Environment

Indiana's universities give industry a boost: State touts wealth of higher-ed insurance programsRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Scott Olson
Politicians seem so much more 21st century when they talk about attracting life sciences and information technology jobs to Indiana. But they're not about to ignore the state's second-largest employer-the often-overlooked insurance industry. Indiana insurers employ more than 60,000 Hoosiers, second only to farming, and pay an average annual salary of $47,500, nearly $10,000 more than the state average, according to a 2004 study by Purdue University. Moreover, the industry boasts some of the state's largest public and private companies-WellPoint...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: The fight to hire top talent: Do we have what it takes?Restricted Content

March 6, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Most cities have mayors, police chiefs and tax collectors. But suppose for a moment they each had an additional staff position as well-the recruiter. Like a basketball coach or a talent scout, these recruiters would scour the country, looking for talented people who would fit into the community and add to the economic base. And when they found one, they would make their pitch, touting their town's assets and strengths, and urging the recruit to relocate. The prospects, on the...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Study casts new light on rising house pricesRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Patrick Barkey
I have always been amazed at the confidence and certainty projected by those who stand before the television cameras at the end of the day and explain to us-in 90 seconds or less-why the stock market behaved as it did. I suppose if we are silly enough to ask for a simple explanation for the 5 million or 6 million trades conducted on any given day, we should expect nothing more in return. Of course, those trades take place for...
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Ethanol's secret: Highly touted alternative fuel needs tax subsidies to surviveRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
State and local leaders have been crowing about how ethanol plants will bring more jobs to Indiana and put more dollars in the pockets of corn farmers. If that prospect isn't enough to make votecoveting politicians and corn farmers giddy, General Motors Corp. started singing ethanol's praises this month in TV ads. Joyous motorists frolic under blue skies-all thanks to ethanol's promise of cleaner air and energy independence from oil. But there's another economic reality for motorists who use E85,...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Impending pain: Expect big cuts after sale of Irwin unitRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Greg Andrews
No one wants to say it, but Fishersbased Irwin Mortgage Corp., one of the area's biggest financial-services companies, is almost sure to lose hundreds of jobs, and may disappear. Parent company Irwin Financial Corp. last month put Irwin Mortgage on the selling block, a move that imperils many of the unit's 450 local jobs. Hoosier bankers have been through enough sales to know that out-of-state buyers almost always trim jobs. But this could be something else entirely-a wholesale gutting of...
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BULLS & BEARS: Indiana's in biofuel game; now it should strive to winRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Over the past few months, Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar has been vocal in touting the benefits of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. It would be wise for the state's government and business leaders to heed his message. The renewable fuel industry is gathering momentum and has a high probability of growing into a substantial industry. The energy bill President Bush signed into law last summer mandates the use of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol each year by 2012,...
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Emerging India: Opportunity or threat?: Indiana businesses brace for growing global competitionRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Opportunity or threat? Indiana businesses brace for growing global competition Next month, President Bush will make his first official visit to India. To most of the American media, it'll be just one more round of global terrorism discussions with a distant foreign nation, perhaps worthy of a brief. The Indian press knows better. Six weeks ahead of Bush's trip, banner headlines about it ran in every newspaper. Al Hubbard knows better, too. Friends with Bush since their days at Harvard...
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Duke's Earth Services Inc.: Environmental services firm cleaning up on spills Haz-mat niche paying off; business expected to doubleRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Ed Callahan
When a truck carrying a load of frozen chicken crashed on Interstate 74 near Batesville last month-mixing the meat with less-than-appetizing ingredients like diesel fuel and coolant-Duke's Earth Services was high on the invite list for the impromptu barbecue. The Mooresville-based environmental services company specializes in such unpleasant jobs: cleaning hazardous materials spills, removing underground storage tanks, and checking construction sites for contaminated soil. And business is good. Duke's posted revenue of $3.5 million in 2005, and leaders expect to...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Consumer spending spree gives spark to Simon stockRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Greg Andrews
It's becoming almost ho-hum for Simon Property Group Inc. Another year, another round of eye-popping returns for the company's shareholders. The Indianapolis-based mall owner, by far the nation's biggest real estate investment trust, just closed the book on 2005, a year when funds from operations-a key measure of REIT performance-zipped up another 13 percent. Simon shares last year rose 18 percent. Including reinvested dividends, the stock in 2005 returned 23 percent. It was the fifth year in a row the...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Let the private sector operate the Toll RoadRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Watching the tug and pull of partisan politics in full bloom in our state capital brings to mind that old saying about making laws and making sausage. You don't really want to see how either one happens. But as our elected leaders posture and fight over the table scraps of new revenue that can realistically be said to be squeezed out of what has historically been an overcommitted state budget, another, more hopeful, vision comes to mind. It's a vision...
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Eateries await smoking ban: Some restaurant owners face tough decisionsRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Scott Olson
It's 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday and the lunch crowd has dwindled enough to give Giorgio Migliaccio time to relax and light up a cigarette at the downtown pizzeria that bears his name. But come March 1, Migliaccio and the majority of other restaurant owners in Marion County no longer will allow smoking. A city ordinance will ban the practice in establishments that allow patrons younger than 18. "I think it will be very hard for the addicted to not...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS:Restricted Content

February 6, 2006
Patrick Barkey
You can tell that economists as a group don't have a marketing bone in their bodies. How else can you explain the incomprehensible name we've given the measure of economic activity we watch more closely than any other? Gross domestic product. If I were a comedian, I could probably do a sketch on what images those words conjure up. But I'm an economist, so there's little chance of that. Instead, like the rest of my brood, I am diving into...
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Home construction spreads growing pains into country: Shelbyville, county struggle with housing growth planRestricted Content

