Community News

Highway closed overnight

The Fulton County Highway Department will have 650 East between 150 South and State Road 14 closed to all traffic overnight, into February 21, 2020 until late afternoon.

Schedule change for Rochester basketball

Due to the weather the Southwood vs Rochester game set for this evening has been postponed to Saturday with a noon JV tip and varsity to follow.

Riddle Dram Club play rescheduled

Due to today's weather, and the closing of Rochester Community Schools, Riddle Drama Club's play has been rescheduled.


You will now be able to watch A Mother Goose Comedy on Monday Feruary 10, 2020 at 6 pm in the Riddle Elementary Gym.  Admission for this is a good will donation.


Be sure to come out and support the Riddle Drama Club as well as the community.

Efforts to expand broadband in Kosciusko Co.

Kosciusko County is working hard to improve broadband internet access, and make it easier for people who live in rural parts of the county.


In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, Alan Tio with the Kosciusko County Economic Development Corporation says access to broadband internet has gone from being a luxury to a necessity.


He says a good portion of the county has access, but there are other areas that are underserved, which makes it hard for businesses to operate or schools to do e-learning days and students to do homework.


Tio says the Economic Development Corporation has reached out to a number of broadband providers, like Xfinity and Metronet, to go over who has internet access, and where they need to expand and how to do that.

Accident on Old 31

At approximately 2:50 in the afternoon on Wedesday a collision involving two cars as well as a horse and buggy occured at the corner of Old 31 and Olson Road causing the road to be closed in both directions for roughly 45 minutes.


State Trooper Mike Meiser said of the 5 individuals involved in the accident all refused medical attention. 

Class of 63 Preserving Rochester History

The Rochester High School class of 63 is preparing to place memorial plaques Candy Hayes explains where you will soon be able to find them.



When asked what the motivation was behind these plaques Hayes says it was a no brainer to make this happen to remember Rochester history.



The boulders are already up at the locations the hope is to have the plaques in place next month.




102 Birthday for Marjorie Skersick

Happy birthday wishes to Marjorie Skersick who turned 102 on Sunday but celebrated the event on Friday at Hickory Creek in Rochester. Family gathered in the dining hall along with staff and the Rochester community who came out to visit with Marjorie. Mayor Ted Denton was on hand as well and declared January 19 as Marjorie Skersick day for Rochester; the proclamation will be read for inclusion into the official Rochester City Board of Works and Safety meeting records on Thursday, January 30 at City Hall.

2020 Legislative Breakfast Series

Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Fulton County Farm Bureau present the 2020 Legislative Breakfast Series.  The first of these will take place on January 18 at the Kewanna Public Library, the second of these will take place February 15 at Rochester Meats & Deli and the third of these will take place March 21 at the Akron Community Center.  Starting at 7:30 am with Social Networking, 8 am the Legislators will present, at 9 am there will be a Q&A with the Legislators and the adjournment of the breakfast will be at 9:30 am.  District 18 Sen. Stacey Donato, District 16 Rep. Douglas Gutwein, District 17 Rep. Jack Jordan and District 23 Rep. Ethan Manning will all be present during this event.  There will also be a free breakfast meeting accompanied by donuts and coffee as we receive an update from local government leaders.

Tickets available for game at Bankers Life

December 28th the Rochester Zebras will visit Bankers Life Field House to take on the Lewis Cass Kings on the floor normally reserved for the pros. Rochester Athletic Director Ryan Johnson encourages you to show support that day and shares how you can get you ticket in advance.



Producers in Indiana reminded to signup for Market Facilitation Program; deadline Dec 6

USDA reminded producers in Indiana that the nationwide deadline to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is Dec. 6, 2019. MFP payments are aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.


“Farmers have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, but the Market Facilitation Program offers some much-needed relief,” said Steven Brown, State Executive Director in Indiana. “I encourage farmers not to miss the deadline to submit an application.”


Since signup began on July 29, more than 32,000 producers in Indiana have signed up for MFP and have received $532,266,416.56. Across the country, more than $10.1 billion has been paid for 2019 MFP crop and livestock commodities to nearly 601,000 applicants.


Last month, USDA began making payments on the second tranche of 2019 MFP payments. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities are now eligible to receive 75 percent of the total potential payment. If conditions warrant, producers may receive the final tranche in January 2020.


Additionally, due to changes to the 2018 MFP program that were required by the 2019 Disaster Bill, producers previously deemed ineligible for MFP in 2018 because they had an average AGI level higher than $900,000 may now be eligible for 2018 MFP benefits. Those producers must be able to verify 75 percent or more of their average AGI was derived from farming and ranching to qualify. The deadline for this signup is also Dec. 6, 2019.


