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CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — An affiliate of Wisconsin-based commercial real estate firm Phoenix Investors has acquired the former Visteon manufacturing plant in Connersville. Financial details are not being disclosed, though Phoenix says it has plans to renovate the the nearly 70-year-old facility.

The 1.7 million-square-foot plant was built in 1953 by Philco Corp., which was later acquired by Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). Visteon, a spin-off company of Ford occupied the plant from 2000 until 2007.

Today, about one-third of the plant is occupied by CliqStudios Cabinets and Phoenix Investors says the company will remain at the facility following the acquisition.

Anthony Crivello, executive vice president of Phoenix Investors, says renovations at the plant have already begun.

“We are planning on making a significant capital investment into the building within short order,” Crivello said in an email to Inside INdiana Business. “Once renovated, we believe there will be many high-quality companies interested in it. We are very excited about the redevelopment.”

Phoenix says the plant’s features and proximity to Indianapolis, as well as Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, make it an ideal site for logistics and manufacturing operations.

An estimated time frame for completion of the renovations was not provided.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Cincinnati-based RDI Corp. is growing its Midwest operations with its first location in Indiana. The business solutions provider plans to invest more than $500,000 to expand its RDI Connect contact center division with a new facility in Connersville and create up to 125 jobs by the end of 2023. RDI Connect provides outsourced contact center services for business clients and will be moving into an 11,000-square-foot facility.

RDI says the facility is expected to be operational in September. The company is currently hiring for call center agent and management positions, both on-site and at-home. 

“Because of Indiana’s business-friendly environment and talented workforce, companies like RDI are choosing our state for Midwest growth,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said in a news release. “Not only does RDI focus on delivering next-level service to its clients, their focus on employee growth, diversity and inclusion, and community impact is admirable and welcomed to our state.”

RDI currently employs more than 3,500 people across 11 locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Nevada, Vermont and Mexico. 

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered RDI up to $900,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Fayette County Economic Development Group is offering additional incentives as well.

BROOKVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A 69-year-old licensed pyrotechnic died and at least four other people were hurt in a barn fire Tuesday night in Franklin County, authorities said.

Adam Strum with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said the barn owner operated a permitted firework display company, and the staff was preparing for a show this weekend. The fire broke out between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the barn east of Brookville, according to media reports.

Donald Lee Winters died in the fire, according to Franklin County Coroner Brian Baxter. Winters lived at the farmstead, Baxter said, and the show he was preparing was set for Friday night in Connersville.

Connersville Baptist Temple said in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, “Due to a tragic accident in Franklin County our Freedom Fest will be cancelled this year. Please join us in praying for all those involved, as well as their families.”

WCPO in Cincinnati reported that investigators believe a shell accidentally ignited during the preparation, setting the entire structure on fire. The four injured people were airlifted to Cincinnati hospitals, and one was in a burn unit.

CONNERSVILLE (Inside INdiana Business) — With little warning, a Fayette County cabinet maker has shut down, immediately laying off its entire workforce.

In a notice to the state, Wayzata Home Products in Connersville said market uncertainty associated with the coronavirus played a role in its decision.

The company, which is headquartered in Minnesota, said in the notice that the inability for the company to secure capital investment also was a major factor.

Wayzata told employees Friday morning it was closing immediately, and the layoffs are permanent.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to give a 60-day warning before a company closes. “However under the current circumstances,” said Wayzata’s notice, “the company could not provide such notice that far in advance due to significant and recent unforeseeable business circumstances.”

The statement went on to say, “More specifically, the recent material market and financial impact of the global spread of the coronavirus, including significant developments over the course of the last few days and the fact the company’s existing investors notified the company…that they would not make the additional capital investment required to sustain the company’s operations, led to the decision to shut down…”

The company has been operating in Connersville for less than five years.

In August 2015, the state announced Wayzata intended to invest $12.5 million to buy and refurbish the former Visteon plant.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Reid Health has announced it will begin transitioning its security department to a state-recognized police department. Training and certifications for the 25-member security team in Richmond and Connersville will be underway this month as Reid makes the shift.

Director of Reid Health’s Security Services Randy Kolentus says violence toward care providers has been on the upswing in recent years, including cases of employee injury when attempting to provide patient care.

