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Paresh Gajria / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cflat/2909707701

3:30 p.m. Update:

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington tells Network Indiana the investigation included a personal experience from a law enforcement officer who ate at one of the El Rodeo locations in Greater Lafayette.

"A detective from the West Lafayette Police Department at our local El Rodeo and he noticed that as he paid for his lunch, the cash drawer was never opened, no one rang up his sale and he was returned his cash back out of another drawer," Harrington says.

Earlier:

Seth Anderson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/271337214

Indiana farmers and ethanol producers are in limbo as they wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to decide how much of the biofuel should be blended into the nation’s gasoline.

Indiana is one of the largest ethanol producers in the U.S. And every year, thanks to a law known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, the EPA decides on how much of that ethanol gets mixed with gasoline.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Agribusiness executives and researchers are describing Indiana as an area poised to become a global heavyweight in food-science research.

Elanco president Jeff Simmons says Indiana is building a roster of companies working on ways to boost food production to meet the needs of a world population projected to hit 10-billion in 35 years.

For instance, Simmons says, it’ll take a 60-percent increase in milk production to serve that many people.

Rich Evers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/richevers/6042201042

The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ruled that the state’s tort claims cap – which limits how much money people can sue the state for – is constitutional. 

The state’s tort claims cap is set at $700,000 per person and $5 million per incident. 

Jordyn Polet is the only injured victim of the State Fair stage collapse who did not accept the state’s settlement offer in 2011. 

Part of Polet’s lawsuit over the tragedy challenged that claims cap. 

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the cap. 

Carmel Company's iKeg Could Help Bars On New Year's

Dec 30, 2014
Matthew Peoples / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leftymgp/7332282888

As bars and breweries stock up for New Year‘s Eve, some will use an app from a Carmel company to make sure they‘re not tapped out.   

Because you can‘t see into a beer keg, SteadyServ CEO Steve Hershberger says bars can’t tell when they‘re running low, and brewers don’t know which beers are selling fastest. He says most bars just guess.

Andreas Johannsen / https://www.flickr.com/photos/andjohan/564471485

Indiana’s private sector added more jobs last month than any single month in 15 years.  Yet the state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged.

The private sector added nearly 16,000 jobs in November, led by huge gains in the Professional and Business services sector. 

But the state’s unemployment rate held steady for the third consecutive month at 5.7-percent.  That’s because the additional jobs were largely offset by additions to the workforce – more than 12,000 people last month joined the job hunt. 

courtesy GE

General Electric has announced plans to invest $10 million with Purdue, in hopes researchers on the West Lafayette campus can help improve the company’s advanced manufacturing technology.

GE Director of Global Research Mark Little envisions a day where each part made in a GE factory includes sensors which communicate how well the part works. But that day is far in the future, he says.

Large Crops Not Translating To Large Bankrolls For Farmers

Nov 20, 2014
David Wright / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dhwright/14934151279

The truck traffic at Kokomo Grain Company is constant.

"We will process between 400 and 500 trucks a day in the 12-14 hour day at this facility," says Senior Grain Merchandiser Mike Silver.

He says all of the truckloads of corn and soybeans can add up to 750,000 bushels per day. Trucks dump the grain quickly, but a long line soon snakes around the Kokomo Grain’s entrance.

Indiana and several other Midwestern states are poised to break records with this year’s yields, so the grain elevators here are already halfway full.

Wayan Vota / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/535670898

Hoosiers could get the opportunity to buy alcohol every day of the week as the Indiana Chamber pushes the legislature to allow Sunday alcohol sales. 

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar says though it’s not a top priority, promoting Sunday sales will be one of the efforts it pushes when the legislature convenes in January. 

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he personally doesn’t have a problem with legalizing Sunday sales, but says it likely won’t have a significant fiscal impact.

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

A study committee made up of Indiana governmental and business leaders wants the General Assembly to mandate the elimination of part of the state’s business personal property tax. 

The legislature last session passed bills giving local governments the options of eliminating the business personal property tax for new purchases and exempting small businesses from the levy. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Alongside U.S. 231 in the small Montgomery County town of Linden, just south of the railroad museum, there’s a colorful new installation.

Row upon row of panels sits on the site of the Tipmont REMC headquarters. The ones that face north are bright orange – designed to reflect sunlight onto the ones that face south. Those are photovoltaic cells, navy blue with a crosshatching of wires running through them.

There are 240 of them in total and Tipmont spokeswoman Sasha Clements took a second at their unveiling to explain to the crowd how they’d be allocated.

401(K) 2013 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/

A Washington think tank on state and local taxes is cautioning legislators against joining the rush to eliminate the business personal property tax.

Legislators balked at Governor Pence‘s proposal to keep up with other states and abolish the tax, instead giving counties the option to do it. No county has done so, and a blue-ribbon commission is now studying tax reform options.

Vegas Thornton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vegast/395958569

The city of Frankfort is undergoing a construction binge of sorts. A ConAgra factory bigger than the Indianapolis convention center is being built, complete with its own access road from State Road 28.

But that state highway is a problem, as are the various railroad tracks that crisscross the city. WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski recently took a trip around Frankfort with Mayor Chris McBarnes, who says there are places in his city that make him “embarrassed.”

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s Senate budget leader says the legislature needs to focus more on the tax climate for all Hoosiers, not just businesses. 

A study from the Council on State Taxation reports that Indiana’s tax burden on businesses is the lowest of any of its neighbors.  It’s also among the ten lowest in the country. 

The Council’s Senior Tax Counsel Fred Nicely says the one area Indiana could improve is its business personal property tax.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

At least one West Lafayette textbook retailer says he’s not happy with Wednesday’s announcement of an agreement between Purdue University and Amazon.com.

Tom Frey runs University Bookstore, which sits across the street from the Purdue Memorial Union, but isn’t the school’s official textbook retailer. In the spring, Amazon will open a physical storefront in the Union.

Frey says it’s the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the internet company and the National Association of College Stores, of which he’s a member.

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