By: Keith Klein (Photo: Carrie Cook/ABC News)
Seeds from China are mysteriously showing up in thousands of mailboxes across the country. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said they have no reason to believe it is anything other than a “brushing scam,” a ploy to boost online sales by salting retail web sites with glowing product reviews.
At least 300 people in Indiana have received the packets unsolicited, and agriculture officials have warned people not to plant the seeds.
Many of the shipments are postmarked from China with Chinese lettering on the label. They are coming in white or yellow packaging, and many of the labels have been marked “un-tracked.”
The seeds are of all different kinds, varying in shape, size, and color. Some initial tests have found some of the seeds are amaranth, a weed family on the noxious list in Indiana and other states.
That means they can be harmful to crops, ecosystems, and possibly even humans or livestock.
Never plant seeds of unknown origin. Contact your local County Extension office for what to do with the seeds.
A Ball State University study says the digital divide could impact online education for thousands of school-aged Hoosier children.
The study indicates more than 84-thousand K-12 students may lack internet access at home.
The Ball State study found the interruption of school in March due to the pandemic resulted in wide variation in delivering online education because of large gaps in internet access across the state.
“The lack of access to appropriate devices and the internet – also known as the digital divide – could increase educational and social gaps among children,” said Michael Hicks, economist, and director of the study.
The study found that about 69 to 84-thousand, Indiana school-age children do not have internet access at home.
Gas Buddy reports the price of a gallon of gas in Monroe County ranges from $1.89 to 2.19.