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10U Softball Champions

The championship game for the 10U softball program took place Thursday, June 17, 2021, between the teams of Winning Edge and Core Mechanical.  Core Mechanical went into the game as the underdog falling to Winning Edge in past games.  Thursday night’s game had a different feel to it though with the girls and the coaches all hyped up and ready to rock on both teams.

Core Mechanical came out on top with a final score of 9-1 to become the 2021 10U Softball League Champions.  Core finished their season with an overall record of 9-1-4.


In the picture:

Front row from left to right:

Addisyn Zimmerman, Summer Tyler, Makenna Jackson, Chloie Tyler, and Ella Halterman

Back row from left to right:

Assistant Coach Ray Widman, Natasha Back, Ali Field, Macie Widman, Alivia Byers, Jaylynn Zartman, and Coach Holly Zartman

Red Cross calls for donors amidst blood shortage

The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise– and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types – especially type O– are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.


Right now, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. In comparison to 2019, the Red Cross has seen demand from trauma centers climb by 10% in 2021− more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.


Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.


In addition to trauma needs, there is a great hospital demand for blood as people who deferred care during the height of the pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, requiring increased blood transfusions.Over the last three months, the Red Cross has distributed about 75,000 more blood products than expected to meet these needs. As a result of this shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes. Blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled, so it must constantly be replenished by generous blood donors.


Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood now.As a thank-you, those who come to give?now through June 30 will receive a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at? 


In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.


Final weeks for COVID-19 antibody testing

As more than a third of Americans have become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Red Cross is winding down COVID-19 antibody testing for blood, platelet and plasma donations. 


Through June 25, the Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Testing may show possible exposure to the virus or whether a donor has developed an immune response to vaccination.The conclusion of Red Cross antibody testing represents a new, hopeful phase as the nation continues to journey out of this pandemic.  


USDA to begin payments for producers impacted by 2018 and 2019 natural disasters

More than $1 billion in payments will be released over the next several weeks starting June 15 for agricultural producers with approved applications for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program and for producers who have already received payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). These U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs provide disaster assistance to producers who suffered losses to 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.


Producers weathered some significant natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provided support for crop value and production losses through QLA and crop quantity losses through WHIP+.


“From massive floods to winter storms, and from extreme drought to excess moisture, natural disaster events in 2018 and 2019 were exceptionally catastrophic for agricultural producers nationwide - many suffered the impacts of multiple events in not just one but both years,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “FSA staff worked tirelessly for many months to develop and implement comprehensive disaster programs that meet the varying and unique needs of a large cross-section of U.S. production agriculture. QLA and the second round of WHIP+ assistance will provide much-needed assistance to help producers offset significant financial loss.”


QLA Payments


QLA provides assistance to crop and forage producers who suffered a quality loss due to qualifying natural disasters occurring in 2018 or 2019. FSA will begin issuing payments to producers on June 15.  FSA accepted applications from Jan. 6 to April 9, 2021.  Based on these QLA applications, producers will receive 100% of the calculated assistance under QLA.


For each crop year, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the maximum amount that a person or legal entity may receive, directly or indirectly, is $125,000. Payments made to a joint operation (including a general partnership or joint venture) will not exceed $125,000, multiplied by the number of persons and legal entities that comprise the ownership of the joint operation. A person or legal entity is ineligible for QLA payment if the person’s or legal entity’s average Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $900,000, unless at least 75% is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities.


Second WHIP+ Payments

WHIP+ provides payments to producers to offset production losses due to hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019. WHIP+ covered losses of crops, trees, bushes and vines that occurred as a result of those disaster events.

Producers who applied for and have received their first WHIP+ payment can expect to receive the second payment beginning in mid-June for eligible crop losses.  Due to budget constraints, producers received an initial WHIP+ payment for 2019 crop losses equal to 50% of the calculated payment.  This second payment will be equal to 40% of the calculated payment for a total 90% WHIP+ program payment. This second round of WHIP+ payments are expected to exceed $700 million.  A third round of payments may be issued if sufficient funds become available.  Producers with 2018 crop losses have already been compensated at 100%.

Future Insurance Coverage Requirements

All producers receiving QLA Program and WHIP+ payments are required to purchase federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for the next two available crop years at the 60% coverage level or higher. If eligible, QLA participants may meet the insurance purchase requirement by purchasing Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage offered through USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

More Information


USDA offers a comprehensive portfolio of disaster assistance programs.  On, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help producers and landowners determine all program or loan options available for disaster recovery assistance. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA Service Center.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


June 8, 2021


I have a lot of hostas at my house. It is a plant that I frequently recommend to people as a perfect shade plant.


The conversation goes like this.


Homeowner: “I cannot get grass to grow under my maple tree. I have seeded grass twice and each time it pops up. But by fall it is no longer there. I seem to have moss there, is it choking out the grass?”


My answer: “You have tried twice, now it's time to do something different. The maple tree is winning the sunlight battle. What I like to tell people is that trees do not grow on the prairie and grass doesn’t grow in the woods. Maple trees are such heavy shade trees so they do not allow the grass to grow, but the moss will grow in the shade. Let’s think about planting something else. How about hostas?”


Hostas thrive where shade is available for much of the day. A location that is too dark will lead to slower growth rates but they will still survive. Yellow and gold hostas will actually benefit from 2 to 3 hours of morning sun to develop a richer leaf color. Blue hostas have a waxy coating on their leaves and require a shadier site to avoid leaf burn and bleaching. Brown, scorched leaf surfaces or leaf tips on a hosta is a symptom of sunscald. Far too many times I have seen these plants in the full sun. This plant should be moved to a shadier location or provide more water.


