Rob Burgess
News Editor

As a close observer of government institutions, I am concerned with increasing societal parity among under-served minority groups.

My background is that I'm the fourth generation in my family to work as a journalist. I also have a degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education. My wife, Ash, and I have two children, Harper, 4, and Emerald, 1.

Voices
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After almost a year of serving as News Editor, it is my duty to inform you this is my final House of Burgess column for NUVO. I'm moving on to a new position starting next week, and I wanted to end my tenure here with a note of appreciation.

News
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State Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, announced the formation of a gubernatorial exploratory committee on Tuesday, June 4 at the Gary Teachers Union. The first-term legislator also announced a statewide listening tour at the event.

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United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced that Nolan Brewer, 21, Eminence, was sentenced in federal court on Monday, May 20, to three years in prison for conspiring to violate the civil rights of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a Jewish synagogue in Carmel.

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After all the ballots were counted, there were few surprises to be found in the results of the 2019 Marion County municipal primary election on Tuesday, May 7. All of the Indianapolis City-County Council and mayoral candidates endorsed by the Marion County Democratic and Republican parties came away victorious.

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These distinctions matter. I would argue they matter more in local politics than in national races because the decisions they make once elected to office will affect people's daily lives much more directly. So, vote, is what I'm saying.

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District 21 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the near south side of the city. Incumbent Democrat Frank Mascari first won his seat in 2015. He will face Republican challenger Tyler Richardson in the general election.

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District 11 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the near west side of the city. Incumbent Democrat and current Council President Vop Osili was first elected to represent the district in 2011. In the general election, he will face Republican challenger Evan Shearin.

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Democratic challenger John Barth is running unopposed in the Tuesday, May 7 primary election for the District 7 seat on the Indianapolis City-County Council.

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After running successfully for the office of Indianapolis mayor in 2015, Democratic incumbent Joe Hogsett is running for re-election in 2019. In the primary election he will face fellow Democrat Denise Paul Hatch. The winner of that contest will face one of three Republican challengers: James W. Merritt, Christopher James Moore, or Felipe Rios.

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District 25 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the south eastern-most part of the city. Incumbent Republican Brian Mowery was first elected in 2016, and is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Justin Braun.

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District 24 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the south central side of the city. Incumbent Republican John D. Wesseler is not running for election after filling the vacant spot left by the newly elected State Senator Jack Sandlin. Looking to fill the vacant seat are Democrat Ben Brown and Republicans Thomas L. Vaughn and Doug Wood.

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District 19 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the east side of the city. Incumbent Democrat David M. Ray is running for re-election against Republican Tony Mendez.

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District 18 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the near south east side of the city. Incumbent Republican Susie Cordi is not running for re-election. Looking to take her seat are Democrat Duane Ingram and Republican Carrie Zapfe.

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District 17 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the north side of downtown. Incumbent Zach Adamson is running for re-election against fellow Democrat Joseph Denney and Republican Paula J. Barnett.

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District 16 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the near west side of the city. Incumbent Jefferson Shreve is not running for re-election. Looking to take his seat are Republican Laura Giffel and Democrats Kristin Jones and Patrick Wagner.

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District 15 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the west side of the city. Incumbent Republican Marilyn Pfisterer is not running for re-election. Looking to take her seat are Republican Andy Harris and Democrats Bryan Chatfield and Jessica McCormick.

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District 9 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the near north side of the city. Democratic incumbent William Duke Oliver has held the seat since 2004. He faces three challengers from his own party in the primary election: Phillip L. Anderson Sr., Martha Baker Blue, and Leigh Riley Evans.

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District 6 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the north east side of the city. Incumbent Republican Janice Shattuck McHenry has served in the seat since 2007. Challenging her is Democrat Crista Carlino.

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District 4 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the north western-most side of the city. Incumbent Republican Jeff Coats is not seeking re-election. In the running to take his seat are Republican Adam Cox and Democrats Alison (Ali) Brown, Sherron Wellington Franklin, and Crystal Puckett.

