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WINCHESTER, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Houston-based EDP Renewables North America says commercial operations have begun at the Headwaters II Wind Farm in Randolph County. The company says in addition to the surrounding communities, the nearly 200-megawatt wind farm will provide energy for Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT).

The two companies have signed power purchase agreements with EDP Renewables to procure energy produced at the wind farm. Facebook will receive 139 megawatts of power in a 15-year PPA, while Walmart’s long-term PPA will provide 60 megwatts.

Both companies say their goal is to operate with 100% renewable energy and reach net-zero carbon emissions.

“The completion of Headwaters II is an important milestone for EDP Renewables North America and the reliable, low-price energy we work to provide,” said Ryan Brown, an executive vice president at EDP Renewables North America. “On behalf of EDPR NA, we thank Facebook and Walmart for enabling the construction and expansion of this project and for driving our shared goals to provide sustainable operations across the economy.”

Financial details of the two PPAs were not disclosed. 

The Headwaters II Win Farm joins the 200-megawatt Headwaters I Wind Farm, which is already in operation. The two locations are part of nearly 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy developed throughout the state by EDPR NA.

The company is currently building the 200-megawatt Riverstart Solar Park in Randolph County and plans to begin constructing the 204-megawatt Indiana Crossroads II Wind Farm in White County.

WINCHESTER, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Richmond-based Reid Health has broken ground on a new facility to expand its presence in Winchester. The health system says it is investing nearly $8 million to build the new Reid Health Primary & Specialty Care building in the Randolph County city.

The more than 17,000-square-foot building will house the primary care practices of Daniel Wegg and space for specialties in Orthopedics, Ear, Nose and Throat, Audiology, Cardiology and more.

“Having those kinds of resources within our grasp within our own building will be just amazing for our patients,” Dr. Wegg said. “Our other facilities in Randolph County are dated, so they don’t necessarily satisfy all the modern medical needs that we have.”

Reid Health says the four-acre project is expected to take about a year to finish and adds that there are currently no new plans for future use of the Randolph Medical Center Building once the new facility is operational. 

FARMLAND, Ind. (WISH) — A Winchester man died Thursday afternoon in a crash on a county road southwest of this Randolph County community.

Ned A. Sickels, 65, died in the truck crash.

Randolph County E911 Center received a report about 3:55 p.m. of a crash on County Road 100 West south of County Road 55 South. That’s in a rural area about a mile from Farmland.

Sickels is believed to have been driving a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado south on County Road 1000 West when the truck drifted off the east side of the road and came to rest in a drainage ditch. He died at the crash scene.

A cause for the crash was not immediately available, according to a news release from Sheriff Art L. Moystner.

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is continuing to distribute food in “tailgate” events, with new dates confirmed for the coming week.

The group expanded its tailgate events in April on the coronavirus began taking a toll on Indiana. Gov. Eric Holcomb dispatched 30 Army National Guard members to help with the efforts to expand the food distribution.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is the region’s largest hunger-relief organization serving over 100 pantries and meal programs in eight counties: Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph and Wabash.

Here are upcoming food distributions:

No IDs or proof of address or need are required; all are welcome. Distribution is while supplies last. If you are walking up or coming via a vehicle too small to carry a load of food, please arrive an hour after the tailgate starts.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

WINCHESTER, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Winchester Vision Business Park has received a key designation from the state. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch joined leaders of the city of Winchester and Randolph Economic Development Corp. to announce the site has been designated Indiana Site Certified Gold.

“To earn a site certified designation requires public and private sector dedication and collaboration,” said Crouch. “I commend the leadership and local partners of the Winchester Vision Business Park for taking the necessary steps to bring economic development to their communities.” 

The designation means the 62-acre site located along US 27 near Interstates 69 and 70, is ready for economic development. 

“What an exciting time in Winchester and Randolph County,” said Shon Byrum, Mayor of the City of Winchester. “Together, alongside the larger East-Central Indiana region and the State of Indiana, we are preparing the way for future leaders and new partners to continue the forward progress towards improving the lives of Hoosiers.” 


This Silver Alert has been canceled after the 14-year-old was found safely.


WINCHESTER, Ind. (WISH) — A Silver Alert has been issued for a teenage girl not seen since early Monday morning.

Indiana State Police issued a statewide alert for 14-year-old Rebekah Jane Perreira. She hasn’t been seen since 1 a.m. Monday in Winchester.

She’s described as 5’3″, 154 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray and black sweater, a maroon tank top and black leggings.

