Indiana Newsdesk, January 3, 2020 FFA Partnership, Veteran Jobs


>>”INDIANA NEWSDESK” IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY:>>>COMING UP ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” ONE INDIANA SCHOOL IS TEAMING UP WITH ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST TECH COMPANIES TO PUT STUDENTS ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY.>>USING GPS TECHNOLOGY TO IDENTIFY HOTSPOTS IN OUR FIELD AND DOING ALL OF THAT STUFF, THE KIDS ARE GETTING INTERESTED THAT THEY CAN DO THAT.>>WITH SEVEN FLU DEATHS ALREADY, INDIANA HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE FLU IS MORE ACTIVE EARLIER THAN IN YEARS PAST.>>>AND A PROGRAM MEANT TO HELP VETERANS FIND JOBS IS IMPACTING A GROUP ALREADY STRUGGLING TO GET WORK.>>70% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, IT’S VERY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO — WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO FIND WORK.>>THOSE STORIES PLUS LATEST NEWS HEADLINES FROM ACROSS THE STATE, RIGHT NOW ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK”! ♪>>>WELCOME TO “INDIANA NEWSDESK.” I’M JOE HREN. THE NATIONAL FFA ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS AND WAS FOUNDED WELL BEFORE COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY WERE INTERTWINED WITH AGO CAN I ROUTURE. BUT TODAY, MANY — AGRICULTURE. BUT TODAY, MANY FARMERS RELY ON TECHNOLOGY. FFA HAS STARTED A PARTNERSHIP WITH MICROSOFT AND AN INDIANA SCHOOL IS LEADING THE CHARGE IN HELPING THE COMPANY AND ORGANIZATION TO FIND WHAT THE PROGRAM WILL BE FOR SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BROCK TURNER HAS THE STORY.>>ALICIA DICKERSON DOESN’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME OFF BETWEEN TEACHING AND HER WORK WITH THE FFA. WHEN SHE DOES, WHEN SCHOOL IS SUDDENLY CALLED OFF, SHE’S STILL GETTING STUFF DONE.>>IT WAS A SNOW DAY. I DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO, AND SO I WROTE A GRANT ON THE SNOW DAY.>>THAT SNOW DAY WAS FOR FARM BEATS. IT’S THE ONLY SCHOOL IN INDIANA AND ONE OF THE FEW IN THE MIDWEST WITH THE TECHNOLOGY. THE PROJECT’S PITCH IS VISIT SIMPLE. MICROSOFT PROVIDES THE TECHNOLOGY TO MEASURE SOIL CONDITIONS. WHILE THE SCHOOLS GIVE THEIR FEEDBACK AND TELL THE COMPANY HOW TO IMPROVE, IT DICKERSON OR MRS. D AS SHE’S CALLED BY MANY OF HER STUDENTS HAS A NUMBER OF OTHER STUDENTS FOR HER KIDS. SHE BELIEVES THIS ONE IS UNIQUE AND OFFERS AN ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY THAT OTHER PROGRAMS SIMPLY CANNOT.>>AS WE CAN MECHANICIANIZE AGRICULTURE AND GET MORE EFFICIENT IN THE WAY WE ARE GPS PLANTING OUR CROPS AND IDENTIFYING HOTSPOTS IN OUR FIELDS AND DOING ALL OF THAT STUFF, THE KIDS ARE GETTING INTERESTED IN THE FACT THAT THEY CAN DO THAT, THEY CAN PROGRAM, THEY CAN BE INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE THAT WAY.>>LIKE MANY SMALL RURAL DISTRICTS ACROSS INDIANA, HOUSER HAS A LIMITED BUDGET. UP LIKE OTHER DISTRICTS IN THE RURAL PARTS OF THE STATE, HOUSER HAS INCREASED ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. THAT ENROLLMENT INCREASES OFFERS THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN NEW PROGRAMS AND FACILITIES LIKE THE ONE THEY ARE CURRENTLY BUILDING.>>PREPARE AND PROCESS THE TILAPIA IN THE KITCHEN AND USE THEM LATER. SAME WITH ALL THE VEGETABLES THAT WE GROW IN THE GREENHOUSE AND EVERYTHING THAT WE DO, SO THEY CAN SEE THE WHOLE PROCESS.