Producers who have yet to sign up for MFP should contact their local FSA office. Information on eligibility requirements and the application can also be found on

Terry Howie, former Winona Lake town marshall, passed away

A former Winona Lake town marshall and longtime active member in his community, Terry Howie, has passed away.


Howie moved to Winona Lake from Pennsylvania in 1946.  He’s been a resident there since 1964.


Howie owned and operated his own business, Howie Heating and Cooling, since 1972 installing and servicing furnaces and air conditioning systems in the Kosciusko County area. 


He also began as a part time paid officer for the Winona Lake Police Department in 1982 and as a full time officer in 1984.  Howie also served as Town Marshal from 1990-1995. 


His son, Jeffrey, became a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department jailer, then a deputy and they served in local law enforcement for several years.


Howie served as a trustee for the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church and on the Kosciusko County Local Coordinating Council of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana.  He has been a member of the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, the Fraternal Order of Police, Kosciusko County Republican Party, and IDEM’s “Protecting the Environment Program.” 


Howie died unexpectedly on Monday.  He was 73.

DNR offers free admission to veterans, active-duty military, Nov. 11

All veterans and active-duty military personnel, and everyone in their vehicle, will be admitted free to DNR state parks, reservoir properties, state forest recreation areas and state off-road vehicle riding areas on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Fort Harrison

This includes admission to Falls of the Ohio State Park’s Interpretive Center.

“We appreciate the sacrifices and service of our veterans and active-duty military and look forward to recognizing them with a day to explore some of the best outdoor places in our state,” said Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks.

Veterans and military personnel should present ID or evidence of military service where entrance gates are in operation. For proof of military status, gate attendants will accept:


—Discharge papers (veteran’s DD Form 214)

—Veteran license plates: Ex-POW, Purple Heart, Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor. Veteran license plates also include:

—Air Force Veteran

—Army Veteran

—Coast Guard Veteran

—Marine Corps Veteran

—Merchant Marine Veteran

—Navy Veteran

—U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Award Letter

—Veterans hunting and fishing license

—Documents showing veteran benefits with veteran’s name on document

—Any other certificate or verification letter or form that establishes past or present military service


For general information about state park, reservoir, and forest properties, see

For information about interpretive programs at state parks and reservoirs, see

Voting begins for 2019 Farm Service Agency county committee elections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots on November 4 to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections.


“Our county committee members play a key role in our efforts to provide assistance to producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “We value the local input of the over 7,000 members nationwide who provide their valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and emergency programs.”


To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 2.


Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2020. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.


Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Producers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.


Producers can find out if their local administrative area is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can pick one up at their local FSA county office. Visit for more information. 

Pending resolution of federal lawsuit, FSSA will temporarily suspend Gateway to Work reporting requirements

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that it will temporarily suspend the reporting requirements of the Gateway to Work program due to a pending legal challenge.


Last month, the lawsuit Rose v. Azar was filed in federal court challenging Gateway to Work along with several other components of the Healthy Indiana Plan that have been in operation for several years –potentially jeopardizing the HIP program as a whole.


Gateway to Work is a part of the Healthy Indiana Plan that helps connect HIP members with job training, education or help finding the right job or volunteer activity. Some HIP members are required to participate, and those not in compliance had been at risk of potential benefit suspensions starting in January.


To help ensure the continued operation of HIP, FSSA will temporarily suspend enforcement of the provision whereby some members could have their benefits suspended beginning in January for not meeting their annual Gateway to Work requirement. FSSA is doing so to allow time for the Rose lawsuit to be resolved and so that the court can address the challenge to HIP after similar legal challenges to programs like Gateway to Work in other states have worked their way through the appeals process.


“We remain committed to operating the Gateway to Work program and to continuing to build on the early successes of the program, through which HIP members are reporting successful engagements in their workplaces, schools and communities,” Indiana Medicaid Director Allison Taylor said.


FSSA will continue to encourage HIP members to report their activities to the state or their health plan so they can be connected to resources such as the state’s Next Level Jobs program, Ivy Tech, WorkOne and local job training and advancement programs. HIP members will still have a Gateway to Work status of “exempt,” “reporting met” or “reporting,” and be referred to opportunities to work, learn and serve in their communities. However, no benefit suspensions will be considered until after Rose v. Azar is resolved. Before the program is reinitiated, participating members would receive substantial advance notice regarding the timeline.


The state also continues to seek approval for the HIP Workforce Bridge program to help support the transition for any members moving to employer insurance or other health coverage.

