WROI News Archives for 2021-03

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine, the Indiana Department of Health announced today. The expansion makes more than 1.3 million additional individuals eligible for vaccine.

 

“With this expansion in age group, more than 5.4 million Hoosiers are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up for an appointment so that we can take the next step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”

 

With today’s expansion, the state has now made COVID-19 vaccines available to every Hoosier for whom the vaccine is currently authorized. The state’s focus will remain on providing equitable access to vaccine and providing current and accurate information so that Hoosiers can be informed about their options.

 

Hoosiers scheduling appointments may experience waits during periods of high volume. Vaccine appointments will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Individuals age 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should search for a site that lists PVAX or ask 211 for a site offering the Pfizer vaccine.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

 

Appointments for the mass vaccination clinic being planned in Gary for April 7-June 2 will be opened later this week.

Caston School Corporation scheduling meetings in strategic planning process

Over the course of the next several months, Caston School Corporation will be going through a strategic planning process. Strategic planning is an opportunity to gather input from all school and community stakeholders. Input will be collected through small group meetings for staff, students, parents and community members. This input will be used to revise the corporation mission, set goals and establish common beliefs.

 

Caston will use this data to set a 3 - 5 year strategic plan that will allow the school corporation to be more responsive to student and family needs.

 

Student and staff focus groups will be scheduled through the school. If you are a parent, family member or a community member and would like to participate in one of the focus groups held on April 12, complete the Google form link. Please select all times that you are available.

 

You will be contacted to confirm your focus group time before the April 12 meeting date.

 

Complete the form at this link: https://forms.gle/aQt3VJzwMgtQpuQM8

Starke Co. Sheriff's Office drone program already providing benefits

The Starke County Sheriff’s Office recently received a grant for a start up for a drone program.

 

Deputy Skip Tomasco is the commander for the program.  He says the Starke County Community Foundation played a key part in funding the effort.

 

 

Deputy Tomasco says accident reconstruction will be the drone’s primary role.

 

 

He notes officer safety during a recent hostage situation also showed the drone’s value.

 

 

The drone also offers thermal and heat searching capability.

 

 

 

State Road 25 to be closed for bridge replacement

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a closure for State Road 25 between C.R. E 775 N and State Road 331 beginning Monday, April 5.

 

The road will be closed through early-July, 2021 to replace the bridge over Yellow Creek.

 

Motorists should seek an alternate route. The official detour will follow State Road 110, U.S. 31 and State Road 25.

 

Gov. Holcomb announces judicial appointment for Kosciusko County Superior Court vacancy

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb today announced Karin McGrath as his appointment to the Kosciusko County Superior Court.

 

McGrath will succeed Judge David Cates who passed away in December.

 

McGrath is currently in private practice with a focus on children in need and family law. She also serves as a judge for Teen Court, a problem-solving court within the juvenile system where teens charged with certain types of offenses can be sentenced by a jury of their peers. From 2011-2018, she served as a deputy prosecutor for Kosciusko County.

 

McGrath earned an undergraduate degree from Greenville College and a law degree from Valparaiso University Law School.

 

McGrath will be sworn in as the judge of the Kosciusko County Superior Court on a date to be determined.

Hoosiers 30 and older now eligible to sign up for free COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers ages 30 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine, the Indiana Department of Health announced today.

 

This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to more than 840,000 additional Hoosiers.

 

Beginning Wednesday, Hoosiers age 16 and older also will be able to schedule a vaccine.

 

Vaccine appointments will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

State Road 14 to be reduced to two lanes over Mill Creek

The Indiana Department of Transportation has planned lane closures for State Road 14 between Ewing Rd and Woodlawn Hospital Dr beginning on or after Thursday, April 1. 

 

The bridge over Mill Creek will be reduced to one lane in each direction for a bridge deck overlay project. During phase one, westbound lanes will be converted to two-way traffic while work is being done in the eastbound lanes. Phase two will be the opposite, with work occurring in the westbound lanes and eastbound converted to two-way traffic. 

 

The project will be ongoing through mid-May, 2021.

 

Veteran grave markers continue to come up missing from local cemeteries

A continuing issue involving grave markers taken from local cemeteries is being addressed by the commander of the American Legion in Rochester.

 

American Legion Post 36 Commander Rob Beckman met with WROI News to talk about the disappearance of grave markers from local cemeteries over the past few years. 

 

 

The cost for these plaques isn't cheap.  Replacing them is something  American Legion Post 36 will continue to do, regardless. 

 

 

Commander Beckman says the American Legion is proud of what they do and they aren't asking for funding.  They would, however, like those in the area to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. 

 

 

He hopes by addressing this issue and making the public aware, it will help put a stop to the missing plaques. 

 

The markers and flags are not the only thing the American Legion Post provides to the community. They also do proper flag burning ceremonies, Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, funerals and more. 

 

Commander Beckman said they're always looking for new members. Requirements include being a veteran, but they also have the 'Sons of the American Legion' and the Women's Aauxiliary, for those interested in joining. 

 

The American Legion Post 36 is located the 611 Main St in Rochester. For any questions you can contact them by calling (574) 223-2617.

Rochester looks to save thousands with bond refinance

The Rochester City Council approved the refinancing of a bond that is expected to result in the savings of thousands of dollars.

 

Clerk – Treasurer Shoda Beehler explained the move to the council during its meeting Tuesday.

 

 

The bond comes due in 2033.

 

The board also suspended rules and passed the ordinance on second and final readings Tuesday.

Fulton County tax search website available

The Fulton County Treasurer’s Office has launched its new tax search website.