>>HOUSER IS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF DISTRICTS IN THE STATE OFFERING A COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM, AND THAT’S SOMETHING DICKERSON CREDITS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HER PROGRAM.>>IT HAS REALLY CONNECTED THE DOTS FOR THEM. THE COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM THAT WE HAVE AT HOUSER, AND THE AG PROGRAM ARE TWO OF THE FEW EXTRA ELECTIVES THAT WE OFFER TO THE KIDS AND SO WE HAVE REALLY TRIED TO WORK TOGETHER SO THAT BOTH OF OUR PROGRAMS CAN BENEFIT AND I SAW THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THAT AS WELL.>>WHILE DICKERSON STILL TEACHES OPPORTUNITIES ON MORE TRADITIONAL TOPICS LIKE RAISING LOVE STOCK AND COOKING AND WELDING, PUSHES IN THE LANDSCAPE FORCED HER TO CHANGE THE PROGRAM.>>WE ARE SEEING A NEED IN INDUSTRY. WE TALKED ABOUT TOYOTA, CUMMINS AND SOME OF THE LOCAL INDUSTRIES AND THEY NEED KIDS TO DO SPECIFIC THINGS, WHETHER IT’S PROGRAM THE ROBOTS RUNNING SOMETHING ON THE LINE OR WELD OR WHATEVER IT IS, THEY CAN’T FIND KIDS THAT ARE READY TO GO TO WORK.>>AND THAT’S JUST AS TRUE IN SILICON VALLEY AS IT IS IN HOPE.>>IT’S VERY, VERY LIMITED. THERE’S NOT MANY STUDENTS EQUIPPED WITH BOTH SIDES, THAT IS HAVING A GOOD BACKGROUND, A GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF AGRICULTURE AND STUDENTS AND PEOPLE EQUIPPED WITH THESE SKILLS. AND THIS IS WHERE WE REALIZE WE NEED TO BRIDGE THE GAP.>>FARM BEATS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. THEY HOPE TO LEARN FROM STUDENTS AND BETTER UNDERSTAND THEIR NEEDS. DOING THAT, HE SAYS, WILL GO A LONG WAY TO ACHIEVING THE PROGRAM’S LONG-TERM GOALS, LIKE BUILDING A ROBUST TALENT PIPELINE.>>WHILE WE ARE BUILDING THIS PRODUCT, IT’S IMPORTANT FOR THAT. SO WE ARE THINKING OF IT GLOBALLY. PART OF WHAT WE ARE BUILDING AS MICROSOFT, BUT WE WANT TO BRING THIS TECHNOLOGY TO FARMERS, RIGHT NOW, INSTEAD OF FARMERS IN THE FUTURE, THAT’S WHERE FFA IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT PARTNERSHIP. WE ARE WORKING WITH THE FFA ON A CURRICULUM AROUND DATA AND DATA AND AGRICULTURE FOR 700 STUDENTS.>>WHILE NOT ALL STUDENTS IN THE PROGRAM SAY IT’S ALTERED THEIR CAREER PATHS, MANY SAY IT HAS OPENED THEIR EYES AS HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN BE USED IN THEIR PROGRAMS. AND THEY ARE HOPING TO HAVE SOIL CHARACTERISTICS LIKE WATER LEVELS AND TEMPERATURE.>>THE COOLEST THING WAS LEARNING ACTUALLY HOW TO DO IT, BECAUSE WHENEVER I FIRST STARTED, I HAD NO CLUE EVEN WHAT FARM BEATS WAS. SO IT WAS REALLY COOL TO SEE, LIKE, IF I PUT THIS INTO THE SOIL, IT WILL TELL ME THIS. AND JUST SEEING HOW ALL OF THIS COMES TOGETHER.>>AND HELPING STUDENTS MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS IS WHAT KEEPS DICKERSON COMING BACK YEAR AFTER YEAR.>>TO CONTINUE TO CONNECT THE DOTS IN AGRICULTURE, AND AGRICULTURE IS AN INDUSTRY THAT WE ALWAYS WILL NEED AND WE ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE, AND SO WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO MODIFY WHAT WE ARE DOING TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF OUR CONSUMERS AND THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT AND HAVE EDUCATED CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IT AND GO OUT AND DO THINGS AND CHANGE THE WORLD.>>FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M BROCK TURNER.