Hostas do a great job of spreading. Over time some plants will fill in a bed while the larger plants take more time to spread. They can be easily divided in the spring and new plants established quickly.


The two biggest hosta problems are slugs and deer. Slugs may eat holes in the leaves. I have never had a slug issue but others have. The best control is to lay down aboard and the slugs will crawl under in the daytime. You can pick it up and destroy them.


Deer control is only successful with a fence and that will end up spoiling the whole look.


There are many varieties of hosta ranging in colors from yellow, white, green, and blue. Many varieties have been bred for a variegated leaf, creating beautiful foliage in an assortment of colors and patterns. They are in sizes from miniature to over 3 feet tall. Some even have showy arrangements of flowers on a tall spike.


For me, hostas and mulch are my answer to the many heavy shade maple trees I have. That and a few rocks are how I accent the hosta beds.


Mark Kepler, Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources


Purdue Cooperative Extension Service-Fulton County 1009 West Third Street, Rochester IN 46975


574 223 3397

Enjoy Indiana waters on Free Fishing Weekend, June 5-6

Indiana residents can fish the state’s public waters without a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6.

The two Free Fishing Days kick off National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5-13, a national celebration that highlights the importance of recreational fishing and boating. Those activities are excellent opportunities to get outside and connect with family and friends, and spending time outdoors is also good for your health.

June is an especially good time to fish for largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, and Skamania steelhead. Fishing tips and videos can be found at

Some urban parks will be stocked this week with catchable-size channel catfish; see for locations. For public fishing areas and access sites statewide, explore the Where to Fish map at Indiana is also home to several water trails across the state that provide opportunities to fish while you paddle; see for more information.

To learn more about Free Fishing Weekend events, visit This year’s last Free Fishing Day will be Sept. 25.

Most pools at state parks to open; lifeguards still needed at others

Most public swimming pools located in Indiana State Parks will open this weekend, as will all DNR swimming beaches.

Pools opening as scheduled are at Clifty Falls, McCormick’s Creek, O’Bannon Woods, Shakamak, and Versailles state parks, and at Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber State Recreation Area [SRA]). In addition, the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park will open on Saturday with lifeguards on duty.

The water slides and lazy river at Prophetstown State Park’s aquatic center will open Saturday, but its leisure pool will be closed until mid-June. The public pool at Brown County State Park will open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31; however, the wading pool will be not in operation. The delays are the result of supply chain issues.

The public pool at Turkey Run State Park will remain closed this weekend due to lack of lifeguards; it is expected to open the first weekend in June. The public pool at Spring Mill State Park will remain closed until lifeguard and pool staff positions are filled.  

The public pools at Mounds and Harmonie state parks remain closed, as announced earlier this year.

Applications are still being accepted for lifeguards. Positions are open to applicants age 15 and older. For more information, contact the state park property nearest you that is listed above. Phone numbers are at under “Find a park”.

Beaches that offer swimming with no lifeguards will open this weekend at Chain O’Lakes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Summit Lake, and Whitewater Memorial state parks; at Starve Hollow and Deam Lake SRAs; and at Brookville, Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA), Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon SRA), Hardy, Mississinewa, Monroe, Patoka, and Salamonie lakes, as well as at Ferdinand State Forest.

The aquatic center at Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park and the pools at Clifty Inn (Clifty Falls State Park), Potawatomi Inn (Pokagon State Park), Spring Mill Inn (Spring Mill State Park), and Turkey Run Inn (Turkey Run State Park) remain open for registered guests at each.



Business After Hours with CASA of Fulton County

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and CASA of Fulton County invites everyone to attend a Business After Hours event on Thursday, June 3 from 4:30-6:30 pm. You will get to come and learn about the organization and meet some of staff and volunteers.


Refreshments will be available.


You can RSVP at the Chamber office with Stephanie at 574.224.2666 or, or online at


Any questions can be directed to Stephanie Hensley, Executive Assistant of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, at 574.224.2666 or or Round Barn Golf Club at 574-223-5717.


FFA names former Manchester HS ag teacher CEO

The National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation named Scott Stump the new chief executive officer of both organizations, effective Monday, June 21.


Stump, who lives on a small ranch in Stoneham, Colorado, with his wife, Denise and three children, Brady, Ross and Emma, has a background rich in agricultural education, career and technical education and FFA. He received his bachelor’s in agricultural education from Purdue University and his MBA from Western Governor’s University.


“It is with great anticipation that I return to National FFA in this leadership role,” said Stump, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “I know from personal experience as a student and as a parent the positive difference FFA makes in the lives of students across this nation. I look forward to working with FFA’s talented national staff, committed board members, state and local leaders and supporters to advance and expand our collective impact.”


National FFA Advisor and Board Chair Dr. James Woodard shared the news with state FFA and agricultural education leaders and National FFA staff.


“The opportunity to select Scott Stump as the new CEO is exciting for the National FFA Board of Directors. Scott is a leader with credibility, vision and passion for the agricultural education profession,” Woodard said. “The process for selecting Scott was both inclusive and transparent. The respondents of the survey provided great insight into the needs of the organization. I want to professionally thank all who provided input to the selection process. “


After an extensive search process, the Joint Governance Committee of the National FFA Board of Directors and National FFA Board of Trustees selected and approved Stump as CEO.


