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INDIANAPOLIS—It is an uncomfortable topic that people often don’t want to discuss; however, sexual violence affects many Hoosiers and it’s time to start the conversation about how to prevent it. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and aims to educate individuals about sexual violence prevention. This year’s theme is “It’s time…to talk about it.”
“Even one person impacted by sexual violence is too many,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Sexual violence is a public health issue and as such there are evidence-based interventions that can be applied to help prevent it. It’s going to take the collaborative effort of the entire community, including the State and local health departments, schools, faith-based organizations and community groups to move the dial in the right direction.”
In Indiana, one in five women will be victims of sexual violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly three in ten women and one in ten men will be victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. Youth also feel the impact as nearly 15 percent of young women and five percent of young men have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse in their lifetime.
The Indiana State Department of Health Sexual Violence Prevention Program is working to stop this violence before it starts. Working with Indiana’s Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Council, whose members are from around the state, the program partnered with the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in releasing the Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Policy Brief. This brief focuses on primary prevention and the state of sexual violence laws and policies in Indiana. Read the brief at www.in.gov/isdh/23820.htm.
In response to issues raised in the brief, WFIU/WTIU Bloomington created a documentary examining sexual violence among Indiana's youth. The documentary aims to educate people on sexual violence and encourages prevention efforts. View the documentary for free online at http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/special-features/shadows-of-innocence/video/
You can help prevent abuse. State health officials offer the following tips:
· Be a role model by treating your kids and others with respect. Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early, before they start dating.
· Provide age-appropriate and accurate responses to questions about healthy and developmentally expected sexual development as children grow and learn.
· Attend an awareness event during April, like the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault balloon release at the Indiana Statehouse on April 23. Get more information on this and other events statewide at www.womenshealth.isdh.in.gov.
· Promote boundaries and respect privacy. Practice respectful boundaries when it comes to touch and affection by not forcing hugs or other touch.
· Learn what you can do as an active bystander when you see an instance of sexual violence. Visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) Bystander Intervention resource page to learn more at http://nsvrc.org/.
If you find yourself in a threatening situation, focus on getting out safely and then tell someone what happened. If you have suffered physical or sexual abuse, go to an emergency department immediately for an examination.
To learn more about the efforts happening in Indiana, visit www.womenshealth.isdh.in.gov.
For more information about sexual violence prevention, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at http://nsvrc.org/.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Today's Times reports Ed Asner is feeling fit, and ready to continue his one-man FDR show. The actor had to be hospitalized during a performance in Gary last month for exhaustion. According to the article, a makeup date has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Wirt Emerson V-P-A Theater Auditorium, in Gary, at 7pm, and all tickets from the previous show will be honored.
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Overnight lane restrictions are scheduled to begin Sunday night for both east and westbound I-94, between the State Road 249 exit and the State Road 51/Indiana Toll Road exit. INDOT reports the lane restrictions will begin no earlier than 9pm, and end no later than 5am, and will continue until this phase of the bridge rehabilitation project over U.S. 20 is completed, which is anticipated for this fall.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The Environmental Protection Agency will be investigating again today to find where a sheen of oil discovered Thursday on the surface of Cady Marsh Ditch originated. According to an article in the Times, the EPA believes the leak may have begun Wednesday, and it does not appear to be from any of the area's petroleum pipelines, and does not appear to endanger any municipal water supplies.
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You can help make a difference in the Duneland Community on this year's annual National Rebuilding Day, Saturday April 27th. Rebuilding Together Duneland is accepting volunteers, skilled or unskilled, to help rehabilitate 13 homes and two community improvement projects. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15th, and for information on to apply online, visit http://www.rtduneland.org
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In East Chicago, the Indiana Department of Transportation says Dickey Road is scheduled to be closed from 7 am to 3 pm Friday, April 12, for lift bridge maintenance. INDOT advises drivers take Chicago Avenue to Indianapolis Boulevard as a detour.
Senate Bill 115, which mirrors VanDenburgh’s House Bill 1134, requires state universities with at least 200 enrolled veterans to provide a centralized office for veteran services. The office would provide admissions, registration, and financial administration services, as well as accommodations for disabled veterans. The institutions also must provide academic and counseling services.
“Often, returning veterans come home and enroll in college to pursue their dreams, but have a difficult time navigating campus and learning the ropes,” said VanDenburgh. “Many are unaware of the scholarships and services available to them. This bill gives Hoosier vets a place to go to have their questions answered and their needs met," VanDenburgh said.
“This bill helps both veterans and universities,” she explained. “The veterans can further their education to get higher paying jobs, which will help lower our veteran unemployment rate. It also helps universities, because they will see a higher success rate among their veteran students. These men and women are determined students who can use the unique skills they learned in the service to help them succeed.”
[Photo courtesy Hoosier Lottery]
A trip just across the state line to the Strack and Van Til on Sibley in Hammond paid off big for a Calumet City woman. Constance Shanklin played the $100,000 Taxes Paid scratch-off game, in which the Hoosier Lottery pays taxes on the win, so Shanklin got a check for the full 100-grand. Hoosier Lottery officials say Shanklin plans to "buy a car and help a few people out”.
“Presenting this check to Gary Community School serves as a reminder for everyone to check for their own unclaimed property. With more than $350 million total unclaimed proeperty, and $43 million in the Northwest region alone, it is part of my role to inform Hoosiers how to find and claim it. Times are still tight for a lot of people and I want everyone to know how easy it is to search for money that you may never knew existed in the form of accounts or wages,” Zoeller said.
