Community News Archives for 2020-07

Mysterious seeds from China showing up in the mail

Packets of unsolicited seeds from China have appeared in mailboxes across the nation, perplexing residents and sparking invasive species concerns.


Indiana joined a growing list of states warning residents not to plant the unidentified seeds after the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) received “several” calls and emails about possible recipients.


At least two Hoosiers reported receiving seed packets in the mail since Saturday, the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) said Monday.


Officials were unable to confirm where in Indiana the packages were sent.


The seeds, enclosed in small plastic bags and tucked in square or rectangular packets with Chinese shipping labels, appear to be sent from Shenzen.


Photos of several seed packets, provided to News 8 by a member of the Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO), show the contents mislabeled in English and Chinese as “stud earrings.”


The packages contain no jewelry.


“I’ve been in the seed business over 30 years I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Don Robison, Indiana’s state seed administrator.


Some seeds reported in other states look similar to wheat or cucumber seeds, he said, but could carry unknown disease.


The OISC’s primary concern is determining whether the seeds come from an invasive plant that could threaten native species, including local agriculture.


States with economies driven by agriculture are responding with heightened concern; some farm supply chains are still recovering from pandemic-related disruptions.


“Indiana has 12 million acres of crops and we want to make sure we protect those crops,” Robison said. “We want to make sure the seed’s not thrown away and gets in a landfill, where it can then grow and expose other seeds other crops to a disease that Indiana doesn’t have.”


If seed control officials confirm a threat, efforts could be launched to search for seeds that were improperly disposed of, he added.


Federal and state officials warned recipients not to plant, destroy or throw away the seeds.

Hoosiers who receive unsolicited seeds in the mail with Chinese shipping labels are urged to immediately send the packets to the Indiana State Seed Laboratory at Purdue University.


- Do not plant

- Do not throw away

- Do not microwave, burn or otherwise destroy


Label packet "Foreign Seeds for Identification" and send to:


Indiana State Seed Laboratory

Purdue University

175 S University St

West Lafayette, IN 47907

Shelbyville downtown street closings

There are a couple of downtown Shelbyville street closures coming up as a part of the downtown project.

Wednesday, July 29

Franklin and Harrison will have a ½ day closure for a parking garage pour.

August 3 – 7

Tompkins and West Washington intersection will be closed to remove a water line and finish the storm sewer.


Society of St. Vincent dePaul Shelby County has great deals Saturday at Thrift Store

Volunteers with the Society of St. Vincent dePaul Shelby County are nearly giving away all clothing and all shoes at the Thrift Store this Saturday again.


Clothing items and shoes continue to be priced at $1!

Four kitchen tables with chairs will be half off their original pricing and priced as a set, too.

The store, located at 424 E. Jackson St., Shelbyville will be open Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Clubs begins search for new CEO; John Hartnett talks about his 40 years

In 1980, John Hartnett was happy to fill a post at the Boys & Girls Club of Shelbyville.  He didn't know it was a life career move.



The CEO job description.  Resumes are being accepted thru August 5.


Position Title:

Chief Executive Officer




An exciting opportunity to lead the Boys & Girls Club of Shelbyville located in ­­­Shelbyville, IN is open and we are looking for our next Chief Executive Officer to make a positive impact on kids’ lives.  We are looking for candidates that will lead the overall planning and operation of the organization while providing leadership, direction and support to the Board of Directors. 


Boys & Girls Clubs mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.  You will be responsible for bringing this mission to life in this community, as you work to ensure that the kids and teens in your care achieve great futures by providing a safe and fun space, an engaging Club Experience, and managing caring professionals to guide them along the way.


As a proof point, 54% of Club alumni said the Club saved their life, so the impact you and your team will have on these kids and teen’s lives will be life changing.


Please submit resumes by August 5th to



                                                   ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES



  • Guides, supports and serves the Board of Directors in establishing goals and developing policies, procedures, budgets and programs that fulfill the mission of the Boys & Girls Club.
  • Monitors and approves the organization's program services and assures achievement of its mission and goals.
  • Leadershiprolein organization’sSafetyCommitteeandserveasakeyplayerinthedevelopmentofinstitutionalpolicies, procedures, andpractices ensuring that the organization and all unit clubs are in compliance with local, state and federal safety requirements and the Membership Requirements of Boys & Girls Clubs of America at all times.
  • Ensure that the Organization has standards and measures in place that define effective safety practices, train to those annually, and identify vulnerabilities and strategies to mitigate risks
  • Serve as point of escalation, feedback and approval for reportable Club incidents ensuring that all accident and incident reports are completed, up to date and submitted to administrative office for archiving.
  • Provides leadership to Club staff by developing administrative and operational standards by which goals will be met.
  • Assures management and attainment of resources necessary to ensure the financial operations of the agency are conducted in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Assures that the organization is in compliance with membership and other requirements or standards of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and other affiliated and regulatory agencies
  • Oversees staffing activities of the organization, including recruiting, training, and evaluation of both paid and volunteer staff.
  • Promotes Boys & Girls Club services to individuals, other service organizations, and the local community.
  • Directs and participates in public relations and fundraising activities.
  • Provides professional leadership to the Board of Directors to assure development of an effective and motivated board, including identification, recruitment, training and involvement of members in meeting the goals of the organization.
  • May be assigned special projects periodically by the Board of Directors.
  • Reports to the Board of Directors