“On behalf of the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees, we are both humbled and excited to welcome Mr. Scott Stump to our team. Scott brings decades of experience to the table, having been a part of FFA and agricultural education at nearly every level –including student member, classroom teacher, state staff and national staff,” said Ronnie Simmons, chair of the National FFA Foundation Board of the Trustees.“With a Smith-Hughes style philosophy of agricultural education, Scott’s ideals and beliefs are built on a strong foundation giving him the capacity to lead and influence others. It is evident that these beliefs are the driving force behind his vision that agricultural education will continue to be the difference-maker in the lives of students across the nation.”


Stump began his career as an agriculture teacher in Manchester, Indiana, where he taught for two years. He then worked for the National FFA Organization, where he managed the national officer team and the National FFA Convention& Expo. From 2007 through 2014, he served as the assistant provost and state director for career and technical education with the Colorado Community College System. During his CCCStenure, Stump also served as state FFA advisor, agriculture program director and interim president of Northeastern Junior College during the institution’s presidential search process.


In 2015, Stump was named COO of learning solutions provider Vivayic, Inc. In July 2018, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the assistant secretary of career, technical and adult education for the U.S. Department of Education, where he served until January.


He currently serves as senior advisor with Advance CTE, where he leads and contributes to major initiatives and projects, including Advances CTE’s Postsecondary CTE Leaders Fellowship Program and Advancing the Framework. He also supports their federal advocacy, state policy and technical assistance efforts.




State Road 14 reduced to one lane over Tippecanoe River

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces lane closures for the State Road 14 bridge over the Tippecanoe River beginning on or after Monday, May 24.


The bridge will be reduced to one lane for a bridge maintenance project. Temporary traffic signals will be installed on each side of the bridge to direct traffic.


Restrictions will be in place through early July.


May 21, 2021

Alfalfa is called the queen of forages. It is the perfect crop for those involved in livestock production. It produces great yields and is highly nutritious containing very digestible fiber and protein. Once planted, it can last for many years depending on how well the producer takes care of it. Harvested too many times a season and the stand will thin. This native of the “Cradle of Civilization” area of the world, which includes Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran has a deep taproot that allows it to grow in low moisture areas.

Just like alfalfa being imported from Southwest Asia, its major pest, alfalfa weevil also came from that area of the world. This year, those insects’ numbers are up dramatically. The little green worms hatch from eggs laid last year and start feeding on the tips of alfalfa. This year the cold and dryness of spring slowed the alfalfa growth allowing these little larvae to do extensive damage. As they consume new growth on the plant they also reduce the amount of tissue that can photosensitize, slowing the plant growth even more.

My first introduction, as a boy, to this insect, was baling hay. Riding the hay wagon, stacking bales during the first cutting in June there would be thousands of brown bugs with a black stripe down its middle and a short snout. These are the adult weevil. They have pupated from the larva stage which is a small, light green worm with a wide, white stripe down the center of its back. The adult beetle also feeds on alfalfa but does not do near the damage as the larva.

There are almost 100,000 known species of weevils with adults the ones who have the elongated snout with chewing mouthparts. There are many species of weevil that consume grain by boring holes into seeds. Purdue has been involved in a project in Africa to help farmers protect stored cowpeas from weevil damage. They trained farmers on the use of a special bag that could store grain and seal out moisture, leading to the death of any infesting weevils. This resulted in about half a billion dollars per year in saved grain each year.

There is a type of weevil in fruit and nut production called a curculio. The plum curculio is a major insect in apples and cherries. The adult female cuts a crescent shape into a small developing apple and lays an egg. If the apple falls to the ground, the insect will develop. If the damage is not severe enough to cause the fruit to drop, then the growing apple will crush the bug and leave a tan scar on the fruit. Either way, the fruit is lost or damaged.

The weevil that has had the most publicity is the boll weevil. The Boll Weevil Song reach number 2 on the music charts in 1961. This insect severely damaged cotton crops and led to destitute farmers especially during the depression years of the 1930s. The eventual answer was to use insecticides like calcium arsenate and DDT as they become available.

Just like the alfalfa weevil, it is the boll weevil larva stage that does the most damage. The alfalfa weevil really only has one damaging generation per year while the boll weevil can have 10. Most farmers' solution to alfalfa weevil is to cut the crop early and reduce the weevil population. Some may survive and feed on the second cutting and have to be sprayed with insecticide.

When it comes to feeding the world there is a weevil somewhere bent on thwarting your efforts. Man has been successful in outsmarting the boll weevil by perfecting a synthetic attractant pheromone blend, creating a lure that is used to trap the boll weevils. Combining that with timed insecticide applications has almost eradicated the bug in the US. No such luck for us alfalfa farmers here in Indiana.


Mark Kepler, Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources 

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service-Fulton County 

1009 West Third Street, Rochester IN 46975

574 223 3397

Indiana will end federal pandemic unemployment benefits

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced that Indiana will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment insurance programs effective June 19, 2021.


The programs that will end are:


  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides recipients extended benefits after their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to individuals who do not normally qualify for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 additional weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits but also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income

“There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now. I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow,” said Gov. Holcomb. “We have a myriad of work options in every region of our state with many more coming online every week.”


Indiana’s unemployment rate, which jumped to more than 17 percent at the height of the pandemic, has recovered to 3.9 percent. More Hoosiers are in the workforce now than a year ago, and the labor force participation rate is nearing the pre-pandemic level.


“Eliminating these pandemic programs will not be a silver bullet for employers to find employees, but we currently have about 116,000 available jobs in the state that need filled now,” said Holcomb. “I’ve spoken to leaders in the recreational vehicle industry who tell me they could hire thousands of people today, and in the last couple weeks, we’ve seen companies like Amazon, Apple, Toyota, and Milwaukee Tool announce thousands of new career opportunities for Hoosiers.


