Make your home page

MEROM, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Kentucky-based cryptocurrency startup is looking to transform a portion of the Merom Generating Station in Sullivan County into a crypto mining facility.

AboutBit LLC says the project will create up to 15 high-tech jobs with the potential for more once the facility is online.

AboutBit bills itself as a startup “dedicated to building more sustainable solutions to mine cryptocurrencies.”

The company has entered into a five-year agreement to purchase 115-megawatts of electricity from WIN Energy REMC, a nonprofit electric distribution cooperative in Vincennes, to power the facility.

“We believe there is tremendous potential for rural areas and advanced technology infrastructure such as data storage, cryptocurrency and cybersecurity facilities,” WIN Energy CEO Tom Nowaskie said in a news release. “This is an example of that potential, and we look forward to exploring similar opportunities in the future.”

AboutBit says it will use advanced technology to mitigate environmental and noise pollution, including a liquid cooling system to ensure the machines run quietly. The company says building the data center on the site of the power plant means here will be little to no impact on the environment.

AboutBit founder and CEO Stacy Griggs says the facility will also be able to reduce energy usage during peak periods.

“It’s hard to spin up and spin down power plants,” said Griggs. “If demand in the region hits a peak, we’ll actually be able to reduce our power requirements from WIN Energy and scale back our use at the mining facility, ultimately benefiting other customers in Southwest Indiana.”  

AboutBit did not immediately disclose its investment in the facility, which is expected to go online in the next 30 days.

The Merom Generating Station is currently owned by Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy. However, in February, the co-op announced plans to sell the coal-fired plant to Terre Haute-based Hallador Power Co. LLC. That deal is expected to close in July.

BRAZIL, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana Sheriff’s Youth Ranch in December will host a new “Breakfast With Santa” event for students in kindergarten through Grade 6.

The nonprofit training retreat will provide clothing, toiletries and food for youths. Selfies with Santa will be encouraged, the ranch said in a news release. The free event will include a meal of pancakes, cereal, turkey sausage links, juices and milk.

The event will be from 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 11 at the 62-acre ranch about 2 miles south of Brazil at 5325 N. State Road 59.

No reservations are needed, but guests are asked to “respect one another’s pandemic precautions,” the release said. Face masks and social distancing are encouraged when possible.

For more information or to donate to the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund, call 317-460-4242, go online to Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch GoFundMe page or write to the ISYR Chaplain’s Fund, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834.

Organizers of the event include Clay County Sheriff Paul Harden, Greene County Sheriff Michael Hasler, former Marion County Sheriff John Layton, Owen County Sheriff Sam Hobbs, Parke County Sheriff Justin Cole, Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton, Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom, Vermillion County Sheriff Mike Phelps, and Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse.

SHELBURN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The town of Shelburn has demolished two dilapidated properties as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize its downtown. The Sullivan County town says the removal of a former residential building and former tavern aligns with its beautification and quality of life goals.

The town hopes to further enhance the overall quality of life and promote economic development.

“Cleaning up and tearing down these rundown, dilapidated properties is part of the bigger picture for Shelburn,” says Jay Southwood, Shelburn clerk and treasurer. “Restoring and revitalizing our town is our contribution to the development of our town and region.”

With the properties demolished, the town says it has a number of ideas and options for its next occupant. The town says both lots offer viable space for future development and revitalization.

The demolitions were funded by the town’s recent increase in local income taxes.

“These revitalization projects are a result of the LIT tax increase and their results stretch further than that. This is about economic development, quality of place and doing our part to support the region’s growing tourism. It really is one piece of a greater puzzle,” said Southwood.

The town says it plans to continue a series of demolitions on several more properties over the course of the next few months.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Ninety employees from Carlisle Mine in Sullivan County have been laid-off as the company temporarily idles production.

Terre Haute-based Hallador Energy Co. (Nasdaq: HNRG) says its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sunrise Coal LLC, is stopping production due to shrinking demand.

“Unfortunately, weak market conditions have resulted in an over-supply of domestic coal, which necessitates that we reduce our production,” said Larry Martin, chief financial officer of Hallador Energy Co.

The company says it will be shifting production to its lower cost operations at Oaktown, Indiana. Hallador is also reducing its sales guidance to 7.0 million tons for 2020, down from 8.0 million tons forecasted last fall.

In November, the company reported a third-quarter net loss due to “challenging mining conditions.”

“The employees who are affected by this action are a part of the Sunrise family, and we regret the impact this will have on their families and the community. We thank them for their dedication and service,” said Martin.

Sunrise Coal operates mines in southern Indiana and southern Illinois. The company says much of the coal it produces is used for the electric power generation industry.

SULLIVAN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new hotel could be coming to downtown Sullivan. The proposed project would tout four stories, more than 43,000 square feet, and space for nearly 360 occupants, as well as create 20 full-time jobs.

