November 12, 2009
Steve Ferguson to lead state Chamber of Commerce
By Chris Fyall
November 11, 2009, last update: 11/11 @ 9:54 pm
A Bloomington businessman is the new leader of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Ferguson is chairman of the Cook Group, Inc. and a trustee at Indiana University.
He begins a one-year stint as leader of the state chamber's board of directors today, after being formally named chairman at an annual membership meeting Tuesday evening.
Ferguson has been a board member for the state chamber since 1994.
"Steve's expertise spans the business, education and legislative arenas," chamber president Kevin Brinegar said. "His vast knowledge and leadership will be a great asset as the Chamber continues to protect the state's business climate."
Ferguson's duties as chamber chairman extend through the group's next annual board meeting, Nov. 9, 2010.
The Chamber's other board members are presidents, CEOs and other top officers from companies throughout the state.
At its annual awards dinner Tuesday, Ferguson led the recognition for the Chamber's outgoing board chair, Indianapolis businessman Jim Merten, an investment banker and vice chairman of the board for City Securities Corporation.
Ferguson has sat on the chamber's executive committee since 2002, and serves as a member of the Chamber Health Care Policy Committee and Business-Higher Education Forum.
Ferguson served four terms in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1967 to 1974, and is a former member and past chairman of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
IU makes additional slots available for H1N1 shots
November 12, 2009, last update: 11/12 @ 9:48 am
Wednesday Indiana University health officials say all initial openings for the IU Health Center's online reservation system for H1N1 vaccines have been filled, but that nine additional weeks of openings are being made available to accommodate more people seeking the shots.
The system initially went active Nov. 6, offering 5,760 open reservation slots over a two-week period. The calendar dates for this period will be announced when the H1N1 vaccine arrives.
Eligible IU Bloomington students and employees can make reservations by visiting the IU Bloomington home page, the IU Health Center home page or the Health Center page in OneStart (See "Health Center" in left side menu under the "Campus" tab). Once there, users will be able to access the reservation service by clicking on the "Free H1N1 Vaccinations" icon.
Dispute over I-69 plan jeopardizes Ind. 45/46 Bypass work, other projects
State is withholding funds for all local transportation projects until Monroe group puts state's I-69 corridor land into its plan
By Michael Malik
November 12, 2009, last update: 11/12 @ 12:39 am
The state will withhold tens of millions of dollars for key transportation projects within Monroe County for the foreseeable future, an official with the Indiana Department of Transportation said this week.
The action stems from a disagreement between state and local officials over transportation planning.
It's unknown at this point exactly what impact the revelation will have on various planned local transportation projects, including the Ind. 45/46 Bypass, future phases of the B-Line Trail and a Bloomington Transit downtown transfer facility.
However, shutting off the funding could delay, kill or increase the cost of those projects, local transportation officials said.
EARLIER EDITORIAL: City's efforts to block I-69 may have consequences
The disagreement is between INDOT and the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization's policy committee over land in the Interstate 69 corridor.
Since April, the MPO's policy committee twice declined to include land INDOT wanted to purchase on Tapp Road in its Transportation Improvement Plan, which is a master list of all federally funded transportation projects in the MPO's area.
However, INDOT officials say the state included its intent to purchase the privately owned house in its Transportation Improvement Plan.
The local and state Transportation Improvement Plans have to be in alignment in order for the state to allocate federal funding for transportation projects to the local MPO, said Samuel Sarvis, deputy commissioner for major program management at INDOT.
"Those two programs are not in line, and as long as they're not in line, I don't believe the state will be spending any capital transportation dollars in the MPO area," Sarvis said Tuesday evening in a meeting with The Herald-Times editorial board.
Federal law requires urban areas with a population of more than 50,000 to have an MPO.
Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, who also is an MPO policy committee member, said he had not heard anything from INDOT about the MPO's funding being frozen.
"I don't know in what way the two plans are out of sync, but we'll certainly go over each and go over them word for word and see if there is any difference," Kruzan said.
