Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

Community News

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 https://www.in.gov/dwd/indiana-unemployment/individuals/work-search/

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 http://www.in.gov/isdh/20491.htm.

 

A map showing the distribution of the black-legged tick is available at https://www.in.gov/isdh/28005.htm, and maps displaying tick infection rates are available at https://www.in.gov/isdh/28130.htm.

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 https://www.in.gov/dwd/indiana-unemployment/individuals/work-search/.

 

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: https://www.in.gov/gov/governor-holcomb/newsroom/executive-orders/

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 dbyers@cityofshelbyvillein.com, 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: www.WeAreShelbyCounty.com/virtualjobfair .

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.”

RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND

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. 

Eligibility

  • 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 sba.gov/restaurants. 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 isbdc.org/covid-resources

Shelby Co. Health Dept announces upcoming J&J vaccine clinics

The Shelby County Health Department will be hosting the following Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccination sites:

 

Tuesday, May 4:  9:00 am  –  3:00 pm  at Indiana Grand Casino & Racing

4300 North Michigan Road, Shelbyville

 

Saturday, May 8:  9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Occasions Banquet Hall

415 East Hendricks St, Shelbyville

 

Walk-ins are welcome.

 

For faster service preregister at www.ourshot.in.gov

USDA issues pandemic flexibilities for schools and day care facilities through June 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a broad range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021 as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reopen schools safely.

 

Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022. The waivers continue the Administration’s commitment to provide safe, healthy meals free of charge to children as the pandemic continues to threaten the food and nutrition security of our most vulnerable.

 

“USDA will remain relentless in ensuring our nation’s children get the critical nutrition they need,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines. This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.”

A recent study from Tufts University found that in 2018, schools were the single healthiest source of U.S. food consumed across a sample of children and adults. The 2018 study found that diet quality for foods from schools improved significantly from a similar study conducted in 2003-2004.

 

Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which is typically only available during the summer months. This option maintains the nutrition standards of the standard school meal programs – including a strong emphasis on providing fruits and vegetables, fluid milk, whole grains, and sensible calorie levels, while allowing schools to serve free meals to all children. In addition, schools that choose this option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in serving the most nutritious meals possible while managing increased costs associated with pandemic-related operational and supply chain challenges. This option also affords schools the financial flexibility to further customize their meal service design to fit their local needs.

 

“Students’ success in the classroom goes hand in hand with their ability to access basic needs like healthy and nutritious meals,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “It’s critical that our efforts to reopen schools quickly and safely include programs that provide access to free, healthy meals for our most vulnerable students, particularly those whose communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This program will ensure more students, regardless of their educational setting, can access free, healthy meals as more schools reopen their doors for in-person learning.”

 

USDA will continue to offer targeted meal pattern flexibility and technical assistance as needed. In addition, schools and both child and adult care institutions can continue providing breakfasts, lunches, and after school snacks in non-group settings at flexible meal times. Parents or guardians can also pick up meals for their children when programs are not operating normally, all while maintaining social distancing consistent with federal recommendations.

 

Up to 12 million children are currently living in households where they may not always have enough to eat during the pandemic. During the past year, America’s schools and childcare centers have provided a nutrition lifeline for children across the country, many of whom depend on USDA’s child nutrition programs for the nourishment they need to grow and thrive. Some kids rely on these programs for as many as three?meals a day, underscoring how essential it is for USDA to empower schools and childcare centers to continue their dedicated efforts to serve healthy meals, safely.

TC's Schweitzer named Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Essay Contest winner

Margaret Mae Schweitzer, a senior at Triton Central High School, is this year’s Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Essay Contest winner for Shelby County.  Schweitzer is the daughter of Alan and Susie Schweitzer of Fairland.

 

Mary Mott Green chapter of DAR sponsors the contest annually. Guidance department staff or teachers select one student as their school’s Good Citizen. Each Good Citizen participates in the contest by submitting requirements that include an essay written on a topic provided by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. A panel of judges then selects one of the Good Citizens to represent the county at the state competition level.

 

Judges review each Good Citizens’ personal accomplishments within school and the community during their academic careers, letters of reference, grade transcript, and future plans.

 

Representing their respective schools as DAR Good Citizens are:

 

Rylee Suzanne Kleine, a senior at Morristown Jr.-Sr. High School, daughter of Brandon and Rachel Kleine of Shelbyville.

