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ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — An Anderson man was arrested in connection to the shooting of an Indianapolis man Wednesday afternoon inside a gas station, Anderson Police Department said Thursday.

Maine Diamond, 28, remained in serious condition in intensive care at an Indianapolis hospital, the department said in a news release issued Thursday night.

Police were called to a shooting at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Conoco station at 1002 Nichol Ave. That’s near downtown at the intersection with Madison Avenue.

Bernard M. Stidhum, 33, of Anderson, surrendered to authorities as part of a search warrant issued for a home in the 1500 block of West Fourth Street. That’s a residential area near River Bend Park in the Madison County city.

Caleb McKnight, the department’s public information officer, says Stidhum entered the gas station and began shooting at Diamond.

Stidhum, according to records from the Madison County jail and an online court records system, was last charged Sept. 14 in Anderson City Court with driving while suspended with a prior suspension within 10 years, and refusal to identify self while stopped for infraction/ordinance. No bond had been set.

Stidhum has other cases listed in online court records involving driving charges in Anderson, Elwood and Hancock County.

Diamond was taken to an Anderson hospital and later moved to an Indianapolis hospital.

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call the department at 765-648-6755 or report an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — A male shot another male inside a gas station Wednesday afternoon, Anderson Police Department says.

Police were called to a shooting at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Conoco station at 1002 Nichol Ave. That’s near downtown at the intersection with Madison Avenue.

Caleb McKnight, the department’s public information officer, says the male suspect entered the store and began shooting at the other male. A news release from McKnight did not give either male’s name or age, or whether they were adults or children.

The male shot was taken to an Anderson hospital before being sent to an Indianapolis hospital, where he remained in critical condition on Wednesday night.

Investigators had multiple leads, but no immediate arrest had been made Monday night. The release contained no information on a possible suspect.

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call the department at 765-648-6755 or report an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

ANDERSON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Caesars Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: CZR), the parent of Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, says it is investing $39 million to expand the casino’s gaming floor, and add 100 new jobs to the venue. The company will formally break ground next week on the 30,000-square-foot expansion.

“The enhancements at Harrah’s Hoosier Park further exhibit Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to gaming in the state of Indiana,” Anthony Carano, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment said in a news release. ““We are thrilled to unveil our exciting plans for the expansion of Harrah’s Hoosier Park. We’re confident these changes will benefit our guests and our team members.”

The gaming company says the larger floor will allow for 150 additional slot machines and 16 additional table games. Harrah’s will also add a new high limit room for slots and table games, among other cosmetic improvements to the casino.

Caesars and Eldorado Resorts Inc. merged in July 2020. As part of the consolidation, the Indiana Gaming Commission required the company to divest of some properties. But it maintained Harrah’s racino in Anderson.

Indianapolis-based Pepper Construction got the contract for the project. The renovations are expected to be completed by July 2023.

ANDERSON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A subsidiary of Italy-based Sirmax Group says its new plastics recycling facility in Anderson is now operational. SER North America says it plans to bring total employment at the $18 million plant to 40 by the end of the year.

The 130,000-square-foot facility produces recycled polypropylene out of post-industrial waste. The company says the product will be used in both industrial applications and sent to the nearby Sirmax North America facility to be processed as a raw material for the production of refined compounds that could be used in household appliances and automobiles.

“SER North America marks a new stage in Sirmax’s sustainable growth,” Lorenzo Ferro, U.S. country manager at Sirmax Group, said in written remarks. “These new green products give us the opportunity to enter sectors where we do not yet have a presence, such as industrial packaging or garden furniture. Our production processes and the fact we have full control of supply sources also means that we are ready to bring post-consumer mechanical recycling technology to the United States by 2024.”

Plans for the facility were first announced in July 2019. The company says it has already hired 25 employees with the goal of adding 15 more by the end of this year.

ANDERSON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A company in Anderson is making a name for itself by manufacturing pools out of shipping containers. Trek Container Pools was founded four years ago by Joel Cookston, who was looking for a less costly option to a traditional in-ground pool. The company, which operates out of a former GM plant, is on pace to produce more pools in 2022 than all of its previous years combined and is currently being featured on a six-episode run of the popular television show “This Old House.”

