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PAOLI, Ind. (WISH) — A Paoli man faces two criminal charges after he told law enforcement officers that he fired a high-powered rifle in his back yard and may have shot his neighbor, Indiana State Police said in a Thursday news release.

Tammy Schneider, of Paoli, was shot Sunday in the abdomen with a .300 Winchester Magnum round. She was stable at UofL Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The shooting was reported along South County Road 310 West, which is about 2 miles southwest of Paoli.

Tyler Lee Cooper, 36, was formally charged Tuesday with aggravated battery posing a substantial risk of death, and criminal recklessness shooting a firearm into a building, according to online court records. His next hearing in Orange Circuit Court was set for Oct. 24. A $30,000 bond was set.

It was not immediately known if Cooper remained in the Orange County jail on Thursday night.

Paoli is about an hour’s drive northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Historic Hotels of America has unveiled its 2022 Top 25 Most Unique Culinary Heritage and Culinary Traditions list. The list includes one Indiana hotel known for the invention of tomato juice.

The Historic Hotels program says culinary heritage refers to a food or beverage that was created or first served at a historic hotel and is still served today. Culinary tradition is defined as a food or beverage that was perfected by the hotel’s chefs or has been served to guests for a least 25 years regardless of its origin.

The French Lick Springs Hotel in Orange County is the only Indiana hotel represented on the list. The hotel is known for the invention of tomato juice in 1917 by Chef Louis Perrin, who needed a substitute for orange juice after running out of oranges.

“News of the drink spread quickly throughout the country and people arrived at the hotel just to try the interesting concoction,” the list said. “Soon there were too many orders for tomato juice and The Springs kitchen could not keep up with the demand. A tomato juice company was formed in French Lick and given the secret recipe to make the juice in massive quantities for the hotel.”

While French Lick Springs is the only Hoosier hotel on the list, there is another Indiana connection. Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan is included for its signature dessert, the Pecan Ball, which was originally created at the tea room of the L.S. Ayres department store in Indianapolis.

You can connect to the full list by clicking here.

PAOLI, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A utility construction contractor in Orange County has announced changes to its top leadership. Paoli-based ElectriCom LLC says President Raj Beri has been promoted chief executive officer, succeeding Kevin Mason, who is transitioning to executive chair.

Beri joined ElectriCom a year ago as president and member of the company’s executive board. He will retain his title as president in addition to his new role as CEO.

“Over the last year, Raj has been integral in ElectriCom’s efforts to bolster system capabilities while growing our operational services,” Mason said in written remarks. “Raj brought a significant amount of expertise to ElectriCom with his prior success in growing companies organically and through strategic acquisitions. I am excited to see him continue ElectriCom’s substantial growth trajectory in his new position.”

Mason had served as CEO since 1995. ElectriCom says in his new role, Mason will be responsible for managing the company’s strategic direction and leading the objectives of the board of directors.

The more than 60-year-old company has operations in 25 states with more than 260 customers.

BEDFORD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A consortium of economic development organizations in southern Indiana has launched a pilot program for talent attraction and workforce development, which includes a $5,000 incentive. The program, Choose Southern Indiana, is offering to pay moving expenses to out-of-state individuals to relocate to Dubois or Orange County. Three organizations, including Radius Indiana, Dubois Strong and the Orange County Economic Development Partnership, have jointly launched the initiative.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Radius Indiana Chief Executive Officer Jeff Quyle said the campaign is not the first attraction program in Indiana, but it is the first rural regional approach.

“We thought we had a little bit of a unique angle in that we are in a rural setting,” said Quyle. “We’ve got two counties that have already actively entered our program, a third county is planning to come in.”

Quyle says the relocation incentive could be used by individuals or families. They must maintain residency for a minimum of two years. Other than that, each county can determine the type of person or persons they want to attract.

