NEW IHSAA COMMISSIONER 'CONFIDENT' FALL SPORTS WILL PLAY: New Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Paul Neidig, is already hard at work with the IHSAA’s three-phase plan to return to high school sports this fall (Connett, WIBC). “I think I’m very confident, but I also say we need to be nimble,” Neidig told Inside Indiana Business. “This COVID-19 is a new path for us. We don’t know all the ins and outs of it yet, but I’m confident we will return to the field in the fall.” The IHSAA teamed up with the Indiana Department of Education to form a three-phase plan for a fall sports season to begin. On August 3, girls golf, which normally starts earlier than other fall sports, can begin competition. All other sports, like football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country, will start competition on August 15. “Our hope is that if we continue on this path, and something doesn’t change, then we will return to the football field on Friday night, or the soccer field, or tennis court, or golf course, or what have you,” Neidig said.

COVID SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL: Alarming surges in coronavirus cases across the U.S. South and West raised fears Monday that the outbreak is spiraling out of control and that hard-won progress against the scourge is slipping away because of resistance among many Americans to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others (AP). Confirming predictions that the easing of state lockdowns over the past month and a half would lead to a comeback by the virus, cases surpassed 100,000 in Florida, hospitalizations are rising dramatically in Houston and Georgia, and a startling 1 in 5 of those tested in Arizona are proving to be infected. Over the weekend, the virus seemed to be everywhere at once: Several campaign staff members who helped set up President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tested positive, as did 23 Clemson University football players in South Carolina. At least 30 members of the Louisiana State University team were isolated after becoming infected or coming into contact with someone who was. Meatpacking plants were also hit with outbreaks. “It is snowballing. We will most certainly see more people die as a result of this spike,” said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO and president of Houston Methodist Hospital, noting that the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions has tripled since Memorial Day to more than 1,400 across eight hospital systems in the Houston metropolitan area. He warned that hospitals could be overwhelmed in three weeks, and he pleaded with people to cover their faces and practice social distancing. “It is possible to open up at a judicious pace and coexist with the virus, but it requires millions and millions of people to do the right thing,” Boom said.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS YET TO DISTRIBUTE $14B IN TESTING FUNDS: President Donald Trump's administration has yet to distribute nearly $14 billion that Congress has provided for expanding coronavirus testing and contact tracing, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Patty Murray (Tegna). In a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the top democrats claim the Trump administration has not released a plan to distribute more than $8 billion out of the $25 billion provided by Congress in April to expand testing and contact tracing. The Democrats wrote that the Trump administration "failed to disburse significant amounts of this funding, leaving communities without the resources they need to address the significant challenges presented by the virus." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has yet to award nearly $4 billion in funding that could be used for public health surveillance, and state, local, tribal and territorial surveillance and contact tracing efforts, according to Schumer and Murray's letter.

PENCE CALLS TRUMP TESTING REMARK A 'PASSING OBSERVATION': President Trump's comments at a weekend campaign rally in Oklahoma about slowing down testing for coronavirus were just "a passing observation," Vice President Mike Pence told the nation's governors on Monday (CBS News). The president has been widely criticized for seeming to dismiss the importance of testing for COVID-19, especially at rates of infections continue to climb nationwide. On Monday, Pence clarified the president's comments about testing under questioning by Nevada Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak, who sought assurance that state and federal leaders would stay on the same page about the importance of testing for COVID-19. Sisolak called the president's comments "not helpful." Pence told Sisolak the administration is "going to continue to partner with you on testing — I think the president's observation was a passing observation in his remarks. But we are seeing that now that we're doing more than 500,000 tests a day, we are finding more people."

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS RECEIVING THREATS; RESIGNING: For Lauri Jones, the trouble began in early May. The director of a small public health department in western Washington State was working with a family under quarantine because of coronavirus exposure. When she heard one family member had been out in the community, Jones decided to check in. The routine phone call launched a nightmare (Washington Post). “Someone posted on social media that we had violated their civil liberties [and] named me by name,” Jones recalled. “They said, ‘Let’s post her address . . . Let’s start shooting.’ ” People from across the country began calling her personal phone with similar threats. “We’ve been doing the same thing in public health on a daily basis forever. But we are now the villains,” said Jones, 64, who called the police and set up surveillance cameras at her home. Public health workers, already underfunded and understaffed, are confronting waves of protest at their homes and offices in addition to pressure from politicians who favor a faster reopening. Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said more than 20 health officials have been fired, resigned or have retired in recent weeks “due to conditions related to having to enforce and stand up for strong public health tactics during this pandemic.”

