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Former Indiana governor Joe Kernan passed away

Joseph Kernan, the 48th Governor of the State of Indiana, died Wednesday morning following a long illness.

 

He is survived by his wife, Maggie, and seven siblings.

 

Kernan, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, began his career as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He and his co-pilot were shot down while on a reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam in 1972. He spent 11 months as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, including at the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison.

 

Kernan returned home in 1974 to begin a career in business. His path led him to the city government, where he served three consecutive terms as Mayor of the City of South Bend.

 

In 1996, he was asked by Frank O’Bannon to join him as candidate for Lt. Governor. O’Bannon and Kernan were elected in November of that year and won reelection in 2000.

 

In 2003, Kernan became governor upon O’Bannon’s death. He was sworn in as the state’s 48th governor. He made history by appointing Kathy Davis as Indiana’s first female Lt. Governor.

 

Kernan retired from politics in 2005 and remained busy in his hometown of South Bend. He worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame and in his own consulting firm.

“Indiana mourns the loss of Joe Kernan, a bone fide American hero, decorated Navy officer, and truly selfless statesman who always placed the interests of his fellow Hoosiers first,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

 

“Distinguished isn’t a strong enough word to describe him. Without regard for personal cost, Joe Kernan devoted every ounce of his life, time and again, to upholding the oath he took, and serving the country and state he loved.

 

Undeterred after being shot down and tortured in Vietnam, he returned and led his beloved City of South Bend as mayor for three terms, and our state as our 47th lieutenant governor. When duty called him to step into a role he didn’t seek, he served as our 48th governor.

 

Through his decades of servant leadership and sacrifice, Joe Kernan modeled all the best of what it means to be a Hoosier and his legacy will continue to live on in each of us whom he inspired.”

 

Funeral arrangements are being made by Welsheimer’s Funeral Home in South Bend. Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Fund at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Please direct your gift to support scholarships and fellowships for military-connected students to giving.nd.edu, by phone (574) 631-5150, or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556.

Shelby Co. Probation Department relocates while new home is being built

Shelby County’s probation department will have a new home while it’s newer home is being built.

 

Commissioner Kevin Nigh says a rental site has been found for the department.  That will be home while courthouse annex #2 is being built.

 

 

Nigh says contruction on the new building to the county’s campus should begin soon.

 

 

As for the probation department’s old space Nigh says it’s expected to be prepared to make more room for Shelby County courts.

 

 

OCRA announces partnership with Indiana Univ to help manage COVID-19 in two counties - Decatur, Daviess

the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced a collaboration with the IU Center for Rural Engagement (CHIP) and the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington to leverage community networks in Decatur and Daviess counties to effectively manage health crises, like COVID-19.

 

“As we continue to respond to COVID-19, communications and collaboration are the keys to success,” said Matt Crouch, Interim Executive Director of OCRA. “I’m excited to build our network with Indiana University and further learn from our communities about how they are coping with COVID-19.”

 

Based on local health assessment data, community health improvement plans help communities set SMART goals to meet a range of health objectives, from addressing gaps in services to preventing and treating chronic conditions. These plans, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, maximize existing resources and networks and also include interventions that also address root causes beyond the immediate needs.

 

“Every rural community is different, and each brings its own strengths and challenges,” said Dr. Priscilla Barnes, associate professor in the IU School of Public Health and lead researcher on the project. “Rural health partnerships and coalitions have been quick to adapt to the daily changing landscape of public health. Response to unexpected crises is the invisible thread that connects with the existing health priorities, and these plans and their implementation will address both emergent needs and long-term priorities.”

 

In Daviess County, residents developed a CHIP in partnership with IU, and the support from OCRA will help them adapt their plan and deploy a response to immediate and emerging needs related to COVID-19. In Decatur County, this initiative will establish a new CHIP that addresses COVID-19 needs and plans for long-term health initiatives.

 

The local networks that inform the CHIP development and implementation are composed of diverse organizations, including representations from health, education, business and the nonprofit sectors.

“This collaboration with OCRA and our community partners launches transformative possibilities for the health of our rural communities,” said Kerry Thomson, executive director of the IU Center for Rural Engagement. “By leveraging local and university resources, we can effectively address major health challenges like COVID-19 as well as increase access to care and mental health services that builds our resilience for the future.”

Residents, property owners meet with concerns over possible SW Shelby Co. industrial solar farm

An anticipated industrial solar farm looking to locate in SW Shelby County brought a large crowd of residents and property owners together Monday night.

 

Justin Parker says he was encouraged by the attendance at the gathering at the Bengal Christian Church.

 

 

Kyle Barlow says they have spent just over a week gathering information and support since they learned of the possible venture.

 

 

Opponents to the measure said they are aware of a few property owners meeting with a company called S Power.  They’re concerned, not only for what could be built on thousands of acres with a solar farm.  They’re also concerned about the impact to the community like Morristown felt where neighbors and families were against each other as Ranger Power gained access with its solar farm proposal.

 

 

Parker says they want to get their message to decision makers early.


 

 

Barlow notes they’re not against solar power.  But, in this form, they are.

 

 

Parker says a meeting tonight of the county’s plan commission may delve into conversation involving a moratorium on solar farms that has been requested.  While there’s no planned agenda item on this solar farm at the meeting he hopes to draw opponents there tonight to get their message across.

 

 

The Shelby County Plan Commission is scheduled to meet tonight at 7pm at the courthouse annex.

Interstate 74 pursuit ends with arrest of Alaskan driver

A driver resisted police during and after an interstate pursuit Monday afternoon.

 

A Shelbyville Police off-duty officer was getting on Interstate 74 at the 108 mm when he noticed a vehicle passing on the right in the break down lane.  He clocked the vehicle at 97 mph. 

 

The officer tried to pull the vehicle over but the female driver did not stop. Police report she led multiple officers on a pursuit to the 116 mm.  The female continued to resist officers at the stop location.  She was taken into custody and charged with two counts of resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and criminal recklessness with a vehicle. 

 

The driver was identified as June Denver.  Shelbyville Police say she appears to be a resident of Alaska.

Severe weather possible today ahead of cool down

Isolated severe thunderstorms could happen at times today, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

 

“We’ll have a front moving through later today and what that’s going to do is bring us chances for showers and thunderstorms. Those chances will increase as the day goes on,” says Crystal Petit, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “The best chances will be between 2 pm and 8 pm.”

 

Petit says the threat of severe weather is “marginal.” That means storms could be spotty and typically will be limited in duration and/or intensity.

 

“Most of these are going to be regular thunderstorms. There is a chance a few of them could produce damaging winds, so you could see a couple of trees down. There could be some flooding as well in low lying areas,” says Petit. “Chances will continue through the overnight hours and then the storms will likely move out by then.”

