IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Newton County Farmland Sells For Millions

2014-02-22T15:07:00Z IIB WEEK IN REVIEW: Newton County Farmland Sells For MillionsGerry Dick Inside Indiana Business nwitimes.com
February 22, 2014 3:07 pm  • 

Nearly 650 acres of farmland in northwest Indiana has drawn $6 million at auction. Columbia City-based Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. says the results of the Newton County sale and others throughout the state illustrate strong demand for farmland.

UIndy Unveils $50 Million Plan

The University of Indianapolis is detailing a five-year, $50 million capital investment plan. The school says its key project will be a four-story health sciences center, which will house classroom space and clinical facilities for students and faculty. It also includes renovations to Krannert Memorial Library and the addition of Division II men's and women's lacrosse teams. President Rob Manuel says the effort is the result of 18 months of strategic planning involving students, faculty, staff and community leaders. Manuel says the projects will help keep the school competitive in a crowded market.

Cold Beer Debate in Court

A lawsuit concerning the regulation of cold beer sales is underway. A group of convenience stores is challenging the constitutionality of the law. Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Executive Director Scot Imus says the legislation is "outdated" and has cost the state thousands of jobs because convenience stores are slow to expand. Opponents say the lawsuit contradicts public policy, since the Indiana Senate previously declined to hear a bill on the issue.

Marriage Amendment Passes Senate

The Indiana Senate has passed the one-sentence version of a proposed amendment to further define marriage in the state Constitution. The measure does not include much-debated language involving domestic partner benefits and civil unions. The current version of the measure would need to pass during next year's legislative session to go to a public vote by 2016.

Bill to Eliminate Common Core Moves Forward

Legislation that would void Common Core academic standards in favor of a set of state-created guidelines has been approved by the House Education Committee. Thursday morning, the Indiana Department of Education and State Board of Education released a draft proposal of new standards.

Bankruptcy Hits Indiana Limestone Co.

An iconic Indiana business has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Indiana Limestone Co. in Oolitic has been cleared by a bankruptcy court judge to continue to pay nearly 140 workers in Lawrence County. Court documents show Indiana Commercial Finance LLC is lining up to acquire the bankrupt company.

Companies Investing in Indiana

Two automotive industry manufacturers are planning to expand research and development operations in Indiana. Arizona-based Echo Automotive Inc. intends to pump $3.6 million into upgrades at a facility at the Flagship Accelerator Building in Anderson. Also, Kentucky-based Emerson Power Transmission Corp.'s $1.9 million investment involves launching an engineering lab in Valparaiso.

Grocer's Expansion Could Create Hundreds of Jobs

Illinois-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets is planning to open five Indiana locations within the next two years. The specialty grocer expects to add between 80 and 100 workers at each store. The company says it will launch a total of 60 locations throughout the Midwest by 2019. Chief Executive Officer Chris Sherrell says Indiana is a "prime" market for the company.

Hoosiers in Running For Major Culinary Awards

Several Indiana restaurant and brewing professionals have been named semifinalists for honors from one of the industry's most well-known organizations. The New York-based James Beard Foundation will announce Restaurant and Chef Award finalists from nearly two dozen categories next month. Three restaurateurs from Indianapolis, Neal Brown from The Libertine Liquor Bar, Recess' Greg Hardesty and Regina Mehallick of R Bistro, are in the Best Chef, Great Lakes category. They're joined by David Tallent from Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington. In semifinalists for the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category is Mike, Nick and Simon Floyd of Munster's Three Floyds Brewing.

Purdue Receives $15 Million

Purdue University has changed the name of one of its most well-known programs in recognition of a $15 million gift. The Lyles School of Civil Engineering is a tribute to a prominent California-based construction business family with strong ties to the university.

Hoosier Company Powering Buses in Sochi

An Indiana company is playing a critical role in the complex logistics of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Approximately 400 buses at the winter games are being powered by transmissions designed and manufactured by Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN). Research and development on the transmissions were performed in the Marion County city, while manufacturing took place at Allison plants in Hungary and India. In an interview that will air this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales & Service Michael Headly talks about the international strategy.

Chamber Announces 'Best Places to Work'

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has named 100 companies to its 2014 Best Places to Work list. The organization says it received a record number of applications. The 2014 class includes 27 new honorees as well as two companies that have made the list each of the program's nine years. Vice President of Communications Tom Schuman says the program has economic benefits. You can view a full list of winners at InsideINdianaBusiness.com.

Beck's Hybrids Expands Footprint

Atlanta-based Beck's Hybrids is planning to expand into Iowa and Missouri. The family-owned seed company already has a presence in six states. The announcement comes on the heels of President Sonny Beck being named National Agri-Marketing Association 2014 Agribusiness Leader of the Year.

Committee OKs Boost For Soccer Stadium

The Indiana House Ways and Means Committee has approved an amended version of a bill to allow for the Capital Improvement Board in Indianapolis to use up to $2 million to support a new soccer stadium. The $87 million venue is being proposed by Indy Eleven Professional Soccer Owner Ersal Ozdemir. The team is set to kick off its inaugural NASL season at Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in April.

State Selects Team For I-69 Section

The Indiana Finance Authority Board has chosen a team led by an international company to design and build the $325 million fifth section of the I-69 expansion. The work on the 21-mile stretch from Bloomington to Martinsville will be done by Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. and contractors from Anderson, Columbus and Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Chamber CEO Stepping Down

The president and chief executive officer of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce is resigning. Ken Brengle will leave the post at the end of the month. He has led the organization since May 2012.

ISU President Lands Extension

Indiana State University President Dan Bradley has received a three-year contract extension. The deal will take the school's 11th president through June 2019. Bradley has led ISU since 2008.

IU Announces Room and Board Increase

Indiana University's board of trustees has approved room and board increases for the 2014-2015 academic year. The school says the price for its most popular residence package on the Bloomington campus will rise by $344.

Energize-ECI Names CEO

Muncie-based Energize-ECI Inc. has named Dennis Maloy chief executive officer. He most recently served as executive director of Ivy Tech Corporate College in Bloomington and succeeds Roy Budd, who announced last year he was leaving the organization.

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

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