You have permission to edit this page.
Edit
A1 A1
News
breaking
Rolling Meadows: Total positive resident COVID-19 cases now 26

As of Tuesday, Rolling Meadows Health and Rehabilitation Center has reported a total of 26 residents as having tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

In addition, the long-term care facility reported one new employee positive case in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of employees there who have tested positive to three.

Requests for comment sent last week in addition to a message left Tuesday with a staff member for Brooke Gibson, executive director, were not immediately returned as of press time.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9 the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) issued its weekly long-term care facility data updates for COVID-19 cases. Unlike Rolling Meadows’ own tally, the ISDH’s newly-issued results were as of Sept. 2. New positive cases and deaths have occurred over a range of dates but were reported to ISDH in the seven days before the last dashboard update.

During the ISDH’s latest update, Rolling Meadows reported 18 new positive resident cases, bringing their total to 21. The facility also reported an additional resident death, bringing their total to five. Despite the figures from Rolling Meadows’ own count, the facility has also reported five positive cases among staff.

Two other long-term care facilities in the county have also reported COVID-19 deaths among their residents, though in both cases those were announced before this latest update.

Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester has a total of fewer than five each of total resident positive cases, resident deaths and staff cases. Timbercrest also did not immediately return requests for comment as of press time.

Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester has a total of eight total resident cases, fewer than five resident deaths and 69 staff positive cases.

Wellbrooke of Wabash also has less than five total staff positive cases. Those were also reported before this week’s update.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Local figures

On Saturday, the ISDH reported nine new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 246.

On Sunday, the ISDH reported three new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 249, with 4,558 tests. The local seven-day positivity rate for all tests was 4.1 percent. The local seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals was 6.5 percent.

On Monday, the ISDH reported two new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 251, with 4,573 tests. The local seven-day positivity rate for all tests was 3.3 percent. The local seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals was 5.3 percent.

On Tuesday, the ISDH reported one new local positive COVID-19 case, bringing Wabash County’s total to 251, with 4,646 tests. (One of the previously reported local positive cases was removed. According to the ISDH, all data displayed is preliminary and subject to change as more information is reported.) The local seven-day positivity rate for all tests was 3.4 percent. The local seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals was 5.6 percent.

The state still reported a total of seven local deaths.

Statewide figures

On Tuesday, the ISDH announced that 758 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the state laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 107,229 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s dashboard.

A total of 3,235 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 20 from the previous day. Another 225 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by the state and occurred over multiple days.

To date, 1,254,731 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 1,247,293 on Monday. A total of 1,756,019 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26.

To find testing sites around the state, visit www.corona virus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.


News
featured
'A beautiful mystery'

During Monday’s Senior Luncheon at the Salamonie Lake Interpretive Center, Master Naturalist April Reed brought along a few friends: Namely, a few monarch butterfly caterpillars.

These particular larvae were the fourth generation of the year.

“This generation would be migrating to Mexico … to overwinter and then they’ll come back starting in the spring. And that will start the next generation all over again,” said Reed.

In March and April, the butterflies will start laying their eggs for the year. In May and June, the second generation will emerge. In July and August, the third generation will come about. Finally, in September and October, the fourth generation will be the ones to migrate to Mexico. From there, the butterflies will live for two to eight months until its time to fly back and start the process over again.

“The winds help push them along because it’s quite a distance,” said Reed.

Monarch butterflies go through four stages of their lifestyle.

During the first stage, monarch butterfly females lay their eggs on the back of milkweed leaves.

Reed said there are small ridges on the eggs, which are about a tenth of an inch long, making them very hard for most people to spot.

“I can spot the eggs really easily,” said Reed. “Once you get to raising them you are able to find them really simply.”

Reed said only two to five will hatch from the hundreds a female lays. Reed said some die naturally, some die from bacterial and viral infections, while others are eaten by predators, some of whom will lay their own eggs.

“Sadly I’ve had the experience of getting excited and then ugly fly larvae come out,” said Reed.

In the second stage, the caterpillar emerge from the egg.

“As it comes out of their egg, you’ll see a black tip coming out,” said Reed. “It’s very tiny, like a pencil dot. It will eat its egg. It’s its first form of nourishment.”

Reed said during this stage of its life, “the little caterpillar just eats and poops and eats and poops some more.”

“One time it was just really quiet in the house and it was just me and my dog. And you could actually hear the poop dropping. And he lifted up his head and he’s like, ‘What is going on?’ … You can actually hear them munching, which is one of the neatest sounds ever. It eats and poops and grows for about two weeks,” said Reed.

Reed said the larvae grow to be about two inches long. The monarch will molt five times during their life cycle. It will molt one last time before going into a chrysalis to begin the third stage of its life.

“Once they shed that they’ll start wiggling around and forming their chrysalis at the same time,” said Reed.

Reed said the caterpillar will begin looking for a place to start the process of metamorphosis, attaching to a stem or leaf to form a chrysalis.