Mark Stoops, a Monroe County commissioner and member of the MPO policy committee, said INDOT is making a thinly veiled attempt to get the local MPO to include I-69 in its transportation plan.
"I think we ought to sue them," Stoops said. "I think if INDOT wants to play hardball, then we should play hardball."
Sarvis said funds used for MPO operating expenses could be withheld in addition to the funds that were supposed to be used for capital costs.
"In terms of funding, there are a lot of dollars that flow through INDOT to the MPO, operating dollars and that sort of thing," Sarvis said. "I don't known if the MPO policy board has a sense of all of the dollars that come to Bloomington as a Class II MPO."
The state's decision to withhold money could have a negative impact on people and organizations within Monroe County who want to see some of those MPO projects to go forward.
For example, Indiana University officials strongly support the Ind. 45/46 Bypass project.
"We anticipate that whole area of 10th (Street) and the Bypass is going to expand and grow with high-tech development, and we really need a traffic artery that supports that density over there," said Larry MacIntyre, an IU spokesman.
Dunn Meadow resodded
Green grows the meadow
By Mike Leonard
November 12, 2009
Workers began repairing damage done to Dunn Meadow this week as a consequence of a concert staged on the Indiana University campus Oct. 22.
IU students won a national competition through Internet voting to host a concert sponsored by the Victoria's Secret Pink line of leisure wear and lingerie.
An estimated 7,000 people attended the Victoria's Secret Pink B-Town Bash. But heavy rain near the end of the concert and afterwards turned the eastern area of Dunn Meadow into a mud pit.
University spokesman Larry MacIntyre said that Myers Sod Farm of Seymour is in the process of installing 35,000 square feet of new sod in the damaged area. The estimated $14,000 cost is being covered by Victoria's Secret.
MacIntyre said the repair work could not be done until weather conditions were more favorable for the effective installation of new sod.
In addition to putting on the concert at no cost to IU and repairing Dunn Meadow at its own expense, Victoria's Secret also raised $5,000 for the Middle Way House for victims of domestic abuse.
Four IU Cinema director candidates to speak at forums
November 12, 2009
Four candidates for the position of IU Cinema director will visit the Indiana University campus and speak at public forums during the next two weeks starting today.
Last month, university officials conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for IU Cinema, formerly the University Theatre. The building will be renovated and converted to a state-of-the-art cinema facility with rehearsal and performance space for the Department of Theatre and Drama and new classrooms and offices.
"The IU Cinema will be an excellent addition to IU and to the community at large," said professor Greg Waller, chairman of the Department of Communication and Culture and of the IU Cinema Director Search Committee.
The four candidates and the dates they will be on campus are:
Julia Gibbs, today, 4:30 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union State Room East
Tom Yoshikami, Friday, 4:30 p.m., IMU Solarium
Jon Vickers, Monday, 4:30 p.m., IMU State Room East
Sally Shafto, Nov. 19, 4:30 p.m., IMU Frangipani Room.
Candidate cover letters and curriculum vitae can be found here.
A public presentation and reception with each candidate will be held during each visit. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend these sessions.
"The IU Cinema will be an excellent addition to IU and to the community at large."
Greg Waller, chairman of the Department of Communication and Culture and of the IU Cinema Director Search Committee
Today's HTO chat: H1N1 questions answered by local health experts
November 11, 2009, last update: 11/11 @ 12:38 pm
QUESTION: Welcome to today's chat on H1N1 with local health experts. We're joined by Diana Ebling, IU Health Center medical director and Penny Caudill, Monroe County Health Dept. administrator.
Diana and Penny: Good morning. Thanks for coming down to answer readers' questions on the virus, the vaccine and more. Are you ready to get started?
PENNY CAUDILL: Yes, thank you for allowing me to join you today.
DIANA EBLING: Yes thank you, it's nice to be back.
