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Youths get creative at Jasper Public Library with Lego creations. The library displays the Lego creations in the library.

Building and Digging

Above: Youths dig around trying to find the right piece to place on their Lego projects during Lego build day at the Jasper Public Library. Right: Carly Robbins makes a swimming spot with Legos at Jasper public library. Robbins said her plan is for customers to buy pillows, then jump in with them for fun.

Digging for Legos

Red Cross facing worst blood shortage in more than 10 years
  • Updated

JASPER — The American Red Cross officials report there’s a national blood crisis — the worst blood shortage in more than a decade — posing a concerning risk to patient care.

According to American Red Cross Blood Services, the shortage forces doctors to decide who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments.

The crisis is attributed to a 10% decline in donations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 62% drop in college and high school blood drives due to the pandemic. Student donors accounted for about 25% of donors in 2019, but accounted for just 10% during the pandemic.

Ongoing blood drive cancellations due to illness, weather-related closures and staffing limitations also contribute to the shortage, and surges in COVID-19 cases and flu season can compound the problem.

The Red Cross, which supplies 40% of the nation’s blood supply, has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals as a result of the shortage. Officials report less than a one-day supply of critical blood types in recent weeks.

The O-negative blood type is most compatible with all other blood types, and that supply is critical because it nearly 40% of Americans have it.

According to The American Red Cross, people can still donate blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, but knowing the name of the manufacturer is critical in determining blood donation eligibility.

The Red Cross requires all those at blood drives and blood donation centers to wear face masks regardless of their vaccination status. Valve face masks are not permitted. Face shields can be worn in addition to face masks but not as a substitute.

Upcoming opportunities to give blood in Dubois County include:

• St. Mary Catholic Church,2835 North 500 West, Jasper, from 2-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24.

• Winslow Community Blood Drive, 411 East Porter Street, Winslow, from 2-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26. (sponsor code WinslowCommunityCenter).

• Ferdinand Elementary School, 402 East 8th Street, Ferdinand, 1-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 (sponsor code Ferdinand).

Register online at

Eiteljorg Museum will show Native American art in new way

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Eiteljorg Museum ’s revamped Native American Galleries will show works spanning more than 170 years when they reopen in June. But visitors won’t start at the beginning, middle or even the end of that timeframe. Instead, they’ll be greeted by artwork with stories that fuse past, present and future.

Hannah Claus’ “water song: peemitanaahkwahki sakaahkweelo,” for example, wraps the Miami people’s origin story into a work she created as a 2019 Contemporary Art fellow at the Eiteljorg. She took photos around their homelands in the Mississinewa and Wabash river areas, between Marion, Peru and Wabash.

In doing so, Claus, who is a member of the Bay of Quinte Mohawks First Nation, explored the story of how the Miami first reached from the water in the area of present-day northern Indiana and southern Michigan to grab tree branches and pull themselves onto the land to walk. Digital imagery printed on acetate film in the form of discs will hang delicately from threads affixed to the ceiling, reflecting the story and the sound waves of a song written about it.

“water song” will be an introduction to about 300 artworks, with more cycling into the installation over time, that will tell the story of tribes from across North America through a thematic presentation that centers Native cultural values in the galleries.

“Native art is on this continuum that what’s considered older or traditional and what’s newer or contemporary — it’s all Native art and they inform one another,” said Dorene Red Cloud, associate curator of Native American art.

The piece also will stand amidst spoken greetings from Great Lakes tribes and written acknowledgement of the peoples — including the Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware, Shawnee, Peoria and Kickapoo — who are the original inhabitants of the land where the museum now stands.

The reconstructed Native American Galleries are part of the Eiteljorg’s larger Project 2021, a $55 million fundraising campaign that will add to its endowment and re-envision galleries and events space. Of special interest to those from this region is the spotlight on Native peoples of the Great Lakes, which is expanding after the museum acquired a major collection of their art in 2019.

“This is really transformational for the museum. We’ve gone for 30 years in a certain mode, and now we’re looking at the art differently and we’re presenting it to the public very differently,” President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “It’s going to look so dramatically different and I think much more contemporary and inviting for today.”

Before the renovation, Native American art sat in large wooden cases, placed according to its geography into categories that included the Woodlands, Plains, Great Basin and Desert Southwest. The floorplan was largely the same as it had been since 1989, when the Eiteljorg opened.

Working with its national Native American Advisory Council, the Eiteljorg developed a new vision for the galleries that is organized into the themes of Relation, Continuation and Innovation, which are important across Native cultures.

Artworks — which include jewelry, pottery, prints, portraits, ribbonwork and beadwork — will be displayed in glass cases that greatly open up the space.

