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Opponents of a newly introduced bill nicknamed the ‘Pharmacy Robbery Bill’ have converged on the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday morning to stand up against it. Indiana Senator Michael Young recently introduced Senate Bill 170 which would change the law and make it mandatory that a prosecutor would have to file felony criminal charges against teenagers (ages 16 and 17) in adult court, versus juvenile court, if they rob a pharmacy armed with a weapon. At issue is children in adult court facing negative consequences for a poor choice or because they were coerced by an adult when there is already a law on the book to handle these types of crimes. Those in opposition will meet at 9 a.m. in Room 130 to stand against the criminalization of youth.
Two Indiana lawmakers caught-up in anger over their social media accounts are in the clear at the statehouse. In otherwords, they received, even if symbolic, a ‘like’ from their party leadership. House Speaker Brian Bosma refused to punish State Rep. Jim Lucas on Tuesday for a meme that made fun of last weekend’s women’s march. Bosma said he talked with Lucas and told him to take the post down. State Senator Jack Sandlin also won’t face any punishment for his posts about the woman protester being pepper sprayed.
The Hoosier state is getting an economic boost. Toyota is going to be adding hundreds of workers to its plant in Princeton, Indiana. The Japanese automaker announced Tuesday that the new hires would be part of a $600-million plan to upgrade the facility. It’s all part of a greater five-year, $10-billion plan to invest in U.S. operations. That plan was initially announced earlier this month.
Indianapolis is getting $55-million in federal tax credits to spur development in distressed neighborhoods. The New Market Tax Credits program uses private money from investors that get non-refundable tax credits in exchange for equity in local projects. This is Indy’s second time receiving the award since the program began in 2000. In 2010, the city got $32-million that was used to help finance construction to build two major projects in use today–the Avondale Meadows YMCA and the Ivy Tech Culinary School and Conference Center.
Indy’s Ten Point Coalition is getting a bit of national recognition for the work they do here in the city. The FBI announced on Tuesday that they’re awarding the coalition the Director’s Community Leadership Award. The nod comes after more than a year of peace in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, which was a return to normal for that neighborhood. Ten Point leaders say they’re proud.
Margot Lee Shetterly…the author of the book that inspired the film by the same name “Hidden Figures” is visiting Indiana today. Click HERE to learn more about seeing the woman who is the brainchild behind introducing the world to the black female mathematics geniuses they didn’t teach you about in your school history books.
Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency told media outlet Reuters they were instructed on Tuesday to remove the agency’ webpage by Trump administration officials, which contains industrial emissions data and links to global warming research, among other things. They say some employees have been scrambling to preserve the information or to convince the administration to hold onto it. As of early Wednesday morning, the EPA’s climate change page was still accessible.
Ironically, President Donald Trump also signed executive actions clearing the way for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines on Tuesday as well. Protesters were in place at the White House reacting to Trump’s move to get the pipelines built.
Also on President Trump’s schedule on this busy ‘Hump Day’… He is expected to sign an executive order making good on his promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. A White House official says the order will direct federal resources toward the construction. Trump is expected to announce the move later today, when he visits the Department of Homeland Security.
The president is calling for “a major investigation” into voter fraud. Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning that he’ll authorize a probe into those who are registered to vote in one state, or who cast ballots in the names of dead people. (Both are unnamed acknowledgements of the work that the Interstate Crosscheck Program was supposed to ‘fix.’ Crosscheck according to a report that appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine before the general election, did a lot more. They called it a GOP stealth war against voters. Read it for yourself, HERE. Trump continues to insist that widespread illegal voting in the November election cost him the popular vote. His democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, captured the popular vote, winning by almost three million votes.
The president also expects to name his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court soon. Be on the lookout for an announcement some time next week. One seat has been vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia died nearly a year ago. Senate Republican leaders blocked now-former President Barack Obama‘s choice to replace Scalia. They refused to put Merrick Garland through a hearing and deliberately obstructed Obama’s work. Garland, a known conservative, has returned to his job as a federal appeals court judge in Washington, DC.
The Pacers have this last day off before taking on the Timberwolves in Minneapolis Thursday night. They’re trying to figure out a way to end a three-game slide where they currently hold a slim one-game lead for the final playoff spot in the East. Tip is at 8:00 p.m. Eastern at the Target Center.
Morning showers clear for a cloudy afternoon. Wednesday’s High: around 55 degrees.