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District 4 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the north western side of the city. Incumbent Republican Mike McQuillen has held the seat since 2008. Depending on the outcome of the primary election, he will face one of two Democratic challengers in the general election in November: Ethan P. Evans or Timothy Alan Knight.

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District 3 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the north western side of the city. Democratic incumbent Christine Scales did not file to run for re-election. Looking to take her place are Republican Dan Jones and Democrats Dan Boots and Coleman J. Watson.

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District 2 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the north central side of the city. Incumbent Republican Colleen Fanning was first elected as councillor in 2015. Depending on the outcome of the primary election, she will face one of two Democratic challengers in the general election in November: Keith Potts or Thye Petty.

Voices
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Two weeks ago, I asked a question of my readers: Choose from one of the most locally and nationally challenged books and I will read the winning title. True to my word, I just finished reading Calorie Accounting: the Foolproof Diet-by-Numbers Plan for a Skinnier New You, and interviewing the author, Mandy Levy.

Voices
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These flowering contagions might look nice for a few weeks a year, but I literally see no upside to intentionally planting a reeking, weak-limbed, invasive “pear” tree that produces no pears.

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Originally, the plan was to send five questions to each of the Indianapolis mayoral and 25 City-County Council candidates. But, given the huge response, we've extended that to six questions each.

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According to the results of a new, disturbing report by the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of Americans think their local media outlets are doing just fine financially, but only 14 percent report paying for local news during the past year. Does anyone else see the problem here?

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On Monday, March 25, the Indiana Poor People's Campaign, one of 35 state campaigns across the nation, was gathered at the Statehouse to demand “a massive overhaul of voting rights, welfare and work requirements, living wages, health care, access to clean water, housing, ecological devastation and an end to endless war, to lift up the 140 million Americans currently living in poverty.”

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This isn't partisan to me. This is about transparency. If the report says what Trump and his supporters say, then so be it. I'm not afraid of the truth. The American people have paid millions of dollars for this investigation. We deserve to read the full report directly from Mueller himself. Anything less will be viewed as a whitewash.

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On Monday, March 25, Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, added an amendment to an unrelated bill which added hate crimes protections to a victim or group's “real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attribute the court chooses to consider.” That list did not include gender, for which advocates of a comprehensive hate crimes legislation have advocated.

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You can always search for people you've unfollowed on Facebook by name if you really want to find them for some specific reason. If you take the extra step of unfriending them, however, you're denying your future self that option.

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In response to the Christchurch attack, leaders from several different religions in Indiana gathered Thursday at the Statehouse in support of a hate crimes bill which includes protected classes. The current version of Senate Bill 12 does not. But, other faith-based groups in the state want it that way.

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The Tiny House Nation episode featuring Stephanie Barber and her father, Jim Barber, “Going Tiny To Make Things Right,” will premiere at 10 p.m. Wednesday on the A&E network, and will replay at 8 p.m. Thursday on the FYI network. After that, the show will appear on Netflix in the fall.

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The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a disciplinary complaint Tuesday against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. The Indiana Supreme Court, who will ultimately rule on the complaint, could strip Hill of his law license, which would also mean he could not hold his current position of Attorney General.

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On Wednesday, at the historic Elder W. Diggs School, Indianapolis-based Crossroads Education announced it had been awarded $750,000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its Learning Commons model at four Indianapolis schools.

Voices
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Former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Indiana, died Thursday of pneumonia at the age of 91. He recognized the truth about the Electoral College long before the 2000 or 2016 presidential elections gave us popular-vote-losing Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, respectively. This outdated system will increasingly lead to a feeling of illegitimacy as the voice of the people is ever more frequently subverted.

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The city and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are currently conducting a study of body-worn cameras, and they are asking for input from officers and the public.

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As lawmakers at the Statehouse grapple with Senate Bill 12, the hate crimes bill now before the Indiana House of Representatives, a study released Monday by CRISP at the Indiana University PPI found that in the 45 states with hate crimes laws, these were applied unevenly across groups.

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Google searches for “International Men's Day” peak on International Women's Day. This sort of whataboutism springs from the same well which inspires some to ask why there isn't a “White History Month” every February during Black History Month. As the adage goes, when you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.