Community News Archives for 2019-10

Pending resolution of federal lawsuit, FSSA will temporarily suspend Gateway to Work reporting requirements

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that it will temporarily suspend the reporting requirements of the Gateway to Work program due to a pending legal challenge.


Last month, the lawsuit Rose v. Azar was filed in federal court challenging Gateway to Work along with several other components of the Healthy Indiana Plan that have been in operation for several years –potentially jeopardizing the HIP program as a whole.


Gateway to Work is a part of the Healthy Indiana Plan that helps connect HIP members with job training, education or help finding the right job or volunteer activity. Some HIP members are required to participate, and those not in compliance had been at risk of potential benefit suspensions starting in January.


To help ensure the continued operation of HIP, FSSA will temporarily suspend enforcement of the provision whereby some members could have their benefits suspended beginning in January for not meeting their annual Gateway to Work requirement. FSSA is doing so to allow time for the Rose lawsuit to be resolved and so that the court can address the challenge to HIP after similar legal challenges to programs like Gateway to Work in other states have worked their way through the appeals process.


“We remain committed to operating the Gateway to Work program and to continuing to build on the early successes of the program, through which HIP members are reporting successful engagements in their workplaces, schools and communities,” Indiana Medicaid Director Allison Taylor said.


FSSA will continue to encourage HIP members to report their activities to the state or their health plan so they can be connected to resources such as the state’s Next Level Jobs program, Ivy Tech, WorkOne and local job training and advancement programs. HIP members will still have a Gateway to Work status of “exempt,” “reporting met” or “reporting,” and be referred to opportunities to work, learn and serve in their communities. However, no benefit suspensions will be considered until after Rose v. Azar is resolved. Before the program is reinitiated, participating members would receive substantial advance notice regarding the timeline.


The state also continues to seek approval for the HIP Workforce Bridge program to help support the transition for any members moving to employer insurance or other health coverage.

Indiana State Police seeks recruits for the 80th Recruit Academy

The Indiana State Police is now accepting applications for the 80th Recruit Academy. 


Individuals who are interested in beginning a rewarding career as an Indiana State Trooper must apply online at  This website will provide a detailed synopsis of the application process as well as information on additional career opportunities with the Indiana State Police.


Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted for the 80th Recruit Academy.

Basic Eligibility Requirements and consideration factors for an Indiana State Trooper:


  1. Must be a United States citizen.
  2. Must be at least 21 and less than 40 years of age when appointed as a police employee. (Appointment date is October 1, 2020)
  3. Must meet a minimum vision standard (corrected or uncorrected) of 20/50 acuity in each eye and 20/50 distant binocular acuity in both eyes.
  4. Must possess a valid driver's license to operate an automobile.
  5. Must be willing, if appointed, to reside and serve anywhere within the State of Indiana as designated by the Superintendent.
  6. Must be a high school graduate as evidenced by a diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED).                                                                                

The starting salary for an Indiana State Police Department Recruit is $1,615.39 bi-weekly during the academy training.  At the completion of academy training, the starting salary is $48,000.00 a year.  Recruits of the 80th Recruit Academy are offered an excellent health care plan, which includes medical, dental, vision and pharmacy coverage for both current and retired employees, along with their families, until reaching age 65. 


The Indiana State Police pension program provides a lifetime pension after 25 years of service.  Additionally, the Indiana State Police Department provides comprehensive disability coverage and a life insurance program.  Student loan forgiveness programs are being offered at this time through the following:


Interested applicants can obtain additional information about a career as an Indiana State Trooper by visiting to find the recruiter assigned to your area.

USDA opens 2020 enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs

Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.


“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”


ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.


Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. 


ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. 


Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 


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2018 Crop Year ARC and PLC Payments


FSA began processing payments last week for 2018 ARC-County (ARC-CO) and PLC on covered commodities that met payment triggers on enrolled farms in the 2018 crop year. In addition to the $1.5 billion now in process, FSA anticipates it will issue another $1 billion in November once USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes additional commodity prices for the 2018 crop. 


Producers who had 2018 covered commodities enrolled in ARC-CO can visit for payment rates applicable to their county and each covered commodity.  For farms and covered commodities enrolled in 2018 PLC, the following crops met payment triggers:  barley, canola, corn, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, peanuts, and wheat.


Oats and soybeans did not meet 2018 PLC payment triggers.


2018 PLC payment rates for the following covered commodities have not been determined: crambe, flaxseed, large and small chickpeas, long and medium grain rice, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, seed cotton, sesame seed, sunflower seed and temperate Japonica rice.


More Information 


On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides income support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation.


For more information on ARC and PLC including two online decision tools that assist producers in making enrollment and election decisions specific to their operations, visit the ARC and PLC webpage.


For additional questions and assistance, contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

Chili Cook-off

Rochester is getting set to host big crowds for Saturday’s 28th annual Chili Cook-Off and Red Hot Car Show.


18 teams are scheduled to vie for this year’s “best chili” title.


Prizes are awarded for first and second place,  “The People’s Choice” and  “The Best Decorated Booth.”


Chili tastings start at 11:00 AM, lasting until the chili runs out and are on a first come, first serve basis.  Judging is until noon with the winners announced by 1:30 pm Saturday.


Some traffic notes:


8th Street will be closed to traffic by 5:00 pm.


Also,  Main Street, from 9th to 4th streets will be closed along with:


8th Street, from Jefferson to Madison, and portions of 7th Street


The Fulton County United Way is helping to start the day with its Red Hot Chili 5K Run and Walk.  It starts at 9:30 Saturday morning at 7th and Monroe.  Registration is $25, and all proceeds benefit Fulton County United Way.


Stay tuned to GIANT fm 92.1 WROI for updates and the sounds of the event with our live broadcasts Saturday.

Rochester FD hosts event to supply public with fire detectors

The Rochester Fire Department is hosting an event this weekend to help provide smoke detectors to the community.  The Smoke Detector Fund Walk and Fireman Challenge is scheduled for Sunday.  Proceeds will be used to supply smoke detectors to the public.


The walk will start at the Rochester Fire Department at 2:00 pm.  Entry fee is $5 per person or $20 for a family of five or more. 


The Fireman Challenge runs from 1-5 p.m. It will include a timed course so people can get a feel for what a fireman faces including dragging hoses, mannequins and crawling through obstacles.