QUESTION: I read on HTO that the H1N1 nasal spray (unlike the injection) is made of a live but weakened virus. My child care provider says that kids who receive it should not be around other kids for 24 hours. So does that mean the spray itself can pass H1N1 to other kids?
DIANA EBLING: Because the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine is a weakened virus those who receive the vaccine can't pass it on to others.
QUESTION: How long of a time period is the vaccine is effective?
DIANA EBLING: Similar to the seasonal flu vaccine the H1N1 vaccine is believed to be effective for many months and probably until next fall flu season.
QUESTION: I am a 27 year old lady, insurance(Medicaid) and have 4 children. Where can i get a H1N1 shot? I already had the seasonal flu in October and was sick for 4 days I dont want to feel like that again.
PENNY CAUDILL: First check with your healthcare provider. Ask if they are registered to provide H1N1 vaccine and if so, how they are dispensing vaccinations. They may only be making appointments. If you do not have a provider check with one of the walk-in clinics. Vaccine is still very limited so a provider may only have small amounts of vaccine at any given time.
QUESTION: How much protection do children under the age of 9 whom need 2 doses of the vaccine are covered by just one dose? Our peds office is saying they are not giving the 2nd doses yet but it's been the reccomended 4 weeks since one of my children's first dose. I do realize not everyone has had their first dose and understand why they may be witholding the 2nd doses right now. I just want to understand how much protection 1 dose gives them and for how long.
Concerned parent, Spencer
DIANA EBLING: There is some protection after the first dose in children but not a full immune response until after the second dose. I would suggest you call the Indiana State Health Department call line at 1-877-826-0011 for more specific information.
QUESTION: Are children suppose to get 2 doses of the H1N1 vaccine?
DIANA EBLING: Children from 6 mo. -9 yrs. old should receive 2 doses of H1N1 vaccine. Those 10 yrs. and older only need 1 dose.
QUESTION: What age groups have you seen hardest hit by the H1N1 virus in Bloomington?
DIANA EBLING: Children and young adults are the most susceptible to this new H1N1 virus and that has been true in Bloomington with the highest rate of illness in this age group. Also, most of the hospitalizations due to H1N1 flu in the United States since last spring have been in this age group.
QUESTION: My wife is pregnant and we're concerned about what may happen down the road after taking the H1N1 injection. Any info?
PENNY CAUDILL: Visit acog.org to read the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) message regarding about vaccine safety.
DIANA EBLING: It is important that pregnant women get the H1N1 vaccine since they are at greater risk of complications if they do contract H1N1 flu. It is manufactered the same way as seasonal flu vaccine and is expected to be safe. To date, hundreds of thousands of patients have received the H1N1 vaccine in the U.S. without serious adverse reactions. If you and your wife have concerns I would encourage you to talk to your obstetrician about this.
QUESTION: Follow-up: There are no known side effects for the child during pregnancy?
PENNY CAUDILL: A study of influenza vaccination examining over 2,000 pregnant women demonstrated no adverse fetal effects associated with influenza vaccine. visit acog.org for more details.
DIANA EBLING: That's right. There are no known side effects to the baby during pregnancy.
QUESTION: I filled out the consent form for our healthy children to receive the H1N1 vaccination at school (MCCSC), even though both my children and I have reservations about the safety of the current vaccine. If you have school-age healthy children, are you planning to have your children vaccinated? Currently, do you think the benefits outweigh the risks?
PENNY CAUDILL: The H1N1 vaccine is being produced in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. If you visit the Center for Disease Control's website flu.gov you can look at information about vaccine safety. The decision to have your children vaccinated is personal and while I am comfortable with the vaccine, each family will have to decide what is best for their family.
DIANA EBLING: I don't have school age children but I do have a son who is a young adult and I definitely have advised him to get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. The benefits do outweigh the risks.
QUESTION: Is Bloomington starting to see an increase in the number of vaccinations it receives each week?
