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SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Iowa-based Engineered Plastic Components Inc. is planning to expand its operations in Scott County. The company, which makes injection molded plastic products for a variety of industries, says it will invest more than $7 million for new equipment at its facility in Scottsburg and create 60 jobs over the next five years.

EPC acquired the 120,000-square-foot manufacturing plant from Viking Plastics earlier this year. The company currently employs more than 200 at the facility.

“We’re pleased to increase our presence in Southern Indiana,” Reza Kargarzadeh, chief executive officer of EPC, said in a news release. “This expansion will provide additional production capacity to meet the increased demand we are experiencing from our customers in the automotive industry. We’re excited to add to our existing workforce with steady, good paying positions.”

EPC did not provide a time frame for the installation of the new equipment.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered EPC up to $2.5 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Scottsburg City Council will also consider additional incentives that would save EPC nearly $215,000 over the next five years.

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) — A man who authorities say started a southern Indiana police chase that led to an officer’s death is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in the case.

Court records say 35-year-old Benjamin Eads of Freedom entered the pleas in mid-February in a Scott County courtroom. The charges include auto theft and resisting law enforcement, which led to a death. His plea agreement says he’s expected to get 35 years in prison and a year in jail.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 8.

Authorities say Eads fled a traffic stop on Dec. 12 , triggering a police chase during which Charlestown Officer Benton Bertram’s vehicle struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

State police say the 33-year-old Bertram was a Charlestown officer for nine years.

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — A 19-year-old North Vernon man faces rape and child sex charges after he allegedly forced himself on a 15-year-old girl he had met on a social media website, state police said Friday.

Jon Wesley Anthony faces charges of rape by force, sexual battery and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, Indiana State Police said in a news release. The charges were filed in Scott County, where the girl lives.

The Indiana Department of Child Services in Scott County reached out to state police on Feb. 7. Detective Brian Busick learned Anthony agreed to meet the girl at her home to do beautician work on her hair. When Anthony arrived, the release said, he told the girl he had forgot the materials needed to work on her hair, but he stayed at the residence and allegedly forced himself onto her.

Anthony was placed in the Scott County Jail, state police said, and being held without bond awaiting his first court appearance. Online court records Friday night had no case listed.

SCOTT COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A 23-year-old man was arrested Tuesday morning on child pornography charges.

According to Indiana State Police, detectives executed a search warrant in the 200 block of South 3rd Street in Scottsburg and seized computer-related items that allegedly contained child pornographic images.

Tyler S. Tscheulin of Scottsburg was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. He was transported to the Scott County Jail to await his first court appearance.

State police indicated that the search warrant was the result of a tip they received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WISH) -The biggest drug suppliers to Scott County have been arrested, according to police. Ten people are facing federal charges in connection with the drug operation.

Authorities said they started the undercover investigation in response to the county’s HIV outbreak.

Officials said undercover agents caught suspects distributing meth and a prescription painkiller called Opana. According to county health workers, the HIV outbreak spread, in part, due to Opana users sharing needles.

Detectives uncovered more than a pound of drugs, $34,000 and 12 guns Friday morning. Police said they raided multiple Scott County locations and busted suppliers in Detroit and Louisville.

Investigators also towed cars from a Scottsburg lot, which was owned by one of the 10 suspects who were arrested, police say.

Karen Pierce works at an auto parts store next to the lot.

“The whole lot of was full of cops,” she said. “We know he’s been dealing drugs out of here. I’m just glad they finally got him.”

Pierce said she often sees suspicious-looking people hanging out near the lot. Now she’s hoping she’s seen the last of them.

“I’m just glad to be getting that crud out of Scottsburg,” she said.

Police said more than 100 state, local and federal officers were involved in the busts. If convicted, the suspects could face 10 years to life in prison.

Health workers announced Monday that four people in the Scott County area tested positive. The total number of cases is now 188.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed a 30-day extension of his executive order that will allow a needle exchange program to continue in Scott County, where the state’s worst HIV outbreak has shown no signs of slowing down.

Scott County has struggled with an HIV outbreak tied to intravenous drug use. Although needle exchange programs are illegal in Indiana, Pence renewed the executive order Monday because of the ongoing outbreak.

So far, more than 128 confirmed HIV cases have been identified along with six preliminary cases, according state health officials.

Governor Mike Pence offered no public comments Monday, nor did he take questions from reporters. Instead, news of that his executive order had been extended broke during a conference committee hearing debating a statewide needle exchange bill.

Joey Fox, the Indiana state health department’s legislative director, told the panel of lawmakers: “I can report to you this morning that the governor did sign an extension of the executive order for another 30 days.”

Fox also cautioned lawmakers to proceed carefully and thoughtfully when considering passage of a statewide needle exchange bill.

