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BBB advises you to be careful on Cyber Monday

The Monday following Black Friday, known as Cyber Monday, has become one of the top shopping days of the year. But like so much else in 2022, not all of the deals will be just on Cyber Monday. Retail experts predicted many of the online shopping activities and special holiday sales started as early as Halloween and may continue throughout the holiday season. 

 

But online shopping – even on Cyber Monday – has risks. Be wary of misleading advertisements, lookalike websites, and untrustworthy sellers. The following tips will help you shop online this holiday season, so you can achieve maximum savings while keeping your personal information and hard-earned money secure.

 

Beware of false advertising and phony websites. If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. 

 

Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Be wary of businesses you aren’t familiar with. Check their BBB Business Profile on BBB.org, look at the rating, and read customer reviews. In addition, be sure any web page you purchase from is secure. Secure web addresses begin with "HTTPS" and not just "HTTP". Never put personal or credit card information in forms on non-secure web pages.

 

Keep your antivirus software up to date.  Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams and help keep your personal information safe.

 

Price check before you buy. Dozens of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading. Do your homework by comparing prices. Remember that the best deal may not be the real deal.

 

Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs. Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers that could add up on Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays. Make purchases using loyalty programs; many major retailers offer them.

 

Use your credit card. It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. Debit cards don’t offer this same protection. Never make purchases with online sellers by giving them prepaid debit cards or wiring them money.

 

Understand return policies. Online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers. Read the fine print before you buy. Understand the return or exchange policy for the specific item you would like to purchase. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items. Make sure to get gift receipts, so the recipient can return or exchange the item if necessary.

 

Watch out for phishing scams. Busy schedules and increased purchases make it easier to miss – and fall victim to – a phishing scam. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.

 

For general information on how to avoid scams, visit BBB.org/AvoidScams.  For more advice, read BBB’s tips on online shopping. If you’ve spotted an online scam, report it to BBB ScamTracker.

 

Jockeys collect more than 70 toys for local drive at Horseshoe Indianapolis

Each year, the jockeys at Horseshoe Indianapolis collect toys for area children in need. This year, more than 70 toys will be donated to the Shelby County CASA (Court Appointed State Advocates) for kids displaced in current home situations.

 

This is the eighth year for the Jockey Toy Drive at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

 

“This toy drive is a great thing we do because we are helping a lot of kids who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas every year,” said DeShawn Parker, winner of more than 6,000 career races. “It makes all of us feel good to do something as a group to help out each year.”

 

The jockeys come together for various causes throughout the year. In addition to the annual toy drive, they also raised funds for PDJF (Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund) and for HVAF (Hoosier Veterans and Families) Inc. of Indiana. It was the second time they have donated peanut butter to the pantry in Central Indiana for homeless veterans.

 

“It’s nice to help and I want to help out whenever I can,” added Marcelino Pedroza Jr., who is a three-time leading jockey at Horseshoe Indianapolis. “Giving back is important to me. It’s the way I was raised, and I want to help any way I can. I hope we can brighten the day of a few kids this Christmas.”

 

Several jockeys brought in toys for the drive.

 

Pictured with the toys during the Tuesday, Nov. 22 racing program included Jon Court, Sammy Bermudez, Rafael Mojica Jr. Joshua Morales, Fernando De La Cruz, Victor Bailon, Rodney Prescott, Joe Ramos, DeShawn Parker, Marcelino Pedroza Jr. Gage Holmes, Rolando Pina, Juan Marquez, and Santo Sanjur.

 

Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing broadcaster for Horseshoe Indianapolis, conducted the presentation in the paddock.

Hecate Energy announces winners of "Best of Shelby County" online contest

Hecate Energy announced today the winners of the inaugural community contest, “Best of Shelby County.”

 

The following winners, in eight different categories, will receive $1,000 after the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

  • Best Breakfast – Grandma’s Pancake House
  • Best Pizza – Cagney’s Pizza King
  • Best Tenderloin – Chaperral Café
  • Best Sweets/Dessert – Linne’s Café and Bakery
  • Best Realtor – Runnebohm Realty
  • Best Event – Farmer’s Market (Main Street Shelbyville)
  • Best Attraction – TNT Exotics
  • Best Basketball Team – 1947 Shelbyville Boys Basketball

 

Hecate has been doing business in Shelby County in recent months and have sought ways to support local businesses. Along with promotional partner Giant FM, Hecate hosted the three-week online contest as a fun way to celebrate the community’s favorite Shelby County businesses. More than 1,500 votes were cast.

