Hancock County News

Traffic violation becomes drugs, gun arrest

A man from Louisiana ran a stop sign, so police pulled him over in Knightstown, and found more than a passenger in his car. 


Brandon Robichaux was arrested on Sunday after police found two guns, prescription drugs, syringes, marijuana and eight bags of ecstasy, said the Muncie Star Press.


He admitted to police the ecstasy, and other drugs were his, but he wasn't a dealer. 


His passenger, Thomas Kietun, from Hagerstown, admitted to taking ecstasy, but also warned police he was an acquaintance of a recently elected Henry County official and he would be "making a call."

Robichaux was charged with dealing, multiple possession charges, carrying a gun without a license, and more. 


Kietun was charged with possession, carrying a gun without a license, and visiting a common nuisance. 

Ruling against Greenfield Granite to seek restitution

The saga of a Greenfield business that was the scene of a death investigation and a lawsuit by Indiana's attorney general has come to a close this month. 


A civil case against Greenfield Granite has been decided, as Hancock County Court Commissioner Cody Coombs ruled for the state, awarding over $379 thousand to the state. 


In a four-page summary judgement, Coombs noted that representatives of Greenfield Granite never responded to the charges and ruled the business committed an unfair, abusive or deceptive act against its own customers, who paid for headstones that were never received. 


With the ruling, the office of the Indiana Attorney General can take whatever steps needed to recover property, which Coombs directed to be liquidated or distributed in hopes of using the proceeds to make restitution. 


Furthermore, Coombs awarded $5,000 per violation to be paid by the business. Also, any cremains located on the property are to be turned over to local authorities for identification and to be returned to the family. 


The business was the scene of a death investigation on Sept. 8, as former owner Amie Strohl took her life at the business.


At the time of her death, Strohl was under investigation by the Greenfield Police Department as several complaints were filed regarding payment for services that were never rendered. 


Shortly after Strohl's suicide, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that they had engaged in deceptive practices for two years. 


Court records show that Strohl was to have appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 2 for a civil case on the day she took her life. 

Virtual learning at Mt. Vernon calls for day outdoors

It's a snow day for a school in Hancock County, meaning all kids are home for virtual learning, but instead of working on a computer all day they've asked their students to grab their snow shoes.


Mt. Vernon Community Schools Superintendent Jack Parker said students only have one new assignment.


Step one, students have to use the scientific process and plan an outfit that will keep them warm and dry while playing outside.


"Once this hypothesis has been secured, students will be expected to test their theory by going outdoors and playing in the snow," said Parker. 


Step two, students will be practicing their skills of estimations and measurements by throwing snowballs at each other, the catch they have to stay six feet apart. 


If they happen to get hit with a snowball, it's time to practice their social skills and use good words to express themselves. 


For the kids that aren't feeling well, Parker said their assignment is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. 


"Students will self-report their grades to their teachers tomorrow during our regular virtual-learning day," he said. "Teachers have the option to not record this as a graded assignment."

He said students can also earn extra credit by helping shovel sidewalks and driveways. 

Greenfield woman killed in crash with wrong-way driver on I-65

A Greenfield woman was killed Monday night in a crash on I-65 in Boone County, according to the Lebanon Police Department.


According to police, Nicole Watson, 22, of Greenfield, was traveling north on I-65 when she was struck head on by Bill Rainwater, 83, of Indianapolis. Rainwater was traveling south on the wrong side of the interstate. 


Officers had already begun pursuit of a vehicle heading the wrong way when the accident happened.


Watson was pronounced dead at the scene. All northbound lanes of I-65 were closed as a result of the crash. 

Greenfield patrolman honored for life-saving effort

A Greenfield police officer was honored for saving a woman from a burning car in September.


Patrolman Blake Crull received the city's Lifesaving Award and the Medal of Valor during a City Council Meeting.


While patrolling Sept. 9, Crull came upon a two-car crash. One car was upside-down and on fire. Crull approached the car and heard someone inside. He freed Heather Fischer from the car and made sure she got help.


Fischer and her family attended the event.


