Community News

Researcher: Holiday spending should continue climbing as economy expands

Americans consumers will continue to spend at unprecedented levels during the holiday shopping season because the economy continues to expand, says Ball State University economist Steve Horwitz.

 

How much of a climb may also depend on economic and political factors now in play, he added.

 

Horwitz, the Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise, points out that the National Retail Federation (NRF) recently released its prediction for retail sales for the 2019 holiday season. Excluding car dealerships, gas stations, and restaurants, NRF foresee a 3.8 to 4.2 percent increase in spending compared to the 2018 season. This exceeds the roughly 3.7 percent average annual increase over the last five years, he said.

 

“The consistent growth in holiday retail sales is a reflection of both the long-term growth in the U.S. economy and its relatively strong performance over the last few years,” Horwitz said. “Americans have more disposable income to spend on holiday gifts, decorations, and parties. This indicates that we have become increasingly able to meet our basic wants for food, shelter, and clothing and can afford to spend on gifts, entertainment, and fun, whether for the winter holidays or everything from Valentine’s Day to Halloween.

 

“Our larger indulgences in these celebrations is a sign of progress and prosperity.”

 

The economist also believes that, in the short-term, wage growth and low unemployment are likely to encourage consumer spending this season, despite increasing economic uncertainty due to everything from tariffs to political instability.

 

“Increased consumer spending does not necessarily mean that people are better off if that spending is due to higher prices caused by tariffs,” Horwitz said.

 

“If some of the increase in retail sales is a result of the tariffs, it reflects losses to households who are getting fewer goods and services for the amount they are spending.

 

“Finally, the effects of uncertainty created by the impeachment process are hard to account for. If households become increasingly concerned about political instability, it may reduce their willingness to spend and cause retail sales to fall short of the NRF estimate.”

Blue River Community Foundation scholarship apps available

The application for 2020 Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) scholarship opportunities is available on the BRCF website: www.blueriverfoundation.com.

 

The deadline to submit an application is January 15, 2020.

 

High school graduating seniors planning to pursue vocational or undergraduate studies, current college students, graduate students, and adults pursuing or finishing a college degree are eligible to apply. One unique feature to BRCF’s application process is that applicants complete one application to qualify for all scholarship opportunities for which they are eligible. Specific criteria, requirements, and instructions for applying, as well as a list of scholarships available through the application process, are listed in the BRCF Scholarship Resource Guide for Students located on the Foundation’s website under the Scholarshipstab.

 

Since 1994, BRCF has invested over $5.4 million in students pursuing post-secondary education. This amount represents $2 million which has been awarded to Shelby County’s 38 Lilly Endowment

Community Scholarship recipients and is made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc., as well as, $3.4 million awarded to students from BRCF Scholarship Funds. In fact, last spring alone 126 students claimed 163 scholarships totaling $297,650 in awards from 76 scholarship funds administered by BRCF. These scholarship funds are made possible through the generosity of our donors who recognize the tremendous need for assistance in meeting the costs of higher education.

 

For more information on BRCF’s scholarship application process, please contact Julie Alvis

at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or by email at jalvis@blueriverfoundation.com.

 

Harvest time safety

With the heavy rain Indiana received late this spring and early summer, crop harvest is running late this year.

 

The Indiana State Police would like to remind motorists that harvest time is in full swing and it’s time to watch out for farm equipment on our roadways.  

 

The Indiana State Police offers the below safety tip reminders.

 

Tips for farmers:

  • Have all lighting and placards on your equipment as required by law.
  • When parking equipment along the road while in the field, make certain it’s visible especially at night.
  • Avoid traveling on state and U.S. highways during rush hour traffic.
  • Wear reflective or Hi-Viz clothing when working in low light conditions, so as to be seen by motorists and farm workers.
  • Indiana Code 9-21-5-7, Motor vehicles driven at a slow speed impeding or blocking traffic, requires operators of vehicles being driven on a roadway of not more than one lane in each direction, at a speed below the posted limit, to move over to the right at their first opportunity if three or more vehicles are following, to allow those vehicles to safely pass.

Tips for motorists:

  • Be patient when traveling behind farm equipment; farmers have the same rights as automobile drivers to operate their equipment on the roads.
  • When approaching farm equipment from the opposite direction, pull to the right of the traveled portion of the road and allow the equipment to pass.
  • Always be cautious when approaching farm equipment parked on the side of the road. Someone may be getting into or out of the equipment or performing maintenance.
  • Be especially vigilant in watching for farm equipment on two lane roads and around dusk when conditions can make the equipment harder to see.

