Fri, July 11 2014 17:01
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just released its 2012 Census of Agriculture. Every five years, the Department surveys agricultural producers across the country. In December of 2012, 3 million surveys were sent out to producers of all sizes, and the results are interesting for Indiana.
- Indiana had about 58.700 farms spread out over 4,720,400 acres, a 12% decline in the number of farms and a 5.2% decline in the number of acres since 1997.
- For every 10 acres in farmland, 8.5 acres were dedicated to crops, 0.7 acres to woodlands, and the remainder was in other land uses.
- The average Indiana farm was 251 acres, which has grown 7.7% since 1997
- There are fewer medium size farms (defined as 50-999 acres)
- The vast majority of Indiana farms are still family farms (87%)
- Indiana had about 88,000 people involved in farming (about 2.8% of U.S. total)
- The average age of Indiana's farmers is 54 years old, while the U.S. average runs about 56 years old
Starke County had 511 farms, with 379 of those falling in the 10-179 acres category. A total farm acreage of 133,459 acres was reported, with the average farm being 261 acres. The agricultural products raised had a market value of $69,766,000.
Thu, July 10 2014 17:11
Motorists who need to get around the construction on State Road 8 at County Road 300 East leading to the Knox Industrial Park can take Range Road south to 50 South and back west to 300 East. That’s the official detour for the project. The intersection will be closed for about a month in order to widen the road. After it reopens work will continue in that area through November.
The intersection reconstruction is one of two road improvement projects on 300 East. The other involves the area between the Lead Track and Culver Road in the industrial park. The road will be widened in that area, and curbs will be added. During work on the southbound lanes, the road will only be open to northbound traffic, and vice versa. The approved detour will use State Road 8, U.S. 35 and County Road 200 South, which comes out at Kem-Co just south of Knox to get around the project. That work is also scheduled to wrap up in November.
Wed, July 09 2014 20:18
Indiana was the only state in the U.S. to earn "A" grades in both manufacturing and logistics in a new report issued by Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research and Conexus Indiana. Only 4 other states earned "A" grades in one of these two sectors. Indiana in 2014 had the highest share of manufacturing employment per capita and highest manufacturing income share relative to total income of an state in the U.S. according to this study.
Indiana was the only state in the Midwest to receive an "A" grade in these two sectors. Indiana also received an "A" grade in both tax climate and global reach.
Wed, July 09 2014 18:01
A new law passed by the Indiana General Assembly this past session allows Indiana entrepreneurs to raise up to $2 million and Indiana investors to invest up to $5,000 per opportunity through online fundraising campaigns. Until the passage of this law, private Indiana companies could offer securities, or shares,only to accredited investors - those with a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding the value of their homes, or an annual income of more than $200,000.
Indiana has drafted a set of guidelines that would meet the Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines which would include registration with the Indiana Secretary of State's office, where a copy of its offering must also be filed. Only 4 other states have rules in place for equity crowdfunding - Georgia, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin, and only the latter two offer online equity crowdfunding.
For additional information regarding the new law, clink on the link below from the South Bend Tribune.
Mon, July 07 2014 17:53
Indiana Telecommunications Association (ITA) has named CenturyLink, Inc as its 2014 Company of the Year. ITA is a 116-year-old trade association representing telecom companies that provide services to customers throughout the state. The award was made on the basis of CenturyLink's investments and continuing cooperative work on behalf of the members of ITA.
CenturyLink is Indiana's third largest telecommunications company, providing services to 144,000 access lines. The company employs about 360 people and last year had an annual payroll of $20 million. Its network investment in Indiana is nearly $850 million, providing service in more than 100 communities and in 41 counties (including Starke County) across Indiana.
Headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more about the company, visit www.centurylink.com.
Mon, July 07 2014 17:03
Phend & Brown, Inc.
Phend & Brown, Inc., the contractor on both CR 300 projects, has issued an update on when those projects will begin and how they will affect traffic. On Monday, July 7, mobilization of equipment and the installation of traffic control signage will begin, and on Thursday, July 10, CR 300 will be closed just south of the intersection with SR 8 west, and dewatering equipment will be installed.
Check back regularly to this site for additional updates on both CR 300 projects. The construction trailer for both projects is located in the parking lot of SCILL at 1300 Kloeckner Drive.
Thu, July 03 2014 16:53
The United States Department of Labor announced this morning that the national unemployment rate fell from 6.3% in May to 6.1% in June, the lowest rate since September of 2008. The drop came on the heels of an additional 288,000 jobs created in June, which was the fifth month in a row that more than 200,000 jobs were created, the first time that has happened since the period of September, 1999 to January of 2000.
Wed, July 02 2014 18:30
The Town of North Judson in Starke County has adopted a Contractor Permit Ordinance which requires contractors or subcontractors doing business in or with the Town to obtain a permit and be properly insured. The new ordinance does not apply to homeowners who perform their own renovations, but does apply to anyone hired to build, remodel, or renovate a structure.The Contractor must show proof of public liability and property damage insurance of at least $1 million and have a certificate of insurance on file with the Town. Permits are not transferable and by granting a permit, the Town is not confirming the qualifications of the contractor.
Failure to obtain such permit may subject a contractor to a fine of $500 for a first offense and additional fines and legal actions for continuing violations. A full copy of this ordinance can be found by clicking on the link below.
North-Judson-Contractors-Permit-Ordinance.pdf (199.70 kb)
Wed, July 02 2014 18:13
Two Starke County school corporations were recently awarded part of more than $9 million through the Secured School Safety Grant Program, administered by the Indiana Office of Homeland Security. This program gives matching grants to school corporations that request funding to conduct a threat assessment, purchase equipment to restrict access to the school, or expedite the notification of first responders, or employ a school resource officer. The size of the maximum grant is determined by the size of the school corporation. Corporations of less than 1,000 students are eligible for up to $35,000, and for corporations greater than 1,000 students up to $50,000.
Oregon-Davis School Corporation received $32,000 to employ a school resource officer, while the Knox Community School Corporation received the sum of $30,752.60 for equipment.
Tue, July 01 2014 17:10
CNBC has just issued its annual report on the top states for business for 2014. That report scores all 50 states on 56 measures of competitiveness, developed using input from business groups, economic development experts, companies, and the states themselves. States receive points based on their rankings in each metric. Those metrics are then separated into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. The study thus claims that the states are ranked based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.
Indiana dropped one place from the 2013 report, finishing this year at 19th. For states that are contiguous to Indiana, only Ohio in 18th place finished higher, while Michigan was at 26th, Illinois at 27th, and Kentucky was 36th. Indiana scored highest in the rankings in the areas of infrastructure and cost of living (7th) and education (15th).
Since the report was first issued in 2007, Indiana has been ranked as low as 13th, and as high as 26th, with an average placement for the 8 years of the report of 18th place. That is far better than any of the contiguous states, with Ohio in 27th, Illinois in 30th, and Michigan and Kentucky in 36th place.