Community News Archives for 2019-09

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 www.onsite.isdh.in.gov. Visit www.epa.gov/septic 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 www.walmart.com/walmartwellness.

 

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 www.walmart.com/walmartwellnessor 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

SPECIES

First Date

Last Date

 

 

 

TULIPTREE

9/7

10/25

PERSIMMON

9/15

9/28

SHAGBARK HICKORY

9/17

11/10

CHINKAPIN OAK

9/20

11/12

RED OAK

9/20

11/24

WHITE OAK

9/23

11/10

SHELLBARK HICKORY

9/27

11/10

SWAMP WHITE OAK

9/27

11/12

BLACK OAK

9/28

11/11

SWAMP CHESTNUT OAK

9/30

11/3

BLACK WALNUT

10/1

10/14

BUR OAK

10/1

11/29

PIN OAK

10/4

11/11

 

 

LOCATION

seeds needed

Vallonia State Tree Nursery

2782 West 540 South

Vallonia, IN  47281

812-358-3621

SPECIES

# SEEDS

#POUNDS

PRICE/SEED

SHELLBARK HICKORY

82,593

2,851

$0.0375

SHAGBARK HICKORY

158,333

1,869

$0.0300

BLACK GUM

34,091

23

$0.0126

BLACK OAK

61,667

487

$0.0176

BLACK WALNUT

289,531

14,239

$0.0100

BUR OAK

30,000

481

$0.0276

CHINKAPIN OAK

87,143

691

$0.0260

PERSIMMON

96,154

122

$0.0160

PIN OAK

63,333

313

$0.0180

RED OAK

262,500

3,872

$0.0180

SWAMP CHESTNUT OAK

132,813

3,316

$0.0260

SWAMP WHITE OAK

112,813

1,564

$0.0260

TULIP TREE

190,476

368

$0.0170

WHITE OAK

330,952

4,368

$0.0180

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper-Pulaski State Tree Nursery

15508 West 700 North

Medaryville, IN  47281

219-843-4827

SPECIES

#SEEDS

#POUNDS

PRICE/SEED

SHELLBARK HICKORY

10,000

345

$0.0375

SHAGBARK HICKORY

50,000

590

$0.0300

BLACK OAK

30,000

237

$0.0180

BLACK WALNUT

50,000

2,459

$0.0100

BUR OAK

337,347

5,411

$0.0280

CHINKAPIN OAK

20,000

159

$0.0260

PIN OAK

20,000

99

$0.0180

RED OAK

50,000

738

$0.0180

SWAMP WHITE OAK

20,000

277

$0.0260

WHITE OAK

50,000

660

$0.0180

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 chamberassist@rtcol.com.

 

$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.”

 

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