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Digging up dirt

We herald the arrival of September as Archaeology Month in Indiana! With more than 60,000 archaeological sites identified across the state since the early 1800s, researchers have unearthed a vast historical record stretching back to projectile points used by Pre-Hoosiers 8,500 years B.C. Events include statewide artifact ID days, lectures and hands-on activities including spear throwing, and an opportunity to participate in archeological excavation at Holliday Park. Click here to view a full calendar.

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Trailing Michigan in "green" industry

A transition to the green economy is evident in Indiana, with nearly 47,000 green jobs accounting for about 2 percent of the state's employment, according to a new U.S. Dept. of Labor survey. In addition, about Indiana 17,500 jobs support green business. It's nice that such jobs are available in a time of lacking employment options, but the pay scale reflects the limited training necessary for most of these jobs. Michiganders, on the other hand, driven by the quest for innovation in greening the auto industry, have a heavier focus on higher-paying engineering in clean transportation and fuels. It's encouraging that we're involved in the latest industrial revolution, but at this point we're growing in the lower-skill, lower-paid categories of the sector. Let's step up our game and get on the front end of the green innovation train!

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Minding our manure

A little rusty on your manure management skills? Time to catch up. For years, large-scale animal operations, government officials and the public have been negotiating the appropriate regulatory balance. Here in Indiana, the latest draft of the state's rules for confined feeding operations is nearly complete. The deadline is Sept. 2 to postmark, fax or hand deliver to IDEM comments on the new rule — which addresses everything from the definition of manure to soil testing methods. Among the items rural health advocates would still like to see addressed include greater setbacks between confined feeding operations and their neighbors, tighter standards for spreading manure as fertilizer on frozen ground and stiffer groundwater protection measures. Farmers' concerns include protecting a certain level of privacy and limiting operational cost increases. Wanna jump in the fray? Read the draft rule here. Or, if you'd just like to observe regulation in action, you can attend the board's next meeting, set for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Indiana Government Center South – Conference Rooms 1&2.


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