News & Analysis

Recession takes its toll on charitiesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Kathleen McLaughlin

Area not-for-profits are beginning to feel the sting of the year-old credit crunch, which has escalated into a full-blown financial crisis that's battered investors and likely pushed the nation into recession.


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Conner Prairie balloon ride part of 10-year strategyRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Andrea Muirragui

Conner Prairie wants to pay homage to early aviator John Wise with a balloon ride that recalls his August 1859 trip from Lafayette at the helm of a gas-filled balloon bound for New York City with the nation's first air-mail delivery. An ill wind blew him Wisecourse, ending his flight in Crawfordsville, but he still earned a place in history--and a U.S. Postal Service-issued stamp honoring his pioneering effort.

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Economy-minded Honda bucks auto-industry slumpRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

Fueled by its line of gas-sipping economy cars, Honda is expanding in Indiana as car manufacturers almost everywhere else are shrinking. And the 2,000 jobs the Japanese automaker is promising in Greensburg by 2010 could be just the beginning.

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Lilly buys ImClone as part of strategy to capitalize on cancer-drug marketRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
J.K. Wall

Eli Lilly and Co. has written a $6.5 billion IOU to acquire the cancer drugs of ImClone Systems Inc. Cancer drugs are now the best-selling class of drugs in the world and one of the fastest growing.


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Real estate agents struggling from trickling home salesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Sam Stall

The downturn in the housing market isn't tough just on people trying to sell their homes. It's also tough on the people who want to help those people sell their homes--real estate agents. Locally, their ranks have thinned as more and more leave the field to search for better prospects.


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Key races will decide who controls Indiana House of RepresentativesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Most of Indiana's 100 House districts are strongly Democratic or strongly Republican. That means control of the House of Representatives will come down to a handful of battleground districts--probably fewer than a dozen, political experts say.


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Rooney's death spawns uncertainty for struggling insurance company, not-for-profitRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
J.K. Wall

After the unexpected death of insurance magnate J. Patrick Rooney, two organizations he led until the day he died are scrambling to figure out who will lead them into the future.


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Super Bowl group hires Sports Corp. official as CEORestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

The woman chosen as president and CEO of the city's Super Bowl host committee isn't exactly a household name, but those who hired her think she'll make Indianapolis the best host city ever. Allison Melangton, 46, is the first paid member of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, and is expected to throw planning and organization into overdrive over the next 30 days.


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Nervous banks cut off some borrowers, tighten reins on othersRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Cory Schouten

Local companies that rely on credit have seen their borrowing power shrink and in some cases disappear as a deep freeze in the nation's credit markets drives fears of a broad economic slowdown. A handful of businesses, including a Greenwood security firm and an Indianapolis contractor, already have shut down after credit dried up, and others are on the ropes as troubled banks seek to limit their loan exposure.


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Pathway Productions gets new owner, new CEORestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

Pathway Productions, one of the city's highest-profile video production firms, has a new owner, a new CEO and a new plan to blaze a trail to prosperity. Michael Husain, who founded the company from his basement in 1996, earlier this year quietly sold a majority stake to Mays Chemical Co. President William Mays, who in turn named Jerald Harkness the new CEO.


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VC firm raises $116M for second fund after knocking first one out of parkRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Thanks to hefty 35-percent gross returns on its $60 million first fund, locally based Centerfield Capital Partners LP has raised nearly twice as much for its second. This month, the venture capital firm closed on $116 million from a variety of investors. As before, Centerfield's 50 limited partners include major Hoosier institutions. But this time, numerous big banks, insurance companies and pension funds from outside state lines were also investors.


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Retailers save on energy costs through innovative lighting, heating and coolingRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Sam Stall

With energy costs at historic highs, retailers are struggling to find ways to trim the cost of lighting, heating and cooling their stores and other facilities. The process of wringing out savings can be long, difficult and complex. However, the rewards are too substantial to ignore.


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Filing in legal battle over telecom company hints at criminal probe of officersRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Chris O\'malley

Former insiders of One Call Communications appear to be targets of a Justice Department criminal inquiry, according to a filing by the defunct company's court-appointed receiver. Pittsburgh-based Meridian Group said it was served a subpoena Sept. 19 from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania to testify before a grand jury on Oct. 21 on matters involving One Call.

