Community News Archives for 2019-07

Shelby County Master Gardeners host the 2019 Pollinator Walk-n-Talk

The Shelby County Master Gardeners Association, in cooperation with Purdue Extension, will host their first annual Walk-N-Talk on Thursday, August the 8th (8/8/19).  This will be followed by a Butterfly Workshop.  You, too, can learn how to build your own backyard habitat for butterflies.

 

As the name implies, we will start our first ever Walk-N-Talk by touring some of the gardens and pollinator beds in the downtown area.  For the tour, we will meet at 3:30 in the new Japanese Garden on 151 West Washington Street.  We will walk to several nearby gardens and pollinator beds.  Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.  The walk will be rescheduled if thunderstorms are present or imminent.  Contact the Purdue Extension Office (listed below) if you are uncertain.

 

At 6:30 PM, rain or shine, our guest speaker from Huntington Indiana, Purdue Extension’s Karen Hinshaw will host the Butterfly Workshop at the Purdue Extension – Shelby County office (1600 E State Road 44, Ste C).  This workshop will feature butterfly life cycles, butterfly facts & myths, and information on how to attract butterflies to your garden/yard. Butterfly eggs, caterpillars in various stages and butterflies may be available for viewing as mother nature permits.  Depending on availability, participants may be able to take home caterpillars to raise and release. Participants will learn about pollinators and how important they are to our food system. 

 

This program is appropriate for all ages.  Master Gardeners will also be available to work with youngsters to complete crafts while parents participate in the program.  Please call the Purdue Extension office at 317-392-6460 or e-mail at shelbyces@purdue.edu to register for the evening program.  Registration is preferred.  Space is limited. Those that register will receive priority seating.

 

Come join us.  We’ll show you what some have done locally, give you what we can, and help you get started. Empowered with a few how-to’s, you can help Shelby County blossom and buzz.

Shelby County to celebrate Bridge 13 placement at Blue River Memorial with ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Shelby County Commissioners will hold a public ceremony to celebrate the long-awaited relocation of Shelby County’s Historic Truss Bridge #13.  Originally built in 1889, this structure has been rehabilitated and now carries a shared-use path, the Blue River Trail, over a man-made water feature at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Indiana.    

 

Bridge #13 History:  The original structure was a 93-foot-long, narrow iron and steel Pratt truss, carrying one lane of traffic on CR 875 West over Buck Creek in northeast Shelby County. 

 

In 2011, the bridge was closed to traffic due to damage and deterioration, with a sufficiency rating of 13. The bridge was classified as a “Select” Historic Bridge and described as an outstanding example of its type, but best suited for non-vehicular use based on condition and structural capacity constraints. The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but due to technicalities, the Shelby County bridge project was subjected to a full Section 106 process, including a Memorandum of Agreement.  An Alternatives Analysis determined the most “prudent and feasible” alternative was replacement of the existing bridge (which was completed in May 2019 and designated as “Bridge 219”),along with relocation of the historic truss, which now resides in Shelbyville Indiana’s Blue River Memorial Park.  The bridge was marketed for re-use for a period of six months, followed by a public hearing to complete the public involvement process.  Construction was completed in July 2019. 

 

This beautifully restored historic truss bridge sits back near the Little Blue River, within walking distance just south of the ball diamond parking lot at Blue River Memorial Park.  The ribbon-cutting will take place at this site on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 10:00am.

On My Way Pre-K now enrolling children in all 92 Indiana counties

As the 2019/2020 school year approaches, more than half the available slots have been filled for Indiana’s state-sponsored On My Way Pre-K program. Right now Hoosier children and their families are getting connected with high-quality providers in their area, as state law recently expanded the program statewide.

 

Low-income families are encouraged to act quickly to see if they are eligible for On My Way Pre-K for their 4-year-old children as soon as August. On My Way Pre-K has served approximately 8,000 eligible families at no charge to them to help prepare young Hoosiers for kindergarten.

 

“Our research tells us that On My Way Pre-K children make higher gains than their peers in important aspects of school readiness such as language comprehension, early literacy, executive functioning and a reduction in behavior problems in the classroom,” said Nicole Norvell, director of Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning.

