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A farmer seized the opportunity to plant corn at LaCrosse in La Porte County on May 16 during a stretch of long-awaited good weather. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Jennifer Stewart)
Indiana farmers are getting caught-up, somewhat. Clearing skies and warming temperatures since early May have enabled Hoosier farmers to plant 64 percent of the corn crop as of the week ending May 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service said, and that's just a percentage point below the five-year-average. Frequent and heavy rains producing soggy and flooded fields in April and into the first week of May left many farmers, especially in southern Indiana, weeks behind schedule during the spring planting season. The report said most of the corn acreage last week was planted across the northern and some central Indiana counties, as soils remained too wet in southern counties to allow much progress.
But they eventually got the break they needed, with May rainfall in Indiana so far averaging 1.9 inches, 30 percent less than normal. April rainfall, by comparison, averaged near 6.5 inches, about 70 percent more than normal. Warmer-than-normal temperatures with near-normal rainfall is expected through the remainder of May.
"This should help farmers to finally reach the planting finish line after a slow start," said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist, based at Purdue University.
There has been a wide variation in May rainfall across the state the past three weeks. Northern Indiana received just a third of normal, with about 0.7 inch, while southern Indiana averaged close to 3.3 inches - about normal.
By area, 84 percent of the corn acreage so far had been planted in northern Indiana, 59 percent in the central portion of the state and 36 percent in the south.
Plants in 20 percent of Indiana's corn acreage had emerged, compared with 44 percent for the five-year average. For soybeans, 30 percent of the crop had been planted, compared with the five-year average of 36 percent. Soybeans typically are planted after corn.
Motorcycle riders are departing Michigan City this morning (8am) on the National Veterans Awareness Ride. They're headed southward toward Lafayette, and ultimately to the nation's capital for Memorial Day ceremonies. Riders in procession with police escort are departing American Legion Post 37 on US 20 at 8am, they will be heading southward along US 421. Motorists can expect delays and blocked intersections along US 421 at the procession passes.
Several emergency responders from Westville and La Porte County and the Indiana State Police were at the Westville Correctional Facility for a disaster drill. The Tuesday exercise featured a simulated powerhouse explosion and fire with mock injuries and wounds. The powerhouse contains huge boilers as well as a backup generator for much of the facility.
Ash trees are dead and dying throughout Indiana by the thousands, costing Hoosiers millions and marring the landscape.
The killer is tiny, elusive and resilient. The emerald ash borer beetle, EAB for short, can fly, but not far. Its rapid spread is caused by humans moving the firewood in which the beetles thrive.
Memorial Day weekend travel traditionally coincides with a more sinister happening—more spread of this killer by unwary humans on summer vacation trips and weekend outings.
To remind Hoosiers and visitors to Indiana to protect forests by not moving firewood, Gov. Mike Pence has declared May 19-25 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulates the types of firewood that can be brought onto State lands. The purpose is not only to stop spread of EAB, but also to fight the next invasive pest, which will likely travel in firewood, too.
The DNR requires all firewood entering state properties to: (1) be accompanied by a state or federal compliance stamp allowing such movement, or (2) be kiln-dried scrap lumber, or (3) be completely debarked if brought from home within Indiana.
To fight EAB, if you plan to have a campfire, the best option is to buy firewood close to where you will burn it; don’t bring it from home. Burn wood completely before leaving your site—don’t leave wood for the next person. Buying packaged firewood bearing a state or federal compliance stamp also helps.
Extensive information about the bug and the laws regarding firewood movement is at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo/3443.htm.
Suspected EAB infestations outside of the quarantine boundaries should be reported to DNR’s toll-free Invasive Species Hotline, 1-866-NO-EXOTIC. Insecticide treatments are available to protect individual trees from EAB. Many are cost effective. See eabindiana.info.
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Washington, D.C.—Today, Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and John Boozman (R-AR) introduced legislation that would authorize a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial to recognize the many Americans who served our nation during this conflict.
Donnelly said, “Over 60,000 Hoosiers served in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, so I am proud to join my friend, Senator Boozman, in introducing bipartisan legislation that would authorize a national memorial to demonstrate our appreciation for their bravery and sacrifice. We owe all men and women who serve our nation a debt of gratitude, and those who serve in war should have their exceptional efforts recognized. The men and women who fought in the first Gulf War, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, deserve to have their service memorialized.”
Boozmansaid, “There is no national memorial dedicated to the valor and sacrifices made by those members of our Armed Forces who honorably fought, and in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice, in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We need to change that. This bill will clear the way for a memorial that will show a grateful nation’s respect and appreciation for those who fought to defend freedom in the Gulf War.”