Making a claim with the Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division is free and easy. Zoeller encourages all Hoosiers to visit www.IndianaUnclaimed.gov to search for their name, their relatives, neighbors and friends’ names. The Indiana Unclaimed Property database is also now mobile. Anyone can search for free through the mobile application — just use keyword Indiana Unclaimed to download. The app makes it easy to look for unclaimed property. Business owners and charitable organizations should also check annually for unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property includes investment earnings, insurance proceeds and benefits, wages, and money from savings and checking accounts. Less than one percent of unclaimed assets are tangible, physical items, such as those found in safe-deposit boxes. It is important to note that unclaimed property does NOT include abandoned vehicles or real estate.
In 2012, more than 40,000 new properties valued at more than $6.6 million dollars were reported and originate from the five county Northwest Indiana region. This money belongs to residents or former residents of the area or their heirs. The state holds these assets for 25 years after they are reported.
From Congressman Visclosky's Facebook page:
“I support marriage equality for all couples and believe that every single American should be able to marry the person they love. I believe that it is unfair that, under current law, same-sex couples are legally prohibited from taking advantage of the federal laws that provide financial and legal benefits to married couples. I believe that we can no longer allow the states to discriminate against same-sex marriages. Rather, I believe that the federal government should ensure that all consenting adults, no matter who they are or who they love, have the exact same marriage rights.” - PJV
From Senator Donnelly's Facebook page:
“In recent years, our country has been involved in an important discussion on the issue of marriage equality. While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. I voted to repeal ‘don't ask, don't tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’ With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
Environmental work at NIPSCO generating plants in the Region is expected to add about a-dollar to an average residential customer's monthly electric bill by 2017... according to NIPSCO testimony, as the company is asking the state to approve a 59-point-two-million dollar project to install pollution control equipment at the utility company's Bailly, Michigan City and Schahfer generating stations to reduce mercury and particulate matter emissions. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is holding a public field hearing on the case April 22nd, at the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point.
Here are the details from the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor:
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is encouraging Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) customers to comment on the utility’s pending environmental compliance construction case.
1. Speak at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) public field hearing on Monday, April 22, 2013, or
2. Send written comments to the OUCC anytime between now and the close of business on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
The April 22 IURC public field hearing will be held in the Lake County Government Center Auditorium in Crown Point (2293 N. Main St.). The OUCC will conduct an informational session on the regulatory process and 5:30 p.m., local time, with the IURC accepting public comments beginning at 6:00 p.m., local time.
Sworn oral and written comments regarding the case will be accepted during the field hearing.
Oral and written consumer comments carry equal weight and will become part of the case’s official evidentiary record.
Commissioners are not allowed to answer questions during the field hearing. (However, OUCC and IURC staff will be available before, during and after the hearing.)
An OUCC informational session on the regulatory process and public field hearing procedures will begin at 5:30 p.m., local time.
NIPSCO is asking the IURC to approve its proposed MATS Compliance Plan, which would include the construction, installation and operation of new pollution control equipment at NIPSCO’s Bailly, Michigan City and Schahfer generating stations. The equipment would be installed on seven generating units at the three facilities, and would reduce mercury and particulate matter emissions.
In its testimony, the utility states that the project is necessary for compliance with federal regulations, specifically the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule.
NIPSCO is also seeking IURC approval to recover the project’s costs through rates, with rate adjustments to be made every six months. The utility currently estimates the project’s construction costs - not including financing - at approximately $59.2 million.
In its testimony, NIPSCO states that it expects the project to add approximately $1.07 to the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 688 kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2017.
NIPSCO provides electric utility service to approximately 457,000 customers throughout northern Indiana. The outcome of this case will only affect the utility’s electric rates, and will not affect NIPSCO’s natural gas rates and charges.
The OUCC – which represents consumer interests in cases before the IURC – is still evaluating this case and is scheduled to file testimony on May 7, 2013. Additional parties that have intervened in this case – including the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana (CAC) and the NIPSCO Industrial Group – are also scheduled to file testimony on May 7.
More information on this case is available online at www.in.gov/oucc/2740.htm.
Consumers who wish to submit written comments in this case may do so via the OUCC’s Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, or by mail, email or fax:
Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Fax: (317) 232-5923
Written comments the OUCC receives by May 1 will be filed with the Commission and included in the case’s formal evidentiary record. Comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44311.”
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff
toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
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(IURC Cause No. 44311)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy,
consumer education, and creative problem solving.
Visit us at www.IN.gov/OUCC, www.twitter.com/IndianaOUCC, or www.facebook.com/IndianaOUCC.
National Weather Service Chicago has this photo of the double-funnel tornadoes near Dunlap, Indiana, between Elkhart and Goshen, by Paul Huffman, Elkhart Truth, at their website
Nearly fifty years ago, Indiana was part of one of the worst tornado outbreaks to ever strike the Midwest. 48 years ago on this date, Palm Sunday, April 11, 1965, 47 tornadoes, all during the late afternoon and early evening on a balmy April day, hit parts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio, killing 271 people and injuring over 15-hundred. A huge double-funnel tornado occurred near Dunlap, Indiana, between Goshen and Elkhart. Koontz Lake and Wanatah were also among areas in northern Indiana to be hit by tornadoes. The National Weather Service says watches had been posted and warnings were excellent, but many did not receive the warnings because they were outside.
- Man Charged in South Haven Fatality
- Public Hearing on 4/22 for NIPSCO Construction Project
- Gary Teen in Serious Condition After Hit and Run
- Alcohol Maybe Factor in Union Twp Rollover Crash
- Lilly Denied Home Detention Request
- Ball State Smoking Study: IN 7th Highest Rate in Nation
- Senate Passes Bill to Reform Indiana's Criminal Code
- House Approves Higher Education Transparency Bill
- Japanese Auto Parts Maker Expands Again in N. Indiana
- Breakfast with the Mayor Program Launches Tomorrow
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