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Here's why the feds are suing Community Health with help from a whistleblower

Federal authorities have accused Community Health Network of engaging in a years-long scheme to recruit physicians and pay them huge salaries and bonuses in return for giving referrals to the Indianapolis-based health system, allowing it to improperly receive money from Medicare. The health network has denied the allegations, but the government's case is based at least in part on information brought to light by Thomas Fischer, who served as Community Health’s chief financial officer from...


Deciphering 5G and the new Indiana 5G Zone

Everybody in tech is talking about 5G—the newest generation of wireless technology. In the simplest terms, it means faster data service for smart phones and other devices. But experts say 5G is about so much more. So host Mason King talks with Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana, and Sean Hendrix, who is the director of emerging technologies and partnerships for Purdue Research Foundation, about why 5G matters and how it could be used in the manufacturing, agricultural and other...


Pete the Planner talks setting 2020 resolutions about money

Podcast host Mason King has a hard time when it comes to keeping his New Year's resolutions. And this year, his goal relates to his family's finances. So he turns to Peter Dunn—aka Pete the Planner—to find out how to set the right goals and then how to keep them. Dunn explains the different types of financial goals: consumption goals (think vacation or a new fridge), debt elimination (student loans, credit cards) and accumulation (retirement, college savings). And the keys to achieving...


The top central Indiana stories of 2019

Penske Corp. buys the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, trucking giant Celadon shuts down, Eli Lilly and Co. makes its biggest acquisition ever and Ambrose Property Group withdraws from plans to redevelop the former GM stamping plant site. Those are just a few of the big stories of 2019 that will impact central Indiana for years to come. Podcast host Mason King talks with IBJ Managing Editor Lesley Weidenbener and reporter Anthony Schoettle about these and other stories, including the renovation...


Rick Eichholtz talks about the closing of Ike & Jonesy's

When Rick Eichholtz and his wife, Linda Jones Eichholtz, opened Ike & Jonesy’s at 17 W. Jackson Place 35 years ago, downtown was a very different place. The Indianapolis Colts hadn't started playing yet, Circle Centre mall wasn't open and even Union Station was still under renovation. But Ike & Jonesy's found an audience quickly, in part by focusing on police, media, firefighters and a surprise group—lawmakers and lobbyists, who showed up every January when the legislative session...


The demise of a trucking giant

Celadon Group Inc. on Dec. 9 filed for bankruptcy and abruptly shut down, eliminating nearly 4,000 jobs and bringing to a bitter close one of central Indiana’s great entrepreneurial success stories. The trucking company launched with a single truck in 1985 and grew into the largest provider of international truckload services in North America, with more than 150,000 annual border crossings between the United States, Canada and Mexico. But in the years after its co-founder and longtime...


Butler prez talks university's finances, future as challenges loom

Experts say smaller, private colleges and universities could be in trouble in the coming years as demographic trends mean there will be fewer students to fill an increasing number of spots at schools. Butler University James Danko tells podcast host Mason King that the school is taking those concerns seriously and is rethinking who it's serving, how it's distinguishing its offerings and the way it's preparing to innovate as technology changes education. The school is in a good financial...


Pat Sullivan makes the business case for his store's North Pole train

Five years ago, the head of locally owned Sullivan Hardware & Garden decided to create a Christmas experience for families at his location at East 71st Street and Keystone Avenue. Drawing on his memories of the Santa Express at the former L.S. Ayres department store downtown, Pat Sullivan bought a mini-train, created a North Pole and started selling tickets to families. It was an almost instant hit. And last year, about 35,000 parents and kids rode the train and visited with...


How an Indy group will use $11.6 million to help black students achieve

The Indianapolis-based Center for Leadership Development has spent more than 40 years helping African American students excel in education and their lives—and it has received support from the Lilly Endowment from the beginning. But now, the endowment has made what officials are calling a "transformational" $11.6 million investment in the organization, which will help it expand the number of students it serves, put satellite locations in particularly needy neighborhoods, take programs...


The new owner of WISH is investing $3 million. He explains why.

Indianapolis native DuJaun McCoy is back home with a big project. In April, he purchased WISH-TV Channel 8 and sister station WNDY-TV Channel 23 for $42.5 million, becoming the only black owner of a TV station in a Top 50 market. Now, he's investing $3 million in equipment and a new vehicle fleet to help his team compete. And he's adding more than 20 people to the staff—including more salespeople and journalists, with an emphasis on multicultural and medical reporting. McCoy talks with...


