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DECATUR, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — An ice cream manufacturing plant in Decatur, which is set to permanently close, will operate two months longer than previously announced. Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc. has notified the state it intends to extend operations of two production lines through November.

The company announced in June it was closing the Adams County plant due to “changing market conditions. More than 160 workers are losing their jobs with layoffs starting this week.

The announced layoffs are to take place in waves through the fall months. The additional ice cream production means workers who were scheduled for termination in mid-October will now have the option to work through mid-December. DFA expects the closure to be completed by December 31.

The plant produces a variety of ice creams under the Mayfield Dairy, Dean’s Country Fresh, and Friendly’s brands. DFA acquired Deans Foods in 2020 as it was going through bankruptcy.

DECATUR, IN. (Inside INdiana Business) — Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc. has notified the state it is closing an ice cream plant in Decatur and will be laying off more than 160 workers. DFA says the permanent closing of the Adams County plant is due to “changing market conditions.” The company says it will cease operations in September with layoffs occurring in waves.

“Unfortunately, the financial challenges associated with running the facility are just too great,” said Robin Galloway, president, DFA Dairy Brands Ice Cream. “The employees here have done an excellent job producing quality ice cream products, and we sincerely appreciate their hard work and dedication.”

The company expects the closing to be permanent. DFA says there are no bumping rights for affected employees. DFA is a national milk marketing cooperative, owned by about 13,000 dairy farmer-members.

“This was a difficult decision, but we have a responsibility to our dairy farmer-owners to operate financially sound businesses that bring them additional returns on their investments in the Cooperative,” said Galloway.

The plant produces a variety of ice creams under the Mayfield Dairy, Dean’s Country Fresh, and Friendly’s brands.

DFA acquired Deans Foods in 2020 as it was going through bankruptcy.

BERNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Poseidon Barge Ltd. in Berne has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract by the U.S. Department of Defense. The small firm manufactures sectional barges that can be used as bridges along with marine accessories.

Poseidon was awarded more than $8 million to build and modify pontoons. The work will take place in the Adams County city and is expected to be complete by May of 2022.

The work is being performed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Philadelphia.

GENEVA, Ind. – A subsidiary of Ohio-based Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: FMAO) has acquired an investment advisory firm in Adams County. Financial terms of FM Investment Services’ purchase of Adams County Financial Resources in the town of Geneva are not being disclosed.

FM Investment Services says ACFR had approximately $83 million in assets and more than 450 clients as of the end of November. The company says all of ACFR’s employees, including founder Lee Flueckiger, have joined the FM Investment Services team.

“Diversifying our sources of revenue is an important part of our growth strategy,” said Lars Eller, chief executive officer of FM Investment Services. “ACFR significantly increases the scale of FM Investment Services, while further expanding our presence in Northeastern Indiana.”

The acquisition is not the first in Adams County for Farmers & Merchants Bancorp. In January 2019, the bank acquired the parent of Bank of Geneva in a $90 million deal.

(WANE) – Nearly 20 people were arrested early Wednesday in a drug sweep in Wells and Adams counties.

According to police, joint taskforce of Drug and Narcotic’s Investigators from Adams and Wells County Sheriff’s Offices, Berne, Bluffton, and Decatur Police Departments led to the arrests of 18 people on various drug charges. The arrests were made early Wednesday morning with the help of the Allen County Police Department, Jay County Sheriff’s Department, Geneva Police Department, and the Indiana State Police.

PHOTOS; Mugshots of those arrested

Arrested were:

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – Two Amish midwives have been charged in Adams County with illegally practicing medicine and administering medication to mothers and babies.

Sylvia C. Eicher and Lydiann S. Schwartz, both 73, face felony charges of practicing medicine without a license and unlawful possession of a syringe related to investigations in May 2017.

The Schwartz case

On May 10, 2017, police were notified about a 14-day-old newborn that was rushed to Adams Memorial Hospital, who later died. The Adams County coroner said the baby died of congenital heart disease; a small hole was found in the child’s heart.

The baby’s parents told police that they’d received prenatal care from Schwartz, and the baby was born at Schwartz’s home, the affidavit said.

Schwartz told police that the baby stayed with her for four hours after it was born, and she said the infant “seemed normal” after it was delivered, the affidavit said. She said the infant was grunting but through a stethoscope she said she did not hear a “murmur or swishing” in the baby’s heart, the affidavit said.

Schwartz told police that three days after the delivery, the baby returned to her home for a phenylketonuria test to check for “proper enzymes,” which involved a “heel stick,” the affidavit said. The child’s mother also said Schwartz gave her an IV during delivery to “speed up the process,” the affidavit said.

Schwartz described the IV to police as a “veterinary ‘pit,’” or Pitocin, according to the affidavit.

Pitocin is a brand name for oxytocin, which can cause or strengthen labor contractions during childbirth, and control bleeding after childbirth.

