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FLORENCE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Plainfield-based Duke Energy Indiana has completed a $152 million upgrade project at the Markland Hydroelectric Station in Switzerland County. The utility says the project will increase the facility’s renewable energy output by about 10%.

The effort included upgrades to three hydroelectric turbines, generators and other equipment such as the main power transformer and an overhaul of the facility’s electrical distribution systems.

With the upgrades, Duke says the station can now generate up to 65 megawatts of clean energy depending on the flow of the Ohio River. That equals enough energy to power 52,000 homes.

“The low-cost, carbon-free power generated at Markland Hydro Station is an important piece of our diversified portfolio of generation sources,” Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar said in written remarks. “By embracing new advancements in technology and innovation, we’re able to expand clean energy production for our customers while also maintaining the reliable service they expect.”

The project received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in late 2016 and work began in early 2017.

The Markland Hydroelectric Station has been in operation since 1967.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Gov. Eric Holcomb on Saturday evening declared a disaster emergency for 11 Indiana counties following flooding and damage caused by sustained heavy rainfall.

The order applies to Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White counties, with the possibility to expand its reach as rain is expected to pummel southern Indiana.

In a release, Holcomb’s office said the declaration gave the Indiana Department of Homeland Security the ability to provide expanded emergency services and is a necessary step should the state request assistance from the federal government.

“This is an important step in helping Hoosiers around our state who’ve been hurt by this flooding,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Our state agencies will continue to work hand-in-hand with local emergency management teams to help families weather the tragedies they are facing. I’m amazed by their resiliency. Looking ahead, we won’t hesitate to seek federal assistance if it proves necessary.”

Holcomb visited Elkhart and St. Joseph counties on Friday to observe flood damage and local emergency response efforts.

He is expected to return from the National Governor’s Association meeting in Washington on Sunday.

SWITZERLAND,Ind. (WISH) – Police have arrested a woman after faking cancer and soliciting donations.

According to the Indiana State Police, 29-year-old Santana Banta was taken into custody Friday, September 30.

Police said an investigation began after they received a complaint about Banta claiming to have terminal cancer and that she was being treated at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky on social media.

Banta then started a GoFundMe account asking for donations to help with her medical bills, according to police.  During the investigation, police determined that Banta did not have cancer and that she had received more than $3,000 in donations.  Police said Banta used the money for personal reasons.

Banta was transported to the Switzerland County Jail where she face preliminary charges of theft and deception.

SWITZERLAND COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Officials at Camp Livingston in Switzerland County say an 11-year-old died after a severe storms came through the area on Monday night.

The 11-year-old was seriously injured around 3 a.m. when a tree was struck by lightening and fell on the cabin the girl was in. Emergency responders arrived on scene to treat the girl, but the girl did not survive.

The camp said that no one else was injured.

The information was released on the camps Facebook page. In the post they said they are providing grief counselors for their staff and campers. They also say that every child will be calling home to speak with their family starting at 10 a.m.

No other details were released on Tuesday.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A man has been arrested after a woman contacted police about her child being sexually molested.

47-year-old John Daniels was arrested on preliminary charges of two counts of child molesting, two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation.

According to the release, police, along with the Marion County Child Protective Services, determined that Daniels had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old victim on more than one occasion.

The suspect is also accused of sexual molestation in Switzerland County with the same victim.

Daniels was arrested Wednesday. He is being held on a $150,000 bond.

VEVAY, Ind. (AP) – Southern Indiana officials say a construction worker was rescued from a trench after a soil collapse left the man partially buried for several hours.

The Jeff-Craig Fire Department says the man was airlifted Wednesday to Louisville hospital and was listed in stable condition. Officials have not released the man’s name.

Fire Chief Chris See said it took crews about five hours to free the man from the trench in the Ohio River community of Vevay (VEE’-vee), about 90 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

The man had been buried from the waist down, about 12 feet from the surface.

The Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue Team provided special equipment and manpower that helped extricate the man, who was airlifted to Louisville..