Subaru is planning another major investment at its Lafayette plant. At an unveiling ceremony for the new Subaru Ascent, Subaru of Indiana Automotive announced the automaker will invest more than $140 million into production of the SUV and plans to create up to 200 jobs. The company, which has more than 5,600 associates in Lafayette, says the move will help meet growing demand for mid-level vehicles in North America. The announcement comes two years after a previous expansion involving more than 1,000 new jobs. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, SIA Executive Vice President Tom Easterday discusses the local and statewide impact of the growth.

Hoosiers remembering Andre Lacy: Influential leaders from throughout the state are reacting to the loss of a highly-regarded name in the Indiana and Indianapolis business and philanthropic communities. Andre Lacy was board chair of LDI Ltd. LLC and a senior adviser to Butler University's School of Business, which bears his name. Terre Haute-based Hulman and Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles says "it would be difficult to exaggerate his transformative impact on our city and state." Lacy died Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash in southern Africa. He was 78.

Company breaks ground on Anderson warehouse: A subsidiary of Fort Wayne-based Tippmann Group has broken ground on a $30 million cold storage warehouse facility in Anderson. Interstate Warehousing Inc. says the 250,000-square-foot facility will create about 60 jobs in the Madison County city.

Ortho manufacturer expanding in Wabash County: North Manchester-based Precision Medical Technologies plans to launch an operation to produce disposable surgical instruments in Wabash County. The orthopedic technology contract manufacturer says it will invest nearly $5 million and add up to 60 jobs over four years. Precision Medical Technologies has existing facilities in Warsaw and Rome City.

Belskus: MLS, stadium push will continue: Indy Eleven President Jeff Belskus says he's not surprised by the finalists selected to vie for two new Major League Soccer franchises and adds the organization will continue to put forth its best effort to compete for the next two openings. Belskus says the process includes a new stadium. "We continue to talk to city and state leaders and officials about how we can develop a plan here that works for everybody, so those are ongoing conversations." The MLS has announced Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento as finalists for two future teams, while Indianapolis and seven other cities will compete for two other expansion franchises down the road. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Belskus says "the stadium piece" of any bid will be key.

Council clears way For North River acquisition: The Fort Wayne City Council has agreed to buy a 29-acre property that was once the site of a metal recycling facility. The deal for the former OmniSource Corp. property, known as North River, has received support from Mayor Tom Henry and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., who say it will create opportunities for private investment.

Economic improvement district OKed in Evansville: The Evansville City Council has approved a downtown Economic Improvement District. The Southwest Indiana Chamber's Downtown Alliance says the EID is the fifth in the state. A campaign to gather support and enough signatures to launch one in downtown Indianapolis is underway.

Cook Group completes acquisition of former GE Plant: Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc. has completed the purchase of the former GE refrigeration plant site on the city’s west side. The company says the property will help accommodate its growth and lead to 500 new jobs in the Monroe County city over the next 10 years.

Thor hits record profit: Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO) is reporting record fiscal first quarter net income of $128 million, up from $78.7 million during the same period last year. Chief Executive Officer Bob Martin says the recreational vehicle manufacturer's results are due to industry demand, which "remains exceedingly strong."

New health commissioner outlines priorities: Opioid addiction, infant mortality and the state's overall poor health are among priorities for the new Indiana State Health Commissioner. Kristina Box, who spent more than 30 years as an OB-GYN at Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, recently took over for Dr. Jerome Adams, the new U.S. Surgeon General. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Box said after years of personally going on mission trips abroad, she decided to make Indiana her new mission field. Box says the state's war on opioid addiction needs to be broad-based and start at an early age.

Three to return as Ball State trustees: Gov. Eric Holcomb has reappointed three members of the Ball State University Board of Trustees for four-year terms. Board Chair Rick Hall says Renae Conley, Jean Ann Harcourt and Mike McDaniel have already made "strong contributions."

Indiana entries in NASA competition: Indiana companies are in the mix for a NASA initiative designed to address key issues on Earth and potentially help clear technological hurdles in space. Lafayette-based Junior Tube and LOOK, which develop apps that search for and organize age-appropriate online teaching and learning videos, and Green Fortress Engineering, a Greensburg-based hydrogen storage company, are among 25 semifinalists for this year's NASA's iTech competition. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Junior Tube and LOOK founder and Chief Executive Officer Nelu Lazar says being picked as a semifinalist is a positive step for his startups.

Dems tap Goodin as House Minority Leader: Indiana House Democrats have selected Terry Goodin (D-66) to succeed Scott Pelath (D-9) as minority leader. Goodin, who was first elected in 2000, says he expects a "lively debate" among Democrats when it comes to putting together priorities for the upcoming legislative session. He says he will also remain in his current position as superintendent of Crothersville Community Schools.

