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Damian Gadal / https://www.flickr.com/photos/23024164@N06/4734008149/

The sight of a meter reader making the rounds in Tippecanoe County will soon be a thing of the past—at least for customers of natural gas company Vectren.

The firm is in the process of automating its meter-reading process, but Vectren spokeswoman Natalie Hedde says no current employees will lose their job as a result of the automation.

“The transition is not about the reduction of meter readers themselves,” she says. "It’s more about the efficiency and the accuracy of the information that we’re collecting.”

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 3 -- Veterans

Aug 14, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The unemployment rate among Indiana’s veterans is about the same as the state’s overall average of 5.4-percent.

But when you break it down and look specifically at veterans who enlisted after 9/11, that number jumps to about 1 in 10 -- twice the state’s total unemployment rate.

Mike Mozart / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14319902599/

On the same day oil prices reached their lowest level in more than six years, gas prices in central Indiana are going up.

Even as many Indianapolis-area stations raised the price of self-serve regular unleaded to nearly $2.60 per gallon, an increase of 30 cents per gallon or more, the price of oil dropped below $44 a barrel.

But GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says the two are unrelated. He says the spike is caused by one of the largest units at BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery going down.

Daniel Incandela / https://www.flickr.com/photos/incandopolis/3789053490/

A proposal to move 700 gaming positions from Rising Sun to a new casino in Indianapolis may have more support in Rising Sun than in Indy.

Rising Sun Casino owner Full House Resorts has proposed a casino on the land which was home to the old Indianapolis International Airport.

Rising Sun Mayor April Hautman says the positions Full House Resorts wants to reallocate to Indy aren't being used anyway – the existing facility is allowed to employ up to 1,400 people, but only has space for half that many.

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 2 -- Students

Aug 12, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The workplace is changing at a rapid pace -- employees have to learn how to use new technology every day, jobs can often be more short-term and project-oriented, and companies are looking for people who not only have the skills to fill today’s positions but are able to think ahead and shape how business is done in the future.

Sylvia Bao / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/

Indiana farmland values declined in all three categories last year for the first time since 2009 -- but a Purdue economist says the drop was expected.

In Purdue’s latest land value survey, top-quality Hoosier farmland values dropped a little more than 5-percent in the last year. 

Average farmland values decreased by nearly 4-percent, while low-quality values are down just shy of 5-percent. 

But Purdue economist Michael Langemeier says he’s not surprised – revenue from crop sales have been down, which usually leads to a drop in land value. 

Medical Software Breach Affects 1-in-4 Hoosiers

Aug 5, 2015
David DeHoey / Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/daviddehoey/4258047257)

An Indiana medical software company says a data breach earlier this year has impacted 1.5 million people in Indiana, including 28,000 Indiana University employees.

Medical Informatics Engineering reported the data to the US Department of Health and Human Services this week.

Officials say the breach of the company's NoMoreClipboard service exposed personal data including birth dates, addresses and phone numbers — but a number of users may have had their social security numbers compromised.

Dave Dugdale / https://www.flickr.com/photos/davedugdale/

The business personal property tax exemption, which lawmakers spent most of the 2014 session debating, recently became available for local governments. But counties so far aren’t taking advantage of the new tool. 

The tax allows counties to collect fees on the property businesses use in their production, everything from computers to boilers.

Governor Mike Pence called it an impediment to job creation and asked the General Assembly to phase it out.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/14738709658

The Indiana State Fair this year is shining a spotlight on the Hoosiers who help put food on the table as part of its “Year of the Farmer.” 

The State Fair’s theme is typically a product or animal – that includes the Year of Corn, of Pigs, Dairy Cows, and Tomatoes.  But State Fair spokesperson Lesley Gordon says this year, the focus will be on what ties all those things together – the farmer.

M Glasgow / https://www.flickr.com/photos/glasgows/

With Indiana's Supreme Court bringing an end to a 10-year legal battle over high-fence hunting preserves, the deer farming industry is stepping in to try to set standards for itself.

Deer and elk farmers have formed the Indiana Deer Advisory Council, to recommend standards for deer treatment and how they are hunted.

Advisory council chairman Gary Jacobson says he believes getting the group’s seal of approval will be valuable enough to preserve owners that they’ll follow whatever rules IDAC sets.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

Executives with Indianapolis-based Anthem have given their first interviews about the deal that will make the health insurance company the largest in America, following a $54 billion deal to merge with rival company Cigna.

The companies announced the agreement Friday morning, after a year of sometimes-contentious negotiations. The purchase price represents about $34 a share above Connecticut-based Cigna's current value.

Anthem says the merger will allow the combined company to save $2 billion in operating costs while reining in the costs of care.

Flazingo Photos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/124247024@N07/

The Hoosier State’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.9-percent last month, the first time it’s been below 5-percent since February of 2008. 

June marks the fifth consecutive month the rate has declined, and since January of 2013, only one other state – Rhode Island – has decreased its unemployment rate more than Indiana. 

Yet for the first time in four months, the state’s private sector lost jobs, shedding 3,800 people last month. The biggest loss – 3,600 jobs – was in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors. 

Amazon Planning To Add 2,100 More Indiana Jobs

Jul 15, 2015
Scott Lewis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/99781513@N04/16278498935/

The online retailer Amazon is looking to hire more than 2,000 Hoosiers for full-time jobs in its warehouses. Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey says the company will host job fairs across the state to find candidates.

"We’re looking for candidates that are 18 year of age or older, have a high school degree or equivalent, and for many of these job fairs that we’re hosting throughout the area, they just need to bring a proof of education and a form of identification," Lindsey says.

Theo Wright / https://www.flickr.com/photos/theowright/1240357277

More than a year after Indiana lawmakers legalized a so-called cash crop, the coffers are still empty. Legislation that was signed into law in 2014 approved the commercial growth and research of the versatile industrial hemp plant, which is a non-intoxicating form of cannabis. But, lack of federal approval has stalled the state from moving forward.

Jamie Petty, the founder of the Indiana Hemp Industries Association (INHIA), says the plant could be a boon for Indiana agriculture and manufacturing.

City of West Lafayette

Three groups of companies have signified their interest in working on the redesign of West Lafayette’s State Street.

Two groups include companies with a presence in Greater Lafayette. The Plenary Roads State Street team includes Rieth-Riley Construction and the Walsh Gateway Partners team includes Milestone Contractors.

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