IUBMH update. As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the Muncie hospital has 58 COVID patients – two more than last Tuesday. 78% of ICU beds are being used, and 34% of ventilators are in service. Dr. Jeff Bird is scheduled as a guest tomorrow morning just after 7:30 a.m. in the WLBC Zoom Room.
Yesterday at this time, we shared the first-day numbers – as of 4 p.m. Sunday, that number rose to nearly 86,000 Hoosiers age 80 or older to schedule appointments to receive free COVID-19 vaccines. Additional groups, such as those based on underlying health conditions, will be added as more vaccine becomes available. Updates will be posted at https://ourshot.in.gov.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the State Soil Conservation Board awarded nearly $980,000 in matching grant funds to 15 soil and water conservation districts and organizations through the Clean Water Indiana program – the Jay County SWCD was one of the recipients.
White River State Park (WRSP) and several of its attractions will offer free admission and parking to visitors in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18. Due COVID-19, specific admissions information, timed ticketing and visitor protocols can be found at each attraction’s website. Complimentary parking throughout the day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the WRSP parking garage or surface lot.
Gas prices have increased lately, which is a trend that is likely to continue, according to GasBuddy. The statewide average for gas across Indiana is $2.29 per gallon, which is up six cents from where it was this past Monday. The coronavirus has caused demand for gas to decrease substantially over the last 10 months, but rising oil prices mean prices are trending upward.
School funding is an Indiana statehouse top issue. The Indiana House Ways and Means Committee last week voted in support of a legislative proposal co-authored by State Rep. Elizabeth Rowray (ROW-ray) (R-Yorktown) to fully fund all K-12 public school students for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. Rowray said this is a top priority this session and she looks forward to working with fellow legislators to address public education needs.
The Madison County Council is expected to consider adoption of a resolution calling for the resignation of Steve Sumner, according to the Herald Bulletin. He was arrested and charged on Dec. 21 on Level 6 felony charges of child solicitation and possession of child pornography. The Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of the Madison County Government Center.
Wayne Radford, a member of Indiana’s undefeated 1976 national championship men’s basketball team who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers, has died. He was 64. IU announced Radford’s passing Monday.
All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) branches will be closed Saturday, Jan. 16 through Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. All branches will resume regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
This week, Second Harvest Food Bank of ECI will have Tailgate Food Distribution Events in New Castle today, North Manchester on Wednesday, Muncie Mall and Blackford County Fairgrounds on Thursday, and Winchester on Friday. Volunteers are always needed, at the events as well as at the warehouse.