Gleaners Food Bank runs low on volunteers while packing emergency meal boxes
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is working overtime putting together emergency family meal boxes and is experiencing a shortage of volunteers.
According to Gleaners, volunteers impact about 40% of the product that leaves their facility, meaning they need all the help they can get.
“For us to go from needing about 100 volunteers a day, and getting pretty close to staffing that, to going down to 10 maybe a day. We are really starting to feel the pinch,” said Gleaners Food Bank Manager of Group Volunteers Treva Burgess.
They are looking for volunteers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To sign up to volunteer, click here.
If you are unable to volunteer, Gleaners is also accepting online donations. A $20 donation can feed a family for up to a week.
Indiana coronavirus timeline
- March 6: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
- March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools announces that a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
- March 9: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 4. Avon Community School Corp. had announced on March 8 that a student tested positive; that case, along with another in Noble County, was confirmed by state health officials at a news conference.
- March 10: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 6 as the state launches an online tracker. Purdue and Indiana universities suspend classes for two weeks beyond their spring breaks. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
- March 11: ISDH confirms four more positive cases in Indiana. The University of Indianapolis announces it will extend its ongoing spring break through March 22. The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the men’s and women’s Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University announces classes are suspended for the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University extends its spring break, after which it will go to virtual classes.
- March 12: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises 12. Taylor University cancels international and domestic spring break trips for students and faculty sponsors. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches, including its April 4 home opener. The NCAA cancels the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons.
- March 13: Gov. Holcomb announces additional actions — they included eliminating Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and lifting regulations limiting the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles — to help stop the coronavirus. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shut down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty associated with the coronavirus. The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Franklin College says it will have no in-person classes March 16 and 17, start online classes March 18 through at least April 5 and empty residence halls of students by 5 p.m. March 15. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will be closed March 14-28. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and says it will close all facilities until further notice beginning at 5 p.m. March 14.
- March 14: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 15. The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close 14 days starting March 16.
- March 15: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 19, with 121 tested. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces all elective, non-urgent surgeries are canceled as of Tuesday.
- March 16: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces the first Hoosier death. ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 24. Holcomb closes bars, restaurants and nightlubs to in-person patrons, while carryout and delivery services will still be allowed.
- March 17: ISDH announces the second Hoosier death. Indiana’s Catholic bishops announce the cancellation of Sunday and weekday public masses. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard to assist as needed with the virus response. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
- March 18: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 39. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The 500 Festival announces suspends all planned, in-person events scheduled through May 9. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties until March 29.
- March 19: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 56. Gov. Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says all K-12 public schools will be closed until May 1 and nonpublic schools also are to close. Standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament was canceled. The Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgrades to Level 1 status.
- March 20: ISDH reports the third Hoosier death and 23 new cases for a total of 79. Gov. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses. Indiana University Health says it can do limited virus testing.
- March 21: ISDH reports the fourth Hoosier death, and 47 new cases positive for a total of 126. A total of 833 people have been tested for the virus. Indiana National Guard details how it’s working with the Department of Transportation on distribution of medical supplies to hospitals.
- March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 7. ISDH reports 75 more positive cases.
- March 23: ISDH reports 259 cases of COVID-19, up from 201 a day earlier. Gov. Holcomb orders Hoosiers deemed nonessential to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
- March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 13. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
- March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises 17. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23. IndyGo suspends fares and changes its ride schedules.
- March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 25. Marion County adds 192 new positive COVID-19 cases, the most of any county in the state for the day, for a total of 484. Indiana has 981 confirmed cases.
- March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 31. Marion County adds 100 new cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total of 584. Indiana has 1,232 confirmed cases.
- March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 32. Marion County adds 92 new positive cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total 676. Indiana has 1,514 confirmed cases. President Donald Trump announces in a press conference that the national social distancing recommendation will be extended by 30 days, to end April 30.
- March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 35. Marion County had the most new cases in the state with 135, for a total of 804. Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kris Box predicted the arrival of the surge in cases and deaths could come in mid-April to late April, but could be as late as mid-May, “but we don’t know.”