 

You will now be able to search tax records online.

 

The website www.lowtaxinfo.com/fultoncounty became available on Monday.

Fulton County testing site will close on Good Friday

The Fulton County Covid -19 testing site at 429 Apache Drive in Rochester will be closed in Observance of Good Friday on April 2.

 

It will open to normal hours Saturday, April 3.

 

Regular hours at the testing site:

Monday 10am-6pm

Tuesday 10am-6pm

Wednesday 9am-12pm

Thursday –Closed

Friday 10am-6pm

Saturday 8am-12pm

Sunday -Closed

Gov. Holcomb announces plan for all Hoosiers to be eligible for the vaccine March 31

Governor Eric J. Holcomb  delivered a statewide address to lay out the road ahead for Hoosiers in the fight against COVID-19.

 

“As we continue to isolate if you test positive, quarantine if you’re a close contact, and get vaccinated when you’re eligible, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and brighter,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It’s up to each and every one of us to do our part to stay on our course.”

 

Indiana’s current cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, and deaths have all dropped drastically since mid-January and nearly a million Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. The state plans to open vaccine eligibility to all Hoosiers 16 years and older on Wednesday, March 31, provided Indiana receives a large increase in the amount of vaccine as outlined by the federal government. Additional mass vaccination clinics will be scheduled for April and the state will implement a large employer vaccination program.

 

Starting April 6, decisions about venue capacity and social gatherings will be made by local officials. Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required by the state to be seated. Six feet of spacing between tables and other seating will still be recommended as is spacing between non-household parties.

 

The statewide face covering mandate will become a mask advisory on April 6. Face coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and COVID testing sites until further notice. K-12 schools will continue under current requirements through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 

 

“When I visit my favorite restaurant or conduct a public event, I will continue to wear a mask,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It is the right thing to do. Hoosiers who take these recommended precautions will help us get to what I hope is the tail end of this pandemic.”

 

Local governments, private businesses and other entities may institute more stringent guidelines. The Indiana Department of Health will continue to provide county level, color coded metrics to provide easy to understand information about whether virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally.

 

The state public health emergency will be renewed for another 30 days, beginning April 1. This declaration allows the state to act quickly if conditions take a turn for the worse and allows the state to continue to access hundreds of millions of federal dollars to support Hoosiers recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

Fulton County EMA receives grant to outfit ambulances with device to perform CPR

The Fulton County EMA received a $27,000 grant from the Fulton County Community Foundation to purchase two additional Lucas Chest Compression Systems.

 

In 2019, Fulton County Community Foundation granted to Fulton County EMA to purchase one Lucas Chest Compression System. This new grant will allow ambulances that serve Akron, Kewanna, and Rochester to all have a Lucas device.

 

The Lucas device can provide automatic chest compressions for patients freeing first responders to provide additional medical treatments. The device can perform perfect CPR nearly endlessly and overcome the challenges a responder faces of doing CPR for 30-45 minutes.

 

Pictured: Fulton County EMA Director Larry Hoover, Fulton County Community Foundation Director of Development Brian Johnson, and Northern Indiana Community Foundation Executive Director Jay Albright and EMTs Bill Howard and Sam Fields

Gov. Holcomb signs Executive Order to delay individual income tax deadline

Governor Eric J. Holcomb has signed Executive Order 21-07 to align the state of Indiana with the federal government and delay state individual income tax filings and payments from April 15 to May 17.

 

Last week, the U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to file and pay federal individual income tax until May 17.

 

The executive order also extends temporary licensing of health care workers for 90 days, allowing individuals who are not currently licensed to practice in Indiana to have a temporary license. This order applies to retired health care professionals, certain health care students and out-of-state health care professionals.

 

Health care professionals who are granted a temporary license to provide health care services in the state in response to this public health emergency must register with the Professional Licensing Agency via their website at www.in.gov/pla and EMS professionals must register with the Department of Homeland Security at www.in.gov/dhs.

 

Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/newsroom/executive-orders/

Hoosiers ages 40 and older to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

Hoosiers ages 40 and older will be eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, the Indiana Department of Health announced today. This expansion of eligibility to include those ages 40 to 44 will make the vaccine available to more than 400,000 additional Hoosiers.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available starting Monday and will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 450 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

Owen Abbott Memorial Splash Pad coming to Winamac this spring

A new public splash pad in memory of Owen Abbott is making its way to Winamac this spring.

 

Owen was a Winamac Community Middle School student, killed in a truck / school bus accident December 5, 2018, at a railroad crossing near Argos on U.S. 31. 

 

It's being donated by Owen's mother and step-father, Britni and Nick Fritz, Britni says, the 70-by-50-foot splash pad is their way of giving back to the community that supported them after the tragic accident. 

 

 

Two years may have passed, but that fateful December day is something that will be imprinted in Britni's memory forever. 

 

 

Coping with grief and everyday life since the accident has been a struggle, but keeping Owen's name alive pushes her through the hard times. 

 

 

 

The Splash Pad isn't the first or last memorial in Owen Abbott's name. 

 

 

 

They hope to have the Owen Abbott Memorial Splash Pad up by May. It's set to be located along the Winamac Parkway, west of Logan Street, between Adams and Jefferson streets, previously the location of an old grain elevator. The Town of Winamac is looking to provide restrooms, benches, sidewalks, parking spaces, and landscaping. 

 

 

Fulton, Marshall and Pulaski counties remain yellow on state's coronavirus map

As over two-thirds of the state of Indiana now shows in blue on the coronavirus county advisory map, three of those still in yellow are in the WROI listening area.