Shelbyville's Santa Protectors presented with donation

Centra Credit Union is donating $2,500 to Shelbyville's Santa Protectors.

 

This donation is one of 41 grants of $2,500 each to non-profits within the communities Centra serves, totaling more than $100,000 in donations throughout Central and Southern Indiana.

 

Centra Team Members were asked to nominate the non-profits they feel passionate about
supporting, and one non-profit was selected for each branch and department within Centra.

 

The team from the Shelbyville branch nominated Santa Protectors, a group that raises
money to take underprivileged children Christmas shopping.

 

“Centra Team Members love being able to support the causes they care about through this
program, and we are proud to be able to support the communities we serve with these
donations,” said Centra Community Involvement Officer Jenni Carr. “We chose to support
many local non-profits, along with a few national organizations like the American Red Cross
and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”


Selected organizations are currently being notified of the donations with the funds being
delivered to the selected non-profits by the end of November.


“These wonderful organizations support a similar mission and serve the local communities
where Centra has a presence. Credit Unions were built on the premise of People Helping
People, and we are excited to provide support to these causes,” Centra President and CEO
Rick Silvers said.

Indiana Grown for Schools unveils local Food Buyer's Guide

To close out National Farm to School Month, Indiana Grown and the Indiana State Department of Health unveiled a new resource guide that will help increase schools’ access to fresh, local food products. The event took place today, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (ET), at Franklin Community High School.

 

“With the large number of school corporations in Indiana, we see tremendous business potential for local farmers and producers to provide homegrown products to local schools,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “Our hope is that the Buyer’s Guide connects farmers, buyers and schools and makes it easier to get healthy, local produce into Indiana school cafeterias.”

 

Partnering with Purdue Extension, the new Buyer’s Guide will be the only resource of its kind in the state and will help food service directors find school-ready products grown or raised by local farmers. The project was announced last October as part of the Indiana Grown for Schools initiative and is funded by a farm-to-school grant awarded to ISDH.

 

“We are fortunate to have a year-long supply of farm-fresh products from our local Indiana growers, and by having this resource for the schools in our state, children can have easier access to fruits and vegetables,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

 

Visit www.ingrown4schools.com for more information about the Indiana Grown for Schools program.

Indiana State Police seeks recruits for the 80th Recruit Academy

The Indiana State Police is now accepting applications for the 80th Recruit Academy. 

 

Individuals who are interested in beginning a rewarding career as an Indiana State Trooper must apply online at http://www.in.gov/isp/2368.htm.  This website will provide a detailed synopsis of the application process as well as information on additional career opportunities with the Indiana State Police.

 

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted for the 80th Recruit Academy.

Basic Eligibility Requirements and consideration factors for an Indiana State Trooper:

 

  1. Must be a United States citizen.
  2. Must be at least 21 and less than 40 years of age when appointed as a police employee. (Appointment date is October 1, 2020)
  3. Must meet a minimum vision standard (corrected or uncorrected) of 20/50 acuity in each eye and 20/50 distant binocular acuity in both eyes.
  4. Must possess a valid driver's license to operate an automobile.
  5. Must be willing, if appointed, to reside and serve anywhere within the State of Indiana as designated by the Superintendent.
  6. Must be a high school graduate as evidenced by a diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED).                                                                                

The starting salary for an Indiana State Police Department Recruit is $1,615.39 bi-weekly during the academy training.  At the completion of academy training, the starting salary is $48,000.00 a year.  Recruits of the 80th Recruit Academy are offered an excellent health care plan, which includes medical, dental, vision and pharmacy coverage for both current and retired employees, along with their families, until reaching age 65. 

 

The Indiana State Police pension program provides a lifetime pension after 25 years of service.  Additionally, the Indiana State Police Department provides comprehensive disability coverage and a life insurance program.  Student loan forgiveness programs are being offered at this time through the following:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.

 

Interested applicants can obtain additional information about a career as an Indiana State Trooper by visiting https://www.in.gov/isp/3041.htm to find the recruiter assigned to your area.

Sandman Brothers recognized for 100 years of service

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is honoring a Shelbyville business for its long history of service. IHS proudly presents Sandman Brothers Inc., at 56 E. Broadway St., with a 2019 Centennial Business Award. The company will be recognized at IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner, Monday, Nov. 4, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

 

Sandman Brothers Inc. is known for selling cars, but the company got its start in 1918 as the Sandman Tire and Bicycle Shop. Chester and Bill Sandman founded the shop on East Washington Street in Shelbyville before eventually branching out to automobiles. After Bill’s passing, Chester decided to focus all his efforts into the automobile store, with the Broadway location serving customers for the past 80 years.

