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WASHINGTON (WISH) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is scheduled to hear a case that some argue could restrict Americans’ chances to sue over Medicaid decisions and, perhaps more concerning, cause millions of people to lose access to Medicaid programs.

The case involves Gorgi “Jorgo” Talevski. He’d been living with dementia. The longtime Valparaiso resident died Oct. 6, 2021 at age 85 in a nursing home in Bremen, Indiana, his obituary says.

Talevski entered a Valparaiso nursing home in January 2016. His wife, Ivanka Talevski, sued the nursing home in September 2016, arguing it was not providing proper care. The nursing home then tried to move Gorgi to another facility two hours away. An administrative law judge ruled for the move to be stopped, but Gorgi was never returned to the Valparaiso nursing home.

Ivanka in January 2019 sued again, claiming Valparaiso Care & Rehabilitation, a facility of the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, Indiana, did not provide adequate care and moved her husband to another facility. A federal district court threw the case out because it believed federal law does not allow people receiving Medicaid to sue for damages. An appeals court later ruled the district court was wrong to throw out the case, questioning the use of drugs to restrain him due to discipline or staff convenience, and his move to another care facility.

The Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County says it properly restrained and medicated Talevski. The Marion County government agency operates the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health, Eskenazi Health Foundation, Indianapolis EMS, and more than 70 skilled nursing facilities for long-term care in Indiana.

In response to the appeals court ruling, the Health and Hospital Corp. asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Americans have the right to sue states operating of a program funded by the federal government.

Opponents say if the Supreme Court favors the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, the decision would hurt Americans with disabilities, and patients who have low incomes. A ruling for Health and Hospital Corp. could also affect other federal-state programs, including food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Justices have scheduled 65 minutes for the oral arguments, according to Tuesday’s Supreme Court schedule. The audio will be livestreamed at The case is Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, et al., v. Ivanka Talevski, personal representative of the estate of Gorgi Talevski.

Previous News 8 coverage

BREMEN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Marshall County manufacturer is extending dozens of previously-announced furloughs and layoffs. In a notice to the state, Bremen-based Universal Bearings LLC said the 61 employees affected by the decision will likely remain out of work beyond the original six-month period, though a specific duration was not given.

The company, which manufactures loose needle and needle bearing products, originally announced furloughs and layoffs in April and June. The company says it has since recalled 73 of the originally affected employees.

“UB is hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic will improve in the very near future, and that current economic conditions will change, and that UB will be able to have employees return to work as soon as possible,” the company said. “However, as Universal Bearings cannot predict how long the COVID-19 situation will last, and the impact of its effects upon Universal Bearings operations and business, Universal Bearings cannot rule out that furloughs/layoffs could be longer than initially anticipated.”

Universal Bearings says it does not know if the temporary furloughs and layoffs will become permanent.

BREMEN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The board of directors for Bremen-based BCI Solutions Inc. has elected JB Brown as the company’s next chief executive officer. Brown succeeds his father, James E. Brown, who is stepping down after 32 years as CEO.

James has been chairman of the board for the last eight years, and BCI says he will continue those duties as well as remain with the company as an advisor and officer.

“On behalf of the Board, I am proud to hand the reigns over to my son, JB. He has led the company, under my watchful eye, for the last 15 years and he is exceptionally qualified to accept this challenge.” said James E. Brown. “I am confident that JB will successfully lead BCI Solutions, Inc. with his business acumen and incredible leadership skills.”

BCI says JB Brown started with the company in 1993 and became president in 2005.

JB Brown said, “Having worked every part of this company, I understand the operational aspect of BCI and am eager to be the new visionary of the company. I am excited to continue working with our new President and Integrator, Chuck Kalupa and am thrilled my daughter, Jordan Brown, will now serve as the Vice President.”

Charles Kalupa, who joined the company in 2018, has been elected as BCI’s new president. Kalupa began his career at BCI as the vice president of operations.

The company says the newly-elected vice president, Jordan Brown, is the fifth generation of the Brown family to be part of BCI. Like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather before her, Jordan has worked in the foundry since high school.

BREMEN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Bremen-based Horse Saddle Shop says it has suspended producing its EZ Saddle Fit Tool so that the company can focus on 3D printing face shields for the medical community. The company says it has now dedicated its three larger 3D printers to face shield parts on a full-time basis.

The company says each printer can produce about two shields per hour.

