Community News Archives for 2021-05

Most pools at state parks to open; lifeguards still needed at others

Most public swimming pools located in Indiana State Parks will open this weekend, as will all DNR swimming beaches.

Pools opening as scheduled are at Clifty Falls, McCormick’s Creek, O’Bannon Woods, Shakamak, and Versailles state parks, and at Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber State Recreation Area [SRA]). In addition, the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park will open on Saturday with lifeguards on duty.

The water slides and lazy river at Prophetstown State Park’s aquatic center will open Saturday, but its leisure pool will be closed until mid-June. The public pool at Brown County State Park will open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31; however, the wading pool will be not in operation. The delays are the result of supply chain issues.

The public pool at Turkey Run State Park will remain closed this weekend due to lack of lifeguards; it is expected to open the first weekend in June. The public pool at Spring Mill State Park will remain closed until lifeguard and pool staff positions are filled.  

The public pools at Mounds and Harmonie state parks remain closed, as announced earlier this year.

Applications are still being accepted for lifeguards. Positions are open to applicants age 15 and older. For more information, contact the state park property nearest you that is listed above. Phone numbers are at under “Find a park”.

Beaches that offer swimming with no lifeguards will open this weekend at Chain O’Lakes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Summit Lake, and Whitewater Memorial state parks; at Starve Hollow and Deam Lake SRAs; and at Brookville, Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA), Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon SRA), Hardy, Mississinewa, Monroe, Patoka, and Salamonie lakes, as well as at Ferdinand State Forest.

The aquatic center at Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park and the pools at Clifty Inn (Clifty Falls State Park), Potawatomi Inn (Pokagon State Park), Spring Mill Inn (Spring Mill State Park), and Turkey Run Inn (Turkey Run State Park) remain open for registered guests at each.

Ten Purdue students can win a year's worth of in-state tuition – by choosing to get vaccinated for COVID-19

Vaccination against COVID-19 may be the golden ticket for  10 lucky Purdue University students.


An Old Gold-en Ticket to be precise. No purchase necessary. No need to hunt for chocolate bars.


From the pool of students who document their choice to become fully vaccinated, 10 students will be randomly selected to receive $9,992, an amount representing the annual undergraduate tuition cost for an in-state student at Purdue University since 2013.


Students must successfully submit valid proof of vaccination to the university by July 15. The 10 winners will be validated and announced by July 29.

Shelby, Hancock students receive Indiana Higher Ed scholarships

A number of area students are among the 200 statewide scholarship recipients the Indiana Commission of Higher Education has awarded to the fifth class of Next Generation Hoosier Educators.


Selected through a competitive process based on academic achievement and other factors, recipients will receive $7,500 annually (up to $30,000 total) for committing to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating college.


Among the area students who received the scholarship:

Maggie Correll, Southwestern                                   

Brett Reedy, Triton Central

Caroline Sheaffer, Waldron                                       

Alayna Aldridge, New Palestine

Thomas Day, Greenfield-Central                              

Abigail Elsbury, Greenfield-Central

Shiloh Mcfarland, Mt Vernon                                     

Alexis Shelton, Mt Vernon

Emily Stepan, Mt Vernon                                          


“Hard work, passion and academic excellence are just a few characteristics of these future teachers,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We are pleased to award them with a scholarship as they pursue their teaching credentials that will ultimately benefit their students and the state.”


A total of 439 students applied for the 2021-22 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, with applications from 231 high schools in 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties. 72 percent of applicants were Indiana high school seniors with the remainder comprised of current college students.


To qualify for the scholarship, students had to either graduate in the highest 20 percent of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT.

To continue earning the scholarship in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year.

Chamber Chat - Tilson HR

Brent Tilson appeared on this edition of Chamber Chat to talk about Tilson HR and his new book, Go Slow to Grow Fast.



Hoosier voters to receive postcard with election information in the mail

Hoosier voters are beginning to receive postcards in the mail from the Secretary of State’s office.


The office is mailing these postcards as part of a statewide voter list refresh. The goal is to identify outdated and inaccurate voter registration information to improve the accuracy and integrity of Indiana’s voter registration list.