Indiana State Police seeks recruits for the 80th Recruit Academy

The Indiana State Police is now accepting applications for the 80th Recruit Academy. 


Individuals who are interested in beginning a rewarding career as an Indiana State Trooper must apply online at  This website will provide a detailed synopsis of the application process as well as information on additional career opportunities with the Indiana State Police.


Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted for the 80th Recruit Academy.

Basic Eligibility Requirements and consideration factors for an Indiana State Trooper:


  1. Must be a United States citizen.
  2. Must be at least 21 and less than 40 years of age when appointed as a police employee. (Appointment date is October 1, 2020)
  3. Must meet a minimum vision standard (corrected or uncorrected) of 20/50 acuity in each eye and 20/50 distant binocular acuity in both eyes.
  4. Must possess a valid driver's license to operate an automobile.
  5. Must be willing, if appointed, to reside and serve anywhere within the State of Indiana as designated by the Superintendent.
  6. Must be a high school graduate as evidenced by a diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED).                                                                                

The starting salary for an Indiana State Police Department Recruit is $1,615.39 bi-weekly during the academy training.  At the completion of academy training, the starting salary is $48,000.00 a year.  Recruits of the 80th Recruit Academy are offered an excellent health care plan, which includes medical, dental, vision and pharmacy coverage for both current and retired employees, along with their families, until reaching age 65. 


The Indiana State Police pension program provides a lifetime pension after 25 years of service.  Additionally, the Indiana State Police Department provides comprehensive disability coverage and a life insurance program.  Student loan forgiveness programs are being offered at this time through the following:


Interested applicants can obtain additional information about a career as an Indiana State Trooper by visiting to find the recruiter assigned to your area.

USDA opens 2020 enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs

Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.


“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”


ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.


Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. 


ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. 


Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 


- more -

2018 Crop Year ARC and PLC Payments


FSA began processing payments last week for 2018 ARC-County (ARC-CO) and PLC on covered commodities that met payment triggers on enrolled farms in the 2018 crop year. In addition to the $1.5 billion now in process, FSA anticipates it will issue another $1 billion in November once USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes additional commodity prices for the 2018 crop. 


Producers who had 2018 covered commodities enrolled in ARC-CO can visit for payment rates applicable to their county and each covered commodity.  For farms and covered commodities enrolled in 2018 PLC, the following crops met payment triggers:  barley, canola, corn, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, peanuts, and wheat.


Oats and soybeans did not meet 2018 PLC payment triggers.


2018 PLC payment rates for the following covered commodities have not been determined: crambe, flaxseed, large and small chickpeas, long and medium grain rice, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, seed cotton, sesame seed, sunflower seed and temperate Japonica rice.


More Information 


On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides income support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation.


For more information on ARC and PLC including two online decision tools that assist producers in making enrollment and election decisions specific to their operations, visit the ARC and PLC webpage.


For additional questions and assistance, contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

Chili Cook-off

Rochester is getting set to host big crowds for Saturday’s 28th annual Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show.


18 teams are scheduled to vie for this year’s “best chili” title.


Prizes are awarded for first and second place,  “The People’s Choice” and  “The Best Decorated Booth.”


Chili tastings start at 11:00 AM, lasting until the chili runs out and are on a first come, first serve basis.  Judging is until noon with the winners announced by 1:30 pm Saturday.


Some traffic notes:


8th Street will be closed to traffic by 5:00 pm.


Also,  Main Street, from 9th to 4th streets will be closed along with:


8th Street, from Jefferson to Madison, and portions of 7th Street


The Fulton County United Way is helping to start the day with its Red Hot Chili 5K Run and Walk.  It starts at 9:30 Saturday morning at 7th and Monroe.  Registration is $25, and all proceeds benefit Fulton County United Way.


Stay tuned to GIANT fm 92.1 WROI for updates and the sounds of the event with our live broadcasts Saturday.

Rochester FD hosts event to supply public with fire detectors

The Rochester Fire Department is hosting an event this weekend to help provide smoke detectors to the community.  The Smoke Detector Fund Walk and Fireman Challenge is scheduled for Sunday.  Proceeds will be used to supply smoke detectors to the public.


The walk will start at the Rochester Fire Department at 2:00 pm.  Entry fee is $5 per person or $20 for a family of five or more. 


The Fireman Challenge runs from 1-5 p.m. It will include a timed course so people can get a feel for what a fireman faces including dragging hoses, mannequins and crawling through obstacles.

