October 22, 2014

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Two gone too soon PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:39 AM

Many times we worry about things beyond our control. We go through life wanting or needing more.

This past week we lost a pair of men too soon.

Mike Billingsley and Joe Franklin.

Many Rising Sun people know Mike as a Vietnam Veteran whose wife Ronna (high school athletic secretary and cheer coach) has hosted the school’s annual Veterans Day program.

Mike Billingsley, 67, of Rising Sun, Ind., passed away at 1:26 a.m., Thursday, July 24, 2014 at Memorial Hospital in Jasper while vacationing with his family. Mike was born in Milan on June 8, 1947, a son of the late Bertha (Kittenbrink) and Orien “Bud” Billingsley. He was a graduate of Rising Sun High School Class of 1965. Mike served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Mike was the husband of Ronna (Rollins) Billingsley. On April 22, 1967, they were married at the Rising Sun Church of Christ. Mike and Ronna were married 47 years. He worked as a Machinist at Cummins Engine in Columbus, Ind., retiring after 30 years. Mike was a member of the Aurora American Legion, Aurora VFW, Larry D. Fogle Chapter 71 Vietnam Veterans, Aurora Eagles and Aurora Moose Lodge. He enjoyed sprint car and go kart racing, building model cars, woodworking, fishing and doing mower repair for friends and family.

In addition to his loving wife Ronna, Mike is survived by a daughter, Lorie Hayes (Billy), of Rising Sun, Ind.; by grandchildren Will and Megan Hayes; by two sisters, Clara Lou Fredenburgh, of Rising Sun, Ind.; Pam Shiltz, of New Haven, W.V.; by a brother, David Billingsley, of Aurora, Ind.. Mike was preceded in death by his parents and by three brothers; Donald, Edward and Tony Billingsley.

Funeral services were Monday, July 28 at the Markland Funeral Home in Rising Sun. Interment was at Rising Sun New Cemetery with military graveside honors. Memorial donations may be made to the Larry D. Fogle Chapter 71 Vietnam Veterans or the Rising Sun High School Alumni Scholarship.

I didn’t know Joe Franklin personally. His mom Nancy works with me in paginating pages at our Lawrenceburg office.

He died July 23 as a result of surgery complications. I had asked for prayers for the family during Sunday School class where I found out that a mutual friend had worked with him.

It shows us that we are all connected to each other in some way. In these times that connection is spiritual.

We pray for comfort of family and friends.

Joe Franklin, age 43, Harrison, Ohio, passed away Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at Mercy West Hospital.

He was born Sept. 15, 1970, in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and the son of William A. and Nancy (Campbell) Franklin. He married Patti Homer July 28, 2005, in Covington, Ky., and worked for the South Dearborn Regional Sewer District.

Joe is survived by his wife Patti Franklin; his mother Nancy Franklin of Bright, Ind.; children, Joseph Franklin of Bright, Ind., Leanne (Jeff) Blanchet, Liberty Township, Ohio; and Gary Michael Malone of New York City, N.Y. He will also be missed by his grandchildren Morgan, Bradley and Maci Blanchet; siblings, Jeri Beth (Tim) Wyatt of Bright, Ind., and Michael Franklin of Bright, Ind.; nieces, Ashley and Emily Wyatt; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gary and Kay Homer of Harrison, Ohio, and dear friends, Doc Lane of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Kevin (Tina) Denton of Guilford, Ind. In addition to his father, William A. Franklin, he was preceded in death by his buddy, Sparky.

Memorial services were Monday with the Rev. Dr. Harold Shackelford officiating at Jackman Kercheval Meyers Funeral Home, Harrison, Ohio.

Memorials are suggested to the Heart Institute at Mercy West Hospital c/o the funeral home.

Purdue’s yard and garden calendar for August PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:24 AM

SNbSBy Rosie Lerner

Visit the horticultural exhibits at the Indiana State Fair, Aug. 1-17. Bring your gardening questions to the Purdue Master Gardener booth in the DuPont Food Pavilion.

