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This Week's Facts:

  1. Commission for Women Present the 2013 Torchbearer Awards

  2. White House Celebrates 135 Years of Easter Egg Roll

  3. State Dedicates Week to Flood Safety Awareness

  4. Irish American Fast Facts

CDC Offers Tips for Healthy
Spring Break Travel Season

Have you seen all of the unfortunate news coverage about cruises lately? Don’t let that stop you from traveling! Improve your chances for a better cruise experience. Preparation, planning, and common-sense safety practices should make cruising a relaxing, positive experience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information for cruise ship travelers that will help keep you safe and healthy, such as eCards to remind family members, friends, and cruise mates about hand washing and other tips to stay healthy while on the ship. Potential cruisers can also check the cruise ship’s inspection reports  to see the latest reports any potential concerns about the ship. Travelers can select from a variety of health topics to keep you safe and healthy while traveling within the United States or abroad. Here’s to happy, healthy, and safe travel this season! 

Irish American Fast Facts

34.5 million
According to the 2011 American Community Survey, 34.5 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2011. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland itself (4.68 million). Irish was the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$39.4 billion
The total value of imports from Ireland in 2011 to the U.S. Source: Foreign Trade Division

$2.8 billion and $28.6 million
Value of beef and cabbage imported to the U.S. in 2011. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. Source: Foreign Trade Division

In the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the value of U.S. imports of beer made from malt increased, going from $288,073,597 in February 2012 to $374,076,005 in March 2012. The pattern was the same for nonalcoholic beer. The value of its U.S. imports increased, going from $1,114,450 in February 2012 to $1,234,910 in March 2012.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: Foreign Trade Division USA Trade ® Online U.S. Import and Export Merchandise trade

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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Commission for Women Presents the 2013 Torchbearer Awards

Indiana Commission for WomenThe Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) presented its 2013 Torchbearer Awards on March 6, 2013 as part of Women’s History Month. Eleven women were honored at ICW’s annual Ceremony at the Indiana Government Conference Center Auditorium. The honorees 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 Betsy Corridan, Chair of the ICW Board of Commissioners. “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.”

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, many elected and appointed officials and more than 200 members of the community were on hand for the annual ceremony. 2013 Torchbearer Awards were presented to the following women:

  • Mary Aurtrey, Indianapolis
  • Sr. Jeanne Hagelskamp, LP, Indianapolis
  • Anne Hathaway, Indianapolis
  • Deborah Hearn Smith, Indianapolis
  • Mary Roberta Heiman, Evansville
  • Lyn Isbell, Michigan City
  • Nancy King, South Bend
  • Bobbie Magley, South Bend
  • Ginny O’Connor, Evansville
  • Shanel Poole, Indianapolis
  • Kathy Reehling, Thorntown

Click here for the ceremony program with their biographies.

White House Celebrates 135 Years of Easter Egg Roll

Whitehouse Easter Egg RollIt’s hard to believe that it’s almost springtime and Easter is only one week away. While you’re busy with holiday preparations such as dyeing eggs, buying candy, and arranging family dinner celebrations, the White House will be celebrating 135 years of fun! On Monday, April 1, 2013, the First Family will host the 135th Annual White House Easter Egg Roll. More than 35,000 people will be joining the First Family on the South Lawn for games, stories, and of course the Easter egg roll.

The day will be full of activities such as sports courts and cooking demonstrations that will educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines. This is done to reinforce and emphasize First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.

Another highlight to this year’s festivities is the White House Keepsake Eggs. This year’s souvenir eggs come in four bold colors:  purple, blue, yellow, pink and include stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. Visit the White House website to learn more about the Easter Egg Roll tradition.

State Dedicates Week to Flood Safety Awareness

Flood Awareness WeekA century ago on March 24, 1913, Indiana experienced devastating floods in nearly every riverside community across the state – referred to as the Great Flood of 1913. The floodwaters caused an estimated $25 million (in 1913 dollars) in damage statewide, and lives were lost. The Indiana State Library currently has an informational display in the Exhibit Hall which tells the story of this statewide disaster through photographs, maps, newspaper headlines, and books. Brookville, Indianapolis, Marion, Peru, and Logansport were just a few of the areas affected.  For more information about historic floods, link to the Indiana Geological Survey’s Flooding in Indiana webpage. Additional articles and resources about flood events throughout the Midwest are on Trudy Bell’s website and blog.

This week (March 18-22) was declared Flood Safety Awareness Week by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).  Hoosiers are encouraged to get ready for the possibility of spring floods by reading the following tips and information.  There are several things individuals and families can do to prepare for flooding or any disaster, and IDHS encourages all Hoosiers develop a family emergency communications plan and put together a disaster preparedness kit. The kit should contain essential items your family needs to sustain itself for at least three days. When developing a family communications plan, make sure to include an out-of-state contact and meeting places in case the family becomes separated.

Flood Insurance
Floods can be very expensive, and purchasing flood insurance is one of the most cost-effective steps homeowners can take to protect their homes. FEMA’s FloodSmart website includes a tool to quickly estimate the cost of damages from various amounts of flood water in a home, as well as resources that can make a residence more flood resistant. Also conduct a home inventory of all valuables. An easy way to do this is with a home video camera or photographs. Thorough documentation of belongings can help when filing a flood insurance claim.

In your neighborhood
Some easy preventative yard work can help minimize the effects of flooding in your neighborhood. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) encourages citizens to help clear brush and other debris from storm water drains.

Without taking preventive measures, clogged or blocked drainage systems can lead to numerous problems. Poor drainage can cause potholes and slick driving conditions on public roads.

On the road
According to the National Weather Service, most flood related deaths happened while driving. Indiana State Police (ISP) wants to remind Hoosiers to NOT drive around barricades at water crossings. They are there to protect the public.

“Disregarding warning signs and attempting to cross flooded roads endangers everyone in the vehicle, as well as the first responders who may need to come to the aid of those who are stranded,” said Captain Dave Bursten with the Indiana State Police.

Hoosiers should also keep the following in mind when encountering flooded roadways.

  • Never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Water can conceal dips, or worse, flood waters can damage roadways, washing away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground.
  • Remember, just a few inches of moving water is enough to carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize high water danger.

For more flood safety tips, visit and

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