Scared Of Storms?

One In 10 Of Us May Suffer From Severe Weather Phobia

One in 10 Americans may suffer from severe weather phobia that causes them to lose sleep or have feelings of helplessness, says a researcher at Ball State University.
“Severe weather phobia is very real,” says Jill Coleman, a Ball State geography professor and lead author on the study, which was recently published in the American Meteorological Society Journal. “Some people will get physically ill or lose sleep while others will start watching weather forecasts on a more regular basis.
“Weathering the Storm: Revisiting Severe Weather Phobia” surveyed about 300 people in 43 states. About 85 percent of respondents reported having at least some degree of severe-weather fear while 46.1 percent describing their fear level as “a little bit.” About 10 percent of participants classified themselves as having an overall fear level as both “extreme” and “quite a bit” categories, possibly indicating severe-weather phobia.
Three percent of respondents reported seeking professional or self-help treatment for severe-weather phobia or specific inclement weather events.
“Overall, we found that people simply love to talk about the weather,” Coleman says In the West, it’s about high winds and wildfires, and here in the Midwest it’s all about tornados, thunderstorms and blizzards. On the East Coast, people are more likely to talk about hurricanes than regular thunderstorms.”
The study found:
•About 99 percent of all respondents had experienced some form of severe weather with the most common event being thunderstorms (90.9 percent) and high winds (90.3 percent) followed by heavy snow and freezing rain (80 percent each).
•80.5 percent of respondents do not suffer from severe weather phobia, 4.7 percent believe they do and the remainder is not sure.
•When it comes to severe weather, respondents reported feelings of anxiety (72 percent), increasing heart pounding (62.9 percent), changing schedules (60.8 percent) and feelings of helplessness (60.4 percent).
•Participants who reported taking a weather-related course also admitted experiencing more anxiety symptoms and behaviors.
The study also found that 11.7 percent of participants reported they know someone who surfers from severe-weather phobia.
“My father lives in Kansas and the second he hears about tornados, he’ll change his schedule to avoid being on the road and then start watching television reports more intensely,” Coleman said. “Our research indicates that we actually may be able to see such phobias in others but have difficulty in seeing them in ourselves.”
She also believes the study lays the groundwork for a better understanding of severe weather phobia phenomena as well as the role that weather knowledge and anxiety plays in the minds of individuals across the country.
“These results could provide useful information for weather forecasters and media groups in terms of how often people monitor media during severe weather events,” Coleman said. “When not debilitating, some fear can be a substantial motivator to encourage individuals to take action against the threat, such as seeking shelter.”

Library Begins Annual ‘Food For Fines’

Customers of the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour, Crothersville, and Medora can celebrate National Library Week and National Volunteer Week by paying for overdue fines with non-perishable food items April 9-22. Discovery Bus customers must visit a library building to participate in the program. This is the only fine-waiving program in 2018 and is earlier than the usual August promotion.
Donations of non-perishable food items collected in lieu of fines are given to local food pantries at Provisions Inc. and Anchor House in Seymour, Crothersville First Baptist Church, and Medora Christian Church.
For every dollar owed in fines at least one food item must be donated. If a customer has a $5 fine, at least five food items are needed to erase the fine. A fine of $5.50 would require at least six food items. Food items must not be expired, rusty, dented or USDA commodities. Food for Fines is not available to customers with damaged or lost materials. The materials must be returned undamaged within six months of their original due date before the overdue fines can be waived. Collection agency accounts may participate in this year’s only fine-waiving program as long as they pay the $10 collection agency fee first.
Customers participating in Food for Fines will receive a computer-generated receipt reflecting fines waived by their food donation. Food for Fines applies to all Jackson County Public Library materials including movies and audiobooks but does not apply to fines from other Evergreen Indiana libraries.
Individuals without library fines wishing to donate food items may do so at any library location.
Since its first fine-waiving program in 1991, the Jackson County Public Library has accepted 81,392 items (food, school supplies, and supplies for the Humane Society) and waived $67,224.11 in overdue fines.

