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School board seeking applicants for seat

The Fayette County School Corporation will have a vacant seat on the school board after member Andy Yaryan’s decision not to run for re-election. Yaryan has resigned the position.

Yaryan has served on the school board for the last four years.

“He did make a decision to to not run for re-election this fall,” FCSC Superintendent Scott Collins said. “Since no one ran in his district, that board seat remained unfilled, which requires Andy to remain in that position until someone has filled it or Andy resigns. As Andy has submitted his letter of resignation, which is effective at the end of February, the school board has 30 days after the completion of his last day served (February 28, 2021) to fill the position, per Indiana Code. That process has begun with the advertisement of this open seat.”

Any patrons who live in Yaryan’s district, which is District 3, Connersville Township (except for precinct 11), and includes Harrison Townships precincts 1,2,3,4, and 6 may submit a letter of application and accompanying proof of residency to the FCSC Administration Building at 1401 Spartan Drive – Attention: Cindy Lynch. These letters of application will be accepted until noon on January 19, 2021.

Applicants must have resided in District 3 for at least one year, be a registered voter, and cannot be an employee of the Fayette County Schools at the time of appointment to the Board. The Board is planning to interview selected applicants in a public meeting in late January with a goal to make a decision on a new board member at the February 9th monthly meeting.

The new board member would be sworn in at the March 9th monthly meeting and begin serving the remainder of that four year term, which expires on December 31, 2024.

Hair stylist learns to love herself

Samantha Parker has always struggled with the girl looking back at her in the mirror.

“Since middle school I’ve struggled with the girl in the mirror. “My dad told me I was too fat at 5 feet tall, 113 pounds and my friend was too skinny and she was about 5-9 and 127 pounds. Since that comment, I’ve honestly probably never loved myself. But I’m so thankful I didn’t let it cause an eating disorder.”

Parker, a hair stylist and makeup artist could physically do her makeup and hair flawlessly but still didn’t love herself on the inside.

From there, Parker wanted to make a change, a life changing one.

“My friend Latisha joined the gym and bugged me about joining her at the gym for a few months and I finally started at BAM doing my first 30 day challenge in January 2020,” Parker said. “For the first time, I started to love myself.”

Going to the gym and changing her lifestyle was just the first step on an incredible journey.

“It has changed my life so much, first of all it has changed me because I love myself, something that has taken so long for me to do and I’m so glad to know the feeling of truly loving myself,” she said. “Daily, someone has reminded me of how great I’ve done and am still doing, they say I’m an inspiration and that makes me so happy and proud.”

Parker didn’t have surgery and she didn’t take pills. She started by letting go of all negativity and moved forward from there.

“I started by letting go of all things negative like friends and family that don’t support me,” she said. “This helped get my mental health to start healing. I also took no diet pills over this entire year.

“I did three boot camps or 30-day challenges and cut out pop and alcohol. I still drink coffee but it is black or might have a splash of creamer, I do portion control with food. I try to work out three to five days a week and drink water, lots of water.”

The journey hasn’t been easy but Parker continues to push forward.

“Believing in myself mentally was the hardest and longest challenge. Physically it was making myself go to the gym on days I didn’t want to be there.”

Parker encourages those trying to lose weight to never give up and to always continue to persevere.

“You have to work on your mental health, along with your weight loss. They play hand and hand together for myself. Also, believe in yourself. I can’t stress that enough. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight so please don’t feel discouraged. We all start somewhere.”

As for continuing her journey, Parker doesn’t see stopping as an option.

“Recently I was off work and gym for six whole weeks. Never did I think I’d miss working out, me? Who would of thought? During my time off I was unable to workout per doctors orders and I worked on my portion control and that helped me maintain,” she said. “This next year I’m working on tightening and toning of my skin and muscles. I couldn’t properly do some exercises because of a pre-existing injury so my arms weren’t able to be tone like I would like for them to be.

“I will continue to set small goals to reach my big goal.”

In a year, Parker has lost 76 pounds and 91 total.

She weighed her heaviest in 2018/2019 at 229 pounds, in January 2020 she weighed 214 and her current weight is 138.

“My spouse and children are my biggest supporters, they have always been here for me since day one and have cheered me on,” she said. “I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Missionaries hoping to get back to work ... soon

For Missionaries Ryan and Kim Marshall, and two of their children – Ezekiel (16) and Adrianna (14) – a bit of a lay-off is coming to an end ... and the four of them can’t wait to get back to work.

Two years ago, the four of them were assigned to Papua New Guinea, the first time the entire family was sent abroad.

“I started in 2015, that was my first missionary trip. On that trip, I went to Beirut, Lebanon,” Ryan said. “Up until we went as a family to New Guinea, I would travel places, help out for a week or two, and then come back.

“But when we became resident missionaries, we all went.”

Representing the Assembly of the Lord Jesus Christ, the family spent more than a year there, before being forced to return to the United States.