Hoosiers can expect higher prices this Thanksgiving

It’s no secret that prices for consumer goods are on the rise this year and ingredients for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner are not immune.

 

Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual Thanksgiving market basket survey shows that Hoosier shoppers can expect to spend approximately 14% more at the grocery store than in 2021. According to this year’s pricing survey, Hoosiers are paying an average of $61.00 for a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people, or $6.10 per person. However, Indiana’s market basket price is approximately 5% lower,  or 31 cents less, than the U.S. average price of $6.41 per person.

 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the main driver of the increase is inflation,  as well as other factors including supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine, with other countries pulling back on exports to protect domestic supplies.

 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the food-at-home consumer price index for October 2022, a measure of price changes at the grocery store, increased 12.4% year-over-year. Additionally, the current rate of inflation for the average American was at 7.8% as of October 2022, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Many consumers have felt the weight of inflation this year, including farmers, who have been dealt a tough hand. While food prices have increased, so have input prices for the farmers growing that food.

 

“There is no question it’s been a difficult year for both consumers and farmers,” said Isabella Chism, INFB 2nd vice president. “Farmers are used to being nimble and agile in a job that can be very unpredictable when it comes to variables like the weather. But this year is different. Higher input costs presented a whole new set of challenges that are costing us more across the board and trickling down to consumers.”

 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revised Food Dollar Series, farmers currently receive approximately 8% of every food marketing dollar. Using this figure, the farmer’s share of this market basket would be $4.88. The rest goes toward food processing, packaging, transportation, wholesale and retail distribution, food service preparation and other marketing costs.

 

“Just like consumers, farmers are price-takers, not price-setters,” Chism said. “While food prices are increasing, the amount farmers are being paid isn’t covering the sharp increase of their input expenses.”

 

The total market basket price of $61.00 includes a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, a carrot and celery veggie tray, whole milk, cranberries, whipping cream, ingredients for pumpkin pie and miscellaneous baking items.

 

This year, shoppers can expect to pay approximately $1.75 per pound for a whole turkey, or $28.02 for a 16-pound bird, which is an 11% increase from 2021.

 

Contributing to short-term price increases of turkey this year are depopulations of turkey flocks caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). According to Rebecca Joniskan, president of the Indiana State Poultry Association, about 50 million birds have died or been euthanized so far in 2022 as a result of HPAI. Eight million turkeys nationwide were lost, with over 171,000 in Indiana specifically. However, in Indiana, turkey is typically produced year-round, whereas production in other states can be seasonal.

 

“This year has been difficult for Hoosier poultry farmers, both financially and emotionally,” said Joniskan. “But despite those losses, we are still a robust industry. There are still plenty of turkey products on the market.”

According to the survey, turkey is less expensive pound for pound than other meat options, such as ham, which is $2.72 per pound, or $10.88 for a 4-pound ham.

 

Hoosiers can expect most of the traditional Thanksgiving items to be more expensive this year; however, pie shells and cranberries are more affordable than they were in 2021. The largest percentage price increase was for cubed bread stuffing, up 64% for 14 ounces. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, higher packaging and processing costs brought on by supply chain disruptions and ongoing volatility in the wheat market have been the major drivers behind this increase.

 

Only pumpkin pie filling is slightly more expensive in Indiana this year than it is nationally. All other items on the shopping list came in less than the national average, most notably peas, pie shells and whole milk. 

 

The INFB Thanksgiving market basket survey was conducted in late October by volunteer shoppers across the state who collected prices on specific food items from one of their local grocery stores. Volunteer shoppers were asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals. Indiana’s survey was completed in conjunction with a national survey administered by the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

 

Thanksgiving Market Basket Items (INFB Survey)


2022 Indiana Costs

2021 Indiana Costs

% Change of Indiana Costs (2021 to 2022)

% Difference between 2022 Indiana Costs and 2022 U.S. Average

Turkey (16 lb.)

$28.02

$25.22

+11.1%

-3.2%

Stuffing (14 oz. package)

$3.80

$2.32

+63.8%

-2.1%

Pumpkin pie filling mix (30 oz. can)

$4.35

$3.61

+20.5%

+1.6%

Pie shells, 9 in. (2 per package)

$3.06

$3.47

-11.8%

-16.8%

Sweet potatoes (3 lb.)

$3.72

$3.19

+16.6%

-6.1%

Rolls (1 doz.)

$3.57

$3.00

+19.0%

-4.3%

Peas (16 oz. package, frozen)

$1.56

$1.39

+12.2%

-17.9%

Veggie tray (.5 oz. each fresh carrots and celery)

$0.86

$0.80

+7.5%

-2.3%

Whole milk (gal.)