“We’ve re-emerged from the COVID pandemic and free vaccinations that protect you from the virus are available throughout the state. The CDC has provided guidance that says vaccinated people can feel secure about not wearing face coverings in many circumstances. Day care facilities are open and our economy is humming,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana also offers free opportunities for Hoosiers to skill up and trade up to better jobs. This is where we will continue to concentrate our efforts so all Hoosiers can get on their pathway to personal prosperity.”

On May 11, Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to reinstate requirements that Hoosiers who are requesting unemployment benefits be actively seeking full-time work beginning on June 1. Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop.


In addition to notifying affected Hoosiers about the reinstatement of work search requirements, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development will notify impacted unemployment insurance claimants about the discontinuation of the federal pandemic benefits.


More information may be found at

Flags to half-staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day.


Per the President’s order, flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, May 15, 2021.


Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags to half-staff on Saturday.



Ivy Tech's Kokomo Service Area recognizes student achievement

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo honored students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and leadership during its commencement ceremonies May 14.


Shannon Fuller, Peru, who graduated with an Associate of Science degree in Education, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence.


Fuller was selected from those students honored with the Dean’s Award in each program who have a 3.75 GPA or higher. Other considerations for this award include leadership, community service, and school involvement.


In nominating Fuller for the top student academic honor, Tara Kaser, chair of the Education program for the Ivy Tech Kokomo Service area, said Fuller, also a senior master sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserve, is a perfect choice.


“While she was a student, besides serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a resource officer for her fellow squadron members, Shannon organized a bone marrow drive and two blood drives at Grissom Reserve Base, orchestrated a fundraiser to help provide high school students with college funds, served as caregiver for her grandparents and, with her husband, Michael, as foster parent for an at-risk youngster, and helped two suicidal individuals receive necessary care,” Kaser said.


“Shannon did all of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and being a wonderful mother to two young children,” she continued. “I cannot imagine a better candidate for the Chancellor’s Award.” Fuller is transferring to Indiana University Kokomo to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Education.


Dean’s Awards honor students who are selected by the faculty chair for each program as the program’s outstanding graduate. Recipients of the Dean’s Award for 2021, and hometowns, are:



Jessica Honeycutt of Peru



Logan Welker of Kokomo


Automotive Technology       

Timothy Osborn of Burnettsville


Biology TSAP

Patrick R. Harris of Kokomo


Business Administration

Ashley Tooley of Kokomo


Business Operations, Applications, and Technology          

Marcy Reese of Sharpsville


Criminal Justice

Laurin Cook of Kokomo


Cyber Security Information Assurance        

Antonio Viera of Kokomo


Dental Assisting

Ashley Fagel of Kokomo


Diesel Technology

Tyler Swain of Greenfield


Early Childhood Education

Breanna Donson of Greentown



Shannon Fuller of Peru


General Studies         

Sydney Querry of Greentown


Health Care Specialist

Jennifer True of Logansport


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

Maximo Gomez of Greentown


Human Services        

Jillian Jacobs of Bunker Hill


Industrial Technology

Shawn Kelly of Bringhurst


Liberal Arts

Jada L. Row of Marion


Machine Tool Technology

Jessie James of Camden


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Tanner Tatman of Tipton


Medical Assisting

Caitlyn Blankenship of Peru



Hollie Chambers of Rochester


Practical Nursing

Tara Gibson of Kokomo


Professional Communication

Lucas Hendrickson of Fort Wayne


Psychology TSAP

Ashton Boring of Kokomo


Software Development

David Makin of Peru


Surgical Technology

Rachel Mow of Logansport


Visual Communication

Arlene Emmert of Cicero


Marcy Reece, Monica Slonaker, and Desmon Williams, all of Kokomo, and Jocelyn Reyes of Logansport were honored as members of the All Indiana Academic Team for academic performance, leadership, and service to the College and the community. The All-Indiana Academic Team competition is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today, Coca Cola, and the American Association of Community Colleges.



Those recognized with Military Veterans Honors include Derek Braden, Austin X. D’Agostino, Ransom S. Cornwall, Jacob W. Curtsinger, Christina Faith Duke, Shannon M. Fuller, Laci N. Hensel, Jessie James, Walter Januszkiewicz, Shawn D. Kelly, Michelle Alexandra Landis, Pierre S. Malone, Kain M. Perkins, Joseph S. Scott, Eric W. Smith, Leah-Rachel D. Smith, David V. Stewart, and Logan M. Welker.



May 14, 2021


This time of year, when you walk into a store you will find a variety of products available for your lawn. Several of these items are not needed now but may be used later. My best example of that is fertilizer. There are rare circumstances when I would recommend fertilizing a lawn in the spring. The same applies to grub worm control.


The life of a grub worm starts in the summer as an egg that hatches into a larva. Its mother may have been one of several insects, Japanese beetle, masked chafers, European chafer, Asiatic garden beetle, Oriental beetle, green June beetle, and May/June beetles. The larva of all these C-shaped insects with a chestnut-colored head will be a white grub worm.


White grubs damage a variety of cool-season grasses while feeding in the soil's organic matter, thatch, and plant roots. It is not uncommon to find mixed populations of two or more species in a yard. Most of these species have a one-year life cycle. The exception being the 3-year life of a June bug.


Most of these hatch out in late July and will feed on the roots of grass then slowly move down deeper into the soil as winter approaches. During the warmer days of late winter and spring, they move back up to the roots, feed a little, then pupate and come out of the ground as adults in May and June. Going out to kill grub worms now is not productive. They have done their damage and the cold soils of spring reduce the effectiveness of the insecticide. Shortly they will be pupating and gone.


