IDEM boosts recycling with $1 million in grants

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Recycling Market Development Program (RMDP) awarded eight organizations with $1 million in grant funding to expand recycling efforts in Indiana. The eight award recipients are located across the state and will expand recycling efforts through various projects. Elkhart County was among the recipients.

Recycling Works, Inc., of Elkhart County, was awarded $478,599.06 to upgrade their material recovery facility with a new system feed/presort conveyor, OCC screen, glass breaker system, medium polisher system, optical fiber sorter and optical container sorter. The upgrades will increase processing capacity and help divert an expected 435 tons of waste from landfills.

By fostering recycling markets in Indiana through RMDP grants, IDEM supports the growth of the state’s private recycling sector infrastructure. The awarded $1 million in grant funding will go to projects with an expected total investment of more than $3 million. The projects will increase recycling for curbside recyclables, plastics, cardboard and e-waste from municipal solid waste by almost 6,700 tons per year.

More information about the RMDP grant program, including upcoming grant opportunities, can be found on IDEM’s website,

BMV extends hours for Election Day

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) announced that all BMV branches will extend hours of operation Nov. 2 and 3 to issue ID cards and driver’s licenses to be used for identification at a polling place. Branches will be open 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 2, and 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 3, All locations will remain open through the lunch hour.

As required by state law, branches will only process new, amended, or replacement ID cards, and renewed, amended, or replacement driver’s licenses and learner permits. New driver’s licenses and learner permits will be processed provided the customer has previously completed all required testing. Customers who are required to take a knowledge or driving skills exam to obtain or renew a license may choose to apply for a free ID card to use for voting purposes.

Individuals who hold a driver’s license or ID card that expired after the last general election (Nov. 6, 2018) may use the expired card as proof of identification for voting purposes.

The paper interim credential issued to customers at the branch at the time of the transaction or after a customer has completed an internet transaction is acceptable proof of identification for voting purposes.

The Indiana BMV provides free, state-issued ID cards for voting purposes to any unlicensed Hoosier who is a U.S. citizen, who can provide proper documentation, and who will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next general or municipal election. The following documents are required to obtain a new state ID card or driver’s license. A complete list of documents can also be found at

• Proof of Identity document, such as a birth certificate or passport

• Proof of Social Security document, such as a Social Security card, pay stub, or W-2

• Proof of lawful status, such as a birth certificate or passport

• Proof of residency, two documents such as a voter registration card, utility bill or bank statement, dated within the last 60 days

• If your name has been legally changed and now differs from your identity document(s) (i.e., birth certificate or passport), proof of name change must be provided in order to obtain a state ID or driver’s license

All branches will resume regular business hours Nov. 4.

Wabash County works on comprehensive plan

WABASH COUNTY — A team of elected and appointed officials, civic leaders, and organizations is launching an innovative, comprehensive planning process for the five incorporated communities of Wabash County. The plan, called Imagine One 85, is prompted by Wabash County’s steady and alarming decline in population that threatens school funding, industry and job growth, economic development and competitive wages, the availability of retail and professional services and home values. Together, leaders and residents from all sectors of the county will develop a comprehensive plan for the growth and prosperity of the entire county and the incorporated communities of La Fontaine, Lagro, North Manchester, Roann and Wabash.

The first community involvement opportunity — Focus on the Future Community Workshops — will take place during the week of Nov. 9 with in-person meetings planned in each of the county’s incorporated cities and towns. This round of engagement will also include virtual events and special stakeholder sessions. Registration is not required but appreciated for all events and is available at To ensure the safety of participants and event volunteers, all events will adhere to strict safety protocols outlined by the Indiana Department of Health.

The workshops will begin with a brief presentation from the planning team on the county’s most important conditions and trends. Attendees will be asked to share their thoughts and ideas about the future of their community and Wabash County overall. This input will be used as foundation blocks for the Comprehensive Plan.

Go to to find out more about the process and register for an upcoming community meeting.

CDC awards grant for sickle cell research

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a new grant awarded to the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center (IHTC) to lead a project that will collect and analyze data to ensure all Hoosiers with sickle cell disease (SCD) receive high quality care. IHTC holds a regular outreach clinic in Fort Wayne and is analyzing data from Fort Wayne area Hoosiers.

An estimated 1,500 people in Indiana are living with SCD, an inherited blood disease that causes red blood cells to take a sickle shape, which leads to blockages that prevent blood from reaching parts of the body. As a result, people with SCD complications can experience anemia, jaundice, gallstones, stroke, chronic pain, organ damage and premature death. SCD is the most common inherited blood disease and is concentrated in minority communities.

This new grant will help fund the Indiana Sickle Cell Data Collection project (IN SCDC), led by the IHTC, who is teaming up with statewide SCD community-based organizations, health care providers, state-funded partners like the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH), and research institutions. The project will collect data and analyze it on an ongoing basis to provide timely, reliable and locally relevant information on Indiana’s SCD population to help inform public health interventions, research and policy development. The team will routinely analyze the data for public health research to address health disparities and social determinants of health as well as clinical outcomes for this population. They will develop and implement a framework of action to help mobilize the community to improve the quality of care for Hoosiers living with SCD. The IDOH, Indiana’s Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning as well as other key SCD stakeholders around Indiana will have access to the data collected to inform policy, analyze disease burden, improve decision-making and ultimately improve quality of care for patients with SCD.

IHTC serves patients living with SCD throughout the state at its center in Indianapolis and through outreach clinics in Northwest Indiana, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Evansville. IHTC is working with the following collaborators on this project:

• Regenstrief Institute

• Indiana Department of Health

• Lutheran Children’s Hospital (Dr. Dennis O’Brien)

• Riley Hospital for Children (Dr. Seethal Jacob)

• Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative

• North Central Indiana Sickle Cell Initiative

• SCACure Networks

• Facts About SCD (according to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America)

• About 1 in 12 African Americans carry the sickle cell trait and many do not know they have it

• Estimated 100,000 in the U.S. have SCD

• 24,000 babies are born with SCD annually in the U.S.

• Latinos have the second highest incidence in the U.S.

College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals from all across Indiana, including representatives from Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Warsaw, will be volunteering to help collegebound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The virtual event is set for 2-4 p.m. Oct. 25 and can be accessed at Advisers will be available to help Spanish-speaking students and their families, as well.

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. It is important that these forms are completed correctly and by the deadline. College Goal Sunday helps families who may perceive this process to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon during College Goal Sunday, students and their families can get free help and file the form.

What you need

Students should go to the website with their parent(s) or guardian(s) close at hand. Parents should have completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2019 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should have their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2019 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before logging in to the event.

Volunteers will answer families’ individual questions as needed. To attend College Goal Sunday, go to on Oct. 25 and click the link displayed on that page to enter the virtual event. For the best filing experience, working from a computer/laptop during the event is highly recommended.

-FWBW staff reports

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