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ISP update: Clay County deputy shot while attempting to serve an arrest warrant

Detectives from the Indiana State Police Putnamville Post have been requested by Sheriff Paul Harden of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department to investigate a shooting that took place on Friday at approximately 10:00 am, near State Road 59 at County Road 1250 South, just south of Clay City.

 

Three Clay County deputies were attempting to locate a male suspect that was wanted on several felony warrants out of Vigo County.  The deputies had received information that the male suspect was possibly residing in a tent located in the woods near State Road 59 and County Road 1250 South.  Upon the deputies arrival to the area they observed a tent in the woodline.  Assuming the suspect was in the area, they attempted to make contact.  It was at this time that the suspect then began to shoot at the deputies while he was concealed in the tent, ambushing them. One shot struck Deputy Brison Swearingen, a seventeen year veteran, in the lower leg.  Deputy Eric Oberholtzer, an eleven year veteran of the Sheriff's department, returned fire while deputies retreated, taking cover. This is when the suspect exited the tent and attempted to engage Deputy Oberholtzer, but quickly retreated back into the tent.  

 

Deputy Swearingen was then moved to a safe area where first aid was administered to his wound.  He was later transported to a hospital in Indianapolis via air ambulance, for medical care.  Deputy Swearingen is expected to make a full recovery.

 

The Terre Haute Special Response Team and two Indiana State Police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams arrived at the scene with armored vehicles.  Through a collaborative effort, at approximately 2:30 pm, the suspect peacefully surrendered to officers.

 

The suspect has been identified as Joe L. Hofmann, 42, of Jasonville.  The original warrants for Hofmann out of Vigo County were for escape, resisting law enforcement, theft (6 counts), possession of syringe, and auto theft.  Hofmann was taken into custody and was transported to the Clay County Jail.    

   

Clay County Deputy Eric Oberholtzer has been placed on administrative leave.  This is customary in officer-involved shootings. 

 

The investigation is being conducted by Indiana State Police Putnamville detectives Michael Feartherling, Don Curtuis, Ryan Winters, and Jason Schofstall, with the assistance of First Sergeant Jason Fajt, Sergeant Sam Stearley, and CSI Sergeant Michael Organ of the Putnamville Post.   

 

This is an active and ongoing Indiana State Police Investigation.  There is no further information to release at this time.  Upon the completion of their investigation, Indiana State Police detectives will submit a full report to Emily Clark, the Clay County Prosecutor, for charges to be filed. 

 

Assisting agencies:  Clay County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police Central and South SWAT teams, Terre Haute Police Department,  Alcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF), Clay City Police Department, Brazil Police Department, Clay City-Harrison Volunteer Fire Department, and Starr Ambulance.

BREAKING NEWS: Suspect involved in officer shooting has been apprehended

The suspect, who shot a Clay County Sherriff’s Office deputy, has now been apprehended.

 

What started around 10:00 am Friday as deputies served a felony warrant to Joe Hoffman in a tent near State Road 59 and 1250 South, just south of Clay City, turned into an officer being shot and a near five hour standoff.

 

The deputy who was shot is a 17-year veteran.  His identity has not yet been released. He sustained non-life threatening injuries to his lower leg. He is currently in an Indianapolis-area hospital, with his wife.  He is expected to make a full recovery.  

 

During the standoff, the suspect had retreated to his tent. Indiana State Police used flash bangs to entice Hoffman to surrender. They also utilized heat seeking technology in an overhead helicopter to maintain a visual on the armed suspect.

 

Just before 3:00 pm, Hoffman finally came out with his hands over his head and was taken into custody.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Clay County officer shot

An officer in Clay County has been shot.

 

Few details are available as of this report.  The incident occurred on State Road 59 in the Brunswick area about 10:00 am.  Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

 

At last report, the officer had been taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition.  He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

 

The suspect has not been apprehended as of this time. Clay Community Schools were placed on lockdown as a safety precaution.

 

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Consumer alert: Products recalled in October and November

The Office of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is encouraging all Hoosiers who purchased consumer products that were recalled in October and November to take advantage of the remedies available to them.

 

“With the holiday season approaching, Hoosiers want to ensure that their hard-earned money is being spent on gifts that are safe and work correctly,” Scott Barnhart, director and chief counsel for consumer protection, said. “If you purchased a faulty good or item in October and November that has been recalled, then you should immediately see what forms of reimbursement the company that sold or manufactured the product is offering.”

