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DePauw Opera to present Gilbert and Sullivan: A Musical Extravaganza

The DePauw School of Music presents "A Gilbert and Sullivan Extravaganza!" 


With fifteen musical numbers from seven G & S shows, the one-hour DePauw Opera production happily breezes through some of the best of the dynamic British duo, whose Victorian-era English-culture musings set the stage for 20th Century music theater.  "The students and faculty are excited to present these tuneful and whimsically themed numbers to our audiences," says Orcenith Smith, conductor of the production. "Our guest stage director, Cara Consilvio, has created a mystery story connecting all these memorable moments and the technical director, Jaye Beetem, has illuminated that story filling the stage with fun set objects!" 


A group of college friends rent an old English country estate for Spring Break for an authentic Downton Abbey type of experience. As they all try to get some sleep on their first night, they are awakened by some singing ghosts. It turns out this house is haunted by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and all the actors who starred in their shows.


What will they do? Will they perform an exorcism? Demand a refund? Or, will they be seduced into joining this merry band of ghosts by the infectiousness of these Gilbert and Sullivan tunes?


Conductor Orcenith Smith writes: "DePauw Opera Guest stage director, Cara Consilvio, has created this unique and fun story that winds its way through 18 musical numbers from 8 different G&S masterpieces, all filled with that tunefulness and whimsy that is the hallmark of this English humorous style, which we are blending with our own!"

Cara Consilvio is a director and producer of opera, theater, and film with extensive
experience in dance and choreography whose inventive, kinetic, and evocative productions are in great demand. In 2022, Cara directed the world premiere of I Give You my Home for Guerilla Opera, Glory Denied for Opera Naples and The Sound of Music for Charlottesville Opera. Other recent directing credits include Il Trovatore for Opera in the Heights, Scalia/Ginsburg for Chautauqua Opera and the world premiere of Our Trudy for the Ad Astra Music Festival.


In the Spring of 2021, she directed the chamber opera season at Grand Rapids Opera, which included Penny, an opera film, and Second Nature. In January of 2021, Cara directed and edited Bernadette’s Cozy Book Nook; a world premiere opera film for Fort Worth Opera. Other stage directing highlights include productions of Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox at Chautauqua
Opera, An American Dream at Anchorage Opera, The Threepenny Opera for Syracuse Opera and The Elixir of Love for Piedmont Opera. Other credits include engagements with Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, and Opera Carolina, Tri-Cities Opera and Opera Saratoga.


As a teacher and guest director, Cara has taught at The Boston University Opera Institute and directed productions for Loyola University
at New Orleans, UC San Diego, and The Hartt School of Music. Cara is a co-founder of Hup! Productions, her film production company. Her feature film directing debut, a documentary called For the Love of Friends, is currently enjoying a successful film festival run.


The DePauw Opera production features twenty-two student singers and a full orchestra in Moore Theater, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 9, 10, 11 at 7:30pm and Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2pm. 



Tickets are $10 general admission and students are free.  Tickets available at

Millions in unclaimed money and property available through

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is reminding Hoosiers to check for assets waiting for them after the recent National Unclaimed Property Day (Feb. 1) .


Last year, the Unclaimed Property Division returned over $61 million to Hoosiers.


Here are the types of property that might go unclaimed:

Unclaimed wages or commissions

Money orders

Safety deposit box contents

Savings and checking accounts


Overpayments such as:

Credit card balances

Cell phone bills

DMV payments


There are also some tangible items received from dormant safe deposit boxes.


Individuals and/or businesses have 25 years in which to claim money once it is reported to the Unclaimed Property Division. All you must do is supply proof of rightful ownership.


“Protecting Hoosiers’ liberty is my office’s top priority,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Returning unclaimed property to the rightful owners is just one way we carry out this larger mission. Who knows — you might find $5 or $1,000, but it’s worth a look.”


Check or text CLAIM to 46220 to search your name, family, or business.

Get ShakIN' during Earthquake Awareness Month

Earthquakes in Indiana may seem unusual or unlikely, but the reality is the state is near two seismic zones. Both seismic zones have the potential to produce major earthquakes and many small quakes.


About 2,000 tremors occur daily in the central United States, underscoring the need for all Hoosiers to know earthquake safety.


Hoosiers need to Get ShakIN' to be aware of the risk and prepare for a substantial quake. If an earthquake were to strike, Hoosiers should stop what they are doing and: 

  • Drop where they are, onto their hands and knees,
  • Cover their head and neck with one arm and hand and crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk (sturdy piece of furniture), and 
  • Hold On to the shelter with their free hand until the earthquake stops.


K-12 Get ShakIN' Video Contest

To encourage students to take an active role in learning earthquake safety the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is launching the Get ShakIN' video contest. School-aged Hoosiers (K-12) have the chance to win their class or group a Raspberry Shake® RS3D seismograph to use for a year to track seismic activity worldwide!


Groups can enter by submitting a student-produced video focused on earthquake preparedness and/or safety. A panel of judges from IDHS will select the Top 10 videos to win a seismograph, and an overall winner will be selected to receive a seismograph plus the grand prize: an “Indiana Earthquake Day” event.


The contest is open now. Video entries will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2023. Additional information about the video contest and earthquake safety is on the GetShakIN' webpage

Candidate filing deadline on Friday

The deadline is quickly approaching for those who wish to file as a candidate for the 2023 municipal primary election.


