Commissioners receive HIV/Hep C update from Indiana State Health Department PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 10 November 2017 11:36

 

 

Dennis Stover had some interesting statistics to report to Scott County commissioners at their meeting on Wednesday, November 1.

Stover serves as director of HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis efforts for the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), and he’s been keeping a close eye on what is being accomplished by the local Health Department and other agencies fighting the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and Hepatitis C outbreaks in Scott County. Each quarter since the start of the first major rural outbreak of the diseases in 2015, IDHD officials have visited Commissioners on a quarterly basis to keep them abreast of the situation.

Stover said he’s been impressed with local reports. “You’re seeing fewer people with abcesses coming to your (hospital) emergency room, and your reports of heart disease are reduced as well. Those are all good signs that individuals are getting better care,” Stover started off.

The state director said a lack of positive returns on HIV tests performed at Scott Memorial is another good sign. “You have experienced no ‘spikes’ in the number of new cases. Right now, you’re getting one to two over two months or so and three ‘positives’ per month as an average. These figures show the effectiveness of local programs in place to help them,” Stover related.

A part of those programs is the syringe exchange program in place. “People are scared of exchanges until they actually see their effectiveness in slowing the spread of HIV,” the director stated. “It’s working,” he told Commissioners Kelley Robbins, Bob Tobias and Mike Jones.

He said he was also pleased to see the new program for women recovering from drug use at Englishton Park. patients there are referred by other agencies or doctors. Fayette County also has beds in its detox/treatment facility for Scott County women, he advised. “What the ISHD is doing is planting ‘seeds’ around the state to curb and stem the tide of drug abuse,” Stover explained. Cooperation between counties is essential in recovering from the tide of drug abuse.

He commended local Health Department staff for their continued efforts in working with HIV-positive people and their families through the One-Stop Shop that operates each Wednesday in Austin. The modular unit just east of the shop building will soon be open to help the community even more in its recovery from the 2015 outbreak.

ISHD has received a $26 million federal grant, all of which will be used for HIV primary care in Indiana, Stover said. “We also continue to work closely with your Sheriff (Dan McClain) and the programs at your county jail. Sheriff McClain has been a tremendous help,” he advised.

Inclosing, Stover said he wanted to thank the Commissioners for their support. “I understand that you have filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers, so we hope that some dollars from that suit will be coming your way as well,” he said.

Stover agreed with Commissioner Robbins when Robbins pointed out that some doctors have over-prescribed pain killers, which brought the drug situation to a crisis level, as recognized by President Donald Trump recently.

“Those doctors need to take more time with their patients to learn how to effectively treat pain issues. Of course, we’ve learned dentists are some of our worst offenders,” Stover related.

He said he applauded local officials in doing what they can in the fight to bring Scott County back to normalcy. “We drove through a couple of neighborhoods before coming to this meeting, and I was pleased to see the areas in much better shape,” he said.

Robbins also pressed the ISHD official for more money to address mental health issues, an area he said that “…has been neglected for a long time.” Stover paused and told the Commissioners, “We have become very positive thinkers as far as mental health dollars go. We hope to see more improvement going forward.”

Commissioner Tobias asked how many HIV-positive individuals are in Scott County presently. That number is 227, Stover said. “We have 45 of those that are not virally suppressed, but we know the more your local people work with them, the better chance we have of getting them into a medical program that can suppress the HIV and give them a better life,” Stover stated.

A total of 17 people known to be HIV-positive have died since the 2015 outbreak, Stover went on. “Those deaths are not necessarily from HIV or AIDS, but anyone with a immunodeficiency condition is prone to other diseases which can claim their lives,” he explained. Overdose victims are coming from non-HIV residents, it was learned.

Commissioner Jones is a First Responder and has been on many medical calls where Narcan has been administered to overdose victims, which has revived them. “I’ve been on dozens of runs and I’ve never once heard anyone say he or she will never OD (overdose) again, that they’re through with drugs,” he told Stover. “It’s like Narcan is a temporary bandage that you can give them, but it’s not going to solve the problem.”

Jones said he’d like to see more legal action taken against those who overdose. “We know they’re using illegal drugs, so they should be charged,” he contended.

Stover said those who use such drugs have altered their thinking so much that “…they really don’t think like we do. They don’t see those consequences. And it takes about ten months of being off drugs before they get back to even a little bit like they were before. That’s why we have to keep working on the problem, so more don’t become addicted,” Stover concluded.