 

 

Ethan Wendling, a senior at Southwestern High School, son of Albert and Tonya Wendling of Shelbyville.

 

 

Malea Nashel Terrell, a senior at Shelbyville High School, daughter of Samuel and Nicole Terrell, Shelbyville.

 

 

Caroline Rae Sheaffer, senior, Waldron Jr.-Sr. High School, daughter of Steve and Jill Sheaffer, Waldron.

 

 

SHS graduate Sarah Work gains experience at the Statehouse

Shelbyville Senior High School graduate Sarah Work is gaining experience as an intern with State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) and his fellow members of the Indiana House of Representatives during the 2021 legislative session.

 

Work, a Shelbyville resident, is the daughter of Nathan and Julie Work. She attends Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where she is majoring in political science, and law in liberal arts.

 

"My passion for state government began in high school through my government class, and this internship has only sparked my interest even more," Work said. "Someday, I want to represent the people of Indiana and continue playing a role in improving Hoosier lives. The connections and experiences I am gaining while interning at the Statehouse will help me achieve my goals of attending law school and starting my political career."

 

As a legislative intern, Work corresponds with constituents through phone calls, letters and emails while also staffing committee hearings and floor proceedings.

 

"Throughout this internship, Sarah has the opportunity to hone her skills that will set her up for success," Eberhart said. "She and other House interns do a tremendous job every day. I have enjoyed getting to know this intern class, and I encourage other Shelbyville students to apply."

 

Each year, the House of Representatives offers paid internship opportunities to college students, law school students, graduate students and recent college graduates for the duration of each legislative session.

2021 Voices of SCUFFY

Two third graders from each Shelby County elementary school are chosen by each year to share a special message as the Voice of SCUFFY.

 

Southwestern

 

 

Harper McInerny

Matthew Sipes

 

Triton Central

 

 

Sydney Allen

Ruben Lotz

 

 

Hendricks

 

 

Vivian McIntire

Mason Miano

 

 

St. Joseph

 

 

Maggie Kolkmeier

Wyatt Lancaster

 

Morristown

 

 

Kailee Vaiagae

Elijah Brock

 

Loper

 

 

Dafne Bejar Gonzales

Chandler Tucker

 

Waldron

 

 

Gracie Walker

Noah Leap

 

Coulston

 

 

Bailey Conners

Brian Reyes-Abundiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indiana General Assembly approves funding to extend relief for entrepreneurs & small businesses

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced a significant expansion of the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant that will add $60 million to the program, tripling the total allocation, and allow small businesses to seek reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021. 

The program, which was first announced in May 2020, is designed to accelerate the speed of economic recovery by providing working capital to Indiana's entrepreneurs and small business owners. The state issued $34.5 million in grants through the first iteration of the program and is now adding another $60 million in federal dollars made available through the CARES Act and approved for allocation by the Indiana General Assembly. 

“I’m grateful to the Indiana General Assembly for their supportive collaboration that made it possible to extend this program for Hoosier entrepreneurs," said Gov. Holcomb. "The Small Business Restart Grant program has already done a tremendous amount to get small businesses back on track, and this extended relief funding will continue accelerating our economy’s recovery.”

GRANT DETAILS:
Small businesses that meet the eligibility requirements can apply for reimbursement of qualified business expenses incurred at their Indiana operations between March 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021. These qualified expenses include payroll – which may be reimbursed up to 100% – and non-payroll expenses, such as insurance premiums, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments, food delivery software service payments, and safety investments – which may be reimbursed up to 80%. 

Reimbursements may be awarded up to $10,000 for each month, but may not exceed $50,000 over a 12-month period. Businesses that have already received Small Business Restart Grants, but have not reached the maximum reimbursements, may re-apply and submit new expenses (that have not already been reimbursed through the program) for reimbursement. 

ELIGIBILITY:
Registered Indiana businesses must: 

  • Have been established prior to Oct. 1, 2019;
  • Be registered to operate in Indiana, except sole proprietors, and must be seeking reimbursement for expenses related to their Indiana operations;
  • Be in good standing with the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) or have a DOR-approved payment plan;  
  • Have had fewer than 100 full-time employees as of Dec. 31, 2019;
  • Have been profitable in 2019 (determined by EBITDA) and have had less than $10 million (Gross Receipts or Sales) in revenue in 2019; and
  • Demonstrate a monthly gross revenue loss of at least 30% compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues (average monthly revenue in 2019).

