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@kwellscomm  @PraiseIndy PraiseIndy.com News  —

Good day to you on this first day of Black History Month…see a black history nugget below in sports.

Mother and Daughter Grocery Shopping

Source: Don Mason / Getty

Job growth and ending a food desert is what’s on the menu to feed the Avondale Meadows neighborhood as a Sav-A-Lot grocery store is set to open on Thursday, according to WTHR-TV. It’s been 20 years since the Cub Foods grocery closed down in that Indianapolis northeast side neighborhood, taking with it easy access to fresh food. However, the area has gotten a development ‘shot-in-the-arm’ with retail entries such as a Goodwill store that opened a few months ago and now there will once again be fresh produce, fresh meat and other grocery staples within walking distance to many of the neighbors. In a quick phone call to the new store, WTLC News was told, employees are there Wednesday morning setting up and doing run-through’s for Thursday’s Grand Opening. Sav-A-Lot will open to the public on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. The new store is located at 2930 East 38th Street and will be open weekdays until 10 p.m.

Prosecutors are moving ahead with their case against the second man charged in Indianapolis’s ‘purge’ killings. Elijah Brooks is now facing murder charges for his role in the killings. On Tuesday, Marion County prosecutors announced they think Brooks drove the getaway car used in the killing spree last May. Brooks was already in custody for robbery charges. Jose Ruiz was one of the victims of that spree.

An Indiana man already serving life in prison for the Richmond Hill explosions is now facing another 50 years behind bars in a murder for hire case. A jury returned a guilty verdict against Mark Leonard Tuesday night. Prosecutors proved their case that Leonard tried to hire a hit man to kill a witness in the explosion case he faced. The hit man was actually a federal agent. Leonard will learn his new sentence next week.

Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett

Source: Mayor-Elect Joe Hogsett In Studio / ACB III

Indianapolis’ mayor along with other officials confirmed the location of a new criminal justice center in the city.  As speculated, it would be built at the site of the former Citizens Energy Coke Plant in the Twin Aire neighborhood, east of downtown.  Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke during a public event on Tuesday. There he said, “the complex that we build here will reflect how we value the well-being of each and every one of our citizens.” The mayor’s priorities for the complex are to first, serve justice and secondarily to provide help to those who need it. Also, during his announcement Hogsett said the plant met the required criteria, including being centrally located and something the community supports.  While he didn’t confirm the price tag, estimates for the new center are around $500 million.

A 16-year-old boy hit by a car while crossing the road was seriously injured on Tuesday during the morning rush. This accident happened near 62nd Street and Zionsville Road. Investigators say the area isn’t well-lit and it appears to be an “unfortunate accident.”

More than a harmless school rivalry…

A student from Lawrence Central High School is now facing charges for an online threat made against Hamilton Southeastern Schools. We told you about police presence at the school as a precaution for Tuesday. Officials say a message referencing a “violent” act was made Monday evening during a live social media event.  It was determined that the threat was a hoax.  The 16-year-old responsible for posting it was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.

The Internal Revenue Service is delaying refunds this year as an identity fraud electronic crime deterrent to help out the nation’s filers. But no one saw this tax crime coming…

The employees of popular Indianapolis eatery, Scotty’s Brewhouse, are on edge after learning that their 2016 W-2 forms may have been sent to a scammer. A spokesman for the business says 4,000 tax forms were sent in PDF format to someone claiming to be the company’s CEO, Scott Wise. When it was discovered that the CEO didn’t request the forms, the IRS was contacted and a police report was filed. Employees are being contacted about what they can do to protect themselves from unauthorized use of their personal information. In addition to the employer’s information, the W-2 form includes the worker’s Employee Identification Number, or EIN, which is oftentimes their social security number, their address, their wages and various deductions.

National…

A boycott. A backlash. Demands…and familiar gridlock on Capitol Hill are on tap. The legislative Democrats seem to be fighting back against President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. But politicians aren’t the only ones…

Betsy DeVos nominee Secretary of Education

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

The National Education Association is coming out strong against the president’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary. At primary issue regarding DeVos is that she has no educational experience coupled with a troubling track record. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the association’s president, said, “the only experience she has, has been over the last 30 years trying to find ways to take public school dollars out and funnel it into what she calls, her words, ‘the education industry’.” Railing against the mere thought of DeVos in control of the nation’s schools, Garcia said DeVos has used the charter school concept to funnel taxpayer money to private schools in her home state of Michigan. The association leader said NEA supporters have been active by mailing over one-million letters to the U.S. Senate so far urging lawmakers to reject DeVos’s nomination. Garcia urges people continue to stand in opposition of the president’s education secretary nominee by signing a petition at NEA.org.

US-POLITICS-COURT-NOMINATION

Source: NICHOLAS KAMM / Getty

President Trump has also named his Supreme Court pick. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch during a press event Tuesday night at the White House. Trump praised Gorsuch for his legal mind and discipline. The 49-year-old is a circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He holds the belief that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted as it would’ve been when it was written, a belief resembling that of the late-Justice Antonin Scalia. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the seat that has been empty since Scalia’s death a year ago. Senate Democrats are considering a filibuster. Many consider the seat “stolen” because Senate Republicans refused to consider President Barack Obama‘s nominee, Merrick Garland. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley specifically says he plans to filibuster the Judge Gorsuch nomination. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is insisting that Gorsuch “prove himself to be within the legal mainstream.”

A final Senate vote is expected on this ‘Hump Day’ on the nomination of former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Tillerson is another step closer as the Senate advanced his nomination Monday on a procedural vote of 56-43.  Critics have raised concerns about Tillerson’s ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Senate Democrats are delaying some committee votes on President Trump’s nominees for treasury and health secretaries. The boycott effectively puts the nominations on hold.  Democrats are angry about President Trump’s executive action on immigration. Multiple states and municipalities are suing President Trump regarding the action, including Washington, Massachusetts, San Francisco and New York. Even a Cleveland Clinic doctor is suing after being forced to leave. See her story HERE.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protest At Standing Rock

Source: Boston Globe / Getty

The Acting Secretary of the Army is directing the Army Corps of Engineers to issue the easement necessary to finish construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. It comes a week after President Trump signed an executive order to speed up the process to renew construction of a section of the controversial pipeline in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux Native tribe who has stood in opposition of this pipeline and any potential environmental impact on their water supply has vowed to take those responsible back to court.

In Sports…

Today is National Signing Day. The nation’s top high school and junior college football players are due to confirm their college choices. Alabama football almost always outdistances the other schools when it comes to top recruits. Expert observer agree this year isn’t expected to be much different. A powerhouse school in neighboring Ohio, The Ohio State University, is also in a good position to haul in one of the best classes in the country.

In the NBA…The Pacers are looking to keep it hot on the road as they are in sunny Orlando to do battle with the Magic tonight. The Pacers want to take their recent three-victory streak to four-in-a-row. Tonight’s tip is at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Source: Mike Lawrie / Getty

Bill Russell Joining Hands with Officials

Russell being congratulated after being named Celtics’ coach. Source: Bettmann / Getty

February is Black History Month and the NBA is recognizing the achievements of black Americans. The Boston Celtics played a major role in black history and the Civil Rights Movement. The Celtics were the first team to draft an African-American player when they drafted Bill Russell in 1956 and the first to hire a black coach when they named Russell coach in 1966.

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