The Boozman-Donnelly legislation, the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act, would authorize the National Desert Storm Memorial Association to establish the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial on federal lands within the District of Columbia. No federal funds would be spent to build this memorial, as all funds would be raised privately by the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Westville Correctional Facility)
An investigation continues after a Westville Correctional Facility officer was arrested Friday and charged with felony trafficking with an offender. 54 year old Joyce Sokolowski, of Merrillville, was found to possess tobacco and other contraband intended to be delivered to an offender. Authorities report the facility's Internal Affairs Department is still trying to determine what charges or internal disciplinary action may be taken with any offenders allegedly involved. Sokolowski has been suspended without pay.
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“We are reactivating the disaster relief fund at the request of many of our donors and corporate partners who are seeking an efficient and accountable way to assist with the relief effort,” said Debby Hampton, President and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma.
Individuals may contribute online, via credit card by phone, and by mail, specifically to the May tornadoes relief and recovery efforts. At this time, PLEASE make financial donations only. If you have trouble with donating online, there are two alternative ways to give.
- Give online to the May Tornadoes Relief Fund located on our home page at www.unitedwayokc.org
- Give by credit card: call (405) 523.3598, (405) 523.3597 or (405) 236.8441
- Give by mailing a check to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornadoes Relief Fund
United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund has operated to meet needs after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the tornadoes on May 3, 1999, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and other disasters. In each circumstance, United Way has effectively and efficiently distributed donors’ dollars to serve as many people as possible while maintaining the highest level of accountability.
For more information, contact United Way of Central Oklahoma’s main number at (405) 236-8441.
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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (Indiana VOAD) are advising Hoosiers about how to help Oklahoma citizens in need. The destruction in Oklahoma City has left communities in need of hands-on help and donations. Volunteers play a vital part in disaster recovery.
Chris Gilbert, president of Indiana VOAD, said, “Well-meaning individuals who simply show up to help without coordinating with disaster management personnel can complicate or even hinder response and recovery operations already underway. Become part of a coordinated effort.”
Following some simple guidelines can make all the difference in the revitalizing the areas hit by a disaster.
· Do not just show up to the disaster area. Reach out and contact a volunteer organization.
· Inform volunteer organizations of any specific skills or services that you can offer.
· Get trained with a group.
· Make sure to think through things you will need. Do not assume that resources are available at the site. These should include:
o Appropriate clothing
o Food and water
o Shelter/a place to stay
John Erickson, senior public information officer for the IDHS, said, “In disaster recovery, it is best to donate money to a legitimate relief agency that you know, trust and is working in the area. Sending materials and food to areas hit by a disaster can cause problems with sorting, storage and distribution. It is best to send money rather than goods because it is more flexible. It allows volunteer organizations to more quickly obtain the supplies needed to address the most urgent needs.”
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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The South Central School Corporation Superintendent was arrested Monday night and charged with misdemeanor battery. According to a LaPorte County Sheriff's Office incident report, 51 year old Christopher Smith is accused of physically assaulting the head of maintenance for South Central Schools, Daniel Glassman. The Times reports, an argument between the two men occurred while heading home that night following a South Bend Silverhawks baseball game and a stop at a Michigan City lakefront bar.
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Authorities are seeking the public's help to find a missing 15 year old girl last seen on May 9th. The Lake County Sheriff's Office says Celeste Guzman was listed today as an endangered runaway. Guzman is described as five-feet tall, weighing 145 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a pink and black Notre Dame hoodie. The Sheriff's Office reports Guzman is known to frequent the Black Oak area of Gary. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Celeste Guzman is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
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(Photos Courtesy of the Porter County Substance Abuse Council)
Over 15-hundred Porter County students were recently given the opportunity to experience the hazards of impaired driving. The Porter County Drunk Driving Task Force visited four high schools: Boone Grove, Morgan Township, Valparaiso, and Wheeler, helping students through a series of challenges meant to simulate a variety of impairment levels. The Porter County Substance Abuse Council says the message of not drinking and driving is especially important this time of year with students attending proms, graduations, parties and other events, and remind parents to set an example and share the message not to drink and drive.
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A documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime will be showing this evening for one night only. “Honor Flight, One Last Mission” shows how volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of WWII veterans to Washington, DC to see the memorial constructed for them in 2004, nearly 60 years after their epic struggle. The film will be at 5:30pm, at the AMC Showtime Theater 12, in the 14-hundred block of Eagleridge, in Schererville, and the cost per ticket is eleven dollars. For more information about the film, visit http://www.honorflightthemovie.com.
- Farmers Making Progress
- Teen Hurt in Whiting Shooting
- Vision Testing Expands
- Area Students Compete in Science Olympiad
- Valpo Paving Season Soon
- 'Do Not Call' Deadline
- Two Men Charged in Death of Markham Man
- Man Shot by Merrillville Officer at Planned Parenthood
- Van Til Bonds Out, Pleads Not Guilty to Charges
- 19 Year Old Robertsdale Resident Shot Sunday in Whiting
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