                                            KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES           


  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize, direct, plan and coordinate operations in a multi-unit organization.
  • Leadership skills, including negotiation, problem solving, decision making, delegation.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written; ability to speak effectively and persuasively to groups and individuals.
  • Demonstrated competency and ability in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with a Board of Directors, Staff, Community Groups, and other related agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise professionals and other staff/volunteers who may be in distant subunits of the organization.
  • Advanced knowledge and expertise in asset management including financial resources and property.
  • Demonstrated skills and competency in the following areas preferred:  the mission, objectives, policies, programs and procedures of Boys & Girls Clubs; of the principles and practices of non-profit organizations and of management; and resource development activities and sources of funding.






The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification.  It is not designed to contain, nor to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.



BBB Scam Alert: E-Skimming targets online shoppers

For years, scammers have used a small device on ATMs, gas pumps, and other terminals, to harvest credit card information. As technology has improved, this form of “skimming” has become less effective. However, scammers aren’t deterred! Now, they use a technique called “e-skimming” to steal credit card data from online shoppers instead.? 


How the Scam Works 


You are shopping online on a reputable website. You put an item in your cart and proceed to check out. You enter your credit or debit card number and your billing address to make your purchase. Everything seems totally normal. 


But what you can’t see is that cybercriminals have hacked into the company’s server and planted malware on the site. This harvests your personal information, including your credit or debit card numbers, as soon as you make a purchase. You won’t be aware your information was stolen until the company discovers the breach and alerts its customers. In other cases, you’ll only find out after scammers use your credit card and fraudulent purchases appear on your statement. 


How to Protect Yourself from E-Skimming: 


  • Keep a close eye on your statements.?Check your bank and credit card statements regularly to confirm all charges. If you notice any suspicious activity, call your bank or credit card company immediately to report it. Use the customer service number found on the back of your card or on your monthly statement to make sure you are speaking with the real company. 

  • Make online purchases with a credit card.?Use your credit card instead of your debit card to make online purchases. It is much easier to dispute charges made with your credit card, plus getting money returned to your debit card can take time. 

  • Consider using a virtual credit card.?Some credit card companies and banks offer?virtual cards?to their clients. These provide a unique credit card number to use when shopping online that links to your normal account. If any unusual transactions are made or the number is compromised, other charges are immediately declined. 

American Red Cross wants your help to sew face coverings

If you like to sew, you could be a great help to the American Red Cross!


The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross is looking for people to help sew and distribute face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic. The face coverings can be hand-sewn or sewn using a machine.


In Indiana, more than 8,000 face coverings have already been sewn and distributed over the past seven weeks to agencies providing childcare, senior and veteran services, according to the American Red Cross–Indiana Region.


“These face coverings are so important. Wearing them is a simple way to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” said Jeff Imel, American Red Cross–Indiana Region director of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services.


Non-sewers are also needed for tasks like cutting out patterns, ironing, disinfecting and packaging, and inventorying and delivery to organizations.


For more information, visit .

Fresh Produce offered to backstretch at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

When Covid-19 restrictions prevented the creation of the community garden for backstretch workers at Indiana Grand, Brian Elmore, executive director of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) came up with an alternative. A local group is now making a weekly stop outside the stable gate to provide fresh produce for those who work at Indiana Grand.


“Brian (Elmore) noticed a group selling produce to raise money for mission trips in nearby New Palestine and made arrangements for them to provide the same service for the people that work and live on the backstretch,” said Otto Thorwarth, one of the chaplains with Indiana HBPA. “Without being able to have the community garden this year, he wanted to make sure these folks had access to fresh produce on a consistent basis.”


To sweeten the deal, Indiana HBPA is paying 50 percent of the cost of the produce, which offers it to individuals at a 50 percent discounted rate. Those purchasing the items must show their Indiana Horse Racing Commission license to be able to participate in the purchase at the discounted rate.


