News & Analysis

Daniels signs jobless-fund bill that unions fought

February 24, 2011
Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law Thursday a plan aimed at fixing Indiana's debt-ridden unemployment fund that labor unions had opposed because it will reduce jobless benefits for some people while softening business tax increases.
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Ballard says jobs, neighborhoods critical

February 24, 2011
Francesca Jarosz
Creating a climate that allows businesses to thrive and improving Indianapolis’ neighborhoods will be critical to the city’s future success. That was the message Mayor Greg Ballard conveyed Thursday night in his fourth-annual State of the City speech, delivered at the Indianapolis Artsgarden downtown.
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Indiana lawmakers urge NFL, players to reach deal

February 24, 2011
Associated Press
Lawmakers from Indiana, home of next season's Super Bowl, are urging the NFL and players union to avoid a work stoppage that would have a "devastating impact" on the state's economy.
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UPDATE: Lilly settles pollution suit for $337,500

February 24, 2011
Scott Olson
A complaint filed Wednesday by the U.S. government says Lilly's plant on South Harding Street is emitting high levels of acetonitrile and methanol, considered hazardous air pollutants by the EPA.
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Broadband provider's legal fight escalates

February 24, 2011
Scott Olson
Indiana-based Omnicity Corp. has filed countersuits against the owners of two companies it acquired who are charging in court that Omnicity failed to fully pay them for the acquisitions.
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Local firm making noise with app for radio stations

February 24, 2011
Scott Olson
Boost Media & Entertainment's MyStationApp targets independent radio stations such as WTTS-FM 92.3 in Bloomington, which is having success with the product.
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LEADING QUESTIONS: Real estate maven keeps swinging

February 24, 2011
Mason King
LQ Litten watch videoHow does the owner of F.C. Tucker Co. rally the troops during the home-sales slump? How did his tour in Vietnam reset his course? Why is his desk always so clean? Talk to Jim Litten; he has answers.
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Auto auctioneer KAR sees quarterly profit surge

February 24, 2011
J.K. Wall
Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. announced Wednesday that it pulled in profit of $7.3 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, a 38-percent jump from the $5.3 million earned in the same quarter the prior year.
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Ballard: City must build 'attractive urban environment'

February 24, 2011
Francesca Jarosz
The theme of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's fourth-annual State of the City address will include putting “the needs of the next decade ahead of the next day, next year or next election,” according to excerpts released Wednesday.
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Truck stocks signal economic growth

February 24, 2011
Bloomberg News
Companies that act as brokers for trucking services are gaining favor with investors as the 20-month-old rebound shifts into a new phase that’s less dependent on inventory restocking.
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Indiana official out of job after 'live ammo' tweet

February 23, 2011
Associated Press
An Indiana deputy attorney general "is no longer employed" by the state after Mother Jones magazine reported he tweeted that police should use live ammunition against Wisconsin labor protesters, the attorney general's office said Wednesday.
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UPDATE: CNO shares soar after quarterly profit rises

February 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Carmel-based life and health insurer, in an after-markets announcement, said it earned $168.2 million in the final three months of last year, a big jump from the $18.2 million profit it posted in the same quarter the prior year.
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Republic takes quarterly loss but beats analyst estimates

February 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
Republic Airways suffered a loss in its fourth quarter as its Frontier Airlines business continued to lose money and its contract business with other airlines remained slower than in 2009. But the airline's performance easily topped expectations of Wall Street.
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Language Training Center expands relationship with LPGA

February 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based Language Training Center is now translating the letters of the professional golf association’s commissioner into multiple languages and providing live interpretation at association meetings.
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Casket maker plans $16.5M investment, 300 jobs

February 23, 2011
Scott Olson
Indianapolis-based Genesis Casket Co., launched just last year, expects to produce 30,000 caskets in its first full year of operation. The company plans to fill the first 150 jobs by the time the plant opens this summer.
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WellPoint board declares 25-cent dividend

February 23, 2011
Associated Press
WellPoint Inc. became the latest health insurer to reward shareholders with a quarterly payout after piling up cash from a string of strong financial performances.
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Franciscan's electronic records rollout shows industry growth

February 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
Franciscan Alliance will spend more than $100 million over the next two years to install a common electronic medical record system at its 13 hospitals and more than 165 physician practices. It’s a sign of the growth of the health information technology industry in Indiana, which a new BioCrossroads report says generates $200 million a year in sales and is growing at 8 percent annually.
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Lilly looks to double pipeline size again

February 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based Lilly is developing what it calls “The Mirror Portfolio,” which it expects to grow to 45 to 60 drugs in five years. This month, Lilly announced it had secured venture-capital funding for the first two drugs in this alternative pipeline.
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Fair bankruptcy trustee hears from prospective Lampoon suitors

February 22, 2011
Greg Andrews
Fair Finance Co.’s bankruptcy trustee is getting inquiries from parties interested in buying National Lampoon Inc., the Los Angeles-based comedy business led by embattled Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham.
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Indiana Senate OKs contentious immigration bill

February 22, 2011
Associated Press
The Republican-ruled Senate voted 31-18 Tuesday for the bill, which contains penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and allows police officers to ask someone for proof of immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.
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Democratic lawmakers leave Indiana, block labor bill

February 22, 2011
Associated Press
Indiana House Democrats took a page from the playbook of their counterparts in Wisconsin on Tuesday, refusing to show up and at least temporarily blocking a Republican-backed labor bill.
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House GOP budget spares bank insurance fund

February 22, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana bankers are relieved House Republicans decided to spare a bank insurance fund from being raided to plug holes elsewhere in the state’s finances, but they're not done lobbying against the idea.
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Court OKs reorganization plan for Hoosier Park owner

February 22, 2011
Bloomberg News
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino owner Centaur LLC last week won court approval of its plan to cut debt by about $636 million and exit bankruptcy.
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Water playground proposed for far-east side park

February 22, 2011
Scott Olson
Splash zone is among several improvements slated for German Church and 30th Park, a few of which will be considered Thursday by the Metropolitan Development Commission's hearing examiner.
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Blockbuster selling movie-rental chain to creditors

February 22, 2011
 IBJ Staff and Bloomberg News
The bankrupt chain will immediately close 609 stores. The company declined to comment on whether any of the 20-some stores in the Indianapolis area will be among the casualties.
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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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