 

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) serves to safeguard Hoosiers from predatory business practices and will take legal action in response to violations of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, and other consumer-related statutes.

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the following consumer products were recalled in October and November:

If you believe you recently purchased a recalled product, stop using it, and check its recall notice (linked above for all aforementioned products). Then follow the notice’s instructions, including where to return the product, how to get the product fixed, how to dispose of the product, how to receive a refund for the product, or what steps must be taken to receive a replacement product.

 

To view recalls issued prior to October and November, visit the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website.

Virtual job fair to feature four long-term care providers with presence throughout state

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in partnership with the Indiana Health Care Association and the Indiana Center for Assisted Living, is hosting a virtual job fair featuring four long-term care providers that are hiring statewide.

Long-term care providers American Senior Communities, CarDon, Gardant Management Solutions and TLC Management will be participating in the job fair that will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Human resources professionals from each company will discuss the qualifications needed, pay and benefits, and how to apply for current job openings. They are actively hiring administrators, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, personal care attendants, certified nursing assistants, dietary managers and more.

“Long-term care is a critical industry for the state of Indiana, and fully staffing these facilities is of utmost importance to the state’s well-being,” said DWD Commissioner Fred Payne. “We are pleased to partner with the Indiana Health Care Association and four of its member providers to announce these important opportunities to potential jobseekers.”

Every day, more than 2 million Americans are cared for in long-term care facilities nationwide. More Americans are expected to need long-term care services over the next couple of decades as the Baby Boomer generation ages.

Accordingly, the number of high-demand, high-wage job opportunities in the health care sector are expected to follow this growth in Indiana, with thousands of health care jobs currently posted across the state. Wages in the long-term care sector have grown approximately 20 percent in recent years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The long-term care industry offers rewarding careers with tremendous growth potential for dedicated health care workers who want to make a difference in the lives of Hoosier seniors. Our providers have numerous vacant positions that they are looking to fill across the state, offering great starting wages and competitive benefit packages,” said IHCA/INCAL President Zach Cattell. “I value our partnership with the state and appreciate Commissioner Payne and DWD for hosting this virtual job fair with us on Dec. 14, so we can hire more Hoosiers in the industry.”

Individuals who are interested in the virtual job fair but unable to attend should still register, as all registrants will receive a link to the recording.

To register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8907215583945992975.

After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the webinar.

Gov. Holcomb signs COVID-19 executive orders

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed Executive Orders 21-31 and 21-32 to continue the public health emergency and the executive order for provisions that address the impact of COVID-19. Extending the executive orders allows key items to remain in place that protect Hoosiers.

 

Gov. Holcomb has outlined three provisions that necessitate the extension of a public health emergency and executive order. First, Indiana is eligible to receive enhanced federal funding for Medicaid programs to help cover the increased costs of 500,000 Hoosiers who have enrolled in the programs because of the pandemic. So far, the state has received $972 million in enhanced funding. The state would lose more than $175 million in future funding through March 2022 and about 250,000 Hoosiers would lose partial or full Medicaid coverage if the state public health emergency ends before the federal public health emergency.

The executive orders allow 200,000 eligible households to receive an additional $95 per month in federal food assistance. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotment provides nutrition for more than 600,000 Hoosiers.

 

In addition, the state’s public health emergency allows the state health commissioner to serve as the statewide ordering physician for those who choose to be vaccinated, including children five and older. This offers easy access to vaccines through pharmacies, local health departments and other health facilities.

 

All directives in executive orders which have continued throughout the public health emergency will expire on Dec. 31. A continuation of the public health emergency and the executive order beyond Dec. 31, 2021, may be deemed necessary to preserve the specified provisions.

 

Click here to see the executive orders.

INDOT reminds public to reinforce mailboxes before winter weather arrives

The Indiana Department of Transportation is urging residents along state roads and U.S. highways to prepare their mailboxes prior to the start of winter weather.

Snow and ice removal is INDOT's top priority during winter months. While the agency's yellow plow trucks generally travel slower than the posted speed limit and drivers are careful to avoid mailboxes, the weight of snow thrown from plows can cause damage to mailboxes that are not properly secured or have weak supports.

Property owners are responsible for installing and maintaining mailboxes on state right of way. To mitigate possible damage, INDOT recommends placing a mailbox as far from the edge of the roadway as a mail carrier can reach. 

