5:00 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Construction Wage Backers' Last Best Hope: Summer Study

The bill repealing the prevailing wage law has strong support from the GOP supermajorities in the Indiana House and Senate.
Credit Vegas Thornton /

The Indiana House easily approved legislation repealing the state’s common construction wage, and the bill’s support in the Senate looks strong.  So pushing the issue to summer study committee could be opponents’ best remaining hope.

Set by local boards, the common construction wage is a sort of minimum wage for public construction projects. 

Pete Rimsans is the executive director of the Indiana State Building and Construction Trades Council, a workers group leading the charge to keep the common wage. 

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4:08 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

El Rodeo Owners To Serve House Arrest For Tax Scheme

The three men agreed to pay more than $4 million in restitution.
Credit Dave Dugdale /

A Marion County Criminal Court Judge has sentenced the owners of the El Rodeo restaurant chain following their plea deals on theft charges.

Judge Stanley Kroh sentenced Francisco Salgado and Jose Melendez to 10 years with eight suspended and Abel Bustos to two years including one year probation Monday. The trio will serve the bulk of their time on home detention.

Still, their lawyer, Sean Hessler, says he’d hoped for slightly better sentences.

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7:05 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Senate Passes Ron Alting's Beer-tripling Allowance

Indiana breweries would be able to manufacture and sell 90,000 barrels of beer each year, up from the current limit of 30,000.
Credit Bernt Rostad /

The Indiana Senate Tuesday passed a bill that would allow Indiana microbreweries to manufacture more alcohol per year.

Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) says the amended legislation is the result of a compromise between alcohol wholesalers and microbreweries.

The bill allows small breweries to increase their annual production limit from 30,000 barrels per year to 90,000.

The other half of the bill requires breweries distribute that alcohol through a wholesaler if their production exceeds 30,000 barrels.

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3:55 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

House Approves Gaming Bill, But Senate Uncertainty Awaits

The issue of adding live dealers at racinos may be the biggest hurdle in the Senate.
Credit Lisa Brewster /

Legislation aimed at helping Indiana’s struggling gaming industry easily cleared the House Wednesday.  But its path to final approval may be more difficult.

The gaming bill would allow riverboats to move on land, give casinos a ten percent tax credit for new construction, and allow racetrack casinos to replace some of their electronic table games with table games that have live dealers. 

The bill’s outcome became less certain this week when Governor Mike Pence objected to the live dealers as an unwanted expansion of gaming. 

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7:13 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Amazon Opening Brings Questions Of Space Use, Competition

Purdue President Mitch Daniels tries in vain to cut the ribbon at the first of two Amazon locations on campus.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

There was a brief moment at the ribbon-cutting for the new Amazon pickup location that spoke to the debate surrounding it.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels, who’d been handed one of those oversized pairs of scissors used only for such an occasion, found that though the space behind him was cutting edge, his scissors were not – he tried repeatedly to slice the ribbon, was met with little success and almost gave up.

“Ok, it’s off…seemed like a good idea,” Daniels joked to the crowd.

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