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WASHINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Pharmacy benefit management company True Rx Health Strategists is today celebrating the opening of its nearly $2 million facility near I-69 in the Daviess County town of Washington. “I think our employees are really proud to drive up and say, ‘Yeah, that’s where I work,’ and that was kind of intentional,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Williams. Additionally, the company says it has achieved an annual national growth rate of 30%, which exceeds its initial growth forecast.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Williams said the company’s culture and employees has been key to its continued growth.

“I always say you’re only as good as the employees that you hire, and we hire amazing employees,” said Williams. “We set ourselves to high standards and we’re only able to do that because of the amazing employees that we have that give their dedication and hard work to True Rx Health Strategists every day.”

True Rx first announced plans for the 15,000-square-foot facility in October 2020. The company said it was looking to add 90 employees by 2023.

Since that time, the company has hired 86 employees, and Williams says they anticipate hiring several more people through the end of 2022.

The building, according to Williams, was designed with a hybrid work model in mind as a result of the pandemic. He says that model has led to an increase in collaboration among employees.

“In our building, we have what’s called huddle rooms, and I see people go in there and their collaborating. They’re working on projects. They’re working together,” said Williams. “I’ve seen the camaraderie really increase, and I think we have seen our culture get better since we build the new building.”

Officials says True Rx locating the building in a rural area increases its positive economic impact.

“Many companies like True Rx could be located in urban areas, and the fact that the Williams family has chosen to grow their national business in the city of Washington is a major benefit to the region,” Denny Spinner, executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, said in written remarks.

Williams says the property on which the new building sits has room for a second 15,000-square-foot facility. He says that addition could be in the works in the next several years.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corp. says the planned construction of a $14.5 million housing project in the city of Washington sends a signal the community is ready to unlock economic development. The Washington Redevelopment Commission has approved the project that will see the construction of 144 market rate apartments. Bryant Niehoff says the project, which has been a year in the making, is expected to increase workforce attraction.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Niehoff said communities large and small are looking for new businesses and need housing to support new workers.

“We’re here to work with housing developers [and] with investors to make these projects happen. We know it’s a challenge. We know it’s a challenge in rural markets. We know it’s a challenge in today’s economic climate. But that doesn’t minimize the need for housing here in our community,” said Niehoff.

The nearly $15 million project will build six apartment buildings offering 1,000-1,200 square foot apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations.

Niehoff says a housing study conducted two years ago revealed more market rate housing was needed to promote economic growth and job creation, “so this represents an important step forward.”

Niehoff says Davis County is growing and it has several economic development projects in the pipeline to accelerate and expand upon that growth. He says housing is integral towards that goal not only in Daviess County, but across the state.

“You don’t have to look very far here in Washington, not unlike any other community in the state of Indiana, where there are countless, ‘we’re hiring signs,’” said Niehoff. “We’ve seen the message loud and clear from the IEDC (Indiana Economic Development Corp.) and from Governor Holcomb that we need more people. And this project is perfectly in line with that strategy, all the way up to the state level.”

Now that the project received approval from the redevelopment commission, the developers will seek approval from the Washington Plan Commission and the city council.

The developer, Gibson County-based Simplified Developments, is seeking tax abatement and TIF-funded infrastructure to support the housing project.

“An added plus for Washington is that we hope to work with several local subcontractors for framing and other construction as we build out these apartments, so that will support local job creation and the economy,” said Phil Reinbrecht, president of Simplified Developments.

He says a separate company, Reinbrecht Homes, is making plans to develop a number of new residential homes for the Washington area.

Daviess County EDC says the developer has completed similar housing developments in Haubstadt and Princeton.

Assuming the project receives necessary approvals, construction would begin this year.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A pharmacy benefit management company headquartered in Daviess County has announced plans to expand. True Rx Management Services says it will invest nearly $2 million to build a new facility near I-69 in Washington and create 90 jobs by 2023. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Williams says the city and county have provide a “solid foundation upon which to grow our national business.”

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Williams said the company, which was founded in 2007, has grown significantly over the past five years.

“We are a sister company of Williams Brothers Health Care Pharmacy and we have used their space for the last 10 years and we’ve outgrown the space they have here,” said Williams. “We added 20 employees to our staff this year, so we went from 36 to 56 employees. Our growth has been 30-40% every year for the last four years, so we bought a six-acre lot next to the bypass.”

The new facility will have 15,000-square-feet of space with the ability to expand to 30,000-square-feet, which Williams says he expects to happen after a few years.

Williams says it was important to him and the company to stay rooted in Daviess County.

“A lot of people say that, ‘Don’t you need to go to a bigger city and draw more talent?’ I can tell you that once we get employees into True Rx, they don’t leave. It’s hard to find good jobs in a smaller, local community and so you get good employees, they stay. So, we feel like we’re offering really good jobs here in our local communities; we draw from several different counties. And we’re very proud to be able to offer the employees we have a good job with good health benefits and we think it’s great for the community.”

Williams says the company is “very fortunate” to be able to grow during a pandemic, when many companies are having to cut costs.