$3.35

$2.81

+19.2%

-12.8%

Cranberries (fresh, 12 oz. package)

$2.54

$2.72

-6.6%

-1.2%

Whipping cream (½ pint)

$2.06

$1.60

+28.8%

-8.0%

Misc. ingredients
(such as coffee, butter, onions, eggs, sugar and flour)


$4.13

$3.45

+10.1%

0.0%

AVERAGE TOTAL MEAL PRICE*

$61.00

$53.58

+13.8%

-4.8%

*The total meal price listed above is for a group of 10 individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Lifetime suspension from hunting is first of its kind in Indiana

An Indiana Conservation Officer investigation has resulted in multiple charges, fines, and the first lifetime hunting suspension of its kind in state history for a West Lafayette man.

 

Hanson Pusey, 25, was sentenced Thursday in Warren County Court to a lifetime hunting suspension along with home detention, probation, and payment of replacement fees stemming from an investigation by DNR Law Enforcement involving the illegal hunting of wild turkeys in Indiana and six other states.  

 

In spring 2020, conservation officers in District 3 received information that Pusey, whose hunting privileges had been suspended since March 2019, was still hunting and taking multiple turkeys illegally in Indiana and other states.

 

Using advanced surveillance techniques, investigators monitored Pusey, gathering evidence of poaching in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as in Indiana, where they documented him taking four spring turkeys in Indiana in 2020, two after the season closed. Officers also documented Pusey helping family and friends poach turkeys. Search warrants were served on the man’s residence, and in cooperation with the other states’ fish and wildlife law enforcement agencies, filed charges in all them.

 

During the search of the residence, officers found that Pusey had kept the spent shotgun hulls from turkeys he had harvested, identifying the states and dates he took them. Officers documented 83 spent casings in the collection dating back to 2012, including 14 dated within three months of his first suspension of hunting privileges in 2019. Four were listed by Pusey as being taken from Indiana.

 

Punishments for various charges from the other states included $4,125 in fines and costs and an eight-year hunting license suspension in Pennsylvania, $324 in fines and costs and an indefinite suspension in Connecticut, $700 in fines and costs and license suspension during probation in Massachusetts, $2,335 in fines and costs in Georgia, $278 in fines and costs in North Carolina, and $525 in fines and costs in Tennessee.

 

Pusey was charged again in February for hunting without permission and theft of a trail camera card in Warren County, despite the 2020 investigation and his convictions in the other states.

 

To report hunting or fishing violations, call Indiana Conservation Officer Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR. 

Horseshoe Indianapolis jockeys donate 210 pounds of peanut butter to Hoosier Veterans and Families of Indiana

Horseshoe Indianapolis celebrated a special day honoring all veterans Friday, Nov. 11. Each race on the Veteran’s Day 10-race program was named in honor of team members and their families who have served in the military.

 

The day also included a Veteran’s Day Pick 5 Challenge with 11 handicappers from across the nation donating their time to place $250 wagers on the Pick 5. Five handicappers hit the Pick 5, raising a total of $1,512.50 for Hoosier Veterans and Families Inc. (HVAF) of Indiana.

 

To assist with the efforts of honoring veterans, the jockeys at Horseshoe Indianapolis came together to purchase peanut butter for the HVAF food pantry, which serves as a crucial food source for many homeless veterans in Central Indiana. The jockeys collected 84 jars of the sought-after item, which totaled 210 pounds.

 

“This is a great way for us to get involved with the community,” said Jockey Gage Holmes, who is on her way to the Leading Apprentice title in Indiana this season. “We’ve done a couple of fundraisers so far this year, and we are collecting toys right now for the kids in this area.”

 

Several of the jockeys came down for the presentation, surrounding the jars of peanut butter. Jimmy McNerney, on-air racing personality, made the presentation. Available for the photo included Holmes, Thiago Canuto, Sammy Bermudez, Joshua Morales, Santo Sanjur, Fernando De La Cruz, Eddie Perez, Roimes Chirinos, and three-time leading rider at Horseshoe Indianapolis Marcelino Pedroza Jr.

 

“It’s always good to help people and when we heard they really needed a supply of peanut butter, it’s never a problem for us to help out,” said Pedroza, who is currently leading the standings once again this season en route to his fourth leading rider title. “I grew up like that. My family always made sure I knew it was important to help out. Hopefully, I can keep doing it anytime I can.”

 

The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Wednesday, Nov. 23. Live racing is conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set for 2:10 p.m. A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 highlighted by the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby and the 27th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks set for Saturday, July 9. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.

