Hoosiers urged to get flu shots as flu season nears

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state health commissioner is urging Hoosiers to get their flu shots soon because flu cases are already appearing around the state.

Kris Box says residents should "take steps quickly to protect themselves and their loved ones" because the flu can be deadly.

Since the 2014-15 flu season, nearly 800 Hoosiers have died from flu-related illnesses. Vulnerable populations include the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccinations be offered by late October. It takes about two weeks for protective antibodies to develop in the body.

Flu shots can be obtained through primary care providers and many pharmacies. To find the nearest location to get a flu shot, go to https://vaccinefinder.org/

woman dies after fall at Garden of the Gods

EVANSVILLE (AP) — An Evansville woman has died after falling from a cliff at Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

Equality, Illinois, Fire Chief Cole Baker says 36-year-old Sara Rappee fell about 60 feet around 6 p.m. Saturday.

Baker tells the Evansville Courier & Press another hiker heard Rappee fall and called 911. He says someone had been hiking with Rappee but no one saw her fall.

Baker said Rappee fell from the cliff overlooking Camel Rock. He says rescue personnel hiked into a ravine to get to Rappee and she was airlifted to an Evansville hospital.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner's Officer says she died around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Load of frozen bagels scorched when semi's axle catches fire

RENSSELAER (AP) — A load of frozen bagels ended up toasted and strewn along a highway after a semi-trailer's rear axle caught fire.

State police say an off-duty trooper noticed smoke pouring from the rear of a box trailer being hauled Sunday evening by a semi along northbound Interstate 65.

The southbound trooper turned around, but by the time he stopped the truck south of I-65's Rensselaer exit, its trailer's brakes were burning as the flames spread into its 38,000-pound load of frozen bagels.

Police say the driver of the truck owned by Balkan Logistics Group out of Countryside, Illinois, had failed to release the trailer's rear brakes.

He disconnected his rig from the trailer before its rear tires exploded from the fire's heat. Local fire crews then doused the flames.

Maker of entertainment props, attractions to expand

MOORESVILLE (AP) — A company that makes props and attractions for the entertainment industry plans to hire 70 more workers as part of an expansion.

Creative Works Inc. says it will invest $1.1 million into renovating and expanding its headquarters in Mooresville. The company currently has 67 full-time employees, but plans to add up to 70 jobs by 2022 as part of the expansion.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the 22-year-old company designs, makes and installs set pieces and props for a host of entertainment venues, including escape rooms, virtual reality and esports venues and indoor miniature golf courses.

As part of its expansion, Creative Works plans to hire for sales and marketing associates, project managers, 3D modeling and graphic designers and attraction installers.

BMV puts nonbinary gender option for IDs on hold

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is putting on hold a policy allowing nonbinary gender designations on driver's licenses while state officials develop new formal regulations for gender changes on state-issued IDs.

The agency had proposed allowing such changes with an amended birth certificate or a special state Department of Health form signed by a doctor. State Attorney General Curtis Hill stalled the proposal last month, citing insufficient public notification.

The BMV says it is working on a revised proposal and set a public hearing for Nov. 15.

BMV spokeswoman Susan Guyer tells The Journal Gazette that it will continue processing male-to-female and female-to-male gender modifications with a doctor's statement. She said the agency won't approve more requests for nonbinary X designations until the regulation change is completed.

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