"This is about coming together as a community and recognizing what this incredible man did for me. I definitely wouldn't be here if he wouldn't have been where he was at the time and been brave enough to actually risk his life. A burning car...a lot of people don't just run right up and do that," Fischer told WISH-TV.


The Lifesaving Award is given to officers who quickly save a life in the line of duty with disregard for personal safety. The Medal of Valor is awarded to police officers for outstanding acts of heroism and bravery.

Crider: Communities in Senate District 28 receive more than $1.2 million in road-funding grants

Communities in Senate District 28 will receive more than $1.2 million to improve roads and bridges through the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, said State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield).

The CCMG, established by the Indiana General Assembly<https://iga.in.gov/> in 2016, aims to advance community infrastructure projects, strengthen local transportation networks and improve Indiana’s roads and bridges. Since it was put into place, the program has awarded more than $830 million in state matching funds for local construction projects.

In Senate District 28, the following communities received grants:

·       McCordsville received $992,723.17;

·       New Palestine received $112,171.10; and

·       Shirley received $95,199.66.

“The Community Crossing Matching Grant program is a great resource for local municipal and county governments, helping them improve our communities," Crider said. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants will have, and I commend the local leaders whose efforts made this funding possible.”

Through the program, the Indiana Department of Transportation<https://www.in.gov/indot/> matches up to $1 million annually when localities invest in road and bridge repairs. Counties with populations fewer than 50,000 and cities and towns with populations fewer than 10,000 receive a 75%/25% match, while counties with populations of greater than 50,000 and cities and towns with populations of greater than 10,000 receive a 50%/50% match.

Elanco to build global headquarters in Indianapolis

Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health has announced plans to move its global headquarters to downtown Indianapolis.


Elanco, the world’s second-largest animal health company, will establish its global headquarters at the site of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indy. The 91-acre former industrial site has sat vacant since General Motors closed the plant in 2011.


Elanco says the new site in downtown Indy will allow it to “consolidate its global operations and more than 1,000 team members at one location,” according to Inside Indiana Business.


The investment in its Indianapolis HQ will allow Elanco to create nearly 600 jobs over the next decade while retaining more than 1,600 employees.


The company will keep its manufacturing centers in Clinton, Indy, and Terre Haute.


“It is a momentous day for the state of Indiana as we celebrate Elanco’s decision to establish its global headquarters in central Indiana, positioning itself for future growth and consolidation in the Hoosier state and creating hundreds of high-paying jobs for Hoosiers,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “Elanco is an important asset to Indiana – a leader in our growing agbioscience sector, which is poised to grow and continue innovating. We are thrilled with the direction of Elanco’s future and the transformational impact its growth will have on the agbioscience sector, the downtown Indianapolis footprint, and most importantly, the lives of Hoosier workers.”


Elanco plans to break ground on the new headquarters in the first half of 2021. Construction should be complete in the next two to three years.


The city of Indianapolis will help increase accessibility to the site through the construction of a new, two-way bridge across the White River at the current location of Henry Street. In addition, the city and state will partner in the development of a new pedestrian bridge connecting both banks of the White River.

Fountaintown man charged in incident with pregnant woman, animal

A Fountaintown man has been charged in Hancock County with battery / bodily injury of a pregnant woman and animal cruelty.


Matthew Seaman, 22, was arrested after deputies were called to a home November 24.  The woman involved said Seaman had kicked a dog that threw up and then pushed her and she said at one point something hit her in the stomach.


Seaman admitted to throwing a drink in the woman’s face and said he kicked the dog off the porch.

Seaman was granted a $2000 cash bond at his initial court appearance earlier this week.


Sunbeam has recalled 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker

Sunbeam has recalled more than 940,000 of their 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers, according to the manufacturer.


The recalled crock-pot can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked and may cause the lid to suddenly detach while the crock-pot is in use, allowing hot food and liquid to eject from the crock-pot and burn the user.


“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Crock-Pot in pressure cooker mode, but may continue to use for slow cooking and sautéing,” Sunbeam said. “Consumers should contact Crock-Pot immediately to obtain a free replacement lid.  Consumers who continue using the multi-cooker in pressure cooker mode while waiting for the replacement lid should be certain the lid is securely turned to the fully locked position by aligning the arrow on the lid with the lock symbol on the base.”