The fresh produce stand is available each week in July on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. next to the soccer field. The stand started Wednesday, July 8 and has already proved to be a big hit and a nice option for those individuals that fall under the Indiana HBPA umbrella.


One of the most popular items has been sweet corn. Other items that sell quickly include tomatoes, various peppers, peaches, cantaloupes, cucumbers and okra.


“We initially set it up for the month of July, but with the success it has already had in just two weeks, I’m guessing we will extend this through August,” added Thorwarth. “People are really enjoying this and taking advantage of the service. And it’s for such a great cause. It’s a win-win situation all around.”


State's Rental Assistance Portal to go live July 13

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) wants to remind Hoosiers that the state’s Rental Assistance Portal will be available beginning Monday, July 13 at 9 am Eastern. The application can be found by visiting


“The application portal is designed to help Indiana renters adversely affected by COVID-19 living outside of Marion County avoid eviction by connecting them with programs that can help them cover monthly rent payments or past due rent,” said Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who serves as board chair of IHCDA. “We are pleased, along with our network of program partners, to assist Indiana renters.”


Last month, Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced $25 million in relief for renters through the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. This, combined with other funding sources including the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), will provide Hoosier renters that have been affected by COVID-19 with a variety of resources after they have applied through the Rental Assistance Portal.


“It is important that all Hoosiers have equal access to the rental assistance that is available,” said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of IHCDA. “We are thankful for a wide variety of local, community and not-for-profit organizations who are assisting us in communicating information about the Rental Assistance Portal throughout the state.”


IHCDA developed a communications toolkit for organizations to share information about this and other housing and utility resources available in Indiana.


Individuals seeking rental assistance living in Marion County should visit: The application to apply for this program also opens on Monday, July 13.


Hoosiers that are homeless, in a housing crisis, or in need of immediate assistance should call 2-1-1 and ask to connect with a navigator.


Homeowners in need of assistance paying their mortgage payment should visit:

USDA reminds Indiana producers to complete crop acreage reports

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds Indiana producers to complete crop acreage reports by the applicable deadline for their county. Acreage reporting dates vary by crop and by county. Contact your FSA county office for a list of acreage reporting deadlines by crop.


“To make sure you’re eligible for many USDA programs, you need to file an accurate crop acreage report by the applicable deadline,” said Steven Brown, State Executive Director in Indiana. “Our FSA staff is standing by to help you with your acreage reports, including providing maps.”


The following acreage reporting dates are applicable in Indiana:


July 15, 2020     

All other crops, Perennial Forage and Cucumbers (Planted 5/10 to 6/15 in all Indiana counties)                     


August 15, 2020                    

Cucumbers (Planted 6/16 to 8/5 in Fulton, LaPorte, Porter and St Joseph counties)


September 15, 2020               

Cucumbers (Planted 6/16 to 8/15) in Knox County)


Due to the pandemic, FSA has implemented acreage reporting flexibilities. FSA can work with producers to file timely acreage reports by phone, email, online tools and virtual meetings. Some FSA offices are open for in-person appointments, but you must call first to make an appointment. [BC-FST1] 


FSA county offices in Indiana provided maps to producers along with instructions for completing and returning the maps through either mail, email or through commercially available free and secure online tools such as Box for file sharing and OneSpan for eSignature solutions. After planting is complete, producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office through mail, email or the Box and OneSpan tools bythe applicable acreage reporting date.


After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make software updates andsend producers the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) to sign. Producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office through mail, email, or Box by the applicable acreage reporting date.


The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:


  • If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.


  • If a producer has not timely filed an acreage report, the producer may file the acreage report within 30 days of the acreage reporting date. Because of the pandemic, late fees will be waived if filed within the 30 days.


FSA is also providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events. For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. For uninsured crops, producers may start a Notice of Loss by calling their FSA county office.


Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP-covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.


When producers are working with FSA staff – either in-person or virtually – they can also take care of applications for other FSA programs, including the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. A CFAP Call Center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The CFAP Call Center can provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the Call Center staff.


Applications can also be submitted for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus for 2018 and 2019 as well as other disaster assistance programs that may be able to assist producers at this time.


For questions, please callyour FSA county office. To locate your local FSA office visit


All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at


Society of St. Vincent dePaul (SVdP) Thrift Store to reopen next weekend

The Society of St. Vincent dePaul (SVdP) Thrift Store will re-open Saturday, July 11, after closing in early March because of the COVID-19 risks. Clothing and shoes will be sold for $1 each.

