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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Inside INdiana Business) — Two Indiana schools have received the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools designation. According to the DOE’s website, the designation is awarded to schools that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

Discovery Charter School in Porter County and Paramount Brookside School in Indianapolis are the Indiana recipients. The Indiana Department of Education says the schools are two of just 27 K-12 schools nationally to receive the honor.

The IDOE says Discovery Charter School integrates interactive environmental lessons into its curriculum while “positively supporting students’ mental, physical and emotional health.”

“Our school’s mission includes our commitment to sustainable practices – our students will become stewards of their environment and community,” said Principal Pamela Moore. “We want to serve as examples for others and encourage sustainability within our community. The partnerships we build, which includes the Indiana Dunes National Park, allow us to be active caretakers of the environment for present and future generations.”

Paramount Brookside School operates a small park and 3.5-acre working farm and the department says the school integrates those resources into curriculum and extracurricular activities.

“By bringing together community partners and leveraging the environment around them, Discovery Charter School and Paramount Brookside School are providing an innovative approach to learning that promotes student creativity and inquiry,” Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner said in a news release. “These schools are fostering a unique hands-on environment that takes learning well beyond the classroom and is helping to develop Indiana’s critical-thinkers and problem-solvers of tomorrow.”

The designation was also awarded to three early learning centers, five school districts, and five higher education institutions.

You can view the full list of recipients by clicking here.

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — The Trump administration is opposed to designating the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan as a national park.

National Park Service acting director P. Daniel Smith told a U.S. Senate subcommittee Wednesday that the administration wants to limit that designation to sites with a variety of resources and encompassing large land or water areas.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Smith says the 15,000-acre Indiana Dunes has more in common with other Great Lakes national lakeshore sites such as Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes than most national parks.

The U.S. House voted in November to support the change.

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican Sen. Todd Young both support the plan. A Young spokesman says he was disappointed with the opposition and seeking more information about any concerns.

PORTER, Ind. (AP) – A northwestern Indiana water park where 11 children suffered chemical burns must correct numerous large problems before it can reopen, a local health official says.

An inspection Wednesday of Seven Peaks Water Park by town, county and state officials found “fairly extensive” problems including structural safety issues involving tall slides at the park, said Keith Letta, administrator of the Porter County Health Department.

“An engineer is going to have to look at that,” Letta told The (Northwest Indiana) Times.

The daylong inspection also turned up problems with an electronic system that monitors water quality with probes and then dispenses chemicals as needed, he said. The complaints of bathers being burned in the water are believed to have resulted from this automated system breaking down and employees trying to manually add the chemicals, he said.

The park had new electronic control boxes in places Wednesday, but they were not yet calibrated or functional, Letta said.

Letta closed the park June 19 after the 11 children suffered chemical burns from too much chlorine in the water, a 12th suffered an eye irritation and two others broke collarbones at the Porter, Indiana, attraction about 40 miles southeast of Chicago.

Wednesday’s inspection was conducted to provide the water park with a list of all that needs to be done before the attraction is allowed to reopen, Letta said.

Seven Peaks spokeswoman Jo Penney found good news in the findings.

“It is looking pretty good,” she said. “Things are very positive.”

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PORTER, Ind. (AP) – A company that operates a northwestern Indiana water park authorities closed after 11 children suffered chemical burns says it’s “profoundly sorry” for the injuries and hopes to pass a county health inspection so that it can reopen in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

A weekend advertisement Provo, Utah-based Seven Peaks Resorts placed in local newspapers states that the children were burned after an equipment malfunction sent too much chlorine into the children’s slide area at Seven Peaks Waterpark, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago.

The company’s ad says it’s inspecting all of the Porter, Indiana, water park’s equipment and that its workers “sincerely apologize” to the injured children and their families.

“We are profoundly sorry for the recent and unfortunate incident that occurred at our water park location in Porter, Indiana,” the company says in the advertisement message attributed to Gary Brinton, president of Seven Peaks Resorts.

But that ad also says some media coverage of the water park’s woes is “simply untrue” and “fake news.” It doesn’t elaborate.

Seven Peaks Resorts spokeswoman Jo Penney said the company is working on a statement, expected to be released Tuesday, that will address the news reports the company considers inaccurate.

She said the Indiana water park’s general manager is ill but she spoke Monday to Porter County Health Department Administrator Keith Letta and requested a full list of the regulations the park must comply with in order to reopen.

“We are working to meet every regulation requirement on their list so that we can have the park up and operating for the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” she said.

Letta said the park won’t reopen until it passes a county compliance inspection. He said the phone call he received Monday afternoon from Penney was the first contact his office has had with the company since his office closed the water park on June 19 after the 11 children received chemical burns. A 12th child suffered an eye irritation in the park’s “kiddie pool” area. Letta attributed those injuries to overly chlorinated water.

He said two other children had their collarbones broken while on a park waterslide during the four days between the park’s season opening on June 15 and its closure by the county.

Letta added that parents told his staff the collarbone injuries occurred when park employees, for an unknown reason, grabbed inner tubes as the children were riding on a waterslide. This caused the children to be hurled against the slide’s wall, he said.

One child’s collarbone was shattered and had to be surgically repaired with a metal plate, Letta said.

“You don’t have to be a physics major to figure out if something is going by really fast and you stop it, whatever’s in it is going to go flying,” he said.

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