Business news

Buttery Crop Goes Pop

Feb 5, 2016
Ingrid Taylar /

After riding high for a few years on a wave of butter-flavored prosperity, Indiana’s popcorn production dropped by more than a quarter last year.

In 2014, Hoosier farmers planted and harvested more popcorn than they ever had before, producing more than 430 million pounds of the stuff. But last year, they produced only 310 million pounds.

Greg Matli, a statistician for the US Department of Agriculture’s Indiana field office, says Indiana popcorn became a victim of its own bounty.

David and Ruth S /

An Indianapolis tourism group says the fallout from last year's debate over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cost the city at least $60 million.

And Visit Indy officials worry the economic impact will be long-lasting.

At least a dozen conventions cited RFRA as a reason for not choosing Indianapolis as a host city on Visit Indy’s annual survey.

Republican lawmakers have claimed the fix they passed last year would repair any damage done by the controversy.

But Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl says that remains to be seen.

Paul Lowry /

For the most part, people in Indiana are reaping the benefits of record-low oil prices at the gas pump without having to deal with the fallout. But when it comes to economics, a true win-win situation is rare.

In Indiana, the companies hit hardest by low oil prices are the same ones as in Texas or Louisiana—the producers who get the oil out of the ground and sell it to refineries. CountryMark CEO Charlie Smith says the number of wells being dug in Indiana has plummeted.

Jessica Reeder /

Since Saturday, there have been no new cases in the Dubois County avian flu outbreak. The investigation area was expanded an additional 6 miles from the origin with additional testing for birds within that radius.

As of Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for Indiana’s Joint Information Center confirmed that approximately 413,000 birds have been, or are in the process of being euthanized. Of the birds, about 62 percent are turkeys. The rest are chickens that, while not infected, were considered to be in “dangerous contact” with an infected turkey flock.

Duke Energy /

A settlement agreement between Duke Energy Indiana and several consumer groups concerning the utility's Edwardsport coal gasification plant has been expanded to include an agreement ceasing coal burning at another plant no later than 2020.

The original settlement in September was a response to the plant’s rising operating costs amid allegations it wasn't meeting performance expectations.

In the new agreement, Duke Energy agrees not to charge customers for $87.5 million of the operating costs of the Edwardsport plant, $2.5 million more than the original agreement.