ï The Indiana Department of Transportation made recommendations for an interstate route between Indianapolis and Evansville in the form of an environmental impact statement. Neither environmentalists nor Terre Haute boosters were pleased. This was because one proposed route, running on I-70 from Indy to Terre Haute, and then on U.S. 41 south to Evansville, was euphemistically labeled "nonpreferred." State officials hope that federal officials will decide on a final route by early next year. The public has until Nov. 7 to comment on this study. You can download it at www.i69indyevn.org. Copies were also sent to public libraries in the 26 counties the highway might affect. A public hearing will be held Aug. 20 at Bloomington High School North. ï Twelve and a half million U.S. workers, or about 9.2 percent of this country"s workforce, come under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics" category for temp workers: "alternative employment arrangements." The government expects temporary staffing companies to grow 49 percent by 2010.
ï Indiana led the nation last year in per capita filings for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The state"s Northern District was first among U.S. court districts with 6.3 of every 1,000 people filing for Chapter 7. The Southern District was second at 6.2. The national median was 3.8.
ï Mayor Bart Peterson"s 2003 budget proposal includes money for 42 new police officers and a $375,000 increase in arts funding. Under the heading "You Can"t Always Get What You Want - But Sometimes You Get What You Need" is the mayor"s recommendation to raise the minimum wage for city workers to $9 per hour, which supporters of living wage legislation view as a step in the right direction.
ï It"s the best State Fair in the state Ö According to IU"s Kelley School of Business, the 2001 Indiana State Fair had a total economic impact on Indianapolis of $19.5 million. Of that, $11.2 million was spent inside the fairgrounds, and 42 percent, or $8.3 million, was spent elsewhere in the city - on lodging, food and drink, gasoline and shopping.
ï Indiana, by the way, is the nation"s fourth biggest corn producer and we"re third in soybeans. It"s always something: You might recall that all our spring rain was making it tough for farmers to plant their seeds in time; now the problem is dry weather. The National Weather Service says we"ve gotten 1.2 inches more precipitation than normal since Jan. 1. Unfortunately, we"ve also gotten 4.7 inches since June 1 - and that"s 3.7 inches below normal.
ï In Indiana, Medicaid is a $4.5 billion state-federal program providing health care to about 750,000 low-income citizens. Until it was forced by the courts to change its ways in 2001, the state would only grant benefits to people with permanent disabilities. The state claimed that to do otherwise would be a budget-buster, costing it as much as $850 million a year. Then the Indiana Supreme Court stepped in, ruling the state should expand coverage to include disabilities expected to last at least four years if left untreated. Guess what? Instead of the expected budget-buster, the cost of providing people with the services they need has been $130 million, $720 million less than projected.