- March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises to 49. Gov. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carry out” through April 6. Health commissioner Box, asked about when Indiana will be in a surge of COVID-19 cases, says she thinks the surge is starting.
- April 1: Indiana’s death toll rises to 65. Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for frontline employees.The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will remain closed until further notice. Gov. Holcomb announces the #InThisTogether campaign.
- April 2: Indiana’s death toll rises to 78. The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
- April 3: Indiana’s death toll rises to 102. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. Indiana officials say the state has received a federal Major Disaster Declaration for all 92 counties. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin on Saturday to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
- April 4: ISDH reports 14 more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 116. 3,953 Hoosiers have tested positive, with 116 deaths and 19,800 total tests conducted.
- April 5: ISDH reports 11 more deaths in Indiana.
- April 6: Indiana’s death toll rises to 139. The state reports one Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Gov. extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
- April 7: Indiana’s death toll rises to 173. A total of 5,507 Hoosiers have tested positive. Indiana health commissioner Box notes four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
- April 8: Indiana surpasses 200 deaths. Indiana now has 203 deaths and 5,943 confirmed cases. A total of 30,869 Hoosiers have been tested.
- April 9: ISDH says 6,351 Hoosiers have been tested positive, resulting in 245 deaths. A total of 32,133 Hoosiers have been tested.
- April 10: ISDH says 6,907 Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 300 deaths. A total of 35,040 Hoosiers have been tested. ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
- April 11: 30 more deaths are announced, bringing Indiana’s total to 330.
- April 12: A total of 343 Hoosiers have now died due to COVID-19, according to ISDH. Just under 8,000 cases have been confirmed in Indiana.
- April 13: Indiana stands at 350 deaths and 8,236 positive coronavirus cases, according to ISDH.
- April 14: ISDH announces 313 more cases and 37 more deaths, bringing the totals to 8,527 positive cases and 387 deaths.
- April 15: ISDH announces 49 more deaths for a total of 463. The total of positive cases grows to 8,955.
- April 16: Indiana reports 477 deaths and 9,542 positive cases. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
- April 17: ISDH reports 519 deaths and 10,154 positive cases. The governor says that he will be extending the stay-at-home order through May 1, although some restrictions may be lifted in the new order.
- April 18: ISDH reports 26 more deaths. ISDH says there are now 10,641 positive cases and 545 Hoosiers have died as a result of the virus.
- April 19: 17 more Hoosiers have died according to ISDH, bringing Indiana’s total to 562.
- April 20: ISDH reports seven new deaths. ISDH says there are now 11,686 positive cases and 569 deaths related to the virus. Holcomb extended the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also said, if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
- April 21: Indiana reports more than 12,000 positive cases and more than 600 deaths.
- April 22: Indiana reports 12,438 COVID-19 cases and 661 deaths. The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
- April 23: Indiana reports 13,039 COVID-19 cases and 709 deaths.
- April 24: Indiana reports 13,680 COVID-19 cases and 741 deaths. The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved $25 million in an emergency meeting to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department with a plan to test every resident.
- April 25: Indiana reports 14,395 COVID-19 cases and 785 deaths. ISDH launched an antibody testing study for Hoosiers on Saturday. Thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
- April 26: Indiana reports 15,012 positive COVID-19 cases and 813 total deaths.
- April 27: Indiana reports 15,961 positive COVID-19 cases and 844 total deaths.
- April 28: Indiana reports 16,588 positive COVID-19 cases and 901 total deaths. Indiana officials say they are opening up COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
- April 29: Indiana reports 17,182 positive COVID-19 cases and 964 total deaths. The state said it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
- April 30: Indiana reports 17,835 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,007 total deaths. Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
- May 1: Indiana reports 18,630 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,062 deaths. Gov. Eric Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the stay-at-home order to May 4.
- May 2: Indiana reports 19,295 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,115 deaths.
- May 3: Indiana reports 19,993 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,132 deaths.
