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What will The Mind Trust's big infusion of cash mean for Indy schools?

Not-for-profit education reform group The Mind Trust has received three grants totaling $24.4 million that it will use to continue opening new schools in Indianapolis and supporting those already in existence. The Mind Trust CEO Brandon Brown sat down with host Mason King to explain the group's mission, its cooperation with Indianapolis Public Schools and how the new funding will help it ramp up its work. They get down to the basics, defining terms like charters and innovation schools. But...


Will Indiana lawmakers bet big on sports gambling?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states can authorize wagering on sports games, something that's long taken place legally in Las Vegas and illegally every place else. Now, Indiana has the chance to legalize sports betting here — with regulations and, of course, taxes. IBJ reporter Lindsey Erdody talks with IBJ Podcast host Mason King about the legislation that will be considered in the Indiana House and Senate this year, including the many details that could complicate...


Two Indy execs talk losing weight — and the harder part, keeping it off

We're just about a week from starting a new year and many of us are likely to make losing weight a New Year's resolution. So IBJ asked two Indianapolis business executives to tell their stories not only of losing weight but also keeping it off. Hyde Park Ventures Principal Tim Kopp, the former CMO of ExactTarget, and David Shank, CEO of Shank Public Relations Counselors, talk about the warnings from their doctors that led them to start eating healthier and exercising. And they offer some...


Salesforce's Bob Stutz is Indy's most important tech exec you don't know

Bob Stutz is a legend in the software industry but he remains somewhat of a mystery among folks in Indianapolis, where he's CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Analysts say the Salesforce division is thriving under Stutz, 62, who took the helm in July 2016. IBJ tech reporter Anthony Schoettle interviewed Stutz and found him surprisingly relaxed and candid about his education and career, his life in Indianapolis and about what the city should do to help the tech industry thrive. On this...


Indy's Pacers Bikeshare program is undergoing its first expansion—and it's a big one

Indiana Pacers Bikeshare will spend $1.2 million — most of the money from a federal grant — to nearly double the number of stations and expand the program's footprint as far north as Broad Ripple and south as Garfield Park. Kären Haley, executive director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which oversees the bikeshare program, talks with guest host Anthony Schoettle about the timeline for the expansion and why it was important to locate stations outside of downtown. And she explains why...


Why the Indy CIB will ask the Legislature for millions of dollars

The quasi-governmental group that owns the Indiana Convention Center and Indy's major sports facilities will ask the Legislature for at least $8 million in additional funding annually as it tries to plan for its future needs. Already, the Capital Improvement Board has plans for a $120 million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, a project that includes two private, convention-style hotels at Pan Am Plaza. But the CIB will also be looking for the long-term funding it will need to...


Rethinking downtown Indy's interstate highway system

A coalition of downtown businesses, homeowners and organizations is advocating a two-level highway system for the north, east and south legs of interstates 65 and 70—the so-called inner loop in downtown Indianapolis. The proposal from Rethink 65/70 comes as state transportation officials move forward with a planned reconstruction of the north-split interchange — a project Rethink leaders hope can be done with their below-grade highway plan in mind. IBJ Podcast host Mason King talks with...


What do the 2018 election results mean for 2019 and 2020?

While Democrats had a strong year elsewhere, they continued to largely falter in Indiana, most notably losing a U.S. Senate seat and leaving them without a single statewide office. Host Mason King talks with IBJ reporters Lindsey Erdody and Hayleigh Colombo as well as Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Politics in Fort Wayne, about what the 2018 elections mean for the next two election cycles — city elections in 2019 and the governor's race in 2020. Get the latest scoop on...


Anti-semitism, hate crimes and Indiana, a conversation with Denny & Sandy Sasso

Just a week after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 congregants dead, IBJ Podcast host Mason King sat down with Dennis Sasso, the senior rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, and his wife, Sandy, the director of the Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary. The couple talk about how they learned about the tragedy, their connection to the Tree of Life Synagogue where it took place, and how they spoke to...


Detailing the Pan Am Plaza hotel and convention project

Indianapolis officials are planning a fifth expansion of the Indiana Convention Center plus two attached, privately-financed hotels at Pan Am Plaza, an effort to maintain and expand the city's valuable convention and tourism business. The city plans to spend about $120 million to build a 50,000-square-foot ballroom and other meeting space, which would be connected by walkway to the convention center. Kite Realty Group Trust is to develop the two hotels — one with 800 rooms and the other...


