6:31 am
Thu July 24, 2014

State Commission Will Continue Debate Over Business Personal Property Tax

A hotel in downtown Terre Haute -- a city whose mayor says the business personal property tax could stifle a budget that has already shrunk by 40-percent due to tax caps.
Credit Paul Sableman /

The next showdown between the state and local governments over the business personal property tax will be at a blue ribbon commission studying the issue this summer. 

Legislation passed this year allows local governments to either exempt new equipment from the business personal property tax, eliminate it on small businesses or abate the tax on specific projects for up to 20 years.  It also created a study committee to examine the business personal property tax. 

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12:51 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

GE Breaks Ground On $100 Million Engine Plant

GE officials and elected leaders turn a ceremonial pile of dirt near where a $100-million factory will sit within two years.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Officials from General Electric joined a bevy of elected leaders Monday to break ground on a $100 million plant that will eventually produce jet engines.

The GE Aviation facility is slated to open by 2016 and could start hiring workers as soon as next year.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski insists because it located in his city, GE won’t face the same dearth of qualified workers many companies are grappling with.

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1:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Jobs Grow In June And So Does State Unemployment Rate

Workforce Development officials say a manufacturing resurgence continues to lead Indiana's job creation efforts.
Credit Cindy Cornett Seigle /

Indiana added more private sector jobs -- 10,000 of them -- last month than any other June on record.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development spokesman Joe Frank says every major industry sector experienced growth.

Frank says manufacturing – the sector the state is most known for – has been one of the key drivers of the job growth.

"Our growth in the manufacturing sector since July 2009 -- the low point of employment in the state -- we've grown 77,800 manufacturing jobs," Frank says. "That's the second-largest increase in the nation."

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5:44 am
Wed July 16, 2014

South Bend Council Rejects Smoking Ban After Businesses Object

The ordinance's author turned out to be the deciding vote against, not for, the measure.
Credit Raul Lieberwirth /

A smoking ban has been rejected by South Bend‘s Common Council.

The bill would have gone a step further than the state‘s ban by prohibiting smoking in bars and private clubs. The vote was 5 to 4.

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12:13 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Convenience Store Lobby Will Continue Cold Beer Push

The law's detractors note some of the state's alcohol statutes originated in the time surrounding Prohibition.
Credit Michael Newman /

At least one lobbying group remains hot that the beer its members can sell can’t be cold.

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Tuesday announced it would continue to seek changes to the state‘s alcohol laws.

The group has filed an appeal in federal court and a lawsuit in state court that claims Indiana alcohol laws violates the 14th Amendment equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by restricting convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores to selling beer only at room temperature.   

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3:25 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Book Publisher Promises 300 More Crawfordsville Jobs By 2016

A spokesman says the move will double the daily output of the Crawfordsville location.
Credit Sarah Browning /

4:30 p.m. UPDATE:

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says negotiations on the expansion started around the first of the year and seemed all-or-nothing in nature.

Barton says if Crawfordsville hadn’t landed the additional jobs, it was likely the plant would have closed entirely as Penguin Random House streamlines its operation.

The company now has two national distribution centers. The other is in Maryland.

Original story:

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6:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Indiana To Make Back Some Money Lost In Tobacco Settlement Dispute

After failing to adequately fund an escrow account connected to a large tobacco settlement, the state has agreed to make amends and will have hundreds of millions of dollars returned.
Credit Curran Kelleher /

Indiana will recoup nearly 40-percent of the money it lost this year in a dispute over a 1990s tobacco settlement. 

That’s money used to help fund tobacco cessation programs, community health centers and the state’s children’s health insurance program.

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6:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Tourism Offices Looking For More Local, State Funding

Local tourism officials want to coax people to visit the wolves at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, but say they need more cash to advertise their area's offerings.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The Executive Director of the Indiana Tourism Association, Carrie Lambert, visited the Lafayette Area Friday while on a statewide tour of local tourism bureaus.

WBAA's Stan Jastrzebski met with Lambert and with Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette President Jo Wade at Wolf Park in Battle Ground to talk about what the local tourism push is doing well and what hurdles it faces from state and local leaders.

In a word: money.

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2:59 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Unemployment Rate Holds Steady In May

Despite the unemployment rate staying steady, one economist says job seekers are more optimistic in recent weeks.
Credit Jenna Purcella /

Indiana’s unemployment rate in May failed to drop for the first time in nine months, holding steady at 5.7-percent. 

Indiana’s private sector added 48 hundred jobs last month, yet the unemployment rate remained unchanged. 

The Department of Workforce Development says that’s because the state’s labor force increased, with about two thousand unemployed Hoosiers actively resuming the job hunt. 

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5:17 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Chilled Beer Sales Likely To Continue Getting The Cold Shoulder From Lawmakers

Groups pushing for universal cold beer sales were dealt a blow this week when a judge ruled the state had the right to keep its restrictions in place.
Credit Wayan Vota /

Groups pushing Indiana to allow cold beer sales in convenience stores likely face a tough road in the state legislature. 

A federal judge this week ruled against convenience store owners in their lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on cold beer sales by non-liquor stores. 

In a statement, Attorney General Greg Zoeller noted that the proper place for debating the issue is the legislature. 

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