Roger Penske wants to create an 'entertainment capital' in Speedway. What does that mean?

When Roger Penske and his Penske Corp. acquire Hulman & Co., they're getting more than just the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and adjacent Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. In fact, Penske is buying some 950 acres in Speedway, about 37% of the land in the town. And Penske wants to turn that land and the community into an "entertainment capital." As an example, he points to the Kansas Speedway, where restaurants, an outdoor mall, major league soccer stadium, minor league baseball stadium,...


Pete the Planner on the five deadly sins of money management

Managing money should be relatively easy, right? It's just math. Of course, we all know it's actually math plus a bunch of emotions and even baggage. Fear, envy, greed all play into our financial decisions—and sometimes our lack of action. This week, Peter "Pete the Planner" Dunn and host Mason King talk about the five deadly sins of money management, how to spot them and how to manage them. And both admit to some of their own foibles. Plus, Dunn talks about the biggest problem he sees...


Have you seen this guy painting on the Circle? That's no accident.

If you've spent any time on the Circle this summer, you've probably seen Justin Vining painting the Soldiers & Sailors Monument or the surrounding buildings or even the downtown streets and people. It's part of an effort the attorney-turned-artist is making to raise his profile as he prepares to move out of the popular Harrison Center for the Arts and into his own studio and gallery space in a building he and his brother, an attorney, have purchased. The marketing tactic has worked. People...


The latest on Indy's downtown restaurant scene: What's coming, what's going

Some of downtown Indy's most prominent restaurant locations are empty with the recent closings of Palomino, Hard Rock Cafe, Scotty's and Granite City. But brokers tell IBJ that the restaurant scene is healthy and the closings have more to do with problems at those individual chains. In fact, they say those spots should fill up fairly quickly. In this week's podcast, IBJ real estate reporter Mickey Shuey describes the downtown restaurant scene, with details about what's closing, what's...


Is it time to abandon the 'amateur' model for college sports?

California Gov. Gavin Newsome two weeks ago signed a bill into law that allows college athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness. And the law expressly prohibits the Indianapolis-based NCAA, its member conferences and schools from barring players from doing so. That's a huge change for college sports, but it didn't come out of the blue. Talk about how to compensate athletes—some of whom play a crucial role in driving ticket sales and alumni donations—has been...


The story behind one of Brown County's newest attractions—Hard Truth Hills

When Jeff McCabe and his partners first decided to go into business together, the goal was pretty simple: Nashville, Indiana, needed a brewery and they might as well be the ones to open it. So was born Big Woods, the first in a series of related companies that also includes Quaff ON! Brewing Co. and Hard Truth Distilling Co. Big Woods now has restaurants open or getting ready to open in Nashville, Bloomington, Speedway, Franklin, Noblesville and Westfield, while Quaff ON! brews some 10,000...


This vice principal's 'barber shop' helps turn boys into men

Fred Yeakey learned early in his teaching career that one way to have in-depth conversations with his students was to cut their hair. Something about the give-and-take that occurs during that interaction allowed kids to open up in ways he hadn't seen before. And so was born Mr. Yeakey's barber shop—a program the educator has taken with him as he's changed schools. Today, at Providence Cristo Rey High School, where Yeakey is vice principal of culture and mission, a handful of students...


This AI whiz chose Indy over Silicon Valley. He explains why.

Luke Zhang had offers from the biggest tech firms in the country when he graduated with three degrees—in computer science, software engineering and mathematics—from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. But Zhang chose to take a job instead with DemandJump in Indianapolis, a move he attributes to the people he met during a TechPoint internship program and the desire to be in a place where he could make a difference. Zhang, who came to the U.S. from China as a teenager, talks with podcast...


How a former cop came to lead the area's top-selling real estate team

Dennis Nottingham was on a police run when he met a house flipper who piqued his interest in real estate. Not long after, Nottingham took some classes and got his real estate license. And for awhile, he sold houses on the side, while working the night shift for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. But after his daughter was born, Nottingham knew something had to give. So he moved into real estate full time, with a focus on selling foreclosures and homes in need of major...


How to prepare for the next recession

History tells us that a recession is all but inevitable. But just when the next slowdown will strike is a mystery. So is there something you should do now to prepare? IBJ columnist Peter Dunn—aka Pete the Planner—says yes. But unless you're within 10 years of retirement, resist making big changes to your investments. Pete talks to host Mason King about how to look at your budget and evaluate your readiness for a recession, and he offers advice about the kinds of changes that can help....