 

 

Today, three generations of Sandmans have played a role in the company’s success. Larry Sandman, Chester’s son, joined the business in 1961, and now, Larry’s sons, Burke, Brent and Blake, all work for Sandman Brothers.

 

As the business looks to the future, it is celebrating 100 years of successes and accomplishments. Along with the Centennial Business Award, Sandman Brothers celebrated as Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBraun issued a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary in 2018.

 

For more information about Sandman Brothers, visit www.sandmanbrothers.com.

 

About the Centennial Business Award

The Centennial Business Award is part of the Historic Business Register, founded in 1992 by trustees and members of IHS. It provides special recognition to Indiana companies continually in business for a century or more, encourages the preservation of historically significant business-related archival materials and develops increased awareness of Indiana’s rich business and industrial heritage. The Centennial Business Award is presented annually at IHS’s Founders Day dinner. The event, presented by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS. For more information, call IHS at (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

 

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Major Health Partners (MHP) to offer free lung screenings

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and 8 million current or former smokers are at high risk. To help local individuals who may be at high risk, Major Health Partners and X-Ray Physicians of Shelbyville are partnering to offer free lung screenings during Lung Cancer Awareness month (November) to those who qualify.

 

Eligibility for the free lung screenings at MHP, includes those who are:

  • smokers or recent former smokers
  • age 55 to 80
  • in general, good health

 

Lung cancer can be treated if found early. And no matter how much a person smoked, early detection of lung cancer could save someone’s life. Now through the end of November, eligible individuals can call 317.421.5707 or visit mymhp.org/lung to learn more and schedule a free lung scan.

Newly appointed State Fire Marshal Stephen Cox sworn-In

Stephen Cox was sworn-in as the new Indiana State Fire Marshal today among a group of firefighting leadership from around the state. 

 

The brief swearing-in ceremony was held at the Brownsburg Fire Territory Training Facility and was attended by firefighters and EMS officials from across the state. Cox officially began his role as State Fire Marshal on Monday.

 

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb appointed Cox as the new Indiana State Fire Marshal on October 1. 

 

"Chief Cox brings great experience, leadership and vision to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security," Gov. Holcomb said. "I know that as the state's fire marshal he will enhance public safety in the state of Indiana and continue to build partnerships with first responders and all Hoosiers."

 

As fire chief of the South Bend Fire Department, Cox created a fire training center which has enabled the department to build a robust training program to support the South Bend department as well as other departments in the state. 

 

Cox takes over for Jim Greeson, who served as Indiana State Fire Marshal for 11 years and retired in September.

 

The fire marshal leads the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety. The division investigates suspicious fires, promotes fire prevention and enforces fire and building safety codes in all public buildings, among other duties.

INDOT prepares fleet for winter

The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing its fleet for winter. This is the first time the Greenfield District has done full fleet inspections this early in the season. 

 

Over the past two weeks, mechanics have checked more than 200 trucks.

 

"We are doing our due diligence to make sure these vehicles are winter ready," said Pat Szewczak, Greenfield Highway Maintenance Director. "We want to maker sure each truck is repaired and ready for the road from the first sign of snow." 

 

During the days and hours of inspections, trucks went through two separate check stations. One examined the exterior of the vehicle including lights, plows, wheels, salt spreaders and more. The second station checked the engine, brakes and electrical/battery. 

 

 

"We check everything to find potential problems before they become real problems," said Clark Packer, Greenfield Deputy District Commissioner. "This way all of our trucks can be out on the roads when they are really needed, instead of in the shop in January." 

 

Not only is the district preparing its trucks, but the salt barns are filling in preparation for ice. 

The Indianapolis subdistrict alone is currently holding 4,500 tons of salt. 

 

Last year, the classic INDOT yellow snow plows were sent on the road for the first time in December. This year, they will be ready whenever winter hits in Indiana. 

USDA opens 2020 enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs

Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.

 

“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”

 

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

 

Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. 

 

ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. 

 

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 

 

- more -

2018 Crop Year ARC and PLC Payments

 

FSA began processing payments last week for 2018 ARC-County (ARC-CO) and PLC on covered commodities that met payment triggers on enrolled farms in the 2018 crop year. In addition to the $1.5 billion now in process, FSA anticipates it will issue another $1 billion in November once USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes additional commodity prices for the 2018 crop. 

 

Producers who had 2018 covered commodities enrolled in ARC-CO can visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc for payment rates applicable to their county and each covered commodity.  For farms and covered commodities enrolled in 2018 PLC, the following crops met payment triggers:  barley, canola, corn, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, peanuts, and wheat.

