Farmers Breakfast Tackles Tax Changes, Farm Economy

The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will serve up an economic forecast and a glimpse of the new federal tax laws at the 16th annual Farmers Breakfast. Serving begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet Street in Brownstown. Doors open at 7 a.m. Admission is free.
Jackson County farmers and others from the agricultural community will hear about the economic outlook for the farm sector as well as recent changes to federal tax law and its implications down on the farm.
Purdue University Ag economist Christopher Hurt, a long time speaker at the annual farmers breakfast, will offer his insights into the economic landscape for farmers, and a certified public accountant with Blue & Co. will review changes in federal tax law focused on those that might affect the farm sector and charitable giving.
The Farmers Breakfast program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing development@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Aisin Drivetrain To Add 47 New Jobs In Crothersville

Aisin Drivetrain Inc., a local manufacturer of automotive and heavy equipment parts, has announced it will expand its operations in Crothersville and add up to 47 new jobs by the end of the year.
ADI officials were at the Crothersville Town Council meeting last night to announce the $16 million expansion at its manufacturing operations in the local industrial park south of town.
The local company, which manufactures automotive components and systems such as industrial and commercial transmissions and power steering columns, currently employees 360 workers at the local facility.
The expansion in manufacturing equipment will allow the company to supply parts for vehicles such as the Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES. Work on the plant upgrades is expected to begin later this month.
Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation, said that since 2008, ADI has invested nearly $50 million into its operations.
“Any growth in our industry is good for the community,” said Crothersville Town Council President Danieta Foster.
“We are pleased with this news and look forward to continuing to support, in any way we can, our industrial community.”
In addition to a $7 million requested local tax abatement for phase 1 of the project, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered ADI up to $425,000 in tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.
“These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives,” said Plump.

1 In 6 Hoosiers Have A Handgun Permit

The Percentage Is Higher In Jackson & Surrounding Counties

The number of people with handgun permits in Indiana shot up in recent years. About 1 in 6 adult Hoosiers now have a handgun permit — up from 1 in 10 in 2012.
The Indiana State Police released the 2017 firearms licensing statistics last month.
The state issued fewer handgun permits in 2017 than in 2016 in Indiana, but permits have shot up in the last five years, especially for women.
To carry a handgun— concealed, openly or otherwise— in Indiana, a person has to have a license from the state.
Indiana State Police issued 72,061 new firearm licenses in 2017, which is down from 134,290 issued in 2016 — a 46 percent drop in the number of licenses issued.
There are 833,614 active firearm licenses issued by the state right now. There are 5,057,601 people age 18 & over living in Indiana; that means about 1 in every 6 adult Hoosiers (16.48%) has a firearms license that allows them to legally carry a handgun.
The number of gun permit owners in south central Indiana is higher than the state average.
Jackson County’s population age 18 & older in 2016 was 33,197 people. As of the beginning of this year, 7,225 (21.76%) of the residents over age 18 had licenses to carry handguns.
For comparison of counties surrounding Jackson: Bartholomew County 10,993 permits, 61,921 (17.75%) population age 18 & older; Lawrence County 8,181 permits, 35,494 population (23.04%); Jennings County 4,611 permits, 21,193 population (21.75%); Washington County 4,707 permits, 21,336 population (22.06%); Scott County 3,881 permits, 18,409 population (21.08); Brown County 3,456 permits, 12,134 population (28.48%).
In the last six years, the biggest applicant spikes came in 2013 and 2016:
2017: 72,061
2016: 134,290
2015: 77,571
2014: 75,627
2013: 116,059
2012: 63,970
A Statehouse bill that would have done away with handgun permits was mostly scrapped last week, but a version would still ease back on licensing barriers, like getting rid of the fees to get a permit. The Indiana House Public Policy Committee approved the bill 12-1.
Getting rid of licensing fees means the state would lose about $13 million in revenue in 2019 and 2020, according to state estimates.
The original proposal was to do away with permitting outright but was shot down quickly in the committee hearing.
While men hold 3 out of 4 handgun permits in Indiana, more and more women are licensed to carry handguns in Indiana.
In the last six years, the number of women with active handgun permits more than doubled, from 92,860 in 2012 to 223,596 in 2017.

Zach Evans of the Evansville Courier & Press contributed to this story.