 “The threat is real. Reid will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse of its care providers and staff. Having our team designated police officers will give them more flexibility in dealing with these issues, including the option to arrest,” he said.

Officers at the hospital will have arrest authority, allowing them to shut down potentially violent incidents. Officials say the department will create what will be the third largest police force in the county, following the Richmond Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

Reid Health has also begun implementing heightened security measures, including requiring visitor passes and IDs after 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. for visitors and family members.

The department director and five experienced former officers make up the team, and many of them have previous law enforcement experience. The team includes:

An additional six Reid staffers are retired officers and 10 came from jail or prison settings. Four currently serve as reserve police officers.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Richmond-based Reid Health will next month begin moving the majority of its radiology services in Connersville. The health system says the move will allow it to expand the amount of services it provides to patients.

Reid Health Director of Radiology Services Gene DiTullio says the health system’s CT, MRI and ultrasound outpatient services will be moved from the Whitewater Valley Imaging Center to the former hospital campus in Connersville beginning October 7. The Whitewater Valley location will continue to provide X-ray services to support the urgent care center on that campus.

The health system says the new, larger space will allow the radiology department to offer CT exams and MRI exams with contrast, and eventually add mammography and DEXA scanning, which was previously not possible.

“As we have said since we announced our expanded presence in Connersville earlier this year, we have and will continue to assess additional and sustainable services we can provide to support the health care needs of the people we serve in the region,” Reid Health Chief Executive Officer Craig Kinyon said in a news release. “We are very pleased to expand these services for our patients in the Connersville area.”

The move follows Red Health’s acquisition of a large portion of the former Fayette Regional Health System’s assets. The deal was finalized in mid-July. The health system says the acquisition helped avoid the loss of some 300 jobs in the area, as many former Fayette Regional employees joined Reid Health.

Reid Health did not specify if the expansion of its radiology services would result in any new jobs.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Four men and a boy now face charges in relation to a homicide at a Fayette County trailer park. 

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday in a Facebook post that 37-year-old Frank Logan Jr. and 22-year-old Brady T. Price are the latest to be arrested. 

Logan was captured early Sunday after police surrounded a home in the 1900 block of Old U.S. 52 in Laurel, Indiana. Logan ran from an outbuilding, but was eventually taken into custody, the post said. 

Logan faces a murder charge in the homicide of 37-year-old Michael Shane Hamilton. The sheriff’s office said he was killed just before 1 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Elephant Hill Trailer Park. 

Price faces a charge of assisting in a robbery with a deadly weapon resulting in death. 

Both men were in the Fayette County Jail with no bond. 

A 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the crime Friday night. The juvenile was preliminarily charged with a felony count of murder. 

Authorities previously had arrested two other suspects, 18-year-old Mark A. Bennett and 44-year-old Rodney A. Bennett. Mark Bennett faced a preliminary charge of murder while Rodney Bennett faced preliminary charges obstruction of justice and aiding in a robbery.

Connersville is about 50 miles east of Indianapolis. 

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities in Fayette County are looking for Franklin Logan Jr.

He’s wanted for questioning in connection to a homicide at the Elephant Hill Trailer Park in Connersville.

A 37-year-old man, Michael Shane Hamilton, was killed there early Thursday morning. 

The sheriff’s office said Logan should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, call 911. 

Authorities have already arrested three others suspects: 18-year-old Mark A. Bennett of Connersville, 44-year-old Rodney A. Bennett of Connersville and a 16-year-old boy.

Mark Bennett was charged with murder.

Rodney A. Bennett was charged with obstruction of justice and aiding in a robbery.

The juvenile was preliminarily charged with murder.

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Deputies in Fayette County have arrested two men in connection to a Sept. 20 homicide.

Mark Bennett, 18, and 44-year-old Rodney Bennett have both been taken into custody.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office says someone was killed just before 1 a.m. Thursday at the Elephant Hill Trailer Park. 

Fayette County Coroner Mary Poe identified the victim as 37-year-old Michael Shane Hamilton. 

Poe said Hamilton’s cause and manner of death were pending a Friday morning autopsy. 