The crock-pots were sold in the U.S. at Walmart, Target, and other stores nationwide and on Amazon and other online retailers between July 2017 and Nov. 2020. 


The crock-pots were made between July 1, 2017 and Oct. 1, 2018 with date codes K196JN through K365JN and L001JN through L273JN. The date code is engraved on one of the prongs of the plug and on the bottom of the base.


Sunbeam says it has received 99 reports of burn injuries, ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.



A stormy Wednesday for portions of central Indiana

Strong to severe storms are possible between 2 and 8 pm Wednesday for most of central and southern Indiana.


“We’ll see a bit of a break around midday or into the early afternoon hours. As we get further along into the afternoon, a frontal boundary is going to move towards the area. We’ll see some additional showers and perhaps some thunderstorms develop along that front,” said Joe Nield, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. 


Nield said the storms are “extremely conditional,” meaning there are certain things that have to happen in order for them to be severe. Those could be unusually warm temperatures, breaks in the clouds, or high wind gusts.


“If we get that, then we may see a few strong to severe storms during that time frame with damaging winds as the primary threat. Potentially, there could be an isolated tornado because the low-level shear is so strong,” said Nield.


After 8 pm Wednesday, Nield said the rain moves out. Skies will be sunny and high temperatures will be in the 50s across Indiana for Thursday through Sunday.


“The next chance for precipitation comes on Sunday afternoon. We may see a snow shower Sunday night into Monday. We’re watching a system that, depending on how it develops, could bring us some snow. As of right now, there aren’t expectations for very much snow at this time,” said Nield.

High temperatures will drop into the 30s for much of the state next week. 

Crider: General Assembly kicks off 2021 session

State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) today gathered with fellow legislators at the Statehouse for Organization Day – the ceremonial start of the 122nd Indiana General Assembly.


Organization Day includes the swearing in of new and returning members of the General Assembly, including Crider, who take the formal oath of office to begin a new Senate term. This day also marks the annual first roll call of all state lawmakers and gives each Senate and House of Representatives caucus the opportunity to organize in preparation for the 2021 legislative session.


During the first session of each General Assembly, lawmakers craft a comprehensive budget to fund government services for the next two fiscal years.

"I'm humbled to be serving another term as the state senator representing Senate District 28," Crider said. "I'm ready to keep working on issues that matter most to the Hoosiers in our community and those that will have a positive impact on our state."


As the 2021 session gets underway, Crider encourages residents of Senate District 28 to contact him with any questions or comments they may have by email at Senator.Crider@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.

Greek's Pizzeria teams up with Greenfield's Wooden Bear Brewery

Greenfield residents who enjoy pizza are in for a treat.


Those are the words of Greek’s Pizzeria owner Danny Webb, who is in the process of finalizing the opening of Greek’s Pizzeria inside Wooden Bear Brewery, 21 West North St., Greenfield.


Webb, along with his business partner, Josh Trisler, are bringing back a staple in Greenfield as Greek’s Pizzeria served the Greenfield community previously in the 1980’s. According to Webb, Greek’s Pizzeria is an Indiana-only franchise whose roots date back to 1969 and is currently in 30 locations around the state.


He tells Giant FM the idea to open in Greenfield came as the result of looking for a pizza and beer concept.


“This new concept involves combining a local pizza option, Greek’s Pizzeria, with a local craft brewery that does not have a permanent food option in-house. Josh played high school football with one of the founders of Wooden Bear Brewery, so it was a logical first place to start this pizza plus beer model,” Webb said.


Webb said the restaurant will spend another week or so doing a “soft opening’ with limited hours for dine-in and carry-out.


“By mid-November, we expect to be fully open with delivery, carry out and dine-in options inside the Wooden Bear Brewery. It is also worth noting that Wooden Bear Brewery is a family-friendly space, so we are not just for craft beer drinkers. Coke products, wine and cider are also on the beverage menu to compliment our pizza, breadsticks, wings and salads,” Webb told Giant FM.


