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Fairland native builds on Seabees 80-year legacy

Since 1942, sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Construction Force have been building and fighting around the world. Petty Officer 1st Class Dakota Geary, a Fairland, Indiana, native is one of those sailors.

 

Eighty years ago, members of Navy Construction Battalions were fittingly nicknamed, “Seabees,” a play on the C and B initials. They are responsible for building military bases and airfields, supporting humanitarian efforts and conducting underwater construction projects.

Geary, a 2012 Triton Central High School graduate, currently serves with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One at the headquarters for naval construction forces in Gulfport, Mississippi.

“I'd like to thank my step father, Jeff Hipkiss,” said Geary. "He taught me all I know. He was great and raised me right."

The values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Fairland.

“I learned the importance of hard work and to take pride in what you do,” said Geary.

Serving in the Navy means Geary is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy protects waterways,” said Geary. "As Seabees, we deploy around the world to help improve the living situation of others. We do our part for positive community outreach."

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.
 

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

Geary has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“What I'm most proud of is helping people,” said Geary. "I've been to different countries to help people around the world. I've been to Afghanistan, Palau, Guam and Spain."

Geary can take pride in continuing an 80-year legacy of service in the United States Navy.

“We live in the greatest country in the world, so it's an honor to give back through military service,” added Geary.

Department of Agriculture warns of harvest traffic on rural roads

Harvest season is here, and Lt. Gov. Suzanne CrouchIndiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) Director Bruce Kettler, Hoosier Ag Today and many other state agencies have teamed up to promote roadway safety this fall encouraging motorists to watch out and slow down for farm equipment on rural roads this harvest season. 

 

Lt. Gov. Crouch, as Indiana's Secretary of Agriculture, is a staunch supporter of Hoosier farmers and wants to ensure everyone gets home to their families safely. 

 

“There is nothing more beautiful than rural Indiana in the fall,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch. “But, with that beauty comes heightened roadway dangers during harvest season. I am encouraging all Hoosiers to be alert and be patient on rural roads this harvest season.”

 

In 2020 three vehicles were involved in crashes with farm equipment in Indiana which resulted in two deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

“Rural road safety is something we all take very seriously. Each year Hoosiers lose their lives unnecessarily,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “I want to continue to encourage roadway safety for motorists and for farmers. These accidents can be prevented if we all slow down and use caution around farm equipment this fall.”  

 

Farm equipment during harvest season could include tractors, combines, grain carts, grain wagons and large trucks hauling agricultural products. These vehicles are wide, sometimes taking up most of the road, and often travel at speeds no greater than 25 mph.

 

The following list includes several safety tips for motorists approaching large farm equipment:

 

  • Farmers will pull over when they are able to let motorists pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so.
  • Be patient. Farm equipment is wide, sometimes taking up most of the road.
  • Be careful when passing. Do not pass in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel.
  • Do not try to pass a slow-moving vehicle on the left without ensuring that the vehicle is not planning a left turn. It may appear that the driver is pulling over for you to pass when it is actually preparing to turn. You will drive right into its path, endangering yourself and the farmer.
  • Please be aware of farmers working near the road and semi trucks and trailers parked alongside rural roads. 
  • Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to a destination, be aware of alternate routes and avoid distractions.

“Despite encouraging motorists and farmers alike to take extra precaution on roadways during harvest season, crashes still occur every year,” said Doug Carter, Indiana State Police Superintendent. “One death is one too many. I want to remind everyone to remain alert and exercise caution as you travel on Indiana’s rural roads this fall.”

Locations for new COVID-19 boosters added to vaccine map

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced today that it has added locations that are offering the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines, which protect against the two most common strains of the virus, to its map at www.ourshot.in.gov.

 

Appointments are not yet available online but can be made by contacting a pharmacy or healthcare provider, or by calling 211 (866-211-9966) for assistance.

 

Additional locations will be added as vaccine shipments continue to arrive in the state.

 

The FDA authorized the bivalent boosters on Aug. 31, and the CDC endorsed their use Sept. 1. The new boosters include protection against the Omicron variant that is the dominant strain circulating and replace previous boosters, which covered only the original COVID-19 strain.

 

“The Omicron variant has been the main cause of COVID-19 infections for months, so having a vaccine that specifically targets this variant as well as the Delta variant will help keep Hoosiers healthier as we enter the fall and winter, when respiratory illnesses often increase,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I encourage individuals who are eligible to consider getting the new COVID-19 booster when they schedule their annual flu shot and make protecting themselves against COVID-19 part of their annual healthcare strategy.”