 

Families must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The family must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Their child must be 4-years-old by August 1, 2019, and starting kindergarten in the 2020/2021 school year.
  • Parents or guardians in the household must be working, going to school or attending job training.

Links to electronic applications in both English and Spanish are available at OnMyWayPreK.org. Now is the time to act because space is limited and school begins soon. Applications are open year-round.

 

Families may call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist or for other questions about On My Way Pre-K. Stay up-to-date via Facebook @OnMyWayPreKIndiana.

BBB warns of asphalt paving and sealcoating scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB)?is warning consumers of a seasonal door-to-door scam that tends to pop up in warmer months – asphalt paving and sealcoating scam. 

 

The setup is often the same, someone driving by in a truck stops at your home and offers you cheap asphalt paving or sealcoating. Consumers are told the cost is low because the materials are left over from a job the workers just completed nearby and they just want to get rid of the materials.  This is a case where low price does not equal a good deal, seldom do you get what you pay for in a situation like this.  Consumers report that the materials are very low quality with the asphalt being very thin or crumbly. Some sealcoating applications actually wash away during the first rain.  

 

Consumers often report that they are asked to pay much more once the job is completed.  There are also times when the paver/sealcoater says they have run out of material and will return the next day to complete the job, but they never return. 

 

To avoid being tricked by asphalt/sealcoating scams, always know whom you’re dealing with and research the business at?bbb.org. You can always ask the salesperson if they have a solicitor’s license from the city in which they’re doing business, or you can call your city officials directly to ask if they’ve received any complaints about a certain business.

 

BBB offers the following tips when dealing with an asphalt paver/sealcoating offer: 

 

  • Be wary of paving companies stating they have extra asphalt/sealcoat ready to repair your driveway for a minimal cost. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. They will rarely have leftover materials. 

  • Never hire someone on the spot. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for many days. If you feel that you are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, BBB advises you to end the conversation and tell the business you’re not interested. 

  • Do your homework.  Get at least three estimates before hiring anyone.  Make sure the estimates are descriptive as to what work will be done and what materials will be used. 

  • Don’t pay with cash. Credit cards are always best as there are options for recovering your lost funds.  If you pay by check, make it out to the business, never an individual. 

Consumers are often safer dealing with a contractor who has local roots.?Contact BBB for free Business Profiles on any company you are considering doing business with by visiting?bbb.org, or by calling 317.488.2222. 

 

If you have been scammed, you can help other consumers avoid the same problems by reporting your experience to?BBB’s?Scam Tracker

BBB warns of asphalt paving and sealcoating scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB)?is warning consumers of a seasonal door-to-door scam that tends to pop up in warmer months – asphalt paving and sealcoating scam. 

 

The setup is often the same, someone driving by in a truck stops at your home and offers you cheap asphalt paving or sealcoating. Consumers are told the cost is low because the materials are left over from a job the workers just completed nearby and they just want to get rid of the materials.  This is a case where low price does not equal a good deal, seldom do you get what you pay for in a situation like this.  Consumers report that the materials are very low quality with the asphalt being very thin or crumbly. Some sealcoating applications actually wash away during the first rain.  

 

Consumers often report that they are asked to pay much more once the job is completed.  There are also times when the paver/sealcoater says they have run out of material and will return the next day to complete the job, but they never return. 

 

To avoid being tricked by asphalt/sealcoating scams, always know whom you’re dealing with and research the business at?bbb.org. You can always ask the salesperson if they have a solicitor’s license from the city in which they’re doing business, or you can call your city officials directly to ask if they’ve received any complaints about a certain business.

 

BBB offers the following tips when dealing with an asphalt paver/sealcoating offer: 

 

  • Be wary of paving companies stating they have extra asphalt/sealcoat ready to repair your driveway for a minimal cost. Professional asphalt contractors know, with great accuracy, how much paving material is needed to complete a project. They will rarely have leftover materials. 

  • Never hire someone on the spot. Trustworthy contractors provide a written estimate that will be valid for many days. If you feel that you are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, BBB advises you to end the conversation and tell the business you’re not interested. 

