Articles

At age 2, Future Fund still work in progress: So far, 7 startups have received investments from BioCrossroads

For two years now, the $73 million Indiana Future Fund has been at work in the Indiana life sciences market. BioCrossroads, Indiana’s public-private life sciences economic development initiative, is pleased with the results so far. “When we put the Indiana Future Fund together and surveyed the landscape, there were only two or three [local venture capital] firms that really identified themselves as in [the life sciences] area,” said BioCrossroads President David Johnson. “Now we see much more traffic than we…

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Alien hirers rarely busted: Law doesn’t force employers to verify that workers are legal

Despite a high-profile raid against IFCO Systems on April 19, Indianapolis employers have little to fear in hiring undocumented aliens or those who present questionable identification. Rarely do immigration cops bust an Indianapolis-area workplace. Until federal agents led away about 40 allegedly undocumented Mexicans and Guatemalans at the south-side pallet plant this month, the last high-profile raid was more than a decade ago. In 1995, customs officials raided the former Simpson Race Products shoe factory in Speedway, nabbing 66 illegal…

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Real estate experts examine the market: Indianapolis in good shape overall, panelists say, but job growth, incentive issues, among concerns

On April 14, as part of its Power Breakfast Series, the Indianapolis Business Journal gathered a panel of commercial real estate and construction experts to discuss industry conditions in the local market. In a discussion moderated by IBJ Editor Tom Harton, panelists took on a wide range of issues, including tax incentives and the status of downtown’s residential and retail markets. Power Breakfast guests were Mike Curless, executive vice president and principal with Lauth Property Group; Mike Wells, president of…

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Paid boards spur not-for-profit debate: Critics: If directors won’t give time, who will?

Indianapolis-based USA Funds is a large, complex organization, and members of its governing board are busy people. Same goes for the NCAA, another local not-for-profit with a national reach, a nine-figure budget and directors who are anything but professional volunteers. The two organizations have one key difference, though: USA Funds pays its board members. The NCAA does not. “It’s simply the nature of the world,” said Norm Lefstein, an Indiana University law professor who chairs the compensation committee at student-loan…

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INVESTING: Don’t fret over inflation-debt’s a bigger concern

If you have yourself in a lather about rising inflation, maybe I can offer a little relief. You can work your rosary beads over a lot of things, but runaway inflation is not one of them. There’s a little twist here, though. And it’s one that will add a challenge to your long-term strategy. According to our federal government, inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, has not been much of a problem. Excluding food and energy, prices are…

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Binford med center making headway

The building skeleton planted recently at the corner of 65th Street and Binford Boulevard offers only a hint of the $29 million medical complex Ken Schmidt wants to grow there. The Indianapolis developer will add four more buildings and a separate pharmacy to the 17 acres of land he bought several years ago. The end result, he said, will be a medical plaza that offers a unique blend of services encompassing dental work, radiology and ambulatory surgery, among other specialties….

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Shared patient rooms in hospitals soon to be history: Guidelines call for private quarters in all new facilities

New guidelines due out in June will call for newly constructed hospitals to come equipped with all private patient rooms, the first time such a minimum requirement has been issued. The guidelines, published every four years by the Facilities Guidelines Institute and the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Health, are used by nearly 40 state governments-including Indiana-to set regulations, approve construction plans and license hospitals to operate. And hospitals nationwide-including those in Indiana-are expected to embrace the guidelines that…

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Clarian chooses small firm for big advertising account: The Heavyweights gets nod over larger agencies

One of central Indiana’s largest advertising accounts has been awarded to a relatively small but growing agency. Clarian Health Partners this month signed what industry sources are calling a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal with The Heavyweights, a firm headquartered in The Stutz Building downtown and best known for its creative work for clients such as Procter & Gamble and Roche Diagnostics. Officials for Clarian and The Heavyweights would not divulge the deal’s terms. The Heavyweights will provide creative direction and strategy…

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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Legislators should address insurance costs

Members of the Indiana General Assembly resolved some contentious issues in 2006, including property tax relief, telecommunications reform and the long-term leasing of public infrastructure. U n f o r t u n a t e l y, they did not have an opportunity to debate Senate Bill 124, which, if measured on the basis of the value per page, would have exceeded the much-heralded “Major Moves” transportation initiative. Introduced by Sen. Beverly Gard, a Greenfield Republican who has been…

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Clarian plans training center: Doctors, nurses to sharpen skills in $44 million building

A team led by Clarian Health Partners will add a $44 million training center to the cluster of life sciences businesses taking root around the Central Canal on the northern edge of downtown. The Indianapolis hospital network recently filed plans with the city to build a six-story, 182,750-square-foot building on the eastern side of the canal. The site sits just south of a pathology laboratory on 11th Street that Clarian plans to dedicate later this month. The Indiana University schools…

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VIEWPOINT: ‘Eating our young’ as a way of mentoring?