APPLY:
The application, along with additional details and instruction, is available at backontrack.in.gov. Eligible small businesses may apply until Dec. 31, 2021, but are encouraged to apply and submit expenses for reimbursement as soon as possible, as grants will be issued in the order they are received until funding is exhausted. 

About the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant
The Indiana Small Business Restart Grant was initially announced in May 2020. The program, which, until now, reimbursed expenses incurred before Dec. 31, 2020, has already provided $34.5 million in grants to 1,644 small businesses in 85 counties across Indiana. Of the 1,644 small businesses that were issued grants, 190 are certified minority-owned and women-owned businesses (11.5%). 

For more information on support, resources and funding available to Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit StayINBiz.org

Shelbyville Public Utilities opens new office location on Monday

The Shelbyville Public Utilities office was on the move this past week. It will open in the former Bradley Hall Furniture building on the Public Square on Monday, April 5.

 

The payment collection box behind city hall will remain in its current location for payment drop-offs.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino donates $100,000 to Shelby County Fairgrounds pavilion project

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is committed to providing assistance for the region and recently stepped up to assist in a huge project in the works at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. The fair board is working to add a pavilion to the property this year, and with a $100,000 donation from Indiana Grand, the project is well on its way to becoming a reality.

 

Photo caption:  From left, Mike Cochran, Fair Board Secretary, Dave Howell, Fair Board Vice President, Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand, Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President, Jennifer Thopy, Fair Board Second Vice President, Casey Gideon, Indiana Grand Guest Services Manager, and Mike Schantz, Fair Board Treasurer.

 

“This is something we’ve talked about for 20 years and now this is a priority for our board,” said Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President. “Our board is made up of 11 volunteers and we want to do everything we can to make things grow and progress. By adding this pavilion, we will be able to host numerous events throughout the year that we could not accommodate in the past. It’s good to see this type of local support for our fairgrounds.”

 

The current structure is located on the southwest side of the racetrack and will undergo major renovations to provide a new temperature-controlled pavilion. The building will create venue space for everything from goat shows to indoor flea markets and meeting space. A groundbreaking will take place soon as weather becomes more favorable.

 

“The Shelby County Fairgrounds has been a great partner of Indiana Grand for years and they are a vital part of this community,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand. “Having space for additional events and programs year-round will benefit a lot of area residents and ultimately generate more visitors to Shelbyville. We are dedicated to continue our investment in Shelbyville and Shelby County and hope this is just the beginning of growth and development for this facility.”

Meltzer Woods in Trek Our Trails Challenge

You’ve been cooped up for months, and it’s time to get out and explore some of the most beautiful places in Central Indiana. Soon, wildflowers will be peeking through the forest floor, birdsong will be in the air, and Indiana’s nature preserves will be coming to life.

 

Central Indiana Land Trust is encouraging Hoosiers to take part in a Trek Our Trials Challenge by hitting the trails at five of its most popular nature preserves. The best part: you can go at your own pace, on your own schedule, as long as you hit the trails at five participating preserves in Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Morgan and Shelby counties.

 

When you’re on the trail, keep your eyes and ears open to the wonders of nature. You’ll want to take plenty of photos to remember and share the magic of the nature preserves, where you can enjoy gently flowing streams, lively birds and trees that are more than 300 years old.

 

To enter the Trek Our Trails Challenge:

 

1. Take a photo of yourself and any companions at the nature preserve sign or trailhead, either before or after your hike.

2. Email your photos to smiller@conservingindiana.org or post them to the Central Indiana Land Trust Facebook or Instagram using hashtags #cilti #trekourtrails2021.

 

Once you’ve visited all five sites, you’ll receive a Central Indiana Land Trust pin, plus, you’ll be entered into a drawing for prizes.

 

Your deadline is Nov. 26 (Black Friday), 2021. That gives you plenty of time to get out for a hike. And, if you want to go the extra mile, let the land trust plant trees to offset the carbon of your travel to and from the preserves. Enter your mileage in the carbon calculator at conservingindiana.org/carbon-calculator/ to get started.

