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Articles by Scott Olson

I-Light network delayed by state: Daniels administration calls for further study of high-speed system

The completion of a state effort to expand Indiana's digital infrastructure by connecting 15 cities via a fiber-optic network has been delayed as the new administration further studies the project. The initiative, known as I-Light, began in 1999 and connected supercomputers at Indiana University, Purdue University and IUPUI. By harnessing the technological power of the institutions into a grid, the universities surpassed the two-teraflop (trillions of operations per second) mark and increased their computation, storage and visualization ability. The $5.9...
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Bye-bye Big Apple, hello Indy: Young entrepreneurs opt to open firms here

Two Hoosier natives are back home in Indiana to start neighboring businesses on Fort Wayne Avenue, no less. The world travelers-separated in age by just a year-spent significant time in New York City but only met within the past six months. With similar stories to tell about why they chose to return to Indianapolis, and impressed with the city's vibrant downtown that had blossomed while they were away, the two opted to take the plunge together. Both say they're not...
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Supporters predict passage of waiver bill: Measure would allow uninsured to sign up for health care policies that exclude some pre-existing conditions

Indiana is one of only a few states in which individuals cannot agree to waive coverage for pre-existing conditions in order to get at least some type of health insurance. That could change this year, however. Dueling bills in front of the Legislature have passed out of the House and Senate and are being considered by the opposite chamber. Rep. Gerald Torr, R-Carmel, authored one of the measures and is confident some form of his legislation will pass. The object...
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Bill keeps mandate debate swirling: Biz community favors stripped-down option

Small-business owner Gail Piltz, who is paying 31 percent more this year than he did a year ago to insure himself and his four employees, has a somewhat radical philosophy regarding health care insurance. His suggestion: Everyone should be responsible for his or her own health care plan, just like they are with their automobile and homeowner's insurance. That way, he said, people might abuse the system less and make coverage more affordable. Piltz's proposition has failed to gain traction...
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Banks find niche with small loans: Three new arrivals affecting local lending community

The city's small-business lending market is a bit more crowded now that three out-ofstate competitors have entered the fray. McLean, Va.-based Capital One Federal Savings Bank, Oakland, Calif.-based Innovative Bank and Providence, R.I.-based Charter One Bank are wasting no time letting fellow lenders know they're serious about serving the small-business community. Capital One, Innovative and Charter One ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, in the number of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans they dispensed during December. The leader for...
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Carpenter moving forward as independent brokerage: Execs confident of success without GMAC affiliation Name has value

Armed with a stack of market research chock full of industry sales figures, Tom Prall says he's certain Carpenter Realtors will carry on just fine without any outside assistance. Prall has led the south-side residential real estate agency the past 30 years and recently guided its divestiture from national franchise GMAC, a division of Detroitbased General Motors Corp. With the contentious split behind him, the former Marine first lieutenant, who served in South Vietnam, is poised to navigate Carpenter through...
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Mann seeks larger digs as growth strategy pays off: Busy developer eyes property for new headquarters

On Bash Street, off the beaten path from often-congested East 82nd Street, Mann Properties has quietly built a commercial real estate development business that is outgrowing its cozy quarters. The location in the developer's secondoldest office park has served Mann well since the mid-1980s. But flanked on both sides by other companies, the space offers virtually no chance to expand, let alone any opportunity for increased visibility. So Managing Partner Brian Mann, 37, has brokered a deal to purchase 20...
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Basketball-filled month awaits downtown planners: Indianapolis set to host 35 big games in 36 days

Next month will bring new meaning to "March Madness" in Indianapolis. In a 36-day span starting March 1 and culminating April 5 with the crowning of the women's NCAA basketball champion, the city will play host to 35 high-profile games in 36 days. The Hoosier state's love affair with the sport has endured for decades. But next month will truly be "Hoops Hysteria" here. While the city has welcomed basketball tournaments before, it never has offered so many games at...
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City convention planners working on transition strategy: Keeping event clients content during expected stadium construction, expansion of center crucial to success Smooth transition critical Contingency plans

The city's hospitality industry might want to adopt the weathered "no pain, no gain" expression as its mantra until the proposed expansion of the Indiana Convention Center is completed, presumably in 2010. Construction of the 275,000-square-foot addition to the center should begin in 2008, pending legislative approval of a $500 million stadium financing deal for the Colts. The Convention Center expansion is expected to cost $250 million, and its financing and location hinge on the stadium deal. Work on the...
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Funding a chance at success: Bowens have helped 300 find career hope

Sharon Townsel is old enough to be Kori Buford's mother. But despite the age difference, the women share a common bond: They're both scholarship recipients of the Bowen Foundation. Robert and Terry Bowen launched the not-for-profit a decade ago and since have doled out $600,000 of their own money to nearly 300 black recipients who want to better their lives. By helping them learn a skill or trade, the object of the foundation is to assist those who need the...
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