HOME (Indoor plants and activities)

Take cuttings from plants such as impatiens, coleus, geraniums and wax begonias to overwinter indoors. Root the cuttings in media such as moist vermiculite, perlite, peat moss or potting soil, rather than water. Order spring-flowering bulbs for fall planting. Cut flowers from the garden to bring a little color indoors or dry for everlasting arrangements.

YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)

Check trees and shrubs that have been planted in recent years for girdling damage by guy wires, burlap or ropes. Don't fertilize woody plants now. It stimulates late growth that will not have time to harden off properly before winter. Hand-prune and destroy bagworms, fall webworms and tent caterpillars. Pears are best ripened off the tree, so do not wait for the fruit to turn yellowish on the tree. Harvest pears when color of fruit changes - usually from a dark green to a lighter green - and when the fruit is easily twisted and removed from the spur.

Prune out and destroy the raspberry and blackberry canes that bore fruits this year. They will not produce fruit again next year, but they may harbor insect and disease organisms. If weather turns dry, keep newly established plants well watered. New plants should receive 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week to 10 days. Begin seeding new lawns or bare spots in established lawns in mid-August through mid-September.

GARDEN (Flowers, vegetables and small fruits)

Keep the garden well watered during dry weather and free of weeds, insects and disease. Complete fall garden planting by direct-seeding carrots, beets, kohlrabi, kale and snap beans early this month. Lettuce, spinach, radishes and green onions can be planted later in August and early September. Don't forget to thin seedlings to appropriate spacing as needed.

Harvest onions after the tops yellow and fall, then cure them in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area. The necks should be free of moisture when fully cured in about a week's time. Harvest potatoes after the tops yellow and die. Potatoes also need to be cured before storage. Pick beans, tomatoes, peppers and squash often to encourage further production.

Harvest watermelon when several factors indicate ripeness - the underside ground spot turns from whitish to creamy yellow; the tendril closest to the melon turns brown and shrivels; the rind loses its gloss and appears dull; and the melon produces a dull thud, rather than a ringing sound when thumped.

Harvest sweet corn when kernels are plump and ooze a milky juice when punctured with your fingernail. If the liquid is watery, you're too early; if the kernels are doughy, you're too late. Keep faded flowers pinched off bedding plants to promote further flowering and improve plant appearance. Spade or till soil for fall bulb planting, and add a moderate amount of fertilizer.

For more information on this topic or any other, please contact Jill Andrew-Richards, Purdue Cooperative Extension Educator, ANR/4-H Youth Development, 812-438-3656 or jmrichards@purdue.edu Purdue University, Indiana Counties and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Institution.

Backpacks with healthy snacks PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:03 PM

Shannon Franklin

Purdue Extension/Ohio County Health and Human Sciences Educator/4-H Youth Development

It is a proven fact that when kids are hungry, they tend to not perform as well in school. According to the Health Connections Newsletter (Issue 12, Vol. 1, Winter 2014, Dairy Council of California), eating breakfast can lead to higher academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems in youth. With the increasing cost of living and uncertain economic changes, it is sometimes difficult to make a family’s food dollars stretch far enough so that nutritious and adequate food can be provided at all times.

Knowing that this may be a problem for families in our community, the City of Rising Sun, The Ohio County Community Foundation, Ohio County Elementary Middle School, the Ohio County Extension Homemakers and Purdue Extension-Ohio County teamed up during the 2012-2013 school year to provide “Backpacks with Healthy Snacks” for 60 students at Ohio County Elementary Middle School in order to supply a little extra nutrition to keep them growing and learning.

Flash forward to the 2013-2014 school year where students at OCEMS were offered the “Backpacks with Healthy Snacks” program at the beginning of the school year and over 100 families are being given food each week. Each bag consists of items that correlate to USDA’s MyPlate along with recipe flyers that use one of the food items within the bag, along with healthy living tips for parents and an activity page for youth. The bags contain items that are quick and easy for youth to prepare and require little or minimal assistance from an adult. Some of the items that students receive include instant oatmeal, tuna, green beans, canned fruit, breakfast bars and macaroni and cheese.

