HOOSIERS WILL BID FAREWELL TO SEN. LUGAR THIS WEEK: Hoosiers will send off into eternity a favorite son this week. Services for the late U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar will begin at noon Tuesday when the senator will lie in state under the Indiana Statehouse rotunda. Gov. Eric Holcomb will preside over a brief ceremony (Howey Politics Indiana). The public will be welcome through sunset on Tuesday, and then again from 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesday. The Lugar family will be available to greet well-wishers in the South Atrium of the Capitol from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The funeral services will take place at 1 p.m. Wedndesday at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St. Those wishing to attend must register by clicking here. The Lugar Center will notify those requesting seats via return email with details about attendance, or, sadly, if we have run out of seats. The service will also be streamed on the Internet.

TRUMP APPROVE/DISAPPROVE IN INDIANA 46/48%: Indiana Republicans would have you believe that President Trump is still phenomenally popular in Indiana. But the We Ask America Poll echoes other previous surveys and shows Trump barely above water in a state he carried with 53% in the primary three years ago, and by 19% against the widely loathed Hillary Clinton. Overall, 46% of Indiana voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 48% disapprove (Howey Politics Indiana). Split along party lines, his approval is at 82% with Republicans, while 89% of Democrats disapprove. Among Independents, just 35% approve, while 45% disapprove. As for Vice President Pence, 47% have a favorable opinion, 41% unfavorable. Among independents, Pence approve/disapprove is 35/39%, while 79% of Republicans are favorable. More troubling for the Trump/Pence ticket, the national right/wrong track numbers are under water at 39/51%.

HOLCOMB APPROVAL AT 54%: The clear winner in this We Ask America Poll is Gov. Eric Holcomb, who gets a 54% job approval, with 24% disapprove (Howey Politics Indiana). That is consistent with other recent polls. Among Democrats, his approve/disapprove is 34/42%, and among independents it's 42/19%. Holcomb is sitting on more than $4 million in reelection funds, has no Democratic challenger in the wings  less than a year before the primary, and he's traveling the state gleefully handing out big Next Level road funding and trail building checks. The state right/wrong track is inverse of the national, at 50/34%. Among independents, it's 43/28%.

TRUMP SAYS U.S. 'RIGHT WHERE WE WANT TO BE' ON TARIFFS: President Donald Trump weighed in on the state of trade negotiations with China, saying the U.S. was “right where we want to be” -- namely, on the cusp of taking in massive tariffs from China, a view at odds with his top economic adviser, who conceded Sunday that U.S. companies and consumers would pay the tariff bill (Bloomberg News). On Twitter, the president said of China, “they LOVE ripping off America!” He also refloated a plan from Friday to redirect money generated by tariffs to buy up American agricultural products and “distribute the food to starving people” around the world -- a suggestion that has already drawn skepticism.U.S. equity futures opened more than 1 percent lower Sunday night, extending the stock market’s biggest weekly decline of the year, as the weekend ended with a stalemate between the world’s largest economies and a potential fresh round of tariffs to be announced by Washington. The yen climbed, and China’s yuan retreated. No date has been set so far for fresh talks. It’s likely Trump would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, in late June, Kudlow said. The ongoing trade fight between the world’s two biggest economies is roiling markets and weighing on projections for global growth. Trump on Saturday said it would be wise for China to “act now” to finish a trade deal with the U.S., warning of “far worse” terms after what he predicted would be his certain re-election in 2020.

KUDLOW CONTRADICTS TRUMP ON WHO PAYS FOR TARIFFS: National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow acknowledged Sunday that American consumers end up paying for the administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports, contradicting President Trump’s repeated inaccurate claim that the Chinese foot the bill (Washington Post). In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” two days after U.S.-China trade talks ended with no news of a deal, Kudlow was asked by host Chris Wallace about Trump’s claim. “It’s not China that pays tariffs,” Wallace said. “It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, in effect, is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.” “Fair enough,” Kudlow replied. “In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.” Pressed again by Wallace, Kudlow acknowledged that China does not actually “pay” the tariffs.

“No, but the Chinese will suffer GDP losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market,” he said.