Greenfield PD arrest car hoppers connected to stolen California vehicle

A search for a second suspect involving a stolen car in Greenfield has ended with an arrest.

 

Greenfield Police had stopped a car that was reported stolen from California. The car had a stolen license plate on it with multiple other plates in the vehicle.  Police noted that from the investigation it was clear the occupants were car hoppers, as ID’s and other stolen property from multiple states was located in the vehicle.

 

Police arrested one suspect but warned the public they were still on the lookout for one more.  At the time, the suspect was described as one who would look for unlocked cars to enter but didn't break into locked vehicles.

 

The suspect was found early Tuesday morning near Greenfield Crossing.

 

 

Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership assessing rural broadband - Indiana Speed Test

To assess broadband needs in rural and urban Indiana communities, the Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership (IBSP) launched the Indiana Speed Test - a crowd-sourced internet speed test that focuses on enabling cost-effective planning and deployment of broadband. 
 
The broadband speed test will make data available for decision makers regarding broadband service needs in unserved or underserved areas.  

 

To help ensure that Shelbyville and Shelby County have the best chance for future broadband funding, such as Indiana’s Next Level Connections Grants and a variety of federal grants, local residents are encouraged to take the Indiana Speed Test (link here).  Respondents will be asked to fill out an address, but no personal identifying information will be requested, and tracking cookies are not used – per the INFB website. 
 
Please note, for the most accurate results, the Indiana Speed Test should be run from a residence, rather than a business.   
 

Take the test today: www.infb.org/speedtest

 

Additional information is available at:  INFB Forms Indiana Broadband Strategic Partnership(infarmbureau.org)

Wings Etc. locations offering free entrée on Nov. 11 to all those who served

In a show of support for all those who have served and to recognize veterans on Veterans Day, Wings Etc. Grill & Pub is offering all U.S. Armed Forces, active-duty personnel, and veterans a free entrée valued up to $13.99 on Nov. 11.

 

“Each and every day, we want to recognize and honor our service members who have given so much to our country,” said Wings Etc. CEO Rob Hensmann. “We deeply appreciate their sacrifice and are proud to honor our veterans not only on Veterans Day but throughout the year.”

 

During business hours at participating Wings Etc. locations on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, service members will receive a free entrée valued up to $13.99, with proof of service or veteran status.

 

Participating locations include Angola, Avon, Brazil, Bluffton, Camby, Columbia City, Connersville, Decatur, Dunlap, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne (3 locations), Franklin, Goshen, Greenfield, Huntington, Indianapolis (2 locations), Jasper, Kendallville, La Porte, Lafayette (2 locations), Marion, Martinsville, Mishawaka, Muncie, Newburgh, Noblesville, Osceola, Peru, Plainfield, Plymouth, Princeton, Rochester, Shelbyville, South Bend (2 locations), Terre Haute (2 locations), Valparaiso, Wabash, Warsaw, West Lafayette, in Indiana.

 

The offer is good for dine-in only. Some restrictions may apply.

Red Cross encourages checking smoke alarms while turning back the clocks this weekend

As daylight saving time ends on November 6, the American Red Cross encourages everyone to test their smoke alarms as they turn their clocks back to help stay safe from home fires.

 

“Home fires claim more lives in a typical year than all natural disasters combined, but working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half,” said Leslie Montgomery, Regional Disaster Officer for the Red Cross- Indiana Region. “The sooner an alarm alerts you to a fire, the sooner you can get out. When you turn your clocks back this weekend, also test your smoke alarms to help prevent a tragedy in your home.”

 

Over the past year, local Red Cross volunteers responded to help 5,000 people in the Indiana region affected by home fires, which account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually across the country.

 

HOW TO TURN AND TEST When turning your clocks back this weekend, test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to create and practice with your family, or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.

 

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late.
  • Include at least two ways to get out of every room and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.

 

IF YOU NEED HELP If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross or call 1-888-684-1441 for more information. 

DNR offers free admission to veterans, active-duty military, November 11

On Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, all veterans and active-duty military personnel, and everyone in their vehicle, will be admitted free to Department of Natural Resource (DNR) state parks, reservoir properties, state forest recreation areas, and off-road state recreation areas.

“We appreciate the sacrifices and service of our veterans and active-duty military and look forward to recognizing them with a day to explore some of the best outdoor places in our state,” said Terry Coleman, director of Indiana State Parks.


Veterans and military personnel should simply let the gate attendant know at the property they visit that they are either a veteran or serving and on active duty.