When asked about the impact of the program at OCEMS, School Nurse Jamie Works replied, “I've had nothing but positive feedback from the parents about this program. It has been really helpful for our community.” Teacher Mary Jo Rowell quoted “Our daily living class has really enjoyed delivering the bags each week. It has been a great job skill for them and they have really enjoyed helping.”

Mayor Branden Roeder says that the program exemplifies how multiple entities can collaborate together to achieve an overall goal. This program is a great way to help local families out in troubled financial times. It has been great to observe the excited children when they receive their bag of nutritious food.

This program takes a multitude of work from many organizations and on behalf of Backpacks with Healthy Snacks a huge thank you goes to the City of Rising Sun and the Ohio County Community Foundation for financing the program, the City of Rising Sun workers who help retrieve and unload the food shipments, the Ohio County Extension Homemakers for packaging the food on a weekly basis, the OCEMS Daily Living Students for handing out the bags and Purdue Extension-Ohio County for creating the informational flyers and healthy living information.

For more information on this topic or any other, please contact Shannon Franklin, Purdue Cooperative Extension Educator, HHS/4-H Youth Development, 812-438-3656 or frankls@purdue.edu Purdue University, Indiana Counties and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Institution.


It's time to raise the minimum wage PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Thursday, April 03, 2014 10:43 AM

by Lane Siekman

Democratic Candidate For Congress,Indiana 6Th District


On March 15, 2013, during consideration of a bill to consolidate job-training programs (H.R. 803), Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that, among other things, would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) voted against this amendment. In January 2014, Rep. Messer said that he was now open to considering a “two-tiered increase” in the nation’s minimum wage, but still no vote has been taken and Speaker Boehner has said he would rather commit suicide than vote for a “clean” increase. It’s very clear that that Mr. Messer and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will not buck their corporate masters on this issue, but it's time to raise the minimum wage. 

In 2007, the federal minimum wage was increased by $2.10 to the current $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage hasn't even come close to keeping up with inflation over the past 40 years. Sadly, 40 percent of Americans make less today than 1968?s minimum wage, as measured in today’s dollars and if the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth since 1968, it would be over $18 an hour today. 

The United States had no minimum wage until 1938, when Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as part of FDR’s New Deal. Before then, employers could pay workers whatever they wanted, and they usually wanted to pay very little. Between 1912 and 1920, 13 states plus the District of Columbia passed minimum wage laws, only to have them struck down by the U. S. Supreme Court because they were “unfair” to workers as it kept them from making low-ball offers. In 1933, congress passed a law that mandated a .25 per hour minimum hourly wage, only to have it struck as well in 1935 (Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States). 

In 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had to fight Republicans, conservative Democrats, the Supreme Court and corporate leaders to pass a lasting minimum wage law. In doing so, He warned “Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, who has been turning his employees over to the Government relief rolls in order to preserve his company’s undistributed reserves, tell you – using his stockholders’ money to pay the postage for his personal opinions - tell you that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.”(1938, Fireside Chat, the night before signing the Fair Labor Standards Act that instituted the federal minimum wage) 

Studies from both conservative and liberal think tanks have recommended raising the minimum wage, and Australia has had positive results from raising theirs but opponents continue to promote two ideas that are antithetical to the economic well-being of American workers. The first idea being that the minimum wage hurts the economy by reducing job creation. The second being that the minimum wage reduces the opportunity for social mobility. These views are being promoted by Billionaire Charles Koch, who believes that the U.S. actually needs to get rid of the minimum wage altogether, which he considers a major obstacle to economic growth. 

But this isn't what we have learned from the example set in Australia and its more than $16 an hour minimum wage which was the only major world economy to avoid the 2009 global recession. Australia also ranks ahead of the United States and its $7.25 an hour minimum wage in terms of social mobility and the opportunity for individuals to climb the social ladder. The United States came in 10th, far below countries like Denmark, which ranked first, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Spain and France. Australia also had no recession like the U.S. and there was not a single quarter in which GDP declined in Australia. 