 

Oats and soybeans did not meet 2018 PLC payment triggers.

 

2018 PLC payment rates for the following covered commodities have not been determined: crambe, flaxseed, large and small chickpeas, long and medium grain rice, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, seed cotton, sesame seed, sunflower seed and temperate Japonica rice.

 

More Information 

 

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides income support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation.

 

For more information on ARC and PLC including two online decision tools that assist producers in making enrollment and election decisions specific to their operations, visit the ARC and PLC webpage.

 

For additional questions and assistance, contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

BBB with alert about online seller Bynsave

Following an investigation of numerous complaints, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a consumer alert about a pattern of alleged scams from online seller?Bynsave, claiming to operate out of Franklin Square, NY. 

 

Between December 2018 and September 2019, BBB received 31 complaints, 16 one-star reviews, and 8?BBB Scam Tracker?reports about Bynsave. No reviews have more than one star, and several say “I’d give it 0 if I could!” 

 

Consumers consistently alleged that the site accepted payment up front for orders that never arrived, and that they were unable to contact the company by phone or email with requests for shipping updates or refunds. One consumer even reported cancelling an order payment within an hour and still being charged. 

 

As of October 8, the company website was still live at bynsaveshop.com and bynsavestore.com. Dozens of pending complaints from 23 U.S. states are still open against the business, indicating that the alleged scheme is still active. 

 

The BBB Business Profile displays an?“F” rating?for Bynsave. Reasons for the rating include concerns with the company’s operations and its failure to address complaints submitted against it. 

 

To help avoid negative online shopping experiences,?BBB recommends:  

 

Know the retailer. Search online for consumer feedback about their experiences with the seller, and order only from companies with consistently satisfactory customer ratings and reports.  Check with?BBB.org?and read any reviews and complaints posted there about a company. 

 

Shop with a credit card.  In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections.  Debit cards, prepaid cards, or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card. 

 

Visit BBB’s?Scam Tracker.  Check?to see if other consumers have made a scam report about the business: you can search reports by keyword and location. 

 

Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals.  Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer free or very low prices on popular items.  There may be hidden costs or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge.  Look for and read the fine print. 

Enjoy fall fun and Halloween events, starting now

You can scare up a fun time at numerous DNR properties thanks to a long list of Halloween and fall activities beginning Friday and continuing throughout the month.

So go ahead, get spooky a little early or just embrace Indiana’s most colorful season.

Your bag of treats — and maybe a few tricks — includes events with names like Owl-O-Ween, Spooktacular, A Haunting Good Time, Ghostly Gathering, Fall-o-Ween Festival, Hoots and Howls Weekend, and Un-BOO-Lievable Happenings.

Among the fall-themed happenings are Celebrate the Handshake; Apples, Engines and Hay; Friends Fall Frolic; and Old Fashioned Music Weekend.

State park properties hosting such events include Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Falls of the Ohio, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Mounds, O’Bannon Woods, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, as well as Brookville, Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA), Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon SRA), Hardy, Mississinewa, Monroe, Patoka, and Salamonie lakes. 

You’ll also find Halloween-themed events at Forestry-managed Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas, as well as the Division of Outdoor Recreation’s Redbird State Recreation Area for off-road vehicles (ORVs).

For details regarding a fall or Halloween event near you, or one that’s well worth a road trip, haunted or not, see stateparks.IN.gov/3282.htm, under “Fall Festivals at a Glance.”

You can come for one activity, stay for a day, or spend the entire weekend at most events.

See more DNR events at calendar.dnr.IN.gov.

Check for campsite availability at camp.IN.gov or call 866-622-6746 or find available state park inn rooms at indianainns.com or 1-877-LODGES 1.

Broadway Memories, What an Amazing Night

Our Hospice presentation of Broadway Memoriesbrought Tony Award Winning Talent to Columbus Indiana for one night. This outstanding program, produced and hosted by Stephen DeAngelis spotlighted five Broadway stars straight from New York City performing in this one of a kind fundraising event.  The audience enjoyed live performances from Jackie Burns (longest running Elphaba in Wicked), Ali Ewoldt (completed more than two years as Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera), Lisa Howard (recently starred as Tammy in the Jimmy Buffet musical Escape to Margaritaville), Wade Preston (played “Piano Man” in Billy Joel’s hit, Movin Out) and Josh Young (received a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar). The Broadway starts were accompanied by the amazing, Eugene Gwozdz, Musical Director.

