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Donnelly Introduces the Military Reserve Jobs Act of 2013

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Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill that would give qualified members of the Reserve Components, such as a member who has successfully completed basic training and incurred a commitment to six consecutive years of service, tiered preference in hiring for civil service jobs.  The Military Reserve Jobs Act of 2013, S. 1320, would help promote the hiring of Reserve Component members into the federal workforce.
“Members of our Reserve Components serve honorably, whether or not they are called for deployment,” said Donnelly. “Yet currently, some members of the Reserve Components cannot qualify to access preference points when applying for federal employment. They have already demonstrated their commitment to public service by joining the Reserve Components, and it is important that we support their pursuit of federal employment opportunities.  This approach balances the respect for veterans who qualify for a 5-point preference with recognizing the contributions of Guard members and Reservists.”
“It is our patriotic duty to ensure our men and women in uniform receive the benefits and recognition they deserve for their sacrifices to defend our nation's freedom,” said Senator Cruz.  “I am proud to cosponsor Sen. Donnelly's bill, which recognizes the invaluable contributions our military reserves and National Guard make to our national security through this overdue reform of hiring preferences by the federal government.”
“I believe that if someone wears the uniform for our country, they should be given preference in federal hiring decisions,” said Senator Leahy, co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus and a senior member of the Senate’s defense appropriations subcommittee. “For our currently serving reservists, I think federal employment gives them a great opportunity to find a stable position in the workforce that allows them to drill, train, and deploy with their reserve unit when called to duty. In other words, I see this bill as a win for military readiness.”
Members of the Reserve Components do not qualify for veterans’ preference if they have only served in a training capacity and have never been deployed.  The National Guard Bureau estimates that approximately 159,400 Army National Guard soldiers (44 percent of the total force) and 73,700 Air National Guard airmen (70 percent of the total force) serve without having qualified for veterans’ preference. 
The Military Reserve Jobs Act would close the gap for Reserve Component members who may not qualify for veterans’ preference points and would promote hiring of Reserve Component members into the federal workforce.  The bill would implement a tiered “Military Reserve” hiring preference for members of the Reserve Components who do not otherwise qualify for preference under existing laws.  Under the bill, a qualified member of the reserve component would be able to claim a 3-point, 4-point, or 5-point preference depending on their length of service.
Congressman Tim Walz (MN-1) is introducing a bill with similar provisions in the House of Representatives.

The tiered system in the legislation would work as follows:
Tier I
A member of the reserve component may claim a 3-point Military Reserve preference when they have met each of the following requirements:
1.      Successfully completed basic military training or officer candidate training
2.      Has incurred a 6-year commitment with a reserve component
Tier II
A member of the reserve component may claim a 4-point Military Reserve preference when they have met each of the following requirements:
1.      Has completed 10-years of satisfactory service (earned a minimum of 50 retirement points per year) with a reserve component
2.      Continues to serve within a reserve component
Tier III
A Reserve Component member who retires after 20 or more years of service, but is not yet receiving a retirement annuity, may claim a 5-point Military Reserve preference.
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Fit Friday Event Canceled Due to Heat

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The Valpo Parks Department and Porter Regional Hospital are canceling the “Fit Friday” event originally scheduled for noon at Central Park Plaza on Friday, July 19th.  The yoga session will not be held due to the high temperatures and potentially dangerous heat index predicted for the day.   The next Porter Regional Hospital Fit Friday event is scheduled for Friday August 2nd at noon at Central Park Plaza, and will feature basic Tai Chi instruction.  For questions or information regarding Porter Regional Hospital Fit Fridays, contact Christy Graf at 462.5144.
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Update: Man Killed, Another Injured by Gunfire

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Gary PD
In Gary, police are investigating a shooting death overnight, the seventh homicide in the city, and sixth fatal shooting, since the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The Lake County Coroners office reports 27-year-old Christopher Hughes of Gary sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead in the 19-hundred block of Connecticut Street at 3:30 this morning. Public Information Officer Corporal Gabrielle King says at about 2:15 am officers were dispatched in reference to shots fired, and found the victim dead on the stairs in front of a residence. While still on scene, officers learned there was another shooting victim, a man who ran toward Broadway while being shot at.  Police say that man flagged down an unknown vehicle on Broadway, and the driver, who was not known to the victim, stopped to help him.  Police say that vehicle was hit by gunfire as it drove away, and the house the men were in front of was also damaged by gunfire  Authorities say Gary Police Corporal Ed Gonzalez is the lead investigator assigned to this case and may be reached at 219-881-7300, ext. 3017.

