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This Week's Facts:

  1. Today is Final Day to Celebrate Air Quality Awareness Week
  2. Online Resources Clear the Air About Swine Flu
  3. More Job Opportunities Sought for People with Disabilities

IRS Warns Taxpayers to be Wary of Return Scams

Internal Revenue ServicePlease be aware of persons via email or phone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. This could be a tax scam. As the IRS says, “Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some recent scams claim that your U.S. refund was not enough and that the IRS owes you more money. For examples of other tax scams, visit the IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts webpage, and see especially Identity and Financial Theft Tax Scams.

For more tips on avoiding these, visit the IRS webpage, Tax Scams – How to Recognize and Avoid Them. You can also report suspected tax fraud activity by sending IRS form 3949-A, Information Referral, to the Internal Revenue Service. Report Identity and Financial Theft Tax Fraud to the Treasury General for Tax Administration or 1-800-366-4484.

Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator
Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Join the FDLP-IN listserv to get the latest government info

Today is Final Day to Celebrate Air Quality Awareness Week

EPA: Air Quality Awareness WeekAlthough this is the last day, it is not too late to celebrate Air Quality Awareness Week. Running from April 27 to May 1, the Week is designed to promote behavior that encourages clean air. The Environmental Protection Agency has a great site that focuses on a new topic each day of the week. Previous days are also available for viewing. Topics include causes of air pollution, the dangers of air pollution and what you can do to help alleviate it.

Indiana is doing its part as well. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has launched
SmogWatch, a site that provides visitors with daily ground-level ozone forecasts and health information. They also have a site dedicated to Continuous Air Quality Monitoring. Their news release provides tips on how to personally reduce ozone levels, including carpooling, turning off appliances when not using them and turning off the air conditioning.

For an interactive map that shows air quality levels throughout the country, be sure to check out the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

Online Resources Clear the Air About Swine Flu

Centers for Disease ControlThere have been a lot of questions about the Swine Flu lately: How is it spread? Where does it come from? Swine Flu is caused by influenza viruses that normally infect pigs. The virus causing the current influenza outbreak is not a swine flu virus, but a combination of human, swine and bird viruses. The flu virus causing the current outbreak, now called Influenza A (H1N1)/North America/Human, has adapted itself to be transmitted from person-to-person. Swine in the United States have not been and are not infected with this virus. Symptoms are similar to normal influenza symptoms: cough, fever, sore throat, and muscle aches. Others have reported runny noses, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, the CDC recommends that you contact your health care provider. The CDC provides a good set of guidelines for preventing the spread of flu – or any other illness. Health care experts suggest that you stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently, and cover your nose and mouth when you cough and/or sneeze.

Health officials have warned that this is not an epidemic. Swine flu is not transmitting all that rapidly. It is not even new – the CDC reports that it has been receiving reports every year from 1976 to 2005 about Swine Flu occurrences in the United States. It is important for the public to have access to this information from reliable resources; however, health officials warn that we should not panic.

There are a number of state and federal resources that provide information on Swine Flu. They include the
Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. For information related specifically to Indiana, see the State Department of Health Press Release.

More Job Opportunities Sought for People with Disabilities

National Council on DisabilityAccording to a March press release, the National Council on Disability (NCD) is recommending the creation of more federal job opportunities for people with disabilities. While the NCD acknowledges that strides have been made with laws, regulations and policies, there are still many barriers preventing the hiring of those with disabilities. The ten recommendations are aimed at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Congress and even individuals. The NCD claims that existing laws need to be better; however, people with disabilities need to take advantage of current opportunities from the Federal Government. The paper, Federal Employment of People with Disabilities, is available for viewing. People with disabilities interested in federal employment can check out the OPM website on the topic. It has information on laws related to employment as well as tips and advice on how to obtain a position.