 

Fulton, Marshall and Pulaski counties are in yellow on this week’s updated map.    

 

Many of the rest of the state’s remaining yellow counties are in the northern third of the state including Huntington, Whitley, Allen, Elkhart and St. Joseph wrapping around the northeastern corner of the state.

 

Starke, Kosciusko, Miami, Wabash and Cass counties are all in blue this week.

 

Food Councils selected for Indiana Grown grant

Indiana Grown has awarded five organizations with a Food Council Development Grant. A food council is a community-based coalition created to build a stronger food system. Much of the work done by these regional organizations aligns with Indiana Grown’s mission and benefits farmers and producers statewide.

 

"The awards announced today will help with the future success of food councils and the work they do for their communities," said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. "The Indiana Grown program has come so far in five years and its ability and willingness to give back to Hoosier communities speaks volumes. I cannot wait to see the tremendous impact made by these food councils." 

 

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their local food systems and are looking for ways to support it. Indiana Grown’s goal in awarding these grants is to help regional food councils develop their infrastructure so Indiana farmers and producers have a greater market for their products, Indiana processors can utilize more Indiana grown products and more consumers learn the importance of buying Indiana grown products.

 

According to Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler grant awardees will demonstrate the major goals of Indiana Grown.

 

"This funding provided by Indiana Grown has the ability to increase market outlets for farmers and create new opportunities for community members to find locally grown food," Kettler said. "I am looking forward to working with each of these councils to increase food processing, production and supply in their areas." 

 

Heather Tallman, Indiana Grown Program Director, said this grant program was made possible due to COVID-19 causing the cancellation of many annual Indiana Grown events, which allowed for the redistribution of the program’s funds.

 

“Working with communities to increase access to the locally grown food market is one of my passions and something the Indiana Grown program does so well,” said Tallman. “I am excited to support these councils in their regional food systems to increase their outreach and growth for years to come.”

 

The selected award recipients include: 

 

Northeast Indiana Local Food Network, Inc. 

$24,938.00

Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.

NWI Food Council 

$25,000.00 

Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke counties. 

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS extend filing, payment deadline

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

 

The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

 

"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

 

"Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to."

 

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax.

 

Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

 

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax

professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.

 

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn't subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.

State tax returns

The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

Webb's Family Pharmacy earns Best Exterior Sign NICE Award

The National Community Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce that Webb’s Family Pharmacy in Rochester, Ind., has earned the 2021 NCPA Innovation Center Excellence Award for Best External Sign.

 

This is the fourth year of the NICE Awards competition, which was created to recognize pharmacies for their efforts to enhance their value, promote their services, and better serve their communities. The NICE Awards are sponsored by QS/1.

 

“Congratulations to Webb’s Family Pharmacy for earning the NICE Award for Best Exterior Sign,” said Kurt Proctor, PhD, RPh, president of the NCPA Innovation Center. “The NICE Awards spotlight the best of community pharmacy branding and marketing – the innovations and redesigns that have made promotions more effective and patients’ experiences more rewarding. Webb’s Family Pharmacy did a great job in designing an attractive, eye-catching sign so existing and potential new patients approaching the store can instantly recognize it as a full-service pharmacy.”

 

Harry Webb, owner of Webb’s Family Pharmacy, says the façade of its Rochester, Ind., location has undergone a complete renovation in recent years (Webb owns three pharmacies in northern Indiana), with an exterior pharmacy sign being the finishing touch. Webb consulted with NCPA’s Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing, Gabe Trahan, to get some ideas.

“The concept for the arrow came from looking at a lot of old historic signs. I wanted something that had a bit of a retro design,” Webb says. Even though the pharmacy is something of a local landmark, if new residents are driving by and the sign is cluttered or difficult to read from a distance, those are potential lost customers.

 

Webb says he had been interested in doing the renovations for several years. He received a store preservation grant from the state of Indiana to help defray some of the expense. “Having things look fresh and clean really makes a difference,” he says.

 

Webb’s Family Pharmacy was established in 1990, though a pharmacy has operated on the site since 1880. Its products and services include standard retail, compounding, insurances, integrated services, disease management, compliance packaging, long-term care,

immunizations, durable medical equipment, refill prescriptions, gift shop, and delivery.

Gov. Holcomb announces Sullivan as Secretary of State

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced Rep. Holli Sullivan will serve as Indiana’s 62nd Secretary of State.

 

“I’m thrilled Rep. Holli Sullivan has accepted this new leadership role for I know she will serve Hoosiers with the same intellect, integrity and energy she brought to the General Assembly,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Secretary of State Sullivan hits the ground running, building on the remarkable work Hoosiers have come to expect from the office during Connie Lawson’s historic tenure.”

 

Sullivan was sworn in as Secretary of State today by Chief Justice Loretta Rush. She follows Secretary Connie Lawson, who notified Governor Holcomb in February that she would submit a formal resignation once a successor was ready to serve. Lawson is the longest serving Secretary of State in Indiana history.

 

"I want to thank Secretary Connie Lawson for her decades of public service and Governor Holcomb for this opportunity to serve Hoosiers," Sullivan said. "I look forward to building on Indiana's record of free, fair, and secure elections to make sure every eligible voter can vote and every legal vote is counted.”

 

Sullivan has served portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties as a state representative since 2014.  Sullivan serves as Budget Subcommittee Chair on the House Ways and Means Committee, where she oversees the creation of the state’s biennial budget. She also serves as vice chair of the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, is a member of the House Elections and Apportionment Committee and a member of POWER, the House's bipartisan women's caucus. She also serves as the current vice chair of the Indiana Republican Party.