 

The Pfizer bivalent booster is authorized for individuals age 12 and older, while the Moderna bivalent booster is available to individuals age 18 and older. Individuals are eligible to receive an updated booster so long as it has been at least two months since they received their last booster dose or completed their primary vaccine series.

 

Online scheduling for boosters is expected to be available later this month at www.ourshot.in.gov.

Sidewalk construction project announced by Shelbyville Street Dept.

The Shelbyville Street Department has announced sidewalk widening on the east side of the Harrison Street Bridge is set to start this week.

 

Construction will begin on / or after this Wednesday, September 14.

 

During construction, the eastern northbound lane over the Harrison Street Bridge will be closed from John Street to Boggstown Road for approximately three weeks.

 
The contractor is Schutte Construction.

Indiana receives federal approval to continue extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration  received approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to continue its practice of extending postpartum coverage for Hoosiers receiving Medicaid during pregnancy from 60 days to one year.

 

Indiana has been providing this extended coverage since April; today’s federal announcement will allow it to continue.

 

More than 40 percent of individuals who give birth each year receive Medicaid. And, since more than half of postpartum complications occur after six weeks, extending coverage to a full year will help meet Gov. Holcomb’s goal of reducing Indiana’s maternal mortality rate.”

 

Previously, postpartum Medicaid coverage ended after 60 days. In May, Indiana’s Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning asked CMS for approval to extend the postpartum coverage period for traditional Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan Maternity and Hoosier Healthwise members. This will apply to all who received maternity care from Medicaid since April 1.

 

The postpartum coverage period is available to any individual who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Becomes pregnant while already enrolled in traditional Medicaid, HIP or Hoosier Healthwise
  • Applies and is eligible for Medicaid while pregnant
  • Applies for Medicaid after the child is born and was both pregnant and eligible in the month of application or one of the three months prior to the application month.

The CMS approval authorizes the extended coverage for Medicaid-eligible individuals for a five-year period, through March 31, 2027.

Gov. Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Queen Elizabeth II

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff in honor and remembrance of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Per President Biden's order, flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset on the day of interment. Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.

Meet Shelby County's new Purdue Extension 4-H Youth Educator Bailey York

Bailey York is the Purdue Extension 4-H Youth Educator in Shelby County.

Bailey grew up in Greencastle, Indiana, where she was an active 10-year 4-H member. During her time in 4-H she was active in the goat barn, showing her Boer goats with her sister. She served in her junior leader club as the vice president, and completed various general projects. Bailey also went to 4-H camp and served as the Junior Director in her 10th year.

For approximately two years, she acted as the summer assistant in Putnam County.

Bailey was a 2020 graduate from Indiana State University, where she studied Human Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Throughout her time at ISU, Bailey was a member of the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. She was part of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success and served as a resident assistant her senior year.

Her greatest accomplishment has been accepting her dream job within Purdue Extension. Bailey is ecstatic to be joining the Purdue Extension team here in Shelby County. She looks forward to meeting and working alongside the 4-Her’s, volunteers, and community members.

Manhole project set for McKay Rd / SR 9 intersection on Tuesday

The Shelbyville Water Resource Recovery Facility will be working on two manholes at the intersection of McKay Rd and State Rd 9 on Tuesday, August 23.

 

Plans are to close one lane at a time beginning at 8:30 am, with completion no later than 1:30pm. 

Waldron Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center to hold Waldron Fun Festival

Waldron Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center will hold the Waldron Fun Festival on Saturday, August 20, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the skilled nursing facility grounds at 505 N. Main St., in Waldron, Ind. 

 

“This will be a very special, family oriented event that everyone can enjoy,” said Nicole Clapp, Administrator of Waldron Rehabilitation. “In the spirit of being a good community neighbor, we enjoy holding various events including this one throughout the year. It’s a great way for people of all ages to gather and enjoy a night out.”  

 

The family friendly event will feature a corn on the cob eating contest, food, face painting, carnival games, and more.  

 

For attendees so inclined, the event will also have a donation box that will be there to collect money for two local charitable efforts: Operation Love Ministries and back-to-school snack packs for local kids in need. 

 

Waldron Rehabilitation hosts a variety of yearly events to benefit the community’s kids and families. Past events have included Easter egg hunts and visits from the Easter Bunny; Halloween trunk or treats; Big Wheels races with the kindergarten class; and drive-through holiday lights and decorations.  

Shelbyville intersection closure planned for Thursday

The intersection of North Michigan Road & 100 West will be closed for culvert and pipe replacement. 

 

The closure will start Thursday, August 17, at 8:30 am and reopen at 3:00 pm Thursday.

 

The project is expected to take one day with a possibility of finishing on Friday.