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cookston said the company has seen organic growth and is looking to scale even further.

“We’ve proved the model of the number of people it takes to build a pool a week,” he said. “Right now, we’ve got about eight or nine people from fabrication to coatings to [pool] equipment to water testing, and so if those eight people are building one pool a week, or shipping one pool a week, then I think we could find a larger building. We’re looking at an 80,000-square-foot building actually here in Anderson to then duplicate those eight people, and how many sets of eight people do we need based on sales volume?”

Cookston says he saw similar ideas for container pools in other countries, but nothing in the U.S. He teamed up with a union fabrication company in Indianapolis for the design, as well as Sherwyn-Williams to understand the coating of the metal and Hayward Pool Equipment in Ohio to properly configure electric and plumbing for the pools.

The first pool that was built sits in Cookston’s backyard. The company made six pools in 2019, about 15 in 2020 and nearly 40 last year. He says so far this year, they have made more than 20.

“We’ve really found a sweet spot and now, it’s just trying to keep up with demand and setting expectations to make sure that customers are aware of time frames,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot. It’s fun to work with these folks and provide a product that really fits a lot of needs and niches in the U.S. here.”

(photo courtesy of Trek Container Pools)

Trek Container Pools moved into a 10,000-square-foot space in the former GM plant on 23rd Street in Anderson last year, but a larger space is on the horizon.

“We didn’t think we’d need any more [space] when we moved in a year ago. Now, it’s very evident that we need about four times that size,” said Cookston.

Cookston says the upcoming episodes of “This Old House” will showcase the pool being craned into the backyard of a home and a deck being built around it. He says being featured on such a legacy show is an honor.

WABASH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The vice president of operations of North Manchester-based MPS Egg Farms says plans to partner with agbioscience company Hello Nature to produce natural fertilizer products are about four years in the making. The companies announced plans Monday to build and operate a $50 million fertilizer manufacturing operation in Wabash. Dan Krouse says the MPS leadership team traveled to Verona, Italy, where Hello Nature parent Italpollina has been producing specialty fertilizers for more than 50 years.

“We’re really impressed by the operation and their expertise in the fertilizer markets,” said Krouse. “They’ve been interested in doing something similar here in the United States for several years.”

The companies say the project involves the construction of two facilities totaling nearly 300,000-square feet and will employ 46 people when operational.

Artist rendering of proposed fertilizer plant for Wabash. (image courtesy: MPS Egg Farms and Hello Nature)
MPS has 11 million egg-laying hens on the job at four farming operations in northern Indiana and Illinois. Krouse says the Wabash County farms alone produce 80,000 tons of chicken litter (manure and bedding material)

“That all goes on to row crops right now [as] a great natural fertilizer. Our hope is that as our partnership, Bionutrients, ramps up production, we will eventually commit 100% of that litter production,” said Krouse.

While a majority of the chicken waste goes on row crops, like corn, Krouse says Hello Nature’s technologies create natural field nutrients for a variety of crops, including apples and blueberries.

“We believe that this new production facility will be a turning point for the North American market,” said Luca Bonini, Hello Nature’s chief executive officer. “Today the fertilizer industry undergoes multiple challenges such as rising prices, logistics issues and shortage of inputs, and there is a desperate need for innovative solutions to feed a growing population with less inputs and less land available.”

Krouse says the company evaluated several sites in two states, but decided Wabash was the ideal location for this new venture

“We have been so thrilled with the community’s engagement. A lot of community stakeholders have invested time and effort to understand this project and vet the project and make sure it’s right for Wabash County.”

The partnership purchased the ground from the Wabash County Redevelopment Commission and provided input about the project, ensuring it was a “good fit” for the community, said Krouse.

“Wabash County has always been a strong center for agribusiness and manufacturing, and this investment is the perfect marriage of the two, continuing the legacy of innovation in our community,” said Wabash Mayor Scott Long.

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has committed $490,000 in tax credits, based on job creation.