 “These mailings help us identify records that need updating or are no longer valid. This helps us create a more accurate picture of voter turnout for the state and helps ensure our elections remain safe and secure. Hoosiers deserve to know we have accurate voter lists,” Secretary of State Holli Sullivan said.


Postcards that are returned to the office as undeliverable will be used to identify outdated voter registration information. If the first mailing is returned as undeliverable, a second postcard will be sent to the forwarding address on file with the U.S. Postal Service. The second postcard will ask the voter to confirm or update their residence address or cancel their Indiana voter registration using a postage pre-paid voter response card.


Hoosiers should use the postcard as a reminder to verify, update or start a voter registration online at Voters may also visit their local county clerk’s office.


Voters who need assistance can call the Hoosier Voter Hotline at 866-IN-1-VOTE.

Hundreds of seasonal jobs available for 2021 Indiana State Fair

The 12th annual Indiana State Fair Job Fair will be held Tuesday, May 25 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building, 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, 46205. During the event, candidates seeking a seasonal position with the 2021 Indiana State Fair can complete an application and be interviewed on-site.


This year’s 164th Indiana State Fair is seeking hundreds of seasonal employees for positions related to parking, gates, security, operations, tractor shuttles, and education. Several positions are ideal for college students, retirees, individuals with full-time jobs who want to earn extra money, and others.


“It’s always exciting to grow our team as we prepare to serve and entertain fairgoers,” said Mark Anderson, director of human resources, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. “Without seasonal employees, we simply couldn’t offer the best Fair in the country.”


Applicants are asked to bring a smile, a positive attitude and a copy of their resume - if they have one. All individuals attending the event will be required to wear a facial covering. Guests who do not have a mask will be provided one, free-of-charge.


If applicants are unable to attend the Job Fair, they are asked to visit the State Fairgrounds’ Employment Office, located inside the Fall Creek Parkway entrance/Gate 6 at the Public Safety Building, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.


For more information on the Job Fair or to apply online for seasonal positions, visit

Indiana will end federal pandemic unemployment benefits

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced that Indiana will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment insurance programs effective June 19, 2021.


The programs that will end are:


  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides recipients extended benefits after their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to individuals who do not normally qualify for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 additional weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits but also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income

“There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now. I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow,” said Gov. Holcomb. “We have a myriad of work options in every region of our state with many more coming online every week.”


Indiana’s unemployment rate, which jumped to more than 17 percent at the height of the pandemic, has recovered to 3.9 percent. More Hoosiers are in the workforce now than a year ago, and the labor force participation rate is nearing the pre-pandemic level.


“Eliminating these pandemic programs will not be a silver bullet for employers to find employees, but we currently have about 116,000 available jobs in the state that need filled now,” said Holcomb. “I’ve spoken to leaders in the recreational vehicle industry who tell me they could hire thousands of people today, and in the last couple weeks, we’ve seen companies like Amazon, Apple, Toyota, and Milwaukee Tool announce thousands of new career opportunities for Hoosiers.


“We’ve re-emerged from the COVID pandemic and free vaccinations that protect you from the virus are available throughout the state. The CDC has provided guidance that says vaccinated people can feel secure about not wearing face coverings in many circumstances. Day care facilities are open and our economy is humming,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana also offers free opportunities for Hoosiers to skill up and trade up to better jobs. This is where we will continue to concentrate our efforts so all Hoosiers can get on their pathway to personal prosperity.”


On May 11, Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to reinstate requirements that Hoosiers who are requesting unemployment benefits be actively seeking full-time work beginning on June 1. Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop.


In addition to notifying affected Hoosiers about the reinstatement of work search requirements, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development will notify impacted unemployment insurance claimants about the discontinuation of the federal pandemic benefits.


More information may be found at

Flags to half-staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day.


Per the President’s order, flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, May 15, 2021.


Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags to half-staff on Saturday.

Shelby Senior Services prepares to relocate

Work is still underway inside the brand new home for Shelby Senior Services, Inc., The Horizon Center, but now is the time for local residents to become a part of the change to connect and change how the world views aging.