Community Good Friday Service At Bethany Baptist Church

The Crothersville Area Ministerial Association will be holding their annual community Good Friday Service, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Bethany Baptist Church.
Pastor Troy Burns of the host church will be bringing the message with the other area ministers taking part the service in the non-denominational shared service.
An offering will be received for the CAMA Benevolence Fund that helps area residents and transients with emergency needs.
Bethany Baptist Church is located southwest of Crothersville at the intersections of County Rod 800 S & 950 E.

Austin Man Critically Injured After Vehicle Falls From Moore Street Overpass Onto I-65

Indiana State Police photo

An icy roadway is being blamed for a single vehicle accident which left an Austin man critically injured Saturday after he lost control on the Moore Street overpass east of Crothersville, crashed through the guardrail and fell onto the northbound lane of I-65.
According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Brian Wilson, the accident occurred shortly after noon when Richard T. Coulter, 37, of Austin was westbound on County Road 600 (Moore Street) when he lost control of his 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer on the ice covered overpass.
Coulter’s vehicle broke through a metal guardrail on the south side of the road and fell into the northbound lanes of I-65. Coulter’s vehicle struck a 2014 Toyota SUV, driven by Charles G. Jahnke, 56, of Green Bay, Wisconsin that was traveling northbound on the interstate.
Coulter’s vehicle came to rest on its driver’s side in the middle of the northbound lanes of I-65. Jahnke’s vehicle came to rest on the shoulder.
Coulter was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by the Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Department. He was transported to an Indianapolis area hospital with critical injuries. Jahnke was not injured in the crash.
The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash, Sgt. Wilson reported.
The northbound lanes of the interstate were shut down for nearly two hours for crash investigation and cleanup. The Indiana Department of Transportation also had a bridge inspector come to the scene to inspect the overpass before the roadway was opened.
Assisting at the scene were the Crothersville Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson County EMS, Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Department, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Property Tax Bills To Be Delivered Next Month

Jackson County Treasurer Roger D. Hurt reminds taxpayers that the 2018 Property Tax billings are scheduled to placed in the mail around April 9.
The first installment – Spring Coupon A – is due Thursday, May 10.
The second installment – Fall Coupon B – is due Tuesday, Nov. 13.
The payment methods are similar to the past years, Hurt said
•Payment by mail delivery with a check and payment coupon. Payment is considered on time when postmarked on or before the due date.
•Payment in person by cash or check only. The Treasurer’s Office during business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
•Payment can be made at all four locations of The Peoples Bank and at The State Bank Of Medora. This option for payment must include the payment coupon to be presented at the bank to allow for proper crediting to your tax bill, Hurt said..
•Payment with credit/debit cards using the I-Freedom Process. On-line at or the county website: This option will incur a convenience fee charge tp the taxpayers card.
•Payment with credit /debit cards by phone using the toll free automated system at 1-888-809-5849. Note this option will incur a convenience fee charge.
• Taxpayers can also use the Drop Box. At the back entrance of courthouse (Sugar Street) Payment is considered on time if received in the drop box by midnight on the deadline date. These payments require checks; no cash.
“If anyone is ever in doubt of the amount that they owe, how to make a payment, where a payment can be processed or general questions on the billing schedule, I encourage them to call us at the Jackson County Treasurer’s Office at 812-358-6125 of 812-358-6126 or email at,” said Hurt
If you have questions about your assessment or re-assessment answers can be obtained from the county assessor’s office at 812-358-6112.
Questions about exemptions and tax rates can be answered by the county Auditor’s Office at 812-358-6161.

Voter Registration Deadline Approaching; Early Voting Times Announced

The last day to register to vote for the May 8, Primary Election will be Monday, April 9, according to Jackson County Clerk Amanda Lowery.
Applications must be received by the clerk’s office or postmarked by April 9 to be eligible to vote in the Tuesday, May 8 election.
After closing April 9, voter registration will not reopen until May 22.
The clerk also announced the hours of early voting in the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown and the Superior Court 1 building in Seymour.
Beginning Tuesday April 10, voting at the courthouse in Brownstown will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 & May 5; and from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday May 7.
Early voting at Jackson Superior Court 1 in Seymour will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays beginning Monday, April 23, through May 4; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays April 28 & May 5; and 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, May 7.