In case you missed it – May 23

Toolmaker’s project to create more than 130 new jobs

GREENFIELD — News that a toolmaking business plans to invest more than $7.5 million to expand its Greenfield operations was met Tuesday with enthusiasm by local officials and residents.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced Stanley Black & Decker’s plans to expand its space at 501 W. New Road in Greenfield, creating more than 130 new jobs by 2018.

The Connecticut-based company will invest $7.69 million to renovate and equip the 220,000-square-foot facility.

That expansion will create up to 136 new jobs, a news release from the corporation said.

The state offered the company up to $625,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on its job creation plans.

The tax credits are performance-based, which means the company is not eligible to claim the incentives until Hoosiers are hired.

The city of Greenfield is ready to consider additional incentives at the request of the Hancock County Economic Development Council, officials said.

Hancock Economic Development Council Director Skip Kuker said his office is ready to work with the company should it need help as the expansion moves forward.

So far, Stanley Black & Decker hasn’t requested any assistance from Hancock County officials. Still, the prospect of 136 new jobs is exciting, he said.

Guilty plea out; Indianapolis resident Gonzales heading to trial

GREENFIELD — It took a few minutes for Katrina Miller’s family to process what happened.

Moments before the woman accused of orchestrating Miller’s slaying was set to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon, she withdrew the guilty plea she had entered in April on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.

As the victim’s family sat, hoping to put the nightmare behind them, Amanda Gonzales decided she would rather go to trial.

Gonzales, 28, of Indianapolis, was to be the third person sentenced in the shooting death of Miller, who was found dead in a western Hancock County cornfield in July.

Witnesses have testified that Gonzales arranged the shooting death of her romantic rival after finding her in a hotel room with Gonzales’ then-boyfriend.

Now, Gonzales’ defense attorney said those statements were false. In Hancock County Superior Court 1 on Wednesday, attorney Bob Beymer told Judge Terry Snow that a key witness in the state’s case against his client — Gonzales’ former boyfriend, Ronnie Westbrook — has recanted statements he made against Gonzales.

As a result, Beymer asked the judge to send the case to trial.

After giving prosecutors and the defense a chance to make arguments, Snow complied with the request: Gonzales will appear in court again for trial Aug. 3.

Healthy expectations for new center; McCordsville wellness facility to open

GREENFIELD — The new wellness center in McCordsville isn’t expected to open until December, but eager residents can sign up for memberships starting next week.

The center, which serves as a satellite of Hancock Wellness Center in Greenfield, will offer fitness classes and workout equipment for area residents, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation services to clients with medical needs.

Beginning May 29, Hancock Wellness Center employees will set up shop at the site of the existing center, 8505 N. Clearview Drive, to sell memberships.

Existing Hancock Wellness members automatically have access to both facilities.

Initially, officials hoped the center would open this fall, but winter weather delayed the project’s progress.

Planning for the new facility began three years ago, and officials hope to get keys to the new building Dec. 17. A grand opening for the public has not yet been set, but officials hope to welcome guests before the start of the new year.