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This Week's Facts:

  1. May Honors Jewish American Heritage
  2. Federal Grants Support Your Local Farmers Market
  3. Lyme Disease Awareness Highlighted this May
  4. USPS Adds Their Two Cents to Postage Stamps


Internal Revenue Service



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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


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May Honors Jewish American Heritage

Jewish American Heritage MonthMay is Jewish American Heritage Month; and seven different federal agencies are a part of the celebration. The federal government’s Jewish American Heritage Month web portal introduces stories of Jewish Americans, electronic exhibits and collections, and images of famous Jewish Americans like Leonard Bernstein, Betty Friedan, and Edward Koch. Agencies responsible for the website include the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. One story that is especially interesting from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is that of Jewish Parachutists from Palestine. This was a group of men and women who signed up to help the British Army parachute into German-occupied Europe as aid to Allied personnel. The National Register of Historic Places also features structures and parks related to Jewish Heritage on their Jewish American Heritage Month 2009 website. The new National Museum of American Jewish History will open next year in Philadelphia, P.A and features “one of the nation’s largest collection of Jewish Americana.” Take a look at the new structure and visit their website!

Federal Grants Support Your Local Farmers Market

Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Indiana’s Farmers Markets offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from strawberries and blueberries to melons, asparagus, and especially corn. Farmers Markets are one of the best ways to support your local economy as well as enjoy various fresh produce.  Farmers Markets are widely available and popular, in part, due to the Farmers Market Cost Share Program. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is once again utilizing funds from USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant to offer a cost-share reimbursement program to provide grants to Indiana farmers’ markets. If you are interested in participating in this program, you can get detailed information from the Program Guidance and Application form. There is also a New Vendor Form available.

For guidelines on the Cost Share program, be sure to check out the ISDA’s website. To find a Farmers Market near you, check out the Directory. Finally, for general  information and facts about the markets, you can go to the USDA informational website.

Lyme Disease Awareness Highlighted This May

Centers for Disease Control

Summer is coming and that means that people are spending a lot more time outside. Unfortunately, being outside means an increased exposure to ticks and Lyme Disease. That is why May has been declared Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  Lyme Disease is spread through tick bites – specifically, through the bites of Blacklegged Ticks, also known as Deer Ticks. Lone star Ticks and Dog Ticks (also known as Wood Ticks) are not known to carry the disease. Be sure to visit the CDC page on Lyme Disease Transmission to compare images of the different species.

According to Medline Plus, Lyme Disease is characterized by a fever, headache, muscle ache, joint swelling, and a rash that usually resembles a bullseye. Lyme Disease can be cured by antibiotics, particularly if it is caught early on. Although you cannot catch Lyme Disease from your pets, it is important to check them for ticks when they come in from outside.  You don’t want them getting the painful disease either!

Statistics provided by the CDC show that Indiana has a very low rate of infection.  In 2007, there were only 55 reported cases (as compared to 1814 reported cases in Wisconsin). However, if you are camping or traveling to another state, particularly on the East Coast, make sure to take precautions. These include insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved clothing.  See the CDC for complete instructions.

USPS Adds Their Two Cents to Postage Stamps

Starting Monday, May 11, the US Postal Service increased its postage rates.  First class stamps increased from $0.42 to $0.44. Forever stamps may also be used under the new rates, regardless of what price they were purchased at. For a complete list of the change in price, see the USPS website. Not all rates have changed – as per the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PL 109-453), mailing rates increase every May, while parcel rates increase in January.