Gary officials have reportedly asked the Governor for assistance from Indiana State Police to combat the recent surge in violent crime. This morning's shooting death marks the 29th homicide in the city this year. Last year, Gary had a total of 43 homicides.
In October 1995, then-Governor Evan Bayh deployed fifty state troopers to Gary, in response to a request from then-Mayor Thomas Barnes to fight the city's rising murder toll. There were more than 130 homicides recorded in the city that year.
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Sheen Seen Again at Porter Beach

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Another sheen was reported on the waters of Lake Michigan's Porter Beach Wednesday afternoon. It's not known yet if yesterday's sheen was the same as a silvery, sticky substance spotted one month ago, to the day, off the the shoreline of the same northwest Indiana beach. On June 17, officials evacuated people from the water. Yesterday swimmers were reportedly not asked to leave. Officials say a preliminary lab analysis of the glittery sheen last month indicated the presence of a food additive, tricalcium orthophosphate, a common anti-caking agent.
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Red Skelton Museum Opens in Indiana

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Skelton Museum 5 27 13 WinCE
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy opens in Vincennes today...  the 100th anniversary of the funnyman's birth. Fans from around the nation are coming to Indiana for the event. The exhibits feature memorabilia donated by Red's widow including costumes and two-hundred original Skelton paintings.  The "Red Skelton Show" was broadcast on television from 1951 to 1971 - the second longest entertainment program in network television history - and earned Skelton three Emmy Awards. A prolific artist, writer, musical composer, and movie actor who performed to sell-out stage audiences nationwide, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Skelton its Governor's Award for lifetime achievement in 1986. The Vincennes native passed away in 1997 at the age of 84.
More info from Vincennes University:
VINCENNES, Ind. - Red Skelton fans from throughout the nation are coming to Vincennes on July 18 for the Grand Opening Celebration of the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy. The celebration and show comes on the 100th anniversary of Red's birthplace, within sight of the Museum and adjoining Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, at Vincennes University.
"Reservations have come in from people in 12 states including California, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Washington, Alabama. It proves once again that Red Skelton touched the lives of people throughout the nation through his 70 years in show business - a remarkable career that started right here in Vincennes," said Dr. Phillip M. Summers, chair of the Red Skelton Museum Foundation Board.
One of Red's close friends and fellow performers Jamie Farr, of "M*A*S*H" television show fame, is coming to Vincennes for the celebration. He will be joined on stage for a 7:30 p.m. "Birthday Celebration" show by Red Skelton impersonator Tom Mullica, musical guests Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner, Red’s widow Lothian Skelton, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
A fan of Skelton's radio show as a youngster, Farr credits Skelton with giving him his start in television. Farr was a regular on "The Red Skelton Show" for two seasons, one of America's top-rated and longest-running television shows. An accomplished television and Broadway actor, best known for his role as Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H, Farr calls Skelton one his "all-time heroes."
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy will feature Skelton memorabilia donated by Lothian Skelton valued at more than $4.5 million, including original costumes and 200 original Skelton paintings.
The interactive exhibits include Skelton's famous characters, a biographical film in the museum theatre, a timeline of his life, and Red’s famous interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Plans are already underway to continue to expand the Museum with exhibits of Skelton's career in Vaudeville, radio, television and the movies.
Even before it opens, the Skelton Museum is attracting national attention.
The Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor has announced it has selected Vincennes for its 2014 National Conference because of the Skelton Museum. The conference is expected to bring 200 to 300 professionals to the southern Indiana community.
The "Red Skelton Show" was broadcast on television from 1951 to 1971 - the second longest entertainment program in network television history - and earned Skelton three Emmy Awards. A prolific artist, writer, musical composer, and movie actor who performed to sell-out stage audiences nationwide, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Skelton its Governor's Award for lifetime achievement in 1986.
GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION
The Grand Opening Celebration will include:
3:30 PM News Conference
5:30 PM Special Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
6:00 PM Museum opens for tours until 10:00 PM (except during the show).
6:00 PM-VIP ticket holder Cocktail reception with Lothian Skelton that includes appetizers and wine
7:00 PM Theatre doors open for seating.
7:30 PM- Birthday Celebration show begins in the Red Skelton Theatre, featuring actor Jamie Farr, Red Skelton impersonator Tom Mullica, musical guests Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner, and Lothian Skelton
8:30 PM- Dessert reception on the outside circle patio
8:30 PM- Museum tours continue until 10:00 PM
There are three ticket prices:
$100 - VIP includes reception, commemorative pin, premier seating, dessert reception after the show, and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening
$50 – Patron includes commemorative pin, priority seating, dessert reception after the show, and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening
$30 – General Admission includes general seating, dessert reception after the show, and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening
The Grand Opening weekend also includes a Senior Day on July 19 with free entrance to the Museum for anyone over 60 years of age. The day will include the opportunity to be part of a video blog of "Red Skelton Stories" that will be added to the collection.
July 20 will be Family Day with free entrance for persons 18 and under when accompanied by a parent. There will be special hands-on activities about comedy, humor and laughter.
For more information call 812-888-2105, or visit the web site www.redskeltonmuseum.org
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Shooting Death in Gary Overnight

