Utilities

EYE ON THE PIE: Time for progressive Indiana income tax?Restricted Content

December 11, 2006
Morton Marcus
There is growing agreement that the rich are getting richer faster than the poor are improving their lives. If you believe the trickle-down theorists, the poor will get the runoff as wealth is showered upon the few. If you look about, however, you will question this charming opinion held by the comfortable. At the same time, policies at the national and state levels continue to emphasize cutting the most important means we have of correcting this growing imbalance in America....
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IPL plan secrecy brings rebuke from watchdog groupRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O'Malley
The state's public access counselor says Indiana's utility regulators failed to make a legal case for keeping information about Indianapolis Power & Light's controversial "Elect Plan" out of public view.
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Plant to be a real gas for price stability?: Utilities betting gasification will ease volatilityRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Two gas utilities serving central Indiana say they want to buy synthetic gas from a proposed coal gasification plant downstate to provide a hedge against price volatility. Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, which serves 266,000 Marion County customers, plans to buy up to 3 billion cubic feet of gas a year from Indiana Gasification LLC. The amount is equivalent to about 10 percent of Citizens' annual demand for natural gas. Meanwhile, Evansville-based Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana, which has 550,000...
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IPL seeks to expand green plansRestricted Content

September 4, 2006
Chris O'Malley
Electric customers would gain new payment options and more access to "green power," and Indianapolis Power & Light would have more opportunities to profit, under a plan the utility filed Aug. 23 with state regulators.
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: The heat will hurt more next winterRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Geopolitical instability and increasing worldwide demand for fossil fuels have caused high energy prices. Indiana tax policies in support of the creation of ethanol and biodiesel production facilities are part of an effort to help wean our transportation infrastructure from fossil fuels. While ethanol may be a poor alternative to fossil fuels, Hoosier entrepreneurs' and policymakers' efforts in this area reflect a broad awareness that we need a sensible, comprehensive energy policy. A corollary to $3-per-gallon gas is increasing home-heating...
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Butler juniors to stay on campus next year: University wants to boost campus, fill apartmentsRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Butler University underclassmen got what some saw as very bad news last week: Starting in the fall of 2007, juniors-like freshmen and sophomores-will be required to live on campus. The university claims the new rule will make for a stronger on-campus community, but the change coincides with Butler's struggle to fill a new 500-bed apartment facility, where rents are higher than offcampus rental houses. Butler President Bobby Fong said a change has been underway for years to try to align...
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New fiscal year, no cuts for IU School of Medicine: But concern remains about funds for future growthRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Tom Murphy
No layoffs. No seven-figure budget cut to sweat through. IU School of Medicine Dean Dr. Craig Brater had many reasons to raise a toast this month, when a new fiscal year began and the school left behind an old one marked by the worst budget cuts in decades. Indeed, Brater said he is breathing a little easier as the school starts fiscal 2006-2007 with a budget of more than $815 million. An increase in clinical revenue and grant money helped...
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Hilbert estate drawing some offers: Letterman, Babyface, Judd not interestedRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Tom Murphy
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning passed on a chance to buy the Carmel estate built for Conseco Inc. founder Stephen Hilbert that's on the market for a cool $20 million. Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal also rejected the opportunity a couple of times, real estate broker Dick Richwine said. Nearly a year after it went up for sale, the Carmel property labeled the most expensive home in Indiana is still searching for the right buyer. But a recent flurry of interest and...
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DANIELS' DEAL CLOSERS: IEDC generating jobs, but economy shares part of creditRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It would have been big. Just last month, a team of officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and The Indy Partnership, its local equivalent, were furiously negotiating with South Carolinabased fire-engine maker American LaFrance. Intrigued by a mix of economic incentives and Indiana's central location, American LaFrance considered moving its operations to Marion County. In formal negotiations, the company dangled promises of 653 jobs and a capital investment of $18.5 million. State records don't reveal what incentives Indiana offered...
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Suit puts One Call on hold: Firm placed in receivership as lender seeks $21 millionRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Chris O\'malley
One Call Communications has been placed in receivership, a day after a lender for its 2002 management buyout filed a lawsuit alleging the Carmel long-distance and operator-services company owes it more than $21 million. The May 11 lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank appears to be the knockout blow for a telecommunications firm accused by several states of violating consumer protection laws in billing and collection practices. Also looming is a proposed $1.1 million fine...
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States demand One Call answers: Carmel telephone firm 'out of control'Restricted Content