By placing a mailbox as far from the edge of the roadway as a mail carrier can reach and mounting the mailbox on a sturdy support, it should withstand the force of snow thrown from a plow.

Clearing snow from the access area near a mailbox can ensure safer delivery of mail and reduce the amount of snow coming off a plow.

Below are tips to help reduce the risk of mailbox damage:

  • Place a six-to-eight-inch piece of reflective tape on the mailbox to help it be seen at night.
  • Remove snow from around your mailbox, but avoid throwing snow back onto the roadway.
  • Inspect your mailbox. Make sure it is firmly supported in the ground and make sure it is securely mounted to the post. Check for deteriorated/rusted posts and/or mounts.
  • Avoid plastic mailboxes if possible. Some tend to shatter in cold temperatures.
  • If your mailbox is continually damaged or knocked down, consider changing the location, even if just by a few feet.

 

Baird co-authors bill to help end state of emergency, protect Hoosier workers

State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) announced he co-authored legislation to help end the statewide public health emergency and protect Hoosier workers.

 

House Bill 1001 would allow Gov. Eric Holcomb's state public health emergency to expire by ensuring Indiana could continue receiving the same federal reimbursements for SNAP and Medicaid, and maintain the state's ability to hold voluntary community vaccination clinics. Holcomb recently announced that he will keep the state of emergency and the remaining, but limited, executive order in place until lawmakers take action in January.

Baird said the legislation filed Monday at the Statehouse would also require businesses to accept medical and religious exemptions, if they require the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.

 

"I'm committed to addressing the concerns of many in our community related to vaccine requirements in the workplace," Baird said. "This legislation would help strengthen longstanding exemptions that are available to Hoosiers with medical concerns or deeply held religious beliefs."

 

Baird encouraged local workers and business owners to continue reaching out to him with questions and comments at h44@iga.in.gov or by calling 317-232-9981.

 

Visit iga.in.gov for more information on HB 1001, which will be considered during the 2022 legislative session kicking off in January.

Duke Energy Indiana files for rate increase of 1% each year 2024-29

Duke Energy explained the reasons a rate increase has been requested in the following release:

 

Duke Energy Indiana filed a plan with Indiana state utility regulators to improve the reliability and resilience of its statewide network of power lines and infrastructure that deliver electricity to more than 860,000 Hoosier homes, businesses and industries.

 

The six-year plan uses a combination of advanced technology and infrastructure upgrades to improve service to customers.

 

“We’re creating a smarter electric grid that helps prevent outages and gets the lights back on sooner when problems do occur,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “Our reliability ratings are good, but we need to prepare the electric grid for what’s to come, including electric vehicles and more customers generating their own green energy. As an electric service provider, the reliability of our service is job No. 1 for our 2,500 Indiana employees.”

 

Some of the plan’s key benefits include:

Fewer and shorter power outages through smart-thinking technology. Not all power outages can be prevented, but smarter technologies make the electric grid more resilient and better able to recover when power outages do occur. Outages can be automatically detected and isolated so that fewer customers are affected. Power can then be rerouted to other lines and service restored in a matter of minutes for many customers. Currently 11% of Duke Energy’s Indiana customers are supplied from a circuit with automation. After the completion of the proposed plan, an estimated 65% of customers will be served by automated circuits.

Hardening the electric grid to better withstand the effects of weather. One of the biggest causes of power outages is severe weather. Grid strengthening measures include work such as upgrading wood poles to steel ones, modernizing substations and some targeted undergrounding of outage-prone power lines.

Preparing the electric grid for customer-owned renewable energy, such as solar panels on homes. Utilities are seeing more environmentally conscious customers generating renewable energy for their use and selling their excess power to the utility. Today’s electric grid, though, is built for one-way power flow from power plants to power lines that supply customers. A smart-thinking electric grid can detect, react, and adapt to changes in power usage and can better accommodate power generated by customers and support greener power options.

New jobs and investment in Indiana by developing electric infrastructure at high-potential, key economic development sites so that it can attract new businesses and help communities thrive and grow. Industries looking to locate or expand in Indiana are attracted to sites that are ready to serve them, all of which brings investment and jobs to the state.

 

“As with most products on the market, the technology available today is simply better than the technology that was available decades ago,” Pinegar said. “Adding more automation to our system gives us better visibility on our electric grid to detect problems and resolve them quicker.”

 

While there will always be storms, vehicle accidents, and other causes of power outages, the proposed investments are designed to improve reliability of service. Duke Energy is estimating the grid improvements will reduce the number of power outages by at least 17% and the length of outages by at least 19%.

