Syringe Exchange Program In Scott County Played Key Role In Controlling HIV Outbreak

A study by researchers investigating the 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, found that a syringe services program is an important tool to control and prevent HIV outbreaks among people who inject drugs in a nonurban area.
Researchers said the program resulted in a rapid reduction in injection-related risk behaviors, including an 88 percent reduction in syringe sharing, a 79 percent reduction in syringe sharing to divide drugs and an 81 percent reduction in sharing of other injection equipment.
There were 181 HIV infections diagnosed between Nov. 18, 2014, and Nov. 1, 2015, in Scott County, making it the largest HIV outbreak in a nonurban area in the U.S. among people who inject drugs.
The syringe services program was initially implemented on an emergency basis to combat the outbreak. It was the first time such a program had been tried in a nonurban area in the United States. Syringe services programs provide clients with sterile syringes along with prevention, education and social services.
Researchers discovered the HIV outbreak was linked to injection of Opana ER, an opioid pain medication. The research elicited specific characteristics of the drug which, when dissolved, resulted in multiple injection episodes per day and multiple injections per injection episode, and prompted officials from Indiana and the Centers for Disease Control, working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to request that the drug’s manufacturer voluntarily remove the drug from the U.S. market.
A paper with the researchers’ findings, “Reduction of Injection-Related Risk Behaviors After Emergency Implementation of a Syringe-Services Program During an HIV Outbreak,” was recently published in the journal Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
At the outset of the study, researchers knew what had happened, but not why.
“An outbreak doesn’t just happen in the HIV world,” said Carrie Foote, an associate professor of sociology in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and the co-principal investigator of the study’s qualitative data.
Researchers gathered two kinds of data, quantitative and qualitative, a move they believe enhanced their ability to understand what had happened in Scott County.
Qualitative data was gathered from focus groups and one-on-one interviews with people who were injecting drugs in Scott County. Quantitative data came from answers by clients of the syringe services program to a set of questions asked of each person who took advantage of the program.
“If we just had the quantitative data, we wouldn’t have been able to dive into the unique injection practices around Opana ER, which we believe led to this outbreak of HIV,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, an associate professor and associate dean of public health practice in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and the lead investigator of a quantitative study further exploring the risks of acquiring HIV infection in this population.
Because a single 40-milligram pill costs about $160, drug users formed networks to pool their resources to buy Opana ER, she said. Multiple people would share syringes, or reuse old syringes to draw up the dissolved pill. More water was then added to rinse the pill residue off of the cooker. Reusing the same needles, rinse solution was drawn up and injected or saved to use later.
Without access to sterile syringes, people in the networks frequently shared syringes as they injected multiple times a day. One individual told the researchers he injected 50 times a day. Others described how one syringe was used over and over again until it broke off in someone’s arm.
“It’s no wonder that as soon as someone who had HIV entered into that network, HIV spread rapidly,” Foote said.
“It was incredibly powerful to see how much the syringe exchange program mattered,” Foote said. “They matter in all communities, but it made such a powerful difference in this particular community in terms of reducing the harm that comes from sharing syringes for multiple injections.”
Exploring harm-reduction measures like syringe exchange programs is part of Indiana University’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, which brings together IU’s world-class faculty and its business, nonprofit and government partners to create a comprehensive plan to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of addiction on Hoosier communities, and improve health and economic outcomes. As part of IU’s Grand Challenges program, this collaborative, statewide initiative is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-led response to the opioid addiction crisis.