 

During Sullivan's tenure in the Indiana General Assembly, she worked with the Secretary of State’s office to pass legislation funding critical local cybersecurity improvements in time for the 2020 elections. She’s also worked with the office’s auto dealer services division to modernize Indiana Code through legislation.

 

Sullivan began her career in management at General Motors, where she oversaw more than 100 employees in the auto giant’s paint division. Then holding a similar role for Toyota’s Indiana manufacturing operation, she supervised production quality and staffing across the company’s Hoosier plants. From there, Sullivan launched her own consulting firm, Onward Consulting, and began working with the University of Southern Indiana at the school's Center for Applied Research.

 

Sullivan earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and has continued her education in business management at Lindenwood University.

Austin Salyer back in Starke Co. custody

Starke County authorities report that a man who left home detention has turned himself in.

 

Austin Salyer, 29, was AWOL for approximately forty-eight hours before he turned himself in to agents of Starke County Court Services.

 

Authorities said Slayer had intentionally removed his GPS tracking unit.

 

He has been transported to the Starke County Justice Center for a violation of his home detention sentence.

 

 

Hoosiers age 45 and older now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 45 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 415,640 Hoosiers.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 400 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

Indiana teachers can now get Covid vaccine at any state site

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Indiana educators up to grade 12 and other school support staff can now sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine at any Indiana vaccination clinic.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eligible individuals include teachers and staff in pre-K through high school, childcare centers, Head Start and Early Start programs, along with licensed childcare providers, including center-based and family care providers. Classroom aides, bus drivers, janitors, counselors, administration staff, cafeteria workers and substitute teachers also are eligible.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

 

Appointment availability varies by site, so individuals seeking an earlier appointment may need to look at openings in nearby counties. If an individual already has an appointment scheduled but finds an earlier appointment, please call 211 to reschedule.

 

Vaccines also are available at Kroger and Meijer stores, but those must be scheduled through the retailers’ websites.

 

In addition to teachers, Hoosiers age 50 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to render medical assistance, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Hoosiers with specific conditions, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 also are eligible and will receive a unique link to schedule a vaccine once their healthcare provider submits their information to the Indiana Department of Health. To find a complete list of those who are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

 

Eligibility will be expanded as more vaccine becomes available.

Warsaw's OrthoPediatrics Corp. reports fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results

OrthoPediatrics Corp. (“OrthoPediatrics” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: KIDS), a company focused exclusively on advancing the field of pediatric orthopedics, announced today its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020.

 

Fourth Quarter / Full Year 2020 and Business Highlights     

 

  • Generated total revenue of $18.9 million for the fourth quarter, down 0.1% from $19.0 million in fourth quarter 2019.
  • Full year 2020 revenue decreased 2.0% to $71.1 million from full year 2019 revenue due to the impact of COVID-19 on elective surgery volumes.
  • Recorded a $2.7 million revenue reduction due to the repurchase of inventory from a stocking distributor in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland that we converted to a sales agency in December 2020.
  • The $2.7 million reduction impacted fourth quarter revenue growth by (14%) and total year revenue growth by (4%).
  • Domestic revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 26.1% compared to prior year with particular strength in Scoliosis and Sports Medicine/Other.
  • Continued acceleration of international sales agency revenue growth of 51% in the fourth quarter, up from 26% in the third quarter of 2020.
  • Delivered strong synergies from acquisitions with 38 Orthex surgeon conversions, ApiFix receiving full approvals at 11 of the 20 IRB hospitals, and successful completion of 20 ApiFix surgeries through end of December 2020.
  • Strengthened liquidity position with $70.2 million in net proceeds from follow-on public offering in June 2020.   

Mark Throdahl, Chief Executive Officer of OrthoPediatrics, commented, “Despite COVID-19, in 2020 we continued the systematic execution of our growth initiatives both domestically and internationally. Elective surgery volumes declined globally but staged a gradual recovery throughout the year. Second quarter sales declined 25% but then began to recover with third quarter sales growth of 7% and a 0.1% fourth quarter sales decline due to the $2.7 million reduction which impacted fourth quarter revenue growth by (14%). During the fourth quarter, our domestic business grew 26% and international agencies grew 51%, supporting the beginning of an international sales turnaround. We are optimistic about the outlook in 2021, particularly with the resumption of strong international growth. As we look ahead, we will continue to execute on our growth plans to support full year 2021 revenue guidance of 31-38%. We believe we will see strong contributions from new domestic Orthex users, continued acceleration of conversions, and the Orthex European launch in the second quarter of 2021.

 

Furthermore, Apifix will complete its 200-case registry by late 2021, and the deployment of $18 million of consigned sets in 2019 and 2020 will positively impact domestic and international sales agency markets.”

 

Mr. Throdahl continued, “We would like to recognize the commitment and discipline of our associates around the world who rose to the challenge of 2020. We would also like to thank our shareholders for their continued support during an unprecedented year. Last week we reached the milestone of an estimated 200,000 surgeries since the Company was founded. We remain dedicated to helping children throughout the world and driving increased value for our stakeholders in 2021 and beyond.” 

 

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results

 

Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $18.9 million, a 0.1% decrease compared to $19.0 million for the same period last year. U.S. revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $17.9 million, a 26.1% increase compared to $14.2 million for the same period last year, representing 94.3% of total revenue. International revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $1.1 million, a 77.7% decrease compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year, representing 5.7% of total revenue.  In December 2020, we recorded a $2.7 million reduction of revenue due to the repurchase of inventory related to the conversion of a stocking distributor in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to a sales agency.