For anyone who hasn’t tasted Greek’s Pizzeria’s food, they are in for a treat Webb says.


“Being an Indiana-owned franchise allows each location to work directly with the founder of Greek’s Pizzeria to ensure that our recipes are up to the standards that have been developed for over 50 years. Each location also has the freedom to offer specials and site specific menu items that work for that location,” he said. 

Hancock Co. prosecutor will not seek criminal charges in Greenfield Granite case

A Hancock County business that was the scene of a death investigation earlier this fall caught a bit of a break recently from the Hancock County Prosecutor. 


Prosecutor Brent Eaton will not pursue criminal charges against the owners of Greenfield Granite Inc. However, he has sent all information to the Indiana attorney general's office, which was already in the midst of preparing a civil case against the company, which is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars from customers and never following through with work. 


A lawsuit was filed in September by Attorney General Curtis Hill's office seeking funds for more than a dozen customers. According to court documents, 16 families are listed as part of the state's lawsuit, alleging they paid Greenfield Granite money for memorial monuments and never received them. The lawsuit claims Greenfield Granite had been engaging in deceptive practices for two years.


In Hancock County, eight civil cases have been filed against the business with each plaintiff alleging they paid hundreds to thousands for a monument that was never received. 


Court records show that Greenfield Granite's former owner, Amie Strohl, was to have appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 2 for a civil case on the day she took her life at the business. Officers from the Greenfield Police Department ruled her death a suicide after locating a 50-year-old woman deceased at the business. 

Donation brings new AED's to Greenfield Police

Thanks to a generous donation, the Greenfield Police Department is the new owners of five new Cardiac Science AED's in the event of a cardiac emergency while on patrol. 


The AED's were made possible through a generous donation from AP Engineering and Consulting, of Greenfield. 


Capt. Chuck McMichael, of the Greenfield Police Department, tells Giant FM the department has had AED's in vehicles for about 15 years. 

"All of our officers are trained and certified in CP and AED use, so it is an invaluable tool for us. In most medical emergencies, we are able to respond to the scene faster than our EMS partners due to being mobile throughout our shifts," McMichael said. 



The AED's will work with the EMS equipment to help provide a smooth transition, according to McMichael. 


While GPD does not keep track of data for when the AED's are used, McMichael told Giant FM the number of deployments are "easily in the hundreds for our officers."

Virtual Job Fair: Job opportunities in Hancock County

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, WorkOne Central and the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce are hosting a virtual job fair highlighting dozens of job openings in Hancock County.


The virtual job fair is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to noon EDT on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.


Participating employers will include BWI, Spectra Premium and Yamaha.


A variety of positions are available at each company. Presenters from each will discuss job opportunities in detail, along with benefits and how to apply. 


“Virtual job fairs offer employers and jobseekers a safe and effective way to make an employment match,” said Lance Ratliff, executive director of the Region 5 Workforce Board. “Local employers continue to struggle to find employees for their many open positions. The virtual job fair platform provides another means for recruiting as well as saving time and expense for all involved.”


Those interested in the job fair but unable to attend are encouraged to still register, as a recording will be sent via email the following day.


To register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3085779793356631567.


After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the webinar.

New Pal returns to virtual learning; Greenfield-Ctl looks to get students in classroom more in November

While one Hancock County school district looks forward to enacting a new schedule that will bring students into the building more, another is going back to virtual learning beginning Oct. 9.


Officials with the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County alerted parents Thursday afternoon that due to the district’s current Covid-19 situation, which includes five positive cases across the district and the potential for active community spread, the Hancock County Health Department has recommended that New Palestine High School switch to virtual learning on Oct. 9.


While the rest of the schools in the district will be in the classroom on Oct. 9, all New Palestine schools will transition to virtual learning from Oct. 19 until Oct. 23 when students return from fall break. At this time, in-person classes will resume on Oct. 26, according to Wes Anderson, community relations and communications director for the district.


Anderson told Giant FM that the virtual instruction will be a full-day worth of instruction for students.