March 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
A Carmel long-distance and operator service company has a lot to answer for these days. After crossing wires with Indiana regulators and with the Federal Communications Commission last year, One Call Communications now is being accused by Iowa and Missouri regulators of putting bogus charges on phone bills and then harassing people to pay. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon this month filed a lawsuit alleging the privately held company violated state and federal consumer protection laws. Nixon said the company...
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VIEWPOINT: State's STIF-necked response shortsightedRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Ernie Reno
Chances are, most of you have never heard of the acronym "STIF." The four letters stand for sales tax increment financing. Indiana has created so-called STIF districts around the state to stimulate economic development, or so we thought. STIF districts work simply: They allow a portion of sales taxes generated at new retail projects to be redirected to pay the cost of public improvements related to the projects, things like curbs and sidewalks, streets, sewers, other utilities, drainage and landscaping....
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Bills clash over video regulation: Phone giants, cable firms fight about franchising rulesRestricted Content

February 6, 2006
Chris O\'malley
In fact, some say the franchising clash has overshadowed the real implications of deregulation: Cable operators will get their first real competition since satellite TV mushroomed in the mid-1990s. Municipalities, which grant franchise agreements to cable TV companies and collect millions in fees in return, hyperventilated when Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield, introduced Senate Bill 245 last month. It would give the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission the job of doling out statewide video franchises. Cities would lose that authority, but would...
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State's plans for Larue Carter remain uncertain: New hosptal ideas are still under considerationRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Tom Murphy
A year after the administration of then-Gov. Joe Kernan proposed building a new Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital, the future of Indianapolis' lone state-owned psychiatric hospital remains murky. The Indiana State Office Building Commission bought an 18-acre site near the IUPUI campus in December 2004, during the waning days of the Kernan administration. State officials talked then about spending as much as $55 million to build a Larue Carter that would replace the existing hospital, which is part of an...
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Water treaty on tap: Mediated agreement calls for Carmel to pay Indy $36.2MRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Carmel and its big-city neighbor to the south have a truce in hand to end a 3-1/2-year war over what Carmel will pay to buy Indianapolis-owned water distribution lines serving 6,000 customers in the Hamilton County community. The proposed purchase price: $36.2 million, according to documents recently filed with state regulators. Carmel officials say the deal eventually should improve water pressure and lower fire insurance rates, and make it easier to plan for growth. It also would give affected residents...
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Plan to let affiliate use gas field sparks opposition: Citizens Gas industrial customers say recent hurricanes show potential for supply disruption, price spikesRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Big manufacturers have asked regulators to reconsider allowing an unregulated affiliate of Citizens Gas & Coke Utility to use the Indianapolis utility's Greene County gas storage facility. General Motors Corp., Reilly Industries and Rolls-Royce Corp. warn that Citizens Gas & Coke Utility's supply of gas it buys during warm-weather months could be at risk if gas marketing firm Pro-Liance Energy LLC is allowed to control the underground gas storage field. ProLiance sells natural gas to utilities and large-volume gas customers...
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Marketing firm nabs big East Coast client: MillerWhite uses unusual approach to beat Massachusetts incumbentRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
MillerWhite LLC, a 21-person advertising and marketing agency with offices in Indianapolis and Terre Haute, is the new agency of record for Boston-based Ameresco Inc. Ameresco, which helps clients in almost 40 U.S. and Canadian markets reduce energy costs by modernizing infrastructure and managing power supply, is listed on Inc. magazine's fastestgrowing private firms list. The company, which generates annual revenue of almost $250 million, is poised for explosive growth, industry observers believe. Though financial terms of the deal were...
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Incentive search shot down: University Loft eyes Tennessee after Hancock County spurns request to create a TIF districtRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Hancock County Commissioners' unwillingness to consider creating a Tax Increment Financing district has sent a growing Indianapolis-based manufacturer looking for a new expansion site, possibly out of state. University Loft Co. CEO James N. Jannetides said he was continually rebuffed over a months-long process to get the tax incentives his company needed to bring 200-plus jobs to the county directly east of Marion County. Now Jannetides said he might look to consolidate manufacturing in Tennessee where he opened a plant...