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Gary PD
In Gary, police are investigating a shooting death overnight. It's the seventh homicide in the city, and sixth fatal shooting, since the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The Lake County Coroners office reports 27-year-old Christopher Hughes of Gary sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead in the 19-hundred block of Connecticut Street at 3:30 this morning. Gary officials have reportedly asked the Governor for assistance from Indiana State Police to combat the recent surge in violent crime. This morning's shooting death marks the 29th homicide in the city this year. Last year, Gary had a total of 43 homicides.
In October 1995, then-Governor Evan Bayh deployed fifty state troopers to Gary, in response to a request from then-Mayor Thomas Barnes to fight the city's rising murder toll. There were more than 130 homicides recorded in the city that year.
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Times Media Names New Publisher

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The Times Media Company has a new publisher. 46-year-old Chris White was introduced to staffers at The Times newspaper offices in Munster, Crown Point and Valparaiso Wednesday. White was most recently the regional publisher for Gatehouse Media in Ohio.
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La Porte Mayor Staying

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La Porte Mayor Staying
The mayor of La Porte has asked Governor Mike Pence to take her name off a list of candidates for state auditor, a position that opens up next week when Tim Berry is expected to formally be named chair of the state Republican party. Mayor Blair Milo has released a statement saying she was invited by the Governor's office to meet with Pence for what was described as a potential opportunity. Milo says she met with Governor Pence and Chief of Staff Bill Smith this past Monday regarding the Governors upcoming appointment to the position of State Auditor. Milo said she was very honored to be considered, and that it was a very difficult decision, but she looks forward to “continuing to support Governor Pence and the Indiana team by leading the La Porte contingent.”
Statement released by Mayor Blair Milo:
Mayor Milo to remain in office
Following the announcement of Governor Mike Pence’s selection of State Auditor Tim Berry as his recommendation for selection as Chairman of the Republican Party, Mayor Blair Milo was contacted by leaders within the Republican Party to participate in the possible selection process for State Auditor. Late last week Mayor Milo was invited by Governor Pence’s office to meet with the Governor for what was described as a potential opportunity. Milo met with Governor Pence and Chief of Staff Bill Smith on Monday, July 15, 2013 and had a very positive meeting regarding the Governors upcoming appointment to the position of State Auditor.
Mayor Blair Milo stated, “After a great deal of thought and prayer, I have notified Governor Pence that I am extremely honored to have been under consideration for the position of State Auditor, but I feel that my commitment to serve the people of La Porte in the best manner possible is met by remaining in my capacity as Mayor at this time. Our community team of the City department heads and employees as well as leaders of local businesses, non-profits, service organizations, faith-based organizations and many others has made great strides in the last year and a half and I am dedicated to ensuring we are able to see through many of the pivotal projects we are currently addressing. The next State Auditor will have great opportunities to not only continue the outstanding work of State Auditor Tim Berry, but closely participate in the many exciting efforts that Governor Mike Pence is leading, taking Indiana from good to great. This was a very difficult decision for me, but I look forward to continuing to support Governor Pence and the Indiana team by leading the La Porte contingent.”
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Two Arrests in Mailbox Vandalism