  • Do your homework.  Get at least three estimates before hiring anyone.  Make sure the estimates are descriptive as to what work will be done and what materials will be used. 

  • Don’t pay with cash. Credit cards are always best as there are options for recovering your lost funds.  If you pay by check, make it out to the business, never an individual. 

Consumers are often safer dealing with a contractor who has local roots.?Contact BBB for free Business Profiles on any company you are considering doing business with by visiting?bbb.org, or by calling 317.488.2222. 

 

If you have been scammed, you can help other consumers avoid the same problems by reporting your experience to?BBB’s?Scam Tracker

Blue River Community Foundation's summer scholarship application cycle

Shelby County high school students on track to graduate by June 30, 2020 can now apply for

scholarships during Blue River Community Foundation’s summer scholarship cycle. Students applying during this cycle will be considered for both the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and BRCF General Scholarship opportunities.

 

Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (listed below) for Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship consideration; however, all students are encouraged to apply for over 100 scholarships awarded annually through BRCF’s General Scholarship Program. The deadline to apply is September 1, 2019.

 

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) is proud to partner with Lilly Endowment Inc. to select one Shelby County high school senior as a nominee for the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Independent Colleges of Indiana on behalf of Lilly Endowment Inc. will make final scholarship selections and notify BRCF of their decision by December 6, 2019. BRCF will notify the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship by December 20, 2019.

 

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and further leverage the ability of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents.

 

The scholarship provides FULL TUITION, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis, leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

 

Minimum requirements that must be met for consideration include:

Reside in Shelby County

 

Graduate by the end of June with a diploma from a regionally accredited Indiana High School

 

Intend to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study at an accredited public or private

college or university in Indiana

 

Demonstrate the following:

 

Participation in community activities

 

Leadership skills in school, community, and/or extracurricular activities

 

Commitment to academics and ability to succeed at the next level

 

Must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and a minimum 1100 total score on SAT or ACT equivalent

 

Financial need may be considered but is not a determining factor

 

BRCF General Scholarship Program

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) administers over 90 scholarship funds established by caring and generous donor who are passionate about supporting students reach their post-secondary educational goals. For the 2019-20 academic year, these BRCF administered funds awarded 168 scholarships to 129 students for a combined total over $340,000. Applicants who complete this application in full are considered for all scholarships administered by BRCF for which they are eligible.

 

For a complete list of these scholarship funds, please visit the Foundation's website,

www.blueriverfoundation.com and review the scholarship resource guide. For more information about the summer scholarship application cycle, contact Julie Alvis, BRCF Youth & Education Program Officer, at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or jalvis@blueriverfoundation.com.

New Farmers.gov feature helps producers find farm loans that fit their operation

A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on farmers.gov, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.

 

“Access to credit is critical in the agriculture industry, especially for new farmers,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “This new interactive tool can help farmers find information on USDA farm loans within minutes. We are working to improve our customer service, and part of our solution is through improving how farmers can work with us online.”

 

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. From buying land to financing the purchase of equipment, FSA loans can help. Compared to this time last year, FSA has seen an 18 percent increase in the amount it has obligated for direct farm ownership loans, and through the 2018 Farm Bill, has increased the limits for several loan products.

 

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

 

“We received suggestions from both farmers and our staff on how to improve the farm loan process, and we wanted to harness this opportunity to be more efficient and effective,” Northey said. “This feature is one step in our efforts.”

 

How the Tool Works

 

Farmers who are looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer a few simple questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow. After submitting their answers, farmers will be provided information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided.

 

Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect from preparing an application to receiving a loan decision. There are four guides that cover loans to individuals, entities, and youth, as well as information on microloans. The guides include general eligibility requirements and a list of required forms and documentation for each type of loan. These guides can help farmers prepare before their first USDA service center visit with a loan officer.

 

Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting farmers.gov/fund and clicking the “Start” button. Follow the prompts and answer five simple questions to receive loan information that is applicable to your agricultural operation. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.

