIS CAMPAIGN MOMENTUM: Mayor Buttigieg cited his campaign "momentum" on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday (Howey Politics Indiana). "You can just feel with Labor Day we're in a different stage of the campaign. So now's when the ground game really becomes central," Buttigieg said. "We're opening 20 offices in 20 days across Iowa. A bunch of offices opening up around New Hampshire, getting more and more organizers on the ground -- up to I think about 100 in Iowa. And it's fun. I mean, the summer's fun -- you do the fairs, you do certain -- but in a way I think now is when a lot of the folks who have not been there for the blow by blow following every minute with one of the two dozen or so candidates, this is when a lot of other folks are starting to tune in. And you can feel something starting to gel, even if a lot of people don't make up their minds ‘til the last few days. We did an office opening in Iowa City. We were going to have a few-- you know, figured maybe we'd get 100 people to come be there when we open the office. We wound up with 800 people. We had to move it to a park. So people are tuning in. Certainly for our campaign we're seeing that momentum build, even though, again, it is a long way out."

BUTTIGIEG PICKS UP 7 NH ENDORSEMENTS: Ahead of the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention, seven current and former elected officials have announced their endorsement of Pete Buttigieg for President (Howey Politics Indiana). The seven join Representatives Matt Wilhelm (Manchester) and Cole Riel (Goffstown), who announced their support for Pete earlier this year (Howey Politics Indiana). The endorsements come as Pete For America opens 12 campaign offices in all 10 of New Hampshire’s counties over the next four days.

MAYOR PETE STUMPS IN NYC: This is why he’s New York’s favorite mayor. Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., waxed poetic Thursday about the Big Apple as he joined The Post for a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and a slice at Grimaldi’s — which, yes, he ate with his hands (New York Post). “I find this city just inexhaustible,” gushed Buttigieg, gazing out at the Lower Manhattan skyline from the world-famous span. “I mean, just walking around it’s exciting.” More than a dozen passersby stopped Buttigieg for hand shakes, photos and well wishes — including one city traffic cop just steps from City Hall. “New York just as a creation is one of the most remarkable things that human kind has ever produced … I just marvel at it,” said Buttigieg, in town for a media and fundraising blitz culminating with a Thursday night appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Across the bridge in Brooklyn Heights, Buttigieg enjoyed another triumph of human ingenuity: A New York slice at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. “Do you have my fork?” Buttigieg jokingly asked an aide with a laugh and a shake of his head as he grabbed a slice from a margherita pie.

BUTTIGIEG ON COLBERT: Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and talked about breaking inertia in Washington (Howey Politics Indiana). "I admire the others," he said of other Democratic contenders, "but I'm not like the others. And it's not just a matter of style, it's also a matter of approach.It's why I'm not making the same promises that some of the candidates to my left are -- I share the goals, and believe that we can do it in a way that will bring Americans together. I view myself as a progressive … I also think that there's more to this than just this kind of left-to-center line. So when I talk about the fact that we need to reform the Supreme Court, or that we need to start -- if we want to call ourselves a democracy, we ought to pick our president by just, you know, counting up all the votes and giving it to the person who got the most."

SCHULTZ TO END CAMPAIGN: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who put his independent presidential exploration on hold in June, will tell supporters later this morning that he's abandoning his campaign but still plans to spend big "to fix our broken system." (Axios)


BUCSHON, CARSON AUTHOR MATERNAL HEALTH BILL: U.S. Reps. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) and André Carson (IN -07) introduce the Excellence in Maternal Health Act (H.R. 4215) to authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to establish grant programs to develop and disseminate best practices to improve maternal healthcare quality, training, and education in order to eliminate preventable maternal mortality (Howey Politics Indiana). “As a physician and a father of four, I understand the importance of ensuring the health of mothers during pregnancy and after the delivery of newborns,” said Dr. Bucshon. “This is a critical time for both the mother and the child as a new life is brought into the world. We must do better in our approach across the entire nation, especially in rural America, to use best practices and provide necessary resources to stop preventable maternal mortality which is why I have introduced the Excellence in Maternal Care Act. I believe this bipartisan legislation will benefit patients and communities that are currently struggling.” “I’m honored to join Rep. Bucshon in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will help save lives and improve health outcomes,” said Rep. Carson. “Maternal mortality is a national, public health emergency, particularly in Indiana. To face this crisis, we must implement the programs and reforms found in the bill to help put an end to these tragic and often preventable deaths. I’ll work hard to pass this measure to ensure the birth of a child is a joyous and safe occasion for families across America.”