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Police have reportedly arrested two 14-year-old boys in connection with damaging mailboxes late Tuesday night on the east side of Valparaiso, in the 1300 block of Peachtree Drive, 2000 and 2100 blocks of McCord Road and 1600 block of Boca Lago Drive. Police say they continue to investigate five explosive devices discovered outside homes over the weekend involving plastic bottles containing common household substances that cause a reaction, resulting in the devices exploding.  Those devices were located in the 1500 block of Boca Lago Drive, 2900 block of Prentiss Drive, 3600 block of Goodrich Road and the 1350 block of Jade Boulevard.
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No Backpacks, Lg Bags or Coolers Allowed at Porter Co Fair

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porter co sheriff dept
The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports in light of recent events locally and nationally, no backpacks, large bags, or coolers will be allowed at the Porter County Fair. Public Information Officer, Sgt. Larry LaFlower says any bags brought into the fair will be subject to a search, but women's purses will be fine to bring in. Sgt. LaFlower also wants remind those attending the Hunter Hayes concert to please arrive early, as a large sold-out crowd is expected to help kick-off the first day of fair.
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Back to School Supply and Food Drive Campaign

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First Trust Credit Union’s Valparaiso Branch is proud to announce a Back To School Supply and Food Drive Campaign to benefit Valparaiso’s Hilltop Neighborhood House and the Village Food Pantry. In this tough economic time many of our local families are struggling to make ends meet, whether it’s putting food on the table for their families, or purchasing back to school supplies for their children. Unfortunately the need exists right here in VALPARAISO, where over (400) families per month apply for food vouchers at our local Village Food Pantry. In order to fulfill the needs of so many families, First Trust Credit Union is inviting its members and the community to make a monetary donation, donate non-perishable food items, or donate school supplies, at their Valparaiso office at 1404 E. Lincolnway beginning July 22nd through August 16th. For more information call First Trust Credit Union’s Valparaiso branch at (219) 462-7805, or Michelle Bowen at Hilltop Neighborhood House at (219) 477-4222 ext. 250. Help First Trust make a difference in our community.
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CR 50 West Closed Thursday for Asphalt Paving in Porter Co

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Traffic-Advisory
Traffic will be restricted to local residents only tomorrow, July 18th, on part of County Road 50 West in Porter County for asphalt paving. The Porter County Highway Department reports work will take place on County Road 50 West, from the Toll Road to County Road 1050 North, from 6am to 4:30pm.
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Former Porter County Assessor Passes Away

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Former Porter County Assessor Passes Away
JOHN R. SCOTT, age 81, a longtime Portage resident, passed away Monday, July 15, 2013.

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder and his staff extends their condolences to the family of former Porter County Assessor John Scott said that Scott devoted much of his life to public service, "Mr. Scott was more than happy to assist me with the transition from one assessor to the next."  Snyder said Scott taught him some things, "some of the things I learned I still hold to today.  I have a lot of respect for him."  The county's current assessor also said that for more than 20 years, Scott served as Portage Township Assessor before becoming the county assessor for four years, "that is something that should be applauded," said Snyder. 

   
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Pruzin Brothers Funeral Service at 2700 Willocreek Rd., Portage.  Where according to their website, family and friends may call on Friday, July 19, 2013 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Rosary and parish rosary at 6:00 p.m. and Legion service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral service will be Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. DIRECTLY from Nativity of Our Savior Catholic, 2949 Willowcreek Rd., Portage with Rev. Andrew Corona officiating. There will be one half-hour of visitation at church prior to service. At rest Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville. Memorials preferred to Nativity of Our Savior, Bishop Carl Mengeling Endowment Fund.