 

About Farmers.gov

 

In 2018, USDA unveiled farmers.gov, a dynamic, mobile-friendly public website combined with an authenticated portal where farmers will be able to apply for programs, process transactions, and manage accounts.

 

The Farm Loan Discovery Tool is one of many resources on farmers.gov to help connect farmers to information that can help their operations. Earlier this year, USDA launched the My Financial Information feature, which enables farmers to view their loan information, history, payments, and alerts by logging into the website.

 

USDA is building farmers.gov for farmers, by farmers. In addition to the interactive farm loan features, the site also offers a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool. Farmers can visit farmers.gov/recover/disaster-assistance-tool#step-1 to find disaster assistance programs that can help their operation recover from natural disasters.

 

With feedback from customers and field employees who serve those customers, farmers.gov delivers farmer-focused features through an agile, iterative process to deliver the greatest immediate value to America’s agricultural producers – helping farmers and ranchers do right, and feed everyone.

 

For more information or to locate your USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov.

Duke Energy offers customers tips for managing electricity costs as summer heat rises

Trying to stay cool during this heat wave? That probably means you’re using more energy at home – which can lead to a higher energy bill. Air conditioners use a lot of electricity, but there are a few things you can do to help avoid surprises on your monthly bill.

 

Three tips for understanding your bill

The first step to keeping your bill in check is understanding what’s on it. Here’s what to look for:

Billing cycle length
Check the number of days in your billing cycle. Most bills cover 30 days, but sometimes it varies. Bills that cover more days can be higher.

Average kWh
Look at average kilowatt-hour (kWh) use per day. At first glance your bill may look higher, but if your average use is similar to the same time last year, or similar to another month with extreme temps, it’s a normal bill.

Online usage tools
If you have a smart meter, check for a daily usage analysis tool online. Smart meters collect info by the hour, so you can check for spikes in energy use to see what appliances and behaviors are increasing your bill.

 

10 ways to avoid billing surprises

Now for the good stuff. Here are some things you can do to keep tabs on your energy use and lower your bill.

1.    Get usage alerts.
The best way to avoid billing surprises is to track your use. Duke Energy customers with a smart meter can sign up for Usage Alerts. Similar to data alerts you get from your cellphone company, you can set a budget amount for your monthly energy bill and receive notices when you are approaching your limit.

2.    Upgrade your bulbs.
Replace standard bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are more efficient than regular bulbs and emit less heat, while giving off the same amount of light.

3.    Check your HVAC.
Have your heating and cooling system checked to maintain performance. Duke Energy offers qualified customers rebates to help offset the cost of replacing older units with energy-efficient ones. Use finditduke.com to find a certified contractor.

4.    Change your filters.
Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder and use more energy.

5.    Adjust your thermostat.
Set your thermostat as high as comfortable. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy bill will be.

6.    Shut the blinds.
Close blinds and curtains on sunny days.

7.    Put the whole-house fan to work.
If you have a whole-house fan, use it to pull cool air into your home at night or in the early morning through open windows. Turn the fan off and shut the windows during the day.

8.    Use exhaust fans.
Bathroom and kitchen fans remove heat and humidity from showering and cooking. (And take short showers instead of baths to save even more year-round.)

9.    Cool off with ceiling fans.
A ceiling fan can cool you off enough that you’ll feel comfortable raising the thermostat a few degrees.

10. Save washing for the evening.
Run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night when it’s cooler. Also, run full loads and consider air drying dishes and clothes to save even more.

Assistance programs

To help manage your energy use, Duke Energy offers assistance programs and services, including:

  • Budget Billing gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.
  • Online savings calculators help customers understand how their homes use energy – and how they can potentially reduce their consumption and better manage their summer bills.
  • Eligible homeowners can get a free home energy assessment, which includes an Energy Efficiency Starter Kit containing LEDs, an energy-efficient showerhead and switch and outlet energy seals.

 

Duke Energy Indiana 

 

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

USDA extends deadline to report spring-seeded crops in Indiana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to file crop acreage reports for agricultural producers in Indiana impacted by flooding and heavy moisture. The new July 22 deadline applies to reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and federal crop insurance agents.