 

The plan builds on grid modernization that has been underway in Indiana for several years. In 2016 Duke Energy received approval for a plan to reduce the risk of power outages on its system through measures such as replacing aging infrastructure. Some examples of grid improvement work statewide under the first plan:

 

  • Upgraded, replaced, or repaired more than 31,000 poles.
  • Rebuilt or improved more than 1,000 miles of overhead power lines and replaced or restored more than 670 miles of underground cable.
  • Improved more than 420 substations, which convert voltage for delivery to customers in communities statewide.
  • Installed 37 self-healing networks on the electric grid that in 2021 helped avoid more than 31,000 customer power outages and 2.8 million customer minutes of interrupted service.

If the plan is approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Duke Energy would submit semi-annual filings over six years to the commission to review progress and requests to recover the costs of investments made. Any customer rate impact would have to be approved by state regulators and would be gradual as work is completed. Duke Energy estimates its grid improvement strategy, if approved, would increase rates an average of about 1% per year between 2024 and 2029.

 

Grid improvement can also be a job-generator. Duke Energy estimates the modernization work will generate or support 1,270 Indiana jobs. The work also is estimated to generate an additional $4.3 million in state and local tax revenue annually.

 

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will set a schedule for hearings in the case. A decision is expected by July 2022.

State Police increase holiday patrols to promote safe Thanksgiving travels

This Thanksgiving, travel is expected to rebound to nearly pre-pandemic levels. According to AAA, it’s predicted that 48.3 million people will be taking to the roads for the holiday, an 8 percent increase from last year.

 

Unfortunately, heavier traffic, combined with declining seat belt use and the prevalence of impaired driving, makes this travel period particularly dangerous for road users.

 

In response, the Indiana State Police is joining hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the state for the Safe Family Travel campaign. Over the next six weeks, officers will be out in greater numbers to discourage impaired driving and ensure drivers and passengers are properly buckled.

 

The high-visibility patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and will concentrate around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

 

“Driving impaired, not wearing a seat belt and speeding are always concerns around this time of year,” said Lt. Terry Gose, District Commander for the Lowell Post.  “That’s why we’re increasing patrols and encouraging those traveling to buckle up, drive sober and slow down. It’s better to be late and reach your destination safely, than not at all.”

 

In Indiana and nationwide, reckless driving incidents remain higher than during pre-pandemic times. As of early October, 683 people have been killed in crashes statewide, which is an 8 percent increase from the same time in 2019 and on pace with 2020 – one of the dealiest years in the past decade.

 

With one of the busiest travel periods still ahead, officers will be working to reverse this trend by focusing on impaired and unrestrained driving, two of the main causes behind the rise in fatalities.

 

Of the total number of vehicle occupants killed in crashes so far this year, more than 40 percent were not wearing seat belts. Moreover, seat belt use in Indiana declined for the first time in five years from 94.9 percent before the pandemic to 92.9 percent.

 

“Whether you’re driving for 10 minutes or 10 hours, we’re asking everyone to plan ahead and make safety their top priority,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Don’t be the reason there’s an empty seat at your table or someone else’s this Thanksgiving.”

 

The Indiana State Police wants to remind motorists that most traffic fatalities can be prevented by taking some simple precautions: never drive impaired, always wear a seat belt, follow posted speed limits, and avoid distractions.

 

Before consuming alcohol, plan a sober ride home, such as a designated driver or using a ride service or public transportation. Motorists are encouraged to call 911 if they encounter an impaired or unsafe driver on the road.

 

However, impaired driving isn’t the only concern during the holiday season. Winter weather also poses challenges for motorists, and it’s important to be prepared.

 

Always have an emergency kit in the vehicle with food, water, a phone charger, sand or cat litter, flares or bright LED alternatives, a flashlight, and blankets. Keep the vehicle full of gas, and make sure the battery is strong, fluids are at the correct levels and the spare tire is properly inflated.

Chances to win prizes, get Chamber Bucks with Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is approaching.  You can join the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Greencastle to celebrate. 

 

S. Indiana Street will be closed to host a raffle, sell Chamber Bucks, hand out swag-bags, and provide some refreshments.

 

To enter the raffle, all you have to do is show your receipt of purchase at a local business from November 27. The raffle includes a big screen TV, an acoustic guitar, and a two-person salon package from Green Room Salon.

