News & Analysis

Government made $100B in improper payments in 2013

July 9, 2014
Associated Press
By its own estimate, the U.S. government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them.
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Jarden Corp. unit plans HQ in Fishers

July 9, 2014
Andrea Muirragui Davis
A subsidiary of the consumer products giant behind Ball jars, Yankee Candles, Crock-Pots and Coleman tents plans to spend nearly $22 million to open a regional headquarters and distribution center in Fishers that could employ nearly 300.
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Group backs out of deal for Anderson's Wigwam

July 9, 2014
Associated Press
Officials say a private group has decided not to take over Anderson's closed Wigwam gymnasium, leaving the fate of the 9,000-seat venue uncertain.
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Education battle flares between Ritz, Pence

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz accused Gov. Mike Pence's education staff and appointees to the State Board of Education of trying to "undermine" her efforts to secure a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
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New IU office aims to boost graduation rates

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
A state Commission for Higher Education report this year found that about 50 percent of students at IU's Bloomington campus were graduating on time, while the regional campuses were at 10 percent or less.
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Duke unloads office buildings for $150M, report says

July 8, 2014
 IBJ Staff
The six Duke Realty Corp. properties in the Cincinnati area included the 403,000-square-foot Towers of Kenwood development, which sold for $69.2 million, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.
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Carmel developer sinks $66M into four senior communities

July 8, 2014
Scott Olson
Leo Brown Group opened two facilities in Indianapolis and Avon in June, and has started construction on two similar projects in Ohio and Kentucky.
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NCAA seeks injury reduction with fewer full-contact practices

July 8, 2014
Bloomberg News
The recommendation is among a set of guidelines created to “generate a cultural shift within college athletics,” the Indianapolis-based NCAA said Monday.
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Greensburg factory to invest $28M, add 250 workers

July 8, 2014
 Associated Press and IBJ Staff
Workers will be hired as global firm Valeo buys new equipment for its 400,000-square-foot engine cooling factory to start new product lines for Honda, Nissan, Chrysler and Ford.
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Hoosier Environmental Council opposes dam on White River

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
The Hoosier Environmental Council has added its name to the list of environmental groups opposing a proposed seven-mile long reservoir along the White River in central Indiana.
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Multifamily projects abound in Chatham Arch, Lockerbie

July 8, 2014
Scott Olson
The four projects, one of them condominiums, would add nearly 280 units within about a four-block stretch from East Michigan Street north to Massachusetts Avenue.
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For-profit educator closing 12 campuses in 11 states

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
Corinthian Colleges Inc., which competes against Carmel-based ITT Educational Services Inc., said Tuesday that a campus in Indiana is on its closure list.
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INDOT staffer in ethics case seeks new work

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
A top Indiana transportation official who is under investigation for land sales that benefited his family is considering taking an executive job at an engineering firm that bids for state work.
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UPDATE: Indiana vanity plate fight could go to Legislature

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
A fuss over a police officer's vanity plate has blown up into a constitutional debate that could lead to the Indiana General Assembly deciding whether to rewrite the law or stop selling personalized license plates altogether.
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UPDATE: Deal set in ex-schools chief Bennett's ethics case

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
Inspector General David Thomas filed charges against Tony Bennett last November alleging he used state employees and resources in his failed 2012 re-election campaign.
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Transfer of Anderson gym awaits additional approval

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
The Anderson City Council will have to approve the city's involvement in the transfer of the closed 9,000-seat Wigwam gymnasium to a private group planning to reopen it.
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New Obamacare rule could boost WellPoint

July 7, 2014
J.K. Wall
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would automatically re-enroll exchange plan customers each year, which would help companies like WellPoint that sold aggressively on the exchanges in their first year.
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UPDATE: State financing $250M for Interstate 69 segment

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
The project will upgrade much of the existing Indiana 37 to interstate standards for the I-69 extension that is planned to eventually connect Indianapolis and Evansville.
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First Financial nabbing new hub, closing 3 branches

July 7, 2014
Mason King
Cincinnati-based First Financial Bank is shuffling its operations in the Indianapolis area, including moving its regional hub to a new downtown location and opening a high-profile branch in the same building.
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Program preps students to teach at high-need schools

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
Forty-five Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows received incentives to attend cutting-edge master's degree programs at Ball State, IUPUI, Purdue University, the University of Indianapolis and Valparaiso University.
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Web startup Bookit planning expansion

July 7, 2014
Dan Human
Bookit Commerce Inc., which operates the website bookacoach.com, plans to hire 93 people by 2018, the locally based company announced Monday morning.
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ITT Educational, rivals wrestle with tougher regulation

July 7, 2014
Bloomberg News
The U.S. Education Department has taken its toughest regulatory action ever against a for-profit college: putting Corinthian Colleges Inc., with more than 70,000 students, on the path to going out of business.
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Pence, Ritz seek federal dollars without strings

July 6, 2014
Associated Press
Last Monday, Superintendent Glenda Ritz filed a request to continue using federal "Title I" education money with flexibility. A day later, Gov. Mike Pence asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to grant the state an exemption, and about $16.5 billion, to expand Medicaid using a version of the Healthy Indiana Plan.
More

MISO data breach latest in hackers’ efforts to reach power grid

July 6, 2014
Bloomberg News
Operating cost data from participants in Carmel-based MISO's power network was compromised in a computer breach that highlighted the rising vulnerability of the U.S. electricity infrastructure.
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Quest for development grant sparks infighting in Nashville

July 6, 2014
Associated Press
The town is one of six finalists to be a Stellar Community, which brings money and support to help spur economic development. But not everyone is happy with how the application process has gone.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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