 

“Agriculture operations throughout the state have been hit hard by heavy rains and flooding that have affected their operations,” said Steven Brown, FSA State Executive Director in Indiana. “The deadline extension provides more flexibility for producers who experienced planting and field work delays.”

 

Filing a timely crop acreage report is important to maintaining eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety net, crop insurance and farm loan programs. A crop acreage report documents all crops and their intended uses and is an important part of record-keeping for your farm or ranch.

 

Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged to set up an appointment before visiting the office. Acreage reports from producers in Indiana who set up appointments before the July 22 deadline are considered timely filed, even if the appointment occurs after the deadline.  

 

The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting:

 

If the crop has not been planted by the reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

 

If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchasing or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.


“Even though the deadline has been extended, I encourage producers to contact their local FSA office today to schedule an appointment to report acreage,” Brown said.

- more -

 

Other USDA Efforts to Help Producers

 

USDA is taking additional steps to help producers across the country, including:

 

Updating the haying and grazing date for producers who have planted cover crops on prevented plant acres;

 

Offering special sign-ups through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for assistance to plant cover crops; and

 

Extending the deadline to report prevented plant acres in certain places.

 

For more information, visit our Prevented or Delayed Planting webpage.

 

More Information

 

To learn more, contact your FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov or farmers.gov/prevented-planting.

FUSE announces new Executive Director

FUSE is pleased to announce that Joanne Tedescohas been appointed as Executive Director and will officially take the helm in mid-August when she relocates with her family to central Indiana. 

 

As a mother of child with a disability, a Human Rights Commissioner who has focused on educating her community about the disability population, a newly elected School Board member, and a public relations and branding professional, Tedesco brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the table.  

 

In addition, Joanne was one of 34 Indiana residents chosen to be part of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities - Partners in Policymaking Academy and graduated in 2017.

 

“Joanne certainly has a heart for the disability community.  It was obvious when we first met her that her drive and passion for this population sparks a certain energy within her that fuels her to create events, educate families and do all that she can to make an impact,” said Denise Arland, previous Executive Director and Co-founder of FUSE.

 

As a Human Rights Commissioner in Michigan City, Tedesco worked tirelessly to educate her community and raise the awareness about issues that impact the disability population.  In this role she partnered with Michigan City Area Schools, prior to securing a seat on the School Board, to recognize Special Education staff including support staff and therapists who enrich the lives of students with disabilities and push them toward independence.This year alone, and as a soldier of one, she developed, promoted and hosted six events – The Special Education Forum, The Autism Forum, Multiple Sclerosis – the Invisible Disability, The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum and two appreciation events for Special Education staff and bus drivers and monitors.

 

“The selection of a new Executive Director is one of the most important duties a Board of Directors has to perform to ensure the future success of the organization,” said Cheryl Blocher, FUSE Board President. “Joanne has just the right combination of skills and passion to lead our organization into the future. We look forward to her getting started.”

 

As the founder of the Michigan City Parents Support Group, she hosted events to try and raise the bar on disability awareness.  The events focused on special education offerings and services in Michigan City Area Schools, parents’ rights and Article 7, sub-minimum wage with the showing of the movie, Bottom Dollar, Autism and ABA therapy, Down Syndrome and Vocational Rehabilitation services available locally to adults and children.

 

“It’s just simply my calling to increase awareness of people with disabilities to ensure equality for ALL people,” said Tedesco.  “I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with families and individuals in Hancock and Shelby counties as well as others across central Indiana.”

 

 

 

 

In 2017, during Disability Awareness month (March) Tedesco announced the formation of Dance with Me, a creative movement class for children with disabilities, developed through a local partnership with a dance studio.  The class offers the disability community the opportunity to participate in a freeing activity that has no boundaries.

Tedesco is also a Board Member of the Mental Illness Advisory Council (Indiana Disability Rights) and Special Olympics of LaPorte where she worked to develop a bowling league for youth with disabilities.

