A Butterfly Flutters By

A Zebra Swallowtail butterfly dines on nectar from a butterfly weed in the southern Indiana wilderness. The adult female lays its eggs on the leaves of the Pawpaw tree usually found growing in the under-story of the forest. The caterpillars eat only the leaves of the pawpaw until they grow and pupate into colorful flying ‘flutter bys’ pollinating plants nearby.

Drug Arrests Continue In Scott County

On Tuesday, June 23, Scott County Sheriff Deputies Zach Brown and Josh Juliot and Major Joe Guarneri went to an residence on Plum Street in Austin to serve an outstanding arrest warrant. Their investigation at the residence led to the arrest of two people for drug related charges.
Johnny Williams, 43, of Austin was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of a syringe.
Megan Estep, 27, of Austin was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance and a second offense for possession of a syringe.
On Wednesday, June 24, an investigation conducted by undercover detectives at the Scott County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of Sharlene Marshall, 52, of Austin for two counts of dealing in methamphetamine, two counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession of a syringe.
Corporal Kenton Makowsky made a traffic stop in Austin on Monday, June 22. His investigation led to the arrest of Melissa Ambrose, 46, of Austin for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.
All were lodged in Scott county Jail awaiting their court appearance.

New ‘Hands Free’ Law Takes Effect Today

Hand free driving does not mean not touching the steering wheel. It means not to touch your cell phone while driving. The Indiana State Police reminds the driving public of changes to Indiana’s distracted driving law that take effect July 1.
Every year in North America, an estimated 1.6 million crashes occur as the result of driver inattention. Many of those crashes result in injury or death and an economic impact of around 40 billion dollars.
“Making a phone call while driving may increase your odds of being in a crash by as much as 400%,” said ISP Sgt Carey Huls. “Typing or reading a text takes your eyes off the road an average of five seconds. If you drive 55 mph, you will travel the length of a football field in that same period.”
Effective today, Indiana Code 9-21-8-59, as amended, states a driver may not hold or use a telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle.
There are two exceptions listed in the statute.
•Drivers will still be permitted to hold and use their phone to make an emergency 911 call.
•Drivers may also use hands-free or voice-operated technology to make and receive calls.
Drivers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their vehicle’s hands-free technology and may wish to research aftermarket products that facilitate its use, such as a phone mount, said Huls.

Energy Assistance Available For Those Impacted By COVID-19

Human Services, Inc. is now accepting applications for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) CARES Act fund. The program is available to income eligible households in Jackson County.
To be eligible for the EAP CARES Act Fund a household must:
•Have at least one household member that experienced a job loss or reduction in hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 6 to July 3.
•Qualify for the Energy Assistance Program
•Apply for this program before July 31, 2020
Households that are eligible will receive a one-time benefit of $350 on an electric and/or gas bill.
Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Please contact Human Services, Inc. (812) 522-8718 for more information!

2020 Census Has Jobs Available

The US 2020 Census has high-paying positions that need to filled in the coming weeks.
“These are great jobs for which all staff will receive paid training,” said Gary Anthony, recruiting assistant for the 2020 Census.
These jobs offer:
•Pay of at least $18.50 per hour (varies by county), plus pay mileage from your home of $0.575 per mile.
•Flexible work schedules, part- or full-time.
•Weekly pay.
•A sense of pride of public service.
“During these challenging times with so many more people relying on community resources just to get by, collecting an accurate count of local populations is more important than ever,” said Anthony. “The 2020 Census counts will determine the amount of funding federal programs will provide to our communities for the next 10 years.”
Here are just some of what census numbers effect:
Medicaid, Community development grants, School lunch programs, Road and school construction, Indiana’s representation in Congress
To insure everyone in Indiana is counted so that we receive maximum funding we need to recruit more applicants, he said.
For more information or to apply, email gary.w.anthony@2020census.gov

Declare Your Independence From Coronavirus? Better Think Again

by Curt Kovener

As Indiana continues its “Back on Track” phased reopening, as people resume activities that were stopped after shutdown orders took effect, it’s worth stating the obvious.
The coronavirus is still with us. And that we can’t afford to ignore that reality.
It’s understandable that people are frustrated and tired of being shut in, that they’re anxious to regain a sense of normalcy. But throwing caution to the wind— by not wearing masks in public, by ignoring physical distancing, by disregarding the advice of health officials— could jeopardize all that was gained during months spent in self-quarantine.
There are cautionary tales all around us if we care to look. In at least half a dozen states that have reopened — Arizona, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and both of the Carolinas — and the number of cases there are rising.
So far, with some geographic pockets of exceptions, Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and new cases has stabilized…at least of this writing.
Good for us and applause to those who have been socially distant, washing your hands and wearing your masks. Keep up the good practices because, and we all need to remember this Yogi Berra quote “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
And it won’t be over until there is a vaccine.
It is likely that the virus has slowed in Indiana due to our collective efforts to be safer, engage in social distancing, and reduce transmission by wearing masks and adhering to higher hand- and surface-hygiene standards. This was an example of Hoosiers successfully hunkering down during the initial outbreak.”
But we can prune the inevitable increases by doing what medical professionals advise.
And as we celebrate the nation’s birthday this Saturday, don’t act like college students on spring break. And if you like to fly that Revolutionary War era yellow Gadsen flag with a coiled timber rattlesnake proclaiming “Don’t Tread On Me” remember that the Coronavirus will tread on whoever it damn well wants. Your constitutional rights mean nothing to a virus for which there is no vaccine or cure.
We’re all tired of being cooped up, but let your guard down, even for a brief time, and you could be helping increase the number of those infected in the state.
We need to continue taking a cautious approach, listening to health officials —and acknowledging that the coronavirus hasn’t gone away.