CONSUMERS ARE FOOTING TARIFF IMPACTS: Goldman Sachs: "New evidence on the effects of the 2018 tariff rounds from two detailed academic studies points to larger effects on U.S. consumer prices than we had previously estimated, for two reasons. First, the costs of U.S. tariffs have fallen entirely on U.S. businesses and households, with no clear reduction in the prices charged by Chinese exporters. Second, the effects of the tariffs have spilled over noticeably to the prices charged by U.S. producers competing with tariff-affected goods." Bank of Americas/Merrill Lynch is calling it the "Blue collar blues": "The manufacturing sector has been slowing since the peak of last summer. The pattern is reminiscent of 2011 and 2015. Manufacturers have expressed concerns about trade tensions, with nearly 59% reporting that the tariffs have led to an increase in the price of goods produced. Increasing tariffs would be kicking a sector when it is already down. On the other hand, a quick resolution with China would help provide stability."

CHINA INVITES U.S. FOR TRADE TALKS IN BEIJING: China has invited U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing to continue trade negotiations, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday (Wall Street Journal). The U.S. officials hadn’t firmed up plans to travel, Mr. Kudlow said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to talk directly at a G-20 meeting in Japan at the end of next month, Mr. Kudlow said.

SCHIFF SAYS MUELLER WILL TESTIFY: As House Democrats weigh imposing fines on members of the Trump administration figures to try to force officials to obey subpoenas, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., stressed the importance of having special counsel Robert Mueller testify before Congress. "The American people have a right to hear what the man who did the investigation has to say and we now know we certainly can't rely on the attorney general who misrepresented his conclusions," Schiff said on "This Week" Sunday. "So he is going to testify." Schiff also defended potential contempt charges against members of the administration, which he acknowledged would lead to a battle in the courts.

EVANSVILLE CHURCH TO PAY OFF MEDICAL DEBT: With the help of national non-profit RIP Medical Debt, Evansville's City Church is paying off $1.5 million in medical debt for Evansville families, pastor Jeff Kinkade said (Doyle, Evansville Courier & Press). The church won't pick or know whose debt is paid off, but those families will receive a note from the church that says, "We may never meet, but as an act of love in the name of Jesus Christ, your debt has been forgiven." Kinkade explained that RIP is able to buy back the debt for pennies on the dollar and selects residents living at or near poverty level incomes. City Church will purchase $1.5 million of medical debt for $15,000. “Our vision has always been to demonstrate the love of Christ to the city of Evansville, not just talk about it,” Kinkade said. “We’re not a mega-church with enormous resources so we are always looking for ways that we can make the biggest impact with the resources we do have. Christ’s sacrifice paid our moral debt, so sacrificing money to pay someone else’s financial debt seemed quite fitting to us.”

NBA LOOKS TO END ONE & DONE RULE: NBA commissioner Adam Silver thinks high school players will be able to come straight to the NBA starting with the 2022 draft, according to Rick Maese of The Washington Post. Speaking at an event in Washington D.C. on Thursday, Silver said, "There are a bunch of issues that need to be worked through between" the league and the player's association (Sports Illustrated). Silver elaborated, explaining how the league would like to work with the player's association and USA Basketball to work more closely with the teenagers who could potentially make the leap to the NBA from high school. "It's hard, I think, if you're that parent or guardian, to say to that player, it's more important that you go to three more classes as opposed to prepare for a really important decision," Silver said. "I think that's where the hypocrisy lies." In August 2018, the NCAA proposed rule changes that would coincide with the eventual elimination of the one-and-done rule. One of the NCAA rule changes would allow for USA Basketball to identify "elite" high school prospects would be allowed to hire agents for their senior year in case they were going to skip college. ESPN reported last month that front office personnel will be able to scout the USA Basketball under-16 national camps.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Mexico did not pay for the U.S. border wall, despite years of deceitful rhetoric from President Trump who insisted it would. Now comes forth Larry Kudlow, Trump's economic adviser, who debunks another Trumpian fib. Kudlow acknowledged that U.S. consumers are picking up Trump's trade war tab, though he attempts to rationalize this policy by saying that both sides will be hurt. Fair enough, Larry, thanks for being a rare administration official who acknowledges some semblance of the truth. Folks, enjoy your new and growing tariff taxes. - Brian A. Howey