BOPP BACKING CURTIS HILL: Former Republican National Committeeman Jim Bopp Jr., posted a Facebook video backing Attorney General Curtis Hill's renomination (Howey Politics Indiana). "Four years ago I supported Curtis Hill for attorney general," Bopp said. "What I saw was a principled full-spectrum conservative and one who promised to have the courage to lead, and I have the yellow T shirt that’s a bit faded now to prove it." The Terre Haute attorney continued, "Politicians rarely fulfill their promises, but Curtis Hill has. He has defended the right to life, religious freedom, fought to stop sanctuary cities, defended the 2nd amendment, protected taxpayers, fought government overreach and sought to stop most of the Obama administration’s worst policies. Principles really don’t matter without the courage to carry them out. Curtis has been undeterred." Bopp then addressed the allegations that led to Hill's 30-day suspension by the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission. "Like all of us, Curtis is not perfect. We all know Curtis made at least one mistake. He has humbly accepted the punishment." Bopp called sexual battery allegations as "grossly exaggerated," noting the Supreme Court and Democrat special prosecutor Dan Sigler, "who interviewed all the witnesses" and "refused to file criminal charges." Bopp added, "Moderates fear Curtis because he is a successful conservative politicians. I just don't think Republicans should cower to Democratic threats and do their job for them."

KRUPP SAYS HE WILL BACK HILL IF NOMINATED: Former Republican attorney general candidate Adam Krupp said he met with Attorney General Curtis Hill and will back him if renominated (Howey Politics Indiana). "Since I exited the race, Curtis Hill has checked in multiple times to see how I'm doing and chat about my next career move," Krupp said. "After a productive conversation about leadership, culture, staff development and outreach, I pledged my support if he secures the nomination. I committed to doing so on the trail when asked by delegates, and I am staying true to my word. I trust he would have done the same for me (unlike Todd Rokita, who has publicly refused to support the party's nominee if he doesn't succeed."

PENCES VOTED BY MAIL: Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, reportedly voted by mail in Indiana’s June primary election using an address they have not lived at since 2016 (Daily Beast). Their April 13 ballots recorded the Indiana governor’s home as their residence for voting purposes, despite their having moved out of the house after Pence became the vice president elect. Though it is legal for the two to vote from a previous address so long as they do not register to vote in Washington, D.C., the move subverts President Donald Trump’s attacks on the vote-by-mail system. The president has repeatedly claimed that voting by mail is susceptible to fraud, despite a dearth of evidence supporting his statements. Trump himself voted in the Florida GOP primary this spring using a mail-in ballot, after changing his address from New York to Florida.

ALLEN COUNTY COUNCILMAN RESIGNS OVER PROTEST REMARKS: Allen County Councilman Larry Brown has resigned, days after he called protesters “uneducated” and said “unfortunately they also breed” during an open meeting (WANE-TV). After the meeting, calls for Brown’s resignation came. An online petition racked up thousands of signatures, and Fort Wayne City Council members joined the call. On Monday, Brown resigned. He sent a letter to Council President Joel Benz and Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine. Shine said it was the right move. “I appreciate Larry resigning in an effort to stop the divisiveness his remarks have caused this community,” Shine told WANE 15. “We can now move forward and heal.” WANE 15 called Brown for a comment, but he hung up on our reporter.

USS INDIANAPOLIS SURVIVOR TONY KING DIES: One of the final remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis disaster has died (WRTV). Tony King died Monday, according to a post on the official USS Indianapolis Facebook page. He was 94. Only eight survivors of the sinking remain. King served aboard the USS Indianapolis beginning in October 1944, and was on the bridge the night the ship was torpedoed. "Following the war, Tony went on to live a hard, but adventure-filled life, traveling the world, and impacting all those he came in contact with," the post said. "We are so grateful to have gotten to know him, and be part of reconnecting him with the USS Indianapolis Survivors, and his family, after so many years." King's death comes nearly two weeks after Jim Jarvis, the oldest living survivor of the tragedy, died at age 98.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: President Trump tweeted this morning: "Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!" That is a head-in-the-sand approach, with our president suggesting over the weekend that COVID testing should be deliberately slowed. The administration is now holding up $14 billion in testing funds. Little wonder that the U.S. is now experiencing a first wave surge, and that isjeopardizing the reopening, sports, and the economy. This nation is showing it lacks the will needed to contain this pandemic. - Brian A. Howey