Breaking down Indiana's Senate race

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican challenger Mike Braun are locked in one of the nation's most-watched Senate races. The winner could determine control of the U.S. Senate. Already, some $61 million has been spent by the campaigns, political parties and independent organizations trying to sway Hoosier voters, who go to the polls Nov. 6. Polls show the race is a tossup. Host Mason King talks to IBJ political reporter Lindsey Erdody about the race, her experience on the...


Developing a downtown neighborhood from scratch

Just west of the White River and south of the Indianapolis Zoo is the site of the former GM stamping plant — 103 acres of mostly concrete that's been waiting for development for years. Now, Ambrose Property Group is unveiling more details about its plans for the site, including the project's name. Still, the firm's president, Aasif Bade, is mum about whether the site is among those across the country that Amazon is considering for its planned HQ2, a $5 billion second quarters that promises...


Why is a philosopher running a plumbing company?

Jack Hope launched his plumbing company to help him pay for his master's degree in philosophy. But Hope Plumbing was so lucrative that by the time he graduated, Jack was making as much as might as a tenured college professor. So he stuck with plumbing. Today, that small startup has grown into a company with more than 40 employees and revenue projected to top $6 million this year. But that doesn't mean Jack has left philosphy behind. Host Mason King asks him just how philosphy plays into...


IBJ Podcast: How an IU student turned her beekeeping hobby into a star startup

Ellie Symes, a rising star in the Indiana's tech ecosystem, leads The Bee Corp., a data-analytics firm that helps bee keepers and growers optimize the pollination of their orchards and fields. Symes, who started the company while a student at Indiana University, appeared on stage at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis and the company was part of the event's startup showcase. She talks with podcast host Mason King about being a young entrepreneur, taking risks and pivoting when you...


IBJ Podcast: Can Indy support its downtown hotel boom?

Indianapolis has about 2,800 new hotel rooms slated to come online downtown in the next five years. Some of those hotels — such as the 316-room Hyatt Place/Hyatt House project across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse — are under construction and nearing completion. Others — such as a long-discussed 800- to 1,000-room convention hotel — are only in the planning stages. If all are completed, those projects will add to the roughly 7,500 rooms already downtown. Can Indy support all that growth?...


IBJ Podcast: The experts behind Indiana's wine resurgence

Just two decades ago, Indiana had no grape and wine industry worth talking about. But today, more than 100 wineries dot Indiana. The annual harvest (and the 2.4 million gallons of wine it makes) generates an economic impact of $600 million, sustains 4,000 full-time jobs, and pays $37 million in state and local taxes and $38 million in federal taxes. The growth is thanks in part to the Purdue Wine Grape Team, a group funded by a 5-cent excise tax on every gallon of wine sold in Indiana....


IBJ Podcast: Five years in the works, The Idle micropark offers grand vista between two interstates

Where tens of thousands of motorists every day saw just another scrubby little hill along an interstate, Tom Battista saw a park. A place for reflection or respectful debate, to the soundtrack of hundreds of wheels on pavement. Maybe more importantly, a place that could connect residents of foundational Indianapolis neighborhoods separated 50 years earlier by interstate construction. Indianapolis residents probably know Battista best as co-founder of Bluebeard in Fletcher Place, one of the...


IBJ Podcast: Conor Daly, Lilly Diabetes and sponsorship controversy

Eli Lilly and Co. pulled its Lilly Diabetes brand name off a race car driven by Conor Daly after his father — Derek Daly — was fired from his job as a WISH-TV Channel 8 racing analyst for a racial slur he uttered 35 years ago. The move raised questions about why the Conor Daly should be punished for something his father said before he was even born. And even WISH-TV's move came under some scrutiny, after Derek Daly said he used the n-word in an interview when he was new to the United...


IBJ Podcast: What will it take to turn the Brickyard 400 around?

NASCAR's Brickyard 400 drew a crowd of 275,000 people when it debuted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994. And it came at a great time, as then-Speedway President Tony George created the Indy Racing League, which depressed Indy 500 interest for years. But fast forward 25 years and the Brickyard 400 is facing its own issues. Last year, only about 70,000 people attended the race — although it did turn a profit. Host Mason King interviews IMS President Doug Boles about the track's...


IBJ Podcast: Why business execs say the state needs a hate-crime law

Central Indiana business leaders are pushing lawmakers to pass a hate-crime law, joining 45 states that already have one in place. They say without it, Indiana is an unappealing place for workers, especially younger workers who want their employers involved in social and community issues. Host Mason King talks with Ann Murtlow, CEO of United Way of Central Indiana, and Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications, about why they signed a letter of support for a hate-crime law. And Mason role...