Short Takes

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Published on September 16, 2010 with No Comments

STUDY FINDS
Too Few Truly Prepared
A 2009 national study conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Citizen Corps concluded that too few people have stocked disaster supplies and most supplies are incomplete. Some of the most essential supplies disaster kits were missing include a flashlight, first aid kit and a portable radio. Throughout the month of September, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) will be partnering with state and local emergency management and public safety officials to encourage Hoosiers to take responsibility for boosting their personal levels of emergency preparedness.

State partners include: The American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis, Indiana Department of Environmental Management Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indiana National Guard, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana State Police, and the National Weather Service. The study also found that one of the most common reasons people failed to prepare is that they relied too heavily on emergency responders. “During a disaster, emergency services will be stressed and in high demand,” IDHS Executive Director Wainscott said. Hoosiers must take responsibility for themselves and their families and be prepared to take care of each other for at least for a few days.” In support of the nation-wide preparedness month campaign, Gov. Mitch Daniels has declared September as preparedness month in Indiana. All month, IDHS will be working to impress on everyone the importance of being prepared and the simple steps each individual and family can take to help keep them safe in all kinds of emergency situations. Details about how to prepare for all types of disasters and emergencies are available at www.in.gov/dhs/getprepared.

PORTER COUNTY TARGETED
For Wind Farm Development
During the next 20 years, achieving the goals of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America initiative will create $60 billion in capital investment in rural America, provide $1.2 billion in new income for farmers and rural landowners and create 80,000 new jobs. Indiana is home to more than 600 wind turbines and the development of wind power technology continues to grow in our state. Rural landowners who lease their land to wind developers typically receive about 2-4 percent of the gross annual turbine revenue – or $2,000 to $4,000 for each turbine – which can help compensate for a downturn in commodity prices. Annual farm income can be increased by $70 an acre. But as with any business venture, rural landowners interested in leasing their land should do their homework and have strong representation during the negotiation process. Nikki Shoultz, an attorney with the Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, was part of the legal team that recently represented nearly 80 landowners in Randolph County. Shoultz says that landowners can benefit greatly by uniting. The individuals had been approached by wind developers and needed help deciding which developer to choose and also needed assistance negotiating the lease agreement. Shoultz believes that the collective negotiations resulted in higher rent payments and more protection for the landowners. “By joining together for lease negotiations, the group was able to establish more bargaining power than the individuals would have in a one-on-one negotiation with the wind company, “Shoultz said. She suggests that landowners thoroughly review their options and protections with an attorney. She also advises landowners not to feel pressured into a leasing arrangement by developers. “Over a period of months, we coordinated public presentations by each developer, presented a matrix comparing the offers and lease terms of each company, and ultimately presented a lease that most of the landowners were comfortable signing.” For more information about wind farm development, visit www.windustry.org, www.acga.org, or www.rredc.nrel.gov/wind.

CHESTERTON HIGH SCHOOL
Radio Station Is Back
WDSO-FM 88.3, is back on-the-air for the 2010-11 school year. This marks the 34th year of broadcasting for the station. WDSO serves the Duneland School Corporation, the entire Duneland community, and also streams on the internet at www.wdso.org. Live on-air broadcast hours tentatively will take place weekdays from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. with automation during the overnight hours Monday through Thursday. Music shows and feature programs will air during the day with news at 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and every hour on the half hour until 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon. There will be weather updates throughout the night and early morning until 6 a.m. There will be no Saturday or Sunday live broadcasts unless there is a special event; however, WDSO will continue to stream on the internet during the weekend hours. Whether you like current hits or music from the 70’s through the 90’s, WDSO plays a variety of music mixing all types of music within each music hour. After school music shows highlight a particular type of music that the on-air DJ chooses. Request lines are open at that time so you can call in and have your favorite song played on-the-air. No requests are taken during the morning or school hour shows. Last year WDSO premiered a new program called, Artful Conversations and this program will air on the third Thursday of the month. Other special programming returning this year includes Historically Speaking, Pet Talk and Naturally Speaking. Other programming includes the CHS News & Events; Community Bulletin Board and the Daily Almanac taken from “Echoes of the Past” from the Chesterton Tribune. Also, Environminute and Naturewatch – both programs from Finger Lakes Productions; Family Health produced by the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Telecommunications Center at Ohio University and Profile America provided by the U.S. Census Bureau will continue this year.