Presidential 2020

BETO PLANNING 'REINTRODUCTION':  Beto O’Rourke barreled into the 2020 presidential race with breakneck energy and a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants campaign style that saw him leap atop tables to address overflow crowds with the organic, off-the-cuff candor that had made him a Texas sensation (AP). But since his mid-March campaign launch, the buzz surrounding the former congressman has evaporated. Competing in a massive field of Democratic White House hopefuls, O’Rourke has sagged in the polls. He’s made few promises that resonated or produced headline-grabbing moments, instead driving around the country meeting with voters at mostly small events. In a tacit recognition that this approach isn’t working, O’Rourke is planning to try again, taking a hands-on role in staging a “reintroduction” ahead of next month’s premier Democratic presidential debate. As he finalizes his plans, O’Rourke has entered an intentional “quiet period” to build out campaign infrastructure, according to an adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign’s strategy.

Sunday Talk

GRAHAM SAYS CHINA TRYING TO WAIT OUT TRUMP: “I think Trump is right. I think they’re trying to wait him out,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” Graham called the talks “the best chance of my lifetime to get China to change their cheating ways.” “We’re going to have some short-term pain in America to get China to change their behavior,” Graham said.

SCHIFF SAYS TRUMP MUST BE DEFEATED IN 2020: President Trump “has to be defeated,” in the 2020 presidential election, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), said Sunday. “I don’t think this country could survive another four years of a president like this who gets up every day trying to find new and inventive ways to divide us,” Schiff said on ABC's "This Week."

PAULSON SEES 'MISSED OPPORTUNITIES': Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Sunday that trade negotiations between the U.S. and China seemingly derailing this week is a "missed opportunity for both countries." “This is a deal that can be very good for the United States and China, the Trump administration has been working very hard to do something which I think would make a big difference for American workers, for the American people, in terms of getting more balanced trade, in terms of protecting IPR, in terms of breaking down some big structural barriers to competition," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation." “China’s got plenty of problems themselves," Paulson added. "They have an inefficient financial system, inefficient state-owned enterprises, massive misallocations of capital.”

SEN. BENNET CALLS TRUMP MOST 'FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE': Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential candidate, on Sunday criticized President Trump for his spending decisions. “Donald Trump has shown himself to be the most fiscally irresponsible president we have had in generations,” Bennet said on CBS's "Face The Nation." “Here’s a guy who’s managed to rack up a $2 trillion deficit at a moment of full employment in the country, it’s almost impossible to do that.”

SEN. PAUL SAYS MUELLER 'POLITICALLY MOTIVATED': Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Robert Mueller's Russia probe is an example of why the U.S. should not have special prosecutors and pointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) as "truly unconstitutional and the root of the problem we should be addressing."  "I think since the very beginning this has been politically motivated and now both sides are doing it," he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "It goes back to the Clintons." Paul said that because the Mueller report found no evidence of an underlying crime, the "best thing we can do at this point is say 'let's get on with the country's business.'"

SEN. PAUL WARNS OF RECESSION: Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said while Trump may feel he can’t back down from China right now and there would be benefits from a trade deal, he’s advised the administration to get a deal quickly because a protracted fight poses risks to the U.S. economy. “The longer we’re involved in a tariff battle or a trade war, the better chance there is that we could actually enter into a recession,” Paul said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

HARRIS BACKS BREAKING UP FACEBOOK: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that officials "need to take a serious look at breaking up Facebook." Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate, was responding to a question from Tapper about Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes's op-ed last week that called for the social media giant to be broken up. "I think Facebook has experienced massive growth and has prioritized its growth over the best interest of its consumers," she said on "State of the Union." "There's no question in my mind there needs to be serious regulation and that has not been happening. There needs to be more oversight, that has not been happening."

BOOKER SLAMS HARRIS ON FACEBOOK BREAKUP: Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., weighed in Sunday on whether they think Facebook should be broken up by the government in light of a co-founder saying this week that the company lacked accountability and should be split. The Democratic presidential contenders were asked Sunday if they would go as far as their 2020 competitor Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has called for the government to break up Facebook and other tech giants, pledging that her administration would do so should she be elected. Booker said on ABC's "This Week" that if he is elected, his Justice Department would use anti-trust law "to do the proper investigations and hold industries accountable for corporate consolidation." But he added that he doesn't "think that a president should be running around pointing at companies and saying 'breaking them up' without any kind of process here."