 

“The energy of the performers brought the audience of over 500 to their feet,” said Laura Leonard, Our Hospice President, “It was a great turnout this year and we have heard many positive comments from those who attended; they can’t wait to come back for next year’s show.”

 

The event is a fundraiser, hosted by Friends of Our Hospice to raise money for a new program for Our Hospice patients, Music and Memory ®. This year we raised over $35,000 to bring personalized music to patients suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. “Music has a powerful impact in our lives and using music helps those patients re-connect to memories, feelings and emotions believed to be gone,” continued Leonard.

 

Music and Memory ® is a research-based program designed to enhance the lives of patients through music. Personalized music has been shown to reach those suffering with a wide range of cognitive and physical challenges, bringing renewed meaning to their lives.

 

Leonard continued, “We are grateful to Stephen and the Broadway Stars, many of whom have experienced the difficulty reaching dementia patients in their own families. Having this caliber of Broadway talent come to Columbus to help us raise funds is wonderful.”

The five Broadway Stars each performed songs from hit Broadway Shows, engaged with the audience sharing memories about what it is like to be on Broadway and also answered questions giving those in attendance a chance to get some insights into the lives of these performers.

 

One of the highlights of the night was when local high school students took the stage with the Broadway Stars. Local high school students who attended a Broadway Master Class in August were invited to perform at Broadway Memories. Eight of the seventeen students who attended the Master Classwere selected to provide back up with Josh Young performing Jesus Christ Superstarand all students joined in the Encore song “Season of Love” from RENT.

 

We are grateful to our sponsors who supported us in bringing this level of talent to Columbus. Title Sponsors were the Clarence E. and Inez R. Custer Foundation and Elizabeth R and Walter C. Nugent Foundation; Producing Partner, Indiana Arts Commission; and Artist Underwriter, SIHO Insurance Services.

 

For more information and ways to support Our Hospice call or emailBrigitte Halvorsen at 812-314-8004,bhalvorsen@crh.org.

Hoosiers encouraged to practice safety during dry conditions across the state

The fall season is here, which means bonfires and s’mores! However, due to a lack of rainfall throughout much of Indiana, many counties are abnormally dry. As dry conditions continue, having a bonfire can become a potential fire hazard if specific precautions are not taken.

 

The Indiana State Fire Marshal and Department of Homeland Security encourage Hoosiers living in a county with an active burn ban to adhere to the local laws governing the county. Several counties in southeastern Indiana are currently under a burn ban. To see a map of the counties currently under a burn ban, visit the IDHS website.

 

Even if a county isn’t under a burn ban, it is important to always practice proper outdoor fire safety. Before having a bonfire, Hoosiers should always remember to:

 

  • Make sure a fire extinguisher or source of water is available to extinguish any fire quickly before it gets out of hand.
  • Check the weather forecast. Weather fluctuations, such as sudden gusts of wind, could cause burning debris to spark a fire.
  • Build the bonfire away from power lines, overhanging tree limbs, buildings, rotten stumps, shrubs, dry grass and leaves.
  • Build the bonfire in an area that has gravel or dirt at least 10 feet in all directions.
  • Keep all flammable objects at least 15 feet away from and upwind of the burn site.

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) also encourages Hoosier farmers to take precautions. During harvest season, dry conditions, coupled with hot farm equipment, pose an added risk for farm-related fires.

 

ISDA Director Bruce Kettler urges farmers not to cut corners on their safety inspections and to take extra precaution in the coming months. 

 

“Farm vehicles get hot and dusty during harvest season,” Kettler said. “Knowing that, it’s important to keep this equipment clean from dust and debris, and to inspect fuel lines and electrical systems regularly. These are important steps farmers can take to ensure their safety and the safety of others.”

Enjoy fall camping discounts at state park properties

Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean camping has to be finished. Fall is a great time to visit state park properties, thanks to moderate temperatures and colorful beauty. 

State parks properties are offering an extra incentive for fall campers. Book a new reservation for a campsite, family cabin or rent-a-camp cabin for one or more consecutive weeknights (Sundays through Wednesdays), with arrival dates between Sunday, Sept. 29, and Wednesday, Nov. 6 and receive 20 percent off at the time of booking. 

This offer applies to all State Parks campgrounds, as well as Deam Lake, Greene-Sullivan State Forest and Starve Hollow State Recreation Area campgrounds and cabins. Reservations can be booked at camp.IN.gov or by calling 1-866-622-6746. Your reservation must be used by Nov. 6. Use the promo code “INFALL19” when checking out.

