INDIANA VAX RATE AT SLOWEST PACE: Indiana COVID vaccinations are at their lowest level since the first week the vaccine was available (WIBC). Indiana peaked at 56,000 vaccinations a day in mid-April, two weeks after the state made anyone 16 or older eligible for the vaccine. Even the final expansion a month later to kids 12 and up didn’t boost vaccinations much. There have been slight increases since, when the Delta variant became the dominant strain and when the FDA replaced the Pfizer vaccine’s emergency authorization with full approval, but the trend has been steadily downward. The state is now averaging fewer than 5,800 shots a day, barely a tenth of the April peak. The last time vaccinations were that low was before Christmas, when the vaccine was available only to health care workers and first responders.


9/11 COMMISSIONERS SAY THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN JAN. 6 PROBE: Six of the eight surviving members of the 9/11 Commission met at Indiana University Monday for their first public gathering in a decade.  The members present included vice chair of the commission and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, and former New Jersey governor and chair of the commission Thomas Kean (Cha, Indiana Public Media).  Kean said the formerly named National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States consisted of five Republicans and five Democrats who worked alongside each other, despite political differences, to create a report that would drive positive changes. Kean is a Republican and Hamilton a Democrat, for instance. “We found a way and we came together,” he said. “We knew how important it was, for everybody, the country, in order to show unity.” Hamilton said the country is polarized today because the U.S. is under stress but that he believes the country can unify and seek change. “We can meet these challenges, if we work together and we’re confident that we will do so,” he said. “And this country will emerge stronger and prosperous and free.” Also attending were  Jamie Gorelick, Bob Kerrey, John Lehrman and Timothy Roemer. Seven members of the 9/11 commission will take part in a moderated discussion Tuesday, open to IU students, faculty and staff. It’s at the IU Auditorium with filming times at 9 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. The filmed portions will be used in a documentary for Naptown Media.


LILLY CEO SAYS MEDICARE DRUG PRICE NEGOTIATIONS WOULD CUT RESEARCH: Eli Lilly and Co.’s chief executive says a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices would have a devastating impact on the pharmaceutical industry (IBJ). “A cut like is being proposed would have about a 40% reduction in our U.S. revenues,” CEO David Ricks said in a television interview this weekend with Gerry Dick on Inside INdiana Business, a division of IBJ Media. “There is no way we could just absorb that,” Ricks said. “We would have to make significant changes to our operations.” He said the result would be cuts in Lilly’s research and development spending and fewer jobs in Indiana.


INDIANA HOSPITALS UNDER CYBER ATTACK: Columbus Regional Health is on high alert after a wave of cyberattacks hobbled at least three nearby hospitals in recent weeks that have, in some cases, disabled computer systems, forced staff to revert to pen-and-paper recordkeeping and disrupted patient care (Columbus Republic). The attacks, which CRH officials said appear to be targeting healthcare providers and first responders, have swept through southern and central Indiana over the past several weeks, ranging from data theft to ransomware attacks or other breaches. Over the past two weeks, cyberattacks have been reported at Johnson Memorial Health in Franklin and Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. In August, Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis was struck by a cyberattack. It is not clear whether the attacks are related.


ROKITA DECRIES COLUMBUS BACKTRACK: Attorney General Todd Rokita spoke at an event in Clinton Indiana Monday, a community with a large Italian immigrant population, where he celebrated the contributions of Christopher Columbus, honored the heritage of the nearly 17 million Italian Americans living in the U.S., and spoke about defending American liberties, the importance of religion, a strong family unit, and how we can preserve our God given rights that are enshrined in the Constitution (Howey Politics Indiana). “For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, millions of American students were taught about the significance of Columbus’ discovery of the New World in school, and his contributions were greatly admired,” said Attorney General Rokita. “But now left-wing radical socialists are tearing down statues of Columbus, and diminishing a hero who was greatly respected by millions of Americans.” Last Friday, Joe Biden signed a proclamation, making October 11th Indigenous People’s Day, in a deliberate attempt to purge Columbus from our history, and forever erase his contributions from memory. “If we want to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous People—and there are many—we can do that on a different day,” Rokita said.