“One of the biggest changes from the old exhibit to the reinstallation is looking at the art through these three major themes because previously, we took — as did many other museums — an anthropological look at the art and the people and the cultures and really categorizing people by geographic area. So you had people of the plains, people of the southwest,” said Elisa Phelps, who is the vice president and chief curatorial officer.

“That really is a non-Native perspective on looking at the art and the cultures and the peoples.”

The theme of Relation explores the connections to spirits, animals, plants, families, communities and nations. Red Cloud said that Native peoples’ creation, or origin, stories will be part of this section. Mesa Verde national park in Colorado and Cahokia Mounds, which is just east of St. Louis, are among places that are ancestral to today’s tribes but not properly recognized as such, she said.

“Native peoples have lived in North America for thousands of years. And when European settlers came to America, they saw these mounds and other places and didn’t give credit to the living Native peoples that were there,” Red Cloud said. “If you talk with Native peoples who are descended of these areas, they will tell you, ‘Oh those are our relatives, those were our ancestors.‘”

Continuation celebrates the Native practices and observances that thrive despite assimilation efforts, while it explores forced removal and relocation as well as the schools meant to rid children of their culture. Finally innovation includes Native artists’ entrepreneurship in creating and selling their work.

About 15% of the galleries’ artworks will be from the collection the Eiteljorg previously acquired from art dealer Richard Pohrt Jr. The items, which were created by Great Lakes Native peoples in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, give a broader understanding of Indiana’s past and present.

The new art from Pohrt adds a great deal of diverse work to the museum’s existing Great Lakes collection, which had previously been small compared to others, according to public relations manager Bryan Corbin. The Eiteljorg had displayed some of that work from the Miami, Delaware and Potawatomi in “Mitohseenionki: The People’s Place” since 2002. Now, some of those items will be in the reconstructed galleries.

Other Miami and Potawatomi artworks that were shown previously in the galleries were on loan and have been returned after almost 20 years on exhibition.

This section of the reinstallation will focus on tribes’ connections to the Great Lakes as well as contemporary environmental issues, like pipelines in the area and returning varieties of seeds to their place of origin in Native communities.

Artworks by people from the Great Lakes and surrounding areas will be threaded throughout the reinstalled galleries and specifically spotlighted in the Connected By Water room. With a dark ceiling and walls, art like textiles and moccasins will be inside lit-up boxes.

“You’ll be in this jewel box-like setting,” Phelps said.

Given many works’ sensitivity to light, the art will rotate, which will help the museum show more of the 400-plus items from the Pohrt collection, Phelps said.

The tribes’ art and skill will be evident, and Red Cloud said the exhibit offers an opportunity to teach about their spiritual beliefs through images used in the works, like those of thunderbirds and underwater panthers. Again, past and present will unite through works like a turn-of-the-20th-century bandolier bag with floral beadwork, an art form that continues.

On “the bandolier bags, you’ll see a lot of floral patterns — floral and plant. They’re based on plant knowledge that people have, you know, what kind of plants are beneficial to use for medicine or to eat,” Red Cloud said. “The floral beadwork is something you only find in the Great Lakes area, and the artists are still doing it today.”

Construction of galleries is ongoing as the Eiteljorg moves into the final fundraising phase of Project 2021. In October, the museum announced its goal to raise more than $6 million by May after receiving almost $49 million during the private phase that began in 2016. Part of the money — $40 million — will be added to its endowment. The remaining $15 million will go toward its capital campaign.

Along with the Native American Galleries, the latter includes the reconstruction of the Western Art Galleries, which reopened in 2018; renovation of the Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center, which reopened in November; and the future expansion of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court events space. Corbin said that the museum has raised more than 90% of its overall goal so far.

Audio descriptions, digital tools, information that’s easily seen by those who use wheelchairs, and special lighting for people who are visually impaired will make the galleries more accessible. Visitors will be able to touch parts of the exhibitions, too.

The additions include videos from Native artists who explain their work. These voices are key to telling the stories of the art and people behind it, Phelps said. Even in the midst of enduring painful situations throughout Native peoples’ history, Red Cloud said the galleries will show the perseverance and joy of their cultures.

“People are still culturally alive and viable as reflected in art,” she said. “Art practices are still continuing and evolving, and that’s when we get to innovation and really celebrate Native art and its diversity.”

Source: The Indianapolis Star

Carly Robbins makes a swimming spot with Legos at Jasper public library. Robbins said her plan is for customers to buy pillows, then jump in with them for fun.

Lego fun

148 new COVID cases reported Friday
  • Updated

JASPER — With 148 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday on top of 98 reported late Thursday, Dubois County’s positivity rate is at 25.4% among all tests and 37.5% among people tested for the first time.

