Community News Archives for 2022-04

Planting season is here; remain alert to large farm equipment on Indiana roads

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police and Hoosier Ag Today want to remind all citizens of farming season. They want to encourage motorists to slow down and be patient as motorists will start to see more of the large, slow-moving farm equipment traveling Indiana’s rural roads and highways.


In Indiana, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020 three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment, which resulted in two deaths.


While the term “farm equipment” encompasses a wide range of vehicles, the most common types motorists will encounter during planting season include sprayers, tractors pulling planters or tillage equipment, and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the road, and often travel at speeds less than 25 mph.

Some safety tips for motorists approaching large farm equipment:

  • Farmers will pull over when they are able to let motorists pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so.
  • Be patient. Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the road.
  • Be careful when passing. Do not pass in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel.
  • Do not try to pass slow-moving farm equipment on the left without ensuring that the farmer driving is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over to allow a pass when the farmer is actually preparing to turn. You will drive right into its path, endangering yourself and the farmer.
  • Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to a destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.


Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler wants to remind motorists that farmers work hard to ensure they are being as safe as possible.

“Hoosier farmers are trying to get to their fields safely and quickly, just like our Hoosier motorists are trying to get to work safely and quickly,” said Kettler. “I want to encourage motorists to be aware during this spring season and know that encountering farm equipment is likely and to slow down when approaching.”

For a list of safety tips, click here or visit The following organizations will be working together to share this important safety message during planting season: Hoosier Ag TodayIndiana Department of Homeland SecurityIndiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police.

2022 Primary Election mail-in absentee application deadline is today

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan is reminding Hoosiers that today, Thursday, April 21, is the final day for a circuit court clerk to receive an absentee ballot application from an applicant requesting delivery of an absentee ballot by mail.


The application to request a mail-in ballot must be received no later than 11:59 p.m., 12 days before the election. Applications may be submitted to the circuit court clerk in person or by mail, fax, email, or online through the Indiana Voter Portal at


New this year, Hoosiers with print disabilities can visit to request a ballot that allows the use of personal assistive technology devices to vote. 

Section of Shelby County N. Frontage Road to be closed for culvert project

A contractor for the Shelby County Highway Department will be closing North Frontage Road between W 300 N and W 400 N beginning Thursday, April 14 for two days, weather permitting, to replace a culvert.


The last address accessible from the north is 3423 North Frontage Rd.


The culvert being replaced is approximately 1500 feet northwest of the intersection on W 300 N and there are no addresses between the intersection and the closure from the south.








Quit Now Indiana offers free help to quit tobacco

Hoosiers wanting to quit tobacco use can now get free nicotine gum, patches or lozenges. In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Tips from Former Smokers (Tips) campaign, Quit Now Indiana is offering this promotion while supplies last.


The Tips campaign is the nation’s first federally funded national tobacco education campaign. Tips has had significant and sustained impact over the past decade, helping more than 1 million U.S. adults quit smoking and inspiring millions more to try to quit.


“The powerful stories shared in CDC’s Tips campaign, coupled with free evidence-based support services, have proven successful in helping adults quit smoking,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Quit Now Indiana and the Indiana Department of Health are committed to providing Indiana residents the tools they need to prevent smoking-related diseases and disabilities.”


The Quit Now Indiana promotion is available to individuals who enroll in one of Quit Now Indiana’s services, such as phone counseling or Pick Quit, a new individual services program. Once enrolled, participants will receive a free two-week supply of nicotine gum, patches or lozenges.


“People who use tobacco often go through several quit attempts before succeeding, but proven treatments and services are available in Indiana that can improve your chances to quit for good,” said Miranda Spitznagle, director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana Department of Health. “Quitting tobacco is one of the most important decisions people can make to improve their health and the health of their family.”


Take the first step toward a tobacco-free life and get free help from Quit Now Indiana by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, texting READY to 200-400 or visiting

Covid-19 funeral assistance is still available

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to provide financial assistance for individuals who incurred COVID-19 related funeral expenses for loved ones.


Since launching the program on April 1, 2021, FEMA has provided more than $2.1 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance to eligible applicants across the country, but assistance is still available for those who qualify.


"This program was created to address the unique financial challenges faced by our nation caused by the pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly a million loved ones, friends and neighbors across the country,” said Thomas C. Sivak, FEMA Region 5 administrator. “While we cannot bring those people back, this financial assistance can help ease the burden of their final arrangements.”


Eligible applicants may qualify for up to $9,000 for each deceased individual per application, with a maximum of $35,000 for families who may have multiple funeral expenses due to COVID-19. Since the assistance began on April 12, 2021, the average amount of assistance awarded is $6,500.


Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available. Please note, phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Applicants who use a relay service, such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide FEMA with the specific number assigned to them for that service so that agency representatives are able to contact them.


Additional information about COVID-19 funeral assistance, including frequently asked questions, is available on

Wortman Family Foundation for Shelby and Hancock Counties awards over $200,000 through inaugural cycle


Pictured:  Bob and Sue Ann Wortman


Advisory board members of the Wortman Family Foundation for Shelby and Hancock counties gathered in late March to evaluate the 23 requests received for funding through the foundation’s inaugural cycle. Nonprofit organizations serving Shelby and Hancock Counties were invited to submit proposals that focused on health and education as well as projects and programs that enhanced quality of life.


Bob Wortman and his advisory board are pleased with the nonprofit community’s response to this new opportunity and are delighted to announce this year’s grant recipients.


Fifteen applicants were chosen to receive funding. $126,161 will be awarded to the following organizations:


· Blue River Youth Choir

· Hancock County Children’s Choir

· Hancock County Senior Services

· Morristown Boys and Girls Club

· Morristown High School – Science and Music departments

· Morristown Visionary Committee

· Nameless Creek Youth Camp

· Shelby County Pantry Pals

· Purdue Extension of Hancock County

· Shelby County Youth Assistance Program

· Shelby Bridge Ministries

· Shelby County Players

· Shelby County Public Library – Velma Wortman Morristown Branch

· Shelby County YMCA


In addition to the competitive cycle grantees, the Wortman Family Foundation for Shelby and Hancock Counties will be supporting the following projects with annual gifts to each of $25,000 for five years: 


Early Learning Shelby County – capital campaign for a quality daycare facility in      Shelby County


Hancock Health Foundation – programming for mental health and addiction services


Shelby County Players – capital campaign for new performance facility

2022 primary election voter registration ends today

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan reminds Hoosiers that today, Monday, April 4 is the final day to register to vote in Indiana’s 2022 primary election.


“Exercising the right to vote is foundational to our nation’s democracy,” Secretary Sullivan said. “Today is the deadline to register to vote in Indiana’s 2022 primary election. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time to do so online at or by visiting your local election administrator’s office.”


If you still need to register to vote you can register in person at your local county election administrator’s office by the end of the business day or you can register online before midnight at