Filing deadline is at noon on Friday, February 3, at the Voter Registration Office.


Independents have until Monday, July 3 to file to be in the general election.



The joys of identifying birds

One pastime that many individuals enjoy during the winter months is bird watching. Birds are magnificent creatures that have unique personalities. If you have a birdfeeder, you have probably seen those personalities in the form of dominant birds hogging a feeder, birds eating on the ground by themselves, and social birds flying around each other.  

A bird’s personality, or behavioral traits, is only one of the keys associated with bird watching. To be a successful bird watcher, you should learn the following: basic size & shape of birds, color patterns, behavior, and habitat. Once you understand the basics, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and learn the different field marks, songs, and calls.  

The size and shape of a bird is one of the most powerful tools used when identifying it. When trying to determine the size and shape of the bird, you need to focus on the silhouette of the bird. The silhouette will quickly tell you a bird’s size, proportions, and posture. By focusing on the silhouette, you will quickly be able to rule out many groups of birds. 

After you've taken note of a bird's overall size and shape, turn your attention to the size and shape of individual body parts. You can start with the bill. Look for details like how long the bird’s bill is relative to the head.

After you have focused on the basic size & shape of the bird, it is time to look at its color pattern. Focus on the overall color pattern instead of matching every detail to the pictures in your field guide. Also, remember that birds molt and their feathers wear. When looking at the color, look at the various patterns formed by contrasting colors and the predominant color of the bird. 

Next you should look at the behavior. For starters, determine the posture that the bird poses. You should ask yourself if it has a horizontal or a vertical posture. Once the bird starts to move, note how it moves. Does it hop from place to place, bob up and down on the water, etc. Next, pay attention to how the bird eats. It pays to become familiar with foraging styles. Additionally, it is important to note if the bird stays in a flock or likes to be by itself. 

The final thing to think about before you grab the field guide is their habitat. A habitat is a bird’s home, and many birds are choosy. By knowing the habitat, you can narrow down your list of possible birds. 

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 – Winter Walking Group, 4:00pm, Fairgrounds York Auto Community Building

Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Be Heart Smart virtual program, 5pm, register at 

VA hosting Veterans Benefits and Resource Fair at Marion County Fairgrounds

A Veterans Benefits & Resource Fair will be held Tuesday, January 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Marion County Fairgrounds (7300 East Troy Avenue, Indianapolis.


The fair is for all Vietnam Era, Gulf War Era, and Post-9/11 veterans.


Representatives will be on-site to answer questions about VA Eligibility & Enrollment, PACT Act, Federal and State VA Benefits, Filing Claims, and MyHealtheVet.


Toxic Exposure Screening will also be available.


PACT Act briefings are scheduled for 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.


The PACT Act is a historic new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. 


Any Veteran or survivor can learn more about the PACT Act by visiting or by calling 1-800-MY-VA-411.

Community Foundation staffer named to Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute

Sarah Stone, Communications Director for the Putnam County Community Foundation, has been selected as a member of the 2023 class of the Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute.


Launched by Indiana Philanthropy Alliance in 2021, the Mutz Institute provides leadership training experience to skill-up professionals serving in board and executive roles at foundations, corporations, and social impact organizations across Indiana. 


Stone successfully completed a competitive application process to gain one of 23 spots in this year’s class. 


Sarah Stone is the Communications Director for the Putnam County Community Foundation.  Stone joined the foundation in May 2022 after several years in nonprofit development and communications. A graduate of Indiana University, Stone is passionate about supporting local and women-led businesses and nonprofit organizations and values family, community, and life-long learning. She resides in Cloverdale with her husband and young son, and she volunteers her time as an active member of the Greencastle Rotary Club, Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis and several other nonprofit organizations in Central Indiana. 


“We are proud of Sarah's philanthropic spirit and passion for ongoing learning, as highlighted by her acceptance into the 2023 Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute,” said Neysa Meyer, the Putnam County Community Foundation’s Executive Director. “This is a unique opportunity to learn about the philanthropic efforts around the state, and we look forward to seeing how this experience will support her both professionally and personally.” 


“We are living through one of the most taxing times in our history, and Indiana must have a new wave of sharp minds prepared to make substantial impact—ranging from education to economic development,” said Claudia Cummings, President and CEO of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. “This program allows us to honor John Mutz, who was integral in the founding of IPA, while developing a talent pipeline of diverse philanthropic leaders.”


The Mutz Institute is named for former Indiana Lieutenant Governor, past Lilly Endowment Inc. president, IPA founder, corporate CEO and Indiana visionary John M. Mutz.


“The Mutz Institute will serve as a pipeline for the transformational philanthropic leaders Indiana needs now and in coming times,” said Jamie Merisotis, CEO of Lumina Foundation, one of the program supporters.


Learn more about the Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute online at


Individual income tax filing opens Jan. 23

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) will start accepting filings for the 2023 individual income tax season on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in concert with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


Customers will have until Tuesday, April 18, 2023, to file both their state and federal 2022 tax returns and pay any taxes owed.


While Indiana tax forms for the upcoming individual income tax season are now available online, DOR is reminding Hoosiers to wait to file their tax returns until they receive their official tax documents and statements. Attempting to file without all documents can delay the process and ultimately postpone any refund a customer may receive. All employers are required to provide Form W-2s to employees by Jan. 31, 2023.


DOR also encourages customers to utilize electronic filing, online payment and direct deposit to significantly improve the quality and speed of return and refund processing.


While most Hoosiers received their Automatic Taxpayer Refund(s) via check or direct deposit in 2022, many elderly and disabled individuals who did not receive direct payment may be eligible to claim a $200 tax credit. Visit for eligibility and filing information.


Eligible taxpayers may be able to file their federal and state taxes for free through the INfreefile program. Participating vendors and eligibility requirements are available at Additional information on individual income tax filing, including FAQs, tips and resources for free and low-cost tax preparation help are available at


DOR says that the answer to most common tax questions can be found online through Customers who wish to contact DOR directly should use the secure messaging portal in INTIME for the most efficient service. INTIME registration takes just a few minutes for most users.


To download tax forms and find more information on what documents are required to file an Indiana individual income tax return, visit DOR’s website,

Putnam among District 4 counties with ICGA board 2023 election

Indiana Corn Growers Association is encouraging growers who want to advocate for agriculture to federal and state lawmakers to add their name to the ICGA board 2023 election ballot.


The organization’s governing districts match Indiana’s nine Congressional districts and in 2023, ICGA will elect board directors for Districts 1, 4, and 7.  


Candidates must be an ICGA member who is current on membership dues; own, manage or operate a farm that produces corn; and reside in the district they represent.


District 4 includes Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Hendricks, Jasper, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Putnam, Tippecanoe, White, Warren and parts of Cass, Fountain and Howard counties.


Election applications are due to the ICGA office by Jan. 27. Ballots will be mailed to members in May and must be returned by June 30.


Winners will start serving in December 2023.

Red Cross teams with NFL to increase blood donations

As National Blood Donor Month continues this January, the American Red Cross celebrates those who give blood and platelets to help save lives − especially now, as we work to ensure a stable blood supply amid the threat of icy winter weather and severe seasonal illness. Donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood donors, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelet donors are needed daily to meet demand.


The start of the new year is one of the most challenging times to collect enough blood products, despite the constant demand. One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion – yet only 3% of the public gives blood.


Don’t wait until there’s a crisis to donate. To book a time to give blood, visit, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.


In partnership with the National Football League (NFL), those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma through Jan. 31, 2023, will be automatically entered to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona*, including access to day-of, in-stadium pre-game activities, tickets to the official Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Phoenix, three-night hotel accommodations (Feb. 10-13, 2023), plus a $500 gift card for expenses.  


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.


Amplify your impact − volunteer! 

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience. 


Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, visit

Rose-Hulman receives $3.5 million from Lilly Endowment supporting Indiana students in Grades 6-12 with 'AskRose' Homework Help

A $3.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will allow Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s free AskRose Homework Help program to help more middle and high school students in Indiana, including historically underserved students, to excel in their math and science homework.


Rose-Hulman tutors are available Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m. (Eastern Time) from early August through the middle of May each school year for free tutoring sessions by video, telephone call, email, or chat. Tutors can be accessed through the AskRose website,, or by calling 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673).


“For more than 30 years, our AskRose program has been successful in helping Indiana students succeed in learning math and science, and we’re most appreciative of Lilly Endowment’s continued support of that mission,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “Services provided by our homework help program are necessary more than ever as the math and science educational gaps in grades 6-12 have widened since the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Coons added, “AskRose also helps provide Indiana students with an aptitude and interest in math and science, and promotes valuable tools in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education that are necessities for the development of the highly skilled technical workforce required for Indiana’s economic future.”


Indiana Department of Education data suggests English as a Second Language (ESL) students are another highly impacted group of students. Based on this information, AskRose will hire bilingual students to create dedicated Spanish-speaking tutoring hours and pilot this concept with two schools.


This grant also will support a new outreach program that equips historically underserved students with additional resources to pursue STEM fields. The RoseSTEM college preparation program is designed to build a pipeline of highly prepared students for college through partnerships with high schools and Community-Based Organizations (CBO). Selected high schools and CBOs include:


  • Indianapolis – Center for Leadership Development, Minority Engineering Program, GEO Academies of Indianapolis, and Starfish Initiative
  • Chicago – Noble Charter Schools, Walter Payton Prep and Marian Catholic High School
  • Northwest Indiana – 21st Century Charter School of Gary
  • Terre Haute – South Vigo High School

Students attending the nation’s top-ranked college for undergraduate engineering education are proficient in math and science. That’s why AskRose has become a perfect way for Rose-Hulman students to help children learn and succeed, give back to schools throughout Indiana, and improve tutors’ communication and leadership skills while reinforcing their knowledge of basic math and science concepts.


About 100 Rose-Hulman students serve as tutors during each school year after being specially recommended by faculty for their technical knowledge and ability to communicate with students of all skill and comprehension levels.


Approximately 20 tutors are available each night and they have access to textbooks and many other resources to lend valuable assistance. The AskRose Homework Help program is certified by the National Tutoring Association.


AskRose officials report that younger schoolchildren have been more impacted by COVID-19 pandemic learning loss than older students. That’s why the program recently expanded its service hours to begin at 5 p.m. five nights each week to better reach younger students.


A key ingredient of the AskRose program is that rather than give students the answers, tutors guide students through homework problems to help them better understand math and science concepts. This is the way students are taught in schools today.  


Student privacy is always protected, and students are never asked for their last name or telephone number. Also, all AskRose Homework Help services are available at no cost to students and parents through support and financial assistance from Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.


