Articles

SPORTS: Age-defying Reggie bids a historic farewell

So much for the meat. Now all we have left is an uncertain supply of NBA playoff gravy. Lap it up while you can. Will we ever see another like No. 31? Will we ever see another who is such an inspiring combination of talent, loyalty, longevity and professionalism? Will we ever have another to represent us so nobly on the stage of professional sports, and to single-handedly carve so many memorable moments into our collective consciousness? We can only…

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Center offers businesses a challenging experience: Year-old school program adds corporate component to build community awareness and financial support

Simulating the events of a real-life space mission is not just child’s play anymore. Decatur Township Schools’ Indianapolis Challenger Learning Center now allows area businesses to participate, too. The center, in Ameriplex Business Park, has been hosting field trips and summer camps for children for about a year. An adult program lifted off last fall. “We do not just want to do school-oriented projects,” said Director Gary Pellico. “We want to be a part of this community and we are…

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Departure of ATA exec still cloudy: Chief financial officer alleged termination was retaliation

When ATA Holdings Corp.’s chief financial officer “left the company” last June, as management ambiguously put it, many suspected the insider saw bankruptcy looming and wanted to bail out before the crash. David M. Wing, 53, may have seen something else that troubled him, suggests ATA’s most recent financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Wing contends that he was terminated in retaliation for exercising his rights and obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” states a settlement agreement Wing…

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Charter school leaving train station location for its own ’empowerment center’:

21st Century Charter School is pulling away from Union Station. Nearly three years after reinventing 17,000 square feet of space that once housed a bar and Hooter’s restaurant, school sponsor Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation has plans to build a stand-alone facility about five miles to the north. GEO has agreed to buy a two-acre parcel at 25th Street and Capitol Avenue that was to be the site of the Fall Creek Retail Center, an ill-fated project that fell apart in…

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Smoking warriors expand battlefield: Health advocates accuse grocers, retailers of misleading public with smoke-free claims

Bars and restaurants aren’t the only firms that will soon feel the heat from health advocates pushing laws to ban smoking in public places. Some are broadening their gaze to drugstores and even supermarkets as potential health risks-and they’re naming names of offending businesses. It’s a radical approach in a mildmannered metro area, where few dare to poke fingers in the eyes of the business or political elite. And it’s in stark contrast to groups such as Smoke Free Indy,…

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SPORTS: Two cities, eight teams and miles of observations

ST. INDIANAPOLIS-OK, an explanation of the goofy dateline. I have just finished shuttling back and forth between St. Louis for the NCAA Men’s Final Four and Indy for the NCAA Women’s Final Four. Because of a speaking engagement in St. Louis and an obligation back here on the front end, I made three round trips in six days, covering 1,500 miles. It was worth it. Six games over four days resulting in two national champions, the University of North Carolina…

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IUPUI discovers Office for Women still needs to exist: Program uses workshops, discussions and awards to keep the issues affecting women in the forefront

While many universities have programs dedicated to women’s equality, the IUPUI Office for Women is not taken for granted by the administration there. “It is important as part of the university’s diversity department,” said Kathy Grove, director of the IUPUI Office for Women. “It helps women to fulfill their potential and ensure that we have an environment free of harassment based on gender.” Established in October 1996 under the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Warfel, who was a professor of pathology…

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Are you tough enough?: Women learn how to be hardy so they can compete with the guys in any field of endeavor

Dr. Mary Reilly sometimes gets emotional on the job. But the emergency physician also knows how to turn it off. “In the middle of a ‘code,’ I can’t be breaking down in tears,” said Reilly, who works with Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Emergency Physicians Inc. “I put a wall up in some situations and try not to think about these people as people. That’s the only way emotionally I can get through [it].” Reilly is among the many women who’ve learned…

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TOM HARTON Commentary: Riding the rails from first to worst

When my grandparents took the interurban from Rushville to Indianapolis to see the 1920 Indianapolis 500, they probably didn’t appreciate how lucky they were to live in a state that was a leader in public transportation. Indiana had one of the earliest and most extensive interurban systems in the country. The state’s electric railway network converged at the Indianapolis Traction Terminal, thought to be the largest interurban station in the world. The massive building on West Market Street served 462…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Keep lights on at the Statehouse

CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary Keep lights on at the Statehouse Every morning I wake up happy that my job doesn’t require getting things through the Indiana General Assembly. I don’t have that kind of patience, and I’m not cut out to deal with that much frustration. I understand that big issues take time to be resolved and that compromise rarely happens overnight, but for a few issues that everyone seemed to agree were critical from the outset, the time it’s taking…

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Sweet Spot: Local philanthropists plan $15M chocolate facility on Indianapolis’ north side