This offer applies to new reservations only and cannot be used in combination with any other discount or offer. The discount is not automatic, and must be requested by the customer at the time of making a reservation. The 20 percent discount will only apply to Sundays through Wednesdays of your stay, and will not apply to Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.  

Indiana HBPA's Grand Experience set for Saturday at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) will host its final “Grand Experience” of 2019 Saturday, Sept. 21 at Indiana Grand. The event will take place trackside in front of the grandstand in the Always Turned On tent beginning at 9 a.m. with a complimentary continental breakfast.

 

Each program features a different look into Thoroughbred racing and the final program of the year will place the focus on jockeys and their equipment and facilities at Indiana Grand under the theme “Come Along for the Ride.” Otto Thorwarth, retired jockey with more than 1,500 career wins, now serves as a track chaplain and will provide a look into the life of riding racehorses. In addition to his career as a jockey, Thorwarth also portrayed Ron Turcotte in the Disney movie “Secretariat” and will talk about his experience on the movie set with actors such as Diane Lane and John Malkovich.

 

Guests of “Grand Experience” will also receive a tour of the jockey’s quarters at Indiana Grand. Steve Cahill, clerk of scales, will provide a look inside the locker room and explain the equipment ad procedures that take place during a racing program.

 

“Grand Experience” is free to guests of all ages. The event will conclude at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Health officials urge precautions against mosquitoes as rare virus is detected in northern Indiana

State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites in response to the detection of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in northern Indiana.

 

Since mid-August of this year, three horses and one group of mosquitoes from Elkhart County have tested positive for EEE virus. No human cases of EEE virus disease have been reported in Indiana in 2019; however, three human cases have been reported in southwest Michigan this year, one of which was fatal.

 

“EEE, or triple-E, virus is rare but extremely serious. It can cause long-term complications and even death,” said Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H., state public health veterinarian at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). “You can protect yourself from EEE virus and other viruses by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites whenever you spend time outdoors. You can also reduce the risk for yourself and your neighbors by eliminating mosquito breeding sites from your property.”

 

State health officials recommend the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home

 

You can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:

  • Discard old tires, tin/aluminum cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish

 

While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of about 33 percent in people. Many people who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus disease include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease that affects the nervous system and causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). People who are younger than 15 years and older than 50 years are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus disease should see a healthcare provider.

 

To see the latest results of ISDH’s mosquito surveillance program, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/. To learn more about EEE virus, visit the ISDH website at https://www.in.gov/isdh/28258.htm.

DAV, RecruitMilitary® host Cincinnati veteran career fair at Great American Ballpark

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and RecruitMilitary® will co-host the Cincinnati Veterans Career Fair at Great American Ballpark Sept. 12 from 11 am to 3 pm. The event is free to veterans, their spouses, active-duty military personnel and members of the National Guard and Reserve.

 

More than 40 employers actively seeking the unique talents of America’s veterans will be on-site representing a range of industries, from construction to medical to administrative and logistics, with career opportunities from entry level to senior management. In addition to employment assistance, the 185-plus veterans expected to attend can utilize career counseling and resume assistance, network with fellow veterans and military personnel, and get support with their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and claims assistance—all at no cost.

 

DAV sponsors more than 100 traditional and virtual career fairs each year. Since the inception of its employment initiative in 2014, there have been nearly 172,000 attendees and 132,000 job offers. Last year, to support employers, dispel myths and demonstrate the business case for employing America’s nearly 4 million veterans with a service-connected disability, DAV developed The Veteran Advantage: DAV Guide to Hiring and Retaining Veterans with Disabilities. This guide offers best practices and helpful tools for employers and strives to inspire more organizations to consider the veteran talent pool.

 

DAV’s National Employment Director Jeff Hall, a combat-injured Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War, is available to discuss trends in veteran and military spouse hiring, valuable employment-related resources and job opportunities in the Cincinnati area and nationwide. To arrange an interview, contact Jeff at 859-442-2055. 

   

To register for the Cincinnati All Veterans Career Fair and access additional no-cost resources for veterans and their families, go to jobs.dav.org.

Indiana health officials report first vaping-related death

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has confirmed the first death of an Indiana resident due to severe lung injury linked to a history of e-cigarette use or “vaping.”

 

The death, which occurred in an individual older than age 18, was confirmed Sept. 5 as part of an investigation involving health officials at the local and federal levels and in surrounding states. No additional details about the patient will be provided due to privacy laws.

 

Indiana is investigating 30 cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping. Eight of those have been confirmed. The majority of the Indiana cases have occurred among individuals ages 16-29. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than 215 cases have been reported, with more under investigation.