Families United for Support and Encouragement (FUSE) is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization (Federal I.D. # 35-2106430) that empowers families and individuals with disabilities and mental health needs by providing information, training, support, and encouragement. FUSE serves individuals and families across central Indiana, with educational events hosted monthly in Hancock and Shelby counties. To request information or support, contact FUSE at 317-462-9064 or visit www.fuseinc.org.

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana offers Camp Eva, a bereavement camp for children ages 5-12

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana is offering a half-day bereavement camp for children on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 11:30AM-5:30 PM.  Any child ages 5-12, who has experienced the death of a significant person or persons in their lives, is welcome and encouraged to attend. Camp Eva provides a structured and supportive environment for children to openly share their feelings and memories of their loved one.

 

“Children experience grief differently than adults,” said Jessica Curd, Social Worker at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. “Children often grieve in spurts as it is difficult to handle these challenging feelings all at once. Children may also incorporate themes of death and dying into their play. They also cope with grief differently at various developmental stages. Their grief may express itself in various emotions including anger, sadness, shock, fear and sometimes relief. “

 

Camp Eva was started by Melissa Clark in 2016 and since 2017, Our Hospice has partnered to grow the camp and provide this important outlet to children in our communities.Melissa has been a volunteer for Our Hospice since 2015 and is also a trained social worker.

 

Our Hospice President, Laura Leonard, said, “We are so pleased to be able to provide bereavement services to children and grateful to our donors who provide the funds for us to offer this important camp and support these children and families through their grief.”

 

Curd continued, “Any child who has experienced a loss is welcome to attend! The camp is free of charge. This camp is important because it allows children to explore and express their grief through various creative medium including arts, music, pet therapy, play theatre, interactive and team building exercises and a balloon release.  This gives a safe and confidential space to process grief with other children and also be able to balance a heavy topic with some play and fun. It is truly important to give children the free space to talk and express their feelings. Adults may believe that it will cause more harm for a child to talk about death but typically talking is a way to work through concerns or questions they may have and to come to terms with the loss. Children are usually often very aware and know more than we may realize. Problems can arise if we ignore or avoid difficult topics. When addressing grief in children, it is important to use clear and concrete language and to meet them at their developmental stage. This camp strives to implement such an approach and many of its volunteers are trained hospice and bereavement specialists.”

 

Camp Eva was created to provide a nurturing environment for grieving children to remember their loved ones and connect to other children their age. The Clark family created the camp in memory of their daughter and sister, Eva Julianna Clark, who was stillborn in August 2013. The camp was started under the Eva's Hands Project and in 2017 became an annual service offered through Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.

 

Camp Eva takes place from 11:30 AM-5:30 PM on Saturday, September 14 and this year will be held at Columbus Youth Camp at 12454 West Youth Camp Road in Columbus. Registration is open now and pre-registration is required by September 9th to attend this year’s camp. Registration materials are available on the Our Hospice website athttps://www.crh.org/service-centers/hospice/our-hospice-news-events/our-hospice-news/2019/06/03/camp-eva-bereavement-camp-for-kids-on-september-9-2019

 

A 1 hour parent/caregiver meeting is included as part of the Camp. Questions can be directed to Jessica Curd at 812-314-8044 or jcurd@crh.org

 

If you want to know more about Our Hospice and how we support patients and families, please contact us at 812-314-8083 or 800-841-4983ext. 8083.

State Fire Marshal, IDHS urging all Hoosiers to practice firework safety

As Independence Day approaches, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages all Hoosiers to visit GetPrepared.in.gov and become familiar with proper firework safety and state laws. 

 

“While fireworks are fun to set off and watch, they can be life threatening and disastrous if proper safety precautions aren’t taken,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “When using personal fireworks, always follow the written instructions on the packaging, and make sure a water source is nearby in case of a fire.”

 

The State Fire Marshal oversees the IDHS Division of Fire and Building Safety. Each year, the division permits retailers and wholesalers of fireworks within Indiana.

 

To keep this Independence Day fun filled for everyone involved, safety is encouraged by following these tips found on GetPrepared.in.gov:

 

  • Never smoke or consume alcohol when lighting fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
  • Steer clear of others setting off fireworks. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
  • Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks or firework devices.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water, nearby.
  • Only light one firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
  • Be considerate of individuals with post-traumatic stress and other types of medical conditions. The noise can cause severe stress and reaction in neighbors.
  • Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by firework sounds.