Chuck Klockow, owner of Horse Saddle Shop said, “It was an easy decision to stop producing our Saddle Fit Tools and dedicate our printers to print face shields. There is a definite shortage and I’m happy to help protect those on the front line in any way I can.”

The National Institute of Health has an approved design that anyone with a 3D printer can use. Horse Saddle Shop says it is working with Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation which assembles, sterilizes, and distributes the face shields to hospitals in the northern Indiana and Chicago area.

BREMEN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A manufacturer in the Marshall County town of Bremen is aiding in the production of certain personal protection equipment. Nishikawa Cooper LLC (NISCO) has adapted its facility to produce and distribute polyethylene isolation gowns for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NISCO is a supplier of dynamic sealing systems for the automotive industry. The company uses multi-function laser cutters, commonly used for the garment industry, as part of its process of manufacturing vehicle door sound dampening products.

The cutters have been transitioned to making the gowns for first responders. The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. says the company has already produced enough new gowns to distribute to every fire department in the county.

“This is tremendous,” Scott Ford, associate vice president for economic development at the University of Notre Dame, said in a news release. “The example offers a ray of hope in these trying times. NISCO’s leadership provides a ‘proof-of-concept’ that will be so helpful in recruiting additional manufacturers to consider a similar path.”

The MCEDC says it took NISCO less than a week to design the gowns and begin production. The company continues to distribute gowns to first responders daily.

You can learn more about the effort in the video below:

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Part of a new state law impacting who can and cannot go to kindergarten in the coming school year has parents and education districts fired up. 

Under this new law, if a school district decides to let 4-year-olds into kindergarten this fall, they could lose up to $6,000 per child in state funding. The law is effective for the 2018-19 school year.

Stephanie LaPlante, director of early childhood and PK-3 curriculum at Lawrence Township Schools, said, “What it says is any child born after Aug. 1, the state will no longer give the dollars to the school for that child as a kindergarten student.” 

As a result, Lawrence Township Schools Board voted to not let 4-year-olds into kindergarten this fall. Boards from other school districts across the state also have faced or are facing the same question on 4-year-olds.

LaPlante said, “Currently, we have 100 students who have birthdays after Aug. 1 that would qualify now to not receive any state funding. That’s over half a million dollars that would be a hit to our district.”  

Instead, Lawrence is offering a $175-a-week, licensed “accelerated preschool” program “with a four-year-degree certified teacher,” LaPlante said.

The law first created by State Rep. Sally Siegrist, a West Lafayette Republican, not only puts the limit on kindergartners, but also provides millions of dollars to schools. Siegrist said parents are upset and she hears about it daily. She said she did not want the language about 4-year-olds in the measure, which passed the House with no mention of the cutoff date. She said the Senate added the language before the measure became law. 

Siegrist said, “I bargained hard in conference committee to get that taken back out, but was not able to succeed. Sen. (Ryan) Mishler is the head of Finance in the Senate and he has a lot more power than I.” 

Mishler, a Republican from Bremen, declined to comment or respond to questions. His spokesperson said he was busy with work and was unavailable. 

Siegrist said, “I am sorry. I’m sorry a bill I wrote thinking I was helping students actually turned out to be harmful to a very small number of of students.”

At Indianapolis Public Schools, spokesperson Carrie Black said, “We have about 50 students who don’t meet the new requirement, but received a placement in the first round of our enrollment process before the new law was passed.”

The district expects to absorb or pay for a $357,663 funding loss, she said.

From the Hamilton Southeastern Schools in the Fishers area, district spokeswoman Emily Pace Abbotts issued in a statement:

“The Hamilton Southeastern School Board of Trustees voted to accept Early Entrance Kindergarten students for the 2018-19 school year in response to the new piece of legislature that impacted funding for Early Entrance to Kindergarten across the state. Students that qualify for Early Entrance to Kindergarten have birthdays between August 2 and September 1. We made this decision to support our families and our youngest learners.”

“As of May 16, we have 47 students born after August 2, registered for kindergarten for 2018-19 school year. We are estimating a $300,000 loss and it will affect the cash balance. Our staffing is already in place for next year.”

Mary Lang, a spokesperson for Wayne Township Schools in Marion County, said, “We will not be accepting kindergarten students with age waivers during the coming school year.”

Pike Township Schools Board was set to vote on its kindergarten decision on Thursday night.