All posts by Kevin Kelley

Warning on Covid-19 Related Scams

There is another warning about Coronavirus-related scams in Indiana.

The state’s Department of Health has warned that their contact tracers will not send you a link to submit any personal information.

Real contact tracers will only give you a phone call.

The state says texts or emails with links are most likely phishing scams designed to steal your personal information.

Green Light to Reopen Gyms & Pools Across Indiana

Gyms, pools, rec sports leagues, and a lot more places across most of Indiana can reopen today.

Governor Eric Holcomb said everywhere but Lake, Marion, and Cass counties will move to Stage Three as of today.

In addition to the new openings, Stage Three means bars and restaurants can open to more customers.

Social distancing and common courtesy are still in effect when it comes to hand washing and wearing masks.

Indianapolis and the rest of Marion County are set to jump to Stage Three on June 1st.

Covid-19 Takes a Toll on Hoosier Workers

More Hoosiers are out of work because of the Coronavirus.

30,311 people filed for unemployment in Indiana last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That’s up from the adjusted total of 29,668 from the previous week, a change of 643.

About 670,000 Hoosiers have filed for unemployment over the last nine weeks.

The Dept. of Labor says 2.4 million people across the U.S. filed for unemployment last week.

CDC Guidelines for Schools to Reopen

The CDC has released new guidelines on how schools can plan to reopen for the upcoming school year while also being mindful of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The agency is broad in its guidelines separating them into low-risk, moderate-risk, and high-risk recommendations for reopening schools. Within these guidelines they talk about promoting “behaviors that reduce spread” from how to serve food to students, keeping classrooms clean, teachers wearing personal protective equipment, etc. They also give recommendations on what to do in the event a student or teacher contracts Coronavirus during the school year.

Dr. Sarah Stelzner, a pediatrician, told Dan Dakich on 107.5 The Fan she feels schools should be able to open to in-person classes later this year. She recommends starting earlier in the summer than schools normally do.

Stelzner also said that closing at Thanksgiving would make sense due to that being the time when we know, there are lots of flu and that there are fears that COVID could possibly have a second wave.

The CDC is careful to clarify in their recommendations that their guidelines DO NOT replace state and county mandates on reopening schools. They say schools must comply with whatever state education leaders and local governments say.

Indiana to Receive Money for Covid-19 Testing

U.S. Congressman Greg Pence announced today that the state of Indiana will receive $3,907,452 from the Department of Health and Human Services.

These funds will support increased COVID-19 testing at rural health clinics in Indiana’s Sixth District and statewide.

This funding comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which specifically directed these monies to be allocated to Rural Health Clinics.

North Vernon Man Arrested for Murder

A North Vernon man has been arrested for murder.

Brian Kirby, 52, has been missing from Jennings County since March. Now, two months later, police confirm: he was murdered by Alan Joseph Marantos, 34.

The joint investigation by the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police began on March 28, 2020, when Kirby was reported missing. Kirby was last seen alive at his home on Primshire Court on March 27, 2020.

The investigation revealed Marantos attacked Kirby at his home. Marantos then loaded Kirby’s body in his car and left. Later, Marantos burned Kirby’s body and scattered his remains all over Jennings County.

Alan Marantos has been incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail since April 2, 2020 when he was arrested on a Jackson County warrant for Robbery.

He will soon face an initial appearance in the Jennings County Circuit Court.

Latest Indiana Covid-19 Update

According to the most recent update from the Indiana State Department of Health, there are 29,936 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indiana, an increase of 676 cases since Yesterday’s report.

There have been 1,764 deaths in Indiana as of this update, an increase of 48 deaths from Yesterday’s numbers.

Bartholomew County has 452 confirmed cases, an increase of 4 since yesterday’s update. There have been 33 deaths from COVID-19 in Bartholomew County.

In other area counties, Decatur County has had 220 cases and 31 deaths, Jennings 121 cases and 4 deaths, Jackson 345 cases and 1 death, Brown 32 cases and 1 death, Johnson 1049 cases and 102 deaths, Shelby 303 cases and 20 deaths.

Indy Looking to Bounce Back

The Coronavirus has posed plenty of challenges to the City of Indianapolis, but it can recover and has a lot going for it. That was the message from Chris Gahl, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications of Visit Indy.

Gahl spoke to 93 WIBC’s Tony Katz Wednesday morning. He said there’s been very little to no activity at the Indiana Convention Center since the pandemic really became a problem in mid-March.

He also said that when conventions start to come back, research shows people will want to drive and be in control of their own “travel destiny,” which favors Indianapolis.

GenCon was supposed to happen July 30th – August 2nd, but was canceled because of the Coronavirus.

Gen Con has been rescheduled for August 5-8, 2021 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Gahl anticipates conventions will probably start coming back around September or October, provided that there are no Coronavirus setbacks.

Indiana JC Penney Stores to Re-Open

JCPenney announced this week it is closing more than a fourth of its stores across the country for good, as part of its bankruptcy.

However, some stores in Indiana are re-opening, after shutting down in March because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to Inside Indiana Business, seven JCPenney locations across the Hoosier state are re-opening Wednesday among them are stores in :

-Jackson Park in Seymour

-Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood

-Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville

JCPenney is putting new safety precautions and guidelines in their stores, like having employees wear masks, signs reminding customers about social distancing, contactless checkout, and curbside pickup.

 

Senator Mike Braun on Covid-19 Response

Indiana Senator Mike Braun says Coronavirus lockdowns were too strict from the beginning, but he says his home state is an exception.

Braun (R) criticizes what he calls one-size-fits-all stay-home orders, and argues the distinction between essential and nonessential businesses didn’t make sense.

Indiana did both those things for six weeks before allowing nonessential businesses to reopen May 4th in all but three counties. Some businesses, including gyms, movie theaters and bars, remain closed. But Braun says Indiana responded the right way. He says Governor Holcomb has been attentive to limiting “economic carnage” from the pandemic. Braun says instead of ordering shops considered nonessential to close, governors could have let any business stay open as long as they could enforce social-distancing limits, take hygiene precautions, and protect senior citizens and other customers in high-risk groups.

Braun criticizes the fact that people are attacking President Trump’s handling of the pandemic when there were problems with handling scenarios like this before the pandemic heated up.

In spite of that, Braun says the administration has “met the challenge” posed by the pandemic, addressing feared shortages of masks, ventilators and intensive care beds.