Benton County

Gov. Eric Holcomb asked the United States Department of Agriculture Friday to designate 88 counties as disaster zones. To be able to request a county be designated an agricultural disaster area, at least 30 percent of a single crop must be damaged or lost.

Wind turbines sit on farmland surrounding a home
Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Wind energy is a growing industry in Indiana, but not every community is receptive to the development. Tippecanoe County is working on a proposal to ban wind farms, and Montgomery County is in the midst of an intense debate over two proposed farms.

Indiana lawmakers prompted debate at the Statehouse Thursday over potential conflicts of interest for local officials who approve large wind energy projects.

County commissions and planning boards approve wind farm developments in Indiana. Rep. Dave Ober (R-Albion) says in some cases, those commissioners have also signed lease agreements with developers and would benefit from a project’s approval.

“I see a very large issue with that and I hope we can work on that issue next year,” Ober said to start the hearing.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A lot of places have claimed to be the so-called “Shrimp capital of the world,” including Brunswick, Georgia, Morgan City, Louisiana, and, most recently, Mazatlán, Mexico.

More than 2000 miles north of Mazatlán, though, shrimp farmers in Indiana are working to add the Hoosier State to that list. The state is home to a growing number of what are known as “inland shrimp farms.”

Railcar repair company opening Benton Co. facility

Aug 23, 2013
photo provided

Appalachian Railcar Services (ARS) will create up to 22 new positions by 2015. Executives say hiring begins next month.

The company plans to construct an 8,000 square-foot building – completed before the end of the year – in Earl Park at 700 North U.S. 41. The property already had abandoned tracks owned by the Norfolk-Southern Railroad.

Terry Hicks, vice president of sales and marketing, says the structure will allow four to six railcars under roof at one time.