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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — An eclectic collection of local and regional musicians and performers will visit Bloomington’s Peoples Park for free summer concerts.

The Thursday performances will be part of the the city’s Performing Arts Series Concerts.

Peoples Park has benches, picnic tables plus a limestone sculpture and a mural. It’s at at 501 E. Kirkwood Ave., about a block east of Franklin Hall at Indiana University. The park has restaurants and shops nearby.

Here’s the list of performers by date, with shows running from 4:30-6 p.m.:

Update: The Monroe County Coroner identified the two people as Darra Jones, 42, of Bedford, and Brian Hersley, 47, of West Port.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Two people died in a Monday afternoon crash of two vans on State Road 37 south of Bloomington, police say.

The Monroe County Coroner’s Office was working to make notifications and investigate the deaths before releasing the names of the two who died on the divided highway.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says it was called to a head-on collision just after 3:15 p.m. Monday at southbound State Road 37 and Zikes Road. That’s in a rural area about 2 miles south of Bloomington.

Deputies arrived to find two vehicles with trapped drivers, who died at the crash scene.

Investigators think a white 2012 Chevrolet Express van was going south on State Road 37 when it signaled to go into the right shoulder before veering left and crossing the median. The Chevrolet then crashed into a black 2015 Mercedes Sprinter van going north on State Road 37.

Northbound lanes of State Road 37 reopened by 7:30 p.m. Monday.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A federal judge issued an injunction Wednesday barring the U.S. Forest Service from beginning planned burns in the Hoosier National Forest this weekend.

Monroe County commissioners and environmental groups, including the Hoosier Environmental Council and the Indiana Forest Alliance, sued the Forest Service, saying the work will occur near steep slopes that drain into Lake Monroe, which is a half-hour south of Bloomington and the source of drinking water for nearly 150,000 Hoosiers, according to court documents.

According to court documents, these planned burns will “significantly exacerbate the degradation of these waters and threaten public health safety and reactional interests in the Lake Monroe watershed.”

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who issued the order, says in court documents the Forest Serviced failed to take a “hard look” at the consequences of the planned burn.

The Forest Service plans to hold three burns covering 3,500 acres of the Hoosier National Forest this year, with up to 13,000 acres over a 10-to-15-year period.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Bloomington are searching for a suspect they say stabbed a 19-year-old man near Indiana University’s campus early Saturday morning, according to Bloomington Police Department.

At approximately 12:35 a.m. officers responded to a residence in the 400 block of N. Dunn Street in reference to a report of a stabbing.

A 19-year-old man was found in the living room of the residence with a shirt wrapped around his left forearm, which was bleeding heavily, police said.

Individuals at the residence told investigators that there was a large party at the house and some individuals had been kicked out of the party due to them causing problems.

Witness stated one of the individuals had been kicked out who was described as “college-age” white man, produced a large knife and began waiving it around near the rear entry door of the residence, police said.

Someone then shut the door to keep the armed man out and multiple people began kicking the door causing it to break and open.

The individuals that had been kicked out of the party entered the residence and started a fight with several party-goers in the living room.

The man with the knife stabbed the 19-year-old man in the arm before fleeing from the house.

A 20-year-old man suffered a laceration above his eye, but it is unknown if the knife caused the injury.

No individuals matching the description of those involved in the altercation were located in the area.

The 19-year-old man was taken to Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital. He is reported to be stable with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say it is unknown if any of the involved parties are students at Indiana University.

Anyone with information was asked to contact detective Jeff Rodgers at 812.339.4477.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new study co-authored by an associate professor at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, says a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 did little to effect CEO pay. The legislation repealed a nearly 30-year-old exemption that allowed companies to deduct performance-based pay for executives, with the idea that companies would move away from performance pay to cash-based fixed compensation. The study found that after the repeal, CEO pay either stayed the same or increased.

Bridget Stomberg, associate professor of accounting at the Kelley School, tells Inside INdiana Business the study looked to see if Congress achieved what it intended to do.

“We were looking for a reduction of performance pay, an increase in salary, and then third, if you give an executive or anybody more guaranteed pay, then the total level of pay should go down,” said Stomberg. “So we were looking to see a decrease in performance pay, a decrease in total pay, and an increase in salary. And we really didn’t find any evidence of that.”

The study, “Examining the Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Executive Compensation,” was co-authored by Lisa De Simone, an associate professor of accounting at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, and Charles McClure, an assistant professor of accounting at Booth.

It was published online by the journal Contemporary Accounting Research. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Stomberg says in the mid-1990s, Congress capped the amount of executive compensation that a public company could deduct in a year at $1 million, with the exception of performance-based pay.

“So essentially, what that did was it allowed companies to deduct an infinite amount of performance based compensation like stock options,” she said.

The 2017 legislation, in addition to reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, removed the exemption for performance-based compensation.