MYERS CALLS HOLCOMB PANDEMIC RESPONSE 'TEPID': The Democratic nominee for Governor says incumbent Republican governor Eric Holcomb has been “tepid” in his response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Tepidly means, he hasn’t tried to rile up the traditional Republican base as they have been in many other states,” said Dr. Woody Myers on The Rob Kendall Show on 93 WIBC. “On the other hand, he hasn’t done all we should do to get our arms around this.” One of Holcomb’s shortfalls, according to Myers, is a lack of getting people tested. “We should have closed our schools earlier. We should have pushed social distancing harder,” Myers added. “It’s still not where it should be.” Myers said not enough people are getting tested for COVID-19 because of a “lack of funding in the public health infrastructure” calling that infrastructure “abysmal” in Indiana. Myers even went as far as accusing Holcomb of taking campaign contributions from an out of state contractor in order to conduct testing throughout the state. “I can’t say for sure those are related,” Myers said. “But I think there’s a connection in there somewhere.”

WEINZAPFEL WILL DEFEND OBAMACARE: Former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says he jumped into the race because of the groping allegations against Attorney General Curtis Hill, which ultimately led to the 30-day suspension of Hill’s law license, and because of Hill’s support for a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law (Berman, WIBC). Hill’s three Republican challengers contend the groping incident puts the seat at risk if Hill is the nominee. But Weinzapfel contends all four Republicans have been silent on the issues most on the minds of Hoosiers: criminal justice reform and ways the office can respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Weinzapfel argues Republicans’ 10-year push to unravel the Affordable Care Act puts them out of touch with Hoosiers, especially with a pandemic going on. And he says he’d push for more transparency in how nursing homes are taking care of their parents.

TALLIAN VOWS TO STAY INVOLVED IN SENATE: State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, saw her dream of becoming Indiana's next attorney general dashed last week after being narrowly defeated for the Democratic nomination by former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel (Carden, NWI Times). Nevertheless, the four-term Region lawmaker isn't giving up the fight on issues she's championed over 14 years in the Statehouse, including pursuing criminal justice reform, preserving the Healthy Indiana Plan and legalizing medicinal marijuana. "It is always disappointing to lose an election," Tallian said in a video message to her supporters. "But I will be in the state Senate, in January, and will be working on all those things that are so important to all of us."

McGRATH STILL FAVORED IN KENTUCKY AS BOOKER SURGES: Charles Booker’s late surge in Kentucky is threatening to prematurely end the campaign of one of the Democratic Party's top recruits on Tuesday: former fighter pilot Amy McGrath (Politico). But he's still an underdog to pull the major upset. Booker’s burst in the final stretch of the primary came after McGrath spent nearly a year running what essentially amounted to a general election campaign against Sen. Mitch McConnell, blanketing the state with advertisements and raising record sums of money from small-dollar donors eager to topple the Senate majority leader. She has outraised and outspent McConnell and has the national party’s support, a superior campaign infrastructure and almost bottomless war chest to help fend off Booker.

Presidential 2020

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PULLS OUT OF DEBATE DUE TO COVID: The University of Michigan will not be hosting a presidential debate in October, according to a report from the New York Times. The presidential debate between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden was scheduled for Thursday, October 15th. The university is concerned about bringing a large amount of media and campaign officials to the campus during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Detroit Free Press. The withdrawal is expected to be formally announced on Tuesday. The debate will be moved to Miami, according to two sources directly familiar with the debate planning. The first debate is scheduled for Notre Dame on Sept. 29.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN COMMITS TO 4 DEBATES: Joe Biden’s campaign on Monday committed to three scheduled debates with President Trump in September and October and criticized the president for taking varied positions on whether and how many debates he would participate in (Washington Post). The campaign’s letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, obtained by The Washington Post and written by Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, stated that Biden will participate in the debates already planned by the commission, which would be on Sept. 29 at Notre Dame, Oct. 15, and Oct. 22. Biden’s yet-to-be-named running mate would participate in an Oct. 7 vice presidential debate.

TRUMP'S TULSA RALLY PUNKED BY TIK-TOK, K-POP: President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday was greeted by his supporters with a bit of a whimper. Though his campaign claimed it received more than a million requests for tickets and prepared for arena overflow, fewer than 6,500 supporters came to cheer him on. And, as they tell it, TikTokers and K-pop fans are responsible for the discrepancy (Washington Post). Soon after the campaign announced the event via Twitter on June 11, K-pop fans began spreading the registration information on social media along with notes encouraging people to sign up without intending to attend. Abigail Reed, a recent high school graduate in Indianapolis who registered for the rally despite no plans to go, said even though the movement “grew pretty large” on TikTok, she still “didn’t expect it to be as big as it was.” The 18-year-old noticed people on the app submitting multiple requests, trying to inflate the numbers as much as possible. On June 15, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that they had received more than a million “requests” to attend the rally. And members of the campaign, including the president himself, repeated the potential “million” number in several media appearances during the lead-up to Saturday.