>>>NOW IT’S TIME FOR NEWS HEADLINES AND THE LATEST ON THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES. INDIANA’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASSES ARE GETTING BIGGER, BUT RATE OF DIPLOMA RECIPIENTS DIPPED SLIGHTLY IN 2019. ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, INDIANA HIGH SCHOOLS GRADUATED 89% OF STUDENTS. NONPUBLIC AND NONTRADITIONAL LANDED AT 90% FOR ALL STUDENTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS GRADUATED STUDENTS AT A RATE OF ABOUT 40%.>>>INCREASED SCHOOL BUS SAFETY PATROLS HELPED POLICE NAB MORE THAN 400 HOOSIERS RUNNING STOP ARMS OF SCHOOL BUSES. NEARLY 40 POLICE AGENCIES USED GRANTS TO PAY FOR EXTRA PATROLS SURROUNDING SCHOOLS AND US ABOUT ROUTES. IN TOTAL, THE OFFICERS, ISSUED MORE THAN 2500 TICKETS AND OVER 1400 WARNINGS. NEARLY 500 OF THOSE TICKETS WERE ARMED VIOLATIONS. THREE CHILDREN WERE KILLED BY A DRIVER WHO IGNORED A BUS STOP ARM.>>>THE INDIANA BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED A PROPOSAL THAT WILL CUT FUNDING FROM SOME CONSUMER AND SCIENCE CLASSES STARTING NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. A NEW FUNDING FRAMEWORK BY THE GOVERNOR’S WORKFORCE CABINET ADDS A SERIES OF MORE A VANCEED COURSE — ADVANCED COURSES LIKE MANUFACTURING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, BUT SOME CLASSES THAT TEACH STUDENTS SKILLS FOCUSED ON THINGS LIKE NUTRITION AND PERSONAL FINANCE DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT, PROMPTING CONCERNS FROM TEACHERS, SUPERINTENDENTS, AND BOARD MEMBERS.>>AS WE GO FORWARD, WE REALLY NEED TO EMPHASIZE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHOLE STUDENT.>>OFFICIALS FROM THE WORKFORCE CABINET SAY THE GOAL IS TO GET SCHOOLS OFFERING MORE ADVANCED COURSES ALIGNED WITH POSSIBLE STUDENT CAREER PATHS, AND THE STATE’S SHIFT TOWARDS MORE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ORIENTED EDUCATION POLICIES LIKE THE NEW GRADUATION PATHWAYS. ULTIMATELY, THE BOARD APPROVED THE FUNDING LEVELS. BY LAW THEY HAVE TO, BUT THE SCHOOLS CAN FILE AN APPEAL WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.>>>THE INDIANA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONFIRMS THE SEVENTH FLU-RELATED DEATH OF THE SEASON SO FAR. FIVE OF THE CASES REPORTED WERE PEOPLE AGED 65 AND OLDER AND A NEW REPORT IS EXPECTED TODAY. AS MITCH LEGAN EXPLAINS, THIS SEASON IS OFF TO A QUICK START.>>INDIANA IS SEEING A MORE ACTIVE FLU SEASON THAN YEARS PAST.>>THIS IS VERY EARLY IN THE SEASON. AND WHAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS YEAR, WHICH IS VERY UNUSUAL FOR FLU SEASONS IS THIS MUCH FLU ACTIVITY, HEAVY FLU ACTIVITY IN DECEMBER.>>THIS YEAR’S FLU SEASON HAS HIT OLDER ADULTS THE HARDEST. ACCORDING TO DR. FELDMAN, WHO ALSO SERVED AS THE STATE HEALTH COMMISSIONER UNTIL 200, IS THAT’S BECAUSE OLDER PEOPLE ARE PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE B VICTORIA VIRUS WHICH IS APPEARING EARLIER THAN NORMAL THIS YEAR.>>AND THAT’S VERY UNUSUAL TO BE PREDOMINANT, BUT ALSO THIS EARLY IN THE SEASON. MY EXPERIENCE IS THAT WE SEE THE B VIRUSES EMERGE LATER IN THE SEASON.>>OUT OF THREE FLU STRAINS, B VICTORIA, THE B VIRUS IS PROBABLY IN THE MIDDLE IN TERMS OF SEVERITY.>>IF IT SWITCHES, LIKE IT DOES LAST SEASON FROM H1N1, TO H3N2, WE WILL HAVE MORE DEATHS AND MORE WIDESPREAD SERIOUS CASES. HE SAYS EVERYONE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES BY FOLLOWING SOME BASIC RULES, WASH YOUR HANDS, COUGH INTO YOUR ELBOW, SANITIZE SURFACES AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM SICK PEOPLE. BUT THE BEST WAY NOT TO GET SICK, GET A FLU SHOT.