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Eberhart: Don't miss October deadline for paid House internships

State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) encourages local college students and recent graduates to apply online for internships at the Indiana Statehouse before the Oct. 31 deadline.

According to Eberhart, the House of Representatives offers paid spring internships to college sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent graduates of all majors. Interns will work at the Statehouse in Indianapolis for the duration of the 2022 legislative session lasting January through mid-March.

"Anyone looking for an internship that provides a meaningful and rewarding experience should apply for this program," Eberhart said. "This is a chance for students to develop their skills and grow their professional network."

 

Eberhart said interns work full time, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spring-semester internships are available in several departments working with Indiana House Republicans.

Positions are available in the Legislative Operations Department where interns work directly with constituents and help track legislative committee activity. The Communications Department is looking for interns to help write press releases, and work with social media campaigns, graphic design and audio/video production. Eberhart said the Policy Department is also in need of interns to help research, track and analyze legislation.

Interns receive biweekly compensation of $750, free parking, career and professional development support, and enrollment access to an Indiana government class. They can also earn academic credit through their college or university and are eligible to apply for a $3,000 scholarship to use toward undergraduate and graduate expenses.

For more information and to apply before the Oct. 31 deadline, visit indianahouserepublicans.com/internship.

Lane closures begin next week on I-74 between St. Paul and Greensburg

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Paul H. Rohe Company plans to begin placing barrels early next week along westbound I-74 ahead of patching operations between St. Paul and Greensburg in Decatur County (Exit 123 to Exit 132).

 

Patching will begin as early as Thursday, October 21, on westbound lanes of I-74, then move to eastbound. Both day and nighttime lane closures are expected. All work is scheduled to be complete by mid-November, weather permitting.

Motorists are reminded to slow down, use extra caution, and drive distraction-free in and near construction zones. All work is weather-dependent and schedules are subject to change.

Covid test site at Shelby County Fairgrounds

The Indiana Department of Health has set up a COVID-19 test clinic near at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

 

No appointment is necessary.

 

                    WHEN:    8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

                    WHERE:   Shelby County Fairgrounds 
                                     500 Frank Street
                                     Shelbyville, IN 46176

 

  • The test is available at no cost to you.
  • This site offers PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests using a swab of the nostrils (anterior nares).
  • Testing for children ages 6 months to 2 years old is available with parental assistance.
  • This site is indoors.
  • You’ll receive results by email or text no later than 5 p.m. the next day, including weekends.  

MHP Incident Command Covid-19 update

Covid testing positivity rate:  Indiana’s Covid positivity rate is at 9.3% and Shelby County’s positivity rate is 9.9%.  Shelby County’s positivity rate is trending down slowly.

Vaccination Rate: Indiana is ranked 36 out of the 50 states in reference to COVID vaccinations.  Indiana’s vaccination rate is 47% and Shelby County’s vaccination rate is 54.7%.

MHP Priority Care and MHP Pediatrics walk-ins:Walk-in volumes at both locations have increased this week compared to the last couple of weeks.

Emergency Department:  The Emergency Department saw an average of 77 patientsper day over the last four days.  87 patients were seen on Tuesday. This represents an increase compared to last week.

Inpatient unit: Thirty-four of our 40 beds are occupied on our 3rd floor inpatient unit.

  • We currently have thirteen critical care patients on the 3rd floor and eightof those patients are due to Covid.Of the eightCovid-related critical care patients, all are unvaccinated. 
  • We have sixpatients on ventilators, plus seven additional patients who are on Vapotherm or BiPap.Five of our six ventilated patients are due to Covid and none of those patients are vaccinated. 
  • Thirteen of our inpatients are Covid positive and two of those are vaccinated.

 

Show your gratitude:  Now more than ever is the time to tell healthcare workers how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication. You and your family can express how much they mean to you with a new, special opportunity: the Gratitude Group.  Simply submit your videos, messages, and/or photos to gratitude@majorhospital.org  These messages will be shared internally to all MHP employees!  *Please keep video under 2 minutes.*

 

Delta Theta Tau Sorority cancels annual Gift & Hobby Show due to Covid

Delta Theta Tau Sorority's Annual Gift & Hobby Show is cancelled due to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and in consideration of the health and safety of the vendors and community.