(photo from Pruzin Brothers Funeral Service website)


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Another Sheen Reported Near Porter Beach

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Another sheen was reported on Lake Michigan this afternoon, in the same area where one was reported a month ago to the day. The Times reports the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is aware of the situation, and that employees were at Porter Beach collecting samples. According to the article, swimmers were reportedly not asked to leave the water with this incident and no further information is available at this time.
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Restrictions Thursday on Morgan Blvd and Lafayette in Valpo

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Traffic-Advisory
The City of Valparaiso reports that tomorrow, July 18th, road restrictions will be in place on parts of Morgan Boulevard and Lafayette Street for road painting. Officials report restrictions will take place on Morgan, from Lincolnway to Bush, and on Lafayette, from Monroe to Indiana, from 7am to 5pm, with two-way traffic being maintained.
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Pence Commends Responders in Rescue of Boy at Mt. Baldy

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Gov Mike Pence
INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Mike Pence today issued the following statement commending the first responders and rescuers for their efforts to save the life of a young Illinois boy who was trapped under eleven feet of sand for more than three hours last Friday. The child is currently recovering at a Chicago hospital.
“As I told Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer yesterday, I  express my deepest admiration and utmost gratitude for the Michigan City first responders and all others involved whose efforts were paramount to the rescue of young Nathan Woessner last week.
“They include the Michigan City Police and Fire Departments, Fire Chief Ronnie Martin, Firefighter Brad Kreighbaum, the LaPorte County EMS, St. Anthony Health in Michigan City, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park Rangers, including Bruce Rowe, the University of Chicago Medical Center and Comer’s Children’s Hospital, including Dr. Tracy Koogler and fellow doctors, D&M Excavators, Woodruff & Son Excavators, NIPSCO, the Red Cross, LaPorte Deputy Coroner Mark Huffman, volunteer firefighter Ryan Miller, local lifeguards and volunteers. Their courage, commitment and persistence epitomize the character of our great state and illustrate for the world the quality and compassion of Hoosiers.
“As the young boy’s father said to me, ‘This is everyone’s miracle.’ I wholeheartedly agree and commend these brave men and women for their swift work in bringing this young boy to safety and improved health.”
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LaPorte PD Wanted Person of the Week Krystal Gutierrez

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Krystal Gutierrez
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Dept)
A 28 year old woman is the LaPorte Police Department's Wanted Person of the Week. LaPorte Police report Krystal Gutierrez is currently wanted through LaPorte Circuit Court for revocation of suspended sentence for an original charge of battery. Gutierrez is described as a black female, 5'05”, weighing 150-pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding the immediate whereabouts of Krystal Gutierrez is asked to call 9-1-1.
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US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Jaime Burgess

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Jaime Burgess
(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A member of the Gangster Disciples Street Gang, with an extensive violent criminal history, is this week's US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Task Force, Fugitive of the Week. 31 year old Jaime Burgess is wanted in Lake County Court for attempted murder, burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, burglary, and burglary while armed. Authorities report Burgess is described as a black male, 5'06”, weighing 180-pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, who was last known to reside in the 25-hundred block of Harrison Street, in Gary.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jamie Burgess may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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Campbell Street Closed to Fix Water Line

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Traffic-Alert
Valparaiso officials say an emergency closure of Campbell Street in Valparaiso is in effect between Chestnut and Chicago Streets after a contractor cut a water service line.  The closure is expected to last about four hours.
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Ind Dept of Labor Warns of Heat Hazards

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The Indiana Department of Labor has sent out an advisory concerning hot and humid working conditions. With the Hoosier state experiencing extreme temperatures and high levels of humidity, the two primary elements of heat illness, officials say heat illness can be a matter of life and death. Employees working in high temperatures and humid conditions, outdoors or indoors, are at risk. State officials say employers must ensure that employees are protected. Heat-related illness, the department says,  is 100 percent preventable.
Information from the Indiana Department of Labor:
The Indiana Department of Labor and federal OSHA warn employers and employees about the hazards of working in the heat.
There are three vital components to reducing the likelihood of heat-related illnesses:
1. Water: A worker should not depend on thirst to signal when and how much fluid to drink. In fact, most individuals exposed to hot conditions drink fewer fluids than needed because of an insufficient thirst drive. Instead, workers should drink five to seven ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish necessary fluids. That is approximately one bottle of water per hour.
2. Rest: Regular rest breaks aid workers in hot environments, whether the heat exposure is outdoors or indoors.
3. Shade: When work is performed outdoors, another important step to reducing heat illness is to provide shaded break areas. Shaded areas give workers necessary relief from the sun.
Employers and employees are strongly encouraged to learn about heat-related illnesses and take necessary precautions for prevention. To learn more about heat stress, please visit OSHA’s heat illness page, located here: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html
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