 

Temperatures are supposed to cool down as well.

 

“The rest of the week looks like we’ll have highs in the mid-80s to start and then, as we get later into the week, highs in the lower 80s. Some chances for showers and thunderstorms too, but overall it looks like a pretty nice week,” says Petit.

 

Petit also urges you to keep an eye on the forecast because it can always change.

Three Shelby Co. companies honored for years of service

Governor Eric Holcomb awarded 76 Indiana companies and organizations with the Governor’s Century or Half Century Business Award in recognition of each company’s longevity and service to its employees, community and the state. 

“It is an honor to recognize Hoosier business leaders who have been creating quality career opportunities for Hoosiers and running their businesses in Indiana for more than 50 or 100 years,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Through a strong dedication to their employees, their businesses and their communities, these companies exemplify the pioneering spirit and perseverance that will keep Indiana on the path to success for centuries to come."

The Governor’s Century and Half Century Business Awards honor Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for a minimum of 100 or 50 consecutive years and have demonstrated a commitment to community service. More than 1,560 Indiana companies have been recognized during the award's 29-year history.

 

Half Century Award honorees for 2020: 
 

  • Bar-Cons Federal Credit Union (Financial services)
    55 years; Bartholomew County
     
  • Centra Credit Union (Financial services)
    80 years; Bartholomew County
     
  • Cord Bros. (Construction)
    69 years; Shelby County
     
  • Decatur County Memorial Hospital (Health care)
    98 years; Decatur County
     
  • Drake Electric (Trades)
    91 years; Shelby County
     
  • J & L Tool & Machine Inc. (Manufacturing)
    52 years; Shelby County
      

The Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards ceremony, which was scheduled to occur in spring 2020, was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This year's award recipients will be invited to participate in the 2021 ceremony. 

Indiana AG says governor has overstepped powers

Governor Holcomb's mask order is renewing attention on Indiana's emergency powers law -- with Attorney General Curtis Hill arguing he's overstepping those powers.

 

Five conservative Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), asked Hill for an advisory opinion on whether Holcomb has the authority to require you to mask up. Hill's nonbinding reply: he doesn't.

 

The law says the governor can take any "reasonable and necessary" action in an emergency -- even Hill acknowledges it doesn't spell out any limitations. But he argues that while an emergency declaration was clearly needed at the start of the pandemic, Holcomb shouldn't be able to renew it indefinitely. After four months, he contends legislators should weigh in, And he argues a mask order, especially with a criminal penalty attached, amounts to creating laws, and says legislators would have to give him that authority specifically.

 

The emergency law says "knowingly, intentionally or recklessly violating an emergency order is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a thousand-dollar fine.

 

The law says emergency declarations expire after 30 days unless the governor extends them, which Holcomb has done several times, generally in two-week increments. There's no limit on how many times it can be extended -- only a provision allowing the legislature to vote to end the emergency. Legislators won't reconvene until November 17 unless Holcomb calls a special session, which Democrats have requested for other reasons.

 

Hill says he doesn't question the intentions of Holcomb, nor the mayors and county commissioners who issued mask orders before the statewide mandate. But he argues Holcomb's order intrudes on legislative authority.

 

Opinions from the attorney general are advisory only -- Hill says it's up to the five senators to decide whether to pursue legal action to block the mandate before it takes effect on Monday.

 

Jonathan Weinzapfel, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, is coming to Holcomb's defense, arguing the law gives the governor broad authority in an emergency, and explicitly states the penalty for violating an emergency order. He maintains it's both the right policy decision and legally authorized, and says he'd gladly defend it in court if he were attorney general already. He accuses Hill of playing politics.

 

Relations between Holcomb and Hill had been chilly even before Holcomb called for the attorney general's resignation after accusations of inappropriate touching came to light in 2018. Hill's reelection campaign ended two weeks ago when he lost the Republican nomination to former Congressman Todd Rokita.

Hot,, humid for weekend; relief next week

You can expect another hot and humid weekend.

 

Aaron Updike, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, says highs on Saturday will be in the upper 80s, and near 90 on Sunday, but it will feel like it's close to 100.

 

If you're not a fan of the hot summer weather, don't worry. Updike says after rain and thunderstorms roll through the majority of the state on Monday, we'll have a break from the heat. Temperatures next Tuesday through Friday will only be in the lower to mid 80s.

Shelbyville Police Chief addresses enforcement of mask order

Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Weidner submitted the following statement regarding Governor Holcomb's executive order that begins Monday.

 

In accordance with the Governor’s executive order, beginning at 12:01 am on July 27, 2020 all people in the State of Indiana are required to wear face coverings when they are in a public place, in or on public transportation or in any work place where a six-foot social distancing practice is not possible.


State and local health departments have been designated as the agencies responsible for the education and compliance of the Governor’s face covering order.


Refusal or non-compliance does not constitute a crime nor is it a law enforcement matter. The Shelbyville Police Department will not dispatch officers for the sole purpose of non-compliance with the face covering order.


Businesses and organizations have the right to refuse service to those who refuse to wear a face covering. Refusal to leave the business or organization after being asked to leave for non-compliance may be treated as a Criminal Trespass.


Whether you agree or disagree with the executive order, please be respectful. You can read the entire Executive Order at: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

20 COVID cases confirmed at Aperion Care in Waldron

The Shelby County Department of Health announced Wednesday over 20 individuals diagnosed, with tests pending and ongoing testing, of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported at Aperion Care, Inc. in Waldron.

 

They have had zero deaths.

 

“We know that people older than 60 with underlying health conditions are most at risk during this pandemic,” Local Health Officer Dr. Loman said.

 

No further information about the patients will be released due to privacy laws.

 

We are working closely with Long Term Care facilities, Major Health Partners, Jane Pauley FHQ, local, state and federal officials to continue with infection control protocols and testing to prevent further spread within the facility and county.

 

To prevent spread, the long-term care facilities in our communities are following the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) guidelines, such as:

 

• Separate spaces that is used only for confirmed or presumed COVID-19 patients;

 

• Limiting patient contact of those confirmed, exposed, or suspects to only essential direct care providers

 

• Using an established tracking system to monitor and manage infection control activities and residents and staff member who are symptomatic

 

• Ongoing testing of residents and staff

 

• Screening of residents, staff and visitors

 

Shelby County has 476 positive cases, of which 53.8% were female and 46% were male. We also have a reported 25 deaths, of which 60% were female and 40% were male. The age breakdown is as follows: 12% were age 50-59; 8% were age 60-69; 12% were age 70-79 and the largest mortality rate was for those 80 years of age and older accounting for 68% of deaths in our county. 4,446 tests have been completed with results. Of those being tested 57.2% were female and 42.7% were male.

