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What are your state legislators doing on your behalf? The Indiana House Republicans host a podcast each week to answer this  question and talk about what’s happening in your state government. The podcast features one-on-one interviews with lawmakers who highlight new laws, events and other issues impacting Hoosiers.

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Know sepsis and its symptoms

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals, claiming the lives of over 3,500 Hoosiers last year. Despite its prevalence, only 65% of Americans have heard of the condition, and even fewer know the symptoms. With September being Sepsis Awareness Month, it is important to know about sepsis and its warning signs.

Sepsis is the body’s response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. From strep throat to pneumonia, almost any infection can lead to sepsis, making it all the more difficult to diagnose due to the wide variety of symptoms. However, signs of the condition can include shivering, extreme pain, pale or discolored skin, and shortness of breath. Early diagnosis is critical, as sepsis becomes deadlier the longer it goes undetected.

To raise awareness of this deadly condition and help prevent sepsis from taking more Hoosier lives, House Republicans supported legislation establishing the Sepsis Treatment Guideline Task Force. The task force develops best practices and provides guideline recommendations to the Indiana State Department of Health, which will work to ensure the guidelines are adopted and implemented throughout Indiana.

For more information on this deadly condition and its symptoms, click here.

INDOT To Host Job Fairs Sept. 17

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host job fairs across the state from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time on Sept. 17. Both full-time and winter seasonal positions are available.

More than 100 seasonal positions need to be filled from November to March, with a starting pay of $16 an hour. Eligible candidates also get $250 sign-on and $500 retention bonuses.

Candidates should attend a fair in the district they plan to work, including:

Greenfield District
Indianapolis Sub District: 7105 S. Brookville Road, Indianapolis

LaPorte District
Gary Sub District: 7601 Melton Road, Gary
LaPorte Sub District: 315 E. Boyd Blvd., LaPorte
Plymouth Sub District: 2845 Jack Greenlee Drive, Plymouth

Fort Wayne District
Elkhart Sub District: 58905 County Road 9, Elkhart
Fort Wayne Sub District: 5333 Hatfield Road, Fort Wayne

Crawfordsville District
Cloverdale Sub District: 10 High St., Cloverdale
Terre Haute Sub District: 5693 E. Sony Dr., Terre Haute
West Lafayette Sub District: 2319 U.S. 231, West Lafayette

Seymour District
Aurora Sub District: 8074 U.S. 50 West Aurora
Bloomington Sub District: 2965 N. Prow Road, Bloomington

Interested Hoosiers should register online at www.indotjobs.com prior to Sept. 17, but it is not required. Walk-in candidates are welcomed at each job fair. Proof of a Commercial Driver’s License is required for each position, and a high school diploma or General Education Development certificate is preferred.

With 3,500 employees, INDOT builds and maintains approximately 29,000 miles of highway, 5,700 bridges and 4,500 rail miles. The agency helped Indiana earn the No. 1 spot for infrastructure in CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business rankings. Visit INDOT’s website for more information.

Scholarships Available For Future Teachers

An outstanding teacher can have a life-changing, positive impact on a growing student, and even inspire them to become an educator too.

Those who wish to pursue a teaching career can now apply for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship. Designed to help high-achieving students passionate about education keep their college costs down and share their talents in Hoosier schools, the scholarship is awarded to 200 students across the state that commit to teaching in Indiana for five consecutive years upon graduation. Recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year of college for up to four years.

To qualify, students must either graduate in the top 20 percent of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. Along with good grades, those interested must have a teacher nominate them, and submit a nomination form with their application, which is available at ScholarTrack.IN.gov.

Current college freshmen and sophomores are also eligible for the scholarship. Students must currently attend or plan to attend an eligible Indiana institution for their degree. While in college, recipients must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete 30 credit hours per year to renew the scholarship.

Interested students must apply by Nov. 30. Visit LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeacher for more information and to apply.

Scholarships available to volunteer firefighters, EMS

Communities across the state depend on firefighters and EMS personnel to keep them safe. Many of these emergency responders are volunteers and we need more people to serve. In an effort to boost rosters at volunteer fire departments and volunteer EMS agencies, Ivy Tech Community College is offering free tuition to students who actively volunteer.

The Ivy Tech Community College Public Safety Scholarship is available for any degree-seeking student who is an active volunteer firefighter or EMS personnel. They can attend classes on a full-time or part-time basis.

Ivy Tech, with more than 40 locations across Indiana, is piloting this two-year program at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Following the 2021-2022 school year, data on the program will go to the state to assess involvement, benefits and consider expanding the program in the future.

Many volunteer firefighters have other full-time jobs, and some may be looking to jumpstart or further advance their careers. Completing college courses at Ivy Tech can help them meet their goals, while saving money and protecting our communities.

The scholarship will cover tuition and technology fees for all credited programs at Ivy Tech, except for flight, aviation and general studies. Students are required to provide documentation to the registrar’s office that they volunteer as a firefighter or EMS personnel to qualify.

These volunteer departments are vital to protecting our homes and families, and this scholarship is a great step in thanking them for their service while attracting others to the field.

Click here for more information on the scholarship, applications and other financial aid opportunities.

Paid Statehouse Internships Available

The Indiana House Republican Caucus is accepting internship applications from students who are interested in getting a firsthand look at how their state government works during the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January.

An internship with House Republicans provides students opportunities to learn more about the legislative process while working directly with elected officials and staff. Students can gain valuable hands-on experience to set them apart from other candidates in the competitive job market.

More than 90 percent of employers look for tangible experience when hiring a candidate for a full-time position. The House Republican Internship Program has provided many students a jumpstart to their careers in state government and the private sector.

The internship run from January through mid-March, and are open to college sophomores, juniors and seniors, graduate students and recent graduates. These full-time positions provide $750 bi-weekly and opportunities to earn college credits.