 

For general information about state parks, reservoirs, forest properties, and off-road state recreation areas, or to locate a DNR property, visit on.IN.gov/recguide.

Duke Energy dedicates an additional $200,000 in energy bill assistance to its Indiana customers in need

Duke Energy is dedicating an additional $200,000 in financial assistance to its Indiana customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills.

Qualifying Duke Energy customers can receive up to a $300 credit annually.

Year-to-date, Duke Energy has aided nearly 1,700 Indiana households with more than $378,000 in energy bill assistance through its Share the Light Fund.

Duke Energy works in partnership with the Indiana Community Action Association to distribute assistance funds. Customers should contact their local community action agency to see if they are eligible. A list of Indiana community action agencies by county can be found at www.incap.org/energy-assistance.

“We know that our customers are facing rising costs for necessities, from groceries and transportation to their electric bill, which has risen due to escalating fuel costs to produce electricity,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “We’ve found that more of our customers could take advantage of the resources available to them, and we want to connect them to help.”

The company also is encouraging customers who may be struggling to apply to the Indiana Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally funded program is administered through statewide community action agencies and assists qualifying individuals with their energy bills. The application period opened Oct. 3.

”We expect that with the rising cost of natural gas and heating oil, as well as the challenging economy, the number of families in need of energy assistance will increase again this year. We are proud to partner with our local service providers to administer the Energy Assistance Program to help Hoosiers with these costs,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Hoosiers should contact their local service provider to apply for LIHEAP. A list of service providers and more information can be found at eap.ihcda.in.gov.

Duke Energy also offers a number of tools and resources to help customers manage their bills, control their energy use and save money, including:

Budget Billing: Budget Billing lets customers pay one predictable amount every month to better manage their budget. The amount is periodically reviewed and adjusted.

Pick Your Due Date: Customers can choose the date they want their Duke Energy bill to be due each month to align with a date that works for them.

Installment plans: Duke Energy recently extended interest-free payment plans from three to six months for eligible Indiana customers. Customers can request a few extra days or restructure a past-due balance into a monthly payment plan. Customers should contact Duke Energy at 800.521.2232 to discuss options available to them.

Usage alerts: Customers can sign-up for emails and/or texts halfway through a billing cycle, well before a bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be.

Budget alerts: Customers can also set alerts, so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to adjust their usage before their bill arrives.

To learn more about these programs and others, visit duke-energy.com/HereToHelp.

Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee of Shelby County to host a public information session

The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee of Shelby County will host a
public information session on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 2:00 PM in the
Shelby County Commission’s Conference Room at 25 W. Polk Street, Room
208A, Shelbyville, Indiana, 46176.


Shelby County, with the Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis (IUPUI), has started the process of updating its Multi-Hazard
Mitigation Plan. Once the plan is updated, the committee will submit it to FEMA
for approval.


The planning committee is interested in receiving public input on the plan. Anyone
that would like to provide input or has any questions should contact Denis Ratekin,
Shelby County Emergency Management Director, at dratekin@co.shelby.in.us or
call the office at 317-392-6308.

Bane-Welker hosts community Toys For Tots drive

Bane-Welker Equipment is proudly supporting the 2022 toys for tots drive and will be collecting over toys at all Indiana and Ohio locations from now until December 9.

 

“We are proud to support this effort for a second consecutive year,” stated Jason Bane, president of Bane-Welker Equipment. “Last year, everyone really got into the spirit of it, and we had customers and employees who used their Red Zone Rewards points to buy more toys for the children.”

 

This type of project aligns well with the Bane-Welker mission of making a positive impact on the communities they serve.

 

This year, the Toys for Tots project was initiated by two Bane-Welker employee Justin Butler, a former Marine, who benefitted from the program himself as a child.

 

“My passion for helping came from when I was a child and once received toys from this same program,” stated Butler. “It meant a lot to me then, and I wanted to help make a difference in children’s lives now. I feel very proud to be a part of a company who makes time for such important community efforts.”

 

The toys will be distributed throughout the local communities.

 

Last year, Remington collected the most toys, with 550. Local FFA chapters helped with the effort. As a complex, Bane-Welker collected 1807 toys.

 

For more information, visit your nearest dealership. For more about the Toys for Tots program or to donate directly to Tots, visit https://www.toysfortots.org/about_toys_for_tots/how_toys_for_tots_works/Default.aspx

Blue River Community Foundation's (BRCF) winter scholarship application cycle

Blue River Community Foundation’s (BRCF) winter scholarship application cycle is now open on the BRCF website: blueriverfoundation.com.

 

Scholarships awarded during this cycle are distributed during the summer of 2023 for the 2023-24 academic year. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2023.
 

