Community News Archives for 2020-05

USDA announces details of direct assistance to farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

 

 “America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”

 

Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.

 

Background:

CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

 

Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support, drawn from two possible funding sources. The first source of funding is $9.5 billion in appropriated funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to compensate farmers for losses due to price declines that occurred between mid-January 2020, and mid-April 2020 and provides support for specialty crops for product that had been shipped from the farm between the same time period but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channels. The second funding source uses the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for $6.5 billion in losses due to on-going market disruptions.

 

Non-Specialty Crops and Wool

Non-specialty crops eligible for CFAP payments include malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and hard red spring wheat. Wool is also eligible. Producers will be paid based on inventory subject to price risk held as of January 15, 2020. A payment will be made based 50 percent of a producer’s 2019 total production or the 2019 inventory as of January 15, 2020, whichever is smaller, multiplied by the commodity’s applicable payment rates.

 

Livestock

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.

 

Dairy

For dairy, the total payment will be calculated based on a producer’s certification of milk production for the first quarter of calendar year 2020 multiplied by a national price decline during the same quarter. The second part of the payment is based a national adjustment to each producer’s production in the first quarter.

 

Specialty Crops

For eligible specialty crops, the total payment will be based on the volume of production sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020; the volume of production shipped, but unpaid; and the number of acres for which harvested production did not leave the farm or mature product destroyed or not harvested during that same time period, and which have not and will not be sold. Specialty crops include, but are not limited to, almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, lemons, iceberg lettuce, spinach, squash, strawberries and tomatoes. A full list of eligible crops can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date.

 

Eligibility

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits where members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

 

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020.

 

Payment Structure

To ensure the availability of funding throughout the application period, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date as funds remain available.

 

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

 

BBB reports yet another coronavirus-related scam

We're all online more these days, and many people, adults and children alike, have sought solace in the virtual worlds of online video games during this time of social isolation. Video games, such as the recently released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” are giving area consumers a way to interact with friends, family, and strangers without the danger of contracting the coronavirus. Yet while players can stay healthy in virtual worlds, there are other risks users must consider.? 

 

Animal Crossing?is a social simulation video game series, developed and published by?Nintendo?(Nintendo of America is a?BBB Accredited Business). In Animal Crossing, players enhance their homes by decorating and expanding their residences. Players also help to develop a town filled with human-like animals, representing villagers and visitors. The Animal Crossing series is known for its open-ended gameplay, which consists of the main character carrying out various activities, such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting, and then selling those collected items for in-game money called “bells.” 

 

The newest rendition of the game continues and expands upon the previous versions’ ability to support multiplayer activities. In a little over a month since its initial release, Animal Crossing has become a hit with many players, and there are many Facebook groups dedicated to the game. With so many strangers coming together to arrange virtual town visits, reports of scams have surged online. While most players may be respectful and kind, a few bad eggs have ruined the online gaming experience for others. 

 

The Better Business Bureau investigated some of these problems and found that, while most players may be respectful and kind, a few bad eggs have ruined the online gaming experience for others. 

 

BBB advises consumers to be vigilant and to watch out for scams during online gameplay. Recent Animal Crossing related scams that have emerged are centered around individuals trading real world money for in-game funds, particular characters, or other perks.  

 

BBB has the following tips for safe gameplay: 

  • Beware of “Real Life” Transactions?- Scammers can and have created listings on eBay or in Facebook groups, advertising wanted characters or items for sale. Once you pay with your own money, not in-game currency, the scammer disappears, and you’re left without your purchased items. 

  • Know Your Friends?- Set boundaries with players you interact with online. Only provide travel codes (called DODO codes) or send “best friend” requests to people you know and trust in real life. The “best friend” designation gives players a greater ability to make potentially unwanted changes to your town. 

  • Create a Safe Space?- If you must invite a stranger to your island, fence off areas that you don’t want a visitor to interact with - such as flowers, fruits, and other objects you don’t want stolen. 

