State lands multiple German jobs commitment
Three German companies this week announced Indiana expansion plans. Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions Inc. intends to spend $4.5 million to upgrade a facility and add more than 50 workers. Industrial hose manufacturer NORRES says its first North American operation will be located in South Bend. The company plans to create more than 30 jobs and DOT GmbH is planning to launch DOT America Inc. in Columbia City, which could mean up to 20 new jobs. Gov. Mike Pence has been leading an economic development mission in the European nation since last weekend.
Navy announces major construction at Crane
Two Indiana-based companies are part of a potential $50 million U.S. Department of Defense contract involving construction projects at Naval Support Activity Crane. The deal includes design, repair and demolition work and is expected to be complete by 2019. Bargersville-based Custom Mechanical Systems Corp. and Krempp Construction Inc. in Jasper are among five winning bidders.
I-69 expansion advancing
The state has finalized the contract to improve a 21-mile stretch of existing road that will become part of Interstate 69. I-69 Development Partners is expected to have the project between Bloomington and Martinsville complete in 2016.
Lawsuit aims to halt Illiana Expressway
An Illinois-based environmental group is taking legal action to put an end to the proposed Illiana Expressway. The Environmental Law & Policy Center lawsuit claims the Illinois Department of Transportation does not have authority to continue developing the $1.3 billion toll road that would connect Interstate-65 in Northwest Indiana to Interstate-55 south of Chicago.
Hamilton County company expanding
A Carmel-based drink mix producer is planning a more than $21 million expansion that could create up to 160 jobs. Heartland Food Products Group plans to add new lines at an Indianapolis facility to meet "rampant" demand.
Expansion paying off in French Lick
The director of sales at the French Lick Resort says a $15 million event center expansion is on track to open Jan. 1 and is already paying dividends. Adina Cloud says conventions booked in January, March and April of next year and others scheduled through 2020 are a direct result of the new space. Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc., which is leading the development efforts and held a topping out ceremony today, believes up to a dozen conventions would be lost each year without the expansion. Cloud says surrounding communities will also benefit.
Developer planning Columbus shell building
A new shell building is in the works at Woodside Northwest Industrial Park in Columbus. Bartholomew County-based Force Holdings LLC is seeking tax abatement on the proposed $2 million project, which could get underway this summer.
Indiana-made Hovercraft used in rescue efforts
A Terre Haute company says two of its hovercraft were used in rescue and recovery efforts after last month's mudslide in Washington state. Neoteric Hovercraft says responders used the vehicles to travel through areas covered in water and debris.
Ivy Tech consolidation continues
Ivy Tech Community College is continuing its efforts to streamline regional operations. The school has announced the combination of the Wabash Valley region with the Southwest region.
Mayor sounds off on bridge delay
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore is expressing frustration with the Indiana Department of Transportation. The Indiana side of the Big Four Bridge is not expected to open to foot traffic by the end of the month as previously planned. Moore says city leaders were assured by INDOT temporary lighting would be installed and the bridge would be open by April 30. INDOT says liability concerns are preventing the bridge from opening until sufficient lighting is installed.
INDYCAR continues to tweak qualifying
INDYCAR has announced further changes to the qualification format for the Indianapolis 500. The updated schedule includes an extra day of practice May 19.
Incubator targets food entrepreneurs
Ivy Tech Community College is taking steps to support aspiring food entrepreneurs. The school's culinary arts program has created an incubator for students who want to make it in the food business. Ivy Tech is also planning a student artisan marketplace. Program Coordinator Thom England says the entrepreneur initiative is filling a growing need.
Winery sees opportunity for growth
The co-owner of Elizabeth-based Best Vineyards believes the state's industry has "plenty of room to grow." Wilbert Best says the economic recovery and attractions like the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail give wine businesses increased exposure and a larger customer base. He believes Indiana lawmakers could increase the industry's momentum by giving wineries enhanced distribution rights, making it easier for them to get their products into restaurants. Best says giving wineries distribution rights would boost his bottom line.
Interactive Intelligence to acquire software company
Indianapolis-based Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. is acquiring a North Carolina software company specializing in cloud-based social communications. The deal for OrgSpan Inc. is expected to close in the next month. Interactive Intelligence Founder and Chief Executive Officer Don Brown is the majority owner of OrgSpan.
Visit Indy: Hotel projects 'key' to growth
Hotel investments are continuing to help boost economic development prospects in the state's largest city. The results of two major renovations in downtown Indianapolis have been unveiled over the last few days. Visit Indy says such projects are essential to keeping the city competitive for major conventions like this month's National Rifle Association annual meetings. They could also help the city's 2018 Super Bowl bid, which will be presented to National Football League owners next month. Visit Indy Vice President of Marketing and Communications Chris Gahl says more hotel projects are "on the drawing board."
Mobile tech company lands funding
A central Indiana technology startup continues to gain momentum. Gusto LLC has secured a $1.3 million round of funding led by Elevate Ventures. The company has released an app designed to let users organize emails, attachments and pictures. Founder Shawn Schwegman says Gusto plans to create up to 150 jobs by 2018.
Wabash County Hospital exploring Parkview affiliation
The board of trustees at Wabash County Hospital is taking steps to form an affiliation agreement with Fort Wayne-based Parkview Health. The Wabash hospital has agreed to sign a letter of intent and the partnership structure is expected to be outlined in the "coming months."
Anthem, doctors reach new payment agreements
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it has new payment agreements with hundreds of Indiana physicians. The insurance company says the effort focuses on preventative care in hopes of cutting medical costs. Anthem says the agreement involves 1,400 physicians from 38 primary care practices, that provide services to more than 325,000 members.
Water park to open in Bloomington
A new water park is set to be unveiled next month at a camp ground in Bloomington. Lake Monroe Jellystone Park says it has invested $750,000 to launch the Water Zone.
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