TRUMP APPROVAL AT 38% IN ARG POLL: A total of 38% of Americans say they approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president and 58% say they disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job according to the latest survey from the American Research Group. In May, 40% approved and 57% disapproved. When it comes to Trump's handling of the economy, 40% of Americans approve and 58% disapprove. In May, 37% approved and 59% disapproved. Among Americans registered to vote, 38% approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president and 58% disapprove.

2 MORE TRUMP ADVANCE TEAM MEMBERS TEST POSITIVE: Two more members of President Donald Trump's advance team in Tulsa have tested positive for COVID-19, the Trump campaign said Monday (NBC News). The announcement came after his campaign revealed Saturday before the rally that six members of the advance team on the ground in Oklahoma had tested positive, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said. Unlike those six members, however, the two additional staffers who've since tested positive attended the rally, though the campaign said they were wearing masks throughout the event.

TRUMP TOWN HALL ON FOX NEWS THURSDAY: Fox News' Sean Hannity will host President Trump for a one-hour town hall on Thursday at 9 p.m. at the Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wis.

INDEMS DNC DELEGATES:  the Indiana Democratic Party released the list of delegates attending the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Hoosier Democrats will send 109 delegates to the Convention scheduled for August 17-20 and to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Howey Politics Indiana). Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody celebrated the record diversity of the delegation (Howey Politics Indiana). “Our Party draws its strength from its diversity of perspectives,” said Zody. “We make progress when every voice has a seat at the table. I’m proud Hoosier Democrats are sending the most diverse delegation in the Party’s history to the National Convention.” Delegate breakdown: 55 District-Level delegates, 18 At-Large delegates, 9 Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEO) delegates, 7 Automatic delegates. In addition, we will also send 7 At-Large Alternate delegates, 9 Standing Committee members, 3 Pages, and 1 Delegation Chair.

Congressional District 1 delegates: Susie Talevski, Iris Z Mendoza, Binita Barai, Leah Konrady, Chairman James Wieser, Commissioner Michael Repay, Adam Clough, Sen. Lonnie Randolph.

Congressional District 2 delegates: Miriam Chesnut, President Arielle Brandy, Chairman Chad Harris, Chairman Chad Crabtree, Yatish Joshi

Congressional District 3 delegates: Patti Hays, Melissa Cook, Leader Phil GiaQuinta, Michael Fuller, Xeryus Johnson.

Congressional District 4 delegates: Theresa Brandon, Councillor Veronica Pejril, Chairwoman Charlotte Martin, Joseph Mackey, Paul Ulerick.

Congressional District 5 delegates: Annette Gross, Rima A Shahid, Chairwoman Liane Hulka, Joanne M Sanders, William L Howard, Constable Terry Burns, George Hornedo, Kevin Patterson.

Congressional District 6 delegates: Chairwoman Tristica M Howard, Clara Williams, Amber Pittman, Phil Mullins, Jon Felix.

Congressional District 7 delegates: Recorder Kate Sweeney Bell, Ashley N Gurvitz, Chairwoman Andrea Scott, Linda Everett, George E. Edwards, Mark Carter II, André Zhang Sonera

Secretary Rick Sutton.

Congressional District 8 delegates: Councillor Allyson Claybourn, E. Thomasina Marsili, President Tonda Pauley, Stanley M Levco, Jonathan Balash.

Congressional District 9 delegates: President Jeanne Bailey Smith, Dawn Johnsen, Shruti Rana, Michelle Trent, Chairman Adam T Dickey,John Perkins.

Automatic & Unpledged Delegates: Chair John Zody, Vice Chair Cordelia Lewis-Burks, David Frye (DNC Member), Anthony Long (DNC Member), Cindy Henry (DNC Member), Congressman André Carson, Congressman Pete Visclosky. Delegation Chair Mayor Pete Buttigieg. PLEOs (Party Leader & Elected Officials): Mayor Joe Hogsett, Surveyor Debbie Jenkins, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Trustee Annette Johnson, Mayor Jerome Prince, Anna Miller, Robert Dion, Cindy Hohman, Mayor John Hamilton.