 

The 49th annual event was planned for November 6 inside Shelbyville Middle School.

 

In a written statement, Veanna Kessler and Patty Hancock, co-coordinators of the show, said, "This was the most difficult decision we have made in 49 years because we were so looking forward to having our Gift and Hobby Show this year. We will celebrate an even bigger and better event in 2022 as we mark 50 years."

Upcoming changes to SNAP for October

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has announced two upcoming changes the U.S. Food and Nutrition Services Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Together these changes may impact the benefits received by Hoosier SNAP participants.

 

  • On Sept. 30, 2021, the 15% increase in SNAP benefits provided as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will end.
  • Starting in October 2021, benefits will increase due to the recent re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan.

The result of these two updates occurring at the same time is that in October most SNAP participants will see a slight increase to their monthly benefit.

 

SNAP households may have heard that because of the updated Thrifty Food Plan their benefits are increasing. However, they may not understand that this increase is to the pre-pandemic benefit amounts—before the 15% increase. As a result, some participants may be expecting their benefits to increase substantially over their current level.

 

With these changes happening around the same time, SNAP participants, stakeholders, and others may become confused. Here is a Q and A from FNS that could help.

 

Shelbyville's Morris Ave and Vine St tree trimming today

The Shelbyville Street Department will be trimming trees along Morris Avenue & Vine Street on Monday, September 27.

Temporary lane restrictions will be in place. The lane restrictions will be in effect from 8:30-11am.

Rookie drivers claim Morristown Derby Days titles

Adilyn Boring and Carter Bell claimed the 2021 Morristown Derby Days racing titles Saturday.

 

Boring defeated Chloe Longwell in the final girls race of the day.  Boring raced in Car 51.  The rookie driver's parents are Doug Boring and Brittany Green.

 

Bell took the boys title by defeating Keegan Coombs in the finale.  Bell operated Car 33 and was one of the 20 rookies among 24 competitors.  His parents are Will and Julian Bell.

 

Indiana to begin offering Pfizer Covid-19 booster shots for eligible Hoosiers following FDA, CDC actions

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are available to eligible Hoosiers following federal authorization of the additional dose.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended the administration of a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to counter waning immunity in specific populations following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) decision to expand its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to include the boosters. Previously, the FDA had authorized a third dose (Pfizer or Moderna) for immunocompromised individuals who did not build protection from the vaccine.

 

The single booster dose can be administered at least six months after completion of the second dose and applies only to individuals who previously received the Pfizer vaccine. Individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not eligible at this time.

 

According to the CDC:

 

    Individuals ages 65 and older and residents of long-term care facilities should receive a booster dose.

 

    Individuals ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe COVID-19 should receive a booster dose.

 

    Individuals ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster dose, based on their individual benefits and risks.

 

    Individuals ages 18 to 64 who are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of an occupational or institutional risk of exposure may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.

 

Eligible Hoosiers who want to obtain a booster dose can go to www.ourshot.in.gov and search for a site that has the Pfizer vaccine, which is designated by PVAX, or call 211 for assistance. Hoosiers are encouraged to bring their vaccination card to their appointment to ensure that the booster dose is added.

 

Upon arriving at the vaccination clinic, Hoosiers will be asked to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements listed above. Beginning Monday, that attestation will be incorporated into the online appointment registration at www.ourshot.in.gov.

Southwestern Jr./Sr. High School students visit Statehouse

State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg, front right) meets with students from Southwestern Jr./Sr. High School at the Statehouse Thursday, Sept. 16.

 

Students from Mr. Justin Meredith's class toured the Statehouse and learned about state government and the role of a state senator.

 

Students also witnessed oral arguments in the Indiana Supreme Court.   

Traffic restriction on Shelbyville's W. Washington

There will be a lane restriction in the eastbound lane of Shelbyville's 600 block of West Washington St.

 

The lane restriction will be through 5:00 pm Thursday and 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Friday.

 

Whalen Construction will be replacing a water service meter.  

