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Kate Ter Haar / https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/

It’s the middle of the workday, and Chumley’s bar in downtown Lafayette is packed with people watching the NCAA tourney. They’re wearing work clothes—not jerseys.

Checkered sportscoat-clad lawyer (and Cincinnati fan) Jim Olds ducked out of the office to check in on the Butler-Texas Tech game.

“We’re sneaking away on the lunch hour to watch some games,” he says of himself and his lunch companion. “We won’t have any public displays in the office, but I have a feeling there will be a number of people probably watching on their computers.”

Carrier Stands Firm On Moving Business Out Of Indiana

Mar 9, 2016
Carrier Corporation

Carrier is not going to stop its move to Mexico, despite some last-ditch efforts by Indiana's senators.

Dan Coats (R-IN) says his Tuesday meeting with Carrier execs did nothing to change their minds.

“I tried to convince them: ‘Is there anything that we can do to rethink this thing through?’ And they made it clear that over this -- next three years -- period of time, they’re going to be shifting out of Indiana,” Coats says.

Carrier Corporation

Governor Pence says Carrier and United Technologies will keep 400 executive and research jobs in Indiana, but says the state is still trying to save 2,100 jobs from moving to Mexico.

Pence emerged from a meeting with executives from Carrier and its parent company UTEC to say the companies have agreed to repay local tax abatements and $400,000 in state job training grants.

Senate Backs Away From Direct Auto Sales Ban

Feb 26, 2016
Tesla Motors / Facebook

The Senate has pulled the plug on a bill which would have shut down the Tesla Motors showroom in Indianapolis. Instead of franchising dealerships, Tesla sells to customers directly.  But the Senate had proposed banning that practice.

Senate Commerce Chairman Jim Buck (R-Kokomo) says he's been bombarded with angry calls from Tesla owners, so he killed the bill in favor of the House's original call for a study committee.

Buttery Crop Goes Pop

Feb 5, 2016
Ingrid Taylar / https://www.flickr.com/photos/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 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/existdifferently/8399061

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 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/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 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicareeder/

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 / https://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/coal-fired/edwardsport.asp

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.

Farmers' Confidence Index At All-Time Low

Jan 11, 2016
Robert S. Donovan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

The latest Farmer’s Confidence Index is the lowest it’s ever been thanks to hardships due to the global economic slowdown.

After years of growth and plenty, farmers across the state are suffering at the hands of a down-turned market. Grain prices—the price per bushel of corn and soybeans—have collapsed, and the costs to plant and harvest have stayed the same.

Professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University Craig Dobbins says that leaves a lot of Midwestern farmers in an untenable position.

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