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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

LG Encourages Hoosiers to Send Holiday Cheer to Troops

October is Month to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

Monthly Commerce Publications Highlights Economy

USA.gov Offers Cash Prizes for Top FAQ Videos

Dept. of Labor Offers Up Retirement Planning Tips

Do your patrons need access to information about retirement, Social Security, and Medicare?

The U.S. Department of Labor website features an online publication, “Top 10 Ways to Make Your Health Benefits Work for You,” also available in PDF.

The Social Security website provides planning resources like the retirement estimator and benefits calculators.

USA.gov announced this month that “Medicare’s open season starts and ends earlier this year. People will have seven weeks, from October 15 to December 7, to check out new drug and health plan choices, compare options and pick the ones that work best for them. The earlier enrollment period ensures that recipients will receive their plan materials and membership cards by January 1, 2012, when new coverage starts. Plans can change from year to year, so make your choices carefully. You can find help:

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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LG Encourages Hoosiers to Send Holiday Cheer to Troops

Hoosiers Cheer for our HeroesIt seems like only yesterday there was sunlight at 9:00 and the high temps were in the 90s! Now it’s time to think about the holidays and our troops.  The Lt. Governor is sponsoring the sixth-annual Hoosier Cheer for our Heroes card and letter campaign. The cards and letters are a way of brightening a soldier’s day and a way for us to show our support.  This year, shipping costs will be offset with the support of the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and enGreet, an Indianapolis-based online greeting card company. Anyone can use enGreet’s website to personalize and send a card to offer Hoosier Cheer.  Cards ordered online will be printed and mailed for free and can include personalized messages and photos. You can also mail a card or letter directly to Lt. Governor Skillman’s office by Friday November 18th : Office of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, c/o Hoosier Cheer for Our Heroes, 200 West Washington Street, Suite 333, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Please visit the website for specific information on what can be sent and suggestions to get you started.  Let’s remember the thousands of men and women overseas this holiday.  

October is Month to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Awareness MonthThe Indiana Criminal Justice Institute recognizes October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Many people are unsure if they or their friends could be a victim of domestic violence.  The National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines domestic violence as intimidation, physical/sexual assault, or any other abusive behavior by an intimate partner or family member against another.  Domestic violence occurs as a decision to control another person.  Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. Domestic Violence victims can not only escape, but can become success stories and an inspiration to others.  ICJI’s first victimization survey revealed that 1.8 percent of respondents (2500 surveyed) or 1 in 55 were victims of domestic violence during 2010. The 2010 National Census of Domestic Violence Services reported that 70,648 victims were served one day, September 15, 2010.  In Indiana, 92 percent of shelters reported serving 2,001 adults and children.  Domestic violence no longer has to be a silent issue. There are many programs and services to help men, women, and children who are victims of domestic violence.  The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) has resources and information for domestic violence victims, family members, and community members who would like to help.  

Monthly Commerce Publication Highlights Economy

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released a monthly publication, the Survey of Current Business, every year for almost a century. Each issue provides articles about updated economic estimates, methods used to produce the estimates, and a message from the Bureau’s Director. In the October 2011 issue, you’ll find “Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area,” which shows economic growth during 2010. Current news for Indiana:

“The effects of the growth in durable-goods manufacturing was most pronounced in the Great Lakes region, where the industry added to growth in 52 of the 56 wholly contained metropolitan areas. Elkhart-Goshen, IN, and Columbus, IN, two small metropolitan areas in the region, had double-digit growth in real GDP primarily due to growth in durable-goods manufacturing. . . The Great Lakes region experienced the largest upturn in durable-goods manufacturing of all the regions; the industry grew 12.0 percent after declining 19.2 percent in 2009.”

Find charts and tables displaying data at national, regional, state, and local levels using the “Charts, Tables, More” menu on the left sidebar. You can use this PDF as a guide for more economic data resources offered by the BEA.

USA.gov Offers Cash Prizes for Top FAQ Videos

USA.gov FAQ Video ContesetBeing able to wiggle your ears or recite the alphabet backwards are noteworthy hidden talents, but they probably won’t do much to beef up your bank account or educate anybody. Being handy with a camera however, just might. Put your skills and creativity to use in the USA.gov Frequently Asked Questions video contest.

Uncle Sam is looking to spread the word about how people can use USA.gov—the official web portal of the U.S. government—to make their lives easier and find all the government benefits and services they need.

  • Create a short how-to video explaining the answers to people’s most common questions as featured on Answers.USA.gov:
  • How do I check the status of my tax refund?
  • How can I apply for a government grant or loan?
  • How can I find a job?
  • How do I get a Social Security card?
  • How can I change my address with various government agencies when I move?

One $1,000 prizewinner will be selected for each question and all winning entries will be featured on USA.gov.

You can find a full listing of details and rules at faq.challenge.gov. The contest ends October 28, 2011.

Have some fun making a video—and potentially some money—with your family, friends or students. A hidden talent today could be featured on the U.S. government’s flagship website tomorrow. No ear wiggling required.  This article is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration.

 

 

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