Flags to half-staff in remembrance of 9/11

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags statewide to be flown at half-staff in honor of Patriot Day.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Saturday, Sept. 11.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff in remembrance of the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Pre-registration for Indiana 9/11 Memorial expansion event closes September 6

This is your last chance to pre-register for The American Legion Department of Indiana 9/11 Remembrance event that will honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and help raise funds for the Indiana 9/11 Memorial expansion to include the lives lost at the Pentagon and in the ensuing wars.

 

Open to all, the event will consist of a vehicle motorcade that welcomes motorcycles, jeeps, trucks, cars, vans, and buses that will ride as a group to honor all lives lost on 9/11.

 

Pre-registration for the event closes Sept. 6th, 2021. Pre-registered participants save $10 per person.

 

The event will occur rain or shine and start from all four corners of the state, with start times that vary based on location. The four motorcades will convene at the Indiana Legion Headquarters located on the ground of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison located in Lawrence, Indiana, before departing at 12:30 p.m. as a group, and travel together to the Indiana 9/11 Memorial site.

 

A remembrance ceremony featuring dignitaries, first responders, and military veterans will start at 2:00 p.m. and honor all lives lost on 9/11 and in the ensuing wars.

 

Registration is $25 online (pre-registration) and $35 day of ride. The first two-thousand registrants will receive a 9/11 commemorative patch and chip. For starting locations and times, visit: www.indianalegion.org/911.

 

Gene Sexton remembered

On Friday at McKeand Stadium the inducted members to the Shelbyville High School Alumni Hall of Fame were honored in ceremonies at the home football opener.

 

Unable to attend was longtime teacher, coach, principal, city councilman, husband, father and more, Gene Sexton.  Sexton, 95, passed away on August 14.

 

John Hartnett, an SHS Alumni Hall of Famer himself, remembers Sexton in this conversation that aired at halftime of Friday night's game on GIANT fm Sports.

 

 

 

The Arc of Shelby County joins SCUFFY

Shelby County United Fund (SCUFFY) is pleased to announce and welcome the addition of The Arc of Shelby County, Inc. to the SCUFFY family of organizations.

 

Don Collins and Holly Forville are the driving force behind the local chapter of The Arc. This partnership with SCUFFY will help ensure that their group is sustainable well into the future. The mission of The Arc is inclusion – to inform, navigate, care, lead, unite, serve, inspire, organize and nurture those with special needs.

 

“The Arc has worked hard to seek services to help loved ones live a better and full life to be an active part of our community social fabric,” said Collins. “Partnerships such as this allow us to secure better care, better education, better employment and better inclusion in many of the activities that every other citizen in our community enjoys.”

 

The Arc of Shelby County is a chapter of the Arc of Indiana and The Arc of the United States. Founded by parents working to get services for their children and adults who had a disability, The Arc is the largest organization that serves people with disabilities. In Indiana, there are 45 chapters and almost 30,000 members.

 

The Arc works every day to:

 

  • Empower families with information and resources to help their loved ones lead full and meaningful lives.
  • Empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be self-sufficient and independent to the greatest extent possible
  • Inspire positive change in public policy and public attitudes.
  • Promote public awareness of the importance of prenatal care.
  • Serve as a voice and advocate for families and their loved ones with I/DD.
  • Help demonstrate that persons of all abilities have value and can contribute to making our community a better place to live a happy and more productive life.

 

In a continuing effort to build a better life for people with I/DD and their families, The Arc chartered the Shelbyville VC Aktion Club in 2009. The Aktion Club is a member of the Kiwanis International family of clubs and the Kiwanis Club of Shelbyville is a co-sponsor, along with The Arc of Shelby County. Today, the Aktion Club has 50 members and serves several local charities in assisting people in the community that need services.

 

Besides their charity work, Aktion Club members also learn teamwork and new leadership skills. The club meets twice monthly, but, due to the Covid virus, currently meets monthly.

 

On February 1, 2016, The Arc established the SENSES indoor playroom sensory gym. Originally intended to serve children with special needs, it quickly became apparent that children of all abilities could benefit from sensory play. Since opening, the SENSES gym has served over 8,000 children, including hundreds of children with I/DD or other learning delay. This inclusive environment is important to facilitating children of all abilities to learn to play and play to learn together at an early age.