TEXT CRIME TIPS
To Valparaiso Police Department
The Valparaiso Police Department announced a new program called “Tip 411.” This new program will allow community members to text crime tips to the department anonymously. Community members that wish to text information to the police should enter “Tip-411” in the telephone number screen when texting and enter the word “Valpo” as the first word in their message screen – Valpo is the keyword. Once the word “Valpo” is typed in their message screen they can then proceed with their message. When completed with the message press the send key to send the message to the Valparaiso Police Department. Community members are encouraged to text crime tips to the department. Individuals should enter Tip-411 as a contact in their cellular phone to simplify the process of sending a crime tip to the police.

NWI CONSTRUCTION FOUNDATION
Receives Grant for Bilingual Training
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has awarded $8 million in Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants to 45 organizations, including not-for-profit and community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities. The grants will assist these organizations in providing safety and health training, and educational programs for workers and employers. Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc., located in Portage, received a $131,400 grant to develop and implement a training program on process safety management hazards specifically in refinery operations. Training will be conducted in both English and Spanish, to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need is critical to safe and healthy workplaces. “These grants will help provide training and education aimed at identifying hazards, understanding rights and responsibilities, protecting health and saving lives,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. The Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants support training programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates; low literacy, young, limited English proficiency and otherwise vulnerable workers; and small business employers. They fund long-term programs that build safety and health competency within organizations. OSHA awarded approximately $6.7 million to 30 organizations already providing occupational safety and health training, education and related assistance to their constituents, and that are seeking to expand and develop their capacity. Another $1.3 million in smaller pilot grants was awarded to 15 organizations that seek to lay the groundwork for a robust safety and health education program. The agency received a total of 166 applications for the capacity building grants. “The programs funded by these grants will have a long-lasting, positive impact on workers and employers alike,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels said. “OSHA also has significantly reached out to non-English speaking, and historically hard to reach, vulnerable workers by awarding grants to organizations committed to serving those groups.” The programs receiving grants are designed to prevent work- related injuries, illnesses and deaths by providing the knowledge and tools that workers and employers need to identify and correct workplace safety and health hazards. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

INDIANA RAP CORPS
Recruiting For Americorps
The Indiana RAP Corps, an AmeriCorps program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, continues to recruit for the 2010-2011 program year. This program, operating out of the American Red Cross, St. Joseph County Chapter, currently has members at seven sites at Red Cross Chapters throughout North and Central Indiana with plans to expand to a total of 11 sites in September. Current openings include two half-time positions at the American Red Cross, Porter County Chapter in Valparaiso. Members of the Indiana RAP Corps work to increase community disaster preparedness and response by being trained as disaster responders and as educators so that they can help the community better plan for disasters likely in Indiana such as floods and tornadoes. In addition members of the Indiana RAP Corps assist with teaching life saving skills such as CPR, First Aid and Blood Borne Pathogens. As part of this program members receive a modest living allowance, and an education award that can be utilized for current or future education. Full-time members are eligible for health insurance and child care. Persons interested in receiving an application should contact Rebekah DeLine, Program Director for the Indiana RAP Corps at 574-234-0191 ext. 33, or by e-mail at rebekahgo@stjoe-redcross.org . The American Red Cross, St. Joseph County Chapter, helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost 500 volunteers helped victims of over 100 local disasters; taught lifesaving skills to over 10,000 people; and helped over 300 U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

NWI COMMUNITIES
Receive $5.5 Million Grant
Senator Evan Bayh announced that Northwest Indiana will receive more than $5.5 million to redevelop and revitalize neighborhoods in Gary, Hammond and Lake County impacted by the nation’s foreclosure crisis and persistent urban blight. The funding is provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and will offer targeted assistance to help communities acquire, redevelop or demolish abandoned properties. “This is an important step in Northwest Indiana’s road to economic recovery,” Senator Evan Bayh, a member of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs said. “These neighborhood stabilization grants will play a critical role in the revitalization of Northwest Indiana and our ongoing efforts to demolish the blighted properties that stand in the way of economic development and pose a threat to public safety.” Senator Bayh stressed to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan the need to address urban blight, particularly in Gary, where abandoned properties harm economic development and act as a magnet for crime. “Gary has been hard hit by years of economic difficulty and deserves a helping hand,” Bayh added. “The Department of Housing and Urban Development is right to invest in Gary’s future, and I appreciate that Secretary Donovan shares my commitment to building healthier, economically sustainable neighborhoods in Gary and throughout Northwest Indiana.” Indiana received a total of $31.5 million as part of the third round of funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP 3). Grants were awarded to the nation’s most distressed neighborhoods, as determined by factors such as the number of home foreclosures and sub-prime loans in a community. The $1 billion in funding for NSP 3 was provided under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Senator Bayh was an advocate for including NSP3 in the final version of the bill recently signed by President Obama. For more information, call 202-224-6807.

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