Gov. Mike Pence has instructed the Indiana State Budget Agency to release $200 million in Major Moves 2020 highway construction funding. The money will be used to expand heavily-traveled sections of Interstate 65 that are nearly 50 years old. The General Assembly approved access to $400 million for the transportation infrastructure program. The additional $200 million can be released after December's revenue forecast and Budget Committee review. The first expansions include stretches of I-65 in Indianapolis and the Lafayette area.
Hoosier State Could Go Private
The Indiana Department of Transportation expects Amtrak and private companies throughout the country to submit bids to operate all or part of the Hoosier State Line. The service was federally defunded last year, but several communities pumped in money to keep it operating. That funding was for one year. INDOT Spokesman Will Wingfield says the state hopes to have a deal in place before agreements to support the service run out. Wingfield says officials hope to improve the rider experience and save taxpayer money.
Universities on Best Business Schools List
A national publication has included four universities in the state on its annual "Best Undergraduate Business Schools" list. The University of Notre Dame was once again ranked at the top by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Ball State President Search Narrows
Five candidates remain in the search for the next Ball State University president. Contenders include current academic leaders and no one from the private sector. Current President Jo Ann Gora is set to retire at the end of June.
Beck's Chooses Indiana For 'Mega-Center'
The president of Beck's Hybrids says Indiana's economic and corporate tax climate compelled the company to expand in Hamilton County instead of surrounding states. Sonny Beck says even though seed delivery costs may be a little higher from the Atlanta headquarters, Illinois and Ohio failed to match Indiana's offer. The company is planning to pump $60 million into what Beck calls a research and processing "mega-center" that could create 100 jobs by 2017. He tells Inside INdiana Business the investment can help boost agricultural innovation in the state.
Casey's Plans Indiana Distribution Center
Iowa-based Casey's General Stores Inc. has announced plans to open a distribution center in Terre Haute and create up to 185 jobs by 2019. The company says it will invest $30 million in the facility, which it hopes to open next year. Casey's operates nearly 1,800 convenience stores in 14 states.
IU Trustees Set to Vote on New Med School
The Indiana University Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote next week on the location of a planned medical school campus in the Evansville area. Four proposals to develop the Multi-Institutional Academic Health Science and Research Center are under consideration. Three of the proposals call for locations in Vanderburgh County and one would build in Warrick County.
Westfield Picks 'Grand Junction' Designer
The City of Westfield has selected an out-of-state group to lead design efforts for a long-awaited project being touted as "the new heart of our downtown." Pennsylvania-based Land Collective will work with the city and several contractors to develop the Grand Junction Park and Plaza.
Anderson Manufacturer Aiming to Grow
A recent overseas economic development mission appears to be paying off for a Madison County city. Home Design Products in Anderson is planning an $8 million expansion that could create 15 jobs. Mayor Kevin Smith points out the announcement follows a trade mission to Israel where he met with officials at Keter Group, which is the parent company of Home Design Products.
Scotty's Brewhouse Picks Fort Wayne Location
A new Scotty's Brewhouse location has been selected in Fort Wayne. It will replace a sports bar on the city's west side that is slated to close. Scotty's also recently opened in Mishawaka. The Allen County restaurant will be the ninth location once new Brownsburg and Carmel spots open.
Perry County Looks to Grow Entrepreneurship
The Perry County Development Corp. has announced multiple partnerships in hopes of sparking entrepreneurial activity. The agreements with the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center and other organizations will provide resources including workshops and mentoring services. The partnerships also include the Evansville Chapter of SCORE and the Perry County Chamber of Commerce.
Speech Tech Company Lands More Funding
A Lafayette-based technology company has completed a nearly $700,000 round of funding. SpeechVive Inc. says the support from Fort Wayne equity firm Ambassador Enterprises will help with the launch of a device to help people with Parkinson's disease communicate more effectively.
New Law Opens Crowdfunding Doors
The co-founder of Indianapolis-based Localstake says a new state law on crowdfunding will help entrepreneurs clear one of their biggest hurdles. Kevin Hitchen says the measure "enlarges the pool" of potential investors by eliminating a funding limit and allowing startups and small businesses to advertise they are raising capital. He says Localstake is already seeing a "very measurable" impact on the number and quality of companies signing up for its online crowdfunding platform. Hitchen says the law allows companies to "tap into their fanbase."
Defense Sector Attracting Attention
Two events this week shined a spotlight on Indiana's growing defense sector. The 17th annual Buy Indiana Expo, which was Tuesday in French Lick, focused on linking Hoosier companies with business opportunities at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. Wednesday, Crane's Advance Planning Briefings for Industry attracted hundreds of defense contractors from throughout the country to southern Indiana. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Radius Indiana Chief Executive Officer Becky Skillman said the events are important for the continued growth of Hoosier defense businesses, which have been facing challenges.
Marian Picks Developer For Student Apartments
Indianapolis-based Browning Investments Inc. has been selected to develop a $10 million housing complex for graduate students at Marian University. Construction on the 88-unit project is set to begin in June and is expected to be complete prior to the 2015 fall semester.
Vectren Shuffling Executives
Evansville-based Vectren Corp. has announced some leadership changes. The moves involve two executive vice presidents who also serve as chief financial officer of the utility and president of Vectren Utility Holdings Inc.
DePauw Announces Commencement Speaker
An actor who served as a White House official will deliver the commencement address at DePauw University. Kal Penn will be the featured speaker at the 175th annual event next month in Greencastle.
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