Gov. Mike Pence believes the tax cut package included in the new two-year state budget should attract more businesses to Indiana. The package contains $600 million in tax cuts, including a 5 percent phased in income tax reduction. It also calls for the immediate elimination of the inheritance tax and alters taxes on financial institutions. Pence believes the overall package is better than the 10 percent income tax cut he originally proposed.
Hicks: 'Not Optimistic' Following Jobs Report
A Ball State University economist says "the deeper you dig the worse the news is" with regard to the latest national employment report. Center for Business and Economic Research Director Michael Hicks says the April figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show part-time jobs are replacing full-time positions. The monthly unemployment rate was essentially flat at 7.5 percent. Hicks says the part-time trend will be a "continuing hallmark of the economy" until employers can fully understand the effects of the Affordable Care Act.
Notre Dame Mulls Stadium Area Use
The University of Notre Dame is considering a new campus planning approach that would turn its famed football stadium into a hub for several additional facilities. Possibilities include more classroom and media space built onto the venue's exterior, as well as more premium seating and facade improvements. Officials emphasize that "under all circumstances" the original stadium will be kept intact. The school says Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930, is currently only used fewer than 10 times a year for football games, recreation events and commencement.
Community Projects Receive Planning Grants
Several Hoosier communities have landed Community Development Block Grants from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The projects include economic development, infrastructure improvement and library feasibility initiatives. Waynetown, Kirklin, Grandview, Fairland, Eaton and Rushville are sharing in the more than $200,000 total.
Hovercraft Maker Enjoys Global Spotlight
After quietly producing hovercraft for more than three decades, Terre Haute-based Neoteric Hovercraft has gained global attention thanks to a viral video of golfer Bubba Watson using one of the vehicles. President Chris Fitzgerald says the company is moving forward with plans to sell to the public and will likely produce approximately 100 golf cart hovercraft this year. He says the company has had a "struggle to survive," but believes the viral video has helped people learn that "this kind of technology exists."
Indiana Innovation Contributes to Major Solar Project
A group of Ball State University students is working on developing a solar-powered disaster relief housing option as part of an international competition. The school is partnering with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville to build "The Phoenix House," which drew its disaster relief theme from the March 2012 Henryville tornado outbreak. Ball State Architecture Professor Michele Chiuini says the U.S. Department of Energy's 2013 Solar Decathlon is a huge educational opportunity in several ways.
Paper Company Closing Indianapolis Facility
Tennessee-based International Paper Co. intends to close a central Indiana operation. In a notice to the state, the manufacturer says it plans to eliminate more than 90 jobs and shut down its Indianapolis container plant. The move is slated begin in June and be complete in July.
Restaurants Drawing National Praise For Breakfasts
A pair of national restaurant websites is recognizing two Hoosier eateries for their morning offerings. OpenTable, an online reservation site, has included Petite Chou in Carmel on its "Best Brunch" list and Urbanspoon, an international dining website, has named 3 Sisters in Indianapolis one of the "Most Popular Breakfast Spots" in the country.
IPL Details Plans For Morgan County Plant
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. believes its proposed power station near Martinsville will have an estimated annual economic impact of $48 million. If approved by regulators, construction on the more than $600 million project would begin in 2014 with a target completion date in 2017. IPL is planning to retire several existing power generation units that produce 600 megawatts. The new natural gas plant will pump out about 650 megawatts.
Big Ten Announces Realignment
The Big Ten Conference has approved a plan to realign its 14-team football division and schedule structure. New East and West divisions are set to begin in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule is slated for 2016. Under the plan, Indiana University and Purdue University will be in different divisions, but will still play each other annually.
IHSAA Approves Plan For Home-Schooled Athletes
The Indiana High School Athletic Association has agreed on a proposal allowing home-schooled students the opportunity to play for state-sanctioned teams. Provisions include requiring the student to have been home-schooled for three years prior to participation.
Speedway Reveals Indy 500 Pace Car
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will return to a familiar model for this year's Indy 500 Pace Car. A 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will lead the field during the 97th running of the race. This is the 12th time the Corvette has been selected.
Speedway Improvement Bill Awaits Governor's Signature
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. President Jeff Belskus says "transformative" improvements are coming to the 104-year old track. His comments follow the approval of a plan at the Statehouse to establish an investment district around the speedway to help fund upgrades. The legislation, which is awaiting Governor Mike Pence's signature, calls for IMS to receive a loan of up to $5 million a year for up to 20 years. It will be paid back through anticipated increases in collections of income and sales taxes at the track.
Indiana Steps Up Pursuit of Defense Business
Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says last week's meeting of military commanders from throughout Indiana is "another step" toward securing more defense-related business for the state. Ellspermann, Senator Dan Coats and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-5) are taking part in a roundtable discussion with the military leaders in Lawrence that is billed as the first gathering of its kind in a decade. In a Studio (i) interview, Ellspermann says the state is uniquely positioned to be an even bigger player in national defense.
ISU Planning Major Downtown Development
Indiana State University President Dan Bradley is calling a proposed multi-million dollar mixed-use student development a "catalyst" for Terre Haute's downtown redevelopment efforts. Vigo County-based Thompson Thrift Development Inc. will build and own the estimated $17.5 million building, and the university is proposing a 30-year lease for the property. The proposal calls for the façade to be preserved. If all approvals are met, construction could be complete in 2015.
Chamber Honors 'Best Places'
A law practice, accounting firms and a global technology giant have been honored as the top ranked companies in their respective categories in this year's Best Places to Work in Indiana competition. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce program highlighted 100 companies from around the state in four categories. It is the eighth year for the competition in Indiana. The winners in four categories based on size were: Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. of Carmel, Indianapolis-based Somerset CPAs, Sikich, LLP of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis office of Microsoft Corp.
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