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Emmis' market value in free fall as radio industry takes beatingRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

For more than two years, Smulyan, 61, has been unflaggingly optimistic during quarterly conference calls. But since early 2007, Emmis' stock has fallen 84 percent, shrinking the company's stock market value from $307 million to $48 million. The troubles have cast uncertainty over one of Indianapolis' highest-profile businesses.


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Simon Property Group exploring overseas marketsRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Cory Schouten

Simon Property Group Inc. has been readying its balance sheet and sizing up buyout targets in hopes of capitalizing on a worldwide markdown on shopping-center owners.


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AT&T's U-verse generates complaints as cable rival is rolled outRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Chris O\'malley

A baby born of Indiana telecom reform is having some teething pains. AT&T's U-verse, Ma Bell's high-tech answer to cable television's troika of video/voice/Internet service, has generated several consumer complaints to state regulators since it was rolled out here in earnest last year. The complaints range from long installation times to frozen television pictures that require rebooting the system or calling a technician.


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Hands-on strategy turns Mike's Carwash into industry modelRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Sam Stall

Mike's Express Carwash makes money the old-fashioned way. The second-generation family affair, now celebrating its 60th year, has invested its reserves in steady expansion, becoming a model for the $23.4 billion industry in the process. And its owners still sweat the small stuff.


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Tough economy touching all industries, but some are hurting more than othersRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Anthony Schoettle, Cory Schouten

Stock markets are falling, jobs are disappearing, and the outlook for the economy seems grim. Banks, real estate developers, retailers and manufacturers are taking the worst hits, but all types of businesses in central Indiana are hurting. From health care to technology, education to philanthropy, every industry is trying to take the setbacks in stride.


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M&I Plaza, only 30-percent occupied, may sell at cut-rate priceRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Cory Schouten

A local real estate developer has emerged as a top contender to buy the 28-story M&I Plaza--potentially at half the $50 million price the building fetched a decade ago. Paul Kite Co. confirmed it is in talks with Maryland-based CapitalSource Inc., which took over the struggling office tower in June after foreclosing on a $5 million mezzanine loan.


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WellPoint pushes sales force to market life, dental, visionRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
J.K. Wall

WellPoint Inc. touts as the company's biggest strength its dominant market share in its health insurance markets. But now the officers of the company are working to branch out beyond health insurance. They're training their sales force on how to better sell dental, vision and even life and disability insurance--which WellPoint refers to as its specialty group of products.


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Three-year-old Carmel firm tries to distinguish itself in difficult candy industryRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

A local candy maker has found the sweet spot in an industry where startup efforts often go sour. Founded in 2006, Carmel-based Candy Dynamics is making a name for itself with its unusual "double-action" sour recipe, eye-catching packaging and unforgettable names like Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour Candy, Nuclear Sludge and Hi-Voltage Bubble Gum.


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Plan would make Monument Circle grand public spaceRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Cory Schouten

A group of local business and civic leaders is working on a plan to transform the city's most visible symbol into a public-gathering space without equal in the United States. Monument Circle already hosts dozens of activities each year--including major concerts like last year's NFL Kickoff--and it will host several events connected to the 2012 Super Bowl. But many stakeholders believe the Circle has yet to live up to its true potential.

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Mayor says some of 38 TIF districts have problems, might need reorganizationRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Mayor Greg Ballard worries his predecessor, Bart Peterson, may have overreached with his ambitious tax-increment-financing district for the last phase of Fall Creek Place. That phase of the renewed urban neighborhood isn't producing enough revenue to support its $6.2 million in outstanding bonds. And Ballard is not sure all of Marion County's 37 other TIF district are necessary, either.


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Safeco weighs downtown exit; owners of insurer's building market spaceRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Cory Schouten

Insurance giant Safeco Corp. is expected to either vacate or scale back its downtown operation next year--a move that could deal a major blow to the office market. At stake are about 700 downtown jobs, some or all of which could be eliminated or shifted to the suburbs. A final decision about the fate of Safeco's five-building downtown office complex likely will come after Boston-based Liberty Mutual completes its $6.2 billion acquisition of Seattle-based Safeco.


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IT firm rakes in VC cash: Interactions Corp. has raised $35M since 2002 inception

September 15, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

A fast-growing Carmel startup is using a blend of innovative software and human guides to answer questions over the phone. The company could have located on either coast, but instead chose Carmel's Clay Terrace. And the company, Interactions Corp., has raised more than twice as much money as ChaCha Search Inc., a higher-profile startup in a similar business that's also housed in Clay Terrace.


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