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News & Analysis

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

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 model

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

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, vision

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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Plan would make Monument Circle grand public space

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 reorganization

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 space

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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