>>SOME PEOPLE WILL ALSO SAY WHEN THEY COME IN, I GOT A FLU SHOT ONCE AND THE NEXT DAY I GOT THE FLU. AND LET ME TELL YOU, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ARE A FLU SHOT TO CAUSE THE FLU. IT’S NOT A WHOLE VIRUS. IT’S NOT ALIVE. IT CAN NOT CAUSE INFLUENZA.>>FELDMAN SAYS THE FLU SEASON IS FAR FROM OVER, AND IT’S HARD TO PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. FOR “INDIANA NEWSDESK,” I’M MITCH LEGAN.>>>THERE ARE NOW NEARLY 20 BABY BOXES IN INDIANA, THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO ANONYMOUSLY LEAVE NEWBORNS AT FIRE HOUSES. A BABY BOX RECENTLY DEDICATED IN NORTHEASTERN INDIANA BECAME THE STATE’S 19th BABY BOX. THE BOXES ARE CONTAINERS WITH A DOOR TO THE OUTSIDE OF A FIRE STATION BUILDING. WHEN THEY ARE OPENED AN ALARM SOUNDS TO ALERT STAFF THAT A CHILD HAS BEEN PLACED THERE. THE BOXES CONTAIN WARMING AND COOLING FEATURES. THE BOXES ARE LEGAL BECAUSE INDIANA HAS A SAFE HAVEN LAW. THAT LAW ALLOWS A PERSON TO ANONYMOUSLY SURRENDER A HEALTHY BABY, 30 DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER AT AN APPROPRIATE LOCATION WITHOUT FEAR OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. INDIANA HAD NINE SURRENDERS AT BABY BOXES DURING 2019. IT’S UNLIKELY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL GIVE COUNTIES MORE MONEY FOR NEW VOTING MACHINES. MORE THAN HALF THE MACHINES IN INDIANA DON’T HAVE A PAPER BACKUP. SOMETHING ELECTION SECURITY EXPERTS INSIST IS CRITICAL. LAWMAKERS DO PLAN TO USE SURPLUS MONEY FORSOME PROJECTS, LIKE A SWINE BARN AT THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS BUT MORE MONEY FOR STATE VOTING MACHINES DOESN’T MAKE THE LIST. THAT’S BECAUSE THE SECRETARY OF STATE HAS ASSURED HIM THAT INDIANA’S VOTING SYSTEMS ARE SECURE. A COMMUNITY CONFLICT RESOLUTION GROUP RELEASED A REPORT SUGGESTING BLOOMINGTON ASSEMBLE A TASK FORCE TO HELP OVERSEE RACIAL ISSUES IN THE CITY. THE DIVIDED COMMUNITY PROJECTS BRIDGE INITIATIVE BEGAN WORKING ON ITS REPORT IN AUGUST IN RESPONSE TO ONGOING ISSUES AT BLOOMINGTON FARMER’S MARK. THE CITY SHUT DOWN THE MARKET FOR TWO WEEKS THIS SUMMER BECAUSE IT COULDN’T GUARANTEE PEOPLE’S SAFETY AFTER ONE VENDOR’S TIES TO A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP SURFACED. A REPORT SUGGESTED THE TASK BE COMPRISED OF A DIVERSE GROUP OF VOICES FROM AROUND THE COMMUNITY.>>>BLOOMINGTON MAYOR JOHN HAMILTON SAYS HE WILL PUSH FOR A LOCAL INCOME TAX INCREASE OF HALF A PERCENT IN 2020 TO FUND THE CITY’S EFFORTS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE. HAMILTON INTRODUCED THE PROPOSED TAX HIKE AFTER ANNOUNCING A PLAN FOR BLOOMINGTON TO HAVE A BLUE RIBBON GREEN PANEL BY THE SPRING. IT WOULD GENERATE $8 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR NEW CRITICAL INVESTMENTS AND COULD CREATE A SIMILAR AMOUNT AT THE COUNTY LEVEL.>>LET ME BE CLEAR, THAT I DO NOT PROPOSE A REVENUE INCREASE LIGHTLY. BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE TIMES IN OUR FUTURE DEMAND IT AND THAT AS A COMMUNITY, WE ARE IN A POSITION TO AFFORD IT.>>IF THE TAX INCREASE IT WOULD INCREASE TO 1.75%. IT COMES AFTER HAMILTON, AND THE CITY CLERK AND THE BLOOMINGTON CITY COUNCILMEMBERS WERE SWORN IT.