For more information:??If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to?BBB.org/ScamTracker. You can also report unethical advertising at?BBB.org/ad-truth. Your reports can help others avoid falling victim to scams. You can also visit Scam Tracker to view the latest reported scams in your neighborhood or across North America. 

 

More on coronavirus-related scams at?BBB.org/coronavirus

TVHS details students and community requirements for Senior Parade

Tippecanoe Valley High School Principal Brandon Kresca issued the following information related to Friday's Senior Parade:

 

Dear Valley Family,

 

Last week we announced that on May 22nd, there would be a senior parade through the towns of Mentone and Akron. In order to properly thank our seniors for the impact they have had on Tippecanoe Valley Schools, we not only need you to assist in celebrating our seniors properly, but we need your help following all directions/requirements detailed in this plan- especially maintaining proper social distancing measures. We will celebrate our seniors, but only in a way that is safe for both student, staff and our community.

 

Student Expectations/Requirements

Community Expectations/Requirements

  • Report to the entrance to the TVHS campus off of W. 800 S. no sooner than 6:50 p.m. on May 22nd. Departure will be 7:00 p.m.
  • All community members are expected to follow social distancing measures: maintaining 6 feet distance, not congregating in groups.
  • Report in the car you will be driving/riding in. Any students choosing to ride with one another is a parental decision.
  • You are encouraged to wear protective facemasks out in public, per recommendations from the health departments.
  • Students are encouraged to come wearing their TVHS graduation gowns. If a student does not have their gown, it can be picked up from 8:00-3:00 p.m. on 5/22.
  • Please look for more information from both the towns of Mentone and Akron webpages regarding this event.
  • Students are to drive responsibly and behave in a manner reflective of a TVHS student.
  • Parking may be available in both towns of Akron and Mentone, with social distancing in place.
  • Students will follow all traffic rules, including seatbelt laws while on county/state roads. 
  • Please review the Senior Parade Path and refrain from interrupting said path.
  • No student will exit the vehicle for any reason.
  • Once the parade has concluded, please safely exit your location.

 

 

Senior Parade Path: (All times are approximates)

 

7:00 p.m.- Starting between TVMS and TVHS Tennis Courts, through TVHS Student Parking lot to HWY 19.

 

7:05 p.m. exiting TVHS on to SR 19 heading North to Mentone.

 

7:15 p.m.- Entering Mentone off of SR 19 heading East on Main St.

 

7:20 p.m. – Turn right on to S. 1000 W. Head South on S. 1000 W. eventually turning in to SR 14 into Akron.

 

7:30 p.m.- Arrive in Akron to Community Center on SR 14.

 

7:35 p.m.- Turn right on to E. Rochester St. heading West through town of Akron.

 

7:40 p.m. – Turn right on to N. Mishawaka St. heading North towards Akron Elementary School.

 

7:50 p.m. – Arrive at the intersection (Three-way stop) of SR 19 and E. 100 N (SR 114) This is the end of the parade and cars will safely head towards home.

 

We thank our Tippecanoe Valley High School seniors and congratulate them for accomplishing this great feat. Sunday July 19th is the date set for the graduation ceremony of the class of 2020, with a back-up date of July 26th. A decision has been made to change the graduation time to better accommodate any plans that may involve social distancing and weather. The baccalaureate ceremony will now begin at 7:00 p.m. with the graduation ceremony beginning promptly at 7:30 p.m.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags statewide to be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 15.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff on Friday to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day.

DNR gives advice on managing private ponds

Owners of private ponds and lakes can now find more resources for managing those areas and adding aquatic structures to them on DNR’s updated website at wildlife.IN.gov/3614.htm.

Pond owners will now find information and links to content about pond construction, where to purchase fish to stock, nuisance wildlife concerns, fish kills and other common issues.

There are more than 40,000 private ponds and lakes in Indiana, many of which are stocked with fish by landowners and used for recreation. With spring weather, many are starting to think about their ponds and potential maintenance and improvements.

