Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Indiana’s recommended rates for workers compensation insurance will continue a multi-year decline in 2018. Officials say the nearly 13 percent drop in their benchmark rate for insurers is due to fewer workers’ comp claims and on-the-job injuries.

Indiana companies have to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover medical bills and lost wages for employees who get hurt on the job. But different jobs have different risks – you’re more likely to get hurt at a factory than behind a desk.

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

A study committee’s proposed recommendations on short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb include broad policy statements for the General Assembly to consider next session. But the recommendations don’t include specific legislative language, and likely don’t change debate on the issue.

Legislation last session to bar local governments from banning short-term rentals failed to pass.

Indiana is partway into a record-setting cash crop harvest – but months of uneven weather conditions have put some farmers behind.

The state’s soybean crop is 42 percent harvested as of this week, about the same as average. But the corn crop lags at just 24 percent.

Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen says wet weather earlier this year forced some farmers to plant late or replant their crops, and cool August temperatures lengthened the growing season.

The herbicide dicamba has damaged large swaths of Midwest crops in the past year. But Monsanto, one maker of the weed-killer, says it’s a small-scale problem for a powerful tool.

The agritech giant’s CTO Robb Fraley addressed the issue during a recent talk at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom tech conference.

Fraley basically invented genetically modified crops – mainly, ones that kill pests or tolerate certain chemicals.

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Araceli Gomez-Aldana

The Office of the Attorney General’s Mobile Operations Center traveled to various counties Monday and Tuesday helping Hoosiers freeze their credit in the wake of the recent security breach at credit reporting agency Equifax.

 

city of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s mayor wants to give people more places to have an adult beverage – as long as those new establishments follow some stricter rules than most West Lafayette bars currently do.

It’s allowed under a law in which mayors whose cities have so-called “riverfront districts” – as Lafayette and West Lafayette do – can authorize liquor licenses.

Indiana has agreed to buy Ohio River-front land in Lawrenceburg that could house the state’s fourth port.

The state has been considering using the 725 acres in southeast Indiana as its next port facility for nearly a year.

Now, it’s inked an agreement to purchase the site, pending further study. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office says the agreement will let port officials “begin studies to examine the economic and environmental viability of the parcel.”

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Friday he will launch an investigation into the recent data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax.

The personal information of nearly 4 million Hoosiers was potentially exposed by the Equifax breach.

Steelworkers from around the country were in D.C. this week to ask Congress to strengthen its support for the domestic steel industry.

Among them was Billy McCall, who’s worked at U.S. Steel’s huge Gary Works mill for more than 20 years.

He and other United Steelworkers union members talked with federal representatives this week about an ongoing trade investigation into the effect of excess Chinese steel imports on national security.

McCall says that’s about not just defense, but infrastructure and people.

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