McCARTHY SAYS DEMS MORE INTERESTED IN 'SUBPOENAS THAN SOLUTIONS': Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced congressional Democrats for their myriad of investigations into President Trump and his administration, accusing them of being more interested in issuing subpoenas than offering legislative solutions.  "This is a time that the country wants to move forward. We want to move forward. We've got health care, we've got trade, we've got a crisis on our border. The Democrats are more interested in subpoenas than solutions," McCarthy said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

GATES SAYS BIDEN, SANDERS, TRUMP HAVE AGE ISSUES: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes that age is a "problematic" issue in the 2020 presidential election.  In an interview with "Face the Nation," Gates said candidates in their late seventies — like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is 76, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is 77 — don't have the "kind of energy that I think is required to be president." Gates worked with Biden as defense secretary in the early years of the Obama administration. "I'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s," said Gates, who is 75 and the chancellor of the College of William & Mary, where the interview took place. "The thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting."

GATES SEES RISK OF TALIBAN TAKEOVER: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes there is a "real risk" that if American troops are pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban might retake control of the country. He told "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan that the U.S. should ensure that the Afghan government is stable before bringing American forces home. There are currently 12,000 U.S. service members stationed there. "I think that the circumstances under which you bring them home matter. And I think trying to give the Afghan government the best possible shot at survival is really important for the future of Afghanistan," Gates told Brennan. He outlined potential consequences of the Taliban retaking control of the country, particularly the reduction of women's rights.


HOUSE WEEK: The House will vote on a package of seven health care and drug pricing bills, titled the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, per a senior House Democratic aide (Axios). At the end of the week, the House will also vote on The Equality Act, which "defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation."

SENATE WEEK: The Senate will confirm the following nominees in this order, per a Republican leadership aide: Michael Truncale as judge for the Eastern District of Texas; Kenneth Kiyul Lee as judge for the Ninth Circuit; Wendy Vitter as judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana; and Brian Bulatao as Undersecretary of State (Management).

General Assembly

FORMER REP. KEARNS DIES: R. Jerome “Jerry” Kearns, a former Vigo County judge and three-term state lawmaker, died Saturday following a six-year battle with cancer (Taylor, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Family members and former colleagues remembered the 83-year-old Democrat Sunday for helping those most in need. “Jerry was always a champion of the working men and women in the community; he was a champion of the underprivileged and the downtrodden,” said Phil Adler, a retired judge whose tenure overlapped that of Kearns. “He had a very soft and sympathetic heart for those folks, which made him an extraordinary judge, I think, in that regard,” Adler said. He recalled campaigning with Kearns in 1986 when he ran for county prosecutor and Kearns for state representative. “That was very good for me because Jerry was so darn popular,” Adler said.


STATEHOUSE: HILL JOINS MULTI-STATE LAWSUIT VS. PHARMA COMPANY - Attorney General Curtis Hill joined 43 other attorneys general in a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation's largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs (Howey Politic Indiana). The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations. The drugs at issue account for billions of dollars of sales in the United States, and the alleged schemes increased prices affecting the health insurance market, taxpayer-funded health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals who must pay artificially-inflated prices for their prescription drugs. “This lawsuit should serve as a warning to any company that intentionally defies the trust of their customers,” Attorney General Hill said. “The rising cost of health care is daunting enough without price fixing of medications. Americans deserve options when they shop for these products. Any pharmaceutical company that engages in price-fixing and artificial cost inflation is part of the problem that ails health care in the United States. Here in Indiana, we will keep working to protect all Hoosier consumers from illegal schemes.”

JUSTICE: INDIANA INCARCERATION RATE UP 18% - The ACLU of Indiana today released a report that outlines how Indiana can cut the number of people behind bars in half (Howey Politics Indiana). The Blueprint quantifies the positive impact of revising extreme laws and policies, such as the reduction of extraordinarily long sentences for low-level drug offenses, and expanding evidence-based opportunities for release, including for those who have not yet been convicted of a crime. The Blueprint is designed to help Hoosier policymakers combat a mass incarceration crisis that has damaged families, harmed communities, deepened racial disparities and bankrupted local governments. The report is a part of the ACLU’s Smart Justice 50-State Blueprints project, a comprehensive, state-by-state analysis of how states can transform their criminal justice system and cut incarceration in half. The Indiana report can be found by clicking here. The report finds that while the national state imprisonment rate dropped eight percent between 2000 and 2016, Indiana’s imprisonment rate grew 18 percent. Indiana’s jail population has risen due to an influx of people convicted of low-level felonies. More and more community organizations and public officials across the state are calling for comprehensive criminal justice reform.