While raising the minimum wage is ultimately no cure-all for the economy, countries like Australia show that guaranteeing workers a living wage will not result in economic Armageddon. Instead, it highlights how conservatives often revert to scapegoating low-wage workers for America’s economic woes. In the U.S., economic inequality has grown rapidly, and the lagging minimum wage is in large part to blame. Some states have moved to address the growing gap between what people earn and the rising cost of living, but nationally the minimum wage has barely moved in decades. 

In a robust economy, the minimum wage really doesn't mean anything since the demand for labor is high and the market rate will likely exceed the minimum amount set by the government. However when the economy is in a recessionary or stagnant mode, the minimum wage is an important tool in maintaining the crucial relationship between labor and capital. In essence, it becomes a “buyer’s market” for labor and allows market forces to keep the value of labor artificially low. 

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over two-and-a-half years, in three steps of 95 cents each. It will also adjust the minimum wage annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living - a key policy reform known as “indexing,” which 11 states are already using to prevent the minimum wage from falling in value each year and finally it will raise the minimum wage for tipped workers - which has been frozen at a meager $2.13 per hour for more than twenty years - to 70 percent of the full minimum wage. 

An increase does not cost jobs. Research indicates that the higher cost of hiring someone is offset by the stability an employer gets out of it - better paid workers quit less. It would reduce income inequality. Two different studies have shown that raising the minimum wage will help raise the incomes of poor people. Finally It could help the economy. People who make less money tend to spend a bigger portion of it. A 2011 study by the Federal Reserve of Chicago found that for every $1 increase in the minimum wage, the worker's household spends about $2,800 more a year. The Economic Policy Institute has said that raising the minimum wage to just $9.40 by 2014 would increase gross domestic product by $25 billion and create 100,000 new jobs.

The typical minimum wage worker today isn't a teenager but an adult who brings home at least half of the family's income. We must recognize the value of work and reward it. Restoring the minimum wage as a “living wage” not only helps these hard-working Americans raise their standard of living, but it shifts the costs of public assistance from the taxpayers. No one who works full-time in this country should have to live in poverty. It's time to raise the minimum wage.

Extra work pays off in garden PDF Print E-mail
Written by thillman   
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:29 AM

Growing your own garden transplants from seed may take some extra work, but it does have its advantages.

 You'll have a much wider choice of species and cultivars since most garden centers have limited space and tend to carry primarily the plants that sell quickly. Rather than having to buy a dozen of one type of tomato when you only need one or two, you can grow just the amount of each plant you need. Or you can grow five flats of flowers all in the same color for that border garden you've been planning. 

On the other hand, growing plants from seed does present some challenges, including finding enough space with the appropriate environment for healthy plants. They'll need bright light, high humidity, warm - but not hot - temperature and good air circulation. If your space for plant production is limited, plan on buying the more commonly found plants from the garden center, and save the home production space for the special, hard-to-find items you can only obtain as seed.

Start with high-quality, fresh seed; look for the freshness date on the packet. Almost any container can be used for planting, as long as it is clean and allows excess water to drain out the bottom. Use a fine-textured, well-drained media, such as a peat moss-vermiculite mixture. Seeds need high relative humidity for good germination, so place a plastic bag around the container until seedlings are up and growing. Too much humidity also can be a problem, so poke a few holes in the plastic to allow ventilation. 

Transplanting seedling

Be sure to check your seedlings frequently for moisture needs. The planting media should be kept reasonably moist throughout the germination period. Water gently to avoid physically damaging the tender seedlings. Once plants are up and growing, allow the media to dry slightly between waterings.

Most home growers get into trouble after the seeds come up by not supplying the plants with enough light. Low light causes plants to become spindly and weak, so place them in as sunny a location as possible. Use artificial lights, if necessary.

Proper timing is crucial if you want the transplant to be the right size at planting time. Seeds of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant should be started about seven weeks before your outdoor planting date. Pumpkins, melons and squash should be started about four weeks before planting outdoors. Flower seeds will need anywhere from four to 14 weeks, depending on the species. Most seed packets have this type of information on the back.

For more information, see Purdue Extension Bulletin HO-14, Starting Seeds Indoors.


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