Jessica Burkman, center, showed the staff of Shelby Senior Services, Inc., The Horizon Center, the areas being prepared for the relocation of the senior agency offices and Shelbyville senior center inside the new MHP Community Wellness Center. The Wellness Center is scheduled to open this summer at the northern edge of Shelbyville. Burkman is the marketing and membership director for the YMCA that anchors the complex at the entrance to Intelliplex Dr. Photo by LuAnn Mason


Changes, although hard and scary for everyone, means bigger and better things for senior citizens in Shelby County this summer, according to Kim Koehl. She has been the senior agency’s executive director during the past four and a half years.


Different from previous years and possibly the first time in its history, the senior agency has implemented a membership drive for residents ages 50 and up wishing to participate in activities inside the new MHP Community Wellness Center scheduled to open this summer at the northern edge of Shelbyville. Part of the center will house the local Horizon Center, administrative staff and all services available through Shelby Senior Services, Inc., which currently operate at 1504 S. Harrison St.


“The move is a win-win for everyone,” said Koehl. “This is another step in our growth. We’ve had many stepping stones along the way.”


To participate in activities in the new center, residents must register as members or indicate interest in membership no later than July 1 and pay the annual $50 fee. That amounts to only 19 cents a day or less that $1 a week for the entire year, according to agency board member Maria Bowman-Horner who chaired the membership committee.


Plus, each new and current member who pays the $50 fee by the July 1 deadline will be given a bonus – a free one-time six-month membership from July 1-Dec. 31. That’s 18 months for the price of 12, she said.


Current members paying the $25 will be increased to $50 on their renewal date and will receive free months.  


When the Center opens, those who are interested in trying a class but did not pay the $50 fee by July 1, may receive a one-time free day pass at the discretion of the staff of Shelby Senior Services, Inc. Additional passes would be $5 a day.


Plans for this new endeavor started two years ago, said Koehl. “The larger facility give us the possibility of more diverse and inclusive activities and programs and possibly expanded hours,” she said. “Membership will afford us to possibly expand staff.”


The space, Suite 101 inside the 2120 Intelliplex Dr. building, is configured differently than any of the previous locations of the senior center and agency, according to Koehl. “It gives us more flexibility to include more participants. So, there can be more people playing cards, doing Zumba, line dancing, and Geri Fit to name just a few programs.”


In addition, Koehl said the new facility provides “the best of both worlds” for socializing, meal and nutrition programs, fitness and wellness activities, arts activities, educational programs, special interest events and so much more since it will be in a wellness center. Members will also have the opportunity to join and participate in the YMCA programs for an added cost that is yet to be determined.


“The staff is excited. They’re enthusiastic. They’re dreaming of what could be and how to implement it,” she said. “Today’s senior is a different person than 10 years ago. We’re trying to reach younger seniors, a lot of them are still working, so we’re looking at extra programs and maybe expanding to a few hours in the evenings.”


The new facility provides another outlet “to belong to a group other than their own work family,” she said.


In looking ahead, Koehl said this not-for-profit agency’s staff and board of directors hope to give Shelby County’s seniors programs that they cannot find anywhere else.


Included are the social services that do not require membership. “We’ll keep the same social work services, the handyman service, SHIIP, legal aid and tax assistance, ShelbyGo transportation, meals,” she said. “Shelby Senior Services provides a link to information (residents) might not normally have that might help them with, for instance, their aging parents. It’s a wealth of information. Having a relationship with Shelby Senior Services opens up doors to information and guidance.”


Realistically, Koehl pointed out that things happen unexpectedly and when in crisis, “that’s not the time to start looking for services.”


More information about the membership, satellite centers in Fairland, Morristown and Waldron, programming and services is available at the agency’s current location, 1504 S. Harrison St., Shelbyville, or by phone 317-398-0127. Office hours: Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Warmer weather brings increased risk of tick-borne disease

Indiana health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves from tick bites while outdoors as warmer weather increases tick activity.


Photo: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Indiana Department of Health entomologists have found the black-legged tick, which can carry pathogens that cause Lyme disease, babesiosis and other diseases, in all but three Indiana counties. Lyme disease bacteria have been detected in adult and immature black-legged ticks in many Indiana counties, especially in the northwest and west central parts of the state, where the largest numbers of human Lyme disease cases are reported. In July 2020, a babesiosis case with strong evidence of local tick-borne transmission was detected in northern Indiana for the first time.