>>>PARKS ADVOCACY GROUP SAYS U.S. STEEL’S REVISED CONCEPT DECREE DOESN’T ISSUE PROTECTIONS FOR THE INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK. IT OUTLINES HOW THEY WILL MAKE UP FOR THE SPILLING OF 300 POUNDS OF CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICAL TWO YEARS AGO. THE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION JOINS THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND MORE THANADARS INDIANA GROUPS THAT APPROVE A MOTION TO APPROVE U.S. STEEL’S REVISED CONSENT DECREE. THEY HAVEN’T SHOWN THAT THEY WILL MAKE THE IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED TO PREVENT SPILLS.>>>THE SALE OF MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES IS MADE POSSIBLE. ILLINOIS IS THE 11th STATE TO BROADLY ALLOW LARGE LARGE’S USE AND SALE FOR PEOPLE 21 OR OLDER. NEIGHBORING MICHIGAN MADE IT LEGAL STARTING DECEMBER 1st. INDIANA SENATE DEMOCRATS SAY THEY WILL PUSH DURING THIS YEAR’S LEGISLATIVE SESSION, TO DECRIMINALIZE SMALL AMOUNTS. MARIJUANA POSSESSION WHILE NOT LEGALIZING THE DRUG. ONE PROPOSAL WOULD MAKE POSSESSION OF LESS THAN AN OUNCE OF MARIJUANA AN INFRACTION, RATHER THAN A MISDEMEANOR.>>>WELL, TENNESSEE CAME BACK FROM A BIG DEFICIT LAST NIGHT TO BEAT THE INDIANA HOOSIERS IN THE GATOR BOWL. THE VOLUNTEERS SCORED TWICE IN A 20 SECOND TIME. INDIANA WAS UP 22-9 BEFORE TENNESSEE RALLIED TO SHOCK THE NEARLY 26,000 FANS ON HAND. INJURED QUARTERBACK MICHAEL PENNIX RETURNS NEXT SEASON, WHICH BEGINS WITH INDIANA’S TOUGHEST ROAD OPENER SINCE THE EARLY ’90s VERSUS WISCONSIN.>>>ATHLETIC PROGRAMS ARE FACING A SHORTAGE OF SCHOOL SPORTS AND OFFICIALS AND A STUDENTS OF IUPUI ARE TRYING TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM. THIS APPROACH MAKES FOR BETTER, STRONGER SOLUTIONS AND CAN BE USED IN ANY AREA.>>IT’S THE ABILITY OF OUR STUDENT WITH YOUNG MINDS AND INNOVATIVE WAYS OF THINKING. THEY HAVE JUST AS MUCH ABILITY TO BRING THE RIGHT SOLUTION TO THE TABLE AS SOMEONE WITH A REALLY BIG TITLE.>>IT CONNECTS STUDENTS WITH STAKEHOLDERS IN THE FIELD. THEY HOPE TO MOVE INTO AFTER GRADUATION, WHILE PROPOSING REALISTIC SOLUTIONS ADDRESSING ONGOING WIDE SPREAD PROBLEMS. THE GROUP PLANS TO PARTNER WITH BROOKSIDE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND BEGIN A SPORTS OFFICIATING TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH IN THE AREA. WELL, BLOOMINGTON RESTAURANT IS DOING WHAT IT CAN TO FOSTER KINDNESS AND COMPASSION THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. THEY OPENED THEIR DOORS ON NEW YEAR’S DAY TO ANYONE WOULD WANTED TO COME IN FOR A HOT MEAL AND VOLUNTEERS STAND OUT ACROSS THE TOWN TO DELIVER FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED.>>I BELIEVE THAT IF THERE IS ONE PERSON WHO IS IN THE STREETS HUNGRY, IN NEED, NONE OF US IS SUCCESSFUL. SO, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, I CANNOT CHANGE THE WHOLE WORLD, BUT, YOU KNOW, I HAVE TO DO WHATEVER I CAN.>>THE FOURTH STREET STAPLE WAS CLOSED FOR REGULAR BUSINESS ON THE FIRST DAY OF 2020, BUT THEY WERE COOKING TO THOSE IN NEED. THEY PLAN TO OFFER FOOD TO THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY ONCE A MONTH STARTING THIS YEAR.>>>A PEST NORMALLY FOUND IN THE SOUTH HAS FOUND ITS WAY TO INDIANA. AHEAD, WE WILL LOOK AT WHY THE GULF COAST TICK IS BEING SPOTTED THIS FAR NORTH.>>>AND A NEW TRUMP ADMINISTRATION RULE MEANT TO HELP VETS GET BACK TO WORK COULD HURT THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED. THOSE STORIES AND MORE NEXT HERE ON “INDIANA NEWSDESK.”