“The majority of questions we receive from private pond owners pertain to fish kills, advice on fish stocking, or aquatic plant management including nuisance algae,” said Corey DeBoom, DNR fisheries biologist for central Indiana. “The answers to most of the common questions can now be found on our updated pond management webpage.”

Information about constructing artificial habitat for ponds or lakes has also been added. Artificial structures can provide places for fish to hide, eat, or spawn and may help reduce impacts of fish-eating predators. Structures can be as simple as cutting and felling shoreline trees, but a variety of structure options are highlighted for pond owners to consider. 

Questions from the public regarding private ponds or lakes can be answered by district fisheries biologists. Media questions regarding private pond management in specific regions can also be answered by district fisheries biologists. Contact information for your area’s biologist is at wildlife.IN.gov/3590.htm

Tippecanoe Valley High School plans Class of 2020 graduation

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation administration, and key stakeholders, have been in continuous conversation regarding plans for the graduating ceremonies of the class of 2020.  At the forefront of this discussion, has been doing whatever it takes to plan a quality, yet safe, graduation for the seniors.

 

Tippecanoe Valley High School is announcing a physical graduation date of Sunday July 19, 2020.  A rescheduled date in the event of inclement weather is set for Sunday, July 26. The baccalaureate ceremony will begin at the normally scheduled time of 2:00 p.m. The graduation ceremony will begin promptly at 2:45 p.m. The TVHS Prom, or similar event, is yet to be determined.

 

TVSC stakeholders have prepared plans to accommodate any required social distancing measures. Restrictions may be necessary limiting the number of guests in attendance, the location of the event, seating procedures, and other general procedures. TVSC will monitor the reopening status based on the governor’s “Back on Track Indiana Plan”, and will consultwith the local health departments during the time leading up to July 19. Expect more information regarding specific event details to be communicated to both seniors, and to parents/guardians prior to the event.

 

In addition, Tippecanoe Valley High School is excited to announce another celebration for the seniors. TVHS will organize a senior parade the evening of May 22nd. Seniors will wear their caps and gowns, and ride in their cars starting on the TVMS/TVHS campus then parading through the towns of Mentone and Akron. Specific details/requirements for the event, as well as the parade path and parking locations will be announced.

DNR properties resume entrance fees, reopen riding trails and restrooms

Turkey Run, Shades and Indiana Dunes state parks, and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas will resume collecting entrance fees tomorrow. All other DNR properties will resume charging entrance fees no later than May 15.

A full breakdown of entrance and other fees is at stateparks.IN.gov/5062.htm.

Regarding other imminent changes:

  • Equestrian and mountain bike trails will open, for day use only, on Monday, May 11.
     
  • Day-use restrooms and vault toilets will open at DNR properties by May 15. Until then, guests should come prepared for restroom use to be restricted.
     
  • Nature Centers and historic facilities in state parks properties will open the week of May 11; however, hours may be reduced, and social distancing may limit the number of guests allowed in the respective facility at one time.
     
  • Marinas will open the week of May 11, with limited operations.
     
  • The Fort Golf Course is open, and the golf pro shop at Fort Harrison State Park reopens the week of May 11, with self-service cart rental available with a limit of one person per cart.

A complete status list for facilities and services at DNR properties is at on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19.

Guests at DNR properties should remember the following when visiting:

  • Practice social distancing at all times, particularly, as you hike, picnic or use boat ramps. Keep a minimum of 6 feet from other individuals you encounter, for your safety and theirs.
     
  • Keep your group size small – fewer than 25 individuals is ideal.
     
  • Bring your own drinking water and hand sanitizer.
     
  • If you picnic, bring and use a covering for your picnic table and take it with you when you leave.
     
  • If a parking lot is full, move to another location.
     
  • If you feel sick or are running a temperature, plan a visit for a different day for the safety of other guests.

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