At-Large Delegates: Assessor LaTonya Spearman, Congressman Baron Hill, Rita Long, Gary Pierson, Andrea Richter-Garry, President Brett Voorhies, Sujata Chugh, Vice President James Wells, Haley Bougher, Treasurer Henry Fernandez, Daylana Saunders, Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Awilda Romero, Dyna Martinez, Council President Alex Burton, Belinda Drake, Kevin Smith, Karen Wilkins, Alternates (all At-Large): Tyrese Magee, Tim Gust, Matthew Watkins, Matthew Kochevar, Ashley Bond, Stephanie Schultz, Kacey Blundell, Meli Barber (alternate for Sen. Sanders)

Standing Committees: Platform: Rep. Robin Shackleford, Rep. Cherrish Pryor, Chairman Jon Hooker. Rules: Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, Sen. Joe Donnelly, Robin Winston. Credentials: Mike Carter, Councillor Grace Kestler, Rep. Greg Porter.


FAUCI TO TESTIFY TODAY:  With coronavirus cases rising in about half the states and political polarization competing for attention with public health recommendations, Dr. Anthony Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday at a fraught moment in the nation’s pandemic response (AP). The government’s top infectious disease expert will testify before a House committee, along with the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services.

BANKS VOWS TO WORK WITH TRUMP ON CHINA: Rep. Jim Banks joined "Mornings with Maria" Monday morning to discuss the House GOP China Task Force’s mission to work with President Trump to confront the China threat (Howey Politics Indiana). “President Trump is the only president in my lifetime to identify China as a threat and to pivot away from the position and the failed hope that somehow China would join us a Westernized, democratic form of government that treated its people fairly or had open markets," Banks said. "They will cheat, they will steal, they’ve stolen our jobs, they’ve given us this coronavirus. It’s time to hold them accountable.”


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ANNOUNCES $61M FOR REMOTE LEARNING -  Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced on Monday Indiana PK-12 schools and higher education institutions can now apply for a needs-based, competitive $61.6 million grant program providing funding to improve remote learning (Howey Politics Indiana). “Teachers, administrators and superintendents have faced this pandemic with innovative solutions to ensure our students continue to receive the best education possible,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Our Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds will help meet technology needs and grow educator development while working to reduce the disparities between districts.” The $61.6 million Indiana received in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding, provided though the federal CARES Act, will be focused on three areas: Device Availability – Address the need for access to digital learning devices to support remote learning for students in PK-12. Connectivity – Develop comprehensive community-level and regional-level solutions to address gaps in internet connectivity for remote learning. Educator Capacity – Support partnerships between higher education and PK-12 to develop professional development and curriculum opportunities as educators throughout Indiana continue to build expertise in remote learning. The deadline is Friday, July 17. To apply, click here.

ISDH: MONDAY COVID STATS -  The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 277 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 42,633 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total. Intensive care unit and ventilator capacity remain steady. As of today, more than 38 percent of ICU beds and more than 81 percent of ventilators are available. A total of 2,363 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 13 over the previous day. Another 190 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 ISDH and occurred over multiple days.    To date, 418,916 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 411,920 on Sunday.

DNR: HEARINGS ON FISH/WILDLIFE RULE CHANGES - The state is considering a number of big rule changes regarding fish and wildlife. Among other things, the Natural Resources Commission will consider adding the ruffed grouse and the cisco to the state endangered species list (Indiana Public Media). The state might also allow air guns to be used during deer hunting season for firearms. The NRC has all the proposed rules changes listed on its website. The NRC will hold two public hearings in central Indiana on possible rule changes. One on Wednesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time at Mounds State Park in Anderson and another on Thursday, July 30 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Spencer.

SPORTS: NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL PLAYER TESTS POSITIVE - A Notre Dame football player has tested positive for the coronavirus after 91 athletes were tested, according to the university (WSBT-TV). The student-athlete is currently asymptomatic and in isolation. Contact tracing indicated four other players may have been exposed. They are now in isolation as well. Testing also indicated that four players tested positive for the Covid-19 antibody.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO ATTEND AZ MEGACHURCH RALLY TODAY - Regrouping after a humbling weekend rally, President Donald Trump faces another test of his ability to draw a crowd during a pandemic Tuesday as he visits Arizona and tries to remind voters of one of his key 2016 campaign promises (AP). The low Tulsa turnout has sharpened the focus on Trump’s visit to Arizona, which doubles as both a 2020 battleground state and a surging coronavirus hotspot. First, the president will travel to Yuma to mark the construction of more than 200 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, an issue that he built his campaign on four years ago. Later, he’ll address a group of young Republicans at a Phoenix megachurch, where event organizers have pledged thousands will attend. “Everyone attending tomorrow’s event, particularly any elected official, should set an example to residents by wearing a mask,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “This includes the President.” The state’s positive test rate is at a seven-day average of 20.4%, well above the national average of 8.4% and the 10% level that public health officials say is a problem.