According to a Thursday morning Facebook post by the office, there are possibly three suspects in the case. The Facebook post describes them as white and in their 20s, possibly driving a red or purple Dodge Neon.

Mark Bennett faces preliminary charges of murder while Rodney Bennett faces preliminary charges for obstruction of justice and aiding in a robbery.

Anyone with information can call 765-825-1110.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis has suspended one of its retired priests after a person reported abuse as a child several decades ago. 

The Rev. John Maung is prohibited from all public ministry while an investigation is pending, the archdiocese said in a statement in a recent post its website. Maung has denied the claim. Based on his date of birth on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis biography, Maung is 79 years old. 

“The Archdiocese immediately made a report to civil authorities and the Archdiocesan Review Board,” the statement said. 

It also said Maung served in these parishes: St. Lawrence, 6950 E. 46th St. in Lawrence; St. Gabriel, Connersville; and St. Joseph, Shelbyville. He also resided at Holy Spirit Parish, 7243 E. 10th St. in Indianapolis. Following his retirement in 2009, he continued to help with sacramental needs at parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. 

He was ordained in 1963, according to his online biography. He had also served in Madras, India; Mandalay, Burma; and San Francisco. He retired in 2009.

The statement included information on how to make a report of abuse to the archdiocese.

The Most Rev. Charles C. Thompson, the archbishop of Indianapolis, also on Wednesday issued a separate statement about the crisis of clergy sexual abuse. It is titled “Archbishop calls for renewed transparency, accountability” and reads:

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:    

When I was called to be a bishop just more than seven years ago, I wanted to believe that the Church had effectively dealt with the crisis of clergy sexual abuse, especially in terms of accountability and transparency. I was not so naïve as to think that all victims had come forward, or that all acts of abuse had been reported. In retrospect, I wonder if I was hoping against hope.

Coming on the heels of the scandal surrounding then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick that evidently involved at least three different large dioceses, and apparently known by more than a few people, the nearly 900 pages of the grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in six dioceses of Pennsylvania has seemingly ripped the scab off a horrible wound that was just beginning to possibly heal. While the report revealed only two cases that are within the current statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, the sheer volume of numbers—clergy, victims and cases—of graphic acts of horrendous abuse are appalling, devastating and sickening. It’s as if a dark, heavy pall has been thrust upon us yet again.

One child, in fact, one act, is too many. It is deeply painful and shameful that so many lives have been so wounded, broken and scarred for life. We can spare no expense of time, talent and treasure to assure the protection and well-being of each and every child, young person and vulnerable adult both within and outside the Church.

Being from such a large family, I am aware of a couple of family members who have been sexually abused, one as a child and the other as a very young adult. Given the size of my extended family—which has included 50 aunts and uncles, 90 first cousins and more than 200 second cousins—there are likely more who have suffered such atrocities.

As I mentioned in a previous statement, coinciding with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston‑Houston, USCCB president, and numerous other bishops, there is much work to be done in the coming weeks to set things right, by the grace of God, once and for all. Such work cannot be left to just the bishops. Lay persons, especially those with particular skills, must be intricately involved in the process. There is so much to do in so little time to get it done, but it must be done right. There can be no further cover‑up. All, especially bishops, must be held accountable.

I do believe in transformation, that new life can come from ashes, and salvation is made possible through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, there is no way to the empty tomb except by way of the cross. We cannot go over, under or around it. We must be willing to suffer and sacrifice to actually become the persons and people of God that we are called to be. We are called to holiness, not to mediocrity or mere survival.

To each and every victim of abuse—child, minor and adult—especially those at the hands of Catholic clergy, I offer my deepest apology and heartfelt pledge to do all that is humanly possible to be a part of the solution. As one means of effort toward that end, I will be seeking the guidance of the Archdiocesan Review Board to assist me in preparing a list, for publication, of all clergy, living and deceased, with a substantiated claim of sexual abuse against a child or minor.

These are very tough times, and we have some very rough waters to navigate. Only prayer, truth and justice will see us through to the other side of all that is pressing upon us. We need to know of anyone who has been hurt and how you have been violated. We must do everything necessary to make sure neither abuse nor cover-up ever happens again.

Your Brother in Christ,

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson