@kwellscomm PraiseIndy.com News & Sports
Breaking! A judge says Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson is not guilty of all charges in the death of Freddie Gray. Goodson was driving the police van in which Gray suffered a fatal spinal cord injury in April of 2015. Goodson could have faced 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge — second-degree depraved heart murder. He was also found not guilty of manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
From sit-ins on the floor of the House in Washington DC on the issue of gun control, to activism right here in Indianapolis today regarding jobs, workers and the economy…members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 are hosting a rally downtown in front of Market Tower to call on a Chicago-based realty/development firm doing business here in the city, to support good jobs. The union wants Zeller Realty, who uses janitorial contractor Corporate Cleaning Systems to offer better wages to lift those janitors–working Hoosiers–out of poverty. They want Zeller to change janitorial services to a different service provider that pays their workers decent wages with benefits. City County Counsillors, Jared Evans, Blake Johnson and David Ray will join them this morning at 10 West Market Street. The rally began at 10 a.m.
It’s too late for their jobs, but Indianapolis’ Carrier workers say they want Congress to stop the next plant closing. Union workers from the soon-to-close Carrier plant are asking Congress to approve the Bring Jobs Home Act. The plan would reward companies with tax breaks for keeping jobs in the U.S. and punish companies by taking away tax breaks if they move jobs out of the country.
The clean up is continuing this morning after an overnight of powerful storms ripped through our area—both in Central and Northern Indiana. Forecasters say in addition to all of the heavy rain and high winds that impacted Hoosiers, they fielded what seemed like endless reports of trees that had toppled over, downing power lines in many cases. Power crews are out restoring power this morning to affected areas. One noted incident in the storm was severe damage to a large barn in Clinton County.
City-County Councilman Zach Adamson is accused of rape. Indianapolis Metro Police say a 19-year-old man filed a report this week for an incident that he claims happened last September. No charges have been filed against Adamson. Adamson strongly denies the allegation.
Lady Gaga will join the Dalai Lama here in Indianapolis at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The annual meeting takes place downtown this weekend. The Dalai Lama will give the keynote address on Sunday, where he’ll urge local action to build kind and compassionate cities. He’ll then be joined by Lady Gaga for an onstage conversation moderated by journalist Ann Curry. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton will also speak from the gathering on Sunday.
More on those unprecedented sit-ins…The House is adjourned until next month, adjourned by Republicans until after the July 4th holiday break, however the Democratic sit-in continues. The sit-in began Wednesday morning, led by Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader John Lewis. The protesting lawmakers are demanding a vote on a gun control bill. Democrats have raised the volume on gun control since the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, and Lewis says it’s time to be “silent no more.” House Speaker Paul Ryan slammed the sit-in protest by his Democrat colleagues as a “publicity stunt.”
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the city is prepared should any protests turn violent following the release of today’s verdict in the latest trial related to the death of Freddie Gray. (See Above: Verdict Is In.) Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday the city has connected with local and regional law enforcement to make sure security measures are in place. A not-guilty verdict was issued this morning in the trial of police van driver Caesar Goodson, who faced a murder charge in this case.
The U.S. Supreme Court is upholding the affirmative action admissions program at the University of Texas in Austin. The case involved Abigail Fisher, a white woman who sued the university after being denied admission because of affirmative action. Critics of affirmative action had been hoping for a ruling striking down race-based admissions at public colleges and universities. The high court ruling was 4-3. Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself from the Texas case and Justice Antonin Scalia died in February.
Florida officials say the alligator that attacked a toddler at a Disney resort last week has been killed. A spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told newspaper USA Today that the reptile has been euthanized.
The NBA Draft gets underway tonight in Brooklyn. The Pacers hold the 20th overall pick in the first round, and the 50th in round two. They’ve acquired guard Jeff Teague from Atlanta in a three-team trade. The Pacers sent hometown favorite and Broad Ripple Rocket alum George Hill to the Jazz, while Utah sends the 12th overall pick in in tonight’s draft to Atlanta. Teague is also from Indy.
The Indiana Fever took another one on the nose Wednesday night when they fell to the Washington Mystics, 76-62, on the road.
The Colts head to training camp on July 26 at Anderson University. The first practice is set for the next day. Indianapolis opens the NFL Preseason on August 7th against the Packers in the NFL Hall of Fame Game.
Looking ahead to the Olympics… It looks as if Pacers forward Paul George will play for Team USA. ESPN’s Marc Spears reports that George has accepted an invitation to suit up for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics. George missed nearly all of the 2014-2015 season after breaking his leg while scrimmaging for Team USA two summers ago.
The celebration continues in Ohio tonight for the Cleveland Cavaliers capturing the 2016 NBA Championship. This one is focused on Akron, Ohio-native LeBron James. His hometown is picking up where Cleveland left off. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to pack a park tonight to celebrate James’ efforts to bring the championship to northeast Ohio. On Wednesday, as estimated 1.3-million people jammed downtown Cleveland streets for the city’s first-ever major championship parade and rally. In other “LeBron News”…USA Today is reporting that James will return to the Cavs next season. This shuts up several national analysts who publicly predicted that the superstar player would leave in free agency, taking his skills to either Los Angeles or New York. James is expected to opt out of his current contract, but re-sign with the Cavs for $30-million.
Some sunshine today with a thunderstorm or two possible this afternoon. Woooo, it will be a scorcher! The High: 91 degrees.
In a case of ‘he must have only showed up at school for lunch”… A Congressional candidate in Tennessee says his “Make America White Again” billboard isn’t racist. Rick Tyler is running as an independent in the Volunteer State’s 3rd district. The candidate says the sign is a call to take America back to the 1960s, a time Tyler says there was no violent crime or mass immigration. Do you suppose he missed all of the church bombings, lynchings, KKK activity, assassinations and the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act? Makes one wonder.
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