WHITE HOUSE: PONDERS CDC OVERHAUL - White House officials are putting a target on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positioning the agency as a coronavirus scapegoat as cases surge in many states and the U.S. falls behind other nations that are taming the pandemic (Politico). Trump administration aides in recent weeks have seriously discussed launching an in-depth evaluation of the agency to chart what they view as its missteps in responding to the pandemic including an early failure to deploy working test kits, according to four senior administration officials. Part of that audit would include examining more closely the state-by-state death toll to tally only the Americans who died directly of Covid-19 rather than other factors. About 120,000 people in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus so far, according to the CDC’s official count.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP ACCUSES OBAMA OF 'TREASON' - President Trump on Monday accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of treason, without offering any evidence or details to back up his claim (Washington Post). Trump made the accusation in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network. The president has frequently accused others of “treason,” but Monday marked the first time that he has leveled that claim against the man who preceded him in the Oval Office. “On Obama and the spying situation, this idea that they were spying on your campaign — you’ve been asked before about what crime would have been potentially been committed,” Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody said. “Treason,” Trump responded. He added: “It’s treason. Look, when I came out a long time ago, I said they’ve been spying on our campaign. ... It turns out I was right. Let’s see what happens to them now.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION - President Trump issued an executive order Monday barring many categories of foreign workers and curbing immigration visas through the end of the year, moves the administration characterized as necessary to protect U.S. workers following steep job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to administration officials (Washington Post). The freeze will apply to work visas that many companies use, especially in the technology sector, landscaping services and the forestry industry. It excludes agricultural laborers and some health care workers and includes a special exemption for the approximately 20,000 child-care providers who come to the United States as “au pairs.”

WHITE HOUSE: McENANY DEFENDS TRUMP'S 'KUNG FLU' REMARK - President Donald Trump’s top spokesperson on Monday defended his use of the term “kung flu” to describe the novel coronavirus has sickened millions across the globe, asserting that the president was merely trying to emphasize the virus’ place of origin in China (Politico). “It's a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history, to ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters during a news briefing, rejecting reporters’ characterization of the remark as racist. “President Trump is trying to say, 'no, China, I will label this virus for its place of origin.'”

WHITE HOUSE: HASSETT TO LEAVE - One of President Trump’s most trusted economic advisers will leave the White House this summer amid one of the worst economic crises in decades (Washington Post). Kevin Hassett, who returned to the White House as an unpaid volunteer in March, said in an interview that his departure is in line with the administration’s initial plan when he was brought back. Hassett said his agreement was to return to the White House for about 90 days, and he has already stayed for more than that amount of time.

WHITE HOUSE: SANDERS CALLS BOLTON 'DRUNK ON POWER' - Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders slams former National Security Adviser John Bolton as a man “drunk on power” in her forthcoming book expected to be released later this year (Fox News). Sanders, a Fox News contributor, shared a scathing passage pertaining to Bolton -- who has made waves with his own memoir skewering President Trump -- in a lengthy Twitter thread Monday morning. “Full excerpt from my forthcoming book 'Speaking for Myself,' about John Bolton, a man drunk on power who ultimately betrayed America when he didn’t get his way,” Sanders tweeted.

FBI: TO PROBE NASCAR NOOSE IN STALL - The FBI and Department of Justice are investigating the discovery in Alabama on Sunday of a noose in the race-track garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver at Nascar’s highest level (Wall Street Journal). U.S. Attorney Jay Town, from the Northern District of Alabama, said in a statement his office, the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the incident to determine whether there were violations of federal law. “Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought, this type of action has no place in our society,” Town said.

IRS: UPTICK IN SCAMMERS OVER RESCUE CHECKS - The Internal Revenue Service is seeing an uptick in scams related to the coronavirus and stimulus payments. As many people are still waiting on their money to arrive from the federal government, Call 6 Investigates found these scams could take your money instead. Call 6 Investigates found the IRS will not reach out to taxpayers via email, phone, or social media — especially with promises to get people their money faster. IRS communications typically will come via snail mail.

COVID: SCHOOL BUDGETS STRESSED - As schools consider how and when to reopen their buildings during the pandemic, many are finding themselves overwhelmed by the potential expenses that would come with operating under social distancing guidelines: protective equipment, staff for smaller classrooms, and additional transportation to keep students spread out on bus rides (AP). The burdens loom large in particular for urban, under-resourced districts that often have neither the space nor the budgets to accommodate new health protocols.