Grubs are capable of causing serious damage to the grass. Their feeding causes the turf to wilt and die. Early indications of grub damage may include patchy areas of wilting, discolored or stressed turf that does not respond to irrigation. The grass eventually collapses, resulting in dead or extremely thin patches that may range in size from a few meters to large areas. If you can pick up the sod like a carpet then all the roots are gone. After a rain, pulling the sod back will reveal the white grubs.


There are two different times to use grubworm control depending on the product you use. Preventative treatments are used before you know you have damage. They could be a waste of money and insecticides but there are cases when year after year one section of the yard may be affected and a candidate for treatment.


Products that contain these insecticides can be used in this manner as well as later on after damage starts to show up. They are Chlorantraniliprole, Cyantraniliprole, Clothianidin, Imidacloprid, and Thiamethoxam. They are sold by a variety of brand names and they do last for some time in the soil. So, a treatment in early July will last through egg hatch. These products will work if you go out in late Page 2 of 2 August and see you have a problem. There are also insecticides such as Sevin and Dylox that will also work in late August but are a total waste of money if applied before the eggs hatch.


Sometimes the only way you know that grubs are present is the nighttime activity of raccoons and skunks peeling the sod back to find a meal. This is when one homeowner, upon awakening, described his lawn as looking like a bulldozer had attacked. 



Mark Kepler, Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service-Fulton County

1009 West Third Street, Rochester IN 46975

574 223 3397

Gypsy moth aerial Btk treatments to begin Wednesday in Miami County

Aerial treatments conducted by Indiana DNR divisions of Forestry and Entomology & Plant Pathology to slow the spread of gypsy moth in selected areas of Allen, Miami and Wells counties are scheduled for tomorrow, if the weather allows.

Gypsy moth is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests and has caused thousands of acres of defoliation across the eastern United States.

Treatment begins shortly after sunrise but could be delayed until later in the morning or to the next day due to unfavorable weather conditions such as morning fog or rain. Treatment should take about an hour. A second treatment will occur four to 10 days after the first, weather permitting.

During treatment, a yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above the treetops will conduct the treatment, starting at sunrise and continuing throughout the day, as the weather and flight schedules permit. With favorable weather, treatments may be completed by late morning or early afternoon.

The airplane distributes a spray containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, referred to as Btk, into the treetops of infested areas where gypsy moth caterpillars feed on tree leaves. Btk kills gypsy moth caterpillars by disrupting their digestive systems after they ingest it.

Btk has been used for decades by organic gardeners and does not adversely affect people or animals. People who live or work near the treatment areas might want to stay inside when the planes are flying and for about 30 minutes after treatments are complete. This gives the material time to settle out of the air and stick to treetops. For more information on Btk, call toll-free at 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684) or call your county extension office.

Once treatment begins, rain or high wind may interrupt it for that day. If that happens, treatment would resume the next suitable day and continue until all sites have been treated.

All sites will receive two treatments. The timing of second treatments is also weather dependent, although those treatments will likely begin during the week of May 17.

To determine if your property is in the treatment areas or to view maps of all treatment locations, or for more information about gypsy moth, see

Jim Gaffigan announces 2021 The Fun Tour; November 19 at Bankers Life

Jim Gaffigan announced today his 2021 The Fun Tour will tip off August 14 in Wilmington, with a stop at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on November 19.


Tickets can be purchased at or at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office, which is open Monday-Friday from noon-5pm. Presale begins Tuesday, May 11 at 10am and will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, May 14 at 12pm local time.


Gaffigan’s tour itinerary also includes a number of rescheduled shows from 2020 that were moved due to the pandemic. For rescheduled shows, all previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new dates listed below.


Gaffigan is a six-time Grammy nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, two-time New York Times best-selling author, two-time Emmy winning top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling recording artist. He is known around the world for his unique brand of humor, which largely revolves around his observations on life.


A top ten comedian according to Forbes’ 2019 comedy list, Jim recently released his 8th stand-up special, The Pale Tourist, on Amazon which was nominated for a Grammy. He was also recently awarded for being the first comedian to reach one billion streams on Pandora.


Up next, Gaffigan will be seen as the lead in the Sci-Fi dramedy, Linoleum, and will star as the role as Mr. Smee in Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy, opposite Jude Law and Yara Shahidi. He will also be heard in Disney/Pixar’s highly anticipated film, Luca, opposite Jacob Tremblay and Maya Rudolph which is premiering June 17th.


On the silver screen, his many credits include Three Kings, Super Troopers 1 & 2, and Chappaquiddick. 2019 was Gaffigan’s biggest year to date with an astonishing eight films releasing, three which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival including Troop Zero with Viola Davis and Alison Janney, Them That Follow and Light From Light – with many festival goers and press calling Gaffigan the “King of Sundance.”


In addition to two seasons of the critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical The Jim Gaffigan Show, which he wrote and produced with his wife Jeannie, and his widely popular stand-up comedy specials, Gaffigan has guest starred on many television comedies and dramas, ranging from Portlandia and Bob’s Burgers to the HBO cult hits Flight of the Concords to dramatic roles in Law & Order.


Gaffigan has won two Emmy awards for his humorous commentaries on CBS Sunday Morning. In 2015, Gaffigan had the great honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia.




May 7, 2021

There is nothing that gets talked about in agriculture more than the weather. For one, it is a way to get personal without being intrusive. It is personal because what happens at my place will not be the same as what happens down the road or across the county. Every place is unique.