I recently came across an insightful publication by the Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being at the University of California, Berkley, called Greater Good. One article especially caught my attention: “Inspiring Good Work” (spring-summer 2005 issue) by researchers Wendy Fischman and Howard Garner, of Harvard University’s GoodWork Project. As highlighted in the article, the GoodWork Project’s research, under way for the past decade, has revealed that young people leaving college and embarking on their professional careers are finding…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: A revolution in health care: Consumers will call shots

I once had a doctor who shared with me a little joke about medicine. It comes to mind every year as I get older and more susceptible to life’s ailments. Doctors, he said, don’t really cure anything. They just let you trade in one malady for another. I know he was talking about the side effects of medicines and treatments we take for our weak hearts and faltering knees. But I keep thinking it applies equally to the situation of…

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EYE ON THE PIE: Legislature wastes another session

The 150 men and women who make up the Indiana General Assembly have finished their annual freak show, folded their tents, and departed from Indianapolis. In their wake, they left some truly terrible legislation and another record of neglect for the interests of Indiana’s too-long-suffering population. What was wrong with this session of the General Assembly? Your local editor will not grant me the space to be either sufficiently complete or detailed. Let’s start with the governor’s Major Moves program….

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NOTIONS: A kid, a shave, a health care dilemma

For the second time in his young life, 9-year-old Joey Chamness had his head shaved last week. This time, the skinhead look is voluntary. Last time, it was chemotherapy. On a Thursday afternoon in January 2005, Joey was playing soccer when he felt pain in his left leg. He’d experienced this before, but not this bad. So Joey’s parents called the family pediatrician to schedule an appointment. The following Monday, the doctor took a look and said it was probably…

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Health care developers eye their next frontier: Northeast Hamilton County offers a lucrative market

Chris Hamm’s phone started buzzing with calls from health care developers once plans for an extension of 146th Street east to Interstate 69 crystallized a couple years ago. The Noblesville economic development director said several organizations have shown “significant interest” in planting health care businesses along 146th Street, which will see a big boost in traffic once workers complete the interstate connection in the fall of 2007. At least three health-care-related deals are in the works, he added, declining to…

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States demand One Call answers: Carmel telephone firm ‘out of control’

A Carmel long-distance and operator service company has a lot to answer for these days. After crossing wires with Indiana regulators and with the Federal Communications Commission last year, One Call Communications now is being accused by Iowa and Missouri regulators of putting bogus charges on phone bills and then harassing people to pay. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon this month filed a lawsuit alleging the privately held company violated state and federal consumer protection laws. Nixon said the company…

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Turned away, twice: Hot biotech inventor scores coastal cash after local VCs say no

When a proven Indiana life scientist invents a promising medical technology, you’d expect local venture capitalists would snap to attention. So when Lafayette-based Ash Access Technology Inc. announced March 14 it had landed $6 million in venture capital, it was surprising to note the names of the investors in the deal. None were based inside state lines. But Dr. Stephen Ash wasn’t shocked. After all, he’s been through this before. “I don’t know what happened,” Ash said. “I was disappointed….

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EYE ON THE PIE: Waiter shines light on education

I spent most of a recent weekend in the hospital, but no one seems to want to hear that story. It wasn’t much of a story, as it turns out, but the bill, which will fall on you, will be enormous. My part of the bill will be small because I am covered by Medicare and private health insurance. This means you will see my use of the health care system reflected in your future taxes and in your future…

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Mooresville hospital plans next expansion: $33 million project would add emergency department, boost other service areas

St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville might finally land the emergency department town leaders want, thanks to a proposed $33 million expansion and renovation. Plans for an emergency department surfaced in bond paperwork the hospital filed recently with the Indiana Health and Educational Facility Financing Authority. The filing said the hospital also plans to add private rooms and renovate its surgery, joint and colorectal care facilities. Adding an emergency department also was mentioned in a lawsuit St. Francis officials filed last year against…

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WellPoint freezes pensions: Insurer joins national trend, shifts focus to 401(k) plan

WellPoint Inc. quietly froze pension contributions for most of its 42,000 employees earlier this year, a move that draws criticism but falls in step with what many other big employers are doing. The Indianapolis-based health insurance giant noted deep in an annual report filed late last month that on Jan. 1 it stopped adding pay credits to the pension accounts of employees not nearing retirement. The insurer rang up a $2.5 billion profit last year and, unlike some other companies…

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