Environment

Worst could be over for Indiana propane users

February 13, 2014
Associated Press
An estimated 500,000 Indiana residents who rely on propane to heat their mostly rural homes have faced weeks of propane shortages blamed on a combination of subzero cold and market forces.
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Industry group says Indiana added 960 solar jobs

February 11, 2014
Associated Press
Tuesday's annual report by The Solar Foundation said Indiana saw a 178-percent increase in solar-industry jobs from 2012 to 2013.
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U.S. Senate sends massive farm bill to Obama

February 4, 2014
Associated Press
The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast.
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Indiana Senate OKs bill targeting efficiency program

February 4, 2014
Associated Press
The measure would allow industries that are Indiana's biggest energy users to pull out of the Energizing Indiana program, which provides energy-efficiency assessments and tips for saving energy and lowering utility bills.
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House sends Indiana winery bill to Senate

February 3, 2014
Andi TenBarge, The Statehouse File
HB 1387 would allow wineries to sell 5,000 gallons per year to retailers located within the same county as the winery or in neighboring counties.
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Senate sends hemp-production bill to House for debate

February 3, 2014
 The Statehouse File
The Senate voted unanimously Monday to pass legislation that would legalize the farming and production of industrial hemp in Indiana.
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Tree trimmer must pay $140,000 to consumers for shoddy work

January 31, 2014
Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office said Thursday that Spaulding's Tree Experts of Indianapolis contracted with three older people—two with dementia—but provided inadequate work.
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Plunging corn prices bring new strategies on farms

January 30, 2014
Associated Press
A December survey by ag publication Farm Futures indicated a coming 3-percent reduction in corn acreage from last year, with a nearly 8-percent hike in acreage for soybeans.
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Bill limiting environmental rules heads to Indiana Senate

January 30, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana regulators would be barred from adopting environmental rules tougher than federal standards under a bill that's advancing in the General Assembly that has drawn criticism that it would hamper efforts to protect the state's environment and public health.
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Proposed hunting, fishing amendment to start over

January 28, 2014
Halie Solea, The Statehouse File
A Senate committee passed a proposed constitutional amendment Monday that would protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife – but without language to protect farming that was included three years ago.
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Utility regulatory openings generate heavy interest

January 27, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Twenty-one candidates are in the running to fill two openings on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
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Investors seek payoff from Indiana oil wells that big players ignore

January 25, 2014
Chris O'Malley
Indiana is experiencing a mini oil-boom, thanks to some big producers, but some small, private investors are also in on the game, through Indianapolis-based Midwest Energy Partners, formed four years ago by former CountryMark executive Bill Herrick.
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Airport looking to solve runoff problem from de-icingRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indianapolis International Airport officials are looking for a way to cut their sewage-treatment bill, which topped $1 million last year because of the large volume of de-icing chemical that ends up in retention ponds.
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Lawmakers advance bill allowing industrial hemp crops

January 24, 2014
Associated Press
Hemp plants could start appearing in Indiana fields if a state Senate bill to allow growing the crop gains support from lawmakers.
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Senate passes bill to protect agricultural rights

January 23, 2014
Danielle Faczan The Statehouse File
Senate Bill 186 provides that it is the responsibility of the state to conserve, protect, and encourage the development and improvement of agriculture. The goal is to guide the courts to interpret state laws to be sympathetic toward farmers.
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Changes to farm-trespassing bill delay vote

January 14, 2014
Associated Press
The Indiana Senate Criminal Law Committee delayed a vote that had been scheduled for Tuesday amid a flurry of proposed amendments.
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Steele removes farming from proposed hunting, fishing amendment

January 13, 2014
Halie Solea, The Statehouse File
Sen. Brent Steele's proposed amendment passed its first round in 2011, but needed approval this year to go on the ballot for ratification by voters. Now, with new language, the process will start over.
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Baggott leaves Compendium, goes whole-hog on food industry

January 13, 2014
Dan Human
The local tech titan and co-founder of ExactTarget has cut ties with his latest software venture to concentrate on his livestock and corn operations, plus a restaurant he just purchased in Greenfield.
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Indiana considers amendment that could shield industrial farms

January 13, 2014
Bloomberg News
The bill’s sponsors say it's a way to keep non-farmers, including national animal rights groups, from meddling in the state’s rural interests.
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Corn pile biggest since 1994 as crop overwhelms use

January 9, 2014
Bloomberg News
Stockpiles of corn in the United States, the world’s top grower, are rising at the fastest pace in 19 years as a record crop overwhelms increased demand for the grain used to make livestock feed and ethanol.
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Car guy falls in love with Tesla after visiting new local dealership—and taking a drive

January 4, 2014
Chris O'Malley
The new electric-powered Tesla Model S corners a lot like a Lamborghini and has more than twice the range of a Nissan Leaf.
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Government might deregulate corn, soybean seeds

January 3, 2014
Associated Press
The federal government on Friday proposed eliminating restrictions on corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer. The new seeds, developed by Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, would allow farmers to use the weed killer throughout the plants' lives.
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EPA fines Crawfordsville over Sugar Creek pollution

January 3, 2014
Dan Human
Crawfordsville will pay $96,000 in environmental fines because a city-owned wastewater treatment plant was putting too much copper into a creek, according to a federal court filing in Indianapolis.
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Kokomo to debut curbside recycling program

December 29, 2013
Associated Press
City officials hope the program can reduce the community's trash-disposal costs by 35 percent.
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Flexsteel settles Elkhart contamination suit for $6.25M

December 27, 2013
Associated Press
The Iowa-based furniture maker was accused of polluting the water wells of nine homes in the northern Indiana community.
More
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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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