CARSON, BRAUN TOUT OPPORTUNITY ZONES: U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says opportunity zones are helping revitalize communities in the Hoosier State and across the country (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Carson and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) toured a major opportunity zone project in Indianapolis Thursday. Opportunity zones are low-income areas where investments and developments are eligible for federal tax breaks. There are 156 in Indiana, including one in Indianapolis that’s home to an abandoned factory campus. Carson says it will become two charter schools and a pair of housing complexes. “We’re seeing the rebirth of our national spirit, our pride, positivity and our potential,” Carson says. Braun says the Indianapolis site proves what opportunity zones can generate. “You’ve got a great state like Indiana that will take this federal investment and hopefully it’ll cascade across the neighborhoods here,” Braun says.

SEN. YOUNG LAUDS AG DISASTER DECLARATION: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) disaster declaration for most Indiana counties following adverse weather conditions that affected crop progress this summer (Kokomo Perspective). “This designation means that Hoosiers can apply for emergency loans and risk management tools, which is welcome news because every bit of relief is needed to get our struggling farmers through this growing season,” said Young. “I will continue working with Governor Holcomb and the USDA on behalf of all Hoosier farmers.”

SENATE DEMOCRATS WANTS TO PROBE PENCE STAY AT DOONBEG - A top Senate Democrat wants to investigate whether Vice President Mike Pence’s taxpayer-funded stay at a golf club in Ireland owned by President Donald Trump was another “apparent conflict of interest” involving Trump, his administration and his business properties (Huffpo). “Citing security and logistical concerns, you and your Chief of Staff have made the claim that staying at President Trump’s resort in Doonbeg was necessary. I find it hard to believe that your office was unable to identify lodgings that could accommodate the security and logistical needs of your trip in the capital of Ireland, which houses among other locations the United States Embassy – where President Reagan stayed during his 1984 visit,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, wrote in a letter to Pence Thursday.

General Assembly

HEALTH COSTS PROBED: An interim public health committee met for the first time to discuss the high cost of health care in the state. Hoosiers are paying more for healthcare than ever and according to a recent study,more than many other states (Sheridan, Indiana Public Media). The reasons vary and include access, hospital consolidation, aging population, lack of large employers and poor population health. But President and CEO of Employers’ Forum of Indiana Gloria Sachdev says the study points to another reason. "The single biggest driver of high healthcare costs is price," says Sachdev. "This is not a mystery." Indiana lawmakers heard from healthcare, business and policy leaders. Many offered ways they have tried to drive down costs including value-based care programs and integrated wellness systems.  Indiana Family and Social Services Secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan says Indiana also needs to address health equity for all.  "We wait to deliver social services until people get sick," says Sullivan. "And that’s the most expensive way to approach health care." Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor says the state needs to address all the costs associated with care.  "I don’t think anyone can dismiss that our health metrics relate to the total cost of care," says Tabor.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB MEETS JAPANESE OFFICIALS - Gov. Eric Holcomb began his Asian trip by meeting with Aichi Prefecture officials (Howey Politics Indiana). "Indiana & Aichi Prefecture share similar strengths in manufacturing. With the support of Aichi businesses like  @ToyotaMotorCorp, @ToyotaForklift, @AisinGroup, Toyota Tsusho, Nippon Steel & DENSO, #Indiana ranks 2nd in the US for manufacturing by GDP," Holcomb tweeted. "The Central Japan Economic Federation represents over 17,000 companies. This meeting is a great opportunity to share the Indiana success story with prospects and partners. Over 70 companies from Aichi Prefecture are investors in Indiana. This is a great opportunity to thank them for their continued partnership and find ways for increased investment in our state." Holcomb added, "Glad to be back in Nagoya. We’re kicking things off by meeting with business leaders that have operations in Indiana."

