Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Philip Brookes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipbrookes/

The cities of West Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Lafayette are among those in Indiana which have begun legislating to head off the effects of a bill giving sweeping new rights to cell phone companies.

The law, which Gov. Eric Holcomb has until Thursday to sign, allows so-called micro cell phone towers to be erected so cell phone signal strength doesn't wane as often.

West Lafayette Development Director Erik Carlson told his city's Board of Public Works Saturday that the technology is valuable, but that it has its share of problems.

Indiana’s manufacturing sector is regrouping after a legislative session they’d hoped would focus on workforce development.

While some advocates applaud the reform that did pass – geared toward using the career and technical education system to fix labor shortages – others say there’s a lot more work to be done.

The Indiana Supreme Court made a decision that will likely cost local governments millions of dollars in property tax revenue.

The conflict surrounds property tax valuations of big box stores – in this case, a Kohl’s. Local governments say the assessment should be based on how much value the property is worth to the current user, not some hypothetical future user.

Hoosiers will see more farm equipment in the fields in the next few weeks, as spring corn and soybean planting ramps up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farmers in Indiana and nationwide to plant more soybeans than ever this year, while corn acreage looks to hold steady.

Purdue University agronomist and self-named “corn guy” Bob Nielsen says corn prices are still lackluster, with plenty in storage, and that’s driven soybean prices up.

Egg producers are scrambling to keep up with rising corporate demand for cage-free eggs.

For Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms, the nation’s second-biggest egg producer, that means building three huge, new, high-efficiency cage-free houses in Pulaski County – capable of churning out a million eggs a day.

Going cage-free is not as simple as setting chickens loose, or taking cages out of a conventional chicken house. It can cost up to $50 a bird, and construction can take months.

Eli Lilly / https://www.lilly.com/newsroom

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly has been dealt another blow by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which failed to approve a newly-developed treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

In what is referred to as a “complete response letter,” The FDA stated it wants Lilly to supply more data to clarify safes dosage levels and put certain safety concerns to rest.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last week, electronics and appliance retailer HHGregg announced it was shutting down all its stores, including one in Lafayette. It’s one of several large retailers leaving the area, and experts say filling those spaces could be difficult in a rapidly-changing retail climate.

Dozens of families are still living in East Chicago’s lead-contaminated West Calumet Housing Complex, a week after the city had wanted everyone moved out.

In late March, the East Chicago Housing Authority assigned remaining West Calumet residents to temporary public housing units elsewhere in the city, as well as in Gary and Chicago.

President Donald Trump is touting a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers that shows record optimism among American factory owners – a rosier picture than a similar Indiana survey painted last fall.

Indiana legislative leaders aren’t certain they’ll resolve a cold beer sales controversy this session.

Two Ricker’s convenience stores, using a legal loophole, recently secured the ability to sell cold beer. That was a right reserved solely for liquor stores and restaurants.

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