SW AIRLINE PILOTS SEEK TO BLOCK VAX MANDATE: Southwest Airlines Co. pilots asked a court to temporarily block the company from carrying out federally mandated coronavirus vaccinations until an existing lawsuit over alleged U.S. labor law violations is resolved (Bloomberg). The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association’s filing Friday also asked for an immediate hearing on the request before a federal court in Dallas, claiming the carrier has continued to take unilateral actions that violate terms of the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline-union relations. Those steps include the Covid-19 vaccination requirement. “The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the legal filing said. “Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.” Southwest set the deadline on Oct. 4 under a federal vaccination mandate for employees of companies holding contracts with the U.S. government. Workers can seek medical or religious exemptions. The union represents 9,000 Southwest pilots.


CHISOX ARE LATINO POWERED: Scan the Chicago White Sox lineup on any given day over the past two seasons, and it looks like Latin America (New York Times). There are Cuban players at catcher, first base, third and center field. Since late July, a Venezuelan has been handling second base. A Dominican patrols left field, and other Dominicans have served as the designated hitter at various points (New York Times). Regularly, seven of the nine hitters in the White Sox lineup were born in that region of the world. And when Tim Anderson, the team’s All-Star shortstop, has been injured or resting, the number has reached eight, with Leury Garcia, another Dominican, filling his spot. “That’s something you don’t see much of in the United States,” center fielder Luis Robert, a Cuban, said in Spanish recently. Latinos form a vibrant and important backbone to Major League Baseball. Perhaps no team knows that better than the White Sox, who have a rich tradition of Cuban players and play on the South Side of Chicago, a community with large Black and Latino populations.


PAUL SAYS JOHN BROKE UP THE BEATLES: When the biggest band in British musical history, the Beatles, broke up in 1970, fans pointed the finger at co-lead vocalist Paul McCartney. Now, more than half a century later, McCartney has revealed it was, in fact, John Lennon who instigated the split (CNN). In an upcoming interview on BBC Radio 4, he told journalist John Wilson: "John walked into the room one day and said, 'I'm leaving the Beatles.' And he said, 'It's quite thrilling. It's rather like a divorce.' And then we were left to pick up the pieces," McCartney said in a preview that aired on the station's Today program Monday. While Wilson highlighted that McCartney was the one to sue his bandmates to end the business partnership, he also said being blamed for the band's breakup had "frustrated McCartney for half a century."


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: America appears to be paralyzed by the pandemic response on things like masking. What happens when we face a huge challenge, like coastal cities flooding in climate change scenarios, of if China invades Taiwan? - Brian A. Howey




DEMS MAY ABANDON IOWA CAUCUS FIRST:  President Biden is not a big fan. Former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez is openly opposed. And elsewhere in the Democratic inner sanctum, disdain for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucus has been rising for years (Washington Post). Now the day of reckoning for Iowa Democrats is fast approaching, as the national party starts to create a new calendar for the 2024 presidential nomination that could remove Iowa from its privileged position for the first time since 1972, when candidates started flocking to the state for an early jump on the race to the White House. The first step took place Saturday, when the party met to accept a slate of at-large members and committee assignments that had been put forward by senior Democratic officials, in consultation with Biden aides. The number coming from Delaware, Biden’s home state, will bump to five from one, and the number of members from Washington D.C., will rise from 15 to 20, which has angered some state parties that are losing representation. A subgroup of those members, who sit on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, also were be confirmed. That group, little changed from the past cycle, has been charged with setting the calendar, with an expected decision as soon as the first half of next year, according to people involved.


