McCARTHY TABS BANKS FOR 1/6 COMMITTEE: Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) to serve as the Republican ranking member on Speaker Pelosi’s Select Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol (Howey Politics Indiana). Reps. Jordan (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.) and Troy Nehls (Texas) were chosen by McCarthy to join the select committee, joining Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican chosen by Pelosi. “I have accepted Leader McCarthy's appointment to this committee because we need leaders who will force the Democrats and the media to answer questions so far ignored. Among them, why was the Capitol unprepared and vulnerable to attack on January 6? If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but also the hundreds of violent political riots last summer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked. And of course, the committee would not overlook the Good Friday murder of USCP Officer Billy Evans that was perpetrated by a far-left extremist. Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda. Even then, I will do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration. I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs.”


JUDGE SENTENCES FLA MAN TO 8 MONTHS FOR CAPITOL INSURRECTION: A federal judge on Monday handed down an eight-month prison term to the first person to be sentenced for a felony in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, after attorneys argued whether the punishment would divide the country, deter future threats to lawmakers, or lead hundreds of other charged to face trial or plead guilty (Washington Post). Tampa crane operator Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing a joint session of Congress meeting to confirm the results of the 2020 president election. He was seen carrying a red-and-white “Trump 2020” flag into the well of the abandoned Senate while others stood over the vacated vice president’s chair. “The symbolism of that act was unmistakable,” U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss said. “He was staking a claim on the floor of the U.S. Senate not with an American flag, but declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the nation. In that act, he captured the threat to democracy that we all witnessed that day.”


FED JUDGE AFFIRMS IU VAX REQUIREMENT: A federal judge is allowing Indiana University to continue with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all students and employees (Davies, AP). A ruling from a judge in South Bend has rejected a request from eight IU students who sought to block the requirement while they pursued a lawsuit claiming that the university’s policy violated both their constitutional rights and the state’s new law banning vaccine passports. The judge held a hearing on the case last week and wrote in his ruling dated Sunday that evidence so far shows that IU has pursued a reasonable policy in the “legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty and staff.” The judge said the students who object to receiving the vaccine shots can seek medical and religious exemptions offered by the university, while also having the option of taking the fall semester off or attending another school. IU said in a statement that the ruling allows the school to focus on “a full and safe return” for the fall semester on all its campuses.


DEACONESS POSTPONES COVID REUNION DUE TO SURGE: Deaconess Health Systems has postponed their reunion events for COVID-19 survivors (WFIE-TV). Health officials say this is due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the community and the rising prevalence of the Delta variant. That reunion was scheduled for this coming Sunday and was for those survivors to reconnect with the employees who cared for them while they were in the hospital.


CANADA TO REOPEN BORDER TO FULLY VAXED AMERICANS: Canada announced Monday it will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7 (AP). Officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said he spoke with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday, said the U.S. has not yet indicated any plan to change current restrictions at the land border. Canadians are able to fly into the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.


FOX DEVELOPED VAX PASSPORT: Tucker Carlson has called the idea of vaccine passports the medical equivalent of "Jim Crow" laws. And other Fox News personalities have spent months both trafficking in anti-vaccine rhetoric and assailing the concept of showing proof of vaccination status (CNN). But Fox Corporation, the right-wing talk channel's parent company, has quietly implemented the concept of a vaccine passport as workers slowly return back to the company's offices. Fox employees, including those who work at Fox News, received an email, obtained by CNN Business, from the company's Human Resources department in early June that said Fox had "developed a secure, voluntary way for employees to self-attest their vaccination status."


HANNITY URGES VIEWERS TO GET VAXED: Fox News host Sean Hannity urged his viewers Monday night to “please take Covid seriously. I can’t say it enough. Enough people have died. We don’t need any more death. Research like crazy. Talk to your doctor. … I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination.”


SENATE REPUBLICANS SAY SCHUMER VOTE WILL FAIL: Senate Republicans are signaling they’re not going to agree to move forward on a scaled-down bipartisan infrastructure package if Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) goes ahead with his plan to force a vote Wednesday (The Hill). Schumer has said the Senate will vote Wednesday to begin debate, but GOP aides on Monday say Republicans will withhold their support, preventing the Senate from getting the 60 votes necessary to trigger debate on the $1.2 trillion, eight-year bipartisan proposal. Democrats are worried that Republicans are seeking to run out the clock on talks on the bill, making it more difficult for Democrats to pass a separate $3.5 trillion package that is connected to the talks. But Republicans say the bipartisan bill has yet to be written and Schumer is rushing the process. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday said that Republicans will not vote to proceed to the infrastructure bill until the bipartisan negotiators reach a final agreement and release the legislative text. “We need to see the bill before voting to go to it. I think that’s pretty easily understood,” he told reporters after walking off the Senate floor.


