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TELL CITY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A southwest Indiana city is ranked among the “Best U.S. Cities for Working From Home” by The home services website ranked cities based on criteria including percentage of residents with access to high-speed wired internet and monthly rent costs.

The rankings were split among extra small, small, medium and large cities. Tell City in Perry County is ranked No. 1 in the small cities list and is the only Indiana city included in the top 10 among all categories. 

The ranking cites Tell City’s average monthly rent cost of $450 and housing cost per square meter of $1,303. The city is also noted for having 91.5% of residents with access to high-speed wired internet and 95.4% having access to basic wired broadband internet plans.

The website also lists the best “work from home” city in each state, with Greenwood being named for Indiana.

Morristown, Tennessee tops the list for medium cities, while San Antonio, Texas is ranked No. 1 for large cities. You can connect to the full rankings by clicking here.

TELL CITY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Perry County Development Corp. (PCDC) has appointed Erin Emerson as its new executive director. Emerson has worked for the PCDC for seven years, most recently serving as vice president.

During her tenure, the organization says Emerson’s role included an increased focus on community, marketing and workforce development initiatives designed to strengthen the county.

“The commitment of time and energy that Erin has shown over the past seven years makes her uniquely capable of leading the organization for years to come. We’re excited to work together in accomplishing the mission of the PCDC,” said David Goffinet, the PCDC board chairman.

The organization says Emerson has worked on projects involving business retention and expansion, business attraction, entrepreneurship and small business development. Emerson has also been integrally involved in the development and continued growth of Pick Perry, the county’s centralized branding and marketing campaign.

PERRY COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A portion of a Tell City industrial building more than 100 years old, that survived a massive fire in December, may become a shared-use kitchen to help startup food companies in southwest Indiana.

At the request of the Perry County Development Corp., the Purdue Extension is conducting a feasibility study to analyze the benefits, cost, and viability of a commercial-grade kitchen in the former Swiss Plywood building.

‘Getting your own kitchen certified can be quite difficult,” said Michael Wilcox, assistant director and program leader for Purdue Extension’s community development program.

Shared-use kitchens provide a working environment for food-based startup businesses, where users learn best practices in food handling and preparation. It would be part of the Perry Country Entrepreneurial Center.

“While they’ve been experimenting in their kitchen, the commercial kitchen would be an opportunity for them to scale up and actually go commercial,” said Wilcox

By creating an industrial-grade kitchen that meets various government standards, it removes an impediment that stands in the way of innovation in the food production sector.

“This shared development and usage in the county and region will enhance entrepreneurial growth in the foodservice and agricultural industries, and boost small business development,” said Alvin Evans, PCDC project manager.

The extension team is hosting focus groups to talk directly to potential users or beneficiaries of the kitchen.

“We’re doing a kitchen tour and we’re taking stakeholders from Perry County to other kitchens in Indiana so they can see for themselves what’s going on,” Wilcox added.

Wilcox says three years of planning had already taken place before the fire broke out in mid-December at the former Swiss Plywood manufacturing facility, which was the proposed location for the kitchen.

“We got text messages from our partners with pictures of the building burning down. So, we thought the project was over,” said Wilcox.

But Wilcox says Perry County leaders showed tenacity in moving forward with the project.

“A portion of the building was saved, and they think they might be able to retrofit a portion of that for the kitchen.”

Wilcox says the kitchen could also provide educational opportunities for students in the culinary arts program at Tell City High School. There could also be an opportunity for banquet space.

The PCDC gave Wilcox and his team until the end of March to provide the results of the study. Wilcox says the organization will need the feasibility data if they apply for federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help pay for the part of the project.

Michael Wilcox with Purdue Extension says he thought the fire would end the project.

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — A traffic stop Tuesday led to the arrest of a man on five charges.

An Indiana State Police trooper stopped Jason Schulthise, of Tell City, on suspicion of speeding on State Road 3 near Charlestown. The trooper discovered the car was registered to someone who had been reported missing and was wanted on drug charges in Perry County. Schulthise also had a suspended driver’s license.

The trooper’s police dog alerted him to the smell of narcotics in the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, approximately 2 ounces of meth and suspected stolen jewelry were found.

Schulthise was arrested and taken to the Clark County Jail. He faces the following charges:

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