Developers are in the process of submitting the final letter for a construction permit for the project.  The Sleep Inn-Mainstay Hotel Sullivan, will aim to support growth and revitalization efforts in the city’s historic downtown, according to developers.

Mike Hicks, owner of the current Comfort Suites in French Lick, opened a hotel this fall at WestGate Crane Technology which is an exact replica of Sullivan’s potential hotel. Hicks is a representative of Hoosier Hospitality LLC, which is part of the team developing the hotel.

“It doesn’t take much to see the movement in downtown Sullivan,” said Hicks. “With the new sidewalks, street scape, beautification, new apartments on the south side of the square, multiple new businesses and the Sullivan Civic Center, there is no question Sullivan is on the rise.”

The hotel would be located at 345 North Court Street, next to the Sullivan Civic Center. 

SHELBURN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The town of Shelburn is rolling out a revamped brand, Simply Shelburn.

The Sullivan County town, about 10 miles south of Terre Haute, is also launching a website and Facebook page as part of the rebrand.

Town officials say the brand aims to recognize and celebrate the value of what the town of 1,000 calls “the small-town good life” through a digital platform.

By visiting, users can learn more about the historic aspects of the town and town hall meetings and coding ordinances. Plans also call for online bill pay for water customers.

The website is aimed at promoting economic development and projects in the town.

Shelburn’s new Facebook page,, allows residents to read about upcoming events and notices while travelers and neighboring communities can interact with and plan for future visits.

“We are so proud of this new website and overall brand. It truly embraces the story of Shelburn while emphasizing and elevating our historic assets,” said Jay Southwood, Shelburn’s clerk-treasurer.

SULLIVAN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The city of Sullivan has received $20,000 from the Sullivan County Community Foundation. The city will use the funding to build an aquatic feature in its central plaza, which it says is one of many new downtown developments. 

The splash pad will be centrally located in Sullivan Central Plaza, which also houses the Sullivan Civic Center and has access to the city’s continuously developing greenway system.

“We are excited and proud to once again continue our partnerships with the Sullivan County Community Foundation and Wabash Valley Community Foundation. From our first day in office, we have understood the only way to revitalize Sullivan is to build partnerships with our local churches, citizens and civic organizations. The community foundation has been at the top of our partnership list,”  said Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb.

The splash pad is proposed to begin construction in 2020.

SULLIVAN, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The city of Sullivan has received $325,000 in a lawsuit settlement with Floyd-Hunter Environmental LLP. The city says the settlement stems from a claim of breach of contract and negligent services provided related to the firm’s operation of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection facilities.

The Wabash Valley city says it had ongoing contractual agreements with Floyd-Hunter dating back to 2006 for the operation and management of the treatment plant, the city’s gravity sewer collection lines, and sewage lift stations. The city claims the firm’s “acts and omissions” led to the city receiving notices from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for violating environmental rules.

“The City has been required to expend significant funds to repair and maintain its wastewater treatment plant, gravity sewer collection lines, and lift stations,” Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb said in a news release. “Our administration is focused on continuing to improve our system. These improvements are necessary in attracting future commercial and residential development.”

The city had requested the court to enter a judgement that “reasonably compensates for its damages and repairs.” Lamb says the city is “very glad” to have a positive resolution to the case.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Hamilton County was the first, Sullivan County the last, but now all 92 Indiana counties and all three appellate courts have electronic filing in court cases. Hamilton County implemented the system in 2015 and Sullivan County joined this month. 

E-filing is included in the Court’s plan to help bring efficiency to courts across the state. Supreme Court staff train and support judges, clerks, staff and attorneys who use the system. A state-offered provider is free and 10 commercial providers also are available to train. Nearly 17 million documents had been e-filed as of June 30, 2019.

A statewide e-filing celebration is scheduled for Noon Wednesday, September 4 at the Sullivan County Courthouse. Chief Justice Loretta Rush, Justice Steven David, Judge Paul Mathias and others will gather at the courthouse to celebrate the milestone. More information on e-filing can be found here

FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WISH) – Three students of North Central High School in Farmersburg died in a Friday afternoon crash in northern Sullivan County, the sheriff said. 

Sheriff Clark Cottom said in a news release that the single-vehicle crash occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on County Road 1100 North near County Road CR 550 East. That’s about 15 miles south of Terre Haute. 

The students have been identified as:

Police say Jaroscak was the driver. Police say all three boys died immediately in the crash.

There are no preliminary sings of drugs or alcohol being involved, according to police.

“Early indications are that the passenger car was traveling eastbound on CR 1100, when the driver lost control, before running off of the roadway and colliding with a tree,” the release said. “The driver and two passengers were killed instantly.”

Autopsies were scheduled for Saturday morning at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

Indiana State Police helped to reconstruct the crash scene.