CHINA BUYING U.S. FARMLAND: The push to drain China’s influence from the U.S. economy has reached America’s farm country, as congressional lawmakers from both parties are looking at measures to crack down on foreign purchases of prime agricultural real estate (Politico). House lawmakers recently advanced legislation to that effect, warning that China’s presence in the American food system poses a national security risk. And key Senate lawmakers have already shown interest in efforts to keep American farms in American hands. The debate over farm ownership comes amid broader efforts by Congress and the Biden administration to curb the nation’s economic reliance on China, especially in key industries like food, semiconductors and minerals deemed crucial to the supply chain. The call for tighter limits on who owns America’s farms has come from a wide range of political leaders, from former Vice President Mike Pence to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), after gaining momentum seeded in farm states. “America cannot allow China to control our food supply,” Pence said Wednesday during a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation, urging President Joe Biden and Congress to “end all farm subsidies for land owned by foreign nationals.”


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Politico reports this morning that Rep. Jim Banks' selection to the Jan. 6 select committee is an "audition" for a future leadership post, noting that current No. 3 Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is serving only on term in that post. - Brian A. Howey




TRUMP TELLING DINNER PALS HE'S RUNNING IN 2024: Brace yourself: Donald Trump plans to run for president again (Rolling Stone). At least that’s what the former president is telling his dinner buddies. Trump has told at least three people he’s dined with in recent months that he plans to run in 2024, a former senior official at the Republican National Committee tells Rolling Stone. “I have three friends who’ve had dinner with him in the last couple of months. All three reported that his current plans are to run for president in 2024,” the former R.N.C. official says. “Now, whether he does or not is a different issue. We’ve still got three years to go. But he’s telling people that.” The ex-R.N.C. official says the first two dinners took place in late spring.


YOUNG CITES IMMIGRATION CASE THAT OCCURRED UNDER TRUMP: The Indiana Democratic Party criticized U.S. Senator Todd Young for his desperation to be a bandwagon fan rather than actually serve Hoosier families. Young tweeted over the weekend a partisan attack on Joe Biden over his so-called “failed border policies,” however, the article cited in the tweet is about an incident from May 2020 -- when former President Donald Trump was in the White House, not Biden (Howey Politics Indiana). In fact, this online gaffe has more to do with Todd Young trying to abide by a form of extreme partisanship created by the very Republican base he claimed had “anger and resentment” following the January 6 Insurrection.  “Leave it to Todd Young to do anything to project his ‘conservative credentials’ with the Republican voting base he described as having ‘anger and resentment’ - even if it means attacking former Republican President Donald Trump,” said Drew Anderson, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Young’s political ambitions have made him blind to common-sense, and this tweet gaffe makes it painfully obvious how desperate he is to be a bandwagon fan rather than putting ‘America above himself’, like he promised from his 2016 campaign.”




TRUMP DESERVES MORE CREDIT FOR VAX: While most voters approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, they give former President Donald Trump more credit for the coronavirus vaccine program. A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters think Trump deserves more credit for the COVID-19 vaccination program. Forty-one percent (41%) believe Biden deserves more credit.




REP. GREENE SUSPENDED FROM TWITTER: Twitter on Monday evening temporarily suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she shared misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines, a company spokesperson told CNN. The Georgia Republican, who has a track record of incendiary rhetoric, will not be able to tweet for 12 hours due to Twitter’s policy against people who repeatedly share misinformation. The social media platform had labeled two tweets from Greene as “misleading” in recent days. If she continues to share misinformation about Covid-19 through her Twitter account, Greene could be suspended from the platform permanently.


THE SENATE is in. Dr. Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and others will testify before the HELP Committee at 10 a.m. on the path forward in the pandemic. THE HOUSE will meet at 10 a.m. HUD Secretary Fudge will testify before the Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m.




GOVERNOR: CROUCH TO DISCUSS BROADBAND EXPANSION - Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will join Indiana electric cooperative leaders and community and industry partners from central Indiana tomorrow, July 20, at 1 p.m. to discuss broadband initiatives in Martinsville. The group will discuss the impact cooperatives and industry partners have on closing the rural digital divide and the different ways cooperatives are working to provide this essential service to their communities (Howey Politics Indiana).  The roundtable participants represent five of Indiana’s electric cooperatives across central Indiana, including representatives from Boone REMC, Hendricks Power Cooperative, Henry County REMC, NineStar Connect and South Central Indiana REMC, along with community and partner organizations including Smithville, Endeavor Communications, the Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, and a farm owner and member of Hendricks Power Cooperative. According to a study by the Purdue Center for Regional Development, Indiana could gain nearly $12 billion in economic benefits if broadband were deployed in the rural areas of the state.


ISDH: MONDAY COVID STATS - The Indiana Department of Health announced Monday that 285 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 761,472 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard. To date, 13,525 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19. Another 427 probable deaths have been reported to date based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. A total of 3,635,079 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 3,628,580 on Friday. A total of 11,052,511 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26, 2020.


IDEM: AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY IN NW REGION - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for tomorrow, Tuesday, July 20, 2021 in the following region: Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte (Howey Politics Indiana). IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone while remaining safe during the COVID-19 health crisis by making changes to daily habits.


DNR: URBAN FOREST GRANTS AVAILABLE - Communities throughout Indiana have the chance to advance their urban forestry goals through the Indiana DNR Community and Urban Forestry Assistance (CUFA) grant program, which has opened its 2021 grant application period (Howey Politics Indiana). CUFA funds are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) Northeastern Area. CUFA grants support a variety of urban forestry projects throughout Indiana. A sampling of activities that CUF seeks to promote includes public tree inventories with urban forestry management plans, urban tree canopy assessments, storm response planning, tree planting, public and/or staff education, program outreach, and the establishment and strengthening of local urban forestry programs.


ATTORNEY GENERAL: ROKITA CLAIMS CRT 'WIN' - The Biden Administration reversed course on educational proposals aimed at imposing the teaching of critical race theory (CRT), the 1619 Project, and other similar curriculum into America’s classrooms. The move comes on the heels of a 20-state letter led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita  pushing back against the proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Education establishing priorities for grants in American History and Civics Education programs (Howey Politics Indiana). Attorney General Rokita issued the following statement: “Chalk up a win for Hoosier families! In May, I led a coalition of 20 state attorneys general calling on the U.S. Department of Education to back off its promotion of leftist ideologies such as critical race theory. More importantly, thousands of parents nationwide raised their voices making the same demand. The work has paid off! Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced it is changing the grant program that quite rightly came under fire.




WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN MAKES CASE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE -  President Joe Biden said his infrastructure and families agenda must be passed to sustain the economic momentum of his first six months in office, aiming to set the tone for a crucial week of congressional negotiations on the two bills (AP). The legislative maneuvering marks a major test of Biden’s ability to deliver on a massive package of economic promises and reforms he made during his campaign. He’s been putting public pressure on lawmakers with a series of speeches highlighting the strengthening economy while emphasizing the need for further investment to continue that growth and to bolster the middle class. Biden’s top aides met with senators late Monday. “What the best companies do — and what we as a country should do — is make smart, sustainable investments with appropriate financing,” the president said Monday at the White House. Calling his plans a “blue-collar blueprint for building an American economy back,” Biden said, “This is the best strategy to create millions of jobs and lift up middle class families, grow wages and keep prices affordable for the long term.”


WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN BLAMES CHINESE HACKERS - The Biden administration publicly blamed hackers affiliated with China’s main intelligence service for a far-reaching cyberattack on Microsoft Corp. email software this year, part of a global effort by dozens of nations to condemn Beijing’s malicious cyber activities (Wall Street Journal). The U.S. government has high confidence that hackers tied to the Ministry of State Security, or MSS, carried out the unusually indiscriminate hack of Microsoft Exchange Server software that emerged in March, senior officials said. In addition, four Chinese nationals were indicted over a range of separate hacking intrusions dating back a decade that allegedly stole corporate and research secrets from firms and universities around the world. Three of the nationals were described as MSS officers, while a fourth was said to be employed at a Chinese front company that aided the hacking. “The United States and countries around the world are holding the People’s Republic of China (PRC) accountable for its pattern of irresponsible, disruptive, and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a major threat to our economic and national security,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday. The MSS, he added, had “fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.”


WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN CLARIFIES FACEBOOK COMMENTS - Days after Facebook publicly rejected President Joe Biden's message to the platform that it's "killing people" by allowing the spread of vaccine misinformation, even as COVID-19 infections rise and vaccinations fall around the U.S., he tried to clean up his comment about the social media giant Monday, saying he hopes Facebook doesn't take it "personally" (ABC News). Following remarks on the economy at the White House, a reporter asked about his comment Friday to companies and platforms like Facebook, the president interjected to answer before the reporter could finish. "Let me say what I said. I'm glad you asked that question," Biden began. "It was pointed out that Facebook, of all the misinformation, 60% of the misinformation came from 12 individuals. That's what the article said."


WHITE HOUSE: 3M VAX DOSES TO GUATEMALA - The U.S. plans to announce Monday that it is sending 3 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to Guatemala, according to a White House official (CBS News). This shipment is going to the Central American country Monday as a part of an agreement between the U.S. and Guatemala and will arrive on Tuesday, the official said. The Biden administration has already sent millions of doses to Guatemala, a country at the forefront of the immigration debate. The last batch of 1.5 million doses arrived on July 8 in Guatemala City.


WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN/HARRIS SCHEDULES - President Biden's schedule: 9:15 a.m.: The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief. 11:15 a.m.: Biden will host the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with second gentleman DOUG EMHOFF also in attendance. 3:15 p.m.: Biden and VP Harris will hold a Cabinet meeting marking six months in office. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 11:45 a.m. Harris Schedule: The VP will also have a working breakfast with Jordan KING ABDULLAH II at her residence at 8:45 a.m.


NASA: BEZOS TO BLAST OFF AT 9 THIS MORNING - Jeff Bezos' rocket flight today — along with the earlier one by his billionaire rival, Richard Branson — is meant to lure wealthy customers into space tourism, Axios Space author Miriam Kramer writes (Axios). Fewer than 600 people have flown to space in history, and most of them were government employees paid to explore. This new era of commercial spaceflight opens up that opportunity — to see Earth against the blackness of space — to many more people. Bezos' Blue Origin rocket will launch from West Texas (targeted for 9 a.m. ET), and take passengers past the Kármán Line — the international boundary for where space begins, at about 62 miles above the planet.


JUSTICE: BLOOMFIELD WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY FOR INSURRECTION - A sentencing hearing is set Oct. 12 for a Bloomfield woman who pleaded guilty Monday to participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Donna Bissey, 52, appeared via video today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where Judge Tanya Chutkan accepted Bissey's guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. The penalty for the misdemeanor charge is up to six months in prison, and could include a term of probation and up to a $5,000 fine. The government is asking for a $500 fine in addition to the required $10 sentencing fee. The plea agreement drops three other charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.


JUSTICE: GARLAND PROHIBITS SEIZURE OF REPORTER RECORDS - Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy (AP). The new policy largely codifies the commitment Garland made in June, when he said the Justice Department would abandon the practice of seizing reporters’ records in leak investigations. It aims to resolve a politically thorny issue that has long vexed Justice Department prosecutors trying to weigh the media’s First Amendment rights against government’s desire to protect classified information.


PENTAGON: 2,500 AFGHANS WHO HELPED U.S. COMING TO FORT LEE - Approximately 2,500 Afghans and their families who helped the U.S. military are headed to Fort Lee, Virginia, to complete their special immigrant visa application process, according to an NSC notification viewed by CBS News and confirmed by a senior Congressional source. The memo, sent from the State Department to Congress, says the first round of the SIV applicants will be temporarily housed at Fort Lee while they finish the vetting process. There, they'll undergo medical screening and the "final administrative requirements," the document states. The 2,500 Afghans who will be admitted include 700 applicants and their family members.


MARIJUANA: AMAZON TO ADVOCATE DECRIMINALIZATION - When it announced its support for lawmakers’ efforts to decriminalize weed last month, Amazon didn’t just become the biggest company in America to back marijuana legalization, it captivated the cannabis industry in the process (Politico). Now, as bills pushing legalization remain stuck in Congress, activists fighting for liberalized cannabis laws are hoping the e-commerce giant will take the next step and use its considerable D.C. muscle to help get them passed. Lobbyists for legalization are pinning their hopes on Amazon using its experienced lobbying team and deep pockets to support their efforts, believing it could help them launch ad campaigns and persuade lawmakers opposed to legalization — especially those who represent states where cannabis is legal — to change their minds.


FLORIDA: INDIANA TASK FORCE ONE HELPED RECOVER 80 BODIES AT SURFSIDE - During their time in Surfside, the first responders of Indiana Task Force 1 never fully gave up on their initial rescue mission (IndyStar). Even as the days stretched on and the task force helped recover dozens of bodies, they kept hoping they'd find someone's loved one alive in the rubble. "We still felt ... an opportunity to maybe find somebody in a void space that was able to to survive the initial collapse," said Jay Settergren, fire captain and task force leader. The task force helped recover 80 to 90 bodies in their search and rescue mission, which evolved into a recovery mission while the group was onsite. The overall death toll from the collapse was 97 as of Monday.


ILLINOIS: PRITZER DECLARES FOR REELECTION - Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced his bid for a second term, a widely expected move after the billionaire Democrat deposited $35 million in his campaign fund in March (AP). Pritzker made the announcement on social media. "We’ve been through so much in the last year, and through it all I’ve been so proud to see how Illinoisans have come together to support each other during the toughest of times," Pritzker said in a statement. "I'm excited to keep fighting for the state that I love with Juliana Stratton, and I know that there’s no limit to what we can do going forward."


MEDIA: MANNINGS TO DO MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BROADCAST - Peyton Manning has a new job (IndyStar). The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback will be teaming up as a broadcaster with his brother Eli Manning as part of an alternate Monday Night Football telecast, ESPN announced on Monday. Peyton and Eli, combined four-time Super Bowl champions, will headline the new additional viewing option starting with the 2021 NFL season through the 2023 season (a total of 30 games over three seasons), according to the release.


MLB: SOX SPLIT DH AGAINST TWINS - Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning after tying the game with a solo homer in the sixth, and the Minnesota Twins beat the White Sox 3-2 Monday in the first game of a doubleheader (AP). Jorge Polanco added an RBI single in the eighth as Minnesota ended a three-game losing streak and beat division rival Chicago for just the third time in 13 games. Gavin Sheets hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, as the Sox rallied for a 5-3 win in the nightcap.


MLB: METS TOP REDS 15-11 - Jeff McNeil hit a tiebreaking single in the 11th inning, Kevin Pillar added a three-run homer and the New York Mets went deep seven times Monday night to pull out a wild 15-11 win over the slumping Cincinnati Reds (ESPN). Michael Conforto connected twice, including a solo shot that capped a five-run outburst in the 11th as the NL East leaders finally put this one away and handed Cincinnati its fourth straight loss to open the second half.


MLB: CARDINALS DRUB CUBS 8-3 -  Dylan Carlson homered and drove in four runs, Jake Woodford pitched 5 2/3 strong innings in his first start of the season, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 on Monday night (ESPN). Woodford (2-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game, struck out six and didn't allow a walk. Woodford pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth by getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play, which scored Patrick Wisdom for the only run he allowed.




EVANSVILLE: PARKS DIRECTOR RESIGNS - Evansville Parks and Recreation Director Brian Holtz has resigned amid an Evansville Police Department investigation into seven department invoices. During a news conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said he had accepted the resignation, and Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer would assume management oversight until a new director was selected (Loesch, Evansville Courier & Press). Holtz, who was appointed as director in 2016, received a salary of $93,555.85 in 2020.  "Even though there is no evidence at this time of missing city funds, the lack of clarity in the matter has impacted my confidence in the management of the parks department," Winnecke said. Winnecke said he expects all department heads to work within known parameters and he lost confidence in Holtz's ability to do so going forward. 


INDIANAPOLIS: BROADFOOT LEAVING INDY PARKS - Linda Broadfoot, director of Indy Parks and Recreation since 2016, will leave the position Aug. 6, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Monday (IBJ). Hogsett appointed Angie Clark, chief financial officer of Indy Parks, as interim director starting Aug. 7. The mayor’s office did not specify why Broadfoot was leaving. “Linda Broadfoot has been an incredible asset to the city of Indianapolis, enhancing quality of life throughout our neighborhoods and championing equity in the public spaces and services available to residents,” Hogsett said in written remarks. “She has my sincere gratitude for her years of public service, and my best wishes for her next chapter.”


EVANSVILLE: DELTA VARIANT NOW DOMINANT - Officials with Deaconess Health System say the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is now the dominant variant circulating in the community (WFIE-TV). Deaconess officials tell us they received confirmation of this from the Indiana Department of Health laboratory.


ELKHART: MAYOR ROBERSON SPEAKS OUT AGAINST VIOLENCE - Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson is speaking out against gun violence in a video released Monday (WSBT-TV). In the video, Roberson acknowledges the lives lost due to shootings in the city, and says the city mourns for all those who have died as a result of gun violence. "We want to let you know that we as a city are mourning with you," said Roberson. "We are grieving the fact that we will no longer be able to not just have those people in our presence, but we lose skills and talents of those who have left us way too early." Roberson also gives a call to action, encouraging people to help report information related to shootings to the police.