DOE: SCHOOL SAFETY SEMINAR BEGINS TODAY - The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will welcome educational leaders from across the state and the nation to the 2019 Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy today. Two Thousand Nineteen marks the 20th year the Academy has provided training and certification in school safety practices (Howey Politics Indiana). Established in 1999, the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy provides ongoing, certified training surrounding local, state, and national best practices. In addition, the Academy offers resources for school safety, security, intervention/prevention, and emergency preparedness planning. Safety specialists are trained to lead the development and implementation of a school safety plan which aims to provide a safe educational environment for all Indiana students. Indiana is currently home to over 3,100 certified school safety specialists. Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick will be available to the media to discuss the multi-state meeting, the Academy’s 20th anniversary, and Indiana’s continuous efforts to address school safety at 11:45 a.m. today in Room 228 at the Statehouse.

DNR: HUNTERS SEEK NEW TAX FORMULA - Many hunters and fisherman in Indiana feel the state is shortchanging the division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources dedicated to protecting Indiana's wildlife (WIBC). Gene Hopkins is the president of the Indiana Sportsman's Roundtable, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Indiana's sportsman have a platform to voice their concerns and ideas for the state's conservation of the outdoors and it's wildlife. He tells Indiana Outdoors that the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife is approaching "a crisis point" when it comes to funding. "They get no general fund revenue. Sales tax, gasoline tax, they get none of that," Hopkins said. "They only money from user fees. Hunting licenses and fishing licenses are considered user fees."


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SHIFT SUPPORT TO LIBYAN STRONGMAN OPPOSED BY U.N. - The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt successfully lobbied President Trump to shift U.S. policy in Libya and reach out to the general leading an offensive against the country’s United Nations-backed government, a senior U.S. administration official and two Saudi officials said (Wall Street Journal). In early April, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi urged Mr. Trump to back Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are seeking to capture the Libyan capital Tripoli amid a long-running battle for control of the oil-rich country. About a week later, Mr. Trump called Gen. Haftar, and “discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system,” the White House said. That marked a significant shift in the American stance toward Gen. Haftar. For years, Washington has supported the United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli and worked with it in the war on Islamic State.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO WELCOME HUNGARY'S ORBAN - When Donald Trump became president, Europe’s fiercest anti-immigration leader saw an opportunity to garner international legitimacy for his policies (Politico). But for more than two years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — the only European Union government head to endorse Trump’s campaign in 2016 — failed to get an invitation to visit the White House, despite Trump hosting numerous European leaders. With no White House visit coming, the Hungarian government lobbied its case to lawmakers, the State Department and the White House. And changes in leadership at the State Department started opening some doors for the Hungarian government. Finally, on Monday, Trump will host Orbán in the White House, the first time a Hungarian prime minister has visited the White House since 2005.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE - Monday, President will sign an executive order "on the Economic Empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders," he'll have lunch with VP Mike Pence, host Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and will host an Iftar at the White House. Tuesday: Trump will travel to Louisiana, where he'll tour the Cameron LNG export facility in Hackberry. He'll also speak there. Wednesday: Trump will speak at the 38th annual National Peace Officers memorial service. He will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he and First Lady Melania Trump will host a dinner for the White House Historical Society. Thursday: The President will travel to New York. Vice President Pence delivers the commencement address at Taylor University in Upland, Ind. Friday: Trump will speak at the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in D.C.

HEALTH: 1.1M LOSE INSURANCE COVERAGE - About 1.1 million Americans lost health insurance coverage last year, according to USA Today: About 30.4 million went without insurance in 2018, up from 29.3 million in 2017, according to the CDC. That's the second year the figure rose, after several years of declines under the Affordable Care Act. Efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to challenge and loosen ACA requirements probably played a role in the lost coverage.