INDEMS ASSAIL YOUNG OVER CULTURE WARS: The Indiana Democratic Party brought to light the Republican Party’s strategy for the 2022 and 2024 elections: embrace former president Donald Trump and a form of extreme partisanship that consists of dangerous and unnecessary culture wars. This dangerous and partisan agenda includes questioning election results (despite Indiana’s Secretary of State saying otherwise), infusing debunked misinformation about issues like COVID-19 prevention and school boards, and saying “NO” to investments on broadband, childcare, and pandemic relief (Howey Politics Indiana). Indiana Republicans like U.S. Senator Todd Young must be asked if they agree with the Washington GOP’s playbook. Not only is the Senator up for reelection, but Todd Young once tried to be a voice of reason just days after the January 6 terrorist attack against the United States. In fact, Young once described the GOP as being a party veering toward “fear and resentment” and even went as far as publishing an op-ed calling for “empathy” and for “real solutions” to occur in Congress.  Indiana Democrats agree with this version of Todd Young, but unfortunately, the Senator’s election-cycle pivot has caused him to put the INGOP’s extreme partisanship ahead of those “real solutions”.


TRUMP STATEMENT ON JAN. 6 COMMITTEE: Statement by Donald J. Trump (Howey Politics Indiana): "The highly partisan Unselect Committee is just a sideshow to distract America from MASSIVE failures by Biden and the Democrats. What happened to the Capitol would have never happened if the people in charge did their job and looked at the intelligence. They abandoned the officers on the ground, just like Biden abandoned Americans in Afghanistan. Instead of holding bad leaders accountable, the Democrats are going after innocent staffers and attacking the Constitution. Why is the just released bombshell January 6th whistleblower report being ignored by the mainstream media? Based on this high ranking Capitol Police official’s report, these partisan hearings must stop at once. This is yet another continuation of the Radical Left’s Witch Hunt—led by Shifty Adam Schiff and his crew who misled America on RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, the “Perfect” Ukraine phone call, the Mueller report scam, and so much else. Now Shifty, who couldn’t get a job with the administration, is at it again. Radical Left Democrats are rapidly destroying America!"


WALKER RAISES $3.7M FOR GA SENATE CAMPAIGN: Former University of Georgia and NFL star Herschel Walker raised $3.7 million in the first five weeks of his U.S. Senate campaign, according to a release from his campaign (CBS News). Walker jumped into the Georgia Senate race in late August after former President Trump encouraged him to run in the GOP primary. Mr. Trump endorsed Walker shortly after the former running back launched his campaign.




MOST AMERICANS DON'T KNOW ABOUT BIDEN PLAN: While a new CBS News poll finds that the major components of Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan are popular – like lowering prescription drug prices, paid family leave, universal pre-K – Americans say they don’t know a lot about the specifics of Biden’s plan. And only a third say that Biden’s plan would help them or their families. Per the CBS poll, just 10 percent of Americans say they know “a lot” of the specifics about Biden’s plan, another 33 percent have a “general sense” and know some specifics, and a combined 57 percent say they don’t know any specifics or anything that’s in it.


GALLUP SAYS VOTERS TRUST GOP: Most Americans now view the Republican Party as better than the Democratic Party at protecting the country from international threats and ensuring the nation remains prosperous, according to a new poll from Gallup. These are also the GOP's widest margins ahead of the Democrats in either issue area in at least six years. On security matters: 54% prefer the Republican Party and 39% prefer the Democratic Party; On prosperity: 50% prefer the Republican Party and 41% prefer the Democratic Party. "More of this change has come from declines in Americans perceiving the Democratic Party as better on these issues than from increases for the Republican Party." Gallup also notes that independents have a hand in the number: "Since last year, there have been double-digit declines in the percentages of independents who say the Democratic Party is better at handling the most important problem (from 42% to 31%), at keeping the nation secure (from 43% to 31%) and at keeping the nation prosperous (from 47% to 35%)."