- May 4: Indiana reports 583 more COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths. The stay-at-home order ends for most of Indiana. That order will end May 11 in Lake and Marion counties, and May 18 in Cass County.
- May 5: Indiana reports 21,033 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,213 deaths.
- May 6: Indiana reports 21,870 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,264 deaths. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June.
- May 7: Indiana reports 22,503 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,295 deaths.
- May 8: Indiana reports 23,146 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,328 deaths. Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, said the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues. All state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals.
- May 9: Indiana reports 23,732 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,362 deaths.
- May 10: Indiana reports 24,126 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,379 deaths.
- May 11: Indiana reports 24,627 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,411 deaths.
- May 12: Indiana reports 25,127 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,444 deaths.
- May 13: Indiana reports 25,473 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,482 deaths. The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, the libraries and restaurants.
IPS hands out free student meals
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public Schools started handing out free meals for students Friday at distribution sites around Indianapolis after schools were closed amid concerns of the coronavirus.
Students and families received pre-packaged lunches for Friday and breakfasts for the next day.
The district officially shut down all schools Friday. They will be closed through April 5.
IPS says meals will also be handed out for students next week.
“We don’t want families to go without meals. They were supposed to be in school today, so that was two guaranteed meals, as well as next week, so we want them to keep having the nutrition they receive daily at school,” said Ellen Eichenbaum, IPS food service operations manager.
“I think it’s really sweet what IPS is doing. It’s just shocking that all this stuff is going on,” said Naomi McCaslin, parent of three IPS students.
IPS’ food service team is currently working on a food distribution plan for next week. News 8 will keep you updated with any new information we get.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A proposal focusing on climate change is headed to the full City-County Council for consideration.
The Rules and Public Policy Committee voted in favor of the plan from District 7 Councillor John Barth Thursday night. The plan calls for a commission to study how the city can lessen the effects of climate change.
People from both sides spoke out during the public meeting. After comments were heard, the proposal was advanced by the committee.
“Part of our process in going through this commission will be making recommendations to the council for how we should prioritize different actions we can take to protect the city from the effects of climate change,” said Barth.
The full City-County Council will consider the measure on March 16.
Indiana bill to require cursive in schools advances to House
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A bill that would require cursive writing in elementary schools has passed the State Senate.
The bill will now go to the House for consideration. If passed and signed into law, House Bill 1066 would, among other things, require each school corporation, charter school and accredited nonpublic elementary school to include cursive writing in its curriculum.
But, if the last nine legislative sessions are indicators of the bill’s future, it may not go any further. Cursive writing legislation has been introduced in all of those legislative sessions and failed to make it to the governor’s desk.
In 2019, State Sen. Jean Leising also noted that within the last year, Illinois, Ohio and Texas had joined the majority of states in requiring the teaching of cursive in elementary school. Also, she said, many private schools in Indiana have continued to teach cursive, creating a disparity between public and private schools.
Arguments in favor of eliminating the teaching of cursive have pointed toward increased communication via keyboards and the small proportions of adults who use cursive for day-to-day writing. It has also been argued that students should have more important skills than cursive writing as part of their Common Core standards.
NAUGATUCK, Conn. (CNN) — In Connecticut, you may soon have to be 16 years old to buy an energy drink.
What started as a school science project for a group of middle school students, the idea of an age limit on energy drinks quickly got the attention of a lawmaker, as well as people around the country who blame the drinks for the death of a loved one.
“I will never ever consume an energy drink, and I want other children to feel the same way that I do about them,” said Lily Kiernan, a seventh grader at City Hill Middle School in Naugatuck.
Kiernan is among the group of students who researched the effects of the drinks. Part of the group’s project was to also lobby a lawmaker.
Last year, it resulted in a bill before the children’s committee. This year, the bill is back.
“It really took on a life of its own that we didn’t even anticipate would happen,” said Katrina Spina, a teacher at City Hill Middle School.
Energy drink companies say they are being unfairly targeted, and that their drinks are safe.