 

The Shelbyville Central School system became aware of the importance of sensory play to child growth and development, and prior to opening the new preschool, invited The Arc to share space in the newly created Golden Bear Preschool. The 330 children attending the preschool use the SENSES gym during the week and is also open to the community children, ages 1-6. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week.

 

The Arc works with other organizations in the community to meet the needs of people with a disability and their families. They work with the special education departments of all four schools, the Shelby County Special Olympics Shares, Inc. They also work with Down Syndrome Indiana and the two major organizations serving children and adults with autism.

 

The Arc is led by an eight-member Board of Directors. Due to Covid, they currently meet quarterly, and their annual meeting is in September. Their membership roster is about 240 people.

 

SCUFFY Executive Director Alecia Gross said, “SCUFFY is excited to welcome The Arc into our family of agencies. This fills a niche we had been missing – SCUFFY works hard to serve all members of our community”.This partnership ensures that the families that have a loved one with a delay or disability will have another source for information and access to much-needed services.

 

For more information, please contact Alecia Gross at the SCUFFY office at 317 398 6231.

 

 

INDOT to close SR 9 next week for RR crossing work north of U.S. 52

INDOT will close State Road 9 on Monday, August 23 at 8:00 AM for work on the CSX railroad crossing just north of US 52 through Saturday afternoon, August 28 at about

5:00 PM.

The last address accessible from the south is 11720 N State Rd 9.

The last address accessible from the north is 11851 N State Rd 9.

The official detour for this closure is US 52, I-465 and US 40.

Crop report takeaway: 'Indiana crop production doing very well'

Purdue College of Agriculture and Extension and United States Department of Agriculture experts gathered at the Indiana State Fair on Thursday (Aug. 12) to discuss the results of the 2021 USDA crop report and the current status of Indiana’s major cash crops.

Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and senior associate dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, moderated the discussion among panelists. Panelists were Nathanial Warenski, state statistician of the USDA, NASS, Indiana field office; Dan Quinn, Purdue assistant professor of agronomy and new extension corn specialist; Shaun Casteel, Purdue associate professor of agronomy and extension soybean and small grains specialist; Beth Hall, Indiana State Climatologist; and Jim Mintert, Purdue professor of agricultural economics and director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. 

Indiana corn production is forecasted to reach 1.02 billion bushels this year, which would be a 3.7 % increase from 2020 production. The expected yield is up 3.7% from 2020 at 194 bushels per acre. As of Aug. 1, corn condition was rated 76% good to excellent.

“Indiana corn looks good to great and we hope to keep this trend to finish strong. A few things that stood out to me include disease, specifically tar spot and corn rust, and past saturated conditions that could potentially impact the yield,” Quinn said.

Soybean yield is projected to reach 60 bushels per acre, compared to 58 bushels per acre in 2020. As of Aug. 1, soybean condition was rated 72% good to excellent.

“In terms of the soybeans, this season has been anything but normal. We’ve had wet and drought conditions, affecting the root systems and causing disease. The next 35 days are critical for yield development,” Casteel said.

The panel also discussed the crop market, trade and potential impacts from wildfires.

“We have started seeing some of the impacts of the wildfires, including traveling smoke, which is effective at blocking sunlight,” Hall said.

Mintert said, “Today’s report was a bit of surprise when looking at USDA estimates versus trade. This will be a very positive crop year in terms of income and does lead us to expect positive impacts on cash-rent.”

Henderson ended the discussion by observing: “The main takeaway from this report is that Indiana crop production is doing very well. Other areas of the nation weren’t so fortunate, which will potentially open up market opportunities for Indiana farmers.”

The USDA August Crop Report is available online.

Troopers focus on Back to School safety

As the summer break comes to an end, students across  Indiana are starting their return back to school next week.  With that return to school, the Indiana State Police would remind all motorists to be focused on traffic safety during morning and afternoon commutes.

Motorists should be prepared to experience an increased amount of school bus traffic and pedestrian children walking to and from their bus stops and schools during the early morning and mid-afternoon hours. Motorists should plan your commutes accordingly to allow for extended travel time during these periods. Special attention should be given to the posted reduced School Zone speed limits, and for school buses regularly stopping or standing to load or unload students. Children are often unpredictable and may dart out in front of vehicular traffic unexpectedly!