Farmers Breakfast Tackles Tax Changes, Farm Economy

The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will serve up an economic forecast and a glimpse of the new federal tax laws at the 16th annual Farmers Breakfast. Serving begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet Street in Brownstown. Doors open at 7 a.m. Admission is free.
Jackson County farmers and others from the agricultural community will hear about the economic outlook for the farm sector as well as recent changes to federal tax law and its implications down on the farm.
Purdue University Ag economist Christopher Hurt, a long time speaker at the annual farmers breakfast, will offer his insights into the economic landscape for farmers, and a certified public accountant with Blue & Co. will review changes in federal tax law focused on those that might affect the farm sector and charitable giving.
Hurt is a familiar face at the annual Farmers Breakfast. He joined the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics in 1981. He teaches an undergraduate course in livestock and meat marketing. His areas of specialty include examination of family farm market problems, pricing strategies, and livestock futures market problems, pricing strategies, and livestock futures market performance.
In Extension education, he provides analysis for participation in government programs, teaches marketing principles and alternatives, evaluates the livestock industry structure, and provides price analysis and outlook of live cattle and live hogs.
Recently, Hurt has examined the factors influencing the structural changes in the pork industry and evaluated the adoption of new technologies in moderate size Midwestern farms.
The Farmers Breakfast program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing development@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Sandhill Crane Event At Wildlife Refuge Saturday

A ”Celebration of Cranes” event will be held at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge this Saturday, Feb. 10. “Mid-February is usually a big migration time for Sandhill cranes through Jackson County and there should be many thousands of birds in the area,” said Donna Stanley, park ranger. “Everyone who enjoys birds is invited to come out and join Refuge staff and volunteers for an afternoon of learning about the visiting ‘Gray Ghosts’.”
During the event there will be free bird crafts for children at the Muscatatuck Visitor Center from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Self-guided tour information will be available for those who would like to view cranes on their own.
Two guided, car caravan-type, crane tours will be held during the day, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. Both tours will leave from the Visitor Center and no advance registration is needed.
A program about sandhill cranes will be held at the Visitor Center at 1 pm. For more information: Muscatatuck@fws.gov or 812-522-4352 x 12.

Local Postmaster Transitions To Retirement

 

Crothersville Postmaster Carolyn King will close her 37-year career with the local post office Friday. A reception honoring her will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in the post office lobby.

 

 

Carolyn King, Crothersville’s postmaster for nearly 20 years, will retire this Friday.
King began working at the local post office as a city carrier in December 1980 delivering mail and packages to homes in Crothersville. In 1985, she was elevated to clerk but still helped carry daily mail deliveries when needed.
In September 1998, she was named postmaster replacing the retiring Cheryl Trisler.
What will she miss about not being at the post office lobby window? “Oh, the customers,” she said. “The post office in a small town is a social place. An unofficial meeting area where friends share what has gone on in their lives. I will miss that friendly, caring atmosphere.”
While postal customers could conduct business at Crothersville beginning at 8 a.m. when she opened the roll-up door at the lobby window, King’s day always began at 6:30 a.m., when she’d sort, case, get mail ready for carriers to deliver before opening to the public.
There have been many changes with small town post offices over the past 20 years. Some post offices have closed; others, like Crothersville, are open fewer hours.
“Probably the biggest change I have been a part of is the implementation of automation,” said King. Prior to that it took two clerks an hour and a half to sort the mail for delivery. “Now it comes in from Indianapolis already sorted to carrier route and in the sequence it is to be delivered.” That’s the barcode—those tiny lines below an address or mailing label—that helps to get the mail delivered more efficiently.
Another change King observed is that the volume of mail—letters and flats— has decreased as more people receive and pay their bills—as well as read magazines and newspapers—online.
“But, because of the internet…specifically internet shopping… the number of packages we deliver has increased,” King said. “Amazon has been a good thing for the postal service.”
And because of the increase in package delivery, the post office is now a partner with UPS, a former competitor.
Her most memorable experience with the post office? King said shortly after becoming postmaster there was a wooden building—originally the old Lewis Lumber Company— just east of the post office across the alley that caught fire.
“The fire department worked at putting out the fire and kept spraying the post office with water to keep it from catching fire while we anxiously worked inside at preparing the mail for delivery,” said King. “Finally, the fire chief said that we needed to evacuate.”
“But we had all of this mail that had been partially sorted and we couldn’t just leave it in the building,” recalled King.
“Everybody pitched in and we started pulling all the mail, putting it in totes and placing it in our mail delivery vehicle. It took us 15 minutes to clear the post office of all the mail, get it into a the truck, and then we secured the vehicle offsite.”
“Before long the fire department gave us the ‘all clear’ and we brought the truck back to the post office, called in some substitute carriers to help re-case the mail. It was hectic but because everyone pitched in, it all got delivered that day just a little later than usual,” King said.
After that frenetic time, King said she stepped out to buy a soft drink. During her break, her supervisor, who had been notified of the fire emergency, called to see how things were going.
“The clerk who answered the phone told him, ‘Everything is fine. We’re delivering the mail. Carolyn is out getting a drink.’ He reportedly replied, ‘Well, I guess I can’t blame her’,” the postmaster said with a giggle.
What will she be doing in her new non-post office life?
“Oh, I have a lot of things to do at home that have always been placed on the back burner,” she said. But first, she may visit her parents and brother at their Florida homes as a transitional respite.
“I’m sure that there will be things to come up to occupy my time,” she said.
Troy Lovegrove, a North Vernon resident, who was a city carrier in Crothersville for a period of time, has been named Officer In Charge of the Crothersville Post office until a new postmaster is named.