 

For more statistics please visit the dashboard which is updated daily

Shelbyville man arrested after threatening incident with a handgun

A call to police Monday about a man with a gun resulted in an arrest.

 

On July 20, officers were called to the 100 block of W. Broadway Street in reference to a subject making threats with a handgun.  

 

Officers arrived on scene and located the subject identified as Dion Palmer.  Palmer, 40, of Shelbyville, started walking away from the officers and had his hand in his pocket.  Officers gave loud verbal commands for Palmer to stop and show his hands.  Palmer refused to stop and disobeyed the officer’s commands to remove his hand from his pocket.  The information given was that Palmer had a handgun in his possession.  After several loud commands for Palmer to stop, officers were able to stop him by the deployment of a Taser.  Officers were then able to gain control of Palmer and place him into handcuffs. 

 

Officers located a handgun at the scene which had been discarded under a vehicle.  The firearm had a bullet in the chamber.

 

The on-scene interviews showed that Palmer was acting aggressively and threatening.  According to the police press release Palmer had displayed the firearm to the individuals in the apartment.  Palmer also made threats to physically harm one of the subjects inside by beating him up.   The victim was able to force Palmer out of the apartment and call 911.

 

Palmer was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was remanded into the custody of the jail staff.

Election creates new debate for New Pal town council and clerk-treasurer

The rift between the New Palestine Town Council and the town’s clerk-treasurer grew a little wider recently as members of the council approached the Hancock County Election Board about the validity of Tonii Pyle’s win and ability to serve as clerk-treasurer.


According to town council members, Pyle obtained signatures illegally on her nomination petition during work hours and during council meetings. Pyle was a deputy clerk-treasurer at the time of the signatures and was elected in 2019.


Town council member Angie Fahrnow told the election board that she raised concerns when she turned in her signatures and never heard anything back.


“I came and verbalized how the signatures were obtained and was told they would ask. I was never told to fill out anything. There were several complaints I turned in and never got a phone call. I came and verbally turned in complaints when I turned in my signature sheets, nobody ever got back to me,” Fahrnow said.


Members of the election board said they were unfamiliar with those claims, noting they first time they heard of any issues were July 1 when they received an email asking about the opinion of signatures Pyle obtained.


Board president John Apple said any petition had to be submitted in September of 2019 and that election results were finalized two weeks after the general election. Pyle ran unopposed and received 185 total votes.


“It seems to me that this board doesn’t have the jurisdiction to hear anything on this. The deadlines have passed for filing sworn statements of challenge and contesting the election. We are looking at an office holder at this point,” Apple said.


Members told Fahrnow they do not have the authority to change the results of an election or remove people for alleged violations and suggested she take the matter up with the county prosecutor. Fahrnow and fellow council member Bill Niemier did just that, as they filed a report with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, alleging ghost employment, which is a Level 6 felony in Indiana. A conviction would mean Pyle would be removed from office, however, it will be up to Brent Eaton, the prosecutor, to file charges.


Indiana Code 35-44.1-1-3 defines ghost employment as any public servant who knowingly or intentionally assigns to an employee under the public servant’s supervision any duties not related to the operation of the governmental entity that the public servant serves. In other words, town council members allege Pyle committed a violation of getting signatures during work hours, which was not part of her job.


Fahrnow told Giant FM she was not surprised with the decision, stating she had actually expected it and will be moving up the chain of command.


“Several attempts have been made by the council to bridge the gap between the clerk and council, but the clerk keeps burning that bridge. All of this discord started after council’s attorney told the clerk-treasurer she needed her own attorney. Our town attorney continues to empower the clerk-treasurer, which only makes this situation more toxic,” Fahrnow said.


Earlier this year, the town council censured Pyle.

BMV asks customers to limit use of cash when possible

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is asking Hoosiers to pay with a credit card or check when possible to complete transactions.

 

The BMV is making this request because of the national coin shortage which has directly impacted its branches. The United States Federal Reserve is experiencing a coin shortage that is currently impacting all Financial Institutions within the U.S. As a result, the BMV is unable to access additional coin inventory to replenish its supplies.

 

The BMV required all branches to take steps to help mitigate the impact of the coin shortage several weeks ago and is now asking customers to use cash only when able to pay with exact change. At this time, branches are displaying signs identifying the situation and asking customers to use alternate forms of payment.

 

The Federal Reserve has not provided a timeline for the coin shortage to be resolved. They have stated they expect coin inventories to return to previous levels once the coin supply chain returns to normal circulation patterns.

City of Shelbyville not ready to enforce mask wearing requirements

The mayor of Shelbyville says a mask mandate from city government isn’t forthcoming.  At least, not yet.

 

Mayor Tom DeBaun notes he has received a few contacts about that very thing.

 

 

The mayor noted he is interested to see if local virus numbers are impacted by recent events that drew people together.

 

 

Meanwhile, large retailers across the country and in many local instances are mandating mask wearing inside of their establishments.

 

One injured in Shelbyville stabbing

Shelbyville Police are investigating a stabbing.

 

On July 17, 2020 at around 11:00pm, the Shelbyville Police Department responded to the 1000 block of Parker Avenue for a battery.  Officers were advised that the suspect had left the area in a gold colored vehicle.  Officers tried to locate the vehicle while responding to the victim.

 

Officers arrived and found one male with what appeared to be stab wounds.  The male was alert and talking when officers arrived.  The Shelbyville Fire Department arrived on the scene and took over care of the victim.

 

This incident is still under investigation at this time.  As details become available and can be released SPD will send them out.

Anti-mask protest Sunday at Statehouse

An anti-mask protest is planned for Sunday afternoon south of the Indiana Statehouse.

 

"We feel that the crisis has ended and it is time to return the state back to normal operations and to not ask for people to wear masks. The masks are ineffective," says Robert Hall, organizer of the protest and leader of the Indiana Conservative Alliance and Grassroots Conservatives.

Governor Holcomb planned on fully reopening the state on the 4th of July, but chose to keep the state in "stage 4.5". Earlier this week, he also decided to stay at 4.5 for "at least the next two weeks."

 

"The number of deaths from the China virus has reduced to below the level it was prior to the start of it in March," says Hall.

 

More than 2,600 people have died from coronavirus in Indiana. On Wednesday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said an increase in positive cases of coronavirus played a part in the decision for the state to stay at 4.5. She said the hot spots continue to be in the northern part of the state, in Marion County and in southwestern Indiana.

 

"The number of cases have increased because they're testing more people. The crisis is over. It's not as serious as it was. We shouldn't have these draconian measures going on. Wearing masks can be harmful to your health causing oxygen deficiency and toxic carbon dioxide in your blood," says Hall.