GAMING: LEGENDARY BEARS MAKE FIRST NFL GAME WAGERS IN EAST CHICAGO, MICHIGAN CITY - Chicago Bears fans crowded the pavilion at Ameristar Casino Thursday afternoon for the chance to meet Hall of Fame player and coach Mike Ditka and record-setting kick-return specialist Devin Hester as they helped the casino celebrate the start of sports wagering in Indiana (NWI Times). "How about it everybody?" Ameristar General Manager Matt Schuffert called out to the gathering. "Sports wagering is here." The afternoon event served as a prelude to the start of the NFL season that evening, with the Bears taking on the Green Bay Packers. The Bears — and Thursday night's game — were the themes of the ceremonial "first bets" Ditka and Hester placed. "One hundred dollars on the Bears to win the Super Bowl," Ditka told the Ameristar staff member at one of five betting windows at the front corner of the pavilion.  Ditka turned his ticket over to Hester, who "bet" $200 on the Bears in Thursday night's game and returned the favor by presenting his ticket to Ditka. Brian Urlacher opened the sports book with a bet on the Bears to beat the Green Bay Packers in Thursday's regular-season opener at Michigan City's Blue Chip Casino Thursday night. “You look at the players on this roster, and every position they're stacked. They're good up front on both sides, they have good receivers, a good quarterback, good running backs and they're defense is loaded.”

INDOT: I-465 CLOSURE BEGINS TONIGHT - The Indiana Department of Transportation encourages motorists to plan ahead for another full weekend of construction in Marion County (Howey Politics Indiana). Contractors will be working to repair winter damage, extend the life spans of pavement and bridges, and perform maintenance in five interstate work zones around the Indianapolis metro area.  To avoid delays and congestion, motorists should consider using local streets rather than interstates. Motorists who do use metro area interstates during the weekend should prepare for delays and congestion. Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be patrolling work zones and ticketing drivers for speeding and reckless/distracted driving.  INDOT crews and Hoosier Helpers will be present on the interstates to make sure drivers are aware of slowing traffic and upcoming work zones.

Full closures: I-465 SB/WB from I-65 to I-70 on southeast side of Indianapolis, all lanes closed. Detour: Follow I-65 and I-70 through downtown Indianapolis or follow the I-465 outer loop.

Lane Restrictions: I-465 WB from Keystone Ave. to College Ave. 2 lanes open. 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. I-465 SB from U.S. 36/S.R. 67 (Pendleton Pike) to I-70 2 lanes open, 9 p.m. Friday to September 14. I-465 EB from I-865 to U.S. 31 (Meridian St.), 1 lane open 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday. I-65 NB & SB from Little Eagle Creek to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. (Exit 117) (northwest side), 2 lanes open in each direction, Now through October 3. I-865 EB & WB from I-465 to I-65, 1 lane open in each direction, Now through October 9.

Ramp Closures: SB I-69 to EB I-465 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday.

HEALTH: INDIANA LANDS $2M IN MATERNITY GRANTS - Indiana is getting a $2.1 million federal grant to explore ways of reducing the state’s high rate of pregnancy-related deaths (AP). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide the State Department of Health with more than $420,000 a year for five years to improve Indiana’s ability to collect data about pregnancy-related deaths and devise ways to combat them. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports Indiana has the nation’s third-highest rate of deaths of women while pregnant or within one year of their pregnancy’s end. The national maternal-mortality rate is 20.7 deaths per 100,000 births, but Indiana’s rate is 41.4 deaths per 100,000 births, according to the United Health Foundation.

EDUCATION: STATE OFFERING ASPIRING TEACHER GRANTS - Aspiring Indiana teachers can apply for up to $30,000 in financial aid with the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship through the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (Howey Politics Indiana). The scholarship provides up to $7,500 per year of college (up to $30,000 total) for top performing Hoosier students who commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after earning their degrees. Interested students should apply by Nov. 30, 2019 at ScholarTrack.IN.gov. “Hoosier students deserve motivated, quality teachers, and this scholarship is designed to attract just that,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We continue to be encouraged by the commitment of these future educators and look forward to the positive impact they’ll have on their students.” Visit LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeacher for more information and to apply and follow #NextTeacher on social media.'