Joseph Luppino, a lobbyist for Red Bull North America, said in written testimony “simply put, energy drinks are safe. They are no different than coffee, tea, sodas, or other caffeine containing conventional food products.”
Luppino testified that energy drink companies have regulated themselves, including labels that identify ingredients, and state products are not intended for kids. The industry also doesn’t market to anyone 12 and under or in schools.
However, Loretta Lowe from Tennessee said a medical examiner determined energy drinks caused her otherwise healthy son to have a heart attack at 31.
“If it can kill a grown man like my son, that was perfectly healthy, who didn’t even smoke cigarettes, then what can it do a kid,” Lowe said.
Energy drink companies point out their products have roughly 80 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces. Coffee can vary, but Starbucks says its Pike Place roast has 155 milligrams.
The students warn it’s the combination of caffeine and other stimulants that is dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, energy drinks can cause dehydration, heart complications, anxiety and insomnia.
In a statement, the American Beverage Association said, “Energy drinks have been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide for more than 30 years and are recognized as safe for consumption by government food safety agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and the European Food Safety Authority. Additionally, mainstream energy drinks typically contain half the caffeine found in coffeehouse coffees. Independent scientific research shows adolescents get most of their caffeine from coffee and other sources, not energy drinks; however, energy drink companies have proactively and voluntarily committed to not market their products to children.”
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(CNN) — It was Isabella Tadlock’s dream to be able to bend her fingers and pick things up. But she was born with a disability that made that challenging.
So when the 11-year-old “Star Wars” fan asked for an R2-D2 bionic arm, she thought it was going to be the best gift ever. Then came the call from someone familiar.
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the movie series, had a video call with Isabella when he found out her new arm had been delivered. She showed him her new R2-D2 arm and after the two had a 30-minute conversation, he sent her passes to Disney World.
“He could not have been more encouraging and kind,” Isabella’s mother, Pamela Tadlock, told CNN.
Isabella was born with what her family describes as a nub on the end of her left arm and without fingers on her right hand. After multiple surgeries, she now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand.
The Tallahassee, Florida, girl’s family started fundraising for the bionic arm after Isabella saw a video of a little boy with a similar device last summer.
Thanks to her supporters, she raised almost $14,000 — with Hamill’s help along the way. He retweeted her donation link to his 3.6 million followers in November after Isabella’s nanny sent the link to him, saying how big of a fan she was.
Three months after that, on February 20, they met.
“I heard you’re a ‘Star Wars’ fan. But I have to tell you, I’m a big fan of yours. I’m so proud of you,” Hamill said in the video. “They call it a hero arm because you really are a hero.”
Life with the hero arm
The makers of the “hero arm,” Open Bionics, created it for that exact reason. They wanted to give children with limb differences an empowering arm. “Welcome to the future, where disabilities are superpowers,” the company says on its website. They’re made to pick up signals from muscles in the residual limb.
When it came time for Isabella to choose what kind she wanted, she asked for one that resembled R2-D2, Luke Skywalker’s droid in the movies.
It’s been only two weeks since she got the new arm, but Isabella says these have been the best days of her life.
“I am so excited. I will be able to ride my bike, swing on the monkey bars, create in the kitchen and be like my friends,” Isabella said in an update on her Mightycause account.
“It’s helping tremendously with her self-esteem and confidence,” Tadlock said. “Just last night for the first time she was able to blow dry her hair by herself.”
The strong-willed “Star Wars” fan has faced several obstacles in her young life, but her family has been there every step of the way. And her six siblings have treated her no differently, Tadlock said.
And now she has a new dream: to be a bionic arm model.
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Imagine an NCAA Tournament with no fans in the arenas.
What normally would be thought an impossibility isn’t so far-fetched as the United States and the rest of the world attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
An advocacy group for college athletes has urged the NCAA to consider holding its winter sports championships with no fans, and the idea has not been dismissed out of hand.
“If you can think of it, it’s something that we’ve gone through an analysis around,” NCAA Chief Operating Officer Donald Remy told Bloomberg News on Tuesday. ”We’ve contingency planned for all circumstances.”
