News Headlines with Kim WellsGet in the Know with Kim’s Monday News & Headlines

It’s official… the 2016 U.S. Presidential race has now begun. Canadian-born Texas Senator Ted Cruz is the first candidate to announce a 2016 presidential run. The Republican—who renounced his Canadian citizenship in May of 2014—released a 30 second video on Twitter overnight urging a new generation of courageous conservatives to make America “great again.” He says it’s time to rise to the challenge and believes in restoring America’s promise. The freshman senator has been known for his “Tea Party” leanings and is expected to officially announce his candidacy later on Monday. Cruz is expected to make that announcement during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The college is known as a bastion of conservative Christian values and was founded by Southern Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell.

Listen Live Graphics (Indy)

ISIS is calling on its supporters in America to kill 100 members of the U.S. military. The terrorist group’s online posting also contains what it claims are the names, home addresses and photos of those troops. ISIS says it hacked into military servers and databases to get the info, but a Defense Department official says they’re skeptical.

Starbucks is modifying its effort to get customers to think about race relations. The coffee chain announced Sunday employees will no longer be encouraged to write “Race Together” on coffee cups and chat with customers on the topic. However, their CEO Howard Schultz said the company’s effort to promote a discussion of racial issues is “far from over.” This campaign sparked ire and backlash on social media.

The bar that denied entry to a black University of Virginia student last week says he wasn’t belligerent or intoxicated. Martese Johnson‘s bloody arrest outside the pub by state Alcoholic Beverage Control officers went viral and sparked campus protests, allegations of police brutality and a full state investigation. The co-owner of Trinity Irish Pub said on Saturday he had a polite and cordial conversation with Johnson when he gave the wrong zip code on his driver’s license and was denied entry to the bar. The officers claimed Johnson was belligerent and very agitated. Despite reports surfacing that Johnson’s I.D. was fake, his lawyer denied the allegation and explained HERE.

A lynching in Mississippi? That’s what many want to know so the FBI is bringing in its Behavioral Analysis Unit to help investigate the hanging death of a black man in Mississippi. Otis Byrd‘s body was found late last week, hanging by a bed sheet from a tree not far from his home.  Federal agents and local law enforcement investigators are working to learn whether Byrd’s death was a suicide or a murder. Follow the story HERE.

Local Headlines…

An IMPD officer and two robbery suspects are injured following a shootout on the city’s the northwest side.  Investigators say officers were called to the Family Dollar on Moller Road Sunday night and as they arrived, saw two people wearing masks leading employees around the store.  When the suspects came outside and saw the officers, they pointed their guns at them. The suspects were shot. An IMPD officer was treated at the scene after being hit by shrapnel.

The Ten Point Coalition is planning to take a greater role in curbing youth violence. Reverend Charles Harrison says they’ll help keep an eye on teens and with security downtown. Harrison also called for greater parental responsibility and involvement. He wants parents to do their part too by making sure their kids aren’t creating havoc. Saturday night, four teenagers were arrested for fighting outside of the Steak and Shake downtown and 14 were banned from Circle Centre Mall.

A group of Hoosiers are fasting to raise awareness about the plight of this state’s minimum wage workers. They’re choosing not to eat for 72-and-a-half-hours. The group wants Indiana lawmakers to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour. This protest is scheduled to take place this morning at the Statehouse.

Also down at the statehouse today, the final vote on the so-called “Religious Freedom Bill” is expected. It would allow businesses to deny services to gays, lesbians and those they feel violate their own religious beliefs. Opponents are expected to drop off thousands of letters to House Speaker Brian Bosma sometime before the vote.

A team of experts from the CDC is expected to arrive here in state today as Indiana health officials try to get a handle on a potential HIV outbreak. Between 2013 and 2014, new HIV infections were up 51-percent. Since the beginning of 2015, over two dozen new cases have been confirmed, with several others deemed preliminarily positive. This latest outbreak can be tracked primarily to the sharing of needles, and then  engaging in unprotected sex.

In Sports…

The Indiana Pacers are in action tonight at home against the Houston Rockets. Tip at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is at 7 p.m.

Check your “March Madness” brackets! The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University is the ONLY Indiana team still alive in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Notre Dame beat the Butler Bulldogs in overtime on Saturday night in Midwest Region action. That score was 67-64. The Fighting Irish have now made it to the Sweet 16—the first time since 2003. They’ll take on Wichita State on Thursday.

And Finally…

Indianapolis has the worst voter turnout in the country. A new report by Non-profit VOTE reveals that just 28.8-percent of voters cast a ballot in 2014. The ranking is significantly worse than in 2010 when 38.2-percent of voters went to the polls.

Indianapolis weather…

We’re on the lookout for a little snow this afternoon and a Monday high of 42.

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