Hoosiers encouraged to practice safety during dry conditions across the state

The fall season is here, which means bonfires and s’mores! However, due to a lack of rainfall throughout much of Indiana, many counties are abnormally dry. As dry conditions continue, having a bonfire can become a potential fire hazard if specific precautions are not taken.


The Indiana State Fire Marshal and Department of Homeland Security encourage Hoosiers living in a county with an active burn ban to adhere to the local laws governing the county. Several counties in southeastern Indiana are currently under a burn ban. To see a map of the counties currently under a burn ban, visit the IDHS website.


Even if a county isn’t under a burn ban, it is important to always practice proper outdoor fire safety. Before having a bonfire, Hoosiers should always remember to:


  • Make sure a fire extinguisher or source of water is available to extinguish any fire quickly before it gets out of hand.
  • Check the weather forecast. Weather fluctuations, such as sudden gusts of wind, could cause burning debris to spark a fire.
  • Build the bonfire away from power lines, overhanging tree limbs, buildings, rotten stumps, shrubs, dry grass and leaves.
  • Build the bonfire in an area that has gravel or dirt at least 10 feet in all directions.
  • Keep all flammable objects at least 15 feet away from and upwind of the burn site.

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) also encourages Hoosier farmers to take precautions. During harvest season, dry conditions, coupled with hot farm equipment, pose an added risk for farm-related fires.


ISDA Director Bruce Kettler urges farmers not to cut corners on their safety inspections and to take extra precaution in the coming months. 


“Farm vehicles get hot and dusty during harvest season,” Kettler said. “Knowing that, it’s important to keep this equipment clean from dust and debris, and to inspect fuel lines and electrical systems regularly. These are important steps farmers can take to ensure their safety and the safety of others.”

Health officials urge homeowners to maintain septic systems

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is reminding Hoosiers to maintain their septic systems as part of SepticSmart Week, a national observance designed to educate homeowners and communities about the importance of caring for septic systems.


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than one in five households in the United States (60 million people) depend on septic systems to treat their wastewater. Nearly 39 percent of Hoosiers use septic systems to treat wastewater from their homes and businesses. About 15,000 septic systems are installed and about 6,000 repaired in Indiana each year. Proper maintenance of these systems is a vital part of protecting public health.


"Septic system maintenance is important and is the best way to protect human and environmental health," said Mike Mettler, REHS, director of Environmental Public Health at ISDH. "Have your system checked at least every three years and keep records of all maintenance work."


Septic system owners are responsible for maintaining their onsite wastewater treatment systems. SepticSmart Week provides homeowners an opportunity to learn measures that will help them properly use and maintain their systems and protect their investments in their homes.


Homeowners with septic systems are urged to follow these tips:

  • Have systems inspected every three years by a licensed contractor, and have tanks pumped every three to five years, or more frequently if necessary.
  • Avoid pouring fats, grease and solids down the drain.
  • Monitor water use and spread out laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the day. Too much water at once can overload a system.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and consider installing faucet aerators.
  • Never park or drive on a system’s absorption field where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.The EPA’s SepticSmart program promotes proper septic system use and maintenance all year long. Industry practitioners, local governments, homeowners and community organizations can learn more about septic systems at Visit for more homeowner resources and information about SepticSmart Week 2019. 

Walmart hosts free Wellness Event in Indiana stores on Saturday

Walmart has a heart for helping customers save money and live better – and healthier – lives. The retailer is now inviting customers to Walmart Wellness Day, where they can get free health services and resources, including information on better heart health. The event will be Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time at Walmart stores with pharmacies in Indiana.


To find the store nearest you, visit


In addition to heart health information, customers who attend the event can also expect:

  • Free Health Screenings: Total Cholesterol, Glucose, Blood Pressure, BMI and Vision (locations with a vision center)
  • Low-cost Flu Shots and Immunizations
  • Opportunity to speak with a local pharmacist
  • Giveaways
  • Wellness demos

Since its first Walmart Wellness event in 2014, Walmart has provided more than 4 million free screenings to people across the country. These screenings have helped customers discover underlying issues like high blood pressure and diabetes that they now can manage – and in some cases, these screenings have saved customers’ lives.  


For more information, please visit visit your local Walmart pharmacy.

State tree nursery will pay for collected seeds; Jasper - Pulaski nursery in Medaryville collecting

Indiana’s state tree nursery will pay you to collect certain tree seed throughout the state if the seeds meet DNR specifications.

Each year the nurseries, part of the DNR Division of Forestry, plant millions of seeds to produce tree and shrub seedlings for conservation planting within the state. Each year much of the seed the nurseries use is supplied by collectors from all over the state. DNR Forestry pays seed collectors on the basis of “pure live seed.” That term means the seeds must be from the required tree species, and cannot be infected with disease or infested with insects.