 

“The tragic loss of a Hoosier and rising number of vaping-related injuries are warnings that we cannot ignore,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “We know that these products typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and many cases report inhaling THC and other substances not available in commercial products. While it is unclear what substances are causing injury, when you use these products with other chemicals, you may not know everything that you’re inhaling and the harm it can cause.”

 

Dr. Box said many patients across the U.S. have developed severe symptoms that required emergency intervention and urged anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days and develops respiratory symptoms to stop using these products and see a healthcare professional immediately.

 

Symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

 

ISDH is working with affected individuals and their families to obtain products used by the patients and send them to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing. At this time, no common substance has been identified in the Indiana cases.

 

The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, among young people is a rising public health crisis across the U.S. The 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS) found that vaping has increased 387 percent among high school students and 358 percent among middle school students since 2012 and that between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students began using e-cigarettes.

 

In response, Dr. Box and Governor Eric J. Holcomb last week announced a $2 million plan to combat youth vaping that focuses on training and education for schools, parents and students, a youth-focused text-to-quit program and a statewide vaping awareness campaign.

 

Parents and educators who want to learn more about ways to protect Indiana youth from the dangers of vaping are urged to visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov.

 

For the latest on vaping-related injuries nationwide, visit the CDC website.

 

IDHS encourages Hoosiers to get involved with National Preparedness Month 2019

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages Hoosier families to take the necessary steps to make sure households are prepared for all types of disasters.

 

“Preparation can help mitigate the effects and stress caused by any disaster or emergency,” said David Hosick, communications director for IDHS. “Indiana is prone to many different types of severe weather all throughout the year. Taking the time to learn how to prepare for an emergency can greatly increase your chances of staying safe.”

 

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity for Hoosiers to learn lifesaving skills, such as CPR and first aid, how to check insurance policies for common hazards and how to make and practice a household emergency plan. Tornadoes, fires, snow and severe flooding are common occurrences to Hoosiers. Knowing how to stay prepared for these types of situations will not only minimize the effects, but also save lives.

 

Some helpful safety tips to consider are:

  • Become aware of disasters that could occur in the local area. Learn what to look for and what to avoid in each 
  • Discuss possible emergency scenarios with family members. Include events such as fires, natural disasters and man-made disasters. Make sure everyone in the family or workplace knows the steps involved in responding to these 
  • Establish meeting locations in the event of a potential disaster, and make sure all family members and employees are aware of them
  • Create a list of emergency contacts, and share it with family members and friends

National Preparedness Month also emphasizes the importance of creating and updating an emergency disaster kit. For more information on how to craft an effective emergency kit and emergency plan, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

 

Hoosiers are encouraged to follow IDHS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram during September to learn more best practices on how to be prepared before a disaster strikes.

Half-price Saturday at the St. Vincent dePaul Society Thrift

Everything will be half price Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the St. Vincent dePaul Society Thrift Store, 424 E. Jackson St., no exceptions, and no limit on purchases.

 

Merchandise in the store includes clothing and shoes for men, women, and children of all ages and all sizes, housewares, knick knacks, jewelry, fashion accessories, books, DVDs, VHS movies, and more. All items have been donated by individuals, businesses, and churches and are priced low to assist those in need. 

 

Photos of furniture items available for purchase at the Society's warehouse, 628 Hodell St., are also posted. The warehouse is open to the public the first Saturdays of each month, 9-11 a.m. or by appointment by calling 317-395-7027. Donations are accepted only at the warehouse during these Saturdays or by appointment.

 

All profits are used to assist 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 of Shelby County was established in March 2018 as part of a larger international Society of St. Vincent dePaul. The local Society welcomes new volunteers. The group meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in the St. Vincent dePaul Catholic Church parish hall, 4218 E. Michigan Rd., Shelbyville.

 

Additional information is posted on social media through the website, www.svdpshelbycounty.org and on Facebook as Society of St. Vincent dePaul Society Shelby IN.

Indiana launches effort to curb youth vaping amid hospitalizations, alarming increase in e-cigarette use

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), at the direction of Governor Eric J. Holcomb, today announced a three-pronged strategy to reduce vaping among Indiana youth. According to the 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS), vaping has increased more than 300 percent since 2012, and recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) link vaping to more than 200 severe respiratory illnesses nationwide, including at least 24 in Indiana.

 

Governor Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG, unveiled the plan today at Fishers High School among students, educators, administrators, health partners and local leaders. Following an analysis of the new data, ISDH will increase awareness of the risks associated with e-cigarettes. The plan includes an educational toolkit for schools, parents and students, a youth-focused text-to-quit program and a statewide vaping public awareness campaign to focus both on prevention and cessation.