The partners will break ground this spring, with the facility fully operationally in the summer of 2023.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — An Anderson-based startup that developed an ultra-cold system to protect vaccines during lengthy trips has won first place at the 2021 Crossroads Pitch Competition hosted by Bloomington-based business incubator The Mill. The founders of ArcticRx will receive $10,000 in cash, plus a package of startup and business services.

Co-founders Shane Bivens and Stuart Lowry say the freezer pod can maintain stable, ultra-low temperatures (-106 degrees Fahrenheit) for three weeks using dry ice. The team from ChefsFridge developed it in partnership with engineers from Indianapolis-based Rolls-Royce North America.

They say their device solves a critical problem in transporting vaccines to remote and rural areas, like in Africa.

“Fifty percent of vaccine waste is rooted in cold-chain storage and transportation,” said Bivens, during the pitch competition.

He says less than 2.5% of low-income countries have received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine due to the logistics challenge.

Beyond COVID-19, ArcticRx has applications for shipping other pharma as well as food, such as seafood or produce, that require stable ultra-low temperature.

Having won first place at The Mill’s pitch competition, ArcticRx now receives a “priority consideration” to pitch for an additional $20,000 at Elevate Ventures’ Nexus Pitch Competition in the pre-seed category.

“We were thrilled with diversity of applicants and judges for Crossroads 2021,” said Andy Lehman, head of accelerator programming for The Mill. “ArcticRx blew us away, and they faced tough competition. We expect to see many successes emerge from this year’s Crossroads.”

The Mill says a panel of over 30 entrepreneurs, investors, and business experts selected four finalists, which includes, GittaSitta and AeonCharge.

Watch the winning pitch from ArcticRx by clicking here.

ANDERSON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Anderson-based Bankable has launched the Indiana Black-Owned Business Loan Fund. The nonprofit community development financial institution says the fund aims to narrow the ongoing wealth gap between white and Black families “by unleashing the wealth building power of entrepreneurship.”

Bankable says the fund will provide several benefits for Black-owned businesses, including making loans more accessible by providing fair financing and business development support; providing financial support to businesses impacted by the pandemic, particularly those that missed out on federal relief funding; and helping small businesses build a positive credit history, completing accurate financial reporting and reaching profitability.

“We are thankful to be able to utilize grant funding from both the SBA [Small Business Administration] and CDFI [Community Development Financial Institution] Fund to be able to support Indiana Black-owned businesses that are unable to secure traditional bank financing,” Adam Hoeksema, executive director of Bankable, said in a news release. “These grant funds will allow us to approve more loans and waive all closing fees for eligible businesses.”

Bankable says the fund will provide loans of up to $50,000 for eligible businesses. Business owners interested in the loan fund can find more information by clicking here.

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — An 18-year-old man was in custody Friday as police continued to investigate the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man on Thursday night.

Aundray Ivy Jr., of Anderson, was in the Madison County jail on a 72-hour hold as the investigation continued Friday. The prosecutor will decide on charges after its investigation is done.

The man who was fatally shot was identified Friday as Christian M. Cox.

Anderson Police Department was called to a reported shooting shortly after 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of West Ninth Street. That’s between Raible and Madison avenues, just west of downtown.

Officers found Cox near the road. He was taken to a local hospital before he died.

Police located Ivy, who was seen fleeing the area, according to Caleb Knight, public information officer for the department. Ivy later was taken in to custody without incident.

ANDERSON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Noblesville-based Aspire Indiana Health and Progress House of Indianapolis will Friday cut the ribbon on a new treatment center in Anderson for men with substance use disorder. The organizations say the Mockingbird Hill Recovery Center is part of their Whole Health Recovery Continuum model.

Plans for the center were first announced in September 2019. The facility, which opened to patients March, includes addiction treatment, mental health therapy, primary medical care and support services, such as skills training and education, housing assistance and job placement.

Aspire says the facility can house approximately 100 men and employs a staff of 40.

The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday and will include state and local officials, including State Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) and Doug Huntsinger, executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement for Governor Eric Holcomb.