Rose-Hulman's 'AskRose' Math & Science Tutoring Program ready to help local students

A new school year has brought challenges for middle school and high school students trying to make sense of their math and science homework – especially when it comes to solving problems in such challenging subjects as algebra, calculus, physics, and chemistry.

 

Thankfully, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s free AskRose Homework Help program is available to help.

 

Rose-Hulman tutors are available Sunday through Thursday from 7-10 p.m. (Eastern Time) for tutoring sessions to help students in grades 6 through 12 by video, telephone call, email, or chat. Tutors can be accessed via the AskRose website, AskRose.org, or by calling 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673).

 

AskRose Homework Help services may be even more valuable this school year as children return to the classrooms after the summer break.

 

The AskRose.org website also offers more than 500 resources available through videos and downloadable reference materials.

 

About 100 Rose-Hulman students serve as tutors during each school year after being specially selected after being recommended by faculty for their technical knowledge and ability to communicate with students of all skill and comprehension levels. Approximately 20 tutors are available each night and they have access to textbooks and many other resources to lend valuable assistance. The AskRose Homework Help program is certified by the National Tutoring Association.

 

“Sometimes by the end of the call, you have a real connection with the student you are tutoring, and they are genuinely grateful for your help,” said third-year tutor Erin McLain, a mechanical engineering senior from Avon, Indiana. “Some of my calls have lasted almost an hour just working on the same problem, so when you are able to work with someone and help them not just figure out that problem but find a way to help them solve it by themselves, that is always very fulfilling.”

 

A special “Aha” moment for tutor Brayden Milner came when he helped a caller work through problems on polynomials. The next day, the computer science junior from Brazil, Indiana, learned from a grateful parent that the student had earned an A grade on an exam about polynomials. “It was the first time that I realized just how much of an impact we have at AskRose … It was such a cool moment to realize that we were making that much of a difference,” Milner said.

 

Rather than give students the answers, AskRose tutors guide students through homework problems to help them better understand math and science concepts, the way they are taught in schools today.  

 

Student privacy is always protected, and students are never asked for their last name or telephone number.

 

All AskRose Homework Help services are available at no cost to students and parents through Lilly Endowment Inc. support and financial assistance from Rose-Hulman.

 

AskRose Homework Help has conducted more than 750,000 tutoring sessions since starting in 1991.

 

AskRose Basics:

- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers free math and science tutoring for students in grades 6-12. Students may call 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) to speak with a tutor, or go to the AskRose website, AskRose.org, to interact with a tutor online or through email. Questions filed by email and other means are answered during AskRose’s hours of operation.

 

- Hours of operation: 7-10 p.m. (EDT), Sunday through Thursday, through May. Additional afternoon hours may be available, depending on tutor availability. (The service is closed during Rose-Hulman’s holiday breaks.)

 

- Online resources: Students and educators may access resources and educational materials at AskRose.org.

 

- Sponsors: The service is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.

Shelbyville streets scheduled for milling on Tuesday

Globe Asphalt will begin milling the following Shelbyville streets on Tuesday, August 9, in preparation for asphalt overlays.

 

The work is weather permitting.

 

Street To From
Parker Ave Parker Ave south dead end
Revello St Parker Ave Quesada St
Fourth St Lincoln St Quesada
Third St State St Miller St
Teal St Quesada St Miller St
Morrison Park Dr Colescott NE turn
Tompkins St Colescott St Evans St

 

 

Shelbyville streets scheduled for milling on Wednesday

Globe Asphalt will begin milling the following Shelbyville streets Wednesday, August 3,  in preparation for asphalt overlays.

 

1.  Doran Avenue - Miller Street to Meridian St.

2.  Shelby Street - Doran Avenue to Ninth Street

3.  West Street - Doran Avenue to Evans Street

4.  Meridian Street - Evans Street to Cheyney Avenue

Blue River Community Foundation's Summer Scholarship application cycle

Shelby County high school students on track to graduate by June 30, 2023, can now apply for scholarships during Blue River Community Foundation’s (BRCF) summer scholarship cycle. Students applying during this cycle are considered for both the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and BRCF administered 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 175 scholarships awarded annually through BRCF’s Scholarship Program.
 

The deadline to apply is September 1, 2022.


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 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP). Independent Colleges of Indiana on behalf of Lilly Endowment Inc. will make final scholarship selections and notify BRCF of their decision by December 8, 2022. BRCF will notify the
recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship no later than December 20, 2022.

 

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is designed to:


• to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana
• to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities
• to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit, and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.
 