COVID: BARS, CHURCHES, CAMPS SEE SURGES - After months of lockdown in which outbreaks of the coronavirus often centered in nursing homes, prisons and meatpacking plants, the nation is entering a new and uncertain phase of the pandemic. New Covid-19 clusters have been found in a Pentecostal church in Oregon, a strip club in Wisconsin and in every imaginable place in between (New York Times). In Baton Rouge, La., at least 100 people tested positive for the virus after visiting bars in the Tigerland nightlife district, popular among Louisiana State University students. At a Christian summer camp near Colorado Springs, at least 11 employees fell ill just before the season’s opening, leading the camp to cancel overnight stays for the first time in 63 years. And in Las Vegas, just weeks after casinos reopened, a handful of employees from casinos, restaurants and hotels have tested positive, and frightened workers on Monday begged guests to wear masks in a news conference conducted over video.

FLORIDA: OFFICIALS ALARMED BY COVID SURGE - Florida officials expressed new concern on Monday that the tactics used to slow the spread of the coronavirus are falling short and may not be enough to stop a resurgence of positive cases before the state hosts part of the Republican National Convention in August (Politico). Top Republican politicians and the state official leading Florida’s response to the pandemic urged businesses and residents — particularly young people — to stay vigilant about social distancing, leaving the fight in the hands of some of the same people who helped fuel the latest uptick in cases. “If we don’t step up and take responsibility, government itself can’t solve this problem,” Jared Moskowitz, the state Division of Emergency Management director, said in an interview.

SPORTS: COLLEGE FOOTBALL RESTART NOT GOING WELL - Colleges are racing toward a fall sports season unlike any other, as they work to keep the coronavirus from infecting student athletes and staff who bring in billions of dollars and entertain a nation (Politico). So far, it’s not going well. Clemson University’s athletics department disclosed 28 positive coronavirus tests among student athletes and staff on Friday, one day after the South Carolina state epidemiologist warned residents to wear masks in public and stay physically distanced from others. A group of Texas football players tested positive, as a stubborn number of cases persists in the state. Kansas State University suspended its ongoing football workouts for two weeks, after revealing 14 of about 130 student-athletes tested positive. “Make no mistake, we are not out of the woods yet,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said last week. "The decision should not be an economic decision,” said Amy Perko, CEO of the Knight Commission college sports reform group, of the potential to restart competition this fall. “Leaders should not rush to a return just to meet a date on the traditional (sports) schedule.”

SPORTS: MLB SET TO IMPOSE ABBREVIATED SEASON - Major League Baseball on Monday said that it would impose an abbreviated 2020 season after a bruising and inconclusive dispute between team owners and the players’ union that could signal years of labor discord ahead (Wall Street Journal). But a significant hurdle still remains in the way of returning to the field: a spike of coronavirus cases in key parts of the country that has the sports world nervous about restarting play. Instead, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred plans to exercise his right to implement a schedule of the length of his choosing—likely consisting of 60 games from late July until late September—followed by a normal postseason tournament.


EVANSVILLE: COUNCIL DECLARES RACISM PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS - Evansville City Council votes in favor of a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Evansville (WFIE-TV). Some argue the document has no teeth. Council members Kailin Moore-Morley and Ben Trockman are the sponsors. After a lengthy discussion- everyone except Justin Elpers voted in favor of it. “I cannot support this resolution because it goes against all that I believe about this city. Our community has a rich diversity of people. These people from different backgrounds and ethnicities own businesses, they serve on important boards, and they have leadership roles in our most prominent corporations. This evidence doesn’t support systematic racism,” 5th ward representative Justin Elpers explained of his “No” vote (WEVV-TV). But the measure is sparking public calls for fewer words and more action. “You said that this further divides us. Sir, we’re divided. Facts are facts,” Robin Bates said to Elpers during public comment. “There is a percentage disparity in our COVID cases between our African-American community and our Caucasian community. Accepting that fact does not divide us. We’re already divided by what’s occurring in reality.”

SOUTH BEND: MUELLER RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT PD BOARD — South Bend Mayor James Mueller said Monday he supports the concept of a citizens police complaint board but he’ll need more information, especially regarding the board’s subpoena power, before he’ll back a common council bill creating the board (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Mueller and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski met virtually Monday with the bill’s sponsors, council members Lori Hamann, Karen White and Henry Davis Jr. At a council committee meeting Monday afternoon, Hamann said Mueller and Ruszkowski don’t think such boards can legally subpoena witnesses and documents when investigating citizen complaints about police conduct. But Mueller’s spokesman, Caleb Bauer, said the mayor wasn’t speaking so definitively. “The city is working to determine if state law allows subpoena power for this board as proposed, and is waiting on final determination from city legal,” Bauer said.

WESTFIELD: COUNCIL OKs $1.5M BONDS FOR REDEVELOPMENT - A former concrete plant on Westfield’s west side is one step closer to becoming part of State Road 32’s newest commercial stretch (Christian, IBJ). The Westfield City Council on Monday approved up to $1,525,000 in tax increment finance-backed bonds for a planned 57-acre redevelopment project on the northeast corner of Spring Mill Road and SR 32. The project, called Spring Mill Centre, aims to bring retail, industrial and office space—and possibly an assisted-living center for seniors—to the site. Randy Zentz, of Westfield-based Zentz Consulting LLC, is the project’s development consultant. He said Shelby Materials first purchased the former FabCon Precast facility at 17701 Spring Mill Road in 2009 to reuse it as a ready-mix concrete plant. “But it wasn’t really the city’s desire to have that kind of use on the corner,” Zentz said.

ANDREWS: RESIDENTS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT WATER CONTAMINATION — Residents in the Huntington County town of Andrews gathered Monday evening to voice their concern over contamination to the town’s water supply (WANE-TV). Water test results showed that one of the town’s wells had 26 parts per billion of vinyl chloride, more than ten times the maximum contaminate level of 2 parts for billion allowed in drinking water. On Monday, IDEM crew was sent to the town to conduct more testing. In the evening, the town gathered to voice their concerns about the issue.

INDIANAPOLIS: MUSICIANS SAY ISO NEGOTIATIONS 'NON-EXISTENT' - Musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra say negotiations with the organization’s management are nonexistent, even though the current contract is set to expire in less than two months and another round of furloughs has begun (Erdody, IBJ). The ISO initially announced in April that it had furloughed its musicians and stagehands and laid off about half of its staff to adjust to performance cancellations and financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. All summer performances through Sept. 17, including the popular Symphony on the Prairie season at Conner Prairie, have been canceled. Before the layoffs, the organization had 72 musicians and 54 full-time employees. The musicians say they have not been included in any of the decision making to date. “We’ve been kept out of the loop entirely,” said Brian Smith, orchestra committee chair for the Musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The ISO did receive funding through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which it used to pay musicians 75% of their normal salaries for eight weeks. But that support ended June 7, and another round of furloughs started that day.

HOWARD COUNTY: LEADS STATE WITH 21.8% JOBLESS RATE - Howard County led the state in the percentage of unemployed workers for the month of May (Kokomo Tribune). The county’s May non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 21.8% according to preliminary data released Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor . That’s a decrease of 12.3% from the county’s April unemployment rate of 34.1%, which was also the highest in the state for that month. Fayette County is second with 18.6% unemployment. Miami County’s unemployment rate for May is 14.6%. Tipton County’s is 12%.

MADISON COUNTY: NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM HALTED - Commissioners in a central Indiana county have failed to extend the county’s needle exchange, halting local efforts to prevent the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users by providing them with clean needles (AP). Madison County’s needle exchange began in 2015 and was initially overseen by the county’s health department. But it was temporarily shut down in 2017 when the county council voted that no taxpayer dollars could be used for the program. Barbara Scott, president and CEO of Aspire, said in an email that the agency continues to provide all other services, including outreach, hepatitis C testing and education. “We must refer participants to other exchange programs for the time being,” she wrote. “We can also provide education on how to clean needles.”

MADISON COUNTY: SBA TO WEIGH IN ON COUNTY NON-PAYMENTS - The Indiana State Board of Accounts has been asked to weigh in on the nonpayment of vendor claims by Madison County (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). Just like in the private sector, if a bill is not paid in a specific period of time, late fees, interest and other charges can be added to the amount. The same is true of government purchases. According to Madison County Auditor Rick Gardner, the county’s Board of Commissioners has not approved the payment of claims to vendors since May 21. Gardner sent an email to all departments and Lori Rogers, director of audit services for counties for the Indiana State Board of Accounts, on Thursday notifying officials and department heads the claims were not approved for payment.

CASS COUNTY: FAIR TO BE HELD VIRTUALLY - Three weeks ago, the Cass County 4-H Association Board of Directors made the decision to postpone this year's fair until July 20-25 this year. On Thursday night, they decided the delayed fair will also be held virtually, meaning without spectators (Logansport Pharos-Tribune). The decision to move the date to the end of July was made when there was still uncertainty about how fast Cass County would move to Stage 5 of Gov. Eric Holcomb's "Back on Track Indiana" reopening plans. “We were uncertain if Gov. [Eric] Holcomb was going to move Cass County to Stage 5. We thought this was the best decision so families could make plans and could continue with their graduation plans,” said Association President Bryan Kistler said at the time.