Police asked Schwartz if she’d been medically certified and she said a Willshire, Ohio, doctor taught her how to give IVs, the affidavit said.

The child’s mother and father said they paid Schwartz $550, which also included checkups, the affidavit said. 

Police recovered syringes from the Schwartz’s home, the affidavit said.

The Eicher case

May 2017, police received a tip about a pregnant Amish woman who had been taken to Adams Memorial Hospital the day before for high blood pressure and a severe headache. While under care there, the woman told her doctor that she’d received two injections from Eicher, who she said was not a midwife but rather a “mother’s helper,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Eicher is not licensed and cannot administer prescription drugs or injections.

Police then went to the woman’s home. There, she told police that, earlier in the week, she woke up with swelling in her legs, and her husband said she should go to Eicher’s home for treatment. The woman said Eicher directed her to go to the hospital, where doctors induced labor at 33 weeks, the affidavit said.

Police then asked about the injections. The woman said Eicher had given her injections on two different occasions “for the baby’s lungs” and she was not aware of the name of the medication, the affidavit said.

Police went to a building Eicher used as a clinic of sorts and found Eicher and her husband. Eicher told police she “may have (given injections) and she didn’t remember,” the affidavit said.

Eicher said she sees “so many women that she didn’t remember,” the affidavit said.

Eventually, Eicher admitted to the injections, according to the affidavit. She told investigators that she gives “vet medicine” injections in the hip area to help “mature the lungs.”

Police found various medical supplies at the building including five sealed syringes, the affidavit said.

Both Eicher and Schwartz have been released from Adams County Jail after posting bail. They are both set to appear in Adams County court Friday morning.

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – A 13-year-old boy is in police custody after leading an Adams County Sheriff’s deputy on a chase early Monday morning.

Authorities in Adams County responded to a 911 call of a stolen vehicle around 6:20 a.m. A short time later, a deputy found a vehicle that fit the description in a field, but lost sight of it.

It was spotted again on County Road 150 North and 300 East, police said.

It was there that the deputy tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused to stop, according to a police report. The driver sped north on U.S. 27 just south of Decatur, then into Allen County and eventually Fort Wayne, where the pursuit ended. Police said the vehicle’s tire blew out at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Tillman Road.

Tire-deflation devices were deployed multiple times during the pursuit, though only one set was successful in deflating one tire.

The driver — a 13-year-old boy — was apprehended and taken into police custody, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. Police said the boy stole his parents’ vehicle.

ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – An investigation is underway after some type of workplace accident at Manley Meats Inc. near Monroe Wednesday.

Emergency crews were called to the business around 3:35 p.m. Two people were found unresponsive, according to Adams County Coroner Leslie Cook.

Cook said two people were working on a sewer pit when one or both of the individuals became unresponsive.

One person died and another was airlifted to a hospital. Cook did not release a condition of the second person.

Investigators have not released the names of the two people involved in the accident.

Manley Meats posted on its Facebook Page Wednesday evening it would be closed Thursday, “due to a family tragedy.” It did not offer any additional details. More than 400 people commented on the post offering condolences, thoughts, and prayers.

The family-owned business started in 1962 by Glen and Alice Manley, according to the company’s website. Several family members have helped with the business through the decades. It is currently owned by Marilyn Geyer, Roger Manley, Ron Manley, and Steve Manley.

Manley Meats offers catering, butchering, canning, and retail operations at its location on South 400 East.

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DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) — Police are investigating an industrial accident at Manley Meats Inc. in Monroe Wednesday afternoon that left one person dead. Another was airlifted to a local hospital.

Emergency crews got the call around 3:35 p.m. Work was reportedly being done on a sewer pit when the people became unresponsive. The Adams County coroner said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death. The identity will be released pending notification of family.

Manley Meats posted on Facebook Wednesday night that the business will be closed Thursday “due to a family tragedy.”

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ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) The superintendent of the North Adams Community Schools district in Adams County said that someone tried to lure students into a van or SUV early Thursday.

Brent Lehman said around 2 p.m. Thursday, he was told about an early morning incident in which a person in a white minivan or SUV stopped and asked some students to get in. Lehman said the students were “wise” and did not get into the vehicle.

Keith Dicke, principal at Northwest Elementary, posted a lengthly explanation later on the district’s parent-teacher Facebook page. He said a Bellmont Middle School student told a staff member that a woman in a white van or SUB tried to get them to get into their vehicle at a bus stop.

It’s not clear what unfoldeded afterward. A description of the suspect was not provided. Dicke said the school’s resource officer was investigating the incident.

The district reminded its students to never get into a vehicle with a stranger, Lehman said. Dicke said the district typically sends information home to parents after incidents like this, but the report hit administrators too late.

The superintendent said anyone who spots a “strange vehicle” that matches the description should contact the Decatur Police Department.