 

The first 50 people to enter the raffle will also receive a swag bag valued at over $50 worth of local goods, discounts, and gift cards.

 

Chamber Bucks are a local currency that is accepted at participating locations.  During Small Business Saturday, the Chamber will be giving away a $1 to $1 match, up to $50. 

New resource available for Hoosiers with questions about COVID-19 treatment

Hoosiers seeking to learn about where to receive the monoclonal antibodies that have been used to prevent progression of COVID-19 disease can contact 211 for information.

 

Callers to 211 will be connected to Crush COVID, a support center managed by KPMG LLP that provides information about monoclonal antibody treatment on behalf of participating providers. The service will locate the nearest treatment site by ZIP code. Individuals can then contact the infusion center for more information about who can receive the treatment and how to schedule an appointment.

 

Nearly 100 sites across Indiana are serving as infusion centers.

 

Monoclonal antibody therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. The therapy has been shown to help high-risk COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalization and recover at home. It is also authorized by the U.S. FDA to prevent COVID-19 following exposure to the virus in some cases.

 

Hoosiers who are interested in receiving the treatment can call 211 (866-211-9966) to learn more.

Putnam County Sheriff's Office creates new Facebook page after hack

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has its new Facebook page up and running.

 

A hacker seized control of the department’s previous page.  The page was renamed 'Street Boxing' with a profile picture of a female boxer and a boxing video.

 

The department took to Twitter while efforts were made to resolve the issue and gain back the page.  Those efforts proved unsuccessful which led to the creation of a new Facebook page instead. 

 

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office lost thousands of followers in the process.

 

Putnam County Sheriff Indiana can be found at social media sites:

Facebook:  @PCSOSheriff 


Twitter:  @PutCoSheriff

Pyle Museum, Plainfield's Prewitt Theater receive Historic Renovation grants

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced 11 properties were awarded $712,989 in funding through the Historic Renovation Grant Program. 

 

Eligible properties for this grant program must be at least 50 years old and either listed on the register of Indiana historic sites and structures, be listed or eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places, or be listed as a contributing resource in a National Register District.

 

Eligible applicants include non-profits, individuals, partnerships, firms, associations, joint ventures, limited liability companies, corporations or non-profit affordable housing organizations. Awarded properties will receive funding for the renovation and preservation of exterior features. 

 

Awarded projects include:

 

Ernie Pyle World War II Museum in Dana

  • The Friends of Ernie Pyle is awarded $26,400 for exterior restoration of the birthplace of noted Indiana journalist Ernie Pyle. The Friends of Ernie Pyle operates the house as a museum for the journalist who became famous during World War II. Combined with the World War II Museum on-site, the organization preserves and interprets an important part of Hoosier and American history. 

 

Prewitt Theater Renovation in Plainfield 

  • The Keller Huff Group is awarded $85,637 to renovate and preserve The Prewitt Theater in Plainfield. The theater opened in November of 1927 and was used as a movie theater until it closed its doors in 2005. The Keller Huff Group is renovating and restoring the theater into an upscale restaurant and event center. Upon completion, the Prewitt Theater expects to provide five or six full-time jobs and up to 35 part-time jobs.  

The Historic Renovation Grant Program received more than 50 applications with requests totaling over $3.2 million. Applications were scored based on appropriate historical criteria, extensive support from local residents, and the economic impact the project would have on the greater community.  

 

Breakfast with Santa at the Indiana Youth Sheriffs' Ranch

What is better than getting to see Santa Claus?

Getting to eat breakfast with Santa!

Children, grades K-6, are invited to enjoy a FREE breakfast with Santa on December 11, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, at the at the Sheriffs’ Lodge & Conference Center, located on the ISYR property south of Brazil, 5325 N. State Road 59.

Be sure to bring a smart phone or camera for selfies with Santa.

No reservations are needed. All parking is free. Handicapped spots are available. Hand sanitizer and an electronic thermometer will be available. Face masks and social distancing are encouraged when possible. Guests will be asked to respect one another’s pandemic precautions.

The free breakfast includes pancakes, cereal, turkey sausage links, juices, and milk.

Funding is made possible courtesy of the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund and is organized by Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden, Greene County Sheriff Michael Hasler, former Marion County Sheriff John Layton, Owen County Sheriff Sam Hobbs, Parke County Sheriff Justin Cole, Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton, Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom, Vermillion County Sheriff Mike Phelps, Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse and others.

