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LOOGOOTEE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — RTC Communications, headquartered in the Daviess County town of Montgomery, is continuing its expansion of fiber broadband in its service area. The company announced its next project will be in Loogootee, where it will make a $4 million investment to deploy fiber to the 2,200 residents and businesses.

RTC says once the network is deployed, users will have access to 1 gig synchronous broadband speed. The installation will include areas outside city limits.

“If you are a rural resident and not part of our current fiber builds, know we are aggressively identifying and developing grant applications and strategic community partnerships, and other initiatives to ensure all residents are served throughout Daviess, Martin and Lawrence Counties,” said RTC Chief Executive Officer Kirk Lehman.

The company says early sign-up to gauge customer interest will determine where the network is built first. RTC say the registration period begins July 26.

“RTC’s investment in Loogootee is a milestone for enhancing the quality of life in the area while also adding to our county’s competitive advantage for future growth and investments,” said Angie Risacher, executive director of the Martin County Alliance for Economic Development. “With community ventures like this, we have opportunities for population, housing, school programs, and business growth.”

The digital firm plans to have the city wired by the end of November.

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Martin County Alliance for Economic Growth’s board of directors has hired Angie Risacher as its new executive director. The alliance says Risacher will be responsible for leading business attraction, retention and expansion efforts in the county.  

“Angie is a good fit for this position as she has extensive experience as a small business owner, working with local and federal government, grain processing centers, banks and school systems, as well as being involved in multiple organizations each with the goal of making Martin County a better more prosperous community,” said Alliance board member Dan Gregory.

The alliance says Risacher has already started working with Radius Indiana on some economic development projects for the area. 

“We’re delighted to have Angie as a partner who can direct us on promoting and serving economic development in Martin County communities, including Shoals, Loogootee, and Crane. She is already scheduling activities with us that are good steps forward for her communities,” said Jeff Quyle, president and chief executive officer of Radius

Risacher succeeds longtime executive director Tim Kinder, who left the organization this summer to pursue an advanced educational degree.

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. (WTWO) – Playgrounds are full, and classrooms are empty at Loogoottee Schools. 

But, news of a breach with Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress tests had parents and students concerned they would be headed back to school early. 

“Like what are you talking about? Why do they have to retake it? Like didn’t they already do that already? So it was like a little shock,” Stacy Field said.

ISTEP is a statewide test to measure students in grades 3 through 10 on their achievements in subjects including math and English. 

“It’s boring,” Jacob Allen said.  

“But, it helps encourage us how to learn,” LaShawnallen Allen said.  

“Most test are boring,”  Fields said.

“But, you’re not the one sitting there for almost 2 hours,”  Jacob Allen said. 

“I have done it, yes,” Stacy Fields said. 

Many parents and students thought the test was secure. 

In a statement to WTWO, Loogoottee’s superintendent reports a parent contacted the district with information that some students may have had access to a portion of the spring Grade 10 math ISTEP test. 

The school reported the allegation to the Indiana Department of Education, which launched an investigation.

The investigation found an administrator printed three questions from the test and then provided them to Loogootee High School math teachers, who may have used the questions to help students prepare.

Officials said they believe there was no ill intent by the administrator. 

For Stacy Fields and other parents, the breach does not alter her trust with the district. 

“I really like the school. I mean they have really helped with my children and so I am really thankful so if it’s necessary that they have to redo it, let it be. I mean nobodies perfect,” Fields said. “The kids may not like it but you that’s what they have to do.” 

WTWO contacted the Indiana Department Of Education, and a spokesman informed us that this is an ongoing investigation. They were not sure how many students have been affected.

Students can retake the test after school starts in August.

In the released statement, school officials said they recognize that retaking the test is an inconvenience for parents and students, and will do all they can to respond to parent questions and work with students to get valid test scores.