Interns chosen for this experience are placed in 1 of 4 departments based on their interest and skill sets, including:

Legislative – Interns will work directly with a legislative assistant throughout the session. They will be responsible for tracking legislation, working with constituents and researching legislative questions or problems;

Communications – Students will be paired with a press secretary to help with media relations for a select group of state representatives. Some of the interns’ responsibilities will be covering press conferences, writing press releases and e-newsletters, helping with audio and video production, and coordinating interviews with reporters. Candidates with graphic design experience are also encouraged to apply.

Fiscal Policy – An intern will work with fiscal staff on matters that relate to Indiana’s finances and biennial budget; or

Policy – The intern will work with staff to track and analyze legislation.

To learn more about the Indiana House Republican Internship Program, visit indianahouserepublicans.com/internship. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.

State announces major broadband expansion

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced an initial round of broadband infrastructure expansion projects for several rural areas. It is part of the new state budget passed in the 2019 legislative session that all Indiana House Republicans supported.

The Next Level Broadband program awarded just over $22 million in funding for broadband expansion in 11 locations across Indiana. This will provide reliable and affordable internet access to underserved areas in 12 counties, including more than 4,800 homes and businesses.

Indiana’s Next Level Broadband program is a $100 million investment in ensuring rural residents are connected to dependable internet service, helping to close a digital divide with those who live in our urban centers.

For the first round of funding, telecommunications providers applied for up to $5 million in funding to expand internet service to unserved areas if they offered at least a 20 percent match. Unserved areas are defined as those that don’t even have one provider with internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload – considered the speeds necessary for the most basic service.

Seven providers and utility cooperatives pledged $14 million to match Next Level Broadband’s $22.1 million commitment, totaling just over $36 million in new internet service for the state. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, tasked with leading the application process, selected 11 projects.

Those broadband expansions will result in internet service of up to one gigabyte, the highest download and upload speeds currently available on the market. Click here for more details.

The broadband infrastructure improvements are just one facet of Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections program. Other objectives include expediting major highway projects, generating more nonstop flights at state airports and expanding railroads in northwest Indiana. A commitment to providing superior infrastructure establishes economic opportunities for all Hoosiers.

Stop for children, school buses

As children return to school and more buses are on the roads, it is important for motorists to know the laws and prioritize safety.

When a bus is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, drivers are required to stop when approaching a school bus from any direction. If motorists are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unpaved area, they are required to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. If there is no barrier, all lanes in all directions must stop.

While most drivers follow these traffic laws, there are still some who are either unaware or disregard the law completely. In fact, Hoosier bus drivers report an average of more than 2,500 stop-arm violations each day.

To keep young Hoosiers safe and hold motorists accountable, lawmakers passed a law increasing the penalties for individuals who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended. Through the new law, the penalty for injuring or killing someone as a result of recklessly passing a school bus has been increased, which could potentially mean larger fines, and longer jail sentences for violators. A court can also suspend your driver’s license for 90 days, or for a year if it’s your second offense.

For the safety of both children and drivers, it is important to continuously watch out for school buses and the students around them as they return to the roads this month.

Click here to see helpful tips for motorists to best keep young Hoosiers safe.

2019 Indiana State Fair Kicks Off

For more than 165 years, generations of families have enjoyed the Indiana State Fair. From Aug. 2-18, this annual Hoosier tradition will again offer a vast number of activities for all ages to enjoy.

This year, the fair will focus on everyday Heroes of the Heartland whose exceptional commitment and caring enrich our lives without the benefit of capes, costumes or superpowers. These farmers, teachers, law officers, firefighters and members of the Armed Forces are our support and our strength. Click here to submit a photo of your Hoosier hero and to find the schedule of the fair’s cultural heroes.

For fans of comic-book super heroes, you can check out the Super City: Where Heroes Unite! interactive exhibit. Each day, a different super hero from either DC or Marvel comics will be available for daily meet and greets at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. A super hero virtual reality experience will also be available.

The Free Stage will feature a variety of musical acts including Ace Freely of Kiss, Air Supply, KC & The Sunshine Band, and Boyz II Men. The Hoosier Lottery Grandstand will also provide plenty of entertainment with a mixture of free and charged admission events. An illuminated tractor parade, hot air balloon launch, and traditional events like the high school band and cheerleading competitions, along with the tractor pull and rodeo are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Click here to check out other shows and competitions on the schedule.

There are over a dozen new foods to try this year, including bacon poutine, bison hush puppies and the trifecta hero dreamsicle.

If you’re planning to visit the Indiana State Fair, be sure to check out the promotional days and deals. Days dedicated to military personnel, first responders and other causes give guests the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets. Click here to view a full list of Indiana State Fair ticket deals.

Check out IndianaStateFair.com for more information.

*Photo attributed to the Indiana State Fair

Schools eligible for safety grants

Schools seeking additional funds for safety improvements can apply for the Secured School Safety Grant. Applications to receive funding through the program need to be submitted before Aug. 2 and can be found by clicking here.

Grants can be used for hiring school resource officers, conducting threat assessments, making safety improvements to buildings, and covering startup costs for “active event” warning systems to quickly notify emergency responders.

State lawmakers recently appropriated an additional $5 million to the fund, which now totals $19 million.

School safety is critical, and these grants help schools take important steps to protect students and foster a positive learning environment. From providing money to schools to update security to being prepared for active shooter scenarios, Indiana is addressing the issue from all sides.

Since being established under law in 2013, the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Program has delivered more than $53 million in matching grants to Indiana school districts across the state.

Grant awards will be determined by Sept. 1, 2019.

To learn more about the program, access school safety resources, and to sign up for updates please visit: https://www.in.gov/dhs/securedschoolsafety.htm

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