She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

Please call 911 or the Winchester Police Department at 765-584-1721 if you see her.

WINCHESTER, Ind. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against a county after a resident was ordered to remove a sign from her yard expressing opposition of an elected official.

Betty Ashley of Winchester has had a sign in her front yard for the past several months that reads, “Shon Byrum is not my mayor,” the Palladium-Item reported.

The lawsuit alleges Randolph County’s Area Planning Commission ordered Ashley to remove the sign after receiving a complaint from an unidentified neighbor. The commission gave Ashley 14 days to remove the sign, after which she could face enforcement action and fines for violating the county’s Unified Zoning Ordinance.

ACLU Indiana’s senior staff attorney, Gavin Rose, said the organization views the ordinance as a violation of Ashley’s First Amendment rights.

“That is the epitome of a blatant First Amendment violation,” he said. “We are involved because there is a very serious, consequential issue at play here.”

Rose said the ACLU filed for an injunction on the removal of the sign until the case has concluded, which would allow Ashley to keep the sign in her yard until a final ruling is made. He said no monetary damages are being sought in the lawsuit and that it’ll instead focus on allowing the display of political signs in the county.

Randy Abel, executive director of the Area Plan Commission, declined to comment to the newspaper on the lawsuit, saying he had not read the lawsuit in its entirety.

Winchester Mayor Shon Byrum said he isn’t bothered by the sign and doesn’t believe it should be removed.

“At the end of the day, I do respect Randolph County zoning ordinances,” Byrum said. “So if the sign is in violation, it’s a county issue, it’s not a city issue.”

FARMLAND, Ind. (WISH) — A 16-year-old died in a Wednesday morning crash on a county road about 4 miles north of this Randolph County community.

Aiden Shellabarger of Farmland was driving a 1998 Pontiac north on County Road 800 West after coming from County Road 400 North at a high rate of speed, said a news release from Sheriff Ken R. Hendrickson. The vehicle hit a patch of ice, the driver lost control, and the Pontiac struck two trees and a culvert.

The one-vehicle crash was reported about 11:45 a.m.

Coroner Tim Crawford declared Shellabarger dead on the scene.

A passenger, Michael Tuck, 16, also of Farmland, was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie with minor injuries, the sheriff said.

Shellabarger and Tuck were wearing seat belts.

The news release provided no additional information about the crash, which remained under investigation.

DEERFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A $200 million wind-turbine project in Jay and Randolph counties hosted a construction tour Monday.

The project includes construction of the Bluff Point Wind Energy Center in southern Jay County and 57 General Electric wind turbines, said NextEra Energy Resources in a news release.

“This project has been years in the making and it’s exciting to see it all come together,” said Zack Melda, project director for NextEra Energy Resources, in the release.

The wind turbines are expected to generate power to more than 36,000 homes, and the center is expected to create more than $30 million in tax revenue for Jay and Randolph counties over its operational life. “It has created 200 construction jobs and will create another 8-12 full-time jobs once the site is operational in November,” the release said.

The wind energy center is located about 2 miles north of Deerfield and 7 miles south of Portland off U.S. 27.

“This project has been years in the making and it’s exciting to see it all come together,” said Zack Melda, project director for NextEra Energy Resources. “We have great community partners here in Randolph and Jay counties and we are so pleased to know they will benefit from the good jobs, added tax revenue and clean, home-grown energy this project will create.”

WINCHESTER, Ind. (AP) – A couple is buying and plans to renovate a shuttered drive-in movie theater in eastern Indiana.

Pauletta and Shawn Hummel are buying the Airline Twin Drive-In, which has been across from the Randolph County Airport east of Winchester for decades. It closed in late 2014.

Pauletta Hummel told The (Muncie) Star Press that the sale is pending. She said the two-screen theater is “a staple of our community” and could reopen by the end of the summer.

“We really want to bring it back to what it was before,” she said.

The drive-in was “something worth investing in,” Hummel said. She declined to say how much they were paying for the land and its amenities, but said it was a significant investment. The couple plans to operate the drive-in themselves and may hire high school students as part-time employees.

An overhaul of the site is in order, including on the run-down concession stand near the west screen, and the couple also hopes to improve a playground area. Pauletta Hummel said just one screen will reopen at first, with plans to use the second screen as business increases.

The couple also plans to hold other events at the drive-in and will be looking for input from customers.

“We could host car shows in the field, or other events,” she said. “We are open to new and different ideas. We want this to be a fun, engaging place.”

The Hummels are expected to close on the drive-in by the end of the month.