HOUSE TO VOTE ON DEBT CEILING: The House was set to vote Tuesday for legislation raising the U.S. borrowing limit into December, temporarily staving off a default while lawmakers battle over setting a new ceiling for U.S. debt (Wall Street Journal). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif) called the House back from a week away from Washington to pass a debt-ceiling increase that cleared the Senate last week. The hasty return followed a warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to House Democratic leaders that if the chamber failed to act this week, the U.S. would be unable to pay its bills. The White House has said that President Biden will sign the measure into law.


The HOUSE will meet at 3 p.m. to take up the temporary extension of the debt ceiling (after the Rules Committee takes it up at 1 p.m.), with first votes no earlier than 5 p.m.


The SENATE is out.




GOVERNOR: PANDEMIC EMERGENCY REMAINS IN EFFECT -  Indiana COVID-19 cases have been declining for three weeks, but the state remains under a public health emergency (Berman, WIBC). Indiana law allows a governor to renew an emergency declaration 30 days at a time. Governor Holcomb has done so every month since last March, most recently last week. The governor says he reviews each month whether another extension is needed, and says he’s “looking forward” to the day it isn’t. But while COVID hospitalizations have declined by one-third over the last three weeks, the virus still has more than 1,700 Hoosiers hospitalized, nearly five times the low point reached in June. And non-COVID patients still need hospital care too — in all, more than three-quarters of Indiana’s intensive care beds have been occupied for the last seven weeks. Holcomb notes several hospitals are still periodically turning patients away, and National Guard troops have been sent to some hospitals to help with staffing needs.


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB ORDERS FLAGS LOWERED – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the life of Elwood firefighter Mark B. Gillam. Flags should be flown at half-staff  in Madison and Tipton counties from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.


INDOT: WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON I65/I70 RAMPS -  The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has implemented a weight restriction on the I-65/I-70 exit ramps in downtown Indianapolis as part of the North Split reconstruction. The restriction began Sunday, October 10, 2021 and will be in place through November of 2022. This restriction is being implemented to reduce traffic congestion, prevent infrastructure damage and improve safety for downtown commuters and pedestrians (Howey Politics Indiana). Vehicles exceeding 13 tons gross vehicle weight (GVW) will be restricted from using the I-65/I-70 collector-distributor exit ramp for Michigan and Ohio streets (Exit 83A), and the Washington Street exit ramp from I-65 northbound/I-70 eastbound (Exit 111). Vehicles exceeding the weight limit that have been using these exits should use the official North Split detours on I-465 to avoid the downtown construction (see map below).


SOUTH SHORE: NEW BIDS FOR DOUBLE TRACK PROJECT - The South Shore Line’s Double Track project appears to be back on track after bids to do the main construction work came in Monday significantly lower than during a first round last spring (Steele, NWI Times). The low bid of $304.8 million was made by the Walsh/Herzog Joint Venture, well below May’s low bid $424.5 million, made by F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates. The new bid still was well above initial engineers’ estimates of $228.6 million, but South Shore President Michael Noland said he felt good about the new price tag. “We certainly want to do a complete review, but I will say I am pleased by these numbers,” he said.


BUTLER: SCHELLINGER TO LEAD GLOBAL RELATIONS - The state's former commerce secretary has been hired by Butler University to help the Indianapolis institution develop and expand external alliances aimed at making Butler an international leader in higher education (Carden, NWI Times). In his new role as Butler's ambassador of global relations, Jim Schellinger is expected to work closely with Butler President James Danko, and the school's new Office of Strategic Engagement, to enhance the reputation of the 5,500-student university. "We take great pride in our top ranking in the Midwest and recognize that our rising national and global reputation will be critical to our future growth and success, including expanded opportunities for our students," Danko said.