Rainfall amounts vary from farm to farm and even sometimes on a farm. The TV or radio weather person is always the brunt of jokes. They can predict the weather but they can never really get it completely accurate due to natural changes. The invention of radar has made the job a lot easier and at the same time complicated. I have gained an appreciation for their job. Many a summer day, hoping for rain, I watch the radar and see the rain coming, only to see it dissipate just before getting to my place. It is frustrating and I am sure the forecasters want to be as accurate as possible but they are also a victim of the fickleness of nature.

Recently we had a cold spell where temperatures dipped to the mid 20’s for two nights in a row. Notice I used a weasel word, “mid.” Depending on your location and elevation that number can vary by several degrees. The damage or lack of damage to plants will also be quite variable. We do not care if the forecast is for a low of 50 degrees or 55 tonight. Those temperatures are high enough, it makes little difference to the health of the plant. But we start talking about temperatures below 30 in April, then there may be crop injury issues.

It is amazing to me how a frost means different things to various plants.

A frost occurs on nights when there is no cloud cover or wind and the temperatures are forecasted to get down to 38 degrees or below. An air inversion occurs where it becomes colder at the ground than it is higher up. Normally the higher you go the colder it gets. That is why we see snow on the mountain tops. Plants all react differently to a frost and their reaction depends on the internal temperature in various tissues of the plant. If the temperature is cold enough to break cell walls or disrupt cell constituents beyond repair, damage, wilting, and death will occur in affected tissues.

Take the case of an apple tree. Fruit damage occurs at 28 degrees F. That temperature is down into the freeze area where things like corn and tomatoes are totally killed. In fact, at 28 degrees it is estimated that 10% of the fruit buds might be damaged. In a year like this where there are plenty of flower buds, a light freeze can actually be a good thing. Causing the crop to be thinned a little.

At my place, the apples are a later blooming variety and they could withstand colder temperatures. Additionally, on the first night, they were coved with insulating snow on the flowers. In some local places, temperatures dipped lower and some damage did occur. There is such tremendous genetic variation in apples and each species could be in a different stage of growth making them more, or less, susceptible to cold.

Another plant that sets itself up for spring damage is the apricot. This is the first blooming fruit of the year and when the temperatures get cold it may already have fruit formed and they may all be lost. Cherries also can be prone to early-season cold damage.

My apples are fine, but that does not mean yours are fine. Down south around Lafayette on the Purdue orchard, the temperature dipped to 21.9F. That crop was devastated. At that temperature, there is little guesswork as to the severity of the problem.


Mark Kepler, Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources 

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service-Fulton County 1009 West Third Street, Rochester IN 46975 

574 223 3397

Midwest's largest flea market opens on schedule for 2021 season

It’s that time of year again to find the best bargains in Amish Country. The Shipshewana Flea Market will kick of the 2021 season on Tuesday, May 4th.
Shipshewana Flea Market boasts nearly 700 spaces of vendors selling their wares on 40 acres.
“There’s so much to do here,” said Market Director Michael Christner. “You can come to the flea market and spend the day shopping; you can bid at the Antique Auction and you can explore the town.”
Last season, the market had a delayed start to be sure safety measures were in place but this season they are on schedule and the vendors are ready with their wares. “We are excited for shoppers to experience a great lineup of vendors this season, and we’ll also be featuring a new mobile eats section near the recently relocated Farmer’s Market” stated Christner.
The flea market is open 8 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, May through September, rain or shine with holiday hours on Memorial Day, July 5, and Labor Day. The market is also open for special weekend hours the 3rd Friday and Saturday of June and August – June 18 & 19 and August 20 & 21.
Shipshewana Flea Market is located in Shipshewana, Indiana, a small, yet popular tourist town of 650 people. The area attracts generations of families to take in the town’s Amish-based lifestyle.
For more information on the flea market or auction, visit or call 260-768-4129. Find more at the Shipshewana Flea Market Facebook page and for the most up to date information on events.

U.S. 35 to be resurfaced in Cass County

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces lane closures for U.S. 35 between State Road 18 and U.S. 24 beginning on or after Monday, May 10. 


Alternating lane closures will occur through early October, 2021 for a resurfacing project. The road will be reduced to one lane and flaggers will direct traffic in the area where work is occurring. 


INDOT urges drivers to stay alert near crews and follow traffic directions carefully. Drivers are encouraged to allow extra time when driving through this area. Drivers should slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.

Periodical cicada: Be ready but fear not

Brood X cicadas will begin to emerge within the next few weeks.

Remain calm. This fascinating phenomenon is normal. And even though cicadas look gruesome, will be loud and plentiful, and can damage some young trees, they are essentially harmless.

Currently, there are 12 different broods of 17-year periodical cicadas consisting of three different species. Each brood is designated by a Roman numeral. This is the year of Brood X. Brood X covers 15 states. Indiana is also home to two annual cicada species that emerge May through August and peak in July.

Brood X nymphs will emerge when the soil temperatures about 8 inches underground reach 65 degrees. A warm rain will often proceed large-scale emergence.

“It’s thought that by emerging in such large numbers, they overwhelm would-be predators to ensure that enough of them will live long enough to reproduce and perpetuate the brood,” said Megan Abraham, director of the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology.

Male cicadas make the noise most often associated with cicadas by using a special organ called a tymbal. The purpose of the large choruses you hear is to attract females.