Saturday Evening Rain Cools Festival Crowd But Doesn’t Dampen Patriotic Spirit

A late Saturday evening rain slightly dampened the Red, White & Blue Festival crowds but not their patriotic spirit or their hunger for a good time.
“The crowd stayed during the rain and when it stopped people started standing in line for food,” said festival director Sherry Bridges. “The carnival provided rides and the fireworks went off as planned.”
Bridges said good crowds attended the festival each day owing to the number of new events.
The carnival by Steel Horse Midway Attractions got a lot of positive comments from the crown, Bridges said, “They brought a lot of new rides that we hadn’t had before including a 50’ ferris wheel.”
During the opening evening’s events Bella Riley, daughter of John & Mendy Riley was named this year’s Red, White & Blue Festival Princess and Jude Howard, son of Jessica Luedeman was named the Festival Prince.
First runners-up were Conner Hall and Olivia Justice; second runners up were Noah Brown and Gabriela Jamison.
Lifetime local resident, Sgt. John L. Nehrt, a 92-year-old US Army veteran of World War II, was honored by the festival and the National Guard Color Guard during opening ceremonies.
Marion Gill reported there were 105 units participating in Saturday’s annual parade.
Parade winners included: Float, Seymour VFW Post 125; Marching Unit, Crothersville Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 522; Commercial Unit, Jackson-Washington Fire Department; Animal Unit, Jackson County Sheriff’s Posse; Best 4-wheeler, Jerry Sawyer’s 2018 Polaris Slingshot; Antique Car or Truck, Shannon Foist’s 1953 Ford F-100; Horse Hitch Team, James & Sandra Caudill Farms; Antique Tractor, 1944 C Allis Chalmers owned by Allen & Chanda Seal.
Antique Tractor Show winners: Toughest Tractor, Oliver 59 shown by Melvin Bishop; Biggest Tractor, Super M shown by Harold Hoevener; Shiniest Tractor, Super M2 shown by Dustin Todd Metz; People’s Choice Award, Farmall Cub shown by Mike Jent.
Baby Contest Winners
Birth to 3 months: Boys: 1st, Ayden Gilbert, son of Isaiah Gilbert of Brownstown; 2nd Thance Owen Rippey, son of Zaber Brooking of Crothersville; Girls: tie Mallory Boicourt daughter of Heather & Nathan Boicourt of Crothersville; Harper Spencer daughter of Todd & Rachelle Spencer of Jeffersonville.
4-6 Months, Boys: 1st, Zayne Silva, son of Feliz & Kayelee Silva of Austin; 2nd Slayder Coomer, son of Shawn Hensley & Brittany Coomer of Scottsburg; Girls, 1st Annabelle Stucker, daughter of Sarah & Tedd Stucker of Seymour; 2nd place tie, Kennedy Bowling, daughter of Justin & April Bowling of Scottsburg and Remi Hazel Riley, daughter of Rinda Barger & Marlow Riley of Scottsburg.
7-12 Months, Boys: Cayden Kelly, son of Mathew & Paityn Kelly of Greenwood; 2nd, Vahl’n Seals-Bevers, son of Krystal Seals & Devin Bevers of Crothersville; Girls: 1st Sophie Howell daughter of Gary & Meghan Howell of Crothersville; 2nd Brinley Ann Hurtt, daughter of Brittany & Chris Hurtt of Austin.
13-24 months, Boys: 1st Sebastian Pike, son of Jerry & Brandi Pike of Scottsburg, 2nd, Solomon White, son of Alexus & Garrett White of Austin; Girls: 1st, Mila Crowl, daughter of Lauren & Cody Crowl of Medora; 2nd, Maci Lance, daughter of Cory & Christin Lance of Crothersville.
25-36 Months, Boys, 1st, Myles Japper Morrison son of Bo & Sarah Morrison of Scottsburg, 2nd Oliver Bowling, son of Rachel & Dustin Bowling of Austin; Girls, 1st, Ansley Williams, daughter of Chance & Kylinda Williams of Seymour, 2nd, Natalie Newman daughter of Shay Sel of Scottsburg.
37-48 Months, Boys: 1st Blaydin Coomer, son of Shawn Hensley & Brittany Coomer of Scottsburg; Girls, 1st, Emryne Bowling, daughter of Casey & Hanna Bowling of Seymour,
Twins: 1st, Haylee & Kaylee Sizemore daughters of David & Savannah Sizemore of Crothersville; 2nd, Mia & Marlie Burbrink, daughters of Matt & Kristi Burbrink of Seymour.
Most Patriotic: 1st Emryne Bowling, daughter of Casey & Hannah Bowling of Seymour, 2nd, Kennedy Bowling, daughter of Justin & April Bowling of Scottsburg.
Little Miss Red, White & Blue, 1st, Caitlyn Joy Morrison, daughter of Bo & Sarah Morrison of Scottsburg; 2nd Samantha Orrill, daughter of Tiffany & David Orrill of Paris Crossing.
Bridges said for advance planners the 44th Red, White & Blue Festival will be June 6-8, 2019.
With appreciation~
Corporate financial sponsors of this year’s festival include: The Peoples Bank, Aisin Drivetrain, Aisin Chemical IN, Schneck Medical Center, Rose Acre Farms, Bob Poynter GM, Stewart-Hoagland Funeral Home, Fairway Used Furniture, FPBH Engineering, and Hoffine Tool & Supply.
The festival wants to thank the following individuals and groups for their contribution both large and small to make the festival a success:
Dr. Terry Goodin, Crothersville Community Schools board of trustees, Chris Mains, Mason Boicourt, Town of Crothersvile, John Nehrt & family, Carolyn King & family, Doris Kovener, Marion Gill, Terry Prine, Cami Brumett, Chester Jones, Brady Riley, Linda Myers, Bobby Deal, Denise Maxie, Rick Porter, Crothersville FFA, ACTS, Boy Scott Troop #522, Robert Becker, John Riley, Jenna White, Eddie Arnold, Chad Wilson, Kourtney Settle, the staff at the Crothersville branch of The Peoples Bank, Jason Hillenburg and the Crothersville-Vernon Twp Fire Dept., Steel Horse Midway Attractions, SMX Staffing, 105.3 WMPI, and Zambelli Fireworks.

