- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Bloomington Herald Times. Apr 19, 2018

Races should be focus of Little 5 spirits

Nearly a year of extensive training will culminate this weekend as teams line up Friday and Saturday for the women’s and men’s Little 500 bicycle races at Indiana University.

The 31st running of the women’s race is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday. The 68th men’s race is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Riders will show their courage as they speed around the Bill Armstrong Stadium track in tight packs. Serious training and preparation allow for the safest race possible.

On the other hand, some people will show their posterior as they drink to excess and participate in immature, anti-social and potentially dangerous behaviors. Preparation, though not necessarily training, will ensure the safest possible outcome off the track as well on a weekend that traditionally involves a high level of drinking and partying.

The website Protect IU offers a Party Playbook that should be consumed by students before they join any alcohol-fueled activities. It includes a number of solid tips that can mean the difference between a fun weekend and one that ends with arrest, physical harm or even tragedy.

The tips include:

. Keep your cell phone charged in case help is needed.

. Understand that walking alone at night increases the possibility of trouble, so travel in groups.

. If you do have an interaction with police, be honest. The website notes: “Remember, police are here to keep you safe. Tickets are expensive, but police cannot ignore violations of drinking and other laws designed to help keep people safe.”

Related to that is understanding the state of Indiana has a “Lifeline Law.” This law was passed by the Legislature to encourage friends and acquaintances to seek help for those they see who appear to be in serious medical trouble because of over drinking. The person making the call is immune to charges on misdemeanor violations such as public intoxication, under-age consumption, or being a minor in possession of alcohol if they identify themselves and cooperate with authorities.

Here are some other messages: keep the noise down, use a designated driver and make sure you get into the right car if you use a ride-sharing service.

One good rule of thumb for Little 500 weekend party-goers that isn’t on the Protect IU website is simply, “Don’t be a jerk.” Don’t vandalize other people’s property and don’t be belligerent or confrontational.

Trust us on this: taking a trip to the county lock-up or the emergency room, spending Sunday morning cleaning up trash or waking up with a massive hangover will put a damper on the festivities.

The weekend is designed for spirited competition and a chance to celebrate with friends near the end of the school year. Let’s hope it stays that way - enjoyable and above all, safe.


South Bend Tribune. Apr 18, 2018

A clarion call from Indiana’s former top doc

The U.S. Surgeon General’s recent public health advisory - urging more Americans to carry naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses - was a rarity, something that hasn’t happened in more than a decade.

But for Hoosiers who remember Dr. Jerome Adams’ actions as Indiana’s state health commissioner, faced with an unprecedented outbreak of HIV in rural Scott County, the call wasn’t unexpected.

“When it came out, I wasn’t surprised,” says Robin Vida, director of health education at the St. Joseph County Health Department. “I said, ‘yep, you go, Dr. Adams’ …”

Vida says that Adams was “always such a champion” for county public health departments battling a growing opioid problem.

She recalls his approval of a standing order for naloxone, making it easier for individuals to obtain the medication.

It was Adams who persuaded then-Gov. Mike Pence to allow Indiana to create syringe exchanges to contain the spread of HIV after an outbreak of the virus made national headlines.

Needle exchange programs, which allow drug users to swap dirty needles for clean ones, “save lives, both by preventing the spread of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C and by connecting people to treatment that can put them on a path to recovery,” he wrote in a blog post last year.

In an advisory issued earlier this month in his role as the nation’s top doctor, Adams urged Americans to start carrying naloxone to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis.

Speaking at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta on April 5, he issued his office’s first national public health advisory in 13 years. He said he hopes those who are at risk - as well as their friends and family members - will keep the antidote on hand and learn how to use it.

Vida is encouraged by the advisory and says most overdose deaths occur in a home and the challenge is to “find a way to get that naloxone there.”

Vida says administering the drug is “super easy” and it’s 100 percent safe, that “it’s not going to hurt you if you’re not overdosing.”

Adams, who once acknowledged the “moral and ethical concerns” about needle exchange programs, says naloxone isn’t a quick fix and doesn’t enable addicts: “It’s important that we use naloxone as a bridge to definitive treatment and long-term recovery.”

And that means saving lives in order to get to that bridge.


Kokomo Tribune. Apr 17, 2018

Call, click for safety

Evening temperatures are forecast to remain cool today through Sunday. But afternoon temperatures will climb to the 50s by Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported Monday. Outdoor warming, coupled with mostly sunny skies Friday make for an ideal time to dig up trees or bushes.

Before you put a shovel in the ground, know where utility lines are buried. April is Safe Digging Month, and we encourage do-it-yourselfers to first phone Indiana’s call-before-you-dig number, 811.

A study released in 2013 suggests many won’t.

A national survey of 624 homeowners, conducted Feb. 28 through March 5 by Common Ground Alliance, found 48 percent of those polled would not call 811 in advance of a digging project.

Today, however, you can “click before you dig.” Indiana 811 launched “811Now” the summer of 2014, an online service allowing Hoosiers to request utilities mark underground lines by way of a simple, online form.

Failure of some to locate underground utilities before digging results in more than 256,000 incidents of utility damage across the U.S. each year, according to NIPSCO. That’s an average of 700 occurrences per day.

Before beginning a digging project, Indiana 811 offers the following recommendations:

. Always call 811 or visit indiana811.org/811now before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.

. Tell neighbors, co-workers, family and friends about 811 if they discuss their plans for an outdoor tree- or shrub-removal project with you.

. Plan ahead - Indiana 811 is always open. Just make sure you call or fill out the online form at least two working days in advance of your project start date. This gives the utility companies time to find and mark buried lines on your property.

. Avoid starting projects until you’re sure all lines are marked. If you’re unsure, confirm all lines have been marked by contacting Indiana 811.

. If your excavation is within 2 feet of the marked facility, you must only use hand tools with extreme caution.

. If a contractor has been hired, confirm the 811Now online form has been completed or a call to 811 has been made.

Visit www.indiana811.org for more information, and don’t forget to call, or click, before you dig.


Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Apr 20, 2018

Never too early to teach finances

When young people get out on their own for the first time, they are faced with making tremendous financial decisions. How to budget for food, rent and utilities. How much to spend on clothing and entertainment. Whether to open a credit card or take a cash advance.

These decisions have real consequences, and making poor decisions in one’s 20s could affect a person’s credit for years to come. It could determine when they can buy a house or how much interest they will pay to finance a car.

Beyond that, choosing not to set aside money for retirement until later in life results in many years of lost saving and growth potential. It could mean playing catchup for years, working later in life or not having the kind of retirement they might want.

Having poor financial skills at the start of adulthood is a recipe for hardship. That’s why we’re glad to see local schools are still putting an emphasis on teaching area students how to manage money. Balancing a checkbook, paying bills and setting aside money for a savings account are all valuable life skills students will need to know when they’re on their own, but those concepts may not easily fall into English, math, science or social studies curriculum.

Parents can reinforce those concepts by helping their child open a savings account at a local financial institution. Children who earn money through chores, allowances or part-time employment can be taught to take a portion of their earnings and save it - for college, a new gaming system, a car.

With college students amassing unfathomable debt and struggling to pay their student loans all over the country, these lessons are perhaps even more valuable today than at any time before. Knowing how to budget will help students make smart choices about how much to borrow and formulate plans for how they will pay that money back.

In some ways, making mistakes is a rite of passage into adulthood. Dealing with consequences is the easiest way to learn how to avoid the same circumstances in the future. But that doesn’t mean young adults should have to deal with a lifetime of bad credit, increased interest rates and overwhelming debt. By teaching children financial literacy skills we’re doing everyone a great service.

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