 

Tax-deductible donations made to the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund provide needed clothing, toiletries and food for young visitors to the 62-acre not-for-profit training retreat for future law enforcement officers, at-risk kids, young witnesses and victims of crime.

 

For more information about the “Breakfast with Santa” or to donate to the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund, call 317-460-4242, go online to Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch GoFundMe page or write to the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834.

Health officials urge Hoosiers to join Great American Smokeout

Today is the Great American Smokeout (GASO), a day to commit to being tobacco free. The American Cancer Society (ACS) designates the third Thursday of every year as the GASO, which encourages smokers to make a pledge to quit using tobacco products for just one day.

 

“The most important thing Hoosiers can do to improve their health is to quit using any tobacco products,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The Indiana Department of Health supports those who take their first steps toward making a plan to quit for good.” The ACS emphasizes that those who use tobacco don’t have to quit in one day – they just have to start with “day one” of their quit journey. 

 

“During this year’s Great American Smokeout event, we hope Hoosiers will join us in committing, or recommitting, to living smoke-free lives and encourage their friends and family members to do the same,” Box said. “We know quitting is difficult, but Indiana has resources to help.”

 

More than 1 million Hoosier adults smoke, and more than 18 percent of Indiana high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018, double the figure from 2016. Smoking can increase the risk of severe respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19 and influenza. It also contributes to preterm birth and higher infant mortality rates.

 

Indiana offers free programs to help Hoosiers quit tobacco use, such as Quit Now Indiana. It offers tobacco quit services for all Indiana residents ages 13 and older.

 

Quit Now Indiana has been working to make quitting easier through new and improved service offerings, including Text2Start, a new and easy way for Hoosiers to connect with a variety of quit services that include text, coaching, and medication support, which provides increased flexibility through a choice of tools to help individuals quit. While supplies last, Hoosiers can receive free medications when enrolling in services.

 

Hoosiers interested in starting their quit journey can visit QuitNowIndiana.com, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or text READY to 200-400 for assistance. Youth looking to quit vaping can also text INDIANA to 873373 to access the Live Vape Free text messaging program.

Cloverdale Christmas parade Dec 4; Town council agrees to have state debt collect

If not just yet, it will begin to look a lot more like Christimas in Cloverdale on the first Saturday of next month.  Cloverdale Main Street is holding its annual Christmas parade on December 4.

 

The event will be at 1:00 pm, with picture opportunities with Santa available at the Ice House immediately after. The Cloverdale Town Council agreed to look into parking concerns to make the Ice House more accessible to the elderly and disabled.

 

In other Cloverdale Town Council news, information was discussed of a free program, called TRECS, offered by the state of Indiana. The program authorizes the state to debt collect on the town's behalf by collecting the money from state tax refunds. The council has agreed to participate as they have approximately $90,000 not yet paid by residents.

 

Also, a  log has been donated to the Town of Cloverdale to replace the damaged foundation log on the back of the log cabin at the Cloverdale park. The town now looking for someone with knowledge on how to make the replacement. The council has also received a quote of $6,400 to repair the cabin's roof. The council agreed to pay this in hopes of getting it repaired before the heart of winter hits and damages the cabin further.

First Financial Corporation declares semi-annual dividend

The directors of First Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: THFF) have declared a semi-annual dividend of 53 cents per share payable on January 14, 2022, to shareholders of record at the close of business January 7, 2022.

 

In addition the directors declared a special dividend of 10 cents per share payable on January 14, 2022 to shareholders of record at the close of business January 7, 2022. Today’s declarations bring the total dividend declared in 2021 to $1.16 per share.

 

First Financial Corporation is the holding company for First Financial Bank N.A. in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and The Morris Plan Company of Terre Haute.

Metal Forming receives tax abatement from Putnam Co. Council

A Putnam County industry is planning for the future with tax abatement approval.

 

Metal Forming, of Russellville, specializes in cold forming, deep impact extrusion and precision machining.  The company's website states that they incorporate cost-effective process design and contract precision manufacturing to produce customer specified components and assemblies that are used in a wide variety of global industrial applications. 

 

Metal Forming representatives appeared before the Putnam County Council Tuesday night following a previous appearance at the last council meeting.  The request before the council was to declare an Economic Revitalization Area and 10-year tax abatement on new equipment being installed in December.  The abatement for the equipment cost of $270, 000.

 

25 employees work at Metal Forming.  23 live in Putnam County.  The other two live in Montgomery and Boone County. 