New tenant for former Michiana Event Center: Michigan-based Morgan Olson LLC has announced plans to expand operations in northeast Indiana. The walk-in van manufacturer will invest $2 million to set up shop in the former Michiana Event Center facility in Howe.

Giving Tuesday spans the generations: The director of The Fund Raising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis says, if the upward trend continues, Giving Tuesday could net charities and nonprofits throughout the nation $200 million. Bill Stanczykiewicz calls the campaign, which started six years ago, "a significant net positive to charitable giving" and engages new donors worldwide at a time of year when philanthropic giving is traditionally high. Stanczykiewicz says his school's research shows charitable giving tends to increase as donors reach their 40s and 50s, but Giving Tuesday has become a way to draw in younger people with campaigns often conducted online.

Logistics company plans Boone County expansion: New Jersey-based United States Cold Storage is planning to invest nearly $30 million to expand its Lebanon operations. The Lebanon City Council has approved incentives for the expansion, which will add about 30 jobs and 100,000 square feet to the company's facility in the Lebanon Business Park.

Rodriguez on UN Panel: 'It's a big deal': Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says his appearance on a panel discussion this in Montreal "for all practical purposes" reached the entire world. The Seminar on Green Airports is a United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization event that drew industry leaders from countries big and small. The event included executives from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and San Francisco International Airport. ICAO is charged with building consensus among nearly 200 member states and industry groups on standards, recommended practices and policies for the sector globally. Rodriguez tells Inside INdiana Business his inclusion in the panel "says a lot."

Fever's Krauskopf to focus on Esports team: As Pacers Sports & Entertainment gears up for the inaugural season of the NBA2K esports league, the organization is making executive moves. Chief Operating Officer Rick Fuson says Indiana Fever President and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf has stepped down as GM to broaden her focus on the esports business. Fever Head Coach Pokey Chatman will become general manager and Krauskopf will remain as president of the team, overseeing basketball and business operations. In an interview last month on Inside INdiana Business Television, Krauskopf discussed the global reach of esports.

Lechleiter: Agbioscience 'parts and pieces' in place: Former Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter says Indiana has all the tools it needs to be an agbiosciences leader, including heritage, strength in education, life sciences and logistics and an invested state government. Lechleiter was part of a panel on "crossing sector lines" at today's Agbiosciences Innovation Summit in Indianapolis. He says the key is getting all of those players to part with their "narrow self interests" and share ideas and resources. Lechleiter says collaboration is key to growing the industry.

Expedient completes Carmel data center expansion: Pittsburgh-based Expedient has completed a $4.5 million expansion of its data center in Carmel. The tech company says the project included an additional 3,500 square feet of computer room space and a variety of equipment upgrades.

Indiana lands major agritourism convention: Central Indiana will host what tourism officials call the nation's foremost agritourism convention in 2019. The North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Inc. convention will take place in Noblesville. Indiana Office of Tourism Development Executive Director Mark Newman says, for a state that prides itself on agricultural appeal, hosting the event is in Indiana's wheelhouse. Newman says the state is full of agritourism assets that could benefit from the convention.

Indiana CDC lending at near-record numbers: Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation says its small business lending reached $28 million in fiscal year 2017, one of the highest totals in its 34-year history. Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says the 39 companies the CDC worked with throughout the state span the manufacturing, service and retail industries. The company says the projects involved about $72 million in total investment and created or saved around 440 jobs. Wojtowicz says she is "very bullish" about the future as well.

Kinetrex proposing $20M LNG plant investment: Indianapolis-based Kinetrex Energy is planning to invest $20 million into a new plant to turn methane gas captured at landfills and by anaerobic digesters into liquefied natural gas. The former Citizens Energy Group subsidiary has not yet detailed where in central Indiana the plant will be or how many jobs it could create, but says the facility could be operational in 2019.

Tech company details Fishers growth plans: Fishers-based Flexware Innovation Inc. has announced plans to expand its Hamilton County operations. The tech company says it will invest nearly $8 million to renovate and equip its current facility and create around 70 jobs by 2021.

IU trustees approve IUPUI school merger: The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the merger of the IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and School of Health and Rehabilitation Services. The university says the combined entity, to be known as the School of Health & Human Services will strengthen IUPUI's role in "supporting the health and well-being of Hoosiers across the state and beyond."

Kettler tapped to lead ISDA: Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch has appointed Bruce Kettler director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Kettler, who most recently served as director of public relations for Hamilton County-based Beck's Hybrids, will begin his new role January 8.

Middlebury bus manufacturer acquired: A subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. in Canada has acquired a Middlebury-based bus manufacturer. Transit Holdings Inc. says the $95 million deal for ARBOC Specialty Vehicles LLC reflects the growth and diversification strategy of its parent company.

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