Indiana traffic law requires motorists to the operate in a safe and responsible manner when approaching a stopped or standing school bus according to the following rules:

  • When approaching a school bus from any direction, which is stopped and has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended, motorists are required to STOP, even on multiple lane highways where there is no barrier or median separating lanes of traffic.
  • Motorists on a highway that is divided by a barrier, such as cable barrier, concrete wall, or grassy median, are required to stop only if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.
  • Always be prepared to stop for a school bus and watch for children. Children are unpredictable. Not only is disregarding a school bus stop arm dangerous, it is a serious offense.

The Indiana State Police is committed to the safety of our children by keeping Indiana’s roadways safer through education and enforcement patrols.  Please join us by doing your part to make travel on our Indiana roadways safer for all Hoosier students throughout the school year.

First Merchants Corporation announces second quarter 2021 earnings per share

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ - FRME) has reported second quarter 2021 net income of $55.6 million compared to $33 million during the same period in 2020. Earnings per share for the period totaled $1.03 per share compared to the second quarter of 2020 result of $.62 per share. Year-to-date net income totaled $105 million compared to $67.3 million during the six months ended June 30, 2020. Year-to-date earnings per share totaled $1.94 compared to $1.24 during the same period in 2020.

Total assets equaled $14.9 billion as of the quarter-ended June 30, 2021 and loans totaled $9.1 billion. The Corporation experienced organic loan growth of $289.6 million, or 3.4 percent during the last twelve months, offset by the forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans which accounted for a decline of $466.9 million. As a result, the loan portfolio decreased by $177.3 million, or 1.9 percent, during that period. Organic loan growth, on an annualized basis, was 6.7 percent in the second quarter 2021. Investments increased $1.4 billion, or 48.7 percent, during the last twelve months and now total $4.1 billion. Total deposits equaled $12.2 billion as of quarter-end and increased by $1.2 billion, or 11.3 percent, from the same period in 2020.
  
The Corporation’s Allowance for Credit Losses – Loans totaled $199.8 million as of quarter-end, or 2.19% of total loans. Net charge-offs for the quarter totaled $1.3 million and no provision expense was recorded. Provision expense taken during the three and six months ended June 30, 2020 of $21.9 million and $41.6 million, respectively, reflected our view of increased credit risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-accrual loans as of quarter-end totaled $57.6 million.

Mark Hardwick, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our management team is pleased with our record setting second quarter net income. It’s very satisfying to achieve great financial results while serving our clients and communities. Our healthy levels of loan growth, earning asset growth, credit quality, capital levels and efficiency will lead us into the future. I am proud of our teammates for staying focused on our goals and continuously finding ways to win for our stakeholders.”

Net-interest income for the quarter totaled $104.3 million, an increase of $11.2 million from the second quarter of 2020, or 12.1 percent. Net interest margin, on a tax equivalent basis, totaling 3.22 percent, increased by 3 basis points compared to the second quarter of 2020. Yields on earning assets for the second quarter totaled 3.49 percent and cost of supporting liabilities totaled 27 basis points. Fair value accretion contributed less to margin as it accounted for 7 basis points in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 12 basis points in the second quarter of 2020. PPP loans contributed 15 basis points to margin during the second quarter of 2021, but subtracted 6 basis points from margin in the same quarter of 2020.

Non-interest income totaled $30.9 million for the quarter, a $4.4 million increase over the second quarter of 2020. Gains from the sale of mortgage loans were exceptionally strong and enhanced by a large portfolio mortgage loan sale contributing a gain of $2.9 million during the quarter. Fiduciary and wealth management fees increased $1.9 million over the second quarter of 2020, which was offset by a decline in card payment fees due to the adoption of the Durbin Amendment. Non-interest expense totaled $69.3 million for the quarter compared to $60 million in the second quarter of 2020 and $66.1 million in the first quarter of 2021. Total expenses in the second quarter of 2020 were unusually low and reflected a $2.3 million deferral of salary expense related to PPP loan originations, a $1.1 million reduction in bonus accruals and a $1.6 million decrease in processing fees related to termination of a debit card rewards program. Total expenses increased on a linked quarter basis primarily due to increased salaries and incentives.

