Keith Klein (Photo: Bloomington Transit)
The Board of Bloomington Transit voted to continue COVID-19 procedures, through January. Actions include free fare, boarding through the rear doors, and the closure of the downtown transit center. Ridership dipped slightly in November from 89 to 68-thousand.
The Senate confirmed an Indiana Prosecutor to replace Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on a federal appeals court based in Chicago. Thomas Kirsch, who currently serves as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, will replace Barrett as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Kirsch was confirmed Tuesday on a 51-44 vote.
President Trump named Kirsch as Barrett’s replacement before she was confirmed to the high court in October, and the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination last week.
Retail sales dropped last month, signaling the consumer recovery is stalling out because of the pandemic.
Sales fell 1.1% last month from October, according to the Commerce Department. Sales were expected to be down 0.3% in November.
“The numbers are much weaker than expected,” Gus Faucher, Chief Economist for PNC Financial Services Group, said. “The economy looks much softer at the end of 2020.”
Clothing stores, restaurants, electronics stores, and gas stations led the sales decline while spending at grocery stores and online retailers ticked up. Overall, retail sales are up 4.1% from last year. Spending at online retailers is up 29.2% from the same time last year.
“Without stimulus, retail sales declines will likely continue and perhaps become severe given millions of Americans will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas,” Economist Robert Frick, said.
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores saw a 52% drop in Black Friday traffic compared to last year.