“I think a lot of companies are looking for solutions to help control their healthcare because they’re going through some rough times and we’re able to go in there and help consult on how to control their healthcare costs, help them from a financial standpoint. We’re very, very fortunate to be in the business we are. I think all of our employees feel lucky they can come to work every day or they can work from home.”

The company did not provide a time frame for the new facility’s construction.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered True Rx up to $800,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Washington City Council will consider additional incentives.

EPSOM, Ind. (WISH) — A Daviess County traffic stop for speeding Saturday night ended with two Indianapolis men in jail on drug- and weapon-related charges, Indiana State Police said.

Driver Corey Carter, 32, and passenger, Keith Williams, 31, were in a black pickup traveling 105 mph on Interstate 69 at the 76-mile marker when state police troopers Ross Johnson and Beau Brumett pursued at 7:20 p.m. Saturday. The troopers said they stopped the truck about a mile away.

While speaking with Carter and Williams, the troopers smelled burnt marijuana.

“A search of the truck revealed marijuana and a loaded handgun that was within reach of Williams,” said a news release issued Sunday by state police. “Troopers learned that both items belonged to Williams; however, Williams did not have a valid permit to possess the gun.

“Troopers also found that Williams was wanted on an active arrest warrant through Marion County, Indiana for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.”

Carter and Williams were placed into custody and taken to the Daviess County Jail in Washington, Indiana. Carter was jailed on a reckless driving charge and on a felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance. Williams was jailed on a misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana, visiting a common nuisance and having a handgun without a valid permit, and on an arrest warrant through Marion County.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Police arrested a man for child solicitation Tuesday afternoon.

Police from the Indiana State Post at Sellersburg and from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, served a search warrant at 90 Eastern Park Boulevard in Perkin, Indiana.

Police said the search warrant led to a lengthy investigation involving 44-year-old William Knight. Police said they found he was having conversations on social media with a 10 year old female, encouraging her to physically touch him in a sexual manner.

Knight was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail on one count of child solicitation.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) – A Wabash Valley school employee has lost his job.

Police in Washington said they arrested William Breeden early May. He faces four counts of child seduction.

24-Hour News 8’s sister station, WTHI, spoke with Washington Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Daniel Roach about the incident.

Roach said Breeden was a non-certified employee in the district, who worked in the high school.

Roach said the school terminated Breeden on Thursday. He is out on bond.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) – A traffic stop conducted by the Washington Police Department ended with three arrests on drug charges.

A Washington Police Officer made a traffic stop on April 6 just before 10 p.m. on Dewey Avenue.

Officials report the vehicle was pulled over for failing to signal a turn. There were three people in the car at the time of the stop: The driver was Diana Lents, 60, with two passenger Eric Logston, 32 and Jonathan Waggoner, 37.

During the stop, the officer and his K9 performed a ‘free air sniff of the vehicle.’ The K9 ‘Drago’ indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. During a search of the car, officers found methamphetamine, syringes, marijuana and paraphernalia.Lents was arrested for maintaining a common nuisance, possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a syringe, possession of marijuana and reckless possession of paraphernalia. Both Logston and Waggoner were arrested for possession of methamphetamine and visiting a common nuisance.

Additional Officers of the Washington Police Department and Indiana State Police also assisted.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) – The Washington Police Department arrested a 28-year-old on Thursday in connection to a sexual misconduct case involving a minor.

Olmando Joseph was arrested just after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday by the Washington Police Department on a Daviess County warrant. It was on July 1 when the Washington Police Department received information alleging that Joseph was having sexual relations with a 14-year-old female.

Joseph is now facing charges including sexual misconduct with a minor, possession of child pornography and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.

He was taken to the Daviess County Security Center.

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) — A Washington, Indiana physician is set to go before Indiana’s Medical Licensing Review board in May following allegations that the physician took part in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient, provided the patient’s brother in-home counseling, and wrote undocumented prescriptions.

The information was disclosed in a consumer complaint filed by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office December 16, 2014. Michael Baker, who is listed on Heartland OB/GYN’s website as a physician, is named in the complaint. In total, the complaint details 15 claims that Baker allegedly took part in, starting in September of 2013 through April 2014.

David Bixler, CEO of Daviess Community Hospital, told News 10 via telephone Baker had voluntarily taken a leave of absence following the filing of the complaint. It was made clear that the complaint is only an allegation, and Dr. Baker has not been charged with a crime. The complaint filed against Baker will be reviewed by Indiana’s Medical Licensing Board.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Indiana Attorney General’s office explained that in a complaint of this nature, the board serves as “judge and jury,” first determining whether a medical violation occurred. If the board finds cause, the spokesperson explained, it would then determine whether Baker’s license to practice would be suspended or revoked. It was also explained Baker could face fines. The board is set to hear evidence tentatively at its May 28 meeting.

An attorney for Baker, Kevin Betz, of Betz and Blevins told News 10 via telephone Wednesday afternoon the litigation wasn’t credible and lacked information.

“We have reviewed the complaint by the Attorney General’s office and have found multiple inaccuracies and believe it to be fundamentally false,” said Betz, “We are seeking further information I can tell you, and documents from the Attorney General’s Office and we’re waiting on their delivering of that information and documentation.”