EDUCATION: IU FIRES ASST. SWIM COACH - Indiana University fired a swim coach Thursday who is facing a misdemeanor intimidation charge. Associate head swim coach Mike Westphal, 46, is accused of making threats against another coach (CBS4). Court documents said the Unionville man, who sits on the board of directors for the Indiana Swim Club (ISC), arranged a meeting at a local restaurant with the victim on April 12, 2019. The victim coaches another swim club in Bloomington. Westphal said the existence of two swim clubs in Bloomington was “an attack on his family.” Westphal also claimed to be “ruthless” and would “squash” the other coach.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP HAS PLENTY OF DOWN TIME -  President Donald Trump’s daily Twitter feed in recent weeks has been a torrent of personal attacks, news commentary, weather reports, unfounded claims and congratulatory notes. But when it comes to his day job, the American people have seen little of him (MSN). This week, aside from daily intelligence briefings and private lunches with Cabinet members, Trump has only one event on his public schedule — on Thursday he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West. Last week, Trump also held just one public event — a Rose Garden ceremony to authorize creation of the U.S. Space Command, a reshuffling of military responsibilities for space operations. He began by announcing he was canceling a planned trip to Poland over Labor Day weekend and would remain in Washington to monitor Hurricane Dorian, which appeared to threaten Florida. Barbara Res, a longtime Trump Organization executive, said Trump appears less active now than when she managed construction projects for him in the 1980s and 1990s. “He’s working less. He seems to care less about his job now than he did back when I was working for him,” Res said.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE CONFRONTED ON BREXIT, CLIMATE - Vice President Mike Pence is receiving a tongue-lashing from European allies as he plays understudy to the president on the world stage. From the Taoiseach of Ireland to the mayor of Reykjavik, leaders have been publicly confronting Pence on issues such as the U.K.’s exit from the E.U., nuclear disarmament and climate change (Columbus Republic). The appeals appear part of a desperate effort to try to get through to a Trump administration that follows its own norms and rules, and find someone— anyone — who might be able to change the president’s mind. But again and again, Pence has appeared to brush off the efforts, which spilled into public view before he’d even left the airport in Shannon, Ireland. There, Simon Coveney, the country’s foreign minister, confronted Pence with an urgent message about the potential impact of Brexit. He warned a return to hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland would not only disrupt commerce, but could also threaten a fragile peace. “As somebody who understands Ireland well, I think you understand why it’s such an emotional issue,” Coveney said, trying to leverage Pence’s personal connections to the country. “It’s a huge issue for this country right now. It’s dominating politics here. It’s about trying to mitigate against potential damage.” Pence, appearing less than amused by the public confrontation, said he was “grateful” for Coveney’s “candor” and quickly pivoted. But the pleas continued in Pence’s meetings with other Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE SECURITY DETAIL IN ICELAND CONSPICUOUS - Vice President Pence and his extensive security detail raised eyebrows on Wednesday as they traveled through the capital city of Iceland, a famously peaceful country where its president travels alone on private errands (Washington Post). Weeks before Pence’s visit, Secret Service personnel were seen in the city scouting out locations, the Associated Press reported. Bomb-sniffing dogs were given special clearance to enter the country, and police officers from outside the capital were sent in to help the Reykjavik police meet security standards set by the United States. During the visit Wednesday, U.S. security personnel — who had to be given special permission to bear arms — trailed the vice president through the city. When Pence met with Icelandic officials, snipers were seen perched on the rooftops of nearby buildings, the AP wrote. “The scale of Pence’s visit, not least the security arrangements, are greater than ever seen in Iceland before,” added RUV, the country’s national broadcasting service.

WHITE HOUSE: SEPARATED BORDER CHILDREN FACE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES - Through its “zero tolerance policy” at the southwest border during 2018, which led to separation of migrant children from their parents, the Trump administration “added to the trauma that children had already experienced and put tremendous pressure on facility staff,” according to a report Wednesday by a government watchdog (Roll Call). The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General visited 45 of about 90 facilities holding migrant children in August and September of 2018 and conducted interviews with operators, medical coordinators, mental health clinicians and other staff. In the resulting report, these officials and practitioners described significant challenges in meeting the mental health needs of children in their care, who had been traumatized long before coming to the United States, then were re-traumatized by policies at the border and further aggravated by being kept in government custody for long periods of time.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump has no public events scheduled.

HUD: CARSON TOURS INDY HOUSING WITH BRAUN - The nation's top housing leader made a pit stop in Indianapolis to discuss affordable places for seniors to live and youth to learn. Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, traveled to the Circle City to tour a development under construction and discuss increasing help for low-income families (WRTV). Carson was on the city's east side to look over a project that will benefit families and children. He toured the PR Mallory site on the 3000 Block of East Washington Street with Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana. Decades ago, the PR Mallory site was an old factory. It will soon include affordable housing for seniors and two charter schools including Purdue Polytechnic High School. The school is currently at Circle Centre Mall but will be open in the neighborhood for the 2020-2021 school year. "I think pretty much everyone in the country can learn a few things about what's done in Indianapolis," Carson said. "What I've seen across the country with some charter schools is nothing short of miraculous in terms of opportunities they present for kids." "Generally, government should be an enabler, not the doer," Braun said. "Here is a great example — you've got great state like Indiana which takes this federal investment, and it will cascade across the neighborhood here."