NFL: COLTS KICK AWAY WIN IN BALTIMORE 28-25 -  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn't panic. He plotted. Down 19 points in the second half, Jackson sat down on the bench with wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown to talk about how many scores the Ravens needed to win the game and executed the plan to perfection (ESPN). Jackson threw for a franchise-record 442 yards and four touchdowns, leading the biggest comeback of his career in an epic 31-25 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. His five-yard touchdown pass to Brown in overtime lifted Baltimore (4-1) to its fourth straight win and into sole possession of first place in the AFC North. "It's one of the greatest performances I've ever seen," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. It's one of the greatest performances anyone has ever seen. As Jackson left the field, the fans -- the ones that hadn't left after Baltimore had fallen behind by double digits -- loudly chanted "MVP!"




WHITE HOUSE: AFGHAN INTERPRETER WHO HELPED BIDEN ESCAPES - An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue then-Sen. Joe Biden after his helicopter was forced to land in a snowstorm 13 years ago has left Afghanistan, sources familiar tell CNN. Early Monday morning, the sources told CNN that the Human First Coalition, along with the State Department, successfully extracted Aman Khalili and his family from Pakistan. Khalili had recently asked now-President Biden to return the favor and rescue him from the country.


WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule — 8:45 a.m.: The president will meet virtually with G-20 leaders on Afghanistan. — 10:15 a.m.: Biden and VP Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, Biden will meet with senior officials and stakeholders to discuss supply chain bottlenecks and deliver remarks.


JUSTICE: SEEKS TO HALT TEXAS ABORTION LAW - The Biden administration urged the courts again Monday night to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care (AP). The latest attempt comes three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again.


JUSTICE: BANNON SUBPOENA SNUB SETS UP BIG DECISION - Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon’s choice to buck a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol could tee up a big decision for a Justice Department determined to strike an independent tone (The Hill). The House committee has said it may refer Bannon for criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice (DOJ) if he doesn’t appear for a deposition slated for Thursday. Such a move would place Attorney General Merrick Garland in the center of a debate over whether to go after a former right-hand man of Donald Trump after vowing to restore the reputation of a department that was deeply politicized under the prior administration. “That’s going to be something that will be considered at the highest levels at DOJ and what they're going to consider with any referral like that is how strong of a case is it, and even if it’s readily provable -- how important is it that we do this?” said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at the University of St. Thomas.


STATE: KAREN PENCE CITED IN GIFT REPORT - The Saudi royal family showered Donald J. Trump and his entourage on his first trip abroad as president with dozens of presents, including three robes made with white tiger and cheetah fur, and a dagger with a handle that appeared to be ivory (New York Times). Little that followed went right. A White House lawyer determined that possession of the furs and dagger most likely violated the Endangered Species Act, but the Trump administration held onto them and failed to disclose them as gifts received from a foreign government. On the last full day of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the White House handed them over to the General Services Administration — the wrong agency — rather than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which seized the gifts this summer. There is also a question about whether the former second lady, Karen Pence, wrongly took two gold-toned place card holders from the prime minister of Singapore without paying for them.


PENTAGON: OFFICIAL SAYS CHINA HAS WON AI BATTLE - The Pentagon's former software chief resigned and said that China is headed toward global dominance in artificial intelligence due to the relatively slow pace of innovation in the United States (The Hill). "We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion," the Pentagon's former software chief, Nick Chaillan, told the Financial Times, adding that some of the U.S.'s cyber defense systems were at "kindergarten level." Chaillan announced his resignation last month as an act of protest against the United States' slow pace of tech development. Chaillan said America's failure to aggressively pursue AI capacity was putting the nation at risk, according to Reuters.


TRANSPORTATION: SW AIRLINES MELTDOWN CONTINUES - Southwest said it expects to resume normal service this week after canceling 2,500+ flights over the past three days, blaming unfavorable weather and air traffic issues in Florida, Reuters reports. The airline canceled 800+ flights Saturday ... 1,124 on Sunday ... and 588 yesterday. The meltdown remains largely unexplained on the usually chatty Southwest Twitter feed. A pilot revolt against the airline's vaccine mandate, announced last week is a suspected factor.


