IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Citizens, Muncie-based bank announce merger

2013-05-17T13:37:00Z IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Citizens, Muncie-based bank announce mergerGerry Dick Inside Indiana Business nwitimes.com
May 17, 2013 1:37 pm  • 

Muncie-based First Merchants Bank and Citizens Financial Bank in Munster are merging. The parent companies of both have announced a deal that will see Citizens Financial merge into First Merchants. The deal is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter. Chief Executive Officer Mike Rechin tells Inside INdiana Business the deal is a logical extension of the company's existing business in the state.


State Pulls Support For Massive Project

Governor Mike Pence says Indiana has withdrawn state incentives for Midwest Fertilizer Company for the construction of an approximately $2 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in Posey County. Pence initially suspended support in February after learning Pakistan-based Fatima Group, which owns nearly half of the company, had been "less than cooperative" with a federal effort to eliminate improvised explosive devices in Asia.


County Groups Release Wage And Benefit Study

Four northeast Indiana economic development organizations have announced results of a regional private sector wage and benefit study. Nearly 90 employers took part in the survey and more than half report plans to increase employment this year and more than a third saying they will add workers in 2014.


Indiana Announces 4 Star Schools

The Indiana Department of Education has announced the state's 2013 4 Star Schools. More than 300 schools earned the designation, which is based on ISTEP + testing results.


Farmer Loses Supreme Court Fight

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) in a case involving an Indiana farmer. In a decision handed down today, the high court agreed with the agribusiness company, which claims Vernon Bowman violated a soybean patent. Bowman operates a farm in southern Indiana. He had used soybean grain for animal feed and planted it, without Monsanto's permission.


Winery: New Law Provides 'Exciting Opportunity'

Another Indiana company is looking to capitalize on a recently-enacted law allowing craft brewers and wineries to expand their offerings to include distilled spirits. In southeast Indiana, Huber's Orchard, Winery and Vineyard owner Dana Huber says the family-owned business has been able to survive more than 100 years by diversifying. In addition to wine, the orchard sells fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees and ice cream. Sun King Brewing Co. in Indianapolis and Munster-based Three Floyds Brewing Co. LLC were among a number of supporters of the law during this year's legislative session.


Senior Care Company Continues Growth

A Bloomington-based senior care company is expanding. CarDon & Associates Inc. will break ground this week on a new facility in Bargersville it says will create 115 jobs. The family-owned company currently operates 17 senior living communities throughout Indiana. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Moore says Indiana's "good government" and stable reimbursement system have helped spur the company's success. He believes the company is primed for long-term growth.


Struggling Toy Store Turns to Public For Help

A Johnson County toy store is kicking off an online campaign tonight it hopes will raise $60,000 to keep the doors open. The owners of Imagination Station say road construction in the area has been "devastating" to business.


Beverage Retailers Respond to Cold Beer Lawsuit

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers says a lawsuit aimed at letting convenience stores sell cold beer "flies in the face" of Indiana public policy. Chief Executive Officer John Livengood also points to this year's legislative session where the Indiana Senate declined to hear a bill on the matter. Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Executive Director Scot Imus says the law gives the state's liquor stores an unfair competitive advantage.


Ball State Upholds Charter School Closings

The president of Ball State University is affirming the university's decision to not renew the contracts of five charter schools. Jo Ann Gora's decision is the final step in the review process. Two schools also slated to close decided not to appeal the initial decision.


Manufacturer Plans to Close Bloomington Operation

A health-care product manufacturer says it will close a plant in Bloomington. In a notice to the state, Hartmann USA says it plans to consolidate operations at the company headquarters in South Carolina. The move will affect 72 workers in Monroe County.


Butler Looks to 'Raise The Bar' For Science Education

The dean of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences says the school hopes to become "the premiere undergrad science program" in the Midwest. Jay Howard says a $10 million grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation Inc. will help upgrade current facilities. In a Studio(i) interview, Howard says there continues to be an increase in science majors at the school.


Study Highlights Ag Impact

A new study is detailing the statewide impact of the agriculture sector. The research, conducted by the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, indicates agriculture-related industries contributed nearly $38 billion to Indiana's economy and supported close to 190,000 jobs in 2011. It finds the Hoosier ag and forestry industries bring in about $970 million in state and local revenues. Indiana Business Research Center Analyst Tanya Hall, who co-authored the study, explains the sector's ripple effect on the state's economy


Parker City Company Moving HQ

A Randolph County-based company is moving its headquarters to Muncie. Townsend Corp. is planning to move into a newly-purchased building that had been occupied by Ontario Systems. Initially, 35 Townsend Corp. workers will be based in the building.


Pence Signs Casino, Common Core Bills

Two more high-profile bills from this year's session of the General Assembly have been signed into law. Governor Mike Pence has put his signature on legislation to adjust the gaming tax structure in an effort to help Indiana casinos deal with increased competition in neighboring states. He has also signed a bill requiring a review of the Common Core State Standards.


For more Inside Indiana Business, visit www.insideindianabusiness.com.

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