 

A new study published by Mass General Brigham finds that face masks can go a long way in stopping the coronavirus in its tracks. According to the study from the Boston-based nonprofit hospital, the rate of coronavirus infections fell dramatically from the middle of March to the end of April when health care workers and patients both wore masks in a hospital setting.

The study found that N95 and surgical masks are more effective than bandannas and scarves, but that those face coverings are better than not wearing one at all.

 

Holcomb has not issued a statewide mask mandate, but has encouraged people to wear masks. Hall says that sets a dangerous precedent.

 

"It's ridiculous. Some of the stores are now requiring people to wear masks because they're following his lead. They should be voluntary not mandatory," says Hall.

 

Hall was asked about the increase of coronavirus cases across the country and the possibility that people traveling from other states could bring the virus to Indiana.

 

"But it hasn't yet. The number of cases are up because testing is up. Symptoms are either mild or people are asymptomatic. It's not as serious as they told us it was going to be. It's not a crisis anymore," says Hall.

 

Hall was asked what he plans to do if the City of Indianapolis or Marion County Health Department plans on issuing the protesers a fine or some kind of punishment.

 

"We know attorneys that will help fight anything. There's no law that requires it. It's really questionable on a legal basis," says Hall.

 

The anti-mask protest is scheduled for Sunday at 200 West Washington Street from 4-6 pm.

SCUFFY hits GOAL!

It didn’t seem possible. All signs pointed to the reality that Shelby County United Fund (SCUFFY) might miss the target for the first time in its 66-year history. Drive volunteers and the SCUFFY board were preparing for a near-miss.

 

Then, a couple of large donations helped pull the campaign across the finish line.

 

Final calculations were tabulated during the SCUFFY board meeting on Thursday. With a goal of $850,000 for the 2020 drive, SCUFFY and all of its volunteers raised a grand total of:$855,848.38 – solidly surpassing their goal.

 

Kyle Beaty, chair of the 2020 drive said, “This was certainly a team effort. In March, when the drive was kicking off and businesses started shutting down – I thought we were in trouble and had some doubts.  But seeing the effects of the pandemic on Shelby County, specifically through the lens of our agencies motivated us.  We knew that our services were going to be needed at this time more than ever.  So, we had to reach our goal.  And once again, our community has pulled through and we made it happen.”

 

During a typical year, the SCUFFY fundraising drive begins the first Wednesday in March and concludes on the first Wednesday in May. This year, the board decided to extend the drive to give businesses a chance to get back on their feet following the COVID-19 shutdowns. This turned out to be the right call.

 

Beaty said that last minute donations from Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, plus a generous gift from an anonymous donor made a critical difference. “Some of the larger employers made corporate gifts on top of employee contributions, together those donations really contributed to our success,” Beaty said.

 

“Our Industry and Labor division is always the biggest portion of our drive,” Executive Director Alecia Gross said. “This year several companies participated in corporate matching. That leveraged donations and made a great impact.”

 

Gross said Brazeway Inc, Ryobi Die Casting, Yushiro Manufacturing America and Knauf Insulation were some of the heroes of this year’s campaign.

 

“We also had lots of individuals and smaller companies really step up and try new things to boost our donations,” said Gross. She added that The Bicycle Shop donated a bike for a fundraising raffle, Scot Shrader organized a virtual benefit concert, Sharp Trophies sold logo tumblers, Blue River Bouncers had popcorn sales, and Blue River Dental created a marketing campaign for new patients to benefit SCUFFY.

 

SCUFFY organization also had to adapt fundraising efforts.  We were disappointed that we were unable to meet with businesses, engage with the public, and fulfill some of long running SCUFFY drive traditions, like Roadblock.  But we were able to adapt and tried many new virtual fundraising methods.  SCUFFY hopes to adopt some of these new methods for future drives.

 

“It is truly amazing,” Beaty said. “When you think about how many people stepped up to help us make our total of $855,848.38. Every dollar makes a difference. Our agencies and all of those served by SCUFFY are so appreciative.”

 

“The work SCUFFY does creates a vital safety net throughout Shelby County”, Gross said. “Our board is committed – perhaps now more than ever, to make sure our services are ready and available to our community during difficult times.”

FedEx to go ahead with Greenwood distribution center

FedEx is moving ahead with a new project in Johnson County.

 

FedEx plans to set up a distribution center in Greenwood two years after abandoning a previous plan for the city, according to Inside Indiana Business.

 

The company plans to spend more than $23 million on an 815,000-square-foot facility just off of I-65 and Worthsville Road. Construction is already underway.

 

According to The Daily Journal, FedEx expects to create 500 new jobs. Plans call for 100 full-time employees with an average salary of $54,000 and 400 part-time employees with an hourly wage of $15.

 

In 2017, FedEx announced plans for a small package distribution center in Greenwood that would have created 455 jobs. However, the project was called off in the spring of 2018 when FedEx backed out of the deal, citing “projected operational needs,” according to IIB.

 

FedEx plans to have the new facility open before the holiday season begins.

Morristown house fire under investigation

Few details are being released at this time regarding an ongoing investigation of a house fire Tuesday night in Morristown.

 

Morristown fire and police and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department responded to the home on South Washington late Tuesday.  No injuries were reported.

 

The Indiana State Fire Marshal's office has been called in to investigate.

Kroger will require masks in all stores

Kroger submitted the following information about requiring customers to wear masks starting July 22:

 

With the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country—as America’s grocer—we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus.

 

Kroger’s most urgent priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, ecommerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials.

 

As an employer, grocery provider and community partner, we have a responsibility to help keep our associates, customers and communities safe. According to the CDC, wearing a facial covering, combined with social distancing and frequent handwashing, has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks. We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country.

 

We respect and acknowledge that some customers, due to medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask (small children are exempt). We encourage those customers to consider an alternative option like a face shield or facial covering. If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our ecommerce services like pickup or delivery. To support all households during the COVID-19 pandemic, our grocery pickup service remains free (generally a $4.95 fee).

 

BCSO K9 Bravo to undergo surgery

The Bartholomew Co. Sheriff's Office released the following information about K9 Bravo's upcoming surgery:

 

 

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s K9, Bravo, a Belgian Malinois, will undergo surgery on both knees. 

 

We believe that both injuries are work-related; however, neither workmen’s compensation nor insurance will cover the (approximately) $7,000 cost.  “Although funding is not available in the Sheriff’s Office budget, our agency is intent on getting our four-legged partner the medical attention he needs”, said BCSO’s Chief Deputy Major Chris Lane.

 

“Bravo, whose handler is BCSO Deputy Leah Burton, is one-third of our K9 Unit”.  “He is in good spirits but will have a long way to go through surgery and recovery” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers.  “I can’t stress enough the importance of this K9 Unit and the affect Bravo has had on finding and keeping illegal drugs out of our community”, added Sheriff Myers.

