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AP-IN--Indiana News Digest 1:30 pm, IN

July 6, 2018

Here’s a look at AP’s Indiana news coverage at 1:30 p.m. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Indianapolis bureau at 317-639-5501, 800-382-1582 or indy@ap.org. Corey Williams is on the desk, followed by Ken Kusmer. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

All times ET.

A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.



INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana lawmaker at the center of groping allegations against Attorney General Curtis Hill came forward Friday to accuse him publicly of groping her twice during a party earlier this year, ratcheting up pressure on the embattled Republican to resign. Democratic state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon published her own account of the March 15 incident, which occurred at an Indianapolis bar, in The (Northwest Indiana) Times newspaper. She describes Hill’s behavior as “deviant” when she encountered him in the early morning hours after the legislative session ended for the year. She says he leaned toward her, put his hand on her back, slid it down and grabbed her buttocks. The Munster lawmaker says she told Hill to “back off,” but he approached her again later in the night, put his hand on her back and said: “That skin. That back.” Hill has denied allegations that he groped Candelaria Reardon and three other legislative staffers, which were included in a confidential memo leaked to news organizations earlier this week. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual misconduct or assault unless they come forward publicly. By Brian Slodysko. SENT: 660 words, photos.


— INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL-GROPING ALLEGATIONS-THE LATEST: The Latest on growing calls for Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is closing in on his choice to fill a Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, telling reporters that he’s focused on two or three people ahead of his Monday announcement. Trump was at his private golf club in New Jersey Friday and planned to spend the weekend there, consulting with advisers as he picks his court nominee amid intense jockeying from various factions seeking to influence the choice. The president planned to have dinner Friday night with Vice President Mike Pence, who has also been meeting with candidates as part of the vetting process. The president’s top contenders include federal appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, with federal appeals court judge Thomas Hardiman still considered in the mix. By Catherine Lucey, Lisa Mascaro and Ken Thomas. SENT: 960 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — In the budding battle royale over the Supreme Court vacancy, what’s the Democratic sweet spot between satisfying liberal activists’ demands for an all-out fight against President Donald Trump’s pick and protecting senators facing tight re-election races in deeply red states? So far, the party’s formula is to cast itself as defending the right to abortion and the 2010 health care law against a president itching to use the court to snatch both away. Democrats want to make it as excruciating as possible for a pair of moderate, pivotal Republican senators to back the selection because without a GOP defection, it’s game over. Trump plans to unveil his choice Monday, less than two weeks after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. Democrats seem to face an uphill battle to derail the pick, due to the sky-high stakes and the country’s hyper-partisan political climate. The fight will be intense, fueled by Kennedy’s status as the court’s frequent swing vote and the GOP’s hair-thin 51-49 Senate majority — effectively 50-49 since January, with Sen. John McCain battling cancer in Arizona. If Republicans remain united, Democrats can’t stop a nominee, though either way it offers both parties a golden chance to raise money and galvanize voters. By Alan Fram. SENT: 930 words, photos.



INDIANAPOLIS — A state report shows that the number of abortions performed in Indiana increased last year for the first time since 2009. A report released June 30 by the Indiana State Department of Health shows that nearly 7,800 women opted to terminate pregnancies in 2017, almost 500 more than the previous year. The report looks at abortion trends over a five-year period. Anti-abortion activists blame the increase on a federal judge’s order last year blocking a 2016 law’s requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to the procedure. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An online petition is part of a push to encourage a northern Indiana police department to allow a police dog to retire and join his former handler’s family. The South Bend Tribune reports that St. Joseph County police have rejected calls for retiring Flash, saying the 5-year-old German shepherd is capable of working several more years for their K-9 unit. A public outcry began after Mike Beigelbeck left the department last month to take a private security job at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. He was paired as a canine officer with Flash for three years. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.


— BEACH HAZARDS-LAKE MICHIGAN: The National Weather Service in Chicago is warning of hazardous beach conditions along Lake Michigan in Chicago, Cook County and northwestern Indiana.

— LAPORTE FIRE-TWO KILLED: A northern Indiana fire official says a natural gas explosion is suspected in a house fire that killed two women.

— TOWN MARSHAL ARRESTED: Authorities say an Indiana town marshal faces charges after he allegedly took medication from a home while in uniform.

— BEATTY TOWNSHIP-HOMICIDE: Authorities are asking for the public’s help to find an Indiana man suspected in a June homicide in northern Minnesota.

— DELAYED FAIR PROJECT: A southern Indiana woman who started a needlework project in 1978, aiming to enter it in her county’s fair, has finally finished the artwork 40 years later.



INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle O’Quinn is joining the Indiana Pacers. A person familiar with the terms tells The Associated Press that O’Quinn has agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Friday because the deal remains unsigned. O’Quinn was with the New York Knicks last season. He becomes the third free agent to pick Indiana this summer, joining Doug McDermott and Tyreke Evans. O’Quinn is entering his seventh NBA season, after spending three with Orlando and three with the Knicks. He averaged a career-high 7.1 points per game last season and has yet to appear in a postseason game. SENT: 130 words.


RALEIGH, N.C. — Maryland has joined the list of schools to receive a grand jury subpoena seeking records in the ongoing federal corruption investigation into college basketball. The school released two subpoenas to The Associated Press and other outlets Friday in response to public-records requests. That follows North Carolina State’s release in March of a similar subpoena seeking communication records between school officials and its former coaching staff, and ex-Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. and his representatives. A March subpoena to Maryland sought any information regarding possible improper payments to a former Maryland player, whose name is redacted. It also sought the personnel file of men’s basketball assistant coach Orlando Ranson. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 520 words, photos.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Hannah Roberts first climbed on a BMX bike as a child to try and follow in her cousin’s tracks. She has made a name for herself with her own high-flying tricks. The next potential star for USA Cycling in the Summer Games is getting ready for her senior year of high school. The 16-year-old Roberts, already one of the best BMX freestyle riders in the world, is helping blaze a trail for women in the Olympics. Organizers around the world are paying attention now, especially after the Olympics added freestyle as a medal sport for the Tokyo Games in 2020. A staple of the Summer X Games, BMX freestyle joins the Olympic roster as part of an effort to give the Games a more youthful and urban appeal. It should also give the United States a chance to grab more medals. Like BMX racing, which has been in the Olympics since 2008, freestyle traces its roots to Southern California in the 1970s. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 960 words, photos.


If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to indy@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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