DNR Forestry’s goal is to produce 2-3 million seedlings each year for conservation plantings. Because of natural factors, achieving that goal requires planting about 8.5 million seeds. DNR Forestry, which operates the nurseries, orchestrates statewide seed collection with the goal of diversifying the seed source. Such diversification allows the nursery to grow seedlings that will be well adapted to grow into mature trees throughout the state.

Some of the seeds being sought, and the price per seed offered, include black oak, black walnut, pin oak, red oak, shumard oak, white oak, bur oak, chinkapin oak, swamp chestnut oak and swamp white oak. See the table below for current pricing and collection dates.

Some pointers for collecting:

— Always call first to see if the seeds you plan to collect are still needed.
— Collect only seeds and fruit – no leaves, sticks, or trash.
— Keep species separate – if you’re not certain that two (or more) trees are the same species, keep them in separate containers.
— If you are not certain if you have the proper species, email a photo of the seed/fruit, leaves, bark, and twigs to the address below for identification.
— Most of the listed species are ripe and ready to collect when they fall off the tree.
— Healthy acorns (with the exception of bur oak) will fall free of the cap. Keep the seeds/fruit cool until you can deliver it to the office – an air-conditioned basement is good for a short period of time.


                    SEED COLLECTION DATES


First Date

Last Date














































seeds needed

Vallonia State Tree Nursery

2782 West 540 South

Vallonia, IN  47281



































































Jasper-Pulaski State Tree Nursery

15508 West 700 North

Medaryville, IN  47281





















































Day of Caring set for Friday, September 13

You can help a good cause by joining forces with a number of area businesses and agencies on Friday, September 13.


It’s A Day of Caring with the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce as various jobs and tasks are performed with the Fulton County United Way helping people and giving back to the community.


To learn more and register contact Monica at the Fulton County Chamber office 574-224-2666 or email


$21 million grant boosts Indiana's efforts to prevent overdoses

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has received a three-year, $21 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will bolster the state’s efforts to prevent and detect drug overdoses.


The grant provides more than $7.1 million a year beginning Sept. 1. The funds will be used to collect better data and apply it to create prevention programs that will further the state’s critical response to the drug epidemic.


“Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Recovery initiative is saving lives and helping people recover from substance use disorder,” said Jim McClelland, Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. “This grant supports our vital prevention and treatment efforts as we continue to combat the drug crisis in our state and connect more people to care.”


Indiana has made significant progress collaborating with hospital systems and practitioners. More than 18,000 Hoosier prescribers currently use an integrated electronic medical record dashboard connected to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) to evaluate their patient opioid prescriptions and prevent dangerous drug interactions. The state will remain in communication with federal partners to ensure Indiana’s successful PDMP continues to gain momentum.


Other initiatives that will be supported by the grant include:

  • Collect better, more timely data on overdoses treated at hospital emergency departments so health providers can respond to emerging threats more quickly.
  • Enhance Indiana’s INSPECT, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, to provide health records electronically to small physician practices and improve real-time access to patient prescription histories.
  • Create online opioid prescribing courses for dentists and post-overdose treatment protocols for emergency departments.
  • Partner with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to establish linkages to care by supporting transportation costs for ride-booking services to treatment centers.
  • Provide harm reduction training to law enforcement.
  • Partner with the Indiana Department of Corrections to train inmates as peer educators to decrease rates of hepatitis C among high-risk populations.


These strategies are another step in Indiana’s multiagency, multipronged response in coordination to tackle the drug epidemic. Preliminary data from the CDC shows that fewer Hoosiers died of a drug overdose in 2018 compared to 2017. Indiana reported a 12 percent decline in the number of overdose deaths in Indiana last year, improving faster than the national average. The CDC attributes this decline to community efforts, improved treatment, fewer opioid prescriptions and expanded access to overdose-reversing drugs. More information is available here in the August Next Level Recovery actions and progress report.


“We know that our combined efforts are protecting more Hoosiers from the dangers of substance use disorder,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “With this grant, we will be able to better understand the problem and take informed action to save even more lives.”


Governor signs bill to stop taxing military retirement income

Indiana veterans will soon no longer have to pay state taxes on their military retirement income.


Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1010 into law. It phases in a full military income tax exemption for military retirement pensions and survivors benefits over a four year period.


Indiana joins 23 other states that do not tax military retirement pay.


According to the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency the exemption will reduce state revenue by about $15 million a year.

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