AskRose Homework Help has conducted more than 750,000 tutoring sessions since starting in 1991. The website also offers more than 500 resources available through videos and downloadable reference materials.


AskRose Basics:
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers free math and science tutoring for students in grades 6-12. Students may call 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) to speak with a tutor, or go to the AskRose website,, to interact with a tutor by video, online or through email. Questions filed by email and other means are answered during AskRose’s hours of operation.
- Hours of operation: 5-10 p.m. (EDT), Sunday through Thursday, through May. Additional afternoon hours may be available, depending on tutor availability. (The service is closed during Rose-Hulman’s holiday breaks.)
- Online resources: Students and educators may access resources and educational materials at
- Sponsors: The service is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.

IRS says Free File launch aims to save taxpayers hard-earned dollars

The Internal Revenue Service’s Free File Guided Tax Preparation service is live and ready for taxpayers to use.


Free File went live Jan. 13, 2023, 10 days prior to the 2023 filing season start date.


The IRS starts accepting individual tax returns on Jan. 23.


IRS Free File marks its 21st filing season this year and is one of many free options available to taxpayers for filing their taxes either online or in person. IRS Free File is offered via a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Inc., formerly the Free File Alliance. Through this partnership, leading tax software providers make their online products available in both English and Spanish for free.


Seven partners will provide IRS Free File online products this year to any taxpayer or family who earned $73,000 or less in 2022.


Because the filing season does not start until Jan. 23, IRS Free File providers will accept completed tax returns and hold them until they can be filed electronically on that date.


Those who make over $73,000 can use the IRS’s Free File Fillable Forms (FFFF), the electronic version of IRS paper forms beginning Jan. 23. This product is best for people comfortable preparing their own taxes.


How IRS Free File online works


Each IRS Free File provider sets its own eligibility rules for products based on age, income and state residency.


Taxpayers that made $73,000 or less in 2022 will likely find a product that matches their needs. Some providers also offer free state return preparation. Active-duty military can use any IRS Free File products if their adjusted gross income was $73,000 in 2022 or less.


To find the right IRS Free File product taxpayers can:

  1. Go to,
  2. Click on Free Guided Tax Preparation. Then select IRS Free File Online Lookup Tool for help in finding the right product, or
  3. Use the Browse All Offers tool to review each offer,
  4. Select the best product for them, and
  5. Follow the links to the provider’s website to begin their tax return.

No computer? No problem. IRS Free File products support mobile phone access. Taxpayers can do their taxes on their smart phone or tablet.


IRS Free File participants


For 2023, the following providers are participating in IRS Free File:

  1. 1040Now
  4. On-Line Taxes
  5. TaxAct
  6. FreeTaxUSA
  7. TaxSlayer

For 2023, will provide an IRS Free File product in Spanish. 

4-H Online Enrollment


Indiana online 4-H enrollment opens for a new program year annually on October 1 and remains open nearly year around until early the following September. It is to everyone’s advantage to enroll in 4-H by January 15 so that one has the most opportunity and don’t miss out on any information. While we are just a few days past, it is still perfectly fine to enroll. While enrollment is really open more or less year around, it becomes more challenging to receive communications and be informed of the 4-H program with later enrollment. The registration is done once again via typing in your internet browser and the fee is again $25 for 4-H. This year second graders may also enroll in mini 4-H online using this website as well and the fee is $10. If financial limitations are barriers for either program, please contact the office at 653-8411 to talk with Mark to arrange for payment assistance. Moreover, for those previously enrolled, you will find the info already rolled over to quickly edit and accept personal information from last year’s enrollment.

4-H is a premier source of enjoyable, educational programs to help youth reach their full potential. There are many pathways to participate in 4-H. Too many limit 4-H to only being the fair or just exhibiting a project at the fair. Putnam County has nearly 75 activities where one may participate. A project simply references a topic that one wants to study or complete associated activities and ultimately show off publicly what was learned through accomplishment. This may be via an exhibit at the county fair or even another venue besides the fair. Every project can be associated with a life skill and/or a career. A common misconception is that one must live on a farm or have animals to be in 4-H. That is certainly not true. One can actually experience 4-H without taking any projects by participating in 4-H career development events, camp, Junior Leaders and workshops.

Indiana 4-H is the state’s largest youth development program for grades 3-12, reaching over 200,000 youth in all 92 counties. 4-H Youth Development Educators in each Purdue Extension county office coordinate local activities.

In Putnam County, approved adult volunteers teach young people specific skills related to a wide variety of subjects through hands-on, experiential learning. Youth also develop leadership and citizenship skills by participating in one or more of Putnam County’s thirty plus organized 4-H Clubs. Subjects include: science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); agriculture; citizenship; healthy living; art; consumer and family sciences; and more. In 2013, a Tufts University study showed that 4-H members also excel in positive youth development areas compared to peers, including:

  • Four times more likely to contribute to their communities (grades 7-12)
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices (grade 7)
  • Two times more likely to be civically active (grades 8-12)
  • Two times more likely to participate in extracurricular STEM programs (grades 10-12)


If you have questions about the 4-H program, the Purdue Extension Putnam County office located at the street address of 152 East Columbia Street is available to help. Archery, dog and horse & pony projects will close shortly after January 15 so leaders may continue to progress through activities due to the building of content in the activities. May 15 is FIRM date for all livestock enrollment which is completed using the same platform after the 4-Her is enrolled.