 

Total revenue for 2020 was $71.1 million, a 2% decrease compared to $72.6 million for 2019. Our U.S. revenue for 2020 was $63.0 million, a 14.4% increase compared to $55.1 million for 2019, representing 88.6% of total revenue. Our international revenue for 2020 was $8.1 million, a 53.6% decrease compared to $17.5 million for 2019, representing 11.4% of total revenue due to inclusion of the aforementioned $2.7 million reduction of revenue.

 

Trauma and Deformity revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $11.3 million, a 17.3% decrease compared to $13.6 million for the same period last year due to the aforementioned $2.7 million reduction of revenue. Scoliosis revenue was $6.6 million, a 35.7% increase compared to $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Sports Medicine/other revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $1.0 million, a 134.9% increase compared to $430 thousand for the same period last year.

 

Trauma and Deformity revenue for 2020 was $47.7 million, a 3.4% decrease compared to $49.4 million for 2019, reflecting the aforementioned $2.7 million reduction of revenue. Scoliosis revenue for 2020 was $20.7 million, a 3.5% decrease compared to $21.5 million for 2019. Sports medicine/other revenue for 2020 was $2.7 million, a 57.0% increase compared to $1.7 million in 2019.

 

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $15.1 million, a 4.6% increase compared to $14.5 million for the same period last year, and $55.0 million for 2020, a 0.8% increase compared to $54.6 million for 2019. Gross profit margin for the fourth quarter of 2020 improved to 79.9%, compared to 76.2% for the same period last year, and was 77.4% for 2020, compared to 75.3% for 2019. The aforementioned $2.7 million reduction of revenue reduced gross profit in the fourth quarter and total year of 2020 by $1.1 million.

 

Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2020 were $27.9 million, a 59.4% increase compared to $17.5 million for the same period last year. The primary increase during the fourth quarter was due to accrued legal settlements of $6.3 million. Full year operating expenses were $81.8 million for 2020, a 28.4% increase compared to $63.7 million for 2019. The increase in operating expenses for full year 2020 was primarily driven by a 43.7% increase in general and administrative driven by accrued legal settlements of $6.3 million and addition of personnel and resources to support the expansion of our business. Operating loss for 2020 was ($26.8) million compared to ($9.1) million for 2019.

 

Net interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $0.6 million, compared to $1.3 million for the same period last year, and was $3.4 million for 2020 compared to $3.5 million for 2019.  Fair value adjustment of contingent consideration was $1.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 and $3.5 million for the full year 2020, compared to zero for both periods in 2019.

Net loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2020 was ($14.0) million, compared to ($4.3) million for the same period last year. Total net loss including discontinued operations for the fourth quarter of 2020 was ($14.0) million, or ($0.73) per basic diluted share attributable to common stockholders, compared to ($5.4) million, or ($0.36) per basic and diluted share for the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019 was ($2.6) million and ($0.9) million, respectively.

 

Net loss from continuing operations for 2020 was ($32.9) million, compared to ($12.7) million for 2019. Total net loss including discontinued operations for the full year 2020 was ($32.9) million, or ($1.82) per basic and diluted share attributable to common stockholders, compared to ($13.7) million, or ($0.94) per basic and diluted share for 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2020 was ($5.9) million, compared to ($1.1) million for the full year 2019. See below for additional information and a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial information.

 

The weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding for the three-month period ended December 31, 2020 was 19,118,276 shares.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2020, we had 171 sales representatives up 2.4% compared to 167 in the same period of 2019.

 

The change in property and equipment during the fourth quarter of 2020 was $4.1 million, which compared to an increase of $1.3 million for the same period last year, and $10.5 million for 2020, compared to $11.8 million for 2019. This investment reflects the deployment of consigned sets, which includes product specific instruments and cases and trays. Including the implants, $5.0 million of consigned sets were deployed during the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $4.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2019.

 

As of December 31, 2020, cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash were $85.3 million, compared to $89.7 million as of September 30, 2020. The Company, together with all unpaid interest and other related amounts payable, has no outstanding term loan obligations.

 

Full Year 2021 Financial Guidance
For full year 2021, we expect to see very significant growth over full year 2020 with sales reaching $93-98 million, representing a range of 31%-38% growth. We expect domestic growth to continue, approaching pre-COVID levels and expect significant improvement in international sales due to the recovery by stocking distributors and continued sales agency growth, starting in the first quarter of 2021.

 

Conference Call
OrthoPediatrics will host a conference call on Thursday, March 11, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results. The dial-in numbers are (855) 289-4603 for domestic callers and (614) 999-9389 for international callers. The conference ID number is 9362699. A live webcast of the conference call will be available online from the investor relations page of the OrthoPediatrics’ corporate website at www.orthopediatrics.com.

 

A replay of the webcast will remain available on OrthoPediatrics’ website, www.orthopediatrics.com, until the Company releases its first quarter 2021 financial results. In addition, a telephonic replay of the call will be available until March 18, 2021. The replay dial-in numbers are (855) 859-2056 for domestic callers and (404) 537-3406 for international callers. Please use the replay conference ID number 9362699.

Burn ban announced for Fulton County

Fulton County Commissioners have issued a declaration calling for a burn ban.

 

The declaration states that Fulton County continues to be threatened by county wide drought conditions. 