PENNY CAUDILL: We are starting to see an increase in vaccine although the shipments are still not large. I am hopeful that shipments will continue to increase and that vaccine will become easier to get in the coming weeks.
QUESTION: I've heard about some concerns regarding mercury in some of the vaccines and the possible implications for babies. Why do some vaccines contain this and not others? Doesn't the normal flu shot have it? Should I be concerned?
concerned mama, bloomington
DIANA EBLING: The mercury that you've heard about is referring to the preservative, Thimerasol, which is in the mulitple dose injectable vials of both seasonal and H1N1 vaccine. It is there to prevent bacterial contamination. The nasal spray and some injectable vaccine is prepared in single doses and this doesn't require the addition of the preservative. The amount of mercury in the injectable vaccine is less than is found in a can of tuna. You needn't be concerned about this.
QUESTION: Hi Penny and Diana,
A reader submitted the following question to Hotline, and I wondered if you could answer it: Given that there are far fewer H1N1 vaccines available than the number of local people who need the vaccine, who decides how vaccine is distributed and/or who gets it?
Becky Troyer, Hotline columnist, Bloomington
PENNY CAUDILL: The vaccine is being distributed through local health departments. We are following The Center for Disease Control and the Indiana State Department of Health Guidance.
QUESTION: Dr. Ebling -- I am surprised that you just said that vaccinees who receive H1N1 nasal spray vaccine can't pass the virus on to others. Are you aware that the manufacturer's prescribing information sites a study that showed a 2.4% chance of acquiring virus by transmission from a nasal spray vaccine in a day care setting? And that it also sites a potential for transmission to immunocompromised household members and specifically states that the health care provider should inform the recipient of this?
DIANA EBLING: Thank you for clarifying. It is recommended that the nasal spray vaccine not be given to anyone in close contact with a SEVERELY immunocompromised person.(One requiring care in an isolated setting such as a bone marrow transplant unit.) because of this remote possiblity. You may go to www.cdc.gov/h1n1 or www.flu.gov to read more about this.
However, generally speaking, the nasal spray is weakened and doesn't pose a problem to others.
MODERATOR: That's all the time we have for today. Thanks for all the great questions.
Diana and Penny: Thanks again for joining us and participating in an online chat with our readers. Any tips or suggestions you'd like to pass along in closing?
PENNY CAUDILL: Thank you. I want to say how much the Monroe County Health Department appreciates everyone's patience! As the H1N1 vaccine supply increases it will be easier to receive the vaccination. We expect everyone who wants to be vaccinated will eventually be able to receive the vaccine. Unfortunately, everyone can not be vaccinated at this moment because of the limited supply. In the meantime, remember the 3 Cs : Cleanse your hands frequently and well; Cover your cough and sneeze and Contain - stay home when ill. When vaccine is available to you, please consider being vaccinated.
DIANA EBLING: I want to encourage all who are eligible to get the H1N1 vaccine when it is available. It is the best protection against the H1N1 flu. Of course continue to wash hands, cover coughs, and stay home if ill. If you have chronic health conditions (such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease or are immunosuppressed) that put you at greater risk of flu complications be sure to call your health care provider if you come down with flu symptoms to discuss treatment.
IU police looking for bomb threat suspect
November 12, 2009, last update: 11/12 @ 9:42 am
Indiana University police have released a surveillance photograph of the man they believe called in a bomb threat to the Kelley School of Business.
The false threat was made about 9 a.m. Monday to IU operators from the southern-most entrance on the east side of the Marsh Supermarket on Kinser Pike, said Capt. Jerry Minger.
"We are hoping someone may have information. He may shop there or mentioned the act to someone," Minger said.
The white man was wearing reddish-colored shorts or pulled-up sweat pants and a hoody with an emblem on the front.
He hung up the phone while being transferred from the general operator to IU police.
After the call, police searched the business school and found nothing unusual.
Anyone with information is asked to call the IU police department at 855-4111. Ask to speak to a shift commander.