The NCAA declined further comment to The Associated Press on the possibility of no fans in the stands. Presumably, the games still would be televised.
The virus has sickened more than 92,000 people and killed 3,100 worldwide, the vast majority of them in China. Nine people have died in the U.S., all in Washington state. Most cases have been mild.
Also Tuesday, the NCAA announced it has established an advisory panel of medical, public health and epidemiology experts and NCAA schools to address the virus, also known as COVID-19. NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline will lead the group.
“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” Remy said in a statement. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned; however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”
Hainline said the advisory group will make recommendations on competition based on evolving medical protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and state and local authorities.
“We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association’s response to this outbreak,” he said.
The NCAA generates nearly $1 billion a year, most of it coming from the men’s basketball tournament through media rights fees, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.
Total attendance for the 2019 tournament was 688,753, an average of 19,132 per game. The Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis drew 72,711 for the semifinals and 72,062 for the championship game.
Attendance for the 2019 women’s basketball tournament was 274,873, an average of 6,545 per game.
The men’s tournament is scheduled to open March 17 and the women’s tournament begins on March 20. The men’s Final Four will be played the first weekend in April at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and the women’s Final Four is set for Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The NCAA wrestling tournament is March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium, the first time the event has been held in a football stadium. The tournament is expected to break the attendance record of 113,743, set in Cleveland in 2018.
Conference basketball tournaments are set to begin next week, and the Big East, Pac-12, Mountain West, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences said in statements to the AP that they are proceeding as if their tournaments will go on but monitoring the situation.
The WAC noted that if its tournament is not completed, the tournament’s No. 1 seed will advance to the NCAA Tournament as the league’s automatic qualifier.
Sporting events across the globe have been canceled or contested with no spectators allowed in stadiums or arenas.
Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Association, urged the NCAA and the schools to take steps to protect athletes.
“Precautions should include cancelling all auxiliary events that put players in contact with crowds such as meet and greets, and press events,” he said in a statement. “Athletic programs should also take every possible measure to sanitize buses and airplanes used to transport players.
“In regard to the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament and other athletic events, there should also be a serious discussion about holding competitions without an audience present. … The NCAA and its colleges must act now, there is no time to waste.”
The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
(CNN) — Members of Congress threw a surprise party for Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia on Tuesday, celebrating the civil rights icon’s 80th birthday.
Katherine Clark, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was just one of many lawmakers to capture the surprise on social media. The Massachusetts Democrat tweeted a video of the assembled lawmakers singing to Lewis, with the caption, “Surprise, @repjohnlewis! The pride of our lives is calling you a friend. Happy 80th! #GoodTrouble.”
Lewis’ actual 80th birthday was February 21, but this year’s celebration has taken on added significance. Last December, Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This announcement triggered an outpouring of support across Washington, with tweets from leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, and former President Barack Obama. In 2011, Obama presented Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
Clark was not the only Democrat with their phone out at the party.
Rep. Mike Levin captured the moment Lewis walked into the room, sharing the video on Twitter with the caption “Fantastic to surprise our dear friend and colleague @RepJohnLewis for his 80th birthday today!”
Rep. Barbara Lee shared more photos, again using Lewis’ signature phrase “good trouble.”
At the surprise party, members of Congress also presented Lewis with a portrait.
Lewis represents Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes large segments of Atlanta. He was first elected in 1986.
As a young man, Lewis was fiercely active in the Civil Rights Movement, leading the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and helping to organize the March on Washington. In 1965, he famously marched from Selma to Alabama’s capital, Montgomery.
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Riley Hospital for Children shows new fetal center clinic
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An open house Tuesday afternoon showcased the Riley Fetal Center clinic at Riley Hospital for Children.
The center is the first patient space to open in the hospital’s Riley Maternity and Newborn Health building project. The project allowed for the outpatient maternal fetal medicine clinics from IU Health University Hospital and IU Health Methodist Hospital to relocate to Riley’s campus.
The clinic was designed to serve women who have high-risk pregnancies. Dr. David Boyle, co-director of Riley Maternity and Newborn Health, says the facility allows those families to have the different resources they may need in one location.