 

The following activities are banned now in Fulton County:

 

Open burning of any king using conventional fuel such as wood, or other combustible material, with the exception of grills fueled by charcoal briquettes or propane

 

The burning of debris, such as lumber of vegetation, including leaf litter, and other such debris that results from building construction activities

 

Campfires and other recreational fires, unless enclosed

 

 

The declaration will continue until conditions improve.

Peru man arrested for burglary and drug charges

Indiana State Police and Peru Police responded to a call of a fight Wednesday.

 

A report of a fight and alleged drug use at 162 East Fifth Street, Peru, resulted in Stephen R. Baber, 31, of Peru, being arrested for burglary, possession of cocaine, possession of a syringe, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Officers responded about 9:30 am Wednesday to a home that was supposed to be vacant.  When officers arrived, they purportedly found Baber inside an unattached garage.

 

The owner of the property told officers that no one had permission to be there. Baber was the only one located.

 

During a search of the garage, officers report that they found cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and numerous syringes. Some of the syringes were loaded with an unknown substance that will be tested at an Indiana State Police laboratory.

New Caston Superintendent Paul Voigt provides updates on the school year

The new Caston School Corporation Superintendent Paul Voigt updated WROI Giant fm news recently, on his transition to the school district this year, 

 

The first-time superintendent's passion for education brought him to the area from Marion. He is currently commuting but hopes to live in the community soon. 

 

 

Starting mid-year and during a pandemic has been anything but ordinary. 

 

 

Voigt said Caston School Corporation will continue to stay up-to-date with safety protocols to keep all of their students and staff safe as the pandemic continues. 

 

 

He has high hopes for his future at Caston. 

 

 

Claypool's Louis Dreyfus Company honored

A Kosciusko County company was recognized for its workplace safety.

 

Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Joe Hoage recognized nine Hoosier companies and eight individuals for exemplary workplace-safety practices and advocacy today during the annual Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards event.

 

The Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards event was held virtually this year as a part of the 2021 Indiana Safety and Health Conference and Expo. The annual event is hosted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers in partnership with the Indiana Department of Labor.

 

Among the companies recognized was the Louis Dreyfus Company in Claypool.  The facility, which first began operations in 2007, is now the largest fully integrated soybean processing and biodiesel plant in the United States.

 

The annual Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards are a result of a partnership among government, business, and safety leaders including the Indiana Department of Labor on behalf of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

 

 

 

Fulton County farm recognized with Hoosier Homestead award

A longstanding Fulton County farm was recently presented a Hoosier Homestead award for being in operation for over 100 years, according to State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport) and State Sen. Stacey Donato (R-Logansport).

 

Located in Rochester, the Harry Richter Farm has been in operation since 1920 and received a Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award.

 

"It is a tremendous accomplishment for these farms to withstand the test of time and continue operating and serving their communities for a century," Manning said. "I am still active in my own family's farm, and I understand the grit and persistence it takes to push through unpredictable weather and other financial challenges that can come with the profession."

 

The Richter family was among 51 farms recognized at the Indiana State Museum for their commitment to Indiana agriculture.

 

"Indiana is the eighth-largest agricultural exporter and tenth largest farming state in the nation because families like the Richters have made generational commitments to our land and to their fellow Hoosiers," Donato said. "Thank you to the Richter family for your contributions to our state and congratulations on reaching this historic milestone."

 

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program recognizes farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more. Families can qualify for centennial, sesquicentennial or bicentennial awards. 

Travis Heishman to run for Fulton County sheriff

 

Travis Heishman announced via the following press release of his intention to run for Sheriff in Fulton County:

 

Travis Heishman has announced his Republican candidacy for 2022 Fulton County Sheriff's Office Sheriff.

 

Heishman is the premier candidate and is very well suited for the position, as he comes with tremendous experience and the right mindset for the Fulton County community in which he was born and raised. 

 

With more than 20 years of law enforcement and corrections experience, Heishman has had success in various positions within the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office including patrol deputy, K-9 deputy, narcotics investigations, and interim Jail Commander. Heishman currently holds the rank of detective sergeant for which he is responsible for investigating all types of crimes in Fulton County.  As a sergeant, he is also responsible for supervising the school resource officers in both Rochester and Caston community schools along with assisting in the day-to-day operations of the office.

 

The decision to run came easy for Heishman based on his experience and prior mentors as he is dedicated to serving his community and is fully committed to protecting the core values of this office. Heishman has been a member of Drug Free Fulton County Sheriff's Office since 2008 and is also an active board member of Fulton County Sheriff's Office Soccer and Habitat for Humanity.

 

Heishman prides himself on his law enforcement and leadership abilities. He will be dedicated to working with community leaders and mental health providers to establish quality programs in the jail. Heishman will work closely with local, state and federal agencies to identify people who sell narcotics within Fulton County.

 

Efforts will be made to treat both the mindset and the addiction of the user while working with the prosecutor’s office and courts to get those who sell narcotics thetime they deserve. Heishman will also work closely with local enforcement agencies to address the needs and concerns of the citizens he serves.

 

Heishman understands the position of sheriff is not about one person; it is about mentoring the men and women of the office as well as being visible and responsive to the citizens. Heishman will guide the members of the office with his core values of community, integrity, and commitment.

 

Heishman and his wife, Angie, reside in Rochester and have three children: Dalton, 20, is active duty;  Army, currently stationed in Germany, Rilya, 17,and Isaac, 12.

 

Heishman feels announcing his candidacy early gives ample opportunity to meet with the citizens and community stake holders to answer any questions and to address any concerns they may have.

