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BusINess » Keith Benman

Posts Tagged ‘Keith Benman’

Indiana regulator, NiSource director planned day at the races

The field breaks from the starting gate in the first race on Keeneland's opening day of the fall meet in 2006, in Lexington, Ky. This August, a day after Indiana's top utility regulator approved an order authorizing NIPSCO to hike electric rates, a director of the utility's parent company sent a thankful e-mail inviting him to take in thoroughbred farms and the races in Kentucky Bluegrass country. (Photograph by Ed Reinke, file/The Associated Press.)

The field breaks from the starting gate in the first race on Keeneland's opening day of the fall meet in 2006, in Lexington, Ky. This August, a day after Indiana's top utility regulator approved an order authorizing NIPSCO to hike electric rates, a director of the utility's parent company sent a thankful e-mail inviting him to take in thoroughbred farms and the races in Kentucky Bluegrass country. (Photograph by Ed Reinke, file/The Associated Press.)

A day after Indiana’s top utility regulator approved an order authorizing NIPSCO to hike electric rates, a director of the utility’s parent company sent a thankful e-mail inviting him to take in thoroughbred farms and the races in Kentucky Bluegrass country.

In the next two weeks, the invitation was firmed up with offers of a stretch limo, a racetrack suite and dinner at an exclusive Lexington restaurant for then-Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Chairman David Lott Hardy and his wife.
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Gary airport in dispute with neighboring business

The Gary/Chicago International Airport is preparing to take legal action against a scrapyard where it alleges frequent explosions are rattling airport tenants.

The situation is particularly critical for Boeing Corp., whose huge hangar is the closest airport facility to the scrapyard run by Summit Inc., 6901 Chicago Ave., airport lawyer Patrick Lyp told the Airport Authority Board at Thursday’s meeting.

“No. 1, we value all our tenants, and Boeing is high on that list,” Lyp said. “And we are concerned for them and for their employees.”
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Majestic Star leads pack in December revenue increase

Overall casino revenues this past month were up 3.2 percent at Northwest Indiana's five gaming boats as compared to December 2009. Majestic Star Casino in Gary led the way with a 22.6 percent increase. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Overall casino revenues this past month were up 3.2 percent at Northwest Indiana's five gaming boats as compared to December 2009. Majestic Star Casino in Gary led the way with a 22.6 percent increase. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Majestic Star Casino led the way among Northwest Indiana gaming boats with a 22.6 percent increase in December revenues, with its two Gary boats taking in a total of almost $16.6 million.

Overall casino revenues in December were up 3.2 percent at the five region boats as compared to December 2009, with Horseshoe Casino in Hammond raking in the top take of $41.2 million, according to the monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission.
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Cline Avenue plans remain up in the air

The Indiana Department of Transportation has no firm timeline for building a replacement route for the condemned Cline Avenue bridge, but it hopes to have significant parts of the project under way by the middle or end of this year.

“There is no timeline that is official at this point because we don’t know what we are going to do,” said INDOT spokesman Jim Pinkerton. “It depends on what options we work on. If it’s relatively easy, we can move relatively quickly.”
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Reports: NiSource could be Exelon target

The NIPSCO power plant in Michigan City is shown. Despite published reports that Exelon may be targeting NiSource, an industry observer said the only thing that he can see about NiSource that might be attractive to Exelon is the adjacent location of NIPSCO electric in Indiana, which borders Exelon subsidiary ComEd's territory in Illinois. (Times file photo)

The NIPSCO power plant in Michigan City is shown. Despite published reports that Exelon may be targeting NiSource, an industry observer said the only thing that he can see about NiSource that might be attractive to Exelon is the adjacent location of NIPSCO electric in Indiana, which borders Exelon subsidiary ComEd's territory in Illinois. (Times file photo)

A published report that electric utility giant Exelon Corp. is looking to acquire a natural gas utility, with NiSource Inc. a leading target, is prompting some skepticism among industry observers.