Annual Fireworks Display & Celebration June 29 In Austin

Everyone is invited to attend the Austin Fireworks display on Friday night, June 29, on the grounds of Austin High School/Middle School. The event is traditionally held the Friday before July 4th, giving families and friends a chance to celebrate Independence Day a little early, according to Melissa Turner, spokesperson for Austin Mayor Dillo Bush.
Several generous donors help to make this event possible each year and several booths will be set up by selected, non-profit groups and school related organizations, she said.
Food booths will be set up by the Austin Volunteer Fire Department, Austin Lions Club, and the Psi Iota Xi Sorority. All booths will open by 6 p.m. on the east side of the school building.
Any vendors interested in setting up a booth must contact the Mayor’s office to complete an entry form, Turner said.
Free entertainment will fill the hours prior to the fireworks. The music lineup is planned by Ray Bowling and will include bands Redemptions Cross, Hewitt & Fink, Lonesome Crow Acoustic Show, On the House, and The Fabulous Hickbilly’s.
“Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the fireworks comfortably,” said Turner.
Parking will be available in front of the school building and on the south side of the gym located at the elementary schools. Some parking will be available on the east side of the complex.
For more information or to obtain a booth registration, contact the Mayor’s office at 812-794-6646.

CHS Graduates 26 In 122nd Commencement

Twenty-Six Crothersville High School seniors became the newest CHS graduates during the 122nd Commencement Ceremony held last Friday evening in the CHS gym.
The seniors entered the gymnasium for the final time as students to the tradition tune ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.
Following opening words by Class President Noah Hoskins, CHS Principal Adam Robinson, conducting his first graduation exercise as principal, welcomed those in attendance.

Valedictorian
Megan Fisher

Salutatorian
Kaitlyn Silvers

Kaitlyn Silvers, as the second academic leader of her class, gave the Salutatorian address which was followed by the Valedictorian by the Class of 2018 academic leader Megan Fisher.
The crowd was treated to a sometimes humorous and nostalgic ‘A Walk Down Memory Lane’ Powerpoint presentation of the years of students lives at the school.
As Adam Robinson announced the members of the class, Crothersville Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Terry Goodin presented each with their diploma.
Chasta Lamb led her class in the transfer of tassels indicating the transition from student to graduate.
Alex Van Coutren offered closing words as the newest alumni of CHS departed the building to the tune of ‘Best Day Of My Life’
The Class of 2018 motto was a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
The class flower was the rose and class colors were red, white & gold.
Senior Class Officers for the Class of 2018 were Noah Hoskins, president; Kalynda Hoevener, vice president; Kaitlyn Silvers, secretary; Samantha Hurtt, treasurer.
Class Sponsors were Ryan Canada and Georganna Elliott
Graduates of the Crothersville High School Class of 2018 were:
Seth Anderson, Clayton Harrison Baker, Jacob Wayne Barger, Alec Reed Bray, Logan Tyler Collins, Baylee Ann Daviner.
Also Amberlee Nicole Defibaugh, Laura Louise Dial, Zane Andrew Elliott, Shaylee Ann Ent, Megan Catherine Fisher, Nikki Lu Hickman.
Also Kalynda Lee Hoevener, Noah McKinley Hoskins, Brooklynn Pauline Huff, Samantha Paige Hurtt, Chasta Paige Lamb, Paul Lonsdorfer.
Also Nele Korte, Allison Terri McDonald, Max Elis Neumann, Kaitlyn Rose Silvers, Alexander Sean Van Coutren, Jonathon Michael Wiesman, Matthew Ray Wilburn, Dylan Ray Wilson.

Legal Aid Free Clinic Next Wednesday

A Free Legal Aid Clinic for low income residents will be held on Wednesday, June 6, at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour. The clinic will be held from 3-5 p.m.
The Legal Aid Clinic and Pro Bono Program utilizes local volunteer attorneys, offering free legal consultations to low-income individuals for the provision of legal advice and assistance in furtherance of equal access to justice within our community whom might not otherwise be able to afford the counsel of an attorney.
Individuals coming to the Legal Aid Clinic can expect to receive a 10-minute consultation to answer general questions, offer legal information, or to receive other limited pro se assistance or advice, in person, on a first come, first serve basis. There is no need to register in advance.

Learn To Identify Invasive Weeds Saturday

Invasive Weeds Field Day will be held at the Brownstown Central High School auditorium this Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area group is sponsoring this field day. Topics that will be covered are ornamental and urban type landscaping plants like Bradford (Callery pear), privet, and winter creeper that escape into the forest.
Participants will learn how to identify plants and see a demonstration on how to control the invasive weeds by spraying.
The public in invited to attend and encouraged to call 812-358-2367 ext. 3 to register for this free field day by May 31.