 
Sheriff McClain Warns Drivers of Increased Traffic Enforcement Through Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Friday, 10 November 2017 11:28

 

 

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Scottsburg City Police warn drivers of increased traffic enforcement through Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans will travel our nation’s highways this Thanksgiving holiday to visit family and friends. With more vehicles on the road, the chances of being involved in a crash increase greatly.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Scottsburg City Police are joining more than 230 local law-enforcement agencies across the state to spot violations to Indiana’s seat belt and impaired driving laws. Through the weekend after Thanksgiving, expect to see an increase in random patrols, saturation patrols and checkpoints. This overtime enforcement is supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

“Why are we advertising this enforcement blitz? To give drivers and their passengers fair warning and to make our roads as safe as possible,” said Sheriff Dan McClain. “Our officers live in the communities we serve and will be thankful this holiday if impaired-driving and unbuckled deaths never strike again.”

New Portable Breath Tests

NHTSA and ICJI recently announced delivery of 1,759 portable breath tests to assist 150 Indiana law-enforcement agencies in establishing probable cause when arresting drunk drivers.

The Alco-Sensor FSTs mouthpieces and gas canisters used to calibrate the readings were purchased with just over $750,000 in federal impaired-driving funds. The new devices include passive sniffers that can sense alcohol in the air around a person or an open container. Over the coming year, an additional $310,000 is budgeted to purchase 725 portable breath tests for Indiana State Police posts.

More information and list of recipient agencies is at www.in.gov/cji/files/Highway_Safety_PBT_release.pdf .

It’s the law

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.

Indiana has a primary seat-belt law, meaning that police officers may ticket unrestrained drivers or passengers, even if no other traffic violation has taken place. In addition, all passengers under age 8 must be in an approved car seat or booster seat.

For more information about impaired driving visit: http://on.IN.gov/drivesober and for more information about seat belts visit http://on.IN.gov/buckleup .

Seat belt tips

The ICJI and Purdue University Center for Road Safety estimate that about 93 percent of Hoosiers buckle up. But the small amount of drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts made up more than half of Indiana’s fatal crashes in 2016. Below are tips for proper seat-belt use:

• Secure the lap belt across your hips and pelvis, below your stomach.

• Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and rib cage, away from your neck.

Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

• If your seat belt doesn’t fit you, or you have an older car with lap belts only, ask your dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat-belt adjusters, extenders or retrofits.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading and increasing cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Below are tips for properly selecting, installing and using child safety seats:

• Choose the right car seat for a child’s height and weight at www.safercar.gov/therightseat.

• Use a rear-facing infant or convertible seat until a child reaches the seat’s upper height or weight limit. Rear-facing harness straps should originate at or below the child’s shoulders. And never install a rear-facing seat in front of an active air bag.

• Once a child outgrows a rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready for a forward-facing car seat with harness. Always use the tether strap when installing a front-facing car seat. Front-facing harness straps should originate at or above the child’s shoulders.

• Tightly secure car seats using either the seat belt or the lower anchors, but not both, and that they are threaded through the correct path. Make sure the straps are snug and free of twists, and that the car seat doesn’t move more than 1 inch.

• Buckling your child correctly is just as important as installing the seat correctly. Seat belts and harness straps should be snug and free of twists. If you are able to pinch harness straps between your fingers, the harness is not tight enough.

• To receive timely recall information, register your car seat with the manufacturer or using the form at www.nhtsa.gov/document/car-seat-registration-form.

Sober driving tips

Crashes involving at least one alcohol-impaired driver resulted in 211 Hoosier deaths and nearly 2,100 injuries during 2016. And the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the deadliest times of year.

With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired as it endangers you and everyone else around you. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:

• Designate, or be, a sober driver.

• Use public transportation.

• Call a cab or a ridesharing service.

• Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend, and identify your location for pickup.

• Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.

• Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.

• Never provide alcohol to minors.

• Ask young drivers about their plans.

• Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.

Impaired driving is three times more common at night than during the day. If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include:

• Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line

• Driving at a very slow speed

• Braking erratically

• Making wide turns

• Stopping without cause

• Responding slowly to traffic signals

• Driving after dark with headlights off

• Almost striking an object or vehicle

• Driving on the wrong side of the road

• Turning abruptly or illegally

 
Teenagers involved in three injury wrecks on U.S. 31 during recent week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 12:18

A teenage pedestrian and two more people were reported injured in accidents that occurred on U.S. Highway 31 in Scottsburg since Monday, October 23.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 12:19
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Stucker Fork Conservancy District rate case: Consumer comments invited PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 12:16

If anyone would like to comment on Stucker Fork Conservancy District’s proposed water rate increase, here’s your chanc

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New Albany man facing drug trafficking charges in Scott County PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 00:00

A New Albany resident is now facing a Level 2 felony drug trafficking charge in Scott Circuit Court.

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