“We know that Hoosiers are eager to resume outdoor activities and attend seasonal events that were canceled last year,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H. “All Hoosiers should take precautions against tick bites when enjoying the outdoors, no matter where they are.”


While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in Indiana, Hoosiers are also at risk for other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and related diseases. Residents of southern Indiana are at greater risk for ehrlichiosis, which is associated with the bite of the lone star tick.


Hoosiers can reduce their risk of tick bites by:


  • Wearing a long-sleeved shirt and light-colored pants, with the shirt tucked in at the waist and the pants tucked into socks, if they will be in grassy or wooded areas
  • Treating clothing and outdoor gear with 0.5% permethrin, which is an insect repellent specifically designed for this purpose (permethrin should NOT be used on bare skin)
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone
  • Treating their pets for ticks

Once indoors, people should thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pets and skin. Tumbling clothes in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes will kill ticks, and showering can help remove any unattached ticks.


“Tick checks are an essential part of preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease,” Brown said. “Quickly finding and removing a tick can help prevent you from becoming sick.”


Ticks may be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure. After the tick is removed, the area should be washed thoroughly. The tick should be discarded by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet. Ticks should never be crushed with the fingernails.


Anyone who becomes ill after finding an attached tick should see a medical provider immediately and alert the provider to the exposure. Tick-borne diseases can be treated with antibiotics, and prompt diagnosis can help prevent complications.


For more information about ticks and how to prevent the diseases they carry, see the state Department of Health’s website at


A map showing the distribution of the black-legged tick is available at, and maps displaying tick infection rates are available at

Gov. Holcomb announces restoration of weekly work search requirement for unemployment benefits

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb Tuesday signed Executive Order 21-13 requiring Hoosiers requesting unemployment benefits from the state to be actively seeking full-time work starting on June 1.


The federal government authorized states to waive work search requirements during the height of the pandemic.


The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will once again require a weekly work search report from Hoosiers requesting unemployment benefits. Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in a WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop.

DWD will notify affected Hoosiers about these changes to allow time to prepare for the renewed requirements. For more information on the state’s work search program, visit


The order also rescinds other emergency provisions that are no longer needed or will become effective by law. This action will enable an effective transition.


Click here to see the executive order:

MHP celebrates National Nurses Week with nursing awards

Each year during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, MHP selects six outstanding nurses who are honored with the title "Nurse of the Year."  Of those six honorees, one nurse is chosen as the recipient of the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence and it is the highest honor at MHP.


There are over 300 nurses at MHP, providing care in a wide of range of departments and environments, all essential to the heart of MHP. This year there were many nurses nominated for the esteemed distinction.



The 2021 MHP Nurses of the Year are:


Amanda Fralich, RN – MHP Family and Internal Medicine

Janet Porter, RN – MHP Inpatient

Jill Wells, RN – MHP Clinical Support

Margie Mesidor, RN – MHP Maternity Care

Rachel Davis, RN – MHP Emergency Department

Rachel Zeigler, RN – MHP Inpatient


Rachel Zeigler is this year’s Monna Linne Nurse of the Year award recipient. Rachel is a Registered Nurse who is also Certified in Critical Care and has achieved the highest level on MHP’s nursing clinical ladder program.


During the Covid-19 crisis, Rachel served as a leader and supported an entire team that was brought on to assist through the disaster plan and personnel pool. Rachel’s knowledge and experience in critical care became evident as she worked to develop and institute new treatment plans supporting a patient population we had never cared for before. She role modeled versatility, positivity and demonstrated a faith that was reassuring and inspiring to all those around her.

As the tradition continues, the Monna Linne Award is given to a Major Health Partners nurse who demonstrates excellence in the areas of customer service, clinical practice, collaboration, professional development, and community involvement.


Nurses serve in many varied positions of leadership throughout MHP and they do much more than just delegate and direct; they mentor, guide, teach, and help others achieve their highest potential.


Great nurse leaders develop great staff which results in even better patient care.