>>>WELCOME BACK TO “INDIANA NEWSDESK.” INDIANA UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS HAVE SPOTTED A TICK RARELY SEEN IN THE STATE. THE GULF COAST TICK IS USUALLY FOUND ALONG THE GULF. IT’S MOVING NORTH AND ACCORDING TO THEM, CLIMATE CHANGE COULD BE THE CAUSE.>>I.U. PROFESSOR EMERITUS KEITH CLAY LEADS PROJECT VECTOR SHIELD WHICH MONITORS TICK MOVEMENT IN THE STATE. WARMER WINTERS HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO SURVIVE IN STATES USUALLY NORTH OF THEIR RANGE.>>IT MAY BE THE TIP OF AN ICEBERG THAT THESE POPULATIONS OF GULF COAST TICKS MAY BE MORE PREVALENT THAN WE REALIZE.>>THIS MATTERS BECAUSE THE GULF COAST TICK CAN MAKE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS SICK. IT CARRIES THE DISEASE TIDE WATER SPOTTED FEVER WHICH CAN CAUSE FEVER, HEADACHES, MUSCLE ACHES AND A RASH. IT’S SIMILAR TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER, WHICH CAN BE DEADLY, BUT FORTUNATELY, HE SAYS, IT’S NOT AS SEVERE.>>BUT NEVERTHELESS, QUITE DEBILITATING, AND SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO BE EXPOSED TO.>>CLAY SAYS THOUGH THE GULF COAST TICK IS NOT SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT, THEY PLAN TO DO A SEARCH FOR THE GULF COAST TICKS NEXT SPRING. I’M REBECCA THIELE.>>>A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POLICY INTENDED TO HELP MILITARY VETERAN BUSINESS OWNERS MAY BE HAVING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ON VISUALLY IMPAIRED HOOSIERS. ADAM PINSKER TELLS US WHY ONE ORGANIZATION IS WORRIED ABOUT LOSING SOME OF ITS EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF THE LAW.>>>HOW ARE YOU DOING NOW?>>RAY MONTGOMERY’S PATH BEGAN MORE THAN 20 YEARS.>>I LOST MY NIGHT IN 1977, AT 17 YEARS OLD, BECAUSE OF A GUNSHOT WOUND. FINDING A JOB HE COULD DO WITH HIS DISABILITY WAS DIFFICULT.>>JUST BECAUSE I HAD A DEGREE AND I WENT TO COLLEGE AND I DID EVERYTHING THAT I THOUGHT WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO FIND GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT BUT REALLY DEALING WITH THE MISPERCEPTIONS OF PEOPLE THAT WERE BIND.>>BUT THEY ARE SHATTERING THE MISPERCEPTIONS BY CREATING JOBS AND CAREERS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.>>WE ARE COMING UP TO THE GLOVE PACKAGING ROOM.>>THAT INCLUDES WAREHOUSING AND PACKAGING.>>THE WHOLE ROLE IS TO PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT FOR VISUAL IMPAIRED. WITH A 70% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, IT’S VERY DIFFICULT FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO FIND WORK.>>BUT THE BOSMA C.E.O. IS WORRIED ABOUT THE RULE OF TWO. IT REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT TO AWARD CONTRACTS TO VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESSES BEFORE CONSIDERING COMPANIES THAT ARE PRIMARILY OWNED BY VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE.>>THAT WOULD INCLUDE CONTRACTS THAT WE HELD FOR 20, 30 YEARS. SOME OF OUR AGENCIES, ACROSS THE COUNTRY, HAVE BEEN HELD FOR DECADES.>>AN ARMY VETERAN WHO LOST HIS SIGHT WHEN AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. BOSMA GOES THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS WHEN BIDDING ON GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. IN ADDITION, TO PROVIDING JOBS, BOSMA ALSO HELPS PEOPLE WITH VISION LOSS NAVIGATE THEIR LIVES AND JOBS.>>WITHOUT US, THERE’S 800 HOOSIERS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA WHO WOULD NOT HAVE — EVERY YEAR, WHO WOULD NOT RECEIVE REHABILITATION SERVICES FOR THEIR VISION LOST. HE WORRIES IT COULD IMPACT THE JOBS, INCLUDING PACKAGING, FOOD SERVICE AND RETAIL JOBS.