TEXAS: WEST HOSPITALIZED FOR COVID - Texas GOP candidate for governor Allen West, hospitalized with COVID-19, has been tweeting criticism of vaccine mandates and the government's response to the pandemic, as he recovers in the hospital (CBS News). West, who is not vaccinated, has been undergoing monoclonal antibody therapy, as well as taking hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, which are not federally authorized treatments for COVID-19. West's vaccinated wife also contracted COVID-19, but was she was released from the hospital, according to West's Twitter account.


MLB: RED SOX ADVANCE WITH 6-5 WIN OVER RAYS -  As the Red Sox clinched their spot in the American League Championship Series, they rode the backs of two players who entered the season wanting to prove their worth (ESPN). Kiké Hernandez entered 2021 wanting to demonstrate that he could be an everyday player in the major leagues after his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers typecast him into a utility man role. Reliever Garrett Whitlock hoped to establish himself as a major leaguer after the Yankees left him off the 40-man roster and Boston selected him in the Rule 5 draft. On Monday night, both players proved crucial to Boston's walk-off 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays that cemented the Red Sox's spot in the ALCS.


MLB: ASTROS TO START McCULLERS TODAY V. CHISOX - Given an extra day of rest due to the postponement of Game 4 until Tuesday, the Houston Astros will instead start Lance McCullers Jr. against the Chicago White Sox, the team announced. Game 4 of the American League Division Series was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, but it was postponed until Tuesday because of rain in the forecast (ESPN). Jose Urquidy had been Houston's scheduled starter for Monday's game, but manager Dusty Baker instead will look to close out the series with McCullers, who was dominant in Game 1 while holding Chicago without a run in 6 2/3 innings. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he will stick with Carlos Rodon in Game 4 on Tuesday, with Game 1 starter Lance Lynn available out of the bullpen. The game will be at 2:07 p.m. ET on FSI.


MLB: GIANTS TOP LA 1-0 - Off the bat, nine innings into a game surprisingly devoid of action, it seemed as if an entire ballpark believed Gavin Lux had tied the score with his Los Angeles Dodgers down to their final out (ESPN). "My stomach pretty much sank when he hit it," San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria said. With none on, two outs and the Dodgers trailing by a run, Lux unleashed his best swing on an up-and-away, 99 mph fastball from the young, electric Camilo Doval and produced a 107 mph line drive with a 22-degree launch angle -- a batted ball with an expected batting average of .890, the type that resulted in a home run about half the time this season. But wind gusts that hovered around 15 mph for the most of this Monday night knocked the baseball down as it traveled into the deeper parts of Dodger Stadium's center field. The Giants held on by a 1-0 score and took a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five National League Division Series, pushing one of the most talented teams in Dodgers history to the brink of elimination.


NFL: GRUDEN RESIGNS AS RAIDERS COACH - Jon Gruden stepped down Monday as the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders football team hours after The New York Times detailed emails in which he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks, following an earlier report of racist statements about a union leader (New York Times). His resignation was a striking departure from the football league for a coach who had won a Super Bowl, been a marquee analyst on ESPN and returned to the N.F.L. in 2018 to lead the resurgent Raiders, which he had coached years before. “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he said on Twitter in a statement issued by the team. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”




SOUTH BEND: COUNCIL MAKES 'HISTORIC' INVESTMENT - With seven council members voting yes tonight, the bill to make a “historic” investment into the city of South Bend has passed. This investment will go towards infrastructure, affordable housing, community resources, and public safety in the city (WNDU-TV). “The 2022 budget is really the most exciting budget that we’ve had in a number of years,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, more than $25 million will go towards repairing, rebuilding, and re-imagining the city of South Bend. “It is just endless opportunities for us to continue to grow South Bend, one step at a time, one block at a time. And I’m just great to be a part of that,” said Sharon McBride, 3rd District Council Member. “If it can happen here on the Southeast side of South Bend it can happen anywhere when we come together and unify ourselves as a city with a heart to make a difference,” said Pastor Rickardo Taylor.