 

Two employees are expected to be added with the new equipment.

 

Metal Forming has also received a Manufacturing Readiness grant from the state of Indiana.

 

President and CEO Ron St. Clair has owned the facility for 10 years. He says future growth is expected for the Russellville industry with intent to make sure it stays local.

 

 

Over the life of the abatement property tax payments saved only add up to about $9,000 for Metal Forming.

 

The resolution was approved by the Putnam County Council by unanimous vote.

 

Person stabbed at Walmart parking lot

Greencastle Police are investigating a reported stabbing at the Walmart parking lot.

 

The incident happened about 10:00 pm Sunday.  A person was reported to have fled the scene before authorities arrived.  Meawnhile, a person was treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital.

 

The patient was concisous and able to speak with law enforcement and emergency personnel.

 

The incident remains under investigation.

 

 

Greencastle Community School Corporation updates Covid-19 protocols

Greencastle Superintendent Jeff Gibboney emailed parents about updates to to the Covid-19 Return to In-Person Instruction plan.

 

Greencastle Community School Corporation has noticed a steady decrease or drop in the number of cases of Covid-19 in each of the schools. Gibboney also noted the Covid-19 vaccine is officially approved for students age 5 and older. With the vaccine update and the declining cases, GCSC is rewarding the improved situation with a slightly relaxed policy update, which will take effect on Wednesday, January 5, 2021.

 

Masks will still be required on buses per federal mandate. However, they will not be required in GCSC facilities, though they will be highly recommended.

 

Schools with a weekly covid-19 positivity rate about 5% will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Once the positivity rate drops back below 4%, those schools can resume the relaxed mask mandate.

 

In the event of quarantine, parents and guardians will be notified if there student had been in close contact. Close contact will continue to be defined as an individual who spent 15 minutes or more, over a 24 hour period, and were within 3-6 foot, of a person who tested positive of Covid-19. Quarantine procedures will continue to be followed with notable exceptions. If the student can provide proof of vaccination or can provide proof of an independent positive covid-19 with the last 90 day, they will not need to quarantine.

 

Gibboney’s email also went on to explain students with parental consent will be eligible for free BinaxNOW rapid testing by trained GCSC clinic staff, starting November 15, 2021. Students showing symptoms, verified by clinic staff, will receive results within 15 minutes. Rapid testing is believed to help reduce the spread of covid-19 in the school system.

 

Superintendent Gibboney also noted the Covid-19 Dashboard will still be updated weekly and on the GCSC website. However, beginning in January, the Covid-19 Dashboard will be listed by individual schools.

 

Even with the relaxed updates coming in January, parents, guardians, and students are asked to continue the already established mitigation procedures of screening students before sending them to school.

Changes made to 2021 Veterans Day activities due to weather concerns

The Veterans Day Council of Indianapolis released the following statement regarding Thursday's Veterans Day Parade and related ceremonies:

 

Due to inclement weather projections for the Indianapolis area on Thursday, the Veterans Day Council of Indianapolis has made the difficult decision to cancel the Veterans Day Parade.

 

With the amount of rainfall, high wind gusts, and potential for lightening forecasted, the safety and health of everyone involved is our utmost concern, especially our veterans and high school student marching bands, as well as the many volunteers and spectators; consequently, the Council has deemed it in the best interest to cancel this year’s parade.

 

The weather concerns have also led to moving the Veterans Day Service indoors at the Indiana War Memorial located at 55 East Michigan Street in downtown Indianapolis. The service will be conducted in the Pershing Auditorium located inside the Indiana War Memorial. The Veterans Day Service will still begin at 11 a.m., with a patriotic musical prelude provided by the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Veterans Day Service will still be live streamed at http://www.veteransdayindy.org/service.

 

For those attending the indoor Veterans Day Service, there will be no public parking available on Michigan Street between Pennsylvania and Meridian streets. Public parking will be available on both sides of the street for the following:


•    Pennsylvania St., between Michigan and Vermont streets (with the exception of in front of the Minton-Capehart Federal Building)

•    Vermont St., between Pennsylvania and Meridian streets

•    Meridian St., between Vermont and North streets

•    North St., between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets

 

For those areas the public may disregard any no parking signs posted on parking meters.

 

The Veterans Day Breakfast scheduled from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., in the Arabian Room of the Murat Shrine (502 N New Jersey St, Indianapolis, IN 46204) will not be affected by the weather.

