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They said it would be an uphill battle fighting LEAP pipeline …
Reading between the lines at the Statehouse. Plus, Monticello joins opposition to LEAP pipeline. And read the in-chambers transcript pitting Judge Gull and Richard Allen’s initial defense team
Support today comes from Purdue’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, presenting the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jan. 16, at Elliott Hall of Music, in a 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative event. For free tickets and group orders, check the details below.
Thanks, also, to sponsor Purdue Convocations. Elevate the holiday season with the Purdue Convocations Black Friday Sale! Give the gift of unforgettable live performances and create memories that will last a lifetime. Get $5 off our biggest shows including 2024 GRAMMY nominee Lakecia Benjamin & Phoenix, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Actors From The London Stage, Counterpoint with pianist Conrad Tao and tap dance Caleb Teicher, Broadway’s Tony Award-Winning Musicals HAIRSPRAY, COME FROM AWAY, and SHREK THE MUSICAL, GRAMMY and Dove Awards winners for KING + COUNTRY, and GRAMMY Award winner Kronos Quartet’s Five Decades Tour. SHOP BLACK FRIDAY SALE
THEY SAID IT WOULD BE AN UPHILL BATTLE FIGHTING LEAP PIPELINE …
This wasn’t a good sign for lawmakers lining up bills that might curb the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s thirst for water in Tippecanoe County to supply the 9,000-acre LEAP District developments two counties away, near Lebanon.
Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Leslie Bonilla Muñiz, reporting ahead of the General Assembly’s annual Organization Day, had this exchange from a Monday interview with House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray: “They’re not taking action on water.”
“‘The project is a fantastic project that promises to be really … transformational for Indiana,’ said Bray, who said lawmakers haven’t ‘spent as much time on water as some other states … because we have had a lot of water, and we do have an awful lot of water.’
“‘We’re not going to take any other steps until we have an opportunity to study, to make sure that there’s ample water for the projects that we’re trying to bring into the state of Indiana and we understand just how much is too much to take away from a particular community,’ Bray continued.”
For Bonilla Muñiz’s full report: “Less ‘aggressive’ legislative session coming, Statehouse leaders say.”
Organization Day on Tuesday was expected to be key for local lawmakers, as they pitch a bill that takes a crack at regulating water rights in ways that would limit what the state has in mind with a water pipeline big enough to carry tens of millions of gallons from western Tippecanoe County to Boone County. State Rep. Sharon Negele, an Attica Republican who represents that part of Tippecanoe County, has been working on a bill that would do that. Even before those comments from Bray and Huston, she’s said it was going to be an uphill battle just to get a committee hearing on the bill.
Meanwhile, in Tippecanoe County: Those comments from the Statehouse came the same day as Tippecanoe County commissioners were voting on a nine-month moratorium on high-volume transfers of water out of the county and on installation of high-capacity radial collector wells, moves designed to slow the IEDC’s progress on its pipeline plan.
Here’s a recap of that conversation that included an overflow crowd Monday morning at the County Office Building: Tippecanoe County fights back on IEDC’s LEAP pipeline with moratorium. IEDC says restrictions are meaningless. Residents suggest it might not be enough. Commissioners call it just the first step
And Monticello enters the conversation: The Monticello City Council joined the growing list of formal opposition to the LEAP pipeline plan, passing a resolution Monday night. Monticello is the first public body that isn’t along or near the Wabash River to join in. Monticello sits along the Tippecanoe River, which creates Lake Shafer and Lake Freeman before flowing into the Wabash River near Battle Ground. That puts the count of resolutions in opposition at:
Tippecanoe County commissioners
Lafayette City Council
West Lafayette City Council
Attica City Council
Covington City Council
Monticello City Council
White County commissioners
Fountain County commissioners
Shadeland Town Council
Battle Ground Town Council
OTHER READS …
THE CLOSED-DOOR CONFRONTATION IN DELPHI MURDER TRIAL: Judge Fran Gull, the Allen County judge presiding over Richard Allen’s trial in the 2017 murders of Delphi teens Abby Williams and Libby German, on Monday released a transcript of the closed-door conversation in her chambers that led to the removal of Allen’s initial defense team, Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin, on Oct. 19. In previous accounts laid out in recent weeks, Rozzi and Baldwin have contended that Gull “ambushed” them with an ultimatum to either leave the case or be publicly shamed in open court over the judge’s misgivings over a leak of evidence, alleged violations of an ongoing gag order and other things. The transcript puts everyone in the chambers, as Gull confronted Rozzi and Baldwin, eventually leading to this: “I am unsatisfied with your representation of Mr. Allen. I am gravely concerned about his rights to have competent, non-negligent representation. He currently doesn't have that right now, because what you have demonstrated is negligence and incompetence.” For an account of the conversation that led to a request to have the Indiana Supreme Court pull Gull from the case, here’s one from WTHR: “Delphi murders trial transcript released of conversation leading to Richard Allen's attorneys' disqualification.” And here’s the transcript of that meeting between Gull and the initial defense team, filed Monday with the Indiana Supreme Court:
WELLS EYES ROKITA IN ATTORNEY GENERAL RUN: Destiny Wells, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2022 for Indiana secretary of state, announced Monday that she will run in 2024 for Indiana attorney general. The Indianapolis Democrat had been signaling a run for some time. Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Leslie Bonilla Muñiz had this from a livestreamed announcement: “Wells said incumbent Republican Todd Rokita has used his powers ‘in an abusive way’ — and said that as attorney general, she’d ‘get back to serving Hoosiers’ instead of using the office as a ‘platform for national talking points.’” Here’s the account from the Indiana Capital Chronicle: “Democrat Destiny Wells launches attorney general bid. Says incumbent Todd Rokita has used office’s powers for ‘overzealous witch hunt.’”
BOILERS, ON A LOOP: Big win Monday night for Purdue men’s basketball in Hawaii, beating No. 11 Gonzaga, 73-63, to open in a stacked Maui Classic tournament. And what cool sequence this was, leading into a Caleb Furst dunk, with Lance Jones, Myles Colvin and Braden Smith in tow. Just watch … as if you haven’t already had it on a loop all morning.
No. 2 Purdue plays No. 7 Tennessee at 8 tonight on ESPN. The other side of the bracket: No. 1 Kansas plays No. 4 Marquette, at 10:30 p.m.
Thanks, again, to sponsor Purdue Convocations, offering its Purdue Convocations Black Friday Sale.
Thanks, also, to Purdue’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, presenting the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jan. 16, at Elliott Hall of Music. Get tickets here.
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