needle exchange program

Seth Tackett / WTIU/WFIU News

 

Indiana House leaders’ announcement Thursday that they’ll try to extend syringe exchange programs by at least one year is welcome news to health officials like Michelle Matern.

Matern has spent the last three and a half years as Scott County’s health administrator working to prevent another HIV outbreak like the one 5 years ago.

Courtesy Amanda Balser / Tippecanoe Co. Health Dept.

The Tippecanoe County needle exchange program is ordering a second mobile unit. The health department plans to order the vehicle next week.

Officials announced the purchase of the $147,000 vehicle Thursday, the funding for which will come from state grants. Officials hope to have it in service by October.

County Health Officer Jeremy Adler says the trailer they’re currently using works for the needle exchange, but the new one offers more amenities.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Ever since the beginning of the great Bird invasion of 2018 – we’re referring here to the dropping of hundreds of electric scooters in Greater Lafayette – cities have been struggling with how to regulate the two-wheeled vehicles and their operators.

The city of Lafayette today announced creation of a pilot program that seeks to do just that with the three companies that have, so far, sent scooters to town. But what happens if – some might even say when – the rules are broken? We ask that this week of Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski on Ask The mayor.

Indianapolis, state and health officials announce a syringe exchange program for Marion County. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

Hepatitis C cases in Marion County are up so much, the public health department in Indianapolis declared an epidemic. A syringe exchange program is part of the county’s answer. 

Marion County Public Health Director Virginia Caine spelled out a proposal for a syringe exchange program Thursday. 

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County Health Department officials report a 93-percent syringe return rate among recurring participants during the first six months of the county’s needle exchange program.

A total of 138 people – most between the ages of 30 and 40 – have participated. The department has distributed about 11,000 needles in that time.

County Health Officer Jeremy Adler says the department has also focused on connecting participants with resources including substance abuse treatment, mental health services and Hepatitis C and HIV testing.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we reflect on 2017 with Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski.

His city has finished some major construction projects, is waiting on some others and is dealing with public comments about both, including that flooding along the newly redone Main Street has gotten worse, not better.

Also, we talk about the ongoing debate over affordable housing in the city. Roswarski and other official opposed one plan for more low-income housing on the city’s south side, but the project’s developer simply moved to another site that didn’t require rezoning.

City of West Lafayette

The construction may be done for the season along West Lafayette’s State Street, but questions about road work are not.

This week, on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we chat with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about road construction going on in several places and whether it’s trampling both travel times and flower beds.

Also on this week’s program, the Tippecanoe County Commissioners have approved a one-year extension of the county’s syringe exchange program, which Mayor Dennis was for before he was against it.

City of West Lafayette

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor with West Lafayette’s John Dennis, we talk about things getting thrown away.

A listener wants to know how recycling in the city really works – can he be sure his plastic bottles are going to a landfill?

Also, there’s new data about the county’s syringe exchange program, which Mayor Dennis is against, along with his police chief and their counterparts across the river. About half the needles given out so far haven’t come back. So where are they ending up?

Indianapolis, Indiana.
Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In recent years, several Indiana cities have made sports-related investments as a way of trying to lure athletic tourism dollars.

Now that Lafayette is building a softball park and a new Loeb Stadium, is it the latest municipality to try that tactic?

That’s one of the questions we pose this week to Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

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