Indiana Department of Health’s daily update shows the county has 10,523 total cases, including 151 deaths among 29,980 people tested over the course of the pandemic.

Nearly 60% of the county’s eligible population (ages 5 and older) have received two doses of vaccines. Health officials encourage anyone who has received two doses of vaccine five months ago to receive a booster vaccine, or anyone who received a single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine two months ago to receive a booster dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only brand recommended for pediatric patients. Anyone age 18 and older can choose either Pfizer or Moderna brands.

In the area, Daviess County reported 77 new cases for 6,138 cases including 126 deaths among 19,100 people tested; Pike County 29 new cases for 3,020 cases including 45 deaths among 8,094 people tested; Warrick County 236 new cases including one additional death for 15,465 cases including 211 deaths among 45,567 people tested; Vanderburgh County 704 new cases including two additional deaths for 44,322 cases including 523 deaths among 134,271 people tested; Spencer County 44 new cases for 4,314 cases including 56 deaths among 11,988 people tested; Perry County 45 new cases for 3,567 cases including 55 deaths among 12,659 people tested; Crawford County 26 new cases for 2,062 cases including 31 deaths among 7,311 people tested; Orange County 64 new cases for 4,024 cases including 82 deaths among 12,427 people tested; and Martin County 17 new cases for 1,764 cases including 20 deaths among 6,126 people tested.


In addition to regular testing and vaccination scheduled, Dubois County Health Department offers an evening clinic at the health department office, 1187 South Charles Street, Jasper, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 to accommodate anyone wanting COVID-19 vaccine after normal business hours. No appointment is needed.

No vaccines other than COVID-19 will be available.

Patrons need to bring identification, insurance cards and COVID-19 vaccination card if available.

The drive-through clinic is open for anyone 12 and older. Anyone under 12 years old must come inside on arrival.

For more information about the clinic, phone 812-481-7056.

The Centers for Disease Control recommendations for booster shots and additional doses:

• People 12 and older should receive a booster shot. People age 12 to 17 must receive a Pfizer booster.

• People who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) should receive a booster shot at least five months after completing their primary vaccine series.

• Moderately or severely immunocompromised people age 5 or older who received an initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series should receive an additional primary dose of the same mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after the second dose.

• Moderately and severely immunocompromised people 12 or older who completed an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received an additional mRNA vaccine dose should receive a single COVID-19 booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen) at least five months after completing their third mRNA vaccine dose. In such situations, people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised may receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses.

• A person who received one primary dose of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine should not receive more than two COVID-19 vaccine doses.

A parent must be present for anyone 5-18-years old and must complete a consent for vaccination form. A copy of a parent’s ID and insurance card must be included.

Free, indeed
  • Updated

A judge once told me that everyone wants him to throw the book at the criminal before him, until the person before him is a member of their family.

In a few decades of covering criminal cases, I have often thought about what the judge said. In one of the most serious criminal cases I’ve covered, I reached out to the father of a murder defendant who brought his son in to law enforcement officers after the son shot a police officer on a traffic stop in February, 2000.

Had he not brought him in, the defendant would have been a fugitive. The father wouldn’t give me an interview, but he did remark that he felt he was losing him for good when he brought his son to law enforcement.

The son took a plea deal that took the death penalty off the table and was sentenced to life in prison. He gave me a jail interview shortly after he was sentenced eight months after the murder. He couldn’t say why he shot the officer, other than a mind messed up on drugs.

He was drug-free when I talked to him, and leading a Bible study group in the county jail in 2000. He’s been in state prison for about 21 years now, and has asked for clemency, but was denied.

A lot of people can’t forget the pain he caused, and in the eyes of the law, he’s where he ought to be. His body is not free, and it shouldn’t be. But if he’s still following Jesus, he is as free in spirit as me.

I think about that, a lot. God is merciful and values every person’s salvation — even convicted murderers. I’ve got a lot of brothers and sisters in Christ living in jail cells that I haven’t met yet.

Salvation is not a prize for good people to achieve. We can’t be good enough to earn it or good enough to keep it. God’s mercy and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes it free for the believing, repenting and accepting.

Before Jesus radically changed his life, Saul was a well-educated person of traditional faith who didn’t believe in Jesus — he even drug people off to prison and approved of stoning Christian martyrs. He was responsible for harassing and killing innocent people.

He thought he was right, that he was better — until Jesus intervened on the road to Damascus. (Acts Chapter 9) Saul became Paul the Apostle and spent the rest of his life (including jail time and an eventual martyr’s death) spreading the news of salvation.

I think about how many people who were in shackles were truly freed by his ministry, even today.

When we talk about our freedom, we place too much emphasis on the physical comforts, don’t we?

That’s not freedom at all.