Many protective measures are still necessary, according to guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and have been put in place at the 424 E. Jackson St. store in Shelbyville, said Jim Carrier, president of SVdP Society Shelby County. Store hours will be 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Here’s what visitors need to know:

• Five to six adult shoppers (18 years of age and older) will be allowed inside at a time. No one younger. Others may need to wait outside for a turn to enter.

• Masks are required to enter the store and to remain inside the store. A mask will be provided to those who do not have one.

• Customers are asked to be considerate of others and maintain a distance of six feet from other shoppers and from store volunteers.

• Hand sanitizer will be provided. There will also be a hand washing station in the furniture room.

• The fitting room will be closed.

• Surfaces will be disinfected throughout the hours of operation as suggested in guidelines by local ordinances and the Centers for Disease Control. The focus of SVdP Society’s membership continues to be on the health, safety, and well being of its guests, volunteers, and community.

Donations will be accepted at the Society’s warehouse, 628 Hodell St., by appointment after July 11. Call 317-395-7027, leave a message, and provide a phone number so the call may be returned. The normal warehouse schedule – open to the public the first Saturdays of each month, 9-11 a.m. – will tentatively resume on August 1.

All profits generated by the store and accepted from donations are used to assist Shelby County residents with tangible assistance on a person-to-person basis. The aid may involve intervention, consultation, and oftentimes include direct dollar and in-kind service. SVdP Society Shelby County is a not-for-profit organization established in March 2018 as part of a larger international Society of St. Vincent dePaul.

The local Society welcomes new volunteers. Additional information is posted on social media through the Society of St. Vincent dePaul Shelby IN Facebook page, the website, or by email to or telephone, 317-395-7027.

“We are committed to serving all of you even in the midst of these new challenges,” said Carrier. “We are grateful for your continued support.”


Fireworks to be displayed at state parks

The public can watch fireworks at several Indiana State Park properties in recognition of Independence Day. Standard gate fees of $7 for in-state vehicles and $9 for out-of-state vehicles will apply for admission throughout the day at each site.


Social distancing is expected when visiting state park properties, and masks are recommended. Please enjoy your visit responsibly for the safety of other guests and DNR staff. Personal fireworks are prohibited at Indiana State Parks.


In the days before each event, watch individual state park Facebook pages for any updates or changes based on weather.


Sites currently scheduled to host fireworks shows and viewing are:


Clifty Falls State Park

The City of Madison’s fireworks, scheduled for July 4 at 10 p.m., can be viewed from Clifty Falls State Park. Additionally, Clifty Inn will host a viewing area for inn guests.


Patoka Lake

Enjoy the 15th annual “Thunder Over Patoka” fireworks display at Patoka Lake Beach on July 4. Fireworks will start around 10 p.m. Bring family and friends, lawn chairs, and blankets. The beach will be the primary viewing area.

Expect increased traffic. Anyone planning to attend the fireworks should plan to arrive early to the property and beach area. The staff recommends spending the entire day at Patoka Lake to ensure getting in for the show. While there, visit the Nature Center, have a family picnic, play a round of disc golf and enjoy the beach. Parking spots will be limited, and staff expects to meet parking capacity. Once that happens, vehicles will be let into Newtown-Stewart State Recreation Area, one by one, only as another vehicle leaves.

Campers who leave through the entrance gate anytime on July 4 should expect that they may not be able to re-enter the property very quickly. A special viewing section has been set up for fireworks viewing in the modern campground’s section C. If viewing fireworks from the beach, campers should follow the path past the camp store to the beach instead of driving. This will allow vehicle traffic at the beach for those entering the property on the day of the fireworks.


Pokagon State Park

The July 4 fireworks display presented on Lake James by the Lake James Association is currently continuing as planned; however, the traditional guest shuttle service will not be offered this year due to social distancing requirements. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Guests may park in designated paved lots throughout the park. Pokagon will provide a drop off only lane at the inn, but vehicles cannot be left at that location, and shuttles will not run to the parking lots. Guests are asked to please plan accordingly.


Raccoon SRA (Cecil M. Harden Lake)

Raccoon SRA’s fireworks show is scheduled for July 4 at 10 p.m., sponsored and provided by the Raccoon Lake Homeowners Association. The Bellmore Fire Department contracts the pyrotechnics company, and they will be collecting free-will donations in lieu of gate entrance fees from 4 to 10 p.m. The beach will serve as the primary viewing venue.


Postponed and canceled events

  • Versailles State Park’s fireworks show is scheduled for July 11 at 9:30 p.m
  • Monroe Lake’s will host its fireworks on Sept. 6, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
  • Fireworks at Indiana Dunes State Park and Mississinewa Lake have been canceled for this year.