High school graduating seniors planning to pursue vocational or undergraduate studies, current college students, graduate students, and adults pursuing or finishing a college degree are encouraged to apply.
 

One unique feature to BRCF’s application process is that applicants complete one application to qualify for all scholarship opportunities for which they are eligible. Specific criteria, requirements, and instructions for applying, as well as a list of scholarships available through the application process, are listed in the BRCF Scholarship Resource Guide for Students located on the Foundation’s website under the Scholarships tab.
 

Current high school seniors who completed an application during BRCF’s summer application cycle, do not have to reapply during this cycle to be considered for BRCF scholarships for which they are eligible. However, as directed in the application process, completion of the FAFSA (Federal Application for Free Student Aid) is required. These students must submit their expected family contribution (EFC) to BRCF prior to the January 15 deadline.
 

Since 1994, BRCF has invested over $7.1 million in students pursuing post-secondary education. This amount represents over $2.5 million which has been awarded to Shelby County’s 41 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients and is made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc., as well as, $4.6 million awarded to students from BRCF Scholarship Funds. In fact, last spring 190 scholarships were awarded among 134 recipients totaling over $439,000 from over 95 active scholarship funds administered by BRCF.
 

These scholarship funds are made possible through the generosity of our donors who recognize the tremendous need for assistance in meeting the costs of higher education.
 

For more information on BRCF’s scholarship application process, please contact Julie AlvisCommunications and Scholarships Director, at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or jalvis@blueriverfoundation.com.

American Red Cross urges blood donations ahead of the holiday season

The American Red Cross urges blood donors of all types and those who have never given before to book a time to give blood or plateletsnow and help keep the blood supply from dropping ahead of the holidays.

 

People of all blood types are needed, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood – blood products that are critical to keeping hospitals ready to help patients depending on transfusions in the weeks ahead.

 

Book now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you for taking the time to give this fall, all who come to give Nov.1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card by email to a merchant of choice.

 

Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.

USDA launches loan assistance tool to enhance equity and customer service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new online tool to help farmers and ranchers better navigate the farm loan application process. This uniform application process will help to ensure all farm loan applicants receive equal support and have a consistent customer experience with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) regardless of their individual circumstances.  

 

“USDA recognizes more must be done to ensure all customers have equal access to our programs and services,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “The Loan Assistance Tool is another example of USDA taking accountability and ensuring we update our existing systems, processes, and policies to make them equitable for all customers. The tool will help loan applicants better understand the application process and gather the needed documents before the process even begins.”  

 

USDA experiences a high rate of incomplete or withdrawn applications, particularly among underserved customers, due in part to a challenging and lengthy paper-based application process. The Loan Assistance Tool is available 24 / 7 and gives customers an online step-by-step guide that supplements the support they receive when working in person with a USDA employee, providing materials that may help an applicant prepare their loan application in one tool. 

 

Farmers can access the Loan Assistance Tool by visiting farmers.gov/farm-loan-assistance-tool  and clicking the ‘Get Started’ button. From here they can follow the prompts to complete the Eligibility Self-Assessment and start the farm loan journey. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.

 

The Loan Assistance Tool is the first of multiple farm loan process improvements that will be available to USDA customers on farmers.gov in the future. Other improvements and tools that are anticipated to launch in 2023 include: 

 

A streamlined and simplified direct loan application, reduced from 29 pages to 13 pages. 

 

An interactive online direct loan application that gives customers a paperless and electronic signature option, along with the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns.  

 

An online direct loan repayment feature that relieves borrowers from the necessity of calling, mailing, or visiting a local Service Center to pay a loan installment. 

Clorox® recalls Pine-Sol® Scented Cleaners due to risk of exposure to bacteria

Pine-Sol® Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean®, Sparkling Wave®, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro® Pine-Sol® All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean®, Sparkling Wave®, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy® scents, and Clorox® Professional™ Pine-Sol® Lemon Fresh Cleaners.

 

Original Pine-Sol® (Pine scent) is not included in this recall.

 

The recalled products may contain bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an environmental organism found widely in soil and water. People with weakened immune systems or external medical devices who are exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment. The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or through a break in the skin. People with healthy immune systems are usually not affected by the bacteria. 

 

This recall involves Pine-Sol Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy scents, and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol Lemon Fresh Cleaners, with date codes beginning with the prefix “A4” and followed by a five-digit number less than 22249. The products are sold in bottles of 28, 48, 60, 100, 144, and 175 fluid ounces. In an abundance of caution, Clorox is recalling all of the above-described products manufactured at its Forest Park, Georgia facility through September 2022.