Jeff Quyle is president and chief executive officer of Radius Indiana.Jeff Quyle is president and chief executive officer of Radius Indiana.
“They can define what kinds of population they’re looking for. In one case, it’s remote workers. In another case, it’s military veterans. Another county that is looking at coming on board is considering seeking people with bachelor’s degrees,” explained Quyle. “So, we’re going to have a variety of programs all within one regional umbrella.”

Radius is partnering with Indianapolis-based talent recruitment firm TMap LLC and its online platform MakeMyMove. The online tool helps communities pitch their locations to attract new residents by offering financial rewards.

Quyle says the Radius program is specifically targeting talent from outside the state of Indiana to avoid depleting talent in other Indiana communities.

Quyle says for the first year of the program, the groups budgeted enough to relocate 40 people total. Radius is covering 60% of the cost, while the select counties will cover the other 40%.

“We believe the rich variety of recreational opportunities and the quality of life and safety in our small cities and towns are going to appeal to any number of people when they discover this chance for an introduction to southern Indiana,” said Quyle.

Quyle says if the program, which he calls an experiment, works, he believes other counties in the Radius region will want to join. To learn more about the relocation incentive program, click here.

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (WISH) — The Wilstem Wildlife Park in French Lick has opened its new Fall Festival of Lights.

It’s a drive-thru, family-friendly show getting Hoosiers ready for Halloween.

The event features a drive-thru light show and the chance to add on a twilight drive-thru safari with mini-animal encounters. If you are looking for a safe alternative to pumpkin patches and trick or treating, the park wants you to come create a new tradition with your family and it’s all from the comfort of your own vehicle.

The Fall Festival of Lights stretches a half-mile long and showcases large-scale light installations of a Halloween town with witches brew, ghosts and ghouls, spiders, a graveyard and more. The light show will be available Saturday through Halloween night from 7-9 p.m. EST.

It costs $25 per vehicle to attend.

PAOLI, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Indiana University Health Paoli Hospital’s new family and internal medicine clinic is set to open in early September. IU Health says the primary care clinic will create 20 new jobs in Orange County and will increase access to quality healthcare in the region.

The healthcare provider says a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Sept. 3 and the clinic will begin accepting patients a few days later.

“Having IU Health within our community is important for the quality of life of our citizens. IU Health recognized the need for additional healthcare services in our area and this investment in our community will have a positive economic impact for Orange County,” said Zachary Brown, executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Partnership. “The creation of 20 new jobs is invaluable and should not go unnoticed. I commend the IU Health Paoli team for working to push this project forward even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to working with the team for years to come.”

In addition to two new physicians joining the Paoli community, the clinic will create jobs including professional and support services, nurses, medical assistants and lab and x-ray technicians.

IU Health says the 8,000-square-foot clinic is expected to be the first rural community health clinic in the IU Health Network. The clinic will open with two physicians and two nurse practitioners and 13 exam rooms.

The clinic will offer behavioral health services and a walk-in clinic for minor injuries and illnesses.

“We are incredibly proud to play a role in increasing access to local healthcare in the IU Health south central region,” said Larry Bailey, president of IU Health Paoli Hospital. “Not only will the clinic mean that patients no longer need to travel or delay being seen for primary care, but it will also be a catalyst for regional economic growth and new community partnerships. Paoli is a special place, and this clinic was designed to reflect that. From sourcing local construction materials to featuring local artists’ work throughout the building, we hope this facility will be a point of pride for the community.”

Construction on the facility began in January.

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Ellettsville-based Smithville Communications Inc. has opened free Wi-Fi hotpots in several rural locations in southern Indiana. The broadband company says its hotspots can be used by individuals impacted by the COVID-19 crisis that need to connect to networks for work, school or telehealth reasons.

The most recent hotspot was launched at Spring Valley Community School in French Lick. The company says the new hotspot is expected to help students of the Springs Valley Community Schools involved in e-learning activities while the school systems physical facilities are closed.

The broadband company says its hotspots can be used by individuals that need to connect to networks for work, school,or telehealth reasons and says its efforts are intended to serve people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly those in rural communities. 

