News & Analysis

Indianapolis benefits firms merge

July 8, 2009
J.K. Wall
Two Indianapolis benefits consulting firms have finalized their merger, the companies announced this morning. Terms of the deal between Benefit Associates Inc. and Benefit Consultants Inc., in the works since March, were not disclosed.
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Steak n Shake sales, traffic rise

July 8, 2009
 IBJ Staff
Steak n Shake Co. yesterday reported big increases in customer traffic and same-store sales for its fiscal third quarter, which ended July 1. Customer traffic rose 13.4 percent and same-store sales jumped 5 percent in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago, it said in a brief Securities and Exchange filing.
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HHGregg accelerates store-opening plans

July 8, 2009
Scott Olson
HHGregg Inc. said this morning that the bankruptcy of competitor Circuit City should enable the company to open more stores within the next few years than previously expected.
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Keystone Construction plans Madison Avenue retail center

July 7, 2009
Cory Schouten
A local developer is planning a retail strip center along Madison Avenue just south of downtown in a neighborhood that's been begging for investment for years. The plans by Keystone Construction Corp. call for a 25,000-square-foot retail center at 1400 Madison Ave., across from Sisters' Place Restaurant.
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State, city agencies get new round of federal arts funding

July 7, 2009
Kathleen McLaughlin
Indiana and Indianapolis arts agencies will receive more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money to help save jobs at local organizations, the National Endowment for the Arts announced today. A second round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding includes $250,000 for the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
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Local radio exec Severino dies

July 6, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
Radio executive Tom Severino, who managed four local stations for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp., died yesterday after a five-month battle with cancer. Severino, 57, was vice president and general manager of WIBC-FM 93.1, WLHK-FM 97.1, WFNI-AM 1070 and WYXB-FM 105.7.
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Tony George's successor might trade tradition for revenueRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
A management shake-up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has some in the motorsports industry thinking major changes could be on the horizon at the fabled race venue—maybe as soon as next year.
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Economy takes toll on golf spending, but Senior Open on course for profitsRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
Organizers of the 2009 U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick are sinking one birdie putt after another in their efforts to meet their budget and draw strong crowds to central Indiana later this month. In this economy, sports marketers are calling ticket and sponsorship sales for the tournament remarkable.
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Franklin College sues like-named competitor over marketing push

July 6, 2009
J.K. Wall
Franklin College filed a lawsuit today alleging trademark infringement against Ohio-based Franklin University, which will open a campus in Castleton this fall. The liberal arts college south of Indianapolis said the newcomer's marketing blitz has been too close to Franklin College’s own branding.

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Lilly cancer drug OK'd for new use

July 6, 2009
J.K. Wall
Eli Lilly and Co.'s top rising-star drug has been approved by U.S. regulators for a new use, an event that could boost sales of the medication. Alimta, a lung cancer drug, was approved as a maintenance therapy for non-small cell lung cancer for certain patients, Lilly announced today.
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Utilities favor federal carbon dioxide permit-trading plan

July 6, 2009
Chris O'Malley
Resigned to inevitable government curbs on their carbon dioxide emissions, about all Indiana utilities could do was say which poison they'd prefer to swallow. They're closer to getting their favorite poison, with the U.S. House passage June 26 of a bill that would create a market for trading carbon dioxide permits.
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Corporate donors standing by $25M Super Bowl pledgesRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Cory Schouten
Most of the companies that agreed to help underwrite the 2012 Super Bowl are standing by their commitments even as the recession wreaks havoc on their businesses. Of $25 million pledged by more than 80 companies before last year's bid process, only about $1 million is at risk, said host committee head Mark Miles.
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Carmel tech firm takes coupons into digital eraRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Chris O'Malley
Carmel-based mobile marketer Tetherball has deployed a program using a radio frequency identification device that can measure in detail to what extent customers redeem loyalty and rewards offers.
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Indianapolis 500 movie racing toward big screen

July 6, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
A locally born initiative to make a movie about the first Indianapolis 500 has cleared a major obstacle to getting its project to big screens nationwide by May 2011—in time for the race's centennial.
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Legislature snubs casinos, but forms study committeeRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's struggling gambling industry didn't get the relief it sought during the special session of the Indiana General Assembly. But embedded within the budget bill approved June 30 is a provision creating a gambling summer study committee. Its recommendations, due by Dec. 1, may make or break several of Indiana's casinos.
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Minority suppliers diversifying into life sciencesRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Scott Olson
The Indiana Minority Supplier Development Council has made life sciences companies its latest target—part of an even larger effort to attract minorities to the burgeoning life sciences industry under way on a national scale.
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Cummins sues insurers over $381M in flood claimsRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
Cummins Inc. is battling its insurers in court, saying they're refusing to pay most of the company's $381 million in claims stemming from the flood that immersed its southern Indiana facilities a year ago.
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Clean air strategy: Some nightspots opt to tighten smoking rulesRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Kathleen McLaughlin
Coaches Tavern, MacNiven's Restaurant and Bar, and The Jazz Kitchen are among Indianapolis bars that recently limited or banned smoking. Those establishments join a short list of bars that already buck the trend in Indianapolis. Smoking in public places, including restaurants, has been banned in Marion County since 2006, but it's still OK to puff away in places that don't admit minors.
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Republic growth strategy fraught with riskRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Chris O'Malley
By purchasing two struggling airlines for which it flies, Republic Airways Holdings is taking aboard substantial risks that threaten its profitable niche, analysts say. Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines are not only leaking money, but fly at an altitude where major carriers routinely dogfight in a fare war Republic hasn't had to fight as a contract carrier.
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Star newsroom braces for pay cuts, possible layoffsRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
he next two weeks could be critical in determining the level and quality of staffing in the newsroom of The Indianapolis Star, the state's largest daily newspaper. The paper's union—which represents about 160 news staffers—and management have been at an impasse since employees' union contract expired Dec. 31.
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Businesses discover dangers of relying too heavily on a single client or industryRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
In this deep recession, many local small-business owners suffer a harsh dilemma: Heavily tied to a single supplier, customer or industry, they must diversify or die.
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Despite what you might think, lawyers are compartatively scarce in IndianaRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Scott Olson
Only North and South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin have smaller proportions of lawyers within their working populations. Experts point to the state's shrinking base of corporate HQs, the exodus of law school graduates, and a less litigious climate overall.
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Pets, often overlooked in wills, are getting more attentionRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
While most people consider their family members and funeral costs in estate planning, many overlook their babies who happen to have four legs, a tail, feathers or even scales. A pet trust is a good solution.
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Half of state's public-company CEOs saw pay rise in 2008

June 22, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
For investors, 2008 was the worst year since the Great Depression. Even so, more than half of the state's public-company executives saw the value of their pay packages rise from 2007—despite the fact that only 10 of the companies posted a positive total return in 2008, and 46 companies shed more than one-third of their stock market value.
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Local social networking site connects users offlineRestricted Content

June 22, 2009
Kim Puckett
Growing by leaps and bounds, smallerindiana.com will host its first-ever "Bigger Ideas" conference for the high-tech and Internet-savvy crowd.
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