 

These five nature preserves are part of the challenge:

 

  • Burnett Woods offers a perfect spring hike for the whole family, with an easy 1.5-mile trail. Located on 80 acres near Avon, this special woodland features a stunning display of wildflowers, including wild geranium, woodland phlox and trillium.
  • Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve near Martinsville has steep slopes, ridges and valleys that give hikers a dramatic view of the forest. While on this moderately difficult hike, you may see rare species like hooded and worm-eating warblers, Eastern box turtle and the state-endangered cerulean warbler.
  • Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow near Trafalgar is prime habitat for migratory birds and forest interior nesting birds. As you walk the two-mile moderate trail, listen for the fluting of the wood thrush and the voices of worm-eating and hooded warblers.
  • Meltzer Woods is one of Indiana’s last remaining fragments of old growth forest where you’ll find trees more than 300 years old. Level trails make for an easy 1.2-mile walk through this majestic forest near Shelbyville.
  • Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve offers a two-mile, easy walk through prairie and woodland in Fishers. Particularly in summer, its wildflowers draw butterflies galore.

 

Find more information about the properties and the challenge at conservingindiana.org.

INDOT to host Virtual Career Fair Thursday, April 1

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host an online, virtual career fair on Thursday, April 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

 

INDOT is recruiting applicants for open full-time and seasonal positions in highway maintenance, fleet services, construction engineering and construction project inspections. Recruiters from INDOT will be available to answer questions and provide information on the benefits of joining the State of Indiana team. INDOT offers $250 sign on and $500 retention bonuses for eligible candidates.

 

Click here or visit https://bit.ly/3tRIiB2 to attend INDOT’s virtual career fair. Advance registration is not required.

 

Summer seasonal positions run from April through October at a starting pay of $16 per hour.

 

Candidates should have a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license (CDL). A high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required.

 

For questions, please email careers@indot.in.gov.

Shelbyville - Shelby County Animal Shelter receives $2,500 donation from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Shelbyville–Shelby County Animal Shelter plays a vital role in the community and with recent assistance from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, their mission will extend a little further. Indiana Grand recently provided a $2,500 donation to the organization who is committed to assisting cats and dogs in the area.

 

“Animal shelters in the area were hit hard in 2020 due to the pandemic and their numbers have continued to increase as a result, which has put a great strain on a lot of the facilities in the area,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “We recognized these hardships and wanted to step in to provide some monetary relief for several shelters in the area, including the facility in Shelbyville. We are proud to continue our partnership with an organization that is so committed to their mission of assisting unwanted animals.”

 

The Shelby County Animal Shelter provides a much-needed service to the area, taking in dogs and cats that can no longer be cared for. They also receive strays, getting them off the streets and send them through a spay/neuter program before setting them up for adoption into new homes. One resident has made himself at home at the facility and has become a “poster cat” for the operation.

 

“Max Dyar came to us 16 years ago as an owner surrender, and we adopted him back out,” said Chris Browder, Administrative Assistant for the facility. “He came back to us last year when his owner could not care for him any longer. We tried to find him a home but because of his age, he was difficult to place. Our facility couldn’t adopt him, so he ‘adopted’ us. He now has his own social media following from coast to coast and has been featured on local television stations. He’s become a local celebrity.”

 

Known for his iconic expressions, Max was available for the check presentation from Indiana Grand, outfitted in his bow tie collar. He will benefit from some of the plans already underway through the donation from Indiana Grand.

 

“We will use this money for much needed dog beds and cat towers,” added Browder. “We will also use some of the funds for the exterior of our property. Spring always presents us with projects to fix. We want to beautify our facility and make it as inviting as possible, and we always welcome people in to adopt or to volunteer.”

 

The Shelbyville – Shelby County Animal Shelter is equipped with an outdoor walking trail behind the building, complete with a waterfall, to get the dogs out for exercise. They also have a play area for the canine residents, ideal for interaction with potential adoption families and volunteers. The facility is very community focused and works to “give back” as much as they can to the area.

 

“Twenty-five hundred dollars is a blessing to us,” added Browder. “We are very grateful for the continued support from Indiana Grand.”

 

Eberhart: New online tool connects Hoosiers to job and career opportunities

Hoosiers seeking a better-paying job can use the state's new Hoosier Talent Network website to match to 1 of more than 135,000 job openings, according to State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville).