About Monna Linne and the award

This is MHP’s 24nd year of presenting the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence. Monna loved nursing and to honor her memory, her family chose to establish this nursing award.  Not only does this award honor Monna, it celebrates the continued practice of nursing excellence at MHP.

Monna Linne was a registered nurse who worked 43 years at Major Hospital. She completed nurses training at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and worked her entire nursing career at Major Hospital. She had three children, Jeff, Eric, and Christi and was married to Charles F. Linne.

Major Health Partners gives the Monna Linne Nurse of the Year Award to a nurse who, like Monna Linne, demonstrates excellence in the areas of customer service, clinical practice, collaboration, professional development, and community involvement.

Monna is remembered by patients and co-workers alike for her soft, gentle approach to patient care. She worked hard to not only administer the medical plan of care but added comfort in the form of back rubs, pillow turns, cool wash cloths, warm blankets, and kind words. She was also very fun to be around. She had a great sense of humor, and her co-workers loved her

Annual tree give-away set for this Saturday at Shelby Co. Fairgrounds

The City of Shelbyville Stormwater Utility and Shelbyville High School Earth Club will host a tree give-away.   The event will be held at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 8 from 8:00am until the trees are all gone.


The 1400 tree seedlings come from the Department of Natural Resources Vallonia State Nursery.  This year, the event will offer Bald Cypress, American Plum, White Pine, Red Oak, Gray Dogwood, Hazelnut, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Shagbark Hickory, Pecan, Northern White Cedar, Tulip Tree, Persimmon, Chestnut Oak, and Redbud.


The tree give-away would not be possible if not for all of our partners and volunteers.  Over 13,200 tree seedlings have been distributed thanks to the Shelby County Soil and Water Conservation District, Shelbyville High School Earth Club, City of Shelbyville Stormwater Utility, local tree hero Kris Schwickrath, the Shelby County Recycling District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


For more information or to volunteer to help with the give-away, please contact Derrick Byers, 317.364.4990.

Shelby County Chamber Virtual Job Fair is Wednesday, May 5

Are you or someone you know looking for a new, exciting career opportunity?


The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce encourages you to sign up for the Chamber's first ever Virtual Job Fair, taking place May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.


Can't make it at 10:00 am. Sign up anyways and the Chamber of Commerce will send you a recording of the event. 


Visit: .

New federal relief grants available through Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide relief for the restaurant and food service industry, which has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for this funding is high, so the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) are encouraging Hoosier businesses to register and apply for funding through this program as soon as possible.

Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, eligible businesses may receive awards between $1,000 and $5 million per location to offset expenses, such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, incurred between Feb. 15, 2020, and March 11, 2023. Interested businesses may register starting today, Friday, April 30, at 9 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open on Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

To help Hoosier restaurant and food service owners apply for and access available funds, the Indiana SBDC is partnering with gener8tor to offer no-cost webinars, including two in Spanish. The first webinar is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. EDT. Consultations and application assistance will also be offered through designated virtual office hours beginning next week. In addition, Spanish interpretation services will be offered through the regional Indiana SBDC offices. Specific dates, times and more details are available on the Indiana SBDC website

“Indiana restaurants and food service owners were quick to respond and pivot during the height of the pandemic,” said David Watkins, state director for the Indiana SBDC. “We’re grateful for their perseverance and want them to know more federal funding will be available through this new relief program. It is vital for eligible Indiana businesses to apply as soon as possible, as we anticipate these federal funds will be distributed quickly across the nation.”


Grant Details:

  • The SBA may provide funding up to $5 million per location, not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses.
  • The minimum award is $1,000.
  • Eligible expenses include business expenses such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, construction of outdoor seating and some business debt.
  • Funds must be spent on expenses that were/are incurred between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2023. 


  • Eligible entities are businesses that are not permanently closed and include businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.
  • This includes:
    • Restaurants
    • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
    • Caterers
    • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (e.g., coffee shops, ice cream shops)
    • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Breweries and/or microbreweries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Wineries and distilleries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Inns* (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
    • Other similar places of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink

Register & Apply
Registration, more details and the application are available at Account registration opens today, Friday, April 30, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

For more information on available recovery and relief resources, programs and grants available to small businesses, including the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant and Indiana Hospitality and Entertainment Grant, please visit