The loan to deposit ratio now totals 74.9 percent and loan to asset ratio totals 61.3 percent. As of June 30, 2021, the Corporation’s total risk-based capital ratio equaled 14.23 percent, the common equity tier 1 capital ratio equaled 11.94 percent, and the tangible common equity ratio totaled 9.04 percent. These ratios continue to reflect the Corporation’s strong liquidity and capital positions.

IRS Criminal Investigation warns taxpayers about Child Tax Credit scams

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division is warning taxpayers about Child Tax Credit-related scams, which criminals may use to steal money and personal information.

 

While millions of American families started receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments last week, criminals were already looking for innovative tactics to take advantage of unwitting victims.

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit. Any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam.

When receiving unsolicited calls or messages, taxpayers should not provide personal information, click on links, or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud, and identity theft.  

 

“As the country continues to  grapple with the financial fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers and criminals continue to evolve their efforts to steal the assistance the government provides, from those that need it the most,” said Acting Special Agent In Charge, Donald “Trey” Eakins, IRS Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field Office. “Be aware of those that try to steal the tax credit that you are entitled to, and if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is,”

 

Although scammers constantly come up with new schemes to try and catch taxpayers off-guard, there are simple ways to identify if it is truly the IRS reaching out.

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mail, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even information related to the Child Tax Credit.
  • The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages. Aggressive calls warning taxpayers about a lawsuit or arrest are fake.
  • The IRS will not call taxpayers asking them to provide or verify financial information so they can obtain the monthly Child Tax Credit payments.
  • The IRS will not ask for payment via a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.

 

If you are eligible for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, the IRS will use information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return to automatically enroll you for advance payments. Taxpayers do not have to take any additional action. Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return or who have not provided the IRS their information, may visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 to provide basic information for the Child Tax Credit.

 

To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit IRS.gov.

Spotted lanternfly found in Indiana

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found in Indiana for the first time in Switzerland County earlier this week, the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species has a detrimental impact upon plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards.

A homeowner in Vevay contacted DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology (DEPP) with a picture that was taken outside his home of a fourth instar, or developmental stage, larvae. DEPP staff surveyed the site and discovered an infestation in the woodlot adjacent to a few homes in the area. The site is within 2 miles of the Ohio River and the Markland Dam. DEPP and USDA are conducting an investigation to determine exactly how large the infestation is and where it could have come from, as well as how to limit the spread and eradicate the population.

Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture tried to limit the spread of this pest, but it excels at being a hitchhiker and is often spread unknowingly by humans.

Adult spotted lanternfly has two sets of wings, and the underwing has a very distinct red color with spots on the outer wings. The fourth instar of the insect is bright red with black and white markings. The egg masses of this invasive insect look like mud and they can be spread by vehicle transport including recreational vehicles, cargo carriers (truck transport) and freight trains.

 

 

They can also be spread through trade materials sold in infested areas that are shipped out of state including nursery stock, outdoor furniture, lumber, etc. Anyone receiving goods from the east coast should inspect for signs of the insect, especially if the commodity is to be kept outdoors.

Spotted lanternfly prefers to feed on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but it has been found on more than 103 species of plant including walnut, oak, maple, and various fruit trees. This insect is often found on grapevines in vineyards. Adult insects have piercing, sucking mouthparts and weaken the plants through feeding on them, which can make it difficult for the plant to survive the winter months. Congregating spotted lanternfly insects produce a sticky substance called “honeydew” in large quantities that over time becomes infested with sooty mold that attracts other pests in the area.

The Indiana DNR is asking for all citizens to keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly. The bright color of both the last instars and the adults of the insect should be present at this time of the year. Anyone that spots signs of the spotted lanternfly should contact DEPP by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or send an email to DEPP@dnr.IN.gov. For more information on this or other invasive pests see the following link https://www.in.gov/dnr/entomology/pests-of-concern/spotted-lanternfly/

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