 

Along with his service to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Bravo has been a great deal of assistance to our Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET), Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) Unit and several out-of-county agencies.

 

Bravo has been in service since September, 2019.  He has been deployed five times on foot pursuits, 86 times he has been deployed and located illegal drugs and he has assisted deputies with numerous warrant service.

 

In addition to taking calls for service, BCSO K9 units respond to crimes in progress, vehicular and foot pursuits, burglaries, robberies, missing/lost persons and other calls where a criminal suspect has fled the scene and canine deployment is required. 

Walmart, Best Buy to require masks

 If you want to shop at Walmart or Sam’s Club on or after Monday, July 20, you will need to wear a face mask.

 

The company said in a statement Wednesday:

 

“As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face-covering mandates being implemented.

 

Currently, about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20.”

 

Another retailer, Best Buy, announced Tuesday that it will also require shoppers to wear face masks. Costco started requiring customers to wear masks in stores beginning in May.

 

Virtual 4H fair in Shelby County; auction July 23

Judging is complete.  Now the process of compiling and reporting 4H results for Shelby County’s virtual fair in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Scott Gabbard with the Shelby County Purdue Extension says it’s not the fair they’re used to.  Not the one they want.  But they’re making it work.

 

 

He says their office now in the midst of preparing results, information to get out to the public by this weekend.

 

 

Starting this weekend the plans call for, over a matter of days, publishing the results.

 

 

And then, next week will be the virtual auction.

 

 

If you wish to be a bidder on the auction, contact the Purdue Extension office.

 

 

Traffic redirect on Shelbyville's Public Square Wednesday

Indiana American Water and Beaty Construction have to make a crossing at West Washington Street and the Public Square in Shelbyville Wednesday. 

 

Traffic will be redirected (per the picture in this story) to the east side of the Public Square for Wednesday, July 15. 

 

It will last one day for the crossing.

 

Second shooting on 465 in two days

Detectives from the Indiana State Police are investigating a fatal interstate shooting that occurred Monday evening. This is the second interstate shooting in the Indianapolis area in two days, however these incidents are not believed to be related.

 

Monday night, at 6:05 p.m., emergency crews were called to I-465 westbound  on the south side of Indianapolis near the SR 37 exit for reports of a person shot. When troopers arrived CPR was in progress by an INDOT Hoosier Helper who had stopped to help. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Service along with the Indianapolis Fire Department arrived quickly and resumed life saving efforts. The victim was transported to an area hospital and later pronounced deceased.

 

Preliminary investigation has led detectives to believe this shooting began with a road rage incident.  The suspect pulled alongside the victim's vehicle, which was a full size white van, and opened fire. The suspect fled the scene in a newer model black Chevrolet Impala or Malibu.

 

The suspect, who was the sole occupant of the black Chevrolet, was described as a light skin black male, with tight dreadlocks that stopped above his shoulders and a skinny build.

 

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or was in the area with a dash camera is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at 317-899-8577 or CrimeStoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous. 

 

The victim is a resident of Georgia however their identity is being withheld at this time. 

New Pal woman lifelined from Shelby County accident

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department reports a one car accident Friday evening on 252 near the St. George Church.

 

One person in the vehicle, Kharisma Maddox, 21, of New Palestine, was lifelined from the scene.  There is no further word on extent of injuries at this time.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department says the vehicle left the north side of the roadway just before 6:30 pm coming to rest in the ditch and overturned.  Maddox did not remember the crash and was possibly ejected.

Hartnett to retire from J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Clubs in September

The J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Clubs reports that corporation executive director John Hartnett has announced his intention to retire from that position effective September 30, 2020. Hartnett, only the third executive director in Club history, began his 40-year Boys and Girls Club career as an assistant director in 1980 and assumed the role of chief professional officer in 1984, following the death of long-time director Ken Self.

 

Hartnett oversaw historic growth and development during his four-decade tenure with the Club including: Two multi-million dollar capital campaigns, establishment of a half-million dollar endowment and creation of the Morristown Boys and Girls Club. “I truly appreciate the tremendous opportunities the Boys and Girls Club has provided for me over the course of the past 40 years,” stated Hartnett.  “Most significant are the lifetime associations and friendships I have had the blessing to develop with so many. I am genuinely grateful.”

 

Brady Claxton is the current board president of the Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Club and he had this to say about John’s retirement news.  “It is impossible to overstate the importance of John Hartnett to the Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Club and our community as a whole.  John has had an immeasurable impact on countless lives in Shelby County, including my own.  John’s commitment, dedication, and devotion to the youth of Shelby County is unparalleled.  We wish him all the best as moves into the next phase of his life and we are forever grateful for his 40 years of service to the Boys and Girls Club."

 

A graduate of Franklin College and Butler University, Hartnett has served in a variety of capacities for numerous community organizations including: Babe Ruth Baseball, Shelbyville Central Schools, The Shelby County United Fund and the Drug-Free Coalition. He is a past president of the Indiana Boys and Girls Club Workers Association and was a founding board member of the Indiana Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs. He was inducted into The Shelbyville High School Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the 2018 Boys and Girls Clubs of America “Contribution to the Profession Award.”

 

SCUFFY near its 2020 goal

Close.  Ever so close.

 

The annual SCUFFY drive is just that.  Close.  Close to an $850, 000 goal that required an extension of the annual drive to benefit 12 member agencies in as trying a time as the Shelby County United Fund has ever dealt with.

 

Hired during the drive, Executive Director Alecia Gross says they’re hoping to wrap up this week as they assess where they are.

 

 

The pandemic has impacted SCUFFY’s drive all the way down to whether or not to even host certain events.

 

 

Gross says the SCUFFY board and volunteers have been tremendous.

 

 

The pandemic situation has offered a learning experience for SCUFFY that they hope can be positive down the road.

 

 

The SCUFFY board will meet Thursday to see if the 2020 drive has reached its $850, 000 goal.

 

 

UPDATE: Body found at Eagle Creek reservoir

A body was found in Eagle Creek Reservoir early Friday morning.

 

Indiana Conservation Officer Jet Quillen said the Pike Township Fire Department located the floating body around 6:15 am.

 

"The body has been taken down to the Marion County Coroner's Office, and they are working diligently to identify the victim that was taken from the water," Quillen said.

 

They believe it could be the man the fire department has been searching for since Wednesday afternoon. The man was paddleboating with a woman before storms rolled in and caused the boat to flip, sending both into the water. The woman was rescued and is now doing okay, but the man never resurfaced.

UPDATE: One fatality, one injured in Thursday morning crash

The one-car crash occurred in the 4200 block of East Michigan Rd.  An eastbound 2003 Chrysler van driven by Tera Doane Minyard, 39, of Cincinnati, left the roadway for unknown reasons. The vehicle struck a tree.

 

The passenger in the vehicle, Ronda Purdon, 52, of Cincinnati, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was lifelined to Indianapolis.

 

The crash is still under investigation.

 

 

Original story - Wednesday, Jul 9

A one-car accident on Shelby County’s Michigan Road resulted in one fatality Thursday morning.

 

The accident occurred near St. Vincent DePaul at 9:00 am.  A passenger, from out-of-state, died in the crash when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree head-on.  The driver was taken to Methodist Hospital.

 

The crash remains under investigation.

Shelbyville Police investigating death of 31-year old man

Shelbyville Police are handling a death investigation.

 

Shelbyville police and fire departments responded Wednesday to a call of an unresponsive male in the 100 block of East Pennsylvania Street.  Jason Kessler, 31, was declared dead at the scene.

 

There is no information released at this time as to the cause of death .  Shelbyville Police report more details will be released as they are able during this investigation. 

Search resumes today for missing paddle boater at Eagle Creek Reservoir

Indiana Conservation Officers are concluded for the evening Thursday their search operations at Eagle Creek Reservoir for a missing paddle boater that fell overboard and never resurfaced.

 

Search efforts will resume Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. 

 

Search operations utilizing sonar and divers.

 

This incident is still under investigation and updates will be provided as they become available.

Arrest in 1986 Connersville murder case

An arrest has been made in a Fayette County cold case.

 

The Fayette County Sheriff's Department says Shawn McClung was charged Thursday afternoon with voluntary manslaughter for the death of Denise Pflum.

 

Pflum was 18 years old, and a senior at Connersville High School, when she went missing in 1986.

Court documents say McClung previously claimed the Pflum was still alive, but recently admitted that he killed her 34 years ago.

 

In a written statement, the parents of Pflum said:

 

"This is just a start, there will be more to follow, which we cannot comment on at this point. We appreciate all of the love and support that you have shown us. We appreciate that Denise has become like family to all of you. Our daughter was a special person whom we will never forget, and we know that this community will not forget. We are so grateful for all of those who have followed her story, who have helped with the investigation, and who have shown support and love."

One fatality, one injured in Thursday morning crash

A one-car accident on Shelby County’s Michigan Road resulted in one fatality Thursday morning.

 

The accident occurred near St. Vincent DePaul at 9:00 am.  A passenger, from out-of-state, died in the crash when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree head-on.  The driver was taken to Methodist Hospital.

 

The crash remains under investigation.

Jockey Restriction set at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Indiana Grand Racecourse is working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of all those involved with the current racing season, which began Monday, June 15. After consultation with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC), all jockeys accepting a mount at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will agree to ride exclusively at the facility. This restriction goes into effect Friday, July 10, 2020 and applies to both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys.

 

If a jockey that is currently riding at Indiana Grand enters another jockey’s quarters at another racetrack, he or she will not be allowed to return to Indiana Grand without self-quarantining for 14 days. After that time period, the jockey will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Jockeys who wish to move their tack to Indiana Grand must also go through the 14-day quarantine and provide a negative Covid-19 test before they will be accepted to ride.

 

Live racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 18. Action is held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Post times for the all-Quarter Horse programs is to be determined.

Scams targeting utility customers on the rise during pandemic; Duke Energy warns of latest tactics

Scams targeting electric and natural gas customers are on the rise, with imposters implementing new tactics during the pandemic to trick utility customers out of money andpersonal information.

June 2020 was the highest single month on record for reported scam attempts targeting Duke Energy customers across the states it serves, hitting more than 4,000.

 

The total number of scam attempts reported by Duke Energy customers so far in 2020 – 15,000 – already is approaching 2019’s full-year total of 18,000.

 

In Indiana, Duke Energy customers have reported more than 1,400 scam attempts in June, which is close to the total reports for all of 2019.

 

“Unfortunately, the scammers appear to bepreying on the uncertainty and financial hardship caused by the pandemic,and they are tracking trends and adjusting theirtactics,” said Jared Lawrence, Duke Energy’s vice president of revenue services and metering. “As new scam techniques are employed, it is imperative that customers stay alert, informed and make a concerted effort to guard their personal information and money.”

 

New tactic

Scammers have added a new tactic, which promises to mail customers refund checks for overpayments on their accounts if they can confirm their personal data, including birthdays and, in some cases, social security numbers.

Generally, Duke Energy will apply refunds as a credit to customers’ accounts and will not contact customers to verify personal information by phone, email or in person in order to mail a check.

 

Phone scam

Scam reports also indicate that phone scammers posing as utility providers continue to call and insist customers are delinquent on their bills. The scammer typically claims a service disconnection is pending, rigs caller ID to mimic your utility provider, and demands the money in the form of a prepaid debit card.

 

Note: Duke Energy has currently suspended disconnections for nonpayment.

 

Common scam tactics include:

  • A call with pre-recorded voice, often referred to as a robocall, with a caller ID display showing the customer’s utility’s name.
     
  • A mimicked Interactive Voice Response menu that customers typically hear when they call their utility.
     
  • Threats to disconnect power or natural gas service to a customer’s home or business within an hour.
     
  • Immediate payment demands by prepaid debit card.
     
  • And, with many utilities suspending nonpay disconnections during the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are now promising refund checks if the customer makes a payment and the pending disconnect was an error.

Customers who suspect they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers should:

 

  • Hang up the phone, especially if it’s a robo call.
     
  • Call the utility provider by using the phone number provided on the bill or on the company’s official website, followed by a call to the police.
     
  • Never purchase a prepaid debit card or gift card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff. DO NOT pay over the phone if immediate payment is demanded by a prepaid card to avoid a disconnection. Legitimate utility companies do not specify how customers should make a bill payment, and they always offer a variety of ways to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.

Customers can learn about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs on the Federal Trade Commission website www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts.

 

Duke Energy is also a founding member of Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of more than 140 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas companies (and their respective trade associations) that raises awareness of utility scams targeting customers. Duke Energy’s Lawrence is also the UUAS founder and executive committee chair.

 

Visit duke-energy.com/stopscamsorutilitiesunited.orgfor more information and tips about how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams, or follow along on social media: Twitter @DukeEnergy or @U_U_A_Sand Facebook @Duke Energyor@UtilitiesUnited.

State to send PPE to hundreds of Indiana schools

Indiana schools start reopening next month, and the state is working on ways to get the message out to students to mask up.

 

Indiana was already planning to reopen schools on schedule, even before President Trump threatened Wednesday to cut funding to states who don't. The Indiana Department of Education issued a detailed list of recommended and required protocols to reduce the risk of infection, and state health commissioner Kris Box says the state will do all it can to enable students to return to school. She says it's important for their education and mental health, and Governor Holcomb adds that it reduces pressure on parents trying to balance child care with work.

 

But Box says health officials will be on alert for coronavirus surges that could close schools all over again. Hospitalizations for coronavirus are up 12-percent since June 27, four days before Holcomb delayed the final lifting of restrictions on mass gatherings. And the percentage of tests coming back positive, after staying at or below the five-percent comfort level throughout the second half of June, has ranged from six to nine-percent.

 

Box says there's no hard and fast rule for what would send students home to study online again. She says superintendents, principals and health departments will need to confer and look at local circumstances: whether an outbreak is communitywide or centered at a single business or nursing home, and whether cases at a school are confined to a particular classroom or grade level.

 

The state is shipping masks and sanitizer to nearly 500 schools which have requested them. Each school will get at least one mask for every student, plus 500 masks for adults. Box says the state is still brainstorming how best to communicate to teenagers and young adults that it's important to wear them. The state's already posted a video on social media of Holcomb, Box and other state agency heads wearing masks and encouraging Hoosiers to follow suit. Box says the department is looking at other ways to use social media or peer relationships to connect with students who probably aren't watching Holcomb's weekly updates.

 

Purdue University is requiring masks for all students and staff, and announced Wednesday it will require students to test negative for the virus before returning to campus.

 

Box says there are current surges of the virus in northern, northwest and southwest Indiana, particularly in Elkhart, Vanderburgh and Lake Counties. Those three counties had more than a third of Indiana's newly reported cases on Wednesday.

 

Indiana Senator Mike Braun reaffirmed plans Wednesday to attend next month's Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, and Holcomb says he still plans to go as well. But the governor cautions that those plans can change, just as many states have paused reopening plans or reimposed restrictions after seeing virus numbers surge. He says he'll continue to monitor the latest health data before booking his flight.

Search for Georgia murder suspect in southern Indiana

On July 2, four individuals were involved in a murder in Perry, Georgia.  Those four individuals fled the state, and two were soon apprehended in Alabama. 

 

On Saturday, July 3, the remaining two suspects were tracked to Clarksville, Indiana; however, one of those individuals has since turned herself into Georgia authorities.  As part of their investigation, detectives from the Perry Police Department traveled to Indiana and, working with local authorities,  are seeking assistance in locating the remaining suspect, Quintavios Dobbins. 

 

Quintavios Dobbins is a 23-year-old black male.  He is 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 185 pounds.  He has black hair and brown eyes and may have a black beard. Dobbins has a tattoo across the front side of his neck that appears to read "12.14.17" or possibly "12.74.17".  His last know location was in Clarksville, Indiana, on Sunday, July 5.  

 

If anyone knows the location of Quntavios Dobbins or believes they sighted him, they should call 911 immediately and provide local authorities with the information.  It is unknown if Dobbins has any weapons with him, but he should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. 

 

Quntavios Dobbins has a warrant for murder issued from the Houston County Prosecutor in Georgia.  Dobbins may have temporary work experience in the Evansville and Indianapolis areas but is a resident of Alabama.

Indiana's 94 community foundations to be supported by former Blue River Community Foundation executive director, Shelbyville Redevelopment Director Amy Haacker

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance names Amy Haacker vice president for community foundation programs. Replacing retiring IPA Vice President Rosemary Dorsa, Haacker will lead IPA’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

 

“When we set out to identify the next leader for this role, we were looking for someone to propel the next decade of community foundation growth across the state of Indiana,” said Claudia Cummings, IPA president and CEO. “Amy’s reputation, expertise and innovative mindset are all core attributes that fuel my excitement for her and for the future of IPA.”

 

For the past 8 years, Haacker served as executive director of Blue River Community Foundation based in Shelbyville, Indiana. In this role, Haacker built cross-sector partnerships for greater impact, transitioned the foundation to a catalytic model, improved operational efficiencies and nearly doubled the foundation’s assets.

 

“This is a time of transformation in philanthropy, and specifically for community foundations in Indiana,” said Haacker. “I’m excited to explore how we move into this next decade as a catalytic force across Indiana, beginning at home in each of our own communities to create real and lasting change.”

 

Prior to her work at the community foundation, Haacker had a successful career in community development. She was the redevelopment director for the City of Shelbyville and the executive director of Mainstreet Shelbyville. As redevelopment director, Haacker led collaborative plans for community and economic development efforts as a Stellar Communities program finalist. She also helped create a workforce development partnership with the City of Shelbyville and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology that provides local career pathways in engineering, science and technology.

 

Haacker earned her master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and bachelor’s degree from Purdue University’s School of Agriculture. She completed Ball State University’s Building Better Communities Indiana Economic Development course, has a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from IU Lilly School of Philanthropy and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.

 

Kroger Health receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit

Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization for the COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. The testing solution combines the safety and convenience of at-home sample collection with the expert guidance of a telehealth consultation to help improve the quality of the collection process.

 

Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit will be available to frontline associates across Kroger’s Family of Companies, based on medical need, beginning this week. In partnership with Gravity Diagnostics, a full-service clinical laboratory located in Covington, KY, Kroger Health plans to rapidly expand the availability of the home collection kits to other companies and organizations in the coming weeks, with a goal of processing up to 60,000 tests per week by the end of July.

 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our associates and our customers has remained our top priority,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Kroger Heath remains committed to helping people live healthier lives through our multi-disciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced healthcare providers. Over the past few months, Kroger Health has been providing Americans with access to COVID-19 testing through community test sites across the country; however, we’ve observed some individuals do not have access to transportation or live near these community testing locations. To help ease this burden and provide greater accessibility, we will be offering a home testing solution to our associates first followed by other companies and organizations.”

 

Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit: How it Works

 

  • The home collection is performed under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. The process is simple and is available at no cost to eligible patients who meet established clinical criteria for likely COVID-19 infection or exposure.

 

  • Patients will be provided access to a website where they will answer screening questions, input their organization’s benefit code and an individual code, like an employee ID, and complete a clinical assessment. If a patient qualifies, a healthcare professional will issue a prescription and the home collection kit is shipped to their home within 24-48 hours.

 

  • The home collection kit includes a nasal swab, transport vial, instruction sheet, prepaid shipping label, and packing materials for return shipment of the sample to the laboratory.

 

  • Upon receipt of the home collection kit, a healthcare professional guides the home collection process via telehealth – a two-way video chat. The direct observation helps to ensure the proper technique is used for sample collection.

 

  • The patient will then overnight ship their sample to the laboratory for processing, which on average will take 24-48 hours.