The other hotspots are located at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, the Marci Jane Lewis Park in Ellettsville, the fire station in Solsberry and the Hymera public library.

“We must continue to all do our part to help our neighbors in this time of need,” said Darby McCarty, chairman and chief executive officer of Smithville. “We believe that Smithville has an obligation to keep our customers, businesses and fellow Hoosiers connected, and we take it very seriously. Our team is working every day, ensuring Smithville’s network is up and running to keep our customers connected to what matters most.”

Smithville is cautioning users to maintain social distancing and remain in vehicles when accessing the hotspots. Smithville also says users should keep these channels open for those in need and refrain from using them for recreational purposes such as gaming or streaming.

“We are grateful for Smithville’s donation of accessible internet services, as it helps families and students who need high-speed internet,” said Zach Brown, executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Partnership. “This access is a useful bridge to help our area residents get through these challenging times.”

More information can be found by clicking here.

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Owners of the French Lick Resort have chosen to voluntarily close all hotel, spa and other activities beginning at 1 pm Thursday, March 19 to help stop the possible spread of COVID-19. The decision was made after consulting with state officials.

The hotel is not accepting new reservations, but owners say they will honor all existing reservations. The hotel will hold the reservations for after May 1. Those who cancel reservations will not be charged any penalties or fees. 

The Donald Ross and Valley Links golf courses along with the Stables at French Lick will remain open and the Pete Dye Course will open as scheduled on Friday, March 27.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Leininger says French Lick Springs Resort, West Baden Springs Hotel and Valley Tower will reopen when it’s deemed safe. Anyone with questions about current or future reservations is asked to contact their call center at 888-936-9360. 

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Massachusetts-based Boston International has announced plans to relocate its headquarters to a 115,000-square-foot facility in French Lick. The company says it will invest $3.6 million to acquire, renovate and equip a 115,000-square-foot facility in the Orange County town and add up to 50 jobs by the end of 2023.

Boston International (BI) designs and sells its own brand of home decor, gift and stationery products. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the company also distributes products for Germany-based Ideal Home Range in addition to working with other partners.

The new headquarters will be located in the former Jasper Group facility, which the company says will enhance its distribution operations and meet growing demand. Additionally, BI plans to launch an on-site retail store to market and sell its products to visitors of French Lick Resort.

“I’m originally from southern Indiana and always hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to return,” said Pam Metz, owner and president of BI. “The fact that I’m able to bring my company with me is a dream come true. It’s very exciting knowing BI will contribute to the economic growth of such a wonderful community as French Lick. The Orange County Economic Development Partnership, along with all our partners in the community and state, have been invaluable during this process, making the decision to relocate to southern Indiana an easy decision.”

Boston International currently has 40 employees in the U.S. and plans to begin hiring for operations, human resources, finance, IT, product development, customer service and warehousing positions in late March.

“Small businesses play a critical role in supporting Indiana’s economy and creating quality career opportunities in our communities,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “With resources designed to support growth from start to scale, Indiana is committed to building an ecosystem that attracts investment from companies like Boston International and allows businesses, both large and small, to compete on a global scale.”

The IEDC has offered Boston International up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. Officials from Orange County plan to offer additional incentives.

PAOLI, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – IU Health Paoli Hospital will Thursday break ground on a new primary care facility in Orange County. IU Health Paoli Family and Internal Medicine will be an 8,000-square-foot facility with 13 exam rooms and plans to offer behavioral health services.

The building will also have room for six primary care providers and visiting specialists. It will also have x-ray and lab testing capabilities. IU Health Paoli Family and Internal Medicine will also house the IU Health Paoli Walk In.

“IU Health’s commitment to Orange County provides much needed access to healthcare services for local residents,” says IU Health Paoli Hospital President Larry Bailey. “While we will focus on primary care for the development of a Rural Health Center, the facility serves to support other initiatives.”

The project is slated for completion this summer.