ELKHART: COP DEMOTED — Elkhart police officer Nathan Lanzen will be demoted from sergeant to corporal and suspended for 30 days without pay for maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an Elkhart resident in which Lanzen and his wife gained access to the man’s financial assets (South Bend Tribune). Lanzen and the Elkhart Police Department agreed to the suspension and demotion through a deal that saw Lanzen admit to “conduct unbecoming a member” at an Elkhart Police Merit Commission hearing Monday. No evidence was presented and Lanzen did not address the factual allegations for the disciplinary action. Lanzen's suspension will begin Tuesday.


MICHIGAN CITY: RAZED HOSPITAL SITE WILL BE REPURPOSED — What’s going to happen at the site of Franciscan Alliance’s former hospital on Homer Street? Several City Council members are looking for answers. The hospital is being razed (Ross, NWI Times). In September, Franciscan announced the $20 million project to repurpose that facility would begin last November, with construction to be completed in fall 2021. The 1986 and older buildings at the campus, about two-thirds of the facility, are being razed. The 2001 patient tower, emergency department and parking garage were to be saved from the wrecking ball. The remaining structures are to be remodeled for new services to meet community needs, including access to behavioral health services, drug and alcohol treatment and healthy and nutritious foods, Franciscan said.


SOUTH BEND: COUNCIL WON'T ACCEPT REYNOLDS WORD ON EMPLOYMENT — South Bend City Clerk Dawn Jones has said she’ll take Joshua Reynolds’ word that his prior suspensions as an Indianapolis police officer amounted to retaliation for his reporting of other officers’ misconduct, but it became clear Monday night the common council won’t (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The council can’t fire Reynolds, but it appoints the citizen board to whom he would present his investigation findings and it controls his office’s budget, said council attorney Bob Palmer. At a special meeting of the council’s Rules Committee, the committee voted unanimously to ask the full council, at its next regular meeting Monday July 26, to subpoena Community Police Review Board Director Reynolds’ internal affairs files from his former employers, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Butler University, if he won’t agree to release them himself.


SOUTH BEND: UPGRADES AT KERNAN PARK — The city’s Venues Parks & Arts officials will dedicate several upgrades at and near Gov. Joe Kernan Park at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, including the upper riverwalk that extends from Howard Park to the Farmer’s Market, two new outlooks on the St. Joseph River, upgraded benches and lights and new signs (South Bend Tribune). Much of the work was finished last year. A new public boat launch will be installed at the park later this year.


MONROE COUNTY: WOMAN WHO DROVE CAR THROUGH CROWD DIED IN FEBRUARY - Christi Jane Bennett, the woman charged with running her car through protesters in Bloomington last summer, is dead at the age of 67 (Indiana Public Media). A source within the Denver Police Department confirmed Bennett was found dead in a Denver hotel room on February 6. Bennett was scheduled to appear in court Monday on charges related to the 2020 incident. Monroe County deputy prosecutor David Gohn said the county dropped its case against Bennett after learning she was deceased. Last July, protesters had gathered in downtown Bloomington to rally against racism after a local activist claimed he was almost lynched near Lake Monroe.


LaPORTE COUNTY: COMMISSIONER MATIAS TO SEEK REELECTION - LaPorte County Commissioner Sheila Matias announced Monday night she is seeking reelection in 2022 (Ross, NWI Times). “It is a privilege to represent the people of LaPorte County," Matias said in a news release. "It has been a moving experience to work with the county team who even during the most difficult days of the Covid crisis, do what is needed day in and day out, going above and beyond to provide care and stellar services to the people of our county. It has been an honor to serve you and I hope to count on your enthusiasm and support as we go forward.” Matias said she plans to use "good old-fashioned common sense" and her business leadership experience to serve LaPorte County if she is reelected.


DeKALB COUNTY: TRAIL EXPANSION COMING - With the final connection made on the Auburn Waterloo Trail last week, DeKalb County Trails committee is ready to look toward future expansion of the trail system (KPC Media). Chris Gaumer, DeKalb County Zoning Administrator presented the DeKalb County Commissioners with a DeKalb County Trail master plan on Monday morning. Work on the master plan began in January 2020, but was slowed because of the COVID-19 virus. Just recently the plan was picked back up and finished. With the approval of the commissioners, Gaumer said this was the first master plan that had been put together for the county as a whole. “Promotion of the trail is important throughout the region,” he said.