At Greenfield-Central Schools, students will be on a new schedule on Nov. 2 after spending months on a hybrid schedule, which featured students alternating between in-person instruction and virtual learning.  Under the new schedule, all students will report to school every day but Wednesdays, which will be a virtual learning day.

According to Greenfield-Central officials, there has not been a positive case among students in the last six weeks.


The moves by the school districts comes on the heels of another Covid-19 related death in Hancock County, bringing the total number of deaths related to the disease to 44.


Also, between Sept. 28 and Oct. 6, Hancock County added 188 new cases, bringing the total to 24,828. A total of 11 new cases were discovered between Oct. 5 and Oct. 6. 

Law enforcement in Hancock Co. searching for wanted felon

Law enforcement agencies from around Hancock County are currently seeking a wanted felon who fled from police on foot Thursday. 


Officers from the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police, Greenfield Police and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department are seeking Michael Riddle, 37. Riddle, who is a resident of Edinburgh, is described as armed and dangerous and is a white male standing 5-feet-7-inches tall and weighing 165 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and black sweatpants. 


Police are asking anyone who lives in and around the area of County Road 300 North and County Road 125 West to remain indoors, make sure their homes and windows are locked and report any suspicious activity immediately by calling 911. 


Riddle is wanted for failure to appear to a sentencing hearing in Johnson County on charges of dealing meth. 

Chris Lytle to fill New Palestine Town Council vacancy

Chris Lytle has always been a fighter.

From making a name for himself inside the octagon in UFC to promoting anti-bullying to fighting fires as a member of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Lytle has put himself forward to fight. And, that continues albeit in a different format, as Lytle was selected this week to fill a vacancy on the New Palestine Town Council.


Lytle was the only person to fill out the paperwork and meet the requirements by the Hancock County Republican Party and will fill a vacancy left by Jan Jarson, who resigned her seat last month under a cloud of impropriety and questions.


“This is fantastic. I’ve been involved in other ways, volunteered in the wrestling program, done the anti-bullying program, but this is an opportunity to help the area I live in. I am excited to be in there and excited to do what I can to see New Pal get what it needs to move forward,” Lytle told Giant FM moments after being sworn in.


This is not the first time Lytle has thrown his hat into the political ring, as he ran for the Indiana State Senate in 2012, finishing second to Michael Crider in a three-person Republican Primary with 30.1 percent of the vote.

During that race, Lytle billed himself as a fighter for Indiana.

While the landscape has changed, Lytle maintains his purpose has not, telling Giant FM he will continue to fight.


“This is different to me. This is very local and it is the primary area I live in. It’s been driving me nuts the last few months seeing people waste taxpayer dollars and what has happened in New Palestine with people in public service only for their benefit. I decided I wanted to do something about it. I love my town and the area I live in,” said Lytle, who moved his family to New Palestine 15 years ago.


After talking with several people, Lytle decided he could no longer sit on the sidelines.


“I am not a believer in just complaining. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is, and try to actually step up and do what I think it is best. I feel like we are getting people in there not interested in personal gain. I want to make sure people in there are looking out for the town’s interest. I want to help New Palestine grow, get the money appropriated for the right places. Tired of the frivolous spending and waste of taxpayer dollars. Everything will have to be accounted for, and I have to be able to understand why we need things that are being asked for,” Lytle said.


Fellow council member Angela Fahrnow welcomed the addition of Lytle.


“I am so excited to work with him. I feel like he and I have the same view in doing what’s best for the town,” Fahrnow told Giant FM. 

New Palestine woman killed in two-car crash

A New Palestine woman has died following a two-car accident on U.S. 52 just east of New Palestine. 


According to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, deputies were called to a head-on crash in the 3500 block of West U.S. 52 between a Kia Optima and a Chevrolet sedan. 


Katherine Weaver, 30, New Palestine, was declared dead at the scene. She was a passenger in the Chevrolet. 

According to police, the Kia was eastbound on U.S. 52 and turned into the path of the Chevrolet, which was traveling westbound.  James Ridenour, 40, New Palestine, was the driver of the Chevrolet and attempted to avoid the crash, but was not successful. 