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

 

Lilly Endowment created LECSP in 1998 and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $425 million. Over 5,100 Indiana students have received Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships since the program’s inception; including 41 Shelby County recipients.
 

BRCF Scholarship Program
Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) administers over 92 scholarship funds established by caring and generous donors who are passionate about supporting students as they pursue their post - secondary educational goals. During the most recent cohort, BRCF administered funds awarded 190 scholarships to 134 students for a combined total over $439,000. High school applicants who complete the summer cycle application in full are considered for all scholarships administered by BRCF for which they are eligible.


Current college students and nontraditional students are encouraged to apply for BRCF scholarships during the Foundation’s winter scholarship cycle which opens November 1, 2022, for the 2023-2024 academic year. High school students not applying during the summer application cycle may also apply during the winter cycle; however, they will not be considered the Lilly Endowment Community
Scholarship.
 

For a complete list of these scholarship funds, please visit the Foundation's website, www.blueriverfoundation.com or BRCF’s Scholarship Resource Guide. For more information about the summer scholarship application cycle, contact Julie Alvis, Communications and Scholarships Director, at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or jalvis@blueriverfoundation.com.

Moving day is Monday for Shelby County Health Department

The Shelby County Health Department will be relocating to its new facility on Monday. 

The office will be closed Monday and Tuesday for the move and plan to be open on June 29.  

The health department’s new location will be 20 W. Polk Street, Suite 202. It is inside of Annex 2 across the street from the Shelby County Courthouse. 

The health department is the final county office to relocate to Annex 2.

If you have any questions, call 317-392-6470.

 

 

IRS expands voice bot options for faster service, less wait time

The Internal Revenue Service today announced expanded voice bot options to help eligible taxpayers easily verify their identity to set up or modify a payment plan while avoiding long wait times.

 

"This is part of a wider effort at the IRS to help improve the experience of taxpayers," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We continue to look for ways to better assist taxpayers, and that includes helping people avoid waiting on hold or having to make a second phone call to get what they need. The expanded voice bots are another example of how technology can help the IRS provide better service to taxpayers."

 

Voice bots run on software powered by artificial intelligence, which enables a caller to navigate an interactive voice response. The IRS has been using voice bots on numerous toll-free lines since January, enabling taxpayers with simple payment or notice questions to get what they need quickly and avoid waiting. Taxpayers can always speak with an English- or Spanish-speaking IRS telephone representative if needed.

 

Eligible taxpayers who call the Automated Collection System (ACS) and Accounts Management toll-free lines and want to discuss payment plan options can authenticate or verify their identities through a personal identification number (PIN) creation process. Setting up a PIN is easy: Taxpayers will need their most recent IRS bill and some basic personal information to complete the process.

 

"To date, the voice bots have answered over 3 million calls. As we add more functions for taxpayers to resolve their issues, I anticipate many more taxpayers getting the service they need quickly and easily," said Darren Guillot, IRS Deputy Commissioner of Small Business/Self Employed Collection & Operations Support.

 

Additional voice bot service enhancements are planned in 2022 that will allow authenticated individuals (taxpayers with established or newly created PINs) to get:

  • Account and return transcripts.
  • Payment history.
  • Current balance owed.

 

In addition to the payment lines, voice bots help people who call the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) toll-free line with general procedural responses to frequently asked questions. The IRS also added voice bots for the Advance Child Tax Credit toll-free line in February to provide similar assistance to callers who need help reconciling the credits on their 2021 tax return.

 

The IRS also reminds taxpayers about numerous other available self-service options

Shelbyville Street Dept. scheduled for painting on Tuesday

The Shelbyville Street Department will be painting the following traffic islands on Tuesday, June 14.  Work is weather permitting.

 

North Harrison from Boggstown Road to Michigan Road

North Riley Highway at the intersection of Rampart Street

 

Short lane restrictions will be in place from 8am-3:30pm. 

 

IDEM issues statewide Air Quality Action Day for Tuesday

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for tomorrow, June 14, 2022 in the following regions:

  • Central IndianaMarion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison, Shelby 
  • North Central Indiana – St. Joseph, Elkhart
  • Northeast Indiana – Allen, Huntington, Wabash
  • Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte
  • Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd
  • Southwest Indiana – Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick 
  • West Central Indiana – Vigo, Carroll, Tippecanoe 

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making changes to daily habits. You can:

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible
  • Combine errands into one trip
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above 

AQADs are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on the specified date. Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations. 

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. AQADs generally occur when weather conditions, such as light winds, hot and dry air, stagnant conditions, and lower atmospheric inversions, trap pollutants close to the ground.

To learn more about ozone or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov.

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