Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Indiana's forgotten corridor

March 21, 2008
Draw a line from Richmond in east-central Indiana toward the Chicago area, and youâ??ll find some of the most depressed space in the state.

The stretch includes the once-mighty manufacturing centers of Anderson, Gas City, Muncie, Kokomo and Logansport. Factories and auto-parts plants are closing in these places and little is replacing them.

We donâ??t hear about this unrecognized region because thereâ??s no natural constituency to toot its horn.

It doesnâ??t have its own state economic development district. Several lap into the area, but those districts are tied to cities and towns, each with their own agendas. Culturally, the southern flavor thatâ??s detectable in Richmond and Anderson is foreign to the people in the northern end of the corridor.

Thereâ??s little to attract business to the area. Aside from Ball State University in Muncie, educational strength is minimal. Recreation also is scarce. Quick: Can you think of a good state park?

Should the state invest more of its resources in the area, if for no other reason than fairness to taxpayers who live there?

Or should the state direct its attention to growing places like Bloomington, Indianapolis and Warsaw, where businesses already are voting with their feet?

What do you think?
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