TREASURY: HOUSING MARKET REVAMP - The Trump administration released a sweeping plan Thursday that could remake the U.S. housing market, starting with ending more than a decade of government control of two massive companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that back half of the nation’s mortgages (Washington Post). The long-awaited plan from the Treasury Department features nearly 50 proposals, including many technical changes to financial regulations, and is aimed at shrinking the government’s role in the housing market. The cornerstone of the plan would resolve the fates of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, which 11 years ago this week were put into government conservatorship during the global financial crisis. The proposals will “protect taxpayers and help Americans who want to buy a home,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “An effective and efficient federal housing finance system will also meaningfully contribute to the continued economic growth under this administration.”

HEALTH: CONTAMINANT FOUND IN VAPING PRODUCTS - State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks (Washington Post). The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the United States. FDA officials shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call. That same chemical was also found in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who fell ill in New York in recent weeks, a state health department spokeswoman said.

CLIMATE: DORIAN HITTING OBX THIS MORNING - Hurricane Dorian sideswiped the Carolinas with shrieking winds, tornadoes and sideways rain Thursday as it closed in for a possible direct hit on the dangerously exposed Outer Banks. At least four deaths in the Southeast were blamed on the storm (AP). Twisters spun off by Dorian peeled away roofs and flipped trailers, and more than 250,000 homes and businesses were left without power as the hurricane pushed north along the coastline, its winds weakening to 105 mph by evening. Trees and power lines littered flooded streets in Charleston's historic downtown. Gusts topped 80 mph in some areas. The damage from the same storm that mauled the Bahamas was mercifully light in many parts of South Carolina and Georgia as well, and by midafternoon, many of the 1.5 million people who had been told to evacuate in three states were allowed to return. Still, forecasters warned that Dorian could run straight over North Carolina's Outer Banks – the thin line of islands that stick out from the U.S. coast like a boxer's chin – late Thursday or early today. To the north, Virginia was also in harm's way, and a round of evacuations was ordered there.

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - CNN "State of the Union": Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Julián Castro. Panel: Amanda Carpenter, Scott Jennings, Karen Finney and Abdul El-Sayed. NBC "Meet the Press": Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Stanley Greenberg. Panel: Kimberly Atkins, Peter Baker, Jonah Goldberg and Amy Walter. ABC "This Week": Panel: Alexi McCammond, Rahm Emanuel, Chris Christie and Mary Bruce. CBS "Face the Nation": Jim Mattis, Garrett Graff, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). Anthony Salvanto with new poll numbers. Panel: Jamal Simmons, David Frum, Michael Crowley and Laura Barrón-López. "Fox News Sunday": Mark Sanford. Panel: Karl Rove, Jane Harman, Dana Perino and Juan Williams. Power Player: Lisa Marie Riggins, president of Fairness for Athletes in Retirement. CNN "Inside Politics" (Dana Bash guest-hosting): Lisa Lerer, Mike Bender, Rachael Bade and Sahil Kapur.

ECONOMY: JOBS REPORTING COMING THIS MORNING - The August employment report to be released Friday will provide the latest view of the economy’s health during a month of global economic turbulence and heightened Wall Street jitters (Wall Street Journal). The labor market’s recent performance remains consistent with an economy that is expanding but at a slower pace than last year. Through July, employers were adding jobs at a healthy clip and unemployment was hovering near historic lows.


CITIES: LaPORTE PD CHIEF BLASTED OVER FACEBOOK POST - A Facebook post that led to a storm of criticism and charges of racism on social media was only controversial because of an "error," according to La Porte's top police officer. The post, which claims to show U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar holding a rifle "at a training camp in Somalia," was posted by Chief Tom Owens, but he said his intent was the opposite of what happened (Michigan City News-Dispatch). He was actually trying to draw attention to the proliferation of "fake news" on Facebook, Owens said, but the comment he added to the post, which appeared on his personal Facebook page, did not appear. "I'm not sure if it was my error or Facebook's error, but I added a message to the top of the post that said, 'Really people, this is too far and not fair'," Owens said. "I do not stand for what that post was and I know it's just more fake news." He took down the post and put up a retraction, explaining that it went up without the intended message attached, he said. While initial reaction on social media ran from calls for Owens to be fired to outrage that a public official would make such a post, once Owens' "apology" went up, opinion became much more divided.