February 6, 2006
Tom Murphy
Developers grabbed 286 permits to construct single-family residential units in 2005, up from 204 the year before, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis. Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson, whose city captured most of that growth, said his municipality issued only about 30 permits a year before 2004. "It's unbelievable," he said. "I think people finally realize that Shelbyville is, I guess, reachable from anywhere." A congestion-light commute to Indianapolis, acres of developable land and some tweaked building laws all...
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IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early '06Restricted Content

January 30, 2006
Scott Olson
Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state's slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year's end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S....
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Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbusterRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
For the second year in a row, a giant Wellpoint deal led the pack. As much money was involved in Wellpoint's $6.7 billion acquisition of WellChoice Inc. as in the rest of the list combined. It was a huge deal by most any company's standard-except Wellpoint's. The year before, Wellpoint's $22.7 billion merger with Anthem Inc. led all deals and then some. Thanks to that single mega-deal, 2004's $31 billion list total shattered all previous local merger and acquisition records....
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Florida-and the EdgeRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
NAPLES, Fla.-After 11 days of vacation here in Naples, I'm beginning to gear up to return to work. I'll be back in the office on the 23rd. Let me tell you what I've read since I've been down here. I started with "Memoirs of a Geisha," an engaging piece of fiction that tells a beautiful love story while revealing the inside world of Japanese geisha. Second, I tackled "The Grail Bird," a work of non-fiction that tells the story of...
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Clarian finds room for luxury: Hospital one of a handful to feature spa treatmentRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Tom Murphy
Women giving birth at Clarian North Medical Center now can enjoy a massage, manicure or pedicure before they return home to the sleep-deprived life of caring for a newborn. These are a few of the services Indianapolis-based Ology will offer when it launches its second hospital spa Jan. 23 at the new Carmel medical center. Ology opened its first more than a year ago inside Avon's Clarian West Medical Center. Spa Director Andréa Bradley-Stutz expects the latest location to top...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Florida-and the EdgeRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
NAPLES, Fla.-After 11 days of vacation here in Naples, I'm beginning to gear up to return to work. I'll be back in the office on the 23rd. Let me tell you what I've read since I've been down here. I started with "Memoirs of a Geisha," an engaging piece of fiction that tells a beautiful love story while revealing the inside world of Japanese geisha. Second, I tackled "The Grail Bird," a work of non-fiction that tells the story of...
More

Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbusterRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
For the second year in a row, a giant Wellpoint deal led the pack. As much money was involved in Wellpoint's $6.7 billion acquisition of WellChoice Inc. as in the rest of the list combined. It was a huge deal by most any company's standard-except Wellpoint's. The year before, Wellpoint's $22.7 billion merger with Anthem Inc. led all deals and then some. Thanks to that single mega-deal, 2004's $31 billion list total shattered all previous local merger and acquisition records....
More

Clarian finds room for luxury: Hospital one of a handful to feature spa treatmentRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Tom Murphy
Women giving birth at Clarian North Medical Center now can enjoy a massage, manicure or pedicure before they return home to the sleep-deprived life of caring for a newborn. These are a few of the services Indianapolis-based Ology will offer when it launches its second hospital spa Jan. 23 at the new Carmel medical center. Ology opened its first more than a year ago inside Avon's Clarian West Medical Center. Spa Director Andréa Bradley-Stutz expects the latest location to top...
More

IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early '06Restricted Content

January 23, 2006
Scott Olson
Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state's slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year's end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S....
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Trying to make wastewater less wasteful: Carmel startup sees big potential in new treatmentRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Scott Olson
The yellow-hued liquid in a jar that business partners Bud Harmon and Timothy Ortman tote with them to tout their venture often is mistaken for urine. But the pair is pretty sure the chemical compound, which treats wastewater at food-processing plants, carries much more promise. A second-place finish in a November business plan competition hosted by Purdue University helped bolster their belief. Harmon, a past chairman of Purdue's Department of Animal Sciences, and Ortman, an aerospace engineer who cut his...
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Aearo aiming for IPO: Giant in safety equipment wants to raise $230 million, plans overseas expansionRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Chris O\'malley
An Indianapolis company that makes earplugs, hard hats and other protection gear used by everyone from soldiers to construction workers has laid the foundation for an initial public stock offering. Aearo Technologies Inc. plans to raise up to $230 million in the offering and list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, according to its registration statement filed late last year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But the filing leaves blank a number of key details-such as...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Big backer of Marsh cashes in millions in grocer's sharesRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Greg Andrews
The Cincinnati investor that has helped back Marsh Supermarkets Inc. for more than two decades quietly unloaded a big chunk of its shares just before Christmas. American Financial Group Inc., an insurer controlled by the family of billionaire tycoon Carl Lindner, sold 255,686 Marsh shares for nearly $2.4 million Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows. American Financial officials did not return calls, but market observers say the move suggests the insurer thinks...
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Legislators fight over green rules: Biz lobby: Indiana standards should not exceed EPA'sRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Business interests and environmentalists are squaring off in the Indiana General Assembly. It's unlikely they'll see eye-to-eye anytime soon on this year's ripest green issue: whether to hold Indiana to a higher environmental standard than the rest of the nation. In one corner, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is leading a push for legislation to bind the state to environmental rules "no more stringent than" those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Framing the debate around economic development, the Chamber...
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