The Kia was driven by Andrew Akers, 26, Greenfield, who was transported to IU Methodist with broken bones and leg trauma. 


According to police, Weaver leaves behind four children, who range in age from 5 to 13. Ridenour is the father of two of the children. 

Greenfield Granite case continues in court

A Hancock County business that was the scene of a death investigation in recent weeks and has found itself in the midst of legal issues caught a bit of a reprieve by the Hancock County Circuit Court.


Circuit Court Judge Scott Sirk recently granted a request for a preliminary injunction against Greenfield Granite in a civil case. In the case, the state’s Attorney General accuses Greenfield Granite of taking customers’ money without completing work.

As a result of the injunction, Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office will have two weeks to conduct a thorough inventory, and nothing can be removed from the office.

According to court records, Greenfield Granite’s former owner Amie Strohl was to have appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 2 for a civil case. In addition, she was a defendant in another case brought forward by IMC Credit Services. Court records show that a judgement was granted to IMC Credit Services after Strohl did not show for several appearances.

In addition, the Greenfield Police are conducting an active investigation after more than 70 customers filed reports with the department, alleging they paid for gravestones but never received a finished product.


Greenfield Granite was the site of a death investigation last month as officers located a 50-year-old female deceased at the business. The female was later identified as Strohl and an investigation ruled the death a suicide. 

DeBruler Imaging owner Dave Fincher passed away

DeBruler Imaging owner Dave Fincher passed away Wednesday morning. 


Fincher’s wife, Donna, posted that Dave was a wonderful husband, father and Pop to his grands. She went on to say that “Dave didn’t know a stranger and could carry on a conversation about anything.” He loved what he did and it was his passion.  Dave could be seen anywhere from the schools to a baseball field taking team and individual pictures across many counties. 


The DeBruler Imaging studio will be closed for the next week or so as they deal with the passing of Dave. 

Silver Alert: Dorothy Rogers, Greenfield

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.


The Greenfield Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Dorothy Rogers, an 87 year old white, female, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 157 pounds, grey hair with blue eyes, last seen wearing a jean jacket and capri pants.


She is driving a black 2018 Buick Regal with Indiana plate D898ZK.


Dorothy is missing from Greenfield,  and was last seen on Tuesday, September 29, at 11:00 pm.  She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 


If you have any information on Dorothy Rogers, contact the Greenfield Police Department at 317-477-4400 or 911.

New Palestine Town Council still with open seat

A vacancy continues on the New Palestine Town Council and it appears it could last a little longer.


Councilwoman Jan Jarson tendered her resignation several weeks ago after first being elected in 2012 and being re-elected twice. Her resignation created an empty seat that must be filled by the town of New Palestine and the Hancock County Republican Party through a party caucus.

However, there is one glaring issue – nobody has come forward to fill the vacancy.

The caucus is slated for 6:30 p.m. on October 5 at Town Hall. The party has 30 days from the vacancy, which happened on Sept. 17, to fill the seat. Those interested in filing the seat need to submit paperwork declaring their intention to Janice Silvey, chair of the Hancock County Republican Party, by 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.

In order to be eligible for the seat, the person must live within the town limits, have the paperwork filed out and notarized.

It will then be up to a four person committee to vote on who will fill the seat.


Jarson cited a change in priorities as the main reason for her resignation in September. In a letter she sent to the town council and county clerk of courts Lisa Lofgreen, Jarson wrote, “I am writing to inform you that it has become increasingly apparent that I cannot devote the necessary time and energy I feel is necessary to the office of Town Council Member. I have spent a great deal of time and thought before arriving at this decision and find that my priorities should be with my family and serving my community in other less stressful occupations. I have enjoyed the honor and privilege of serving our community and look forward to the future.”


Jarson’s resignation also brought an end to a series of issues between her and fellow council members, tracing back to January.


In January, Jarson voted against censuring former town-clerk Tonii Pyle, who also resigned recently. In August, town officials discovered that Pyle, former clerk-treasurer Becky Hilligoss, former town manager Dave Book and Jarson all had a hand in making modifications to the town’s employee handbook pertaining to return to work provisions for employees returning from medical leave. 

