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Community News Archives for 2021-06

DNR recommends removal of bird feeders statewide

The Indiana DNR has received reports of sick and dying songbirds from 15 counties statewide. As the investigation continues, the DNR recommends all Hoosiers remove their birdfeeders statewide.

The 15 counties are Clark, Delaware, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Newton, St. Joseph, Union, Washington, and Whitley.

DNR is working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (IN ADDL) and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to determine the birds’ cause of death.

The affected songbirds showed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharge.

Several samples have been sent to IN ADDL. All bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus. Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

The following steps are recommended statewide:

• Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife to alert DNR staff.
• Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded.
• Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
• Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.
• When removing dead birds, wear disposable gloves and place birds and gloves in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash.
• Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a precaution.
Additional information will be shared when final diagnostic results are received.

 

DNR and partners investigating songbird mortalities

Indiana DNR has received reports of sick and dying songbirds from five counties.

 

DNR is working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (IN ADDL) and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to determine the birds’ cause of death.

 

The five counties are Monroe, Clark, Jefferson, LaGrange, and Lake.

 

The affected songbirds showed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharge.

 

“Several species are being affected,” said Allisyn-Marie Gillet, DNR ornithologist, “including blue jay, American robin, common grackle, Northern cardinal, European starling, and a few others.

 

Several samples have been sent to IN ADDL. Gillet said that all bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus. Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

 

The following recommendations are good practice for anyone who experiences sick or dead wild birds on their property:

 

• Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife to alert DNR staff.
• Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded.
• Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
• Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.
• When removing dead birds, wear disposable gloves and place birds and gloves in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash.
• Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a precaution.

 

Additional information will be shared when final diagnostic results are received.

State health department to close Optum testing sites June 30

The Indiana Department of Health will close COVID-19 testing sites run by OptumServe Health Services effective June 30 now that a robust community-led testing network is in place, including pharmacies, providers, clinics and local health departments.

 

The partnership, which is concluding after 14 months, was announced by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb in April 2020 to bring large-scale testing to Hoosiers and remove barriers to testing by providing free and nearby access at a time when community resources were limited. Since May 6, 2020, more than 541,000 free COVID-19 tests have been provided at an OptumServe site.

 

“We are grateful to OptumServe for its work to ensure that Hoosiers had COVID testing available to them while we worked to build more local capacity,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Without their work, many Hoosiers who were exposed to COVID or showing symptoms might never have known their status. I have no doubt that having this resource available helped reduce the spread of COVID in our state.”

 

At its peak, OptumServe provided testing in 53 counties. Currently, 30 counties have an OptumServe testing site. Throughout 2020 and early 2021, more community-based providers, clinics and pharmacies have been able to offer COVID-19 testing, reducing the need for Optum sites. In addition, local health departments received state grants in the fall of 2020 to open nearly 100 testing sites.

 

Box said demand for testing has decreased across the state and noted that free testing will remain available at more than 250 sites after the Optum sites close. You can find a COVID-19 testing site near you by visiting www.coronavirus.in.gov.

 

“While our case counts have fallen significantly, we must continue to take steps to reduce the spread of disease," Box said. "We remain committed to ensuring that any Hoosier who wants or needs to be tested can receive that testing in a location that’s convenient."

Blue River Community Foundation announces summer scholarship workshop

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) is offering a summer, scholarship workshop for Shelby County high school students on track to graduate by June of 2022.

 

Students will learn about scholarship opportunities available through BRCF including the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, as well as, applying through BRCF’s online application, writing an expressive essay, selecting recommenders, interviewing tips, and hearing suggestions about the transition from high school to college from members of BRCF’s Alumni Scholar group.

 

Scholarship Flyer 

 

Interested students are encouraged to select one of the following dates to attend:


June 24: 1 - 3 p.m.
July 16: 10 - noon


To register, or to learn more about this event, visit blueriverfoundation.com or contact Julie Alvis at jalvis@blueriverfoundation.com or 317.392.7955 ext. 102.

 

The deadline to register is June 18.

 

 

Summer choir camp is the beginning of Blue River Youth Choir

An idea involving the creation of a Blue River Youth Choir begins with a Summer Choir Camp this month.

 

Cindy Leahy says the idea is sparked, in part, by the youth choir in neighboring Hancock County.

 

Leahy details the camp that will be held at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church and is scheduled for June 21 - 25.  Registration is available through June 13.

 

 

Leahy says they've been doing their homework preparing for this summer and the end of Covid.

 

 

 

Chamber Chat - Shelby County Public Library

Summer reading and upcoming renovations of the Shelby County Public Library are featured in this Chamber Chat conversation with Janet Wallace.

 

 

Enjoy Indiana waters on Free Fishing Weekend, June 5-6

Indiana residents can fish the state’s public waters without a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6.

The two Free Fishing Days kick off National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5-13, a national celebration that highlights the importance of recreational fishing and boating. Those activities are excellent opportunities to get outside and connect with family and friends, and spending time outdoors is also good for your health.

June is an especially good time to fish for largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, and Skamania steelhead. Fishing tips and videos can be found at on.IN.gov/learn2fish.

Some urban parks will be stocked this week with catchable-size channel catfish; see wildlife.IN.gov/fishing/urban-fishing for locations. For public fishing areas and access sites statewide, explore the Where to Fish map at on.IN.gov/where2fish. Indiana is also home to several water trails across the state that provide opportunities to fish while you paddle; see on.IN.gov/watertrails for more information.

To learn more about Free Fishing Weekend events, visit on.IN.gov/fishfree. This year’s last Free Fishing Day will be Sept. 25.

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