“This is all part of our service line plan to provide wraparound care for a mother and baby from predelivery, post-delivery and every time in between,” Boyle said.
The Riley Fetal Center is on the fourth floor of the Riley Outpatient Center. It will open its doors to patients on March 16.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that he spoke on the phone to a Taliban leader, making him the first U.S. president believed to have ever spoken directly with the militant group responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops in nearly 19 years of fighting in Afghanistan.
Trump said the United States has a shared interest with the Taliban, which harbored al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks.
“We had a very good conversation with the leader of the Taliban today, and they’re looking to get this ended, and we’re looking to get it ended. I think we all have a very common interest,” Trump said. “We had, actually, a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”
The United States and the Taliban signed an agreement last Saturday calling for the withdrawal of American troops, allowing Trump to make progress on a key campaign pledge to extract the U.S. from what he calls “endless wars” and paving the way for all-Afghan talks to begin on Tuesday.
Trump suggested the phone call, which the Taliban said lasted 35 minutes, was not his first. Asked if Tuesday was his first conversation with a leader of the Taliban, Trump said, “I don’t want to say that.”
Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that the president had spoken on the phone with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban and head of their political office in Qatar.
“The relationship is very good that I have with the mullah,” Trump said. “We had a good long conversation today and, you know, they want to cease the violence. They’d like to cease violence also.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the agreement, which was signed last Saturday in Doha, Qatar, by chief negotiators from the two sides. According to the deal, all 13,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan within 14 months if the Taliban meet their obligations to America. Those promises are tied to fighting terrorism, preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists, denouncing terrorist groups, severing past links with the likes of al-Qaida and helping fight the Islamic State group affiliate.
It also envisioned talks between Afghans on both sides of the conflict starting March 10, most likely in Oslo, Norway. But so far there’s no confirmation that important next step will take place. The U.S. withdrawal is not tied to Afghanistan’s warring sides figuring out how to talk to each other, let alone coming to an agreement on what peace among them will look like.
Already there are hurdles. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has refused to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which the agreement said would happen before the start of the so-called intra-Afghan negotiations next week. The Ghani administration claims those releases will be part of negotiations. The Taliban are to release up to 1,000 Afghan government and military captives.
Trump said it’s still unclear what the Afghans will do when and if they sit with the Taliban and attempt to draft a peaceful political future for the nation. “The country really has to get it ended. We’ve been there for 20 years. Other presidents have tried and they were unsuccessful,” he said.
In addition to the tweet, the Afghan Taliban also released a statement, saying the phone call took place shortly after 9:30 a.m. EST. SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors communications from militant organizations, said the Taliban statement claimed the call was held in the presence of a number of members of the Taliban negotiating committee and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy who negotiated the deal.
According to the statement, the phone conversation was about how both sides will implement the agreement. Baradar assured Trump that if the United States honored the agreement, then the U.S. and the Taliban will have “positive bilateral relations,” the statement said.
The statement said the Taliban leader told Trump: “Mr. President! Take determined actions in regards to the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and do not allow anyone to take actions that violate the terms of the agreement thus embroiling you even further in this prolonged war.”
The White House provided no additional details about what was said on the call.
In the past, people have wrongly believed that President Ronald Reagan had a meeting with the Taliban. In 1983, Reagan hosted five “Afghan freedom fighters” in the Oval Office. At the time, the U.S. was backing these Afghan fighters battling the Soviet Union. The Taliban was not formed until the 1990s.
In the 1980s, the U.S. was among those who encouraged hundreds of Arab fighters to travel to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Afghan mujahedeen, or holy warriors, against the Soviet Union’s forces there. Today, many of those fighters make up the Taliban leadership, while others are in power in the U.S.-backed Afghan government.
As the war came to a close in 1988, many of the Arab fighters united to follow the wealthy Saudi leader Osama bin Laden to create al-Qaida, which orchestrated the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
Associated Press writer Kathy Gannon in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.