 

“The number of new young Hoosiers vaping is alarming, and that’s why today’s announcement is critical to the health of our people,” Governor Holcomb said. “Under Dr. Box’s leadership, we will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to curb youth vaping by educating the public on health risks so that fewer youth start using e-cigarettes, while also providing resources to those who want to quit.”

 

The IYTS is a school-based survey of students in grades 6 through 12 that asks about all types of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, access to tobacco products, knowledge and attitudes, media and advertising, school curriculum and tobacco cessation. The IYTS found that vaping has increased 387 percent among high school students and 358 percent among middle school students since 2012 and that between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students used e-cigarettes.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General has labeled the rising use of e-cigarettes among youth an epidemic and called for action to protect young people from the dangers of nicotine addiction. Earlier today, the Surgeon General’s office announced that according to its records, 30 percent of youth who regularly vape also use marijuana.

 

“Vaping among Indiana’s youth is at an all-time high, and that’s putting thousands of Hoosiers in harm’s way of this epidemic,” Dr. Box said. “Many young people think vaping is harmless, but one e-cigarette can contain the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. As the number of hospitalizations rises, it’s clear that we need to help youth and parents better understand the health risks of these products before they become the next generation of smokers.”

 

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among young people, in part because they come in a variety of flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit and chocolate. According to the IYTS, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among Indiana youth. The 2018 survey included questions about USB-type products, such as the popular JUUL, to help health officials better understand the current use of these products. The data show that while nearly 19 percent of high school youth reported current e-cigarette use, 24 percent reported JUUL use. About 22 percent of both high school and middle school students who currently use e-cigarettes also use traditional cigarettes, the survey found.

 

Parents and educators who want to view the full survey and learn more about ways to protect Indiana youth from the dangers of vaping can visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov.

 

For the latest on vaping-related illnesses nationwide, visit the CDC’s website.

Indiana launches effort to curb youth vaping amid hospitalizations, alarming increase in e-cigarette use

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), at the direction of Governor Eric J. Holcomb, today announced a three-pronged strategy to reduce vaping among Indiana youth. According to the 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS), vaping has increased more than 300 percent since 2012, and recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) link vaping to more than 200 severe respiratory illnesses nationwide, including at least 24 in Indiana.

 

Governor Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG, unveiled the plan today at Fishers High School among students, educators, administrators, health partners and local leaders. Following an analysis of the new data, ISDH will increase awareness of the risks associated with e-cigarettes. The plan includes an educational toolkit for schools, parents and students, a youth-focused text-to-quit program and a statewide vaping public awareness campaign to focus both on prevention and cessation.

 

“The number of new young Hoosiers vaping is alarming, and that’s why today’s announcement is critical to the health of our people,” Governor Holcomb said. “Under Dr. Box’s leadership, we will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to curb youth vaping by educating the public on health risks so that fewer youth start using e-cigarettes, while also providing resources to those who want to quit.”

 

The IYTS is a school-based survey of students in grades 6 through 12 that asks about all types of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, access to tobacco products, knowledge and attitudes, media and advertising, school curriculum and tobacco cessation. The IYTS found that vaping has increased 387 percent among high school students and 358 percent among middle school students since 2012 and that between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students used e-cigarettes.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General has labeled the rising use of e-cigarettes among youth an epidemic and called for action to protect young people from the dangers of nicotine addiction. Earlier today, the Surgeon General’s office announced that according to its records, 30 percent of youth who regularly vape also use marijuana.

 

“Vaping among Indiana’s youth is at an all-time high, and that’s putting thousands of Hoosiers in harm’s way of this epidemic,” Dr. Box said. “Many young people think vaping is harmless, but one e-cigarette can contain the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. As the number of hospitalizations rises, it’s clear that we need to help youth and parents better understand the health risks of these products before they become the next generation of smokers.”

 

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among young people, in part because they come in a variety of flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit and chocolate. According to the IYTS, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among Indiana youth. The 2018 survey included questions about USB-type products, such as the popular JUUL, to help health officials better understand the current use of these products. The data show that while nearly 19 percent of high school youth reported current e-cigarette use, 24 percent reported JUUL use. About 22 percent of both high school and middle school students who currently use e-cigarettes also use traditional cigarettes, the survey found.

 

Parents and educators who want to view the full survey and learn more about ways to protect Indiana youth from the dangers of vaping can visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov.

 

For the latest on vaping-related illnesses nationwide, visit the CDC’s website.

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