Between 10 and 14 days will then pass before the outside of the chrysalis becomes clear and the monarch emerges to begin its fourth and final stage of life as an adult butterfly.

“There is a rapid change from a caterpillar to sack of goop. No one understands the process. Scientists have never been able to figure out how or why, but it’s a really beautiful mystery,” said Reed.


News
breaking
City Council approves budget on second reading

At Monday’s Wabash City Council meeting, the council members unanimously approved the 2020-2021 budget on its second reading.

On Tuesday, Wendy Frazier, clerk-treasurer, said that there had been no additional changes between the first reading – which was approved at the Monday, Aug. 24 meeting – and the second reading.

Before that, on Wednesday, Aug. 12, the Wabash City Council met to discuss the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year with the various department heads.

During that meeting, Mayor Scott Long said anticipated revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19-related shutdowns weighed heavily on everyone’s minds. Long asked that various department heads make any available cuts in their budgets.

The approved tax rate and levy for the upcoming fiscal year include:

$350,000 for the rainy day fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$9,441,751 for the general fund, with a $5,029,185 adopted tax levy and 1.6849 adopted tax rate.

$912,400 for the fire pension fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$838,300 for the police pension fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$50,000 for the local road and street fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$1,990,323 for the motor vehicle highway fund, with a $1,649,245 adopted tax levy and a .5525 percent adopted tax rate.

$1,593,599 for the emergency ambulance and medical fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$605,440 for the park fund, with a $501,000 adopted tax levy and a .0643 percent adopted tax rate.

$2,995,113 for the sewer fund, with no adopted tax levy or tax rate.

$178,899 for the aviation and airport fund, with a $180,000 adopted tax levy and a .0643 percent adopted tax levy.

In all, the total was $18,955,825 for the adopted budget, $7,359,430 for the adopted tax levy, and 2.4807 percent for the adopted tax levy.

For the home-ruled funds, which are not reviewed by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF), the council approved:

$801,945 for the public safety fund Local Option Income Taxes (LOIT) adopted budget.

$15,000 for the local law enforcement fund.

Frazier said Oct. 12 is the deadline to post the notice to taxpayers on Gateway. Oct. 22 is the last possible day for taxing units to hold public hearing. Nov. 2 is the deadline for all taxing units to adopt 2021 budgets, tax rates and tax levies. Nov. 9 is the last day for units to submit 2021 budgets, tax rates and levies on Gateway.


News
breaking
WCS presents the budget to Wabash City Council

At Monday’s Wabash City Council meeting, Matt Stone, business manager for Wabash City Schools (WCS), presented their 2020-2021 budget.

The estimated school operations maximum levy was $1,890,689 and the property tax cap credit estimate was $553,570.

The debt service budget estimate was $1,667,000. The maximum estimated funds to be raised (including appeals and levies exempt from maximum levy limitations) was $2,192,910. The current tax levy was $1,395,188. The levy percentage difference was 57.18 percent.

The education budget estimate was $9,865,250.

The operations budget estimate was $3,555,906. The maximum estimated funds to be raised (including appeals and levies exempt from maximum levy limitations) was $1,890,689. The excessive levy appeals were $70,108. The current tax levy was $1,606,983. The levy percentage difference was 17.65 percent.

In all, the total budget estimate was $15,088,156. The total maximum estimated funds to be raised (including appeals and levies exempt from maximum levy limitations) was $4,083,599. The total excessive levy appeals were $70,108. The total current tax levy was $3,002,171.

Stone said the amount of money they receive each year from the state was based upon the number of enrolled students. Stone said he based the budget numbers on having 1,475 students.

“It looks like we’re going to have within five of that. So, I got really lucky actually, because that’s a crapshoot guessing how many kids you’re going to have. We ended last spring before COVID hit at 1,477 that’s why I projected that,” said Stone.

Stone said the operations budget was where shortfalls occurred in the past because they were reverted to the levy from the year before. Stone said they now got to go back to the max levy.

Stone said the trouble was in the $553,570 property tax cap credit

“Which is huge for a school corporation of our size. There’s not very many schools that get hit like we do. Just as a point of reference, MSD and Manchester (Community Schools) will lose less than $100,000,” said Stone.

Stone said this shortfall would have to come out of the operations budget.

“We’ve got to scramble, figure out how to save it. People ask me how we do that. We haven’t replaced any flooring in our school corporation in 10 years. Because it looks OK and if you don’t have the money to replace it, what do you do, right? We’re way behind on where we’re supposed to be on replacing carpet and replacing stuff in our offices and the library and the elementary classrooms,” said Stone.

Stone said they had no choice but to pay for line items like custodians, utilities and insurance.

“It’s really that capital kind of stuff like building improvements, and carpeting and roofs,” said Stone. “We didn’t cut any positions.”

Monday’s presentation was the official public hearing date. The adoption date has been set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Wabash City Hall.