CITIES: HENRY CUTS RIBBON ON SALOMON HOMESTEAD - Mayor Tom Henry and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel cut the ribbon today on the newly restored Salomon Farm Homestead, which will officially open for public tours during the Fall Harvest Festival at Salomon Farm Park on Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14 (Howey Politics Indiana). The Salomon family immigrated from Lahde, Westfalen, Prussia in 1871 and settled where Salomon Farm Park sits today. Many of the projects on this working farm have been completely community funded and supported, including the restoration of the Homestead. Financial support for this project was provided by generous private donors, foundations, and grants. Furnishings are all circa 1930’s family heirlooms gifted to the park from citizens in Fort Wayne and surrounding counties. These heirlooms represent Salomon Farm Park’s and the Parks and Recreation Department’s commitment to protecting and celebrating Indiana heritage. “We are thrilled to be able to share this additional piece of our city’s history with the citizens of Fort Wayne,” said McDaniel. “Salomon Farm Park has always been a living tribute to the history of farming in our area, and the Homestead will continue to educate visitors about how farm families lived and thrived nearly 100 years ago.”

CITIES: INDY DPW TO CLOSE FALL CREEK ROAD NEXT WEEK - The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) will close Fall Creek Road between 71st and 79th Streets on Thursday, September 12, to begin replacement of the Fall Creek culvert near 9540 Fall Creek Rd. (Howey Politics Indiana). Southeast-bound motorists will use a posted detour of Fall Creek Road, Hague Road and 82nd Street, while northeast-bound motorists will use 82nd Street, Hague Road and Fall Creek Road. Local traffic will be permitted on Fall Creek Road between 71st and 79th Street during the closure except for the active construction site, located about a half-mile north of the 71st Street and Fall Creek intersection (see below).

CITIES: AUBURN BANS TRUCK AUCTION - The Auburn Board of Zoning Appeals has denied a request to allow semi truck auctions at Auburn Auction Park, a decision that likely ends Fort Wayne Auto Truck Auction's interest in buying the property at 5536 County Road 11A (Slater, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Although the 150-acre property's zoning allows auto sales throughout the year, it doesn't allow sales of semis except as a special exception, Auburn zoning officials said in documents obtained from the city's website. Zoning Appeals Board members denied the zoning change during a meeting Wednesday evening, a staff member confirmed today.

COUNTIES: LAKES AIMS AT TAX SCOFFLAWS -  The Lake County auditor plans to legally challenge hundreds of tax deeds issued to Broadway Logistics Complex LLC, which finds itself in the center of a controversial Gary land grab (NWI Times). This announcement Wednesday follows an ongoing Times investigation into a potentially ineligible bidder — Thomas Wisniewski — who allegedly coordinated bids on behalf of the limited liability corporation at the county commissioner's tax sale events this year. Wisinewski is delinquent on property taxes for parcels he owns in Lake County, which should have barred him from bidding at the county's tax sale for other tax-delinquent properties, state and local records show.

COUNTIES: GROUP FORMS TO PUSH VIGO CASINO - A group has started a campaign aimed at building voter support for allowing western Indiana's first casino in Terre Haute (Indiana Public Media). The Advance West Central Indiana political action committee is holding public forums ahead of Vigo County voters deciding the casino issue in the November election. Group chairman John Collett says he expects the project would mean around 150 construction jobs and perhaps 400 new jobs related to the casino. He says the casino could mean $7 million or more a year in tax revenue to local government and schools.

COUNTIES: LaPORTE COUNCILMAN SULLIVAN RESIGNS - A “disgraced” La Porte County Council member resigned his post and retired from his job as a La Porte firefighter on Thursday, mandatory conditions of his plea agreement to a felony residential entry charge (Michigan City News-Dispatch). John P. Sullivan, 59, confirmed Thursday he has already undergone the mental evaluation mandated in his plea agreement; and that he is prepared to spend the next year on GPS monitoring. For the next two years, Sullivan must report to all scheduled probation meetings, pass all drug screens, and refrain from being charged with any additional crimes. Should he complete his pre-trial probation satisfactorily, Sullivan will return to La Porte Superior Court 1 on Sept. 2, 2021, where his judgment of conviction will be entered as a Class A misdemeanor. "I can't tell you how disappointed I am personally in these actions to which you have pleaded guilty,” Judge Michael Bergerson said in court Thursday. “Your actions constitute, certainly, a betrayal of trust. You have ruined a career of service to our community. And as you stand before the court today, you stand ... a disgraced man.”