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This Week's Facts:

  1. Indiana Bicentennial Announces First Legacy Projects

  2. State Developing Performance & Data Analytics Tool

  3. USA.gov Offers Safety Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

  4. Commission for Women Present 2014 Torchbearer Awards

From the Friday Facts
Editorial Team

Hello Friday Facts Readers! We want to let you know that as of this month, Friday Facts will be produced every two weeks instead of every week. We appreciate your readership and we hope you continue to enjoy every issue. Thank you!


Ten Things to Know about the Taxpayer Advocate Service

1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS.

2. We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses as well as individuals.

3. You may be eligible for our help if you’ve tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.

4. As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must respect. We’ll help you understand those rights and ensure that they’re protected in any contacts with the IRS.

5. If you qualify for our help, you’ll be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. And our service is always free.

6. We have at least one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. You can call your advocate, whose number is in your local directory, in Publication 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service -- Your Voice at the IRS, and on our website at www.irs.gov/advocate. You can also call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778.

7. www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov has basic tax information, details about tax credits (for individuals and businesses), and lots more.

8. TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broader issues, please report it to us at www.irs.gov/sams.

9. You can get updates at:

10. TAS is here to help you because when you’re dealing with a tax problem, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all!

This information is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration via the USA.gov blog.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program


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Indiana Bicentennial Announces First Legacy Projects

Indiana Becentennial CommissionEarlier this month, the Indiana 2016 Bicentennial Commission (IBC) announced the first round of officially endorsed Legacy Projects. According to the Commission, Legacy Projects are generated by community members and endorsed on a quarterly basis. These projects strive to leave a lasting legacy in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial in 2016.  Legacy projects are deemed open and accessible to the public, fundable (without Commission support) and achievable as an impactful contribution to Indiana’s legacy.  Projects must meet at least one of the following goals or characteristics: culturally inclusive; creates a legacy for the future; celebratory; and/or engages and inspires youth and young adults.

A full list of endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Projects can be found at the official website, www.indiana2016.org.  Learn about the endorsement application process here.  The Indiana Bicentennial website, www.indiana2016.org, allows citizens to learn about commission members, track the progress of Key Pillars, and stay informed about state-wide events.  “Hoosier Insights” is a new feature of the site where the public is invited to “Share Your Hoosier Insight” by submitting responses to your choice of questions that include:

What does it mean to you to be a Hoosier?  What is the best thing about living in Indiana?  What is one key to a successful Hoosier future?  What makes you proud about Indiana / your town / your county?  What is the most beautiful site you've visited in Indiana? Which two sites in your county are a "MUST see visit"?

Photos that help share your Hoosier Insights are also welcome. “Read Fellow Hoosiers’ Insights” and share in the statewide anticipation for the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial celebration.

First Lady Karen Pence serves as the official Bicentennial Ambassador for Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial celebration.  In December 2011, former Governor Mitch Daniels appointed a fifteen member commission, chaired by former Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, to oversee the planning and execution of a statewide celebration for Indiana’s 200th birthday. The Indiana 2016 Bicentennial Commission was formally created by legislation with the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 561 on May 7, 2013, retroactively effective December 1, 2011. 
 


State Developing Performance & Data Analytics Tool

March is National Nutrition MonthGovernor Mike Pence announced March 17 that the State of Indiana is developing a data analytics tool for use by state agencies that will help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the State, especially on issues that involve multiple agencies such as infant mortality and child fatality, public safety, and economic development.

“The launch of the Management and Performance Hub (MPH) will transform and streamline the way Indiana tackles the challenges facing the state and will help us deliver smarter, lower-cost services to taxpayers,” said Governor Pence. “Systems like this are commonplace in the private sector and will help government move at the speed of business.”

The majority of the funding for MPH will come from current Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) resources for technology improvement.  Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $500,000 grant to IOT for cutting-edge technology enhancements to the MPH program. 

The state’s existing transparency portal also will be revamped to be more user friendly, allowing the public to customize the data they want to view. As part of this project, health statistics, BMV transaction times, disaster relief response, and recidivism statistics will be added to the transparency portal.

Established by Executive Order 14-06, the MPH is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget and the Indiana Office of Technology. 


USA.gov Offers Safety Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

Healthfinder.govThe Basics
Food poisoning (foodborne illness) is when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs (like bacteria, viruses, or parasites) in it. Two common causes of food poisoning are E. coli and Salmonella.

Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:

  • Buy food from stores that look and smell clean.
  • Don’t buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap – especially before and after touching food.
  • Make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood away from cooked and ready‑to‑eat food.
  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot.

Shop smart when you buy food.
Shop at stores that look and smell clean. A dirty store or a bad smell can be a sign that food hasn’t been stored safely.

Follow these other safety tips when you choose food at the store:

  • Check the expiration (“use by” or “sell by”) dates on everything you buy.
  • Don’t buy cans that are leaking, bulging, rusty, or badly dented.
  • Don’t buy bottles or jars with “popped” lids or broken seals.
  • Buy eggs that have been kept in the store’s refrigerated section. Make sure they are free of cracks and liquid.
  • Put meat, poultry (like chicken and turkey), fish, and eggs in plastic bags, or separate them from other food in your cart or basket. This will keep them from dripping onto your other food.
  • Shop for frozen foods last so they are less likely to thaw before you get them home.
  • Make sure frozen food packages aren’t open or crushed. Avoid packages with frost or ice crystals – these are signs that the food has become warm and then refrozen.

For more information, see the HealthFinder.gov topic page for Food Poisoning.

This information is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration via the USA.gov blog.


Commission for Women Present 2014 Torchbearer Awards

Indiana Commission for WomenThe Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) presented 14 women with a Torchbearer Award this month at its 10th Annual Ceremony at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis. The women honored were selected from nominations submitted from around the state and have each made Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family.

“Indiana Torchbearers are those women who have been pioneers throughout their lives or who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers to women’s full participation,” said  Kristin Garvey, Executive Director for the Indiana Commission for Women. “These women have become true beacons of light and their stories of courage, perseverance and compassion create a lasting legacy of inspiration for us all.”

Provided below are a list of awardees:

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Ferdinand
Terri Austin, Anderson
Betty Cockrum, Indianapolis
Angela Espada, Indianapolis
Cathlin Gray, Evansville
Lisa Harris, Indianapolis,
Joyce Irwin, Indianapolis

Velshonna Luckey, South Bend
Alison Martin-Book, Indianapolis
Deborah McMahan, Ft. Wayne
Terri Morris Downs, Indianapolis
Julie Lynn Myers, Martinsville
Margret Robb, West Lafayette
Ellen Rosenthal, Indianapolis

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