>>IT’S IMPORTANT AS I SAID THAT THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED, LIKE THOSE WHO ARE TRAINED AT BOSMA, CONTINUE TO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WORKFORCE.>>SENATOR TODD YOUNG AND OTHER MEMBERS OF INDIANA’S LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION ARE WORKING WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICTS WITH THE NEW POLICY. I WOULDN’T ANTICIPATE ANY CHALLENGES IN LANDING ADDITIONAL CONTRACTS.>>BUT BOSMA IS NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE NONGOVERNMENT COMPANIES TO DIVERSIFY ITS PORTFOLIO.>>THE PADDING ON THE INSIDE IS WHAT PROTECTED MY BRAIN.>>MILTON HAS THE HELMET. THE LINING IS MADE BY A NORTH CAROLINA COMPANY, WHO EMPLOYED BLIND PEOPLE. HE HOPES THE ISSUE WILL CONVINCE PEOPLE TO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TALENTS OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE.>>THE PERSON WHO DOESES OUR SOCIAL MEDIA IS COMPLETELY BLIND. THE IDEA THAT SOMEBODY WHO HAS LOST THEIR VISION CAN’T PERFORM THE TASK OR THE STANDARD IS JUST NOT TRUE?>>ADAM PINSKER HAS MORE.>>ACTUALLY THIS MORNING I HEARD FROM SENATOR YOUNG’S OFFICE, A SPOKESPERSON SAID THE SENATOR IS STILL LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION. THEY THINK THAT THE HOUSE MAY HAVE SOME BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WILL LOOK TO SOME SORT OF ARE E SOLUTION FOR THIS ISSUE, BUT NOTHING SPECIFIC YET, I THINK IT’S ONE OF THE FEW ISSUES ON CAPITOL HILL THAT BOTH PARTIES AGREE HAVE TO BE FIXED.>>WHAT OTHER SERVICES COULD BE AFFECTED AT BOSMA, REGARDING THE IF THEY LOSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS.>>HE HAD HELP TO TRAIN FOLKS AT THE COUNTY LEVEL, PEOPLE WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED SO IF YOU LOSE THE REVENUE FROM THE CONTRACTS, THEN IT’S REALLY GOING TO AFFECT HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT THEY CAN SPEND TRAINING PEOPLE TO DO THESE KINDS OF JOBS. IT’S PRETTY WIDE SPREAD. ALMOST ALL THE COUNTIES HAVE SOMEONE FROM BOSMA OR ONE OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS TRAINING PEOPLE TO DO THESE JOBS.>>WE JUST HAVE A FEW SECONDS LEFT HERE.>>YEAH.>>WHAT CAN BE DONE HERE? WHAT CAN BE DONE NEXT?>>WE HEARD FROM A CONGRESSWOMAN IN SOUTH BEND. SHE WROTE TO THE V.A. ON THE HOUSE SIDE TO SEE IF THERE’S ANY RESOLUTION AS WELL. SO THEY ARE WORKING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION TO TRY TO GET RESOLUTION. IT’S JUST GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME.>>ADAM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>YEAH.>>WELL, DOZENS OF INTREPID POLAR PLUNGERS STORMED INTO LAKE MONROE. THIS DESPITE THE TEMPERATURES HANGING IN THE MID-30s. THE MONROE COUNTY TRADITION TO TAKE THE PLUNGE ON JANUARY 1st, AND START THE YEAR OFF WITH A SPLASH AROUND 10 A.M., THE PLUNGERS RUSHED INTO THE WATERS OF LAKE MONROE. JENNY CHASTAIN HELPED TO ORGANIZE THE PLUNGE. SHE SAYS THE RECENT WARM WEATHER HELPED TO BRING OUT MORE PLUNGERS THAN LAST YEAR. AND THAT’S THE END OF THIS PROGRAM, PUT OUR WORK CONTINUES ONLINE AS WE COVER THE NEWS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AT WTIUNEWS.ORG. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND. ♪>>”INDIANA NEWSDESK” IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY: SMITHVILLE, FIBER INTERNET, STREAMING TV AND:

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