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Movements in midtown may mean more housing, retail: Handful of developers take on North Meridian projectsRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Tammy Lieber
"It's just a matter of time." At this point, the statement may reflect more hope than reality. The city's main corridor is a concrete jungle through much of midtown, filled with parking lots, for-sale signs and buildings exhibiting nearly nonexistent design standards. However, a small-butgrowing number of developers is showing interest in revitalizing the main corridor through midtown. One of the newest plans would create a mixed-use development at 21st and Meridian streets called Meridian at 21. Local businessman Jeffrey...
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Omnicity making inroads among the dirt roads: Rural areas served by wireless broadband provider have grown nearly six-foldRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Chris O\'malley
An Indianapolis company that provides wireless broadband service from atop grain elevators, water towers or darned near anywhere the warbler roosts is expanding at a rapid clip and plans to launch Internet-based phone service in early 2006. Omnicity Inc. also plans another private offering to raise cash for its ambitious build-out in rural areas that are underserved by high-speed Internet providers. Improving broadband access has economic development implications in Indianapolis' remote bedroom communities and throughout sparsely populated areas. Now, even...
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Critics want IPL answers: Utility cut $10M settlement after agency suggested accounting was misleadingRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Groups representing Indianapolis Power & Light Co. customers want to know if the utility has deliberately underreported income to regulators and overcharged customers. Their concerns were sparked by a cryptic settlement IPL reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor on Oct. 28 that took IPL customer groups by surprise. IPL agreed to provide each residential customer with a $25 credit early next year, "a time when the costs for heating their homes will be at their highest," IPL...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Putting construction, engineering into laymen's termsRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Fred J.
Sometimes those of us in the construction industry-like many other professions-forget we have our own technical vocabulary that many laymen simply don't understand. Like some of my colleagues, I have occasionally started tossing around the lingo of our industry before business and civic leaders from other fields and have seen the confused look that comes over their faces. I have to stop and define my terms. With that situation in mind, I thought it might be helpful to put together...
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Will cook, need kitchen: Bakers, caterers struggle to find space to bake-legallyRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Tammy Lieber
Both women know they have sweettoothed fans who want to buy their goodies, but because of new state regulations, they are finding it difficult to deliver their products to a hungry market. At the beginning of this year, a law took effect requiring that most food for sale to the public be prepared in commercial kitchens with certified food handlers. The regulation has effectively kicked Castillo, Johnson and dozens of other small caterers and bakers out of their production facilities-in...
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Court battles widen for ProLiance Energy: Gas marketer sues its insurer for millions in legal feesRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Chris O\'malley
ProLiance Energy LLC, already facing a $38.9 million judgment under a federal racketeering law, now is battling its insurer in court to collect more than $2 million in legal fees for its defense. New Jersey-based Executive Risk Specialty Insurance Co. not only refuses to pay the claim but also wants ProLiance to return $1.3 million in defense expenses paid before the February verdict on behalf of Huntsville Utilities in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The jury...
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Were IPL earnings too big?: Secret biz plan: Execs feared state would order refundsRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Chris O\'malley
In May 2003, the top brass at IPALCO Enterprises Inc. was running the numbers and saw potential regulatory trouble down the line. The latest projections showed the Indianapolis Power & Light Co. parent would earn a return on equity more than double the industry average for years to come, according to a confidential business plan drafted that spring. Not only might state regulators question whether IPALCO was earning too much money from customers, they also might apply existing case law...
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  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

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  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

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