While cicadas can damage smaller-diameter branches of many species of trees and shrubs, treatment is not warranted in most cases. If you have a small number of newly planted trees, they can be protected by covering them with netting. More information is at

You can be a citizen scientist and report cicada emergence by downloading “Cicada Safari” on your mobile device.

With the Brood X emergence, you will eventually cicada killer wasps, which are 2-inch-long predators of cicadas. Like their scary-looking and loud prey, these beastly looking winged creatures are nothing to be alarmed about, despite their horror-movie looks.

Some people may warn you, particularly via social media, that these large wasps are murder hornets, the large insects that showed up on the northwest coast last summer. They’re not. Because of climate differences, there is little chance of murder hornets surviving in Indiana or anywhere near the Hoosier state. 

“They also don’t have the ability to get here, to our knowledge,” Abraham said.

Cicada killers attack cicadas in mid-air and use their massive, strong stingers to penetrate their shell. Once stung, their prey is paralyzed, jetted back to the nest, and eaten by the cicada killer’s offspring grub. Sometimes called cicada hawks, cicada killers are here every year.

“Once their prey disappear, so will the cicada killers,” Abraham said. “That will likely be early fall.”

Cicada killers nest in the ground by burrowing up to 20 inches below the surface. As they dig their nests, they kick up dirt, which you may see at their nest openings.

Because cicada killers live in the ground, watch where you step. Avoid signs of nests. If you step on a cicada killer, if you are not wearing shoes, you will likely get stung on the foot. And if you step near a nest and disturb its resident, you could get stung elsewhere.

Avoiding cicada killers should be relatively easy because of their size and the tell-tale clues of nest location. If you get stung, treat it as you would any other sting from a bee or wasp.

More information on cicadas is at

Lyme and Mice

April 30, 2021

Have you protected your mice from ticks yet? You may think you did not read that correctly but, yes there is a new product on the market designed to rid your local field mice of ticks without harming the furry creatures. Why would you want to do that?

Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick also known as the black-legged tick. Unfortunately, the name deer tick gives us the impression it hops from a deer to us. The reality is that deer are end hosts. Theoretically, if there were no deer then there would be more ticks attacking humans. The real spreaders of Lyme are the small mammals like the white-footed mouse, voles, and chipmunks. In the spring, eggs hatch out and the larva attach to these animals for the rest of the summer. The next spring is when they molt and turn into nymphs that start feeding on small mammals like dogs, mice, squirrels, and humans. They then molt again and the adult ticks go looking for deer. Adult black-legged ticks are rarely found on humans, but they do feed on dogs and cats.

Because the white-footed mouse is the preferred host, a company has developed a box that mice enter, and while in there they rub against a pad that contains the insecticide fipronil. This same chemical is used for flea and tick control on pets. The company says this new control method when used by trained applicators will control up to 97% of the ticks by the second year. This chemical is very effective as a single dose protects mice for up to 40 days.

I do not know the cost and I see only one company in Indiana that currently sells the product.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 476,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States.

If using insecticides is not your thing then how about some of the other research going on where mice are genetically modified to be resistant to the disease. Before the COVID slowdown, a research collaboration between the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab started a project called, Mice Against Ticks. They proposed an experiment to release modified white-footed mice immune to Lyme disease on the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, areas with some of the highest per capita rates of confirmed and probable Lyme disease cases in the USA. If successful, this would be a long-term solution to the disease unlike repeatedly treating mice with insecticides.

In the meantime, Purdue's recommendation is to prevent outdoor tick exposure by avoid tick-infested areas and wear protective clothing. Stay on established trails, and avoid brushing against vegetation. Wear light-colored clothing, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts so that ticks can be more easily seen. Tuck in your shirt, and pull your socks over the pant cuffs. Apply insect repellent to your shoes, socks, and pants. Effective tick repellents are those containing DEET or permethrin. Occasionally check yourself and your children for ticks, especially on the head, groin, and underarm area. Showering after coming indoors may help remove ticks that have not yet been attached to the skin.

Remember to protect your pets also. Lyme disease is worse in dogs in the Northeast US (13%) and lowest in the West (1.4%). Our area falls in between those numbers.


Mark Kepler, Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service-Fulton County 1009 West Third Street, Rochester IN 46975

574 223 3397

33 year old Rochester father of two battles esophagael cancer

The community continues to show support for Rochester native Scott Davis, a 33-year-old father of two, that was diagnosed with esophagael cancer in February.


After his diagnosis, Scott, who weighed just under 100 pounds, was told surgery would not be an option. He has since been on a treatment plan of chemo and radiation and has been unable to work. 


Ensuring the Davis family is financially taken care of during their battle, the community has since come together with benefit suppers, bake sales and shirt sales.  Cash donations are always accepted. 


Donations for the Davis family can be mailed to The Cross at 100 W 3rd St, Rochester, IN 46975. Please make check or money orders payable to Scott Davis. 


Those wanting to donate directly to the family can also send money through their Venmo account which is SDavis519. 

Jurassic Quest Drive Thru Dinosaur Experience to migrate through Indianapolis

More than 70 photorealistic dinosaurs are ready to return from extinction to delight families and dino fans everywhere, as Jurassic Quest Drive Thru, the nation’s largest and most realistic dinosaur experience, will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center April 30-May 9.


After welcoming millions of guests to sold-out events across the country, Jurassic Quest Drive Thru will transform South Lots of the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center into a fun-filled drive-thru experience complete with baby dino and trainer meet and greets, photo opportunities, a choose-your-own-audio-adventure tour and memories of epic proportions.