“We’re sure that EXC (Exelon) is always looking but are skeptical of this radical change in strategy, or that EXC would pursue such a move very aggressively, as we don’t see what ’synergies’ might be realized,” Gimme Credit utilities analyst Phil Adams wrote Monday in a note to investors.
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Economy drove news in 2010

Jesse Paloger holds up a sign while standing on Wall Street as he hopes to find a job, in New York. Paloger, who has an accounting and economics degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written on the bottom of his sign, “Go-getter from California looking for my shot!” Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits during the first full week of December, the third drop in the past four weeks and a sign that the job market is slowly improving. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.)

Jesse Paloger holds up a sign while standing on Wall Street as he hopes to find a job, in New York. Paloger, who has an accounting and economics degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written on the bottom of his sign, “Go-getter from California looking for my shot!” Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits during the first full week of December, the third drop in the past four weeks and a sign that the job market is slowly improving. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press.)

Dismal signals mixed with glimmers of hope as the U.S. economy drove the news in 2010; the nation began a fledgling recovery from the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression.

From charitable giving to local government, from real estate to transportation, all eyes were fixed on the economy’s twists and turns—which had the potential to spell ruin or salvation for companies, governments and people’s lives.
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NWI customers will feel impact of state energy deal

The state has reached a 30-year deal to buy synthetic natural gas from a $2.6 billion coal-gasification plant planned for southern Indiana in a move that will affect NIPSCO customers’ bills.

The Indiana Finance Authority on Thursday voted 5-0 to buy synthetic natural gas from Indiana Gasification LLC for the next 30 years and have that gas distributed to customers of existing Indiana utilities. The company is a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corp.

Gov. Mitch Daniels touted the vote Thursday, saying it will “protect ratepayers against the likelihood of higher long-term gas prices.”
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Freight could lift NWI job, economic prospects

Trucks travel on the Borman Expressway between Broadway and Interstate 65. From 4 million to 16 million more trucks per year will roll on Northwest Indiana and Chicago roadways by 2035, according to a freight study by consultant Cambridge Systematics. (Photograph by Judy Fidkowski/the Times.)

Trucks travel on the Borman Expressway between Broadway and Interstate 65. From 4 million to 16 million more trucks per year will roll on Northwest Indiana and Chicago roadways by 2035, according to a freight study by consultant Cambridge Systematics.
(Photograph by Judy Fidkowski/the Times.)

Projects from across Northwest Indiana including the proposed Illiana Expressway and an intermodal facility in Kingsbury rose to the top of the pile in a poll of transportation experts conducted at a freight workshop in Portage on Monday.

About 30 railroad representatives, real estate developers, transportation officials and others took part in the morning-long workshop at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. NIRPC is looking for ways to support rail, truck and water-borne freight projects in its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.
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Gary airport wants to build highway/rail overpass

The Gary/Chicago Airport Authority on Thursday voted to spend $609,689 to design a highway overpass that would carry traffic over railroad tracks moved for runway expansion and eliminate a train-snarled crossing.

The Industrial Highway overpass would go over a pair of Canadian National tracks that currently sit at the end of the airport’s main runway as well as CSX tracks that currently cross the road just northwest of the airport, Airport Director Steve Landry said.
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NWI casinos’ revenues rise 4 percent in November

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago notched its first monthly year-to-year revenue gain in November, with the boat raking in almost $20 million in total revenue, a 0.4 percent increase as compared to November 2009. The five Northwest Indiana boats brought in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to the same month a year ago. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Ameristar Casino in East Chicago notched its first monthly year-to-year revenue gain in November, with the boat raking in almost $20 million in total revenue, a 0.4 percent increase as compared to November 2009. The five Northwest Indiana boats brought in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to the same month a year ago. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Northwest Indiana casinos looking over their shoulders at possible new competition from Illinois notched a more than 4 percent increase in revenues in November, the monthly revenue report from the Indiana Gaming Commission shows.

The five Northwest Indiana boats raked in $93.7 million in total revenue in November, with four out of five boats reporting increased takes as compared to November 2009.
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