KENTUCKY: 3 DEMS SEEK TO CHALLENGE GOV. BEVIN - On Friday night, the three leading Democrats in the race for governor of Kentucky stood under a portrait of Colonel Sanders to answer their state's biggest political question. Who could beat Gov. Matt Bevin, the Republican who had been making their lives miserable? “I got in this race because of Matt Bevin's agenda,” Rocky Adkins, the Democratic leader in the state House, told the hundred Shelby County Democrats who'd gathered in a replica of one of Sanders's homes (Washington Post). “We absolutely must beat Matt Bevin this fall, and if there's one thing I know how to do, it's beat this governor,” said Andy Beshear, the state's attorney general, referring to a run of successful lawsuits. “I'm running for governor not to beat Matt Bevin, though it's a hell of a fringe benefit,” said Adam Edelen, a former state auditor turned solar-energy entrepreneur. “I am running for the opportunity to build a modern Kentucky.” Bevin, whose years-long battles with teachers and public-sector unions has made him wildly unpopular, is seen as vulnerable despite his party's political dominance in the state.


SWEDEN REOPENS RAPE CASE AGAINST ASSANGE: Swedish prosecutors are reopening an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Washington Post). Speaking at a Monday news conference in Stockholm, Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, said that there is “still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” In her assessment, she said, “a new questioning of Assange is required.” Last month, Assange was expelled from the Ecuadoran Embassy in London and later sentenced to 50 weeks in a British prison for skipping bail.


CITIES: FORMER MARTINSVILLE PD CHIEF ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE - Former Martinsville Police Chief Matt Long was placed on unpaid leave in a split vote during a special meeting of the temporary board of public works and safety late Friday morning — but not before Long made his first public statements in the criminal case that surfaced earlier this year (Bloomington Herald-Times). “I know that we can beat this case,” Long said, hoping the board would let him keep collecting a paycheck. “And I just hope that you would understand my family does count on my income.”

CITIES: GARY CHANGES REDEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR - The city of Gary has a new economic development leader. Gary Director of Planning and Redevelopment Joseph Van Dyk has resigned and been replaced with a Gary native who's returning to the Steel City (Pete, NWI Times). Van Dyk has served as executive director of the city's Redevelopment Commission and as director of Planning and Zoning for the city, leading economic development initiatives such as the relocation of Alliance Steel from Bedford Park, Illinois to Gary and the demolition of the long-vacant Sheraton Hotel downtown in 2014.Gary native A.J. Bytnar was appointed to replace Van Dyk. He has a decade of experience in the public and private sectors, serving in different roles at Fishers, the Lake County Department of Planning and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. He has served as the city planner for Hobart and director of planning and development for Lowell.

CITIES: HSE SCHOOL THREAT NOT DEEMED CREDIBLE - Fishers police on Sunday investigated a social media threat to Fishers Junior High School which was deemed not to have any validity, according to an email the school district sent to parents (WIBC). The threat was made via the social media platform Snapchat, according to the email from Hamilton Southeastern schools, and was investigated using patrol officers, detectives and school resource officers. The email said the juvenile who posted the threat was "identified, located and interviewed," and he and his parents cooperated with the investigation. Fishers police determined there did not appear to be any validity to the threat in the post, the email said.

CITIES: HOUSING COMING TO LOGANSPORT POWER PLANT SITE - An old power plant along the Eel River could be turned into housing in Logansport. The power plant was shut down in 2016 due to strict federal environmental rules. Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell calls the area “prime real estate for housing,” near Riverside Park and downtown. The Pharos-Tribune reports that Logansport Municipal Utilities is close to being able to sell the property. Officials say various styles of housing could be an option.

CITIES: NEW DOWNTOWN PERU BREWERY COMING - A new restaurant and microbrewery is coming to downtown Peru after the city council approved $200,000 to renovate a dilapidated building that will house the eatery (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). Jason McClure, who helps operate McClure's Orchard in Miami County with his family, told council members Monday the state has approved a plan submitted to renovate the building at 20 E. Fifth St. That plan includes turning the second floor of the two-story building into four apartment units, and renovating the first floor into a restaurant, pizzeria and microbrewery. But the building, which sits directly across from the Miami County Courthouse, has sat vacant for years and has fallen into disrepair. Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority, told council members that's why it was selected to be included in a new city-sponsored program that targets deteriorating downtown buildings for redevelopment.