 

Heishman has a trusted performance record throughout his career. He knows the community and is ready to take on the responsibilities that come with the elected post. Heishman is very proud and excited to announce his Republican candidacy for Fulton County sheriff.

Traffic stop results in drug charges for Peru man

A traffic stop led to the arrest of a Miami County man on drug charges.

 

About 8:30 am Tuesday, a traffic stop by Indiana State Police Trooper Jon Cole led to the arrest of Jerry L Messer, 28, of Peru.Messer was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face criminal charges for possession methamphetamine, resisting law enforcement causing injury, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, two counts for battery on a law enforcement officer, and driving a vehicle while never having received an operator’s license.

 

Cole stopped a 2004 Pontiac Montana for a traffic violation on U.S. 24 near Eel River Cemetery Road. While Cole was speaking to Messer, who was driving the Pontiac, it was allegedly revealed that Messer had never received a driver’s license. Further investigation revealed that Messer allegedly had suspected methamphetamine on his person.

 

When the methamphetamine was located, Messer attempted to escape from officers. A scuffle ensued on the roadside, with Messer being taken into custody.

 

Cole was assisted by Trooper Steven Glass and the Peru Police Department. 

Donald Robin receives 17 year sentence

Donald Robin was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in planning school shootings.

 

Three other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.  Nine years of the sentence were suspended.  Robin could serve six years.

 

Robin entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit murder.   He cried while reading an apology before Judge Christopher Lee.

 

Robin will also testify against fellow defendant John Schultz who is scheduled for a suppression hearing next month.  A jury trial is scheduled for June 8.

Richter, Arndt, Schilling farms honored with Hoosier Homestead Awards

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler presented 51 Hoosier Homestead Awards to families today at the Indiana State Museum in recognition of their commitment to Indiana agriculture.

 

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years, and consist of 20 acres or more, or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

 

“For generations, each of the families honored today have been committed to Indiana, to agriculture and to their families,” Crouch said. “The past year has been challenging in many ways but our agriculture industry remains strong. Hoosier farmers are a big reason why Indiana remains the 10th largest farming state. I was grateful to have the opportunity to present this award to these historic farming families.” 

 

Families are eligible for three different distinctions of the Hoosier Homestead Award, based on the age of the farm. They can receive the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership. 

 

Since the program's inception in 1976, more than 5,800 families have received the award.

Two families were recognized with the Bicentennial Award during the ceremony; the Weinantz farm from Bartholomew County was established in 1820 and the Hall farm from Orange County was established in 1818.

 

“The Hoosier Homestead program is a testament to the resiliency of our Indiana agriculture industry,” Kettler said. “Each of these families have played a significant role in the heritage of our state and I am certain their legacy will continue for years to come.”

 

Fulton

Richter

1920

Centennial

Pulaski

Arndt

1871

Sesquicentennial

Wabash

Schilling

1854

Sesquicentennial

Meijer looking for teachers to vaccinate

Meijer is partnering with the Indiana State Teachers Association on plans for a series of COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Indiana stores this week.

 

Meijer says it will hold a dozen clinics and give 10,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to pre-registered teachers and school staff in grades pre-K to 12 by the end of the week.

 

Teachers and staff will be asked to verify their school affiliation and have proper ID when pre-registering through Meijer’s vaccine registration process. Teachers can also register by texting "ISTA" to 75049.

 

Over the last few weeks, Meijer has given more than 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses at stores in Indiana.

 

 

Three arrested in Denver domestic dispute

A domestic dispute resulted in Indiana State Police troopers making three arrests in Miami County.

 

Aaron Vance. 44, Skyla Vance, 19, and Heather Chard, 42 were charged in the incident. All three lived at 167 W. Harrison Street, Denver

 

Indiana State Police troopers responded to a reported fight and a shot being fired.  Evidence revealed that Heather Chard and Skyla Vance had been fighting, outside the home, before officers arrived. Aaron Vance is alleged to have pointed a handgun in the direction of Heather Chard and Skyla Vance. He then allegedly fired a gunshot into the ground. A loaded .40 caliber handgun was recovered from the scene.

 

The investigation revealed Chard was in the process of moving out of the Harrison Street home when a domestic dispute ensued.

 

All three were incarcerated in the Miami County Jail. Skyla Vance and Chard each face a single charge for domestic battery with injury. Aaron Vance faces felony charges for criminal recklessness with a firearm and pointing a firearm.

Hoosiers age 50 and older now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 50 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 412,000 Hoosiers.

 

Due to limited vaccine supplies nationally, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout. Individuals age 50 and older account for just over 35 percent of the state’s population but represent 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 98 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Hoosiers are encouraged to take advantage of one of three mass vaccination clinics scheduled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg and the University of Notre Dame this month.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of nearly 390 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

 

As of Wednesday, 1,031,266 individuals have received a first dose of vaccine in Indiana and 608,638 are fully vaccinated.

Date and location change announced for FEDCO'S Youth Pitch Competition

The second annual student business pitch competition, “First Pitch by FEDCO”, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 11, from 9 a.m. – 11:30a.m., at the Rochester Learning Center will now be held on Thursday, March 18, from 9a.m. – 11:30 a.m., at the Rochester High School auditorium.

 

Amy Beechy, BizGro Coordinator, said the change was necessary due to COVID19 safety precautions and policies.  The new location will allow for all of the safety protocols to be in place.  As a reminder, this year’s event will still be closed to the public, but it will be recorded by RTC for future airing. 