Local philanthropists plan $15M chocolate facility on Indianapolis’ north side Two local philanthropists have bought 51 percent of Endangered Species Chocolate Co., based in Talent, Ore., and plan to move production of the company’s gour met dark chocolate to Indianapolis. Randy Deer and Wayne Zink, founders of the Back Home Again Foundation, paid $3 million in January for majority control of Endangered Species and plan to invest another $15 million in a manufacturing facility and new marketing strategy. “We wanted a…

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Rehabs help schoolhouses rock: Threatened properties receive new life as apartments

As several local developers have discovered, some of the functional design aspects of school buildings also make attractive components of a successful apartment building. At least two north-side elementary schools closed by Indianapolis Public Schools in the early 1980s have been transformed into apartment communities, and another developer has found a niche turning old high schools in some of the state’s smaller cities into senior housing. By keeping the historic character of the buildings and serving a lower-income population, these…

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National lobbyist meets with gov: Small-business advocate says health care is still the toughest issue for owners

The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group, representing 600,000 members in all 50 states. Its voice in Washington, D.C., is Dan Danner, an Ohio native and Purdue University graduate, who is the organization’s lead lobbyist. During a recent visit to the NFIB’s Indiana office, Danner sat down with IBJ to address issues critical to the state’s smallbusiness owners. IBJ: As chief lobbyist for the NFIB, how do you get the organization’s message to federal…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Lawmakers struggle amid chaos, but order will come

If you’re having a tough time following the twists and turns of the political soap opera that is the 2005 Indiana General Assembly, you are not alone. Legislators find themselves so perpetually distracted by all sorts of peripheral issues and actions that Eli Lilly and Co. might want to consider a new market for its adult ADD medication. What do we mean by this legislative attention deficit disorder? Think back to December, when the first order of business seemed to…

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Lilly faction seeks split of exec roles: Shareholder group wants to separate chair, CEO jobs

The shareholders think Lilly should separate its chairman and CEO roles. Sidney Taurel currently holds both jobs and the title of president. The group wants an independent chairman. It’s one of six shareholder proposals on the agenda for Lilly’s April 18 annual meeting at its headquarters. The move would address “a leadership crisis at our company” created by the lack of access to affordable medicines, according to the proposal listed in Lilly’s recently filed proxy statement. Lilly’s board disagrees and…

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EYE ON THE PIE: Do we need agriculture department?

Indiana’s General Assembly reflects Hoosier values. It wants to make us more like other states. If others have daylight-saving time, so should we. This is called progress. If others have a Department of Agriculture, so should we. This, too, is called progress. The idea that we should differentiate ourselves from others, that we should find new solutions to problems, is not examined. Let’s look at House Bill 1008, which would create an Indiana Department of Agriculture. This proposal was given…

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Smoke carries economic toll: Ban backers cite health, productivity costs

The annual cost of treating the secondhand-smoke-related illnesses of Marion County residents likely exceeds $16 million, a cost borne partly by businesses that provide their employees health insurance. Businesses also shoulder harder-to-calculate costs in the form of lost productivity and absenteeism, according to a 2002 study for the Marion County Health Department believed to be the best estimate yet of the local impact of cigarettes. But backers of the proposed City-County Council ordinance that would ban smoking in Indianapolis’ bars…

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Convention, Colts issues in play: Hospitality: Hospitality officials say delays may scare off potential clients

Hospitality officials say delays may scare off potential clients Patience is one thing. Imprudence is quite another. The Indiana Convention Center’s largest customers are keeping a keen eye trained on Indianapolis these days, hoping for a sign that state lawmakers will find a way to fund a $275 million expansion that would give them room to grow. But the lack of progress more than halfway into the legislative session has some reevaluating their options. “I’m very disappointed at how this is…

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Unifying Indiana’s IT efforts: State’s new CTO plans to centralize computing

Indiana’s state Web portal, access-Indiana, won at least a dozen awards over the last four years. It was frequently lauded as a model of modern government efficiency-robust, reliable and user-friendly. But, according to new Indiana Chief Technology Officer Karl Browning, the reality was only skin deep. Certainly, accessIndiana is the handsome public face of state information technology. But beneath the surface, there’s a tangled mess of unconnected systems, each managed independently by a separate agency. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican,…

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Library project set to resume: Firms play blame game over bungled work

Steel erection for the troubled Central Library expansion is finally expected to begin next month, library officials say. But they acknowledge the start of construction on the six-story addition won’t signal they’ve finished fixing defects on the underground garage or resolved who’s to blame for them. While officials say they’re confident it’s safe to build atop the garage that will serve as the foundation for the addition, they say it will continue to undergo repairs for another year or so….

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