The study examined changes in executive compensation from fiscal years 2017 to 2018, when the new tax rules took effect. The researchers then looked at compensation in 2019 and 2020.

“Even three full years after the law took effect, we didn’t see any evidence of a reduction in CEO pay,” Stomberg said.

Stomberg says she and her co-authors believe the legislation as an example of Congress perhaps overestimating the tax motivations of public companies. She says there are several sound non-tax reasons why a company would use performance pay and stock-based compensation, including aligning executives’ incentives with shareholders and the fact that it doesn’t require cash.

The authors believe the results of the study could also have an impact on other avenues of curbing executive compensation, such as an excise tax related to CEO pay ratios, or the difference in pay between CEOs and the median worker, which has already been implemented in cities such as Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.

“If Congress’ fundamental assumption about the relative importance of taxes in the design of executive compensation is overstated, its ability to shift current compensation practices through changes in tax policy is also likely overstated,” the authors said. “As a consequence, policymakers should reconsider whether changes to the taxation of executive compensation are a viable path towards addressing the perceived issues of excessive executive pay and inequality.”

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Bloomington-based startup that bills itself as “LinkedIn for the performing arts,” is set to receive its third investment from IU Ventures. Stagetime plans to use the funding to fuel product refinement and further customer acquisition.

Stagetime’s digital platform provides networking benefits for people in the performing arts industry. The company says instead of a traditional resume format, users can showcase their artistic talent through photos, video and audio.

IU Ventures did not say specifically how much it is investing in Stagetime in this latest round. The funding is being awarded through the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, which supports early-stage startups with IU connections.

Jennie Moser, founder and CEO of Stagetime and a graduate of the IU Jacobs School of Music, says IU Ventures and its chief venture officer, Jason Whitney, have been a major source of support since the startup was launched.

“They have been thoughtful advocates for Stagetime since our earliest days and have been remarkably diligent in getting to know us over the years so that they could best support us,” Moser said in written remarks. “As we’ve seen our industry finally return to live performance with gusto this summer, this new investment from IU Ventures allows us to be proactive in supporting artists and creative professionals when they need it most.”

IU Ventures has made two previous investments in Stagetime through the IU Angel Network, which is designed to connect startups with prospective investors. IU Ventures participated in Stagetime’s $1.5 million Series A funding round last fall, which followed the initial investment in September 2020.

Stagetime currently has more than a dozen employees, though it’s not clear if the new funding will lead to additional jobs.

The company says it is planning to launch new features to help arts organizations find top talent, including a “casting tool” to allow users to plan for future talent needs.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Monroe County residents can get two free at-home COVID-19 tests per person from the Monroe County Health Department or the Monroe County Public Health Clinic.

The tests will be available from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays at the department, 119 W. Seventh St.

The tests also will be available from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday at Monroe County Public Health Clinic, 333 E. Miller Drive, through June. The clinic’s hours will change in July. It’ll be open until 6 p.m. Mondays, and from 8-11 a.m. every second Saturday of the month. The public health clinic is a partnership between the health department and Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital.

Free at-home COVID-19 tests also will be distributed to local agencies and organizations that serve high-risk and high-need clients.

The health department and the health clinic received 20,000 at-home COVID-19 tests from the Indiana Department of Health in late May.

Questions? Contact the Monroe County Health Department COVID Hotline at 812-349-2997 or the Monroe County Public Health Clinic at 812-353-3244.

This story was updated with information provided Monday by Monroe County Health Department to correct the time that the Monroe County Public Health Clinic will close.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A couple of central Indiana entrepreneurs wants to be the AirBnB for adventure gear. Josh Roche and John Laughlin are co-founders of Quiptu, a sharing economy platform for outdoor equipment, such as kayaks, trail bikes and camping gear. Their business allows adventurers to rent gear from local owners.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Laughlin said they want people to enjoy the outdoors and make it affordable.

“We’re the conduit between the owner and the renter. The owner, who has the gear and the knowledge and expertise, is meeting the renter,” said Laughlin, chief operating officer of Quiptu. “The renter is often dabbling into that activity. So before taking the plunge and spending over $1,000 on gear, you can now ‘try it before you buy it.’”

The business partners, who are also brothers-in-law, launched the company launched last week, eight months after Quiptu Chief Executive Officer Josh Roche originally came up with the idea.

Laughlin says the business concept was born from a logistical problem. Roche, who lives in Bloomington, was invited to a bike packing trip along the Great Divide Mountain Biking Route in Montana. But there were no options to rent an off-road, gravel bike out there for that length of time. So, Roche borrowed a bike in Indiana.

“We had to go and take the bike apart, break it down into 51 pieces, and then ship it to Montana and put it together there. And the whole thing was just was just painful,” Laughlin said.

Once Roche completed