When can fireworks be used?

  • July 4: from 10 a.m. to midnight;
  • July 5-July 9: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset

For more information on firework and Independence Day safety, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

More drugged drivers in fatal crashes than alcohol impaired

A report published this week finds high rates of fatal crashes involving drugged drivers and that alcohol-impaired drivers are more likely to cause traffic deaths and injuries.

 

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) partners with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute to analyze crash statistics for the annual Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fact Sheet, which is available at www.in.gov/cji/files/Impaired_Driving_Fact_Sheet2018.pdf.

 

After a crash involving death or serious bodily injury, the responding law-enforcement agency is required to offer a portable breath test or blood test to the drivers involved. In 2018, more drivers tested positive for drugs after a fatal crash than were alcohol impaired.

 

Alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in 1.6 percent of Indiana property damage crashes and 3.2 percent of injury crashes, but fully 8 percent of fatal crashes. Rates of alcohol-impaired crashes in Indiana were highest on weekends between midnight and 4 a.m., the same time when the rate of traffic deaths and serious injuries were highest.

 

Vehicle drivers made up two thirds of road users killed in alcohol-impaired crashes, and about three fourths of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes were males.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

 

Independence Day

AAA and mobility analytics company INRIX predict that 41.4 million Americans will travel by car this week for the Independence Day holiday, a 4.3 percent increase from last year. Drivers making their way home from summer festivities must remember that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

 

 

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under age 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.

 

Impaired driving can also include prescription and illegal drugs. Even over-the-counter medication can cause impairment, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Anyone taking a new or higher dose of a drug should speak with their doctor about driving or avoid it until they know the effect the drug could have.

 

Impaired boating

This weekend, July 5-7, Indiana Conservation Officers will increase enforcement of boating-under-the-influence laws, which are the same on bodies of water as they are on the road. More information is on the national Operation Dry Water website, www.operationdrywater.org.

 

Ride sober

Motorcycles are about 3 percent of registered vehicles, but are dramatically over-represented in impaired driving crashes. And the more that bikers are impaired, the less likely they are to wear helmets.

 

Sober driving tips

With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired as it endangers you and everyone else around you. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:

 

    Designate, or be, a sober driver.

    Use public transportation.

    Call a cab or a ridesharing service.

    Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Apple App Store or Android Play Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend, and identify your location for pickup.

    Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.

    Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.

    Never provide alcohol to minors.

    Ask young drivers about their plans.

    Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.

 

Report impaired drivers

If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include:

 

    Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line

    Driving at a very slow speed

    Braking erratically

    Making wide turns

    Stopping without cause

    Responding slowly to traffic signals

    Driving after dark with headlights off

    Closely missing an object or vehicle

    Turning abruptly or illegally

    Driving on the wrong side of the road

 

Drivers should also watch for impaired pedestrians who may not be paying attention to their surroundings.

Health officials urge precautions against mosquitoes due to West Nile virus activity

State health officials have confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in two counties and are urging Hoosiers to take steps to protect themselves from the insects and the diseases they can carry.

 

As of July 1, mosquitoes in Elkhart and Clark counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. No human cases of West Nile virus disease have been detected so far in 2019; however, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) expects to see increased West Nile activity throughout the state as the season progresses.

 

“Each year, we see people become ill as a result of mosquito bites,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “When we find evidence of the virus in multiple counties, that means the risk is starting to increase statewide. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so Hoosiers in every county should be taking precautions.”

 

Health officials recommend the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning);
  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to 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 the home.

 

Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding ground, so residents should take the following steps to eliminate potential breeding grounds:

  • Discard old tires, tin 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.

 

West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some people will develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system, including inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, muscle paralysis or even death. People who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare provider.

 

To see the latest results of ISDH’s mosquito surveillance, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/. To learn more about West Nile virus, visit www.in.gov/isdh/23592.htm.

 

For important health updates, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1

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