Extension staff have conducted school visits to all grade three classrooms in the county and plan to visit grade two classrooms soon to conduct school visits with handouts sent home that parents and youth may review. The Purdue Extension homepage has links to enroll in 4-H as well.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 17 – Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring in to the  Next Generation, 10am-3pm, Clay Co. Fairgrounds, register at


Jan. 18 – Power of Negotiation & Communication program series starts, 5:30 pm, register at  

Jan. 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 – Winter Walking Group, 4:00pm, Fairgrounds York Auto Community Building

Jan. 23 – Virtual 4-H Grows Investors, signup via to register (2nd/4th Mon month through June)

Jan. 26 – Extension/SWCD Annual Dinner, call either Office for more details

Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Be Heart Smart virtual program, 5pm, register at



USDA reminds producers of continuous certification oOption for perennial forage?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds agricultural producers with perennial forage crops of an option to report their acreage once, without having to report that acreage in subsequent years, as long as there are no applicable changes on the farm. Interested producers can select the continuous certification option after USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) certifies their acreage report.?


“FSA’s continuous certification option simplifies future acreage reporting of perennial crops, and it can also help streamline the application process for many of our farm programs, including disaster assistance programs,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “For example, when persistent drought conditions over the past year affected livestock producers in the West and Great Plains, producers who had previously filed a continuous acreage report were able to benefit from a streamlined application process for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.”?


An acreage report documents a crop grown on a farm or ranch and its intended uses, including perennial crops like mixed forage, birdsfoot trefoil, chicory/radicchio, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, perennial peanuts and perennial grass varieties. To access many USDA programs, producers must file an accurate and timely acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting acreage.?


The perennial crop continuous certification process requires a producer to initially complete an acreage report certifying the perennial crop acreage. The producer may select the continuous certification option any time after the crop is certified. ?Once the continuous certification option is selected, the certified acreage will roll forward annually and does not require additional action on the producer’s part in subsequent years unless the acreage report changes.?


Once an producer selects continuous certification, then continuous certification is appliable to all fields on the farm for the specific crop, crop type and intended use. If continuous certification is selected by any producers sharing in the crop, then the continuous certification is appliable to fields in which the producer has a share for the specific crop, crop type and intended use. ?


 “Currently less than half of the 336.5 million acres of perennial forage is being reported using the continuous certification process,” Ducheneaux said. “Producers can help streamline the reporting process by selecting continuous certification after filing their crop acreage report.”


Producers can opt out of continuous certification at any time. The continuous certification will terminate automatically if a change in the farming operation occurs.?


How to File a Report??

To file a crop acreage report, producers need to provide:??


    Crop and crop type or variety.??

    Intended use of the crop.??

    Number of acres of the crop.??


    Map with approximate boundaries for the crop.??

    Planting date(s).??

    Planting pattern, when applicable.??

    Producer shares.??

    Irrigation practice(s).??


    Acreage prevented from planting, when applicable.???

    Other information as required.??


More Information?

Producers can contact their local FSA office to see if their crops are eligible for continuous certification or to make an appointment. Producers can make an appointment to report acres by contacting their local USDA Service Center. ??

Entries being accepted for the Putnam County Ag Photo Contest

The Putnam County Ag Photo Contest is accepting entries.


Entrants for the 2023 contest may send or drop-off Production Agriculture photos taken in Putnam County to the Greencastle Farm Bureau office By February 24.


The top three winners will have their photo published in a special Banner Graphic Ag Day section and receive a prize at the March 11 Ag Day Breakfast at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.  The top 10 photos will also be framed and displayed for one year in the Putnam County Farm Bureau board room.


Color or black and white, 5x7 or larger photos are accepted.  The entrant's name and contact number should be on the back of the photo.


For more information, contact Heather Poynter at 765-720-7264.





Putnam County Chamber of Commerce accepting award nominations ahead of January 28 annual dinner

The Putnam County Chamber is still accepting nominations for awards such as Citizen of the Year to be presented at its annual dinner.


The deadline for nominations is January 20 for Citizen of the Year, Rookie Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year and Amazing Dedication Award.


Nominations can be sent online at  or mailed to the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.


The annual dinner is at The Inn at DePauw on January 28.




Learn about the impact Purdue Extension and SWCD are making in Putnam County

The Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Purdue Extension in Putnam County would like to invite everyone to a fun, entertaining program about the local impact of their programming efforts during their upcoming joint annual dinner.


The Joint Annual Dinner will occur on Thursday, January 26th. Doors for the event will open at 5:45pm with the dinner starting at 6:00pm.  The event will take place in the York Auto Family Community Building at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.  Please RSVP prior to Jan. 17th to either the Putnam County SWCD or Extension Office. There are no tickets this year, $5.00 will be due at the door.


Please consider joining us on January 26th for this fun-filled evening recognizing the accomplishments of both organizations.  For reasonable accommodations or special dietary needs, please contact Abbi Smith at or 765-653-8411 by Jan. 17th. Purdue University and the Putnam County SWCD are equal access/equal opportunity institutions.

Making a Meal with What's on Hand

Struggling to make meals with what you have on hand? Are you wanting to make a favorite recipe, but missing some of the ingredients? Are you tired of buying ingredients that you only use once? Here are some examples to spark your imagination:

  • Want to make sandwiches, but you've just eaten your last slice of bread? Use tortillas, bagels, pita bread, French bread, English muffin, rolls, biscuits, or lettuce wrap instead.
  • Feel like pasta, but you're missing the pasta sauce? Try these tasty alternatives:
    • Olive oil with garlic.
    • Pesto or fresh tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Top your pasta with chili or soup. For some soups, you may wish to add less liquid, so they make a thicker sauce.
  • Craving tacos or burritos, but you are short on ingredients?
    • No tortillas, use rice instead to make rice bowls.
    • No ground beef or chicken, use a can of black beans in place of the meat. Drain and rinse the black beans. Sauté with 1 tsp of olive oil and ½ of a taco-seasoning packet for a plant-based meal.
  • Craving a burger, but out of ground meat? Try making a salmon burger recipe with canned meat instead. Place on a bun and enjoy with your favorite toppings.
  • I want to make a smoothie, but I'm out of yogurt! No problem, swap the yogurt out for applesauce, fruit juice, milk or frozen bananas. Then, add fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned) that you have on hand and blend it up.
  • Hungry for pizza, but missing some ingredients?
    • Warm a tortilla shell in a skillet and top with your favorite pizza toppings.
    • Use another type of crust such as English muffins, or Naan bread.
    • Make your own homemade pizza sauce by combining 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Add to a blender and pulse 2-3 times until tomatoes are finely diced.
  • Save my salad, I'm out of dressing! Homemade salad dressing is a breeze with this simple salad equation. Simply add 1 c. oil with ½ c. lemon juice or vinegar in a sealable container. Add 1 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. dried herbs of your choice. Shake until combined.
  • Out of pasta for casseroles? Substitute another starchy food such as cooked rice; cooked or canned potatoes, carrots or sweet potatoes; cooked or canned beans or lentils for pasta.

Source: Nebraska Food Calendar

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 – Winter Walking Group, 4:00pm, Fairgrounds York Auto Community Building

Jan. 18 – Power of Negotiation & Communication, virtual, 5:30pm, register at 

Jan. 17 – Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring in to the Next Generation, 10am-3pm, Clay Co. Fairgrounds, register at

Jan. 26 – Extension/SWCD Annual Dinner, call either Office for more details

Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Be Heart Smart virtual program, 5pm, register at

Indiana Attorney General Rokita says there's over $700 M in unclaimed money in the state

Is there money out there for you to claim? Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is inviting Hoosiers to check and make sure.


Rokita’s office says over $62 million in unclaimed property was returned to  rightful owners in 2022. 


Over $700 million remains to be claimed. Individuals and/or businesses have 25 years to claim money once it is reported to the Unclaimed Property Division.


You can visit or text CLAIM to 46220 to search your name, family, or business.


You can also contact the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-866-462-5246 or

Workshop to guide farm families through generation transitions

To successfully guide a farm operation from generation to generation, farm owners and families need to have a plan for where they are going and knowledge of how they will fund that transition. The Purdue Extension Succession Planning Team ( is hosting workshops along with individualized sessions to help farms strategically structure a farm succession plan.

The “Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring in the Next Generation” workshop will be a day-long event hosted at 10 Indiana locations. Workshops will be held at various locations beginning January 12 through February 2, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Farm owners often want to start with legal matters associated with transition planning. However, farm families need to find consensus on their goals and where they envision the operation moving in the future first,” says Renee Wiatt, Purdue family business management specialist. “A large part of agreeing on goals and future vision for the farm can be achieved through proper relationships and communication, as well as knowing where to start.”

A local lawyer will be available at each of the regional meetings. After the workshop, families can schedule virtual guidance sessions for individualized discussions with the Purdue team and collaborators to discuss topics of their choice.

The cost for the workshop is $30 per person with lunch included. Registration is online at <>. The list of workshop locations is as follows:

Jan. 12: Mooresville Public Library Community Room, 220 W. Harrison St. Mooresville, Ind.

Jan. 17: Clay Co. Fairgrounds, 6656 N. State Road 59 Brazil, Ind.

Jan. 19: Purdue Extension Bartholomew County Office, 783 Ss Marr Rds Columbus, Ind.

Jan. 19: Hopewell Mennonite Church, 805 N. Main St. Kouts, Ind. (Central time)

Jan. 25: Kokomo Public Library, 120 East Mulberry St. Room 100 Kokomo, Ind.

Jan. 26: Purdue Extension Wayne County Office, 861 Salisbury Rd. Richmond, Ind.

Jan. 26: White County Fairgrounds, 12 N. 25 E. Reynolds, Ind.

Jan. 26: Purdue Extension Harrison County Office, 247 Atwood St. Corydon, Ind.

Feb. 1: Spencer County Youth & Community Center, 1101 E. County Rd. 800 N. Chrisney, Ind.

Feb. 2: Huntington University Habecker Dining Commons, 502 Lake Street Huntington, Ind.

The Purdue Succession Planning Team is comprised of Purdue Extension educators and specialists who seek to address the needs of families planning the continuation of farm businesses. The team currently offers programming through regional workshops, succession planning presentations and farm family consultations. The workshops are made possible through grant funding from North Central Extension Risk Management Education.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:


Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23

Winter Walking Group, 4:00pm, Fairgrounds York Auto Community Building

Jan. 9

4-H Grows Investors, register using 4honline or contact office, 7:30pm, virtual

Jan. 17

Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring into the Next Generation, 10 am – 3 pm, Mooresville Public Library, register at

Jan. 18

Power of Negotiation & Communication program series starts, 5:30 pm, register at  

Jan. 17

Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring int the Next Generation, 10 am – 3 pm, Clay Co. Fairgrounds, register at


ISP warns against drunk driving on NYE

The message is clear from the Indiana State Police -- if you engage in drunk driving on New Years Eve, they will catch you. 


The ISP and other law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols on Dec. 31, looking for impaired drivers and aggressive drivers in a hope of ensuring everyone brings in the new year safely. 


According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Matt Ames, there are 28 deaths every day in America caused by intoxicated drivers. 


"If you plan on drinking, ISP wants you to plan accordingly beforehand. Have a designated driver or be prepared to call a cab or other ride provider. If you have to ask yourself is it okay for me to drive, you are not," Ames told The Putnam County Post. 


Anyone caught driving impaired faces around $10,000 in legal fees, increased insurance rates and vehicle impound costs, according to Ames.


"Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Let's bring 2023 in safe and sound. Don't drink and drive," Ames said.

IHCDA seeks volunteers to count Hoosiers experiencing homelessness

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and partner agencies across the state are seeking volunteers to conduct a one-night count of the homeless population. Volunteers are needed in every county on January 25 to help conduct the count.


Those interested in volunteering can register here.


Upon registering, IHCDA's Homeless Management Information Systems team will connect those individuals, groups, or organizations interested in participating with their local PIT Coordinator(s).


There will be a volunteer webinar on January 11, 2023, at 1 p.m. EST. Registration links will be provided by your local PIT Coordinator(s). Those interested in volunteering, but unable to attend the PIT volunteer webinar, will have the information made available through their regional PIT Coordinators, prior to participating in the count. Volunteers must register no later than January 20, 2023. 

"Collaboration at the state, regional, and local levels are important in the fight to end homelessness here in Indiana," said Jacob Sipe, executive director of IHCDA. "We are proud to collaborate with many great partners who share IHCDA’s mission of providing housing opportunities, promoting self-sufficiency, and strengthening communities."


The PIT Count is a census of all unsheltered and sheltered persons experiencing homelessness in the Indiana Balance of State (BOS) Continuum of Care (CoC), consisting of 91 of the state’s 92 counties - every county except Marion (Indianapolis) which coordinates their own count. The sheltered count is conducted at emergency shelters, transitional housing, and safe haven projects across the 91 counties and 16 regions that comprise the Indiana BOS. The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) and must be conducted at least once every two years, during the last two weeks of January by CoCs receiving HUD funding. 


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DNR hosting First Day Hikes to kick off the new year

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources on New Year’s Day is hosting its First Day Hike.


On Jan. 1, 2023, Indiana state parks and state forests are hosting guided hikes, runs and one trail ride.


Find a hike for you at


• Brookville Lake (Mounds SRA), Hike, 4p ET

• Brown County State Park, Ride Along, 11a ET; Hike, 11a ET

• Chain O'Lakes State Park, Hike, 11a ET

• Charlestown State Park, Hike, 10a ET

• Clark State Forest, Hike, 1p ET

• Clifty Falls State Park, Hike, 1p ET

• Falls of the Ohio State Park, Hike, 1p ET

• Fort Harrison State Park, Hike, 1p ET

• Ferdinand State Forest, Hike, 9a ET

• Greene-Sullivan State Forest, Hike, 8a ET

• Harmonie State Park, Hike, 1p CT,

• Indiana Dunes State Park, Hike, 10a CT

• Jackson-Washington State Forest, Hike, 9a ET

• Lincoln State Park, Hike, Noon CT

• Martin State Forest, Hike, 10a ET

• McCormick's Creek State Park, Hike, 1p ET

• Monroe Lake (Fairfax SRA), Run and Walk, 3:30p ET

• Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Hike, 8a ET

• Walk with an Ox, O'Bannon Woods State Park, 10a ET

• Ouabache State Park, Night Hike, 5:30p ET

• Owen-Putnam State Forest, Hike, 8a ET

• Patoka Lake, Hike, Noon ET

• Pokagon State Park, Hike, 2p ET

• Potato Creek State Park, Hike, 2p ET

• Prophetstown State Park, Hike, 1p ET

• Raccoon SRA (Cecil M Harden Lake), Hike, 1p ET

• Salamonie River State Forest, Hike, 3p ET

• Shakamak State Park, Hikes, 10a and 1p ET

• Spring Mill State Park, Long Hike, 9a ET, Short Hike; 9:30a ET

• Summit Lake State Park, Hike, 9a ET

• Versailles State Park, Hike, Noon ET

• Whitewater Memorial State Park, Hike, 2p ET

• Yellowwood State Forest, Hike, 4p ET

4-H Scholarship Application Time

Scholarship application season is in full swing with many due in January or immediately thereafter. There are two very important features to being successful at receiving scholarships. The first is a “duh!” but seriously, one has to apply with a quality application! Too often scholarships go un-awarded due to no applicants or no applicants who followed instructions. In other instances, one could pay attention to detail with cover letters and power statements to out-compete a limited number of other applicants. Secondly power statements will be discussed to enhance applications.

There are many Indiana 4-H Foundation scholarships awarded each year. For information about these scholarships and the application process, go to  to find requirements and eligibility along with other various scholarships. Indiana 4-H Foundation scholarships are due January 25th and 4-Hers will use their 4honline account to submit applications. There are state wide competitive awards for youth in grades 10 through the year following high school. The Putnam County focused scholarships through the 4-H Foundation include the Louis and Mary Luzar 4-H Scholarship Endowment (Senior Scholarship) of $1,000 for a current Putnam 4-H high school senior. Also, the Beverly Torr Memorial Scholarship (Senior Scholarship) set up for a 4-Her who excelled in the fashion revue or sewing project activity. The Putnam 4-H Junior Leader senior scholarship will also continue in 2023 as a (Senior) scholarship. In another words all 4-H seniors should apply for the senior scholarship to determine is any of the numerous awards would be awarded to them. The 4-H Club scholarship is only available to those who will be attending Purdue University.

The Putnam County 4-H Scholarships administered locally by the Putnam County Community Foundation (PCCF) can be applied for using the Putnam County Community Foundation website online application process. The PCCF application process is available online and include the Brookshire 4-H Scholarship, the Darrel Thomas 4-H Scholarship, Putnam County 4-H Livestock Scholarship, 4-H Dog Club and the Putnam County General 4-H Scholarship. Like all Putnam County Community Foundation scholarships, these are due January 20 at 5 pm uploaded online. These awards are typically between $750 to $1500, though the Putnam 4-H Council will be meeting in early January to determine scholarship values based on earnings.

If you have scholarship questions or need help, feel free to contact Mark Evans via email to help with questions or if you want help with a review.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 23-Jan. 2 – Extension Office closed for Winter Recess

Jan. 3 – Extension Office reopens, 8am

Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 – Winter Walking Group, 4:00pm, Fairgrounds York Auto Community Building

Jan. 9 – 4-H Grows Investors, register using 4honline or contact office, 7:30pm, virtual

Jan. 15 – Enrollment date for 4-H assuring all projects available

Jan. 18 – Power of Negotiation & Communication program series starts, 5:30 pm, register at 

Jan. 17 - Farming Together: Cultivating Relationships and Having the Cash to Bring int the Next Generation, 10 am – 3 pm, Clay Co. Fairgrounds, register at

Saver's Credit higher limits can help low- and moderate-income workers save more in 2023

The Internal Revenue Service reminds low- and moderate-income workers that they can save for retirement now and possibly earn a special tax credit in 2022 and years ahead.


The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, also known as the Saver’s Credit, helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to Individual Retirement Arrangements, 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. The credit also helps any eligible person with a disability who is the designated beneficiary of an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, contribute to that account. For more information about ABLE accounts, see Publication 907, available on


The Saver’s Credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply.


Still time to take action

Eligible workers still have time to make qualifying retirement contributions and get the Saver’s Credit on their 2022 tax return. People have until April 18, 2023 - the due date for filing their 2022 return - to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA for 2022. Both Roth and traditional IRAs qualify.


On the other hand, those participating in workplace retirement plans must take action by the end of 2022 for contributions to count for this year. This means elective deferrals (contributions) must be made by December 31 to a:


  • 401(k) plan.
  • 403(b) plan for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations.
  • Governmental 457 plan for state or local government employees.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for federal employees.


Contributions to certain other workplace retirement plans also qualify. See the instructions to Form 8880 for details.


Employees unable to set aside money this year may want to schedule their 2023 contributions soon so their employer can begin withholding them in January.


Who qualifies

Income limits, based on a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income and marital or filing status, apply to the Saver’s Credit. But due to inflation, the limits will increase markedly in 2023.


As a result, the Saver’s Credit can be claimed by:


  • Married couples filing jointly with incomes up to $68,000 in 2022 or $73,000 in 2023.
  • Heads of household with incomes up to $51,000 in 2022 or $54,750 in 2023.
  • Married individuals filing separately and singles with incomes up to $34,000 in 2022 or $36,500 in 2023.


Like other tax credits, the Saver’s Credit can increase a taxpayer’s refund or reduce the tax owed. Though the maximum Saver’s Credit is $1,000 ($2,000 for married couples), the IRS cautioned that it is often much less and, due in part to the impact of other deductions and credits, may, in fact, be zero for some taxpayers.


A taxpayer’s credit amount is based on their filing status, adjusted gross income, tax liability and amount contributed to qualifying retirement programs or ABLE accounts. Form 8880 is used to claim the Saver’s Credit, and its instructions have details on figuring the credit correctly.


In tax year 2020, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, Saver’s Credits totaling more than $1.7 billion were claimed on about 9.4 million individual income tax returns. That’s an average of about $186 per eligible return.


The Saver’s Credit supplements other tax benefits available to people who set money aside for retirement. For example, most workers may deduct their contributions to a traditional IRA. Though Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, qualifying withdrawals, usually after retirement, are tax-free. Normally, contributions to 401(k) and similar workplace plans are not taxed until withdrawn.


Some restrictions apply

Other special rules that apply to the Saver’s Credit include:


  • Eligible taxpayers must be at least 18 years of age.


  • Anyone claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return cannot take the credit.


  • A student cannot take the credit. A person enrolled as a full-time student during any part of 5 calendar months during the year is considered a student.

Any distributions from a retirement plan or ABLE account reduce the contribution amount used to figure the credit. For 2022, this rule applies to distributions received after 2019 and before the due date, including extensions, of the 2022 return. Form 8880 and its instructions have details on making this computation.


To learn more about other ways to get ready for the tax season ahead, visit