 

To date, testing has identified bacteria in certain recalled products, including those produced between January 2021 and September 2022. Clorox produced approximately 37 million recalled products in that period.

 

Consumers should immediately stop using Pine-Sol Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, and Lemon Fresh scents, CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaners, in Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Lemon Fresh, and Orange Energy scents, and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol Lemon Fresh Cleaners that have date codes printed on the bottle beginning with “A4” and followed by a five-digit number less than 22249, which represents products produced prior to September 2022. Consumers should take pictures of the 12 digit UPC code and the date code, dispose of the product in its container with household trash, and contact Pine-Sol for a full refund of the purchase price, with receipt, or of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, without receipt.  

 

Consumer Contact

Pine-Sol toll-free at (855) 378-4982, by email at PineSolRecalls@inmar.com, or online at pinesolrecall.com and Pinesol.com by clicking on “Recall Information.”

 

Sold At:

Online at Amazon.com and additional retailer websites and at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Dollar General, Target, Home Depot, BJ’s, Kroger, Dollar Tree, Lowe’s, Publix, and other major retailers nationwide, for between $2.50 and $12.50.

Shelby Co. Commissioners pass ordinance for off-road vehicles; burn ban continues at discretion of Emergency Management , rainfall

Shelby County Commissioners have seen plenty of off-road vehicles of varying types on county roadways.  Enough that they felt it was time to have something on the books to enforce them properly.

 

County Commissioner Chris Ross.

 

 

The four pages of the ordinance can be seen below.

 

Also, county commissioners left the now week-long burn ban in place.  It can now be lifted at the discretion of Emergency Management Director Denis Ratekin.

It's hoped Tuesday overnight into Wednesday will bring some much needed rainfall to alleviate the current dry conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelbyville paving scheduled for Wednesday

Crim Paving will be patching the areas in Shelbyville listed below on Wednesday, October 26. 

 

These areas will be closed from 8:30 am - 3 pm,Wednesday.

 

*Weather permitting*

 

 - Intersection of N Michigan Road & 100 N orth

 - Evans Street closed between Meridian & Tompkins Street

Bob Evans Farms recalling Italian pork sausage

Bob Evans Farms Foods, Inc., a Xenia, Ohio establishment, is recalling approximately 7,560 pounds of Italian pork sausage products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically thin blue rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

 

The raw, Italian pork sausage items were produced on September 8, 2022. The following products are subject to recall [view labels]:

 

  • 1-lb. chubs containing “Bob Evans Italian Sausage” with lot code XEN3663466 and a “USE/FRZ BY” date of 11/26/22, with a time stamp between 14:43 and 15:25.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 6785” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nation-wide.       

            

The problem was discovered after the firm notified FSIS it had received consumer complaints reporting thin blue pieces of rubber in the product.

 

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  

 

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

 

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

 

Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Geo Money, Director of Communications, Bob Evans Foods, Inc. at 440-463-3264 or George.money@bobevansfoods.com.

 

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Indiana State Police safety tips for avoiding deer on the roadway

It’s that time of year again for drivers to be aware of deer darting into and crossing the roadways. 

 

Last year in the state of Indiana there were over 15,000 accidents involving deer.  Out of those accidents there were 366 with injuries and two fatalities.

 

The Indiana State Police  would like to pass along a few safety tips to help you avoid a possible collision with a deer this year.  

 

  • Be cautious while driving during dusk or dawn hours 

Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, but can appear at any time, especially during the mating season, which is in full swing from October through December. Please remember though that deer can appear at any time.  Ensure that you and your passengers are wearing seat belts at all times, in case you need to make a sudden stop. 

  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs

Be alert and observe your surroundings for any signs of deer while on the road. Deer are abundant in forested areas, so it’s important to drive cautiously even if you’re no longer in a deer-crossing zone.

  • Stay alert if you spot a deer

Deer tend to travel in packs so if you see one deer, slow down and proceed with caution, be prepared for more to follow.  If you see a deer, slow down, tap your brakes to warn others, or flash your lights and sound your horn to warn other motorists. It will give everyone an opportunity to slow down. 

  • Take precautions when driving at night

If there is no oncoming traffic, turn on your bright lights. You’ll not only be able to see clearer, but you’ll have a greater chance of spotting a deer from a distance and allow you to react accordingly. 

  • Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer

Do not swerve to avoid a deer collision. By swerving you put yourself at risk for a worse collision with another motorist or running off the roadway.  Brake firmly and stay in your lane.  