Jurassic Quest's herd of animatronic dinos – from the largest predators to playful baby dinos – are displayed in realistic scenes that allow guests to experience them roaring and moving as they drive through the tour.Jurassic Quest worked in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur was painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size(!) to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved.Although the drive-thru experience means visitors will stay safe inside their vehicles, they’ll still need to avoid the swinging tail of the 50-foot Spinosaurus and the gigantic grinning Megalodon!  


Tickets for Jurassic Quest are just $49 per vehicle (8 people or less) and available only at An audio tour comes standard with every purchase (choose from two; special accommodations can be made for the hearing impaired) as well as a safari-style digital souvenir photo of your vehicle and family transported back in time via a Jurassic setting. Special souvenir packages and other add-ons can be purchased at check out.


Jurassic Quest Drive Thru guests now get to choose their own audio adventure! Jurassic Quest’s own Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick and Park Ranger Marty provide a fun-filled soundtrack for the hour-long trip back in time to help visitors navigate the dino herd and learn little-known dino facts – packed with plenty of lighthearted humor to tickle funnybones of every age (“get ready to Tricera-STOP here…”)! Visitors can opt for the original audio tour in English and Spanish or a brand-new audio adventure led by Safari Sarah with the rest of the crew serving up A BIG surprise for everyone at the end!


In addition to the life-like dinosaur exhibits, there will be opportunities to visit with one-of-a-kind baby dinosaurs and the Jurassic Quest team of dino trainers. Though no two visits are ever the same, all attendees will leave with the same bragging rights, “We Survived Jurassic Quest 2021!”


More than 2 million people have attended the Jurassic Quest Drive Thru since the national tour launched in June with stops in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, Cincinnati, Houston and more.


Designed to be thrilling but not scary for our littlest adventurers, big or small, young or old, Jurassic Quest Drive Thru guests have a dino-mite time!



Jurassic Quest Drive Thru adventurers will need to buy tickets in advance online at Tickets are $49 per vehicle and include a 100% ticket guarantee that in the event of a show cancellation or postponement for any reason, ticket purchases will be automatically refunded for the full purchase amount. Guests must travel through the drive-thru in the comfort of their own vehicle – no rentals or golf carts will be provided, and walkers are not allowed. To ensure participant safety, all guests must ride inside their vehicles (yes, pets inside vehicles are allowed), no riders in truck beds, however. Trailers are also not allowed – we’re worried they might tempt the hungry dinos too much! Oversized vehicles and vehicles with 9 or more riders are permitted but must contact Customer Service,, for pricing and scheduling. A full list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found online at

Rochester Realty celebrates recent opening, newly remodeled office

The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors celebrated the opening of Rochester Realty with a ribbon cutting on April 21.


Co-owners Susan Goble Morris, Lori Roberts, and Gwen Hornstein, with a combined 50+ years’ experience, launched Rochester Realty on January 1 and are pleased to welcome the public to their newly remodeled office located at 423 East 9th Street in Rochester.


“With their knowledge of the Fulton County area and their real estate expertise,” Chamber Executive Director Jillian Smith states, “Rochester is privileged to have Susan, Lori, and Gwen serving in our community.”


Rochester Realty is currently accepting new clients looking to buy or sell real estate property. Interested individuals may stop by the office located at 423 East 9th Street Monday thru Friday 10:00 am-4:00pm or call 574-223-7325 to schedule an appointment.

Virtual public hearing tonight hosted by Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission

Tonight, Indiana residents are invited to attend and testify on what they think of their current voting districts and what they would like to see in new districts. The testimony will be collected in the first statewide public hearing of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), a diverse and multi-partisan group of Indiana voters that the redistricting coalition, All IN for Democracy, has assembled to serve as a model for how redistricting should be conducted. 


The statewide virtual public hearing comes after the ICRC held hearings in every congressional district in the state. This is an opportunity for Hoosiers who were not able to make the congressional district hearings to make their voice heard. Commission members will discuss their preliminary findings and give voters another opportunity to weigh in on this important issue.


The public testimony will be included in a report to the Indiana General Assembly and will set the parameters for a public mapping competition for a statewide map of community-focused districts. The ICRC’s goal is to show the state legislators who are in charge of redistricting how a transparent and nonpartisan process results in maps that better reflect community interests.


“From Gary to Evansville, we’ve heard from voters who are frustrated by districts that were drawn in 2011 to serve the interests of politicians, not voters” said Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause Indiana and leader of All IN for Democracy. “We’re getting a loud and clear message from the grassroots that people want the public interest to drive redistricting this time around.”


“The ICRC will show that a politically balanced group of citizens working transparently and in cooperation with citizens can devise districts that will serve the public interest, not the interests of politicians,” Vaughn continued. “We need more people involved in the conversation. If the legislature won’t draw fair maps, we will.”


Like most states, Indiana puts the state legislature in charge of redistricting. Since legislators draw the statehouse and Congressional district maps, they gerrymander districts to choose voters they already know will vote for them and exclude those who will vote against them. After the 2020 census data is released this fall, legislators will draw and adopt new districts that will be used for the next decade. 


“Gerrymandering is the reason so many Indiana elected officials run unopposed, and why so many Indiana voters never cast a ballot,” Vaughn said. “Community members feel ignored and underserved. This is our once-in-a-decade opportunity for citizens to act. We want more competitive districts where every vote counts and every voice is heard.”


Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission Statewide Virtual Public Hearing

WHO: Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission


WHAT: A virtual statewide meeting to take public testimony about what Hoosier voters want from their new Congressional and state legislative districts.  


WHEN: Thursday April 22, 2021 at 7:30pm ET

HOW: Register for the Zoom webinar here,