 

This event showcases five team finalists (1 from Caston and 2 each from Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley) who will each have seven minutes to present their business “pitch” to a panel of three judges.  Business Advisors from the North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center have been assisting students with their pitches.  A panel of 3 judges will choose the winners with Fulton County REMC awarding $1500 in cash prizes to the finalists.

 

For more information, contact Amy Beechy at 574.709.7955.  ###

 

National Weather Service looking for storm spotters

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis says there will be above average temperatures and periods of heavier than normal rainfall all across the state this spring.

 

National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Puma.

 

 

As for the rain, Puma expects there to be about 3-4 inches of rain in March and April with the rain totals near 5 inches in May. He says everything across the state is kind of uniform, so what applies for Indianapolis would still apply to places further north and other places further south.

 

You also can become a storm spotter for the National Weather Service.

 

 

You can sign up for that at www.weather.gov/ind.

New safety travel verification updates from travel agent Debbie Tatter

Debbie Tatter and her husband, Warren, have owned Dream Vacations Tatter Travel for the past ten years in Rochester, located at the North East Corner of Fourth and Main Street. 

 

Keeping up with the ongoing changes during the COVID-19 pandemic is important to Debbie Tatter, who has continued to stay on top of the new safety travel verifications.  

 

 

Tatter said being up-to-date on knowing the new safety protocols is very important to her business right now. 

 

 

Protocols vary depending on where you travel. 

 

 

Tatter says right now, the travel industry has taken a huge hit from the pandemic. Business has been the worst she's ever seen. 

 

 

Tatter says currently vacation prices are at a record low, with extremely flexible booking dates. 

 

 

 

 

 

North Manchester fire results in death of 12-year-old girl

A 12-year-old girl is dead after a house fire in Wabash County.

 

Firefighters were called just after midnight to fire at a North Manchester home in the 100 block of North Market Street.  Firefighters and police found Alyvia Floor unresponsive in a bedroom, close to a window.

 

A firefighter pulled Floor out of the window. Medics began treating Floor, but she could not be saved.

 

Firefighters say the fire began in a bedroom, but the cause is still unknown.

Indiana announces 3 mass vaccination clinics for Covid-19, opens eligibility to Hoosiers age 55 and older

The Indiana Department of Health today announced that it has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, University of Notre Dame and Ivy Tech Community College to host three mass vaccination clinics to help eligible Hoosiers receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.

 

In addition, effective today, Hoosiers age 55 and older are now eligible to receive a free vaccine.

“Getting tens of thousands of vaccines in arms in a matter of days is a huge undertaking that requires incredible partnerships,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head-on to help save Hoosier lives.”

 

The mass vaccination clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Saturday. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.

 

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”

 

The Indiana Department of Health has also begun planning for a future mass vaccination clinic in Gary in collaboration with local health officials. Additional mass vaccination sites in other locations will be planned as more vaccine becomes available.

 

All clinics will require advance registration through https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Proof of age and residency will be required. The mass vaccination clinics are listed as sites that eligible Hoosiers can select when making an appointment. No walk-ups will be permitted.

 

Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging, AARP and nearly 70 libraries around the state also can help Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

The clinic schedules are as follows:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis
March 5-7
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Enter through main gate off 16th Street; participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

Ivy Tech Community College
8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg 
March 12-13
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

University of Notre Dame
Compton Family Ice Arena
100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame
March 26-27
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Additional dates may be added to each of the above sites depending on demand and vaccine availability.

 

A separate advisory with instructions for media interested in covering the clinics will be issued closer to the events.

 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

FEDCO launches second annual Youth Pitch Competition

Three area High Schools will be represented at the second annual “First Pitch by FEDCO” event, where five entrepreneurial team entrants will compete for cash prizes sponsored by Fulton County REMC.  Participating schools include Caston, Tippecanoe Valley and Rochester.

 

On Thursday, March 11, from 9 a.m. – 11:30a.m., at the Rochester Learning Center, the fiveteam finalists (1 from Caston and 2 each from Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley) will have seven minutes to present their business “pitch” to a panel of three judges.  Business Advisors from the North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center have been assisting students with their pitches.  Each pitch will require student entrepreneurs to convey:

 

Participants’ Names

Business Name

Description of product/service

Tell what made the team interested in this kind of business

Tell why business is feasible and why it will be successful (summary)

Define the business model and how it will make money: target customers, pricing, costs, projected profitability. 

Identify the business’s competitive edge

 

The judges will then have 6 minutes to ask questions of each participant.

 

Beginning with the Inaugural event in 2020, FEDCO, through its BizGro program, has coordinated this Fulton Countyentrepreneurial opportunitywith the school systems. 

 

Amy Beechy, BizGro Coordinator, had this to say about the program, “This year has been challenging with the COVID restrictions and alternative schedules, but the teachers have stayed committed to preparing their students for the competition. The goal of the event is to expose the students to the entrepreneurial process, not necessarily with the view that they “have” to start a business from this experience, but that they gained valuable insights about how they could launch a business.The “First Pitch” is that natural progression from their work with the school’s entrepreneurial instruction, into the next phase of a solid business proposal.”  She went on to say that if they desire to launch the business, winners will have access to FEDCO’s business resources such as business planning classes, workshops, low interest loan funds, and business counseling.

 

Fulton County REMC is sponsoring the event again this year by offering $1500 in cash prizes to these five finalists.Prizes will be awarded as follows:

 

1st Place -        $500

2nd                   $400

3rd                          $300

4th                    $200

5th                    $100

 

Due to COVID, this event is not open to the public but will be recorded by RTC for future airing.  For more information, contact Amy Beechy at 574.709.7955.  

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