“For some reason, the New Guinea government will approve a visa while you are there, but you have to go back to your place of origin to get the permanent visa put in your passport,” Ryan explained. “We tried to do it at the Consulate there, but it turns out you have to physically be in the United States to do that.”

So the family packed up and returned to New Castle, thinking it would be a quick turnaround, before heading back to their assigned country.

No one saw COVID-19 coming, however.

“We had to come back here, due to the visa issue, and then Corona reared its ugly head, so then were stuck,” Ryan said with a laugh.

By the time March had rolled around, Papua, New Guinea had closed its borders to all U.S. citizens. As a result, the family was, indeed, stuck here.

In Papua, the foursome had a thriving ministry, as the people there appeared hungry for the Word of God.

“We oversee 36 churches there,” Ryan said. “We also plant brand new churches, to add to that total. We do a lot of building programs. We have a sawmill, so that allows us to do quite a bit of humanitarian stuff.

“My wife is big on making sure that people are eating and that they have the amenities that they need. She always carries food and water with her, so that she can give it to people.”

And the teens are quite involved as well.

“Our son is teaching people how to play instruments, he is very musically inclined,” Ryan said. “My daughter has a true burden for the youth over there. As such, she has started a Sunday School drive. She has raised a few hundred dollars for that.

“The entire family loves it. As a family, missionary work is something we are all very passionate about.”

Ask him or one of his family members why they do it, and they might share a story about one church that was built there, due to the faith of one girl.

“We have this church in a small town called Red Corner,” Ryan recalled. “This girl came to a conference and she didn’t know anything about church and had never heard about Jesus. Well she came and God started to deal with her, so she approached the alter and told us that her family needed to hear about this.

“At that point, I was thinking home Bible study with a small group. When we pulled up, however, here was this group of about 150 people lined up in this alley.

“Before we went in, her sister was there to wash our feet. We went in and when we were done preaching, this man came up to us and said, ‘You have dedicated this land to the Lord, so now we are going to dedicate it to the ALJC, so that you can build a church here.’

“So from that one girl, we baptized more than 60 people and now there is a permanent church building there. Hundreds of people come there now.”

That explains why they want to go back.

Now the questions are, how and when?

The ‘when’ might have been answered, Ryan says.

“I got an email tonight, and it looks like they’re going to allow us to come back for a visit, but it’s going to be very expensive,” he said.

It won’t be easy, he added.

“We actually have to charter a flight from Port Moresby, which is the capitol of Papua, New Guinea. We will be considered to be contaminated, so we will need to charter a flight which will cost 11,000 kina, which is $3,200.

“We have some of that, but we will obviously need more. The way that this year has gone, we have not been able to get into as many churches as we normally do.”

Once they do get back, Ryan says that a plan is already in place.

“We’re going to go to each church and spend four weeks,” he said. I am going to teach the ministry, my son will teach the music ministry, and my wife and daughter are looking forward to teaching Sunday School.

“I hope to be wheels up and on our way by the first of February.”

Help for the family can come in many forms.

To stay updated on the Marshall family, go to https://www.aljcpng.org/

Donations can also be sent to:

Cash.app/$ryanmarshall png

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/marshall ministries

https://venmo.com/ ryanmarshallpng

“Any prayer that someone could offer would be so very appreciated,” he said with a smile. “If someone wanted to help financially, that would also be wonderful.”

COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Connersville will remain open

Reid Health’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Lynn and Connersville will remain open next week as the Richmond location moves to the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

Initially, plans called for the sites in Randolph and Fayette counties to close this week, but after further discussion with county health officials in those areas, arrangements were made to continue staffing those locations.

The Indiana State Department of Health late last week expanded the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to Hoosiers age 80 and older. Keeping the clinics in Lynn and Connersville open will help Reid and the local health departments continue collaborating to better serve those who are now eligible for vaccination.

“We recognize that many in the older age groups have transportation challenges, plus winter weather could affect travel at any time,” said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. “Therefore, we feel it’s important to continue serving this population closer to home.”

Reid is operating three COVID-19 vaccination clinics with one each in Richmond, Lynn and Connersville.

Both the Lynn and Connersville locations will remain open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. one day of the week, Tuesdays in Lynn (at Family & Occupational Medicine, 428 S. Main St.) and Wednesdays in Connersville (at Reid HealthWorks, 3542 Western Ave.).

The Richmond site in Suite 140 of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus (1100 Reid Parkway) is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week as well as 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

That clinic will move to the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds (861 N. Salisbury Road) on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Once there, the site’s hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Each site’s operating hours will be reevaluated as the state’s vaccine rollout continues. It’s expected the next demographic groups to become eligible will be those age 70 and older followed by those who are 60 and up.

Vaccinations began in December with Phase 1A, which has included first responders and healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material.

Now, the first members of the general public – those age 80 or older – can be vaccinated for free as Phase 1B begins.

“This is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. “These are members of our community who are most at-risk for the virus. The vaccine provides another level of protection to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary registration over the phone.

The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they’re signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.

Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer’s vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out the required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.

Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don’t use a live virus, they can’t give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it’s possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.