“At least one commercial sex worker who admits to having intercourse with over 70 truckers after she knew she was infected with HIV. This is new territory for us. We need to go slow, we need to be deliberate will addressing the crisis,” Fox said.

No vote was taken Monday for House Bill 461, which would authorize needles exchanges in counties deemed at high risk for hepatitis C and HIV.

While HIV is not specifically mentioned in the bill language, health officials argue hepatitis C is often a strong indicator of HIV infection and the needle for needle exchanges.

Dr. Beth Meyerson, with IU’s School of Public Health, is also the co-director for the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention.

Meyerson told the panel that “syringe exchange is evidence based. We’ve known this for 30 years. And it’s an evidence-based disease strategy, not a drug reduction strategy, though there are some nice outcomes there.”

Meyerson also walked lawmakers through various sets of data showing that 23 Indiana counties would fall into what’s known as the “fourth quartile”  – meaning counties showing high rates of hepatitis C.

Her presentation was intended to drive home the fact that HIV outbreak in Scott County is not an isolated incident. In other words, counties currently showing high rates of hepatitis C could seen by the next Scott County, Meyerson said.

“Hepatitis C is our most robust indicator because they represent real people with real disease,” Meyerson said.

Meyerson urged lawmakers that pass a needle exchange bill, saying that syringe exchanges, coupled with local control and increased access to treatment and testing would help to quell the spread of HIV and hepatitis C. She also tried to put to rest concerns that a statewide needle exchange bill would lead to increased drug use.

“We have zero evidence to that effect,” she said.


Dr. Shane Avery, a Scottsburg physician, who has been on the front lines of the HIV outbreak in Scott County, described the despair that his patients endure when he has to inform them that they are HIV positive.

He also told the panel of lawmakers that he thinks the HIV outbreak has spread beyond the borders of Scott County, saying:

“We have public testimony of at least one commercial sex worker who admits to having intercourse with over 70 truckers after she knew she was infected with HIV.”

In urging lawmakers to pass the bill, Avery also admonished Gov. Pence for his handling of the situation. He said, “For the governor to think that he can contain this epidemic in Scott County with an emergency order is reckless and will cost the lives of thousands of Hoosiers.”

Rep. Ed Clere, R- New Albany, who authored HB 461, was asked if the advancing the bill would be moot, since Gov. Pence has indicated previously that he would veto any legislation that addresses a statewide needle exchange.

“Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Clere said. “I would hope the governor would recognize not only the crisis in Scott County, but also (the potential) for the crisis to happen elsewhere.”

Sen Patricia Miller, R – Indianapolis, hinted that she would like to see the bill include a sunset provision after two years and require a report from counties to drafted and sent to the Indiana General Assembly so that lawmakers could measure the efficacy of needle exchanges.

David Powell, with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, spoke out against the measure, saying “passing out needles won’t fix it.”

Health officials said last week more confirmed cases of HIV had brought the total to nearly 130. All cases are linked to injection drug abuse.

The following statement from Pence was released Monday along with news of the executive order’s extension:

We have no higher priority than the health and safety of our citizens. Today, on the recommendations of the Indiana State Department of Health and in consultation with Scott County officials and the Centers for Disease Control, I used my authority as Governor to extend the public health emergency in Scott County for an additional thirty days. While we’ve made progress in identifying and treating those affected by this heartbreaking epidemic, the public health emergency continues and so must our efforts to fight it.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Family Health Council plans to open a family planning clinic in Scottsburg, following the HIV epidemic in Scott County.

The clinic set to open on April 14 will provide health services, STD and HIV testing.

“We will offer a full range of services including pregnancy tests, birth control, family planning and medical services,” said Kristin Adams, president and CEO. “As part of those services, clinicians are able to offer confidential rapid HIV testing for anyone who is interested in receiving testing.”

The clinic will also help those who are eligible HIP 2.0. sign up.

“While we currently are operating this family planning location under the emergency order, we will review the long-term sustainability of keeping the clinic open after the 30-day emergency window,” Adams said.

Hours for clinic will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at New Hope’s Scottsburg at 1642 West McClain Avenue. Testing and services are free or low cost and confidential. Insurance is also welcome.

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) – An Ohio-based label manufacturer has announced it will expand operations in Scott County and create more than 150 new jobs within the next five years.

Multi-Color Corporation announced Friday that it’s investing $13 million in its 120,500 square-foot manufacturing plant in Scottsburg. The company plans to increase operating efficiency, expand production volume and bring 154 jobs to the facility by 2020.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered the company up to $1 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on its job creation plans.

Multi-Color currently employs about 220 Indiana residents full time. The company says it has already begun hiring for manufacturing, administrative and supervisory positions at the Scottsburg plant.

Multi-Color Corporation was established nearly 100 years ago in Batavia, Ohio.