 

The Veterans Day Council of Indianapolis is a volunteer based, 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to bring about a wholesome and constructive relationship between the community and veterans of our Armed Forces. The activities of the Council culminate in our annual observance of Veterans Day.

 

Learn more about our commitment to veterans at: http://www.veteransdayindy.org/about and see how you or your organization can help contribute.

 

For more information about 2021 Indianapolis Veterans Day observance, or to schedule an interview with a council member contact Josh Marshall, jmarshall@indianalegion.org, or 317-345-9969.

IAC Greencastle workers eligible for Trade Adjustment benefits

On Dec. 17, 2020, IAC Greencastle became eligible to apply for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

 

TAA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and assists workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade.

 

Any worker laid off from IAC Greencastle, a manufacturer of auto parts, on or after Oct. 27, 2019, or any worker scheduled to be laid off before Dec. 17, 2022, may be eligible to apply for TAA benefits.

 

TAA services and benefits include:

Training—pays 100% of all required training costs

Income support—up to 130 weeks of income-support payments

Job-search and relocation allowances—reimbursement of 90% of allowable costs to travel to a job-search activity or relocation for new employment

Wage subsidy—for workers age 50 and older up to $10,000

Health care tax credit—IRS tax credit of 72.5% of qualifying monthly health care premiums

 

For more information about the TAA program, please visit https://www.in.gov/dwd/taa/,  call 812-230-8562 or email TradeActPetitions@dwd.IN.gov.

Purdue Extension Putnam County and the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Board request community input

Survey deadline has been extended to November 26, 2021. All Putnam County residents are encouraged to complete the survey and spread the word. https://tinyurl.com/PutCoparksurvey

 

Purdue Extension Putnam County and the recently formed Putnam County Parks Board are working to bring healthy fun and activity to all of Putnam County and they need the help of everyone in the community.

 

The Putnam County Council created the Putnam County Park Board in July of this year with the ultimate goal of improving and enhancing the quality of life of all Putnam County residents. By working to create more spaces for outdoor recreation, facilitating educational and/or fun programs and events, and building a variety of facilities throughout the county, they hope to not only encourage more residents to get outside, exercise, and enjoy the natural beauties of the county, but to also draw visitors, increasing the economic growth of the Putnam County community.

 

Purdue Extension Putnam County teamed up with the Putnam County Parks Board to help gather input from Putnam County residents and analyzing the information for use in a 5-year master plan, which will be used to apply for a massive grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a variety of grant programs designed to help communities expand their recreational spaces and encourage healthily activities. The DNR requires the county have a parks board and a master plan in order to qualify for a grant that could range from $5,000 to $2,000,000. While Putnam County is halfway there, having created the park board, the creation of the master plan has proven to be a struggle.

 

Purdue Extension Putnam County is facilitating a survey designed to help create the master plan. They need at least 1,000 completed surveys to have a more accurate view of what the community wants and needs. The more surveys completed, the more accurate the wants, desires, and needs information becomes. However, they have only received a little over 500 completed surveys.

 

The survey deadline has been extended to the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 26. The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

 

Survey respondents must be 18 years or older. You can find the survey here: https://tinyurl.com/PutCoparksurvey.

 

For questions related to the Master Plan process, you can contact Eric Freeman by cell at (317) 607-5243 or email at eric@pipecreek.net. 

 

Printed surveys can be picked up at the Putnam County Visitors Center, 12 W Washington St., Greencastle, IN 46135. A copy will be mailed to you if you call or text Eric Freeman at (317) 607-5243.

 

Purdue University Extension is administering the survey and collecting and analyzing the response data for use in the Master Plan. For questions related to this survey, you can contact Jenna Nees (smith535@purdue.edu), Abbi Sampson (sampsona@purdue.edu), or Kara Salazar (salazark@purdue.edu) referencing the Putnam County Park Board Master Plan Survey, IRB # 2021-1430.

 

International Automotive announces 125 jobs to be cut in Greencastle

125 jobs are to be lost at a Greencastle facility.

Automotive components manufacturer International Automotive Components submitted a WARN notice to the state.  It said the move is due to "unforeseen business circumstances."

The moves by IAC Greencastle are expected between December 10 and December 31.  They come just five months after the company announced plans to lay off 93 workers.

The company did not specify whether the affected employees will receive any kind of assistance. According to the WARN Notice, some employees may have bumping rights and bargaining unit employees are represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2382.

 

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