EVANSVILLE: COUNCIL VOTES DOWN NEW PARK - Evansville City Council voted down Monday night on an amendment that would have diverted money for a new park to the other parks in town in need of repair (WFIE-TV). The city of Evansville wants to build Roberts Park on the grassy area where Roberts Stadium stood for half a century, but some people believe the city should take care of its existing parks before it builds any new ones. They say the city of Evansville has earmarked money in next year’s budget for the establishment of Roberts Park which has sat empty since Roberts Stadium was demolished in 2013.


WESTFIELD: CPL. SANCHEZ HONORED — Marine Corporal Humberto Sanchez was honored Saturday at the Fallen Hoosier Heroes Memorial in Westfield (WRTV). The Memorial honors Hoosiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the fight for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. Cpl. Sanchez was one of 13 U.S. service members killed in the attacks near the Kabul airport on August 26 where people gathered in the hopes of escaping Afghanistan following a takeover by the Taliban. It was an emotional day for the family, who tells WRTV they're proud his legacy lives on. "He will never be forgotten," said Ruben Roque, Cpl. Sanchez's cousin.


DYER: TOWNS PASS PUPPY MILL BAN — Communities across Northwest Indiana are considering humane pet store policies that ban the sale of pets raised at puppy and kitten mills (AP). The towns of Dyer and Highland passed similar ordinances recently which at their core prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies, the NWI Times reported. They’re among the first municipalities in Indiana to have a humane pet store ordinance on the books, joining the city of Columbus and St. Joseph County. The new policy in Dyer prohibits the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits, but does not prevent pet stores from collaborating with animal care facilities or rescue organizations to offer space to showcase adoptable cats, dogs or rabbits. The ordinance does not pertain to breeders, however.


LOGANSPORT: EEL RIVER DAMS TO BE REMOVED — Logansport Municipal Utilities is removing two historic dams on the Eel River. The larger dam on 10th Street and the three-foot dam located downstream are being removed. Both dams were built in the 1800s for the Logansport Waterworks and Electric Company. This project is expected to $300,000 (WLFI-TV). Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Greg Toth this will be the first waterway in Indiana put back to its natural flow. "By taking those out it'll go from 230 or 240 feet wide down to about 60 feet wide flowing a lot faster much deeper back to its original path."


ELKHART COUNTY: COMMISSIONERS DENY SOLAR FARM -  County officials have rejected plans for a 100-megawatt solar facility in Benton Township (Elkhart Truth). The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to deny a request from Savion LLC to rezone 850 acres of farmland. The company wanted to use part of the land to build a $120 million solar panel facility.


ALLEN COUNTY: NACS BOARD MEETINGS LIMITED ONLINE DUE TO UNRULY CROWDS - The Northwest Allen County Schools board – which has attracted disruptive, unruly audiences in recent months – won't allow the public to attend its regular meeting in person Wednesday (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Public access to the 8 p.m. session instead will be exclusively online via YouTube, according to an agenda released Monday. However, the public may attend a 6 p.m. hearing at Perry Hill Elementary School about proposed renovation of and improvements to district facilities.


VANDERBURGH COUNTY: MOERS TO SEEK GOP PROSECUTOR NOD - Evansville native Diana Moers has announced plans to seek the Republican nomination for Vanderburgh County Prosecutor (Loesch, Evansville Courier & Press). The Western Michigan University's Thomas M. Cooley Law School graduate announced her candidacy Monday. This will be the first time since 2010 a Republican candidate other than sitting prosecutor Nick Hermann has made a bid for the position. In a release, Moers said her focus is operating an office of integrity and professionalism while providing leadership and training to staff. “Vanderburgh County deserves a fighter who will work with integrity to keep our community safe,” Moers stated. “I pledge to rebuild a working relationship with law enforcement and victims of violent and sexual crimes to get the justice Vanderburgh County deserves. I look forward to sending a clear message that we take these crimes seriously: law-abiding citizens will have a strong and effective advocate on their side.”