  • Report the deer-vehicle collision

If you happen to get involved in an accident, contact local authorities to report it so you can get an accident report for your insurance company.   

Remember deer are unpredictable and could dart into traffic at any time, so be alert at all times!  

 

USDA provides payments of nearly $800 million in assistance to help keep farmers farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that distressed borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans have already received nearly $800 million in assistance, as part of the $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loan borrowers provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

 

The IRA directed USDA to expedite assistance to distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) whose operations face financial risk.

 

Today’s announcement kicks off a process to provide assistance to distressed farm loan borrowers using several complementary approaches, with the goal of keeping them farming, removing obstacles that currently prevent many of these borrowers from returning to farming, and improving the way that USDA approaches borrowing and servicing. Through this assistance, USDA is focused on generating long-term stability and success for distressed borrowers.

 

“Through no fault of their own, our nation’s farmers and ranchers have faced incredibly tough circumstances over the last few years,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding included in today’s announcement helps keep our farmers farming and provides a fresh start for producers in challenging positions.”

 

Work has already started to bring some relief to distressed farmers. As of today, over 13,000 borrowers have already benefited from the resources provided under the Inflation Reduction Act as follows:

 

  • Approximately 11,000 delinquent direct and guaranteed borrowers had their accounts brought current. USDA also paid the next scheduled annual installment for these direct loan borrowers giving them peace of mind in the near term.
  • Approximately 2,100 borrowers who had their farms foreclosed on and still had remaining debt have had this debt resolved in order to cease debt collections and garnishment relieving that burden that has made getting a fresh start more difficult.

In addition to the automatic assistance already provided, USDA has also outlined steps to administer up to an additional $500 million in payments to benefit the following distressed borrowers:

 

  • USDA will administer $66 million in separate automatic payments, using COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, to support up to 7,000 direct loan borrowers who used FSA’s disaster-set-aside option during the pandemic to move their scheduled payments to the end of their loans.
  • USDA is also initiating two case-by-case processes to provide additional assistance to farm loan borrowers. Under the first new process, FSA will review and assist with delinquencies from 1,600 complex cases, including cases in which borrowers are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure. The second new process will add a new option using existing direct loan servicing criteria to intervene more quickly and help an estimated 14,000 financially distressed borrowers who request assistance to avoid even becoming delinquent.

More details on each of the categories of assistance, including a downloadable fact sheet, are available on the Inflation Reduction Act webpage on farmers.gov.

 

Similar to other USDA assistance, all of these payments will be reported as income and borrowers are encouraged to consult their tax advisors. USDA also has resources and partnerships with cooperators who can provide additional assistance and help borrowers navigate the process.

 

The announcement today is only the first step in USDA’s efforts to provide assistance to distressed farm loan borrowers and respond to farmers and to improve the loan servicing efforts at USDA by adding more tools and relaxing unnecessary restrictions. Additional announcements and investments in assistance will be made as USDA institutes these additional changes and improvements.

 

This effort will ultimately also include adding more tools and relaxing unnecessary restrictions through assistance made possible by Congress through the IRA. Further assistance and changes to the approach will be made in subsequent phases.

 

Background

 

USDA provides access to credit to approximately 115,000 producers who cannot obtain sufficient commercial credit through direct and guaranteed farm loans, which do not include farm storage facility loans or marketing assistance loans.  With the funds and direction Congress provided in Section 22006 of IRA, USDA is taking action to immediately provide relief to qualifying distressed borrowers whose operations are at financial risk while working on making transformational changes to how USDA goes about loan servicing in the long run so that borrowers are provided the flexibility and opportunities needed to address the inherent risks and unpredictability associated with agricultural operations and remain in good financial standing.

 

In January 2021, USDA suspended foreclosures and other adverse actions on direct farm loans due to the pandemic and encouraged guaranteed lenders to follow suit. Last week, USDA reiterated this request to guaranteed lenders to provide time for the full set of IRA distressed borrower assistance to be made available before lenders take irreparable actions.

 

Producers can explore available loan options using the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov (also available in Spanish) or by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Producers can also call the FSA call center at 877-508-8364 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern. USDA has tax-related resources available at farmers.gov/taxes.

Shelby Co. Lilly Endowment Scholarship finalists announced

The Blue River Community Foundation has released information regarding finalists for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists.

 

Congratulations to the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Finalists for Shelby County. These six students were recently selected by BRCF’s Scholarship Committee through their blinded application evaluation process. 

 

These finalists have moved on to the personal interview phase; which is scheduled for next week.

 

The recipient of this prestigious award will be announced in December.

 

 

 

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