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BusINess » Bowdeya Tweh

Posts Tagged ‘Bowdeya Tweh’

Surging land prices have local analysts, farmers worried bubble could burst

Bobby Hayden, left, and Tom Vandercar walk to the grain bins to unload corn into a trailer for market while getting ready for the spring season at the Hayden family farm in Hebron. (Photograph by Gregg Gearhart | The Times)

Bobby Hayden, left, and Tom Vandercar walk to the grain bins to unload corn into a trailer for market while getting ready for the spring season at the Hayden family farm in Hebron. (Photograph by Gregg Gearhart | The Times)

Hoosier homeowners still are feeling the sting of the recession as property values are sticking in the doldrums after hitting peaks in recent years.

But after taking a slight dip during the recession, agricultural land values are continuing to rise and have doubled their average from a decade ago.

Industry observers are carefully analyzing whether a bubble burst is possible with farmland values akin to what brought the real estate market to its knees, triggering the global financial meltdown.

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Fixing an ailing business culture has helped Youngstown

Various awards for Turning Technologies sit on display at its downtown office in Youngstown, Ohio. Turning Technologies produces software and hand-held devices used in school classrooms and business boardrooms in testing or audience engagement. Many business leaders mention the company among the city's gems. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times)

Various awards for Turning Technologies sit on display at its downtown office in Youngstown, Ohio. Turning Technologies produces software and hand-held devices used in school classrooms and business boardrooms in testing or audience engagement. Many business leaders mention the company among the city's gems. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio | Convincing people this city is open for business has been a battle during the last several decades.

The economic effect of the decline in manufacturing jobs since the 1970s has rolled through the area, accelerating a decline in industry-dependent businesses and those relying on workers’ incomes.

Investing in declining urban areas can be a tough sell, despite a glut of available real estate and a labor pool clamoring for opportunities.

But in the last few years, the city and region have been able to secure major job commitments from a steel company, a call center operator, a software developer and other employers.
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Unions working to capture attention, support of working families

Gary city worker Antoine Brown, 38, Brown poses for a portrait on his recycling route. The Teamsters Local 142 member says he and other union members are fighting for survival. Attempts to weaken labor unions have roiled Democrats in Indianapolis and Madison, Wis., leading them to flee to Illinois rather than vote on the measures. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times)

Gary city worker Antoine Brown, 38, Brown poses for a portrait on his recycling route. The Teamsters Local 142 member says he and other union members are fighting for survival. Attempts to weaken labor unions have roiled Democrats in Indianapolis and Madison, Wis., leading them to flee to Illinois rather than vote on the measures. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times)

City of Gary employee Antoine Brown worries about the American Dream becoming unattainable for many families.

Brown said he and other workers struggle to avoid thinking about not receiving a pay raise in five years and how budget cuts could further reduce salaries and personnel.

But Brown is one of the lucky ones. He’s still employed.

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Region business leaders say jobs still missing jolt from recovery

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Northwest Indiana business executives are seeing the signs of a sustained—yet slow—economic recovery in the region this year.

But the 22-member Times Board of Economists is split on how quickly challenges such as elevated unemployment will be resolved to provide a boost for sectors such as manufacturing, entertainment and real estate.
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NWI-based banks show positive 4Q earnings

Centier Bank, Citizens Bank and Horizon Bank all reported improved fourth-quarter earnings compared to the same period in 2010.

Bank executives said continued economic improvement could sustain progress made since the end of the recession.

Centier Bank

Lowering its loss on securities sales, Centier Bank turned a fourth-quarter profit of $10.2 million.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, the Merrillville-based family-owned bank turned its highest profit level in 2010, compared to a $26.6 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2009.
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Times advertising campaign taken company-wide

A marketing and advertising platform developed at the Times Media Co. last year is being utilized at other newspaper properties owned by its parent, Lee Enterprises Inc.

Kathryn Hepko, online sales manager at the Times Media Co., said “Get It” marketplace was launched in May as a response to growing digital marketing demands of advertisers. She said the marketplace on The Times’ website provides an opportunity for local small and medium-size businesses to be found through search engines and have an online profile.

“The product is a multi-dimensional digital marketing platform that helps advertisers get found online when a potential customer may be searching for them, whether it’s in an organic search capacity or a directory,” Hepko said.
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Whiting Refinery’s project start-up delayed until 2013

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, IN, Monday, November 29, 2010. The work is part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The modernization project will increase the refinery's ability to refine heavier crude oil, including the oil from the Canadian tar sands. This oil contains more impurities than most of the ‘light crude’ oil being refined today. The project is slated to be completed in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, IN, Monday, November 29, 2010. The work is part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The modernization project will increase the refinery's ability to refine heavier crude oil, including the oil from the Canadian tar sands. This oil contains more impurities than most of the ‘light crude’ oil being refined today. The project is slated to be completed in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

BP PLC is deferring the start of part of its $3.8 billion modernization project at its Whiting Refinery until mid-2013, a company executive said Tuesday. The project was expected to be completed in late 2012.

Iain Conn, chief executive of BP’s refining and marketing division, did not provide a reason for the delay during the company’s conference call after releasing of its fourth-quarter and full-year financial performance.

BP posted a full year loss in 2010 of $3.7 billion, compared to a $16.6 billion profit in 2009.
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Blizzard shutters many NWI businesses

Meijer gas station employee Felicia Simpson, of Gary, was the only employee at the Highland station about 6 a.m. Wednesday. She had been working since 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and expected to work a double shift after two employees said they could not make it in to work due to the weather. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Meijer gas station employee Felicia Simpson, of Gary, was the only employee at the Highland station about 6 a.m. Wednesday. She had been working since 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and expected to work a double shift after two employees said they could not make it in to work due to the weather. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Many local businesses took the day off Wednesday due to blustery winds, heavy snow and poor road conditions.

Westfield Southlake mall in Hobart closed, as did its anchor stores.

Most professional offices, banks and fast food restaurants were closed along Calumet Avenue in Munster. However, a few gas stations remained open Wednesday.
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Steel trade group: Production up 38%

Production is shown at U.S. Steel in Gary. The American Iron and Steel Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based steel industry trade group, said U.S. steelmakers produced about 88.5 million tons of steel in 2010, compared to about 64.3 million tons in 2009. (Times file photo)

Production is shown at U.S. Steel in Gary. The American Iron and Steel Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based steel industry trade group, said U.S. steelmakers produced about 88.5 million tons of steel in 2010, compared to about 64.3 million tons in 2009.
(Times file photo)

Raw steel production in the United States increased nearly 38 percent in 2010 compared to a year earlier, according to estimates released Monday by the American Iron and Steel Institute.

The Washington, D.C.-based steel industry trade group said U.S. steelmakers produced about 88.5 million tons of steel between January and December, compared to about 64.3 million tons in 2009.
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Local building unions make a play for PLAs with municipalities, developers

A Northwest Indiana group representing unionized building and construction trade workers has a New Year’s resolution to secure more job commitments for its members.

The Northwestern Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council will ramp up its lobbying of municipal officials and even private developers to establish project labor agreements. With construction forecasts showing stagnant activity in the new year and declining union ranks, the labor movement is attempting to gather as much work as it can to tackle significant unemployment.
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