Short Takes – August 8, 2012

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Indiana Dunes
Guests are invited to watch the Perseid meteors blaze across the night sky over Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park’s sixth annual Perseid Meteor Stargaze, Aug. 11.  Hosted by Indiana Dunes State Park Interpretive Services, the event runs from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at the park’s beach pavilion. In addition to meteor watching, the Stargaze offers other astronomy-related activities and educational programs. Night sky maps and Native American sky lore begin at 8:30 p.m. at the beach pavilion. After 9 p.m., the stars will begin to appear. Constellation talks will highlight the many star formations that can be viewed this time of year. A waning moon will offer unparalleled viewing of the night sky over Lake Michigan, and naturalists will have a telescope for deep sky viewing. All activities are free after the standard gate fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $10 per out-of-state vehicle. The Perseid Meteor Stargaze is made possible with support from the Friends of Indiana Dunes.  For more information, call 219- 926-1390.

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Hobart YMCA
Registration is underway for the Hobart Family YMCA Family Bike Ride. Open to the entire community, this family friendly ride is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, starting and finishing at City Ball Park located at 100 W. 8th St. in Hobart. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. with all riders embarking on the five mile route to Robinson Lake and back by 10 a.m. This is a non-competitive ride that celebrates healthy families and healthy lifestyles. Register in advance online at hobartymca.org or at the Hobart Y, located at 601 W. 40th Place. The cost is $5 per participant and includes an event T-shirt. For more information or questions, contact Program Director Debbie Rubio at 219-942-2183, ext. 17 or email .

Indiana Dunes State Park
Learn about hummingbirds and see them up close during a special hummingbird banding day at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center, Aug. 11. Michigan hummingbird bander Allen Chartier will demonstrate his craft, explain the science behind it, discuss his research, and offer tips for hummer feeding and gardening. The event will begin at 9 a.m.  Chartier will set traps at nature center feeders to catch and band Indiana Dunes’ hummers for visitors to see. At 1:30 p.m. at the nature center auditorium, Chartier will give a presentation detailing his research with ruby-throated hummingbirds and provide tips for attracting them. “For visitors that have never seen a hummingbird in the hand and up close, it’s a magical experience,” said Park Interpreter Brad Bumgardner. All activities are free after the standard gate fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $10 per out-of-state vehicle. The event is made possible with support from the Friends of Indiana Dunes. Indiana Dunes State Park is located at 1600 N. 25 East in Chesterton. For more information, call 219-926-1390.

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Taltree’s Art in the Garden
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens is seeking artists for its fourth annual Art in the Garden art fair. The event, which this year will include one huge tent for artists, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30. On the same two days, Taltree also hosts a tomato tasting and a rose show presented by the Duneland Rose Society. Show sites are available for $100 for the weekend. Sites include one eight-foot rectangular table and one chair, and will be situated beneath a tent with sides. Electricity is not available. Materials submission deadline is Aug. 10 and may be sent by e-mail or by postal mail. Hardcopy photos may be sent to the administration office, Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, 71 N. 500 West, Valparaiso 46385. Vendors are expected to attend both Saturday and Sunday. All participating artists must be present at their booths during show hours. For more information or to read the list of criteria, visit or call 219-462-0025.

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Arbor Day Foundation
Add color to your landscape year-round by joining the Arbor Day Foundation in August. Everyone who joins the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation with a $10 donation will receive 10 free white flowering dogwood trees through the foundation’s Trees for America campaign. The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in each member’s area, which falls between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10. The six to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees. “Dogwood trees will add color and beauty to your yard throughout the year, with their showy spring flowers, scarlet autumn foliage and red berries that attract songbirds in the winter,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. New members of the Arbor Day Foundation also receive the Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care, and Arbor Day, the foundation’s bimonthly publication. To receive the free white flowering dogwood trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Dogwoods, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by Aug. 31 or join online at .

Offered by Lake County Parks
A Hunter’s Education Safety Course will be held at Cedar Creek Family Golf Center, 10483 W.109th Ave. in Cedar Lake on August 17-18 and again September 14-15.  The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires all hunters born after 1986 to take this class. All hunters, regardless of age, need this class if they wish to hunt out of state or participate in state-sponsored hunts. Adults are encouraged to take the class with their young hunters to reinforce what is taught. Participants will learn about firearms safety, survival, first-aid, wildlife identification and management, hunter responsibility and ethics. It is required that participants take all 10 hours of the class and pass a written exam. Those who pass the exam will receive a certified hunter’s education card that is good for life. Children 12 and younger are required to have an adult present throughout the class. Class times are Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants must attend both sessions and pass a written test. Pre-registration required. Classes fill quickly, so register early by calling 219-947-PARK. This class is a program of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. For information on other Hunter’s Education dates or other DNR educational programs, contact the DNR at 219-879-5710, or visit them at . 

Duneland celebration
On Saturday, Aug. 18, the Dunes National Parks Association is sponsoring the 7th annual Duneland celebration, “Party in the Park,” at Thomas Centennial Park in downtown Chesterton. Each year, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce hosts this event to celebrate with the community the start of a new school year. The event runs from 5 to about 10 p.m. “Party in the Park” will feature a community pot-luck from local restaurants, live entertainment, dancing, children activities, and a beer garden. Admission to the event is $5 for adults and free for children 7 and under. The Dunes National Park Association is excited to have the opportunity to participate as a sponsor for this wonderful back-to-school event that encourages families and communities to come together. The Dunes National Park Association will have a table at the event to share their mission and effort to support the protection, preservation, and promotion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore by building a community dedicated to conserving the park for the inspiration, education, and enjoyment of current and future generations. The Dunes National Park Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
For more information about the Dunes National Park Association, visit .

Health officials continue investigation
Health officials have confirmed six additional cases of Variant Influenza A, bringing the total case number to 11 statewide. All cases have been linked to swine. The Indiana State Department of Health and local health departments continue to investigate potential new cases. The additional cases were identified in Tipton, Jennings and LaPorte counties. Jackson County has also experienced four cases. “We haven’t seen any transmission from person to person at this point,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “All of the confirmed cases have had direct contact with swine. As Hoosiers visit fairs around the state this summer, they should take extra care to practice thorough hand washing and avoid eating when around animals.” Flu symptoms usually include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea and usually last about two to five days. Variant Influenza A virus can be directly transmitted from swine to people and from people to swine. Human infections are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to live infected pigs, such as working with them in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs.  Influenza viruses are not transmitted by eating pork and pork products.  Hoosiers are encouraged to wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal.  Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas.  Older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.  Additional information regarding influenza can be found at the Indiana State Department of Health website at .

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Congressman Pete Visclosky recently announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded funding to the College of Court Reporting of Hobart under the Training for Realtime Writers program, administered by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. According to College of Court Reporting Executive Director Jay Vettickal, the funding will augment the school’s training capacity, with the goal of increasing the overall number of graduates working in realtime captioning jobs. It will also allow the school to expand access to its very own pioneering educational tool, ev360 Professional, which offers realtime writers over 1,200 hours of unique dictation in literary, jury charge, two-voice testimony, multi-voice testimony, and captioning topics (news, weather, sports, etc.). Vettickal said, “The College of Court Reporting is honored to receive its second grant award from the U.S. Department of Education. The combination of the college’s ev360 technologies and dedicated faculty contributed to graduating and placing a record number of realtime-ready students since the first grant was awarded in 2011, and this new grant will help the college produce even more realtime providers within the next year and in the future.” Visclosky wrote a letter of support for the College of Court Reporting’s application for assistance in May 2012. This award totals $300,000.

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