Walmart new E-Commerce Fulfillment Center with 1,000 jobs at new Hancock Co. facility to be company's largest in US

Walmart finalized plans today to establish a new fulfillment center in Hancock County and create up to 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2025. The facility will provide additional online fulfillment capabilities for the company as it continues to meet increasing online demand from customers. At 2.2 million square feet, this facility will be Walmart’s largest e-commerce fulfillment center in the U.S.

"It gives me a great deal of pride to see Walmart growing and expanding rapidly in the Hoosier state," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. "As the Crossroads of America, we are perfectly positioned to support Walmart as they secure increasing customer demand and continue contributing to our state's economy, while providing new jobs to 1,000 Hoosiers in the process." 

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company will invest approximately $600 million to construct and equip its new facility on approximately 204 acres at 5300 W. 500 N. in an unincorporated part of Hancock County north of Mount Comfort and south of McCordsville. The new, state-of-the-art facility will allow Walmart to expand its e-commerce operations for both its own online inventory and recently-announced third-party fulfillment, Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), for vendors who hire the company to store, pack and ship items for customers. Construction is slated to begin this month, and the company expects to start fulfillment and distribution in the fall of 2022, reaching full operational capacity by spring of 2024.  

“We’re pleased to work with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation on this project and appreciate their support to help bring new development and jobs to central Indiana, which is a key market for Walmart,” said Steve Miller, Walmart senior vice president, fulfillment operations. “We look forward to utilizing this fulfillment center to help meet increasing online shopping demands and ultimately serve our customers.”

As Walmart continues to expand online, the creation of WFS, powered by Walmart's state-of-the-art supply chain capabilities, allows Walmart.com Marketplace sellers to grow their businesses through WFS, managing shipping, returns and customer service. Business owners are able to send inventory to Walmart fulfillment centers, where the company stores the products securely and prepares them for shipping when an order is placed.

Walmart, which employs approximately 1.5 million associates nationwide including more than 41,000 in Indiana, will begin hiring in the spring of 2022 for positions in receiving, picking, packing, shipping and management. Interested applicants may apply online.

“We are very, very pleased that Walmart has found Hancock County, and the Mt. Comfort Road Corridor in particular, to be ideal for their operations,” said Hancock County Council President Bill Bolander. "Both Hancock County and the Hancock Economic Development Council will continue to work with Walmart to ensure a smooth and successful launch and continuing operation of their facility with regard to workforce, infrastructure and overall economic development improvements within the county.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Walmart Fulfillment Services LLC up to $1.25 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans and up to $4.75 million in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The Hancock County Council and the Hancock County Redevelopment Commission approved additional incentives at the request of the Hancock Economic Development Council. Duke Energy offered additional incentives.

Greenfield plans to proceed with Halloween

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to skip trick-or-treating, but police in Greenfield have decided to move forward with the Halloween tradition anyway.


The police chief in Greenfield, Jeff Rasche, says he thinks that the people in his area could take part in holiday festivities without causing an outbreak.  Rasche says he decided to move forward with trick-or-treating before the CDC released its decision on the matter but is sticking with his decision for now.



On Tuesday the CDC posted guidelines on its website labeling traditional trick-or-treating and other common Halloween celebrations “high risk” this year. Instead, they suggested that people leave pre-made goodie bags on their front porch for kids to get rather than handing out candy themselves or leaving out a bowl for kids to dig through.


These are the activities the CDC said to avoid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus:


-Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door.


-Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.


-Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.


-Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.


-Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.


-Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.


-Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.


According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Hancock County has reported more than 900 COVID-19 cases with nearly 16,000 people tested.


Rasche also said that he spoke with the mayor and the Hancock County Health Department about his decision. He said that he has been in contact with other officers in the surrounding area and he is under the impression that most, if not all of them, will also be moving forward with similar trick-or-treating plans. He says he is still encouraging people to wear an actual face mask even if they’re in a costume.


“We are not going to encourage large groups to be out trick-or-treating together or large groups going to people’s houses. You know, maintain social distancing,” Rasche said.


Greenfield plans to release more guidelines for families as Halloween nears.