 

Eberhart said the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's new online tool located at in.gov/dwd connects individuals searching for work directly to employers in their desired location. Companies that are hiring can also use the website to connect with candidates.

 

"Searching for a job can be difficult for some, and this site provides another helpful resource," Eberhart said. "By matching users with opportunities based on their skill sets, this is helping both job seekers and businesses that are searching for strong candidates."

 

According to Eberhart, the platform is powered by artificial intelligence and can understand a job seeker's skills and capabilities to match them to relevant jobs. To get started, Hoosiers create a profile by answering basic questions about themselves, which takes about 5 minutes. Job recommendations will appear based on qualifications and capabilities. Applications can be submitted through the website or through company career sites.

 

Eberhart encourages local Hoosiers to visit in.gov/dwd to connect to the Hoosier Talent Network, and other education and training resources.

You're encouraged to check for recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are encouraging motorists to check for vehicle recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week.

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 886 safety recalls affecting 55 million vehicles and other equipment in the U.S. Unfortunately, approximately 25% of vehicle recalls go unrepaired, which puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.

Checking for vehicle recalls is a quick and easy process:

 

Find the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN number, which is located on the lower portion of the car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on the vehicle’s registration or insurance card.

 

Enter the VIN number into the search bar at NHTSA.gov/recalls.

 

Within seconds, drivers will know if the vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.  If one exists, motorists should contact a dealer for the vehicle manufacturer to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for the free recall repairs.

 

If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Even one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.

 

For more information about vehicle or equipment recalls, visit NHTSA.gov/Recalls.

INDOT Unveils "Hoosier Hoops Highway" for NCAA Tournament

The Indiana Department of Transportation this week began unveiling its "Hoosier Hoops Highway" signs in advance of a busy basketball month in Indiana, with the Big Ten, Horizon League and NCAA tournaments being hosted in the Hoosier State.

 

Games will be played throughout Indiana in basketball arenas in Indianapolis, Evansville, West Lafayette and Bloomington. 

 

INDOT is placing temporary signs on highways leading to host cities to commemorate the historic month and help guide fans and teams.

 

March Madness

Signs will be visible along major routes serving tournaments, such as I-65, I-70, I-465 and I-69 during the month of March.

Follow INDOT on Facebook and Twitter for traffic and road construction updates as you travel to tournament games.

Police conducting 'full-court press' in March to combat impaired, dangerous driving

The Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership today announced that officers will be cracking down on dangerous and impaired driving in March, as part of a statewide enforcement campaign. From February 26, through March 21, 2021, officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols showing zero tolerance for those driving aggressively, over the speed limit or under the influence.

 

The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through an Indiana Criminal Justice Institute grant.

 

“Dangerous and impaired driving continues to be a problem, especially around high-risk events like St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA Tournament,” said Sheriff Louie Koch.“However, you celebrate this year, do so responsibly. Slow down, buckle up and if you drink, don’t drive. It’s that simple.”

 

On average, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year in the U.S., according to NHTSA. Although 2020 was a unique year due to the pandemic, preliminary data from the federal safety agency shows that while miles traveled had decreased by about 14.5 percent in the first nine months, overall traffic fatalities increased by 4.6 percent nationwide.

 

In addition, a separate report released from NHTSA revealed that more road users engaged in risky behaviors in 2020 such as speeding or driving under the influence, and that fewer motorists wore seat belts.

 

Despite having fewer drivers on the road in Indiana, 2020 was the third highest year for traffic fatalities (850) in the past decade, according to ICJI.

 

“We’re seeing an uptick in dangerous driving during the pandemic, and it’s very concerning,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops this March to reverse that trend and encourage safe driving behavior. Preventing loss of life is our top priority.”

 

Dangerous driving includes such factors as speeding, tailgating and disregarding a traffic signal – all of which are against the law in Indiana. Additionally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.

 

To avoid the potential for legal fees and criminal charges, the department recommends following these simple steps:

 

  • Slow down and follow all posted speed limits.
  • Never drive impaired. If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe, sober ride home.
  • Do not tailgate or drive aggressively.
  • Put down the phone and avoid distracted driving.
  • Buckle up – every trip, every time.