 

  • At the laboratory, the collection undergoes a molecular diagnostic test – a test which detects parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can be used to diagnose active infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

 

  • If test results are negative for an active infection, results are released to the patient’s electronic medical record portal. Alternatively, patients may be called if they do not consent to use of the portal. For a patient whose test result is positive, a healthcare professional will contact them via phone to provide a recommended course of care.

 

  • Test results will be accessible only to the patient and only shared with their organization if the patient authorizes the release of his or her results. All results are reported to government health agencies as required by law.

 

“As our country experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, physical distancing, wearing protective masks and testing remains paramount to flattening the curve,” said Jim Kirby, senior director of Kroger Health. “We know flexible, accessible testing options like home solutions that leverage telehealth technology are critical to accelerating America’s reopening and recovery.”

The Kroger Health COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit will initially be available in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. Additional states will be added in the coming weeks.

 

Kroger Health launched public drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites in April. Since then, Kroger Health has administered more than 100,000 tests across 19 states.

 

About Gravity Diagnostics:

 

Gravity Diagnostics is a full-service state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory licensed in all 50 states providing innovative laboratory testing including Infectious Disease (Upper Respiratory and Sexually Transmitted), Toxicology, and Pharmacogenomics. We are an advocate for physicians, patients, and our communities, supporting them with unsurpassed integrity, regulatory compliance, and clinical expertise. Learn more by visiting gravitydiagnostics.com.

 

About Kroger Health:


Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations, with over 2,000 pharmacies and 200 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Our team of 22,000 healthcare practitioners - from pharmacists and nurse practitioners, to dietitians and technicians – are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We believe in practicing at the top of our licenses and enabling "food as medicine" to help prevent or manage certain diseases. Learn more at www.krogerhealth.com.

 

About The Kroger Co.:

 

At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

 

Blue River Community Foundation's Summer Scholarship application cycle

Shelby County high school students on track to graduate by June 30, 2021 can now apply for scholarships during Blue River Community Foundation’s (BRCF) 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, 2020.


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 2021 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 7, 2020. BRCF will notify the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship no later than December 18, 2020. 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:
o Participation in community activities
o Leadership skills in school, community, and/or extracurricular activities
o 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

Governor announces modifications to state's Back on Track Plan; most restrictions, capacities stay in place

Governor Eric Holcomb today announced the state will modify the Back On Track Indiana plan through at least July 17.

 

While a few restrictions will lift on July 4 in version 4.5 of the plan, most will stay in place. Elkhart County will remain fully in Stage 4 until at least July 17. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.

 

“While most of our health indicators remain positive, our data indicates a need to be extra cautious, which is why we will pause much of our Back on Track roadmap,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I urge Hoosiers to maintain vigilance in social distancing and wearing masks so we can continue to reopen our state for business.”

 

Gov. Holcomb has used data to drive decisions since the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March and he continues to do so as the state continues a sector-by-sector reset. The state will move to reopen while continuing to monitor and respond to these four guiding principles:

 

  • The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days
  • The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators
  • The state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders, and frontline employees
  • Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing

 

Through at least July 17, the following restrictions will continue:

 

  • Social gatherings following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines will be limited to up to 250 people. This limit applies to wedding receptions, parties, and other events where people are in close physical contact for extended periods of time, particularly indoors.
  • Dining room food service may continue operations at up to 75 percent capacity as long as social distancing is observed. Bar seating in restaurants may continue operations at 50 percent capacity. Bars and nightclubs may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.
  • Movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.
  • Amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity. Reservations are encouraged to limit the number of customers at any one time.
  • Raceways may continue operations open at 50 percent grandstand capacity.

 

Beginning July 4, fairs, festivals and other similar outdoor events may open. Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may begin with 50 percent spectator capacity. Youth overnight camps may open.

 

K-12 school operations may begin the 2020-21 academic year on July 1. Extra-curricular, co-curricular activities may resume July 6.

 

Outdoor visitation is required at assisted living facilities and nursing homes beginning July 4 and indoor visitation may begin. Hospital visitations with precautions are encouraged.

 

Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain cautious. Face coverings in public places are highly recommended.

 

Gov. Holcomb and Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, today announced a statewide initiative to encourage Hoosiers to wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19.

 

The #MaskUpHoosiers initiative is launching with videos and photos of state government leaders, celebrities, and Hoosiers from all walks of life sharing their heartfelt reasons for wearing a mask in public, which is one of the strongest steps possible to limit the spread of COVID-19, saving lives and allowing the state to continue its phased re-opening. Additional photos and videos will be featured as the educational campaign progresses. Visit www.coronavirus.in.gov/maskuphoosiers to learn more.

 

To learn more about the different stages and the associated dates to get a better understanding about where we’re going as a state, click here to see the full plan: BackOnTrack.in.gov

 

The Governor signed an executive order implementing these changes to the Back on Track Indiana roadmap. The Governor also signed an executive order extending the public health emergency through Aug. 3. The executive orders can be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

Indiana's Stage 5 for re-opening will wait a couple weeks

Stage 5 of Indiana’s reopening plan isn’t coming this weekend.  It’ll be at least another two weeks.

 

Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday labeled the next two weeks, July 4 – 17, instead, as Stage 4.5.  It marks a mostly status quo with allowance for outdoor events.


 

 

The governor says certain types of events can go ahead if they adhere to social distancing and other guidelines.

 

 

Aside from that, most restrictions, capacities remain the same.

 

 

Moving to Stage 5 is now targeted for July 18.

 

 

Gov. Holcomb signs executive order to prevent evictions, foreclosures, utility disconnections

Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed Executive Order 20-33 to extend the prohibition on evictions, foreclosures, and the disconnection of utility services.

 

The prohibition on evictions from rental properties and the prohibition on filing foreclosures are both extended through July 31. Renters, homeowners, lending institutions and landlords are encouraged to establish payment plans to avoid later evictions or foreclosures.

 

Hoosiers struggling to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible for rental assistance. Applications for the $25 million Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will be accepted online beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, July 13 at IndianaHousingNow.org.

 

Utilities regulated by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission must follow the order issued Monday by the commission prohibiting service disconnections through Aug. 14. Under Executive Order 20-33, non-regulated utility companies must also extend service until Aug. 14. Customers and utility companies are encouraged to establish payment plans now to avoid later discontinuations of service.

 

The executive order also extends the temporary licensing of the following health care workers who do not currently hold an active license to practice for an additional 30 days:

 

  • medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years
  • medical professionals who hold licenses in other states
  • certain medical students and graduates

 

These professionals must register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency via their website at www.in.gov/pla. These professionals will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures to allow regularly licensed medical professionals to be on the frontline.

 

Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

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