needle exchange program

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Tippecanoe County Health Department officials report a 93-percent syringe return rate among recurring participants during the first six months of the county’s needle exchange program.

A total of 138 people – most between the ages of 30 and 40 – have participated. The department has distributed about 11,000 needles in that time.

County Health Officer Jeremy Adler says the department has also focused on connecting participants with resources including substance abuse treatment, mental health services and Hepatitis C and HIV testing.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we reflect on 2017 with Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski.

His city has finished some major construction projects, is waiting on some others and is dealing with public comments about both, including that flooding along the newly redone Main Street has gotten worse, not better.

Also, we talk about the ongoing debate over affordable housing in the city. Roswarski and other official opposed one plan for more low-income housing on the city’s south side, but the project’s developer simply moved to another site that didn’t require rezoning.

City of West Lafayette

The construction may be done for the season along West Lafayette’s State Street, but questions about road work are not.

This week, on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we chat with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about road construction going on in several places and whether it’s trampling both travel times and flower beds.

Also on this week’s program, the Tippecanoe County Commissioners have approved a one-year extension of the county’s syringe exchange program, which Mayor Dennis was for before he was against it.

City of West Lafayette

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor with West Lafayette’s John Dennis, we talk about things getting thrown away.

A listener wants to know how recycling in the city really works – can he be sure his plastic bottles are going to a landfill?

Also, there’s new data about the county’s syringe exchange program, which Mayor Dennis is against, along with his police chief and their counterparts across the river. About half the needles given out so far haven’t come back. So where are they ending up?

Indianapolis, Indiana.
Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In recent years, several Indiana cities have made sports-related investments as a way of trying to lure athletic tourism dollars.

Now that Lafayette is building a softball park and a new Loeb Stadium, is it the latest municipality to try that tactic?

That’s one of the questions we pose this week to Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s State Street partially reopened, on time, last month, and drivers have begun getting used to the new traffic patterns.

They’ve had a lot of time to do that because the new architecture leaves them idling in the road for much longer than the old setup did.

ZaldyImg / https://www.flickr.com/photos/8499561@N02/

Tippecanoe County Health Department officials Friday tried to bar reporters from the public building where the county’s needle exchange had begun operating.

Reporters were able to talk with public health nurse Khala Hochstedler until a few minutes before 1 p.m. Friday, when she claimed they had to leave the building.

But because Tippecanoe County decided to start its program over the objections of Lafayette and West Lafayette officials, it had to be in a county-owned space – one that, by definition, is open to the public.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Despite months of objections from Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, Tippecanoe County gets its needle exchange this week – at a fixed location in a neighborhood that Roswarski said he wanted specifically to avoid.

This week on WBAA's Ask The Mayor, we pose this question to the mayor: did all that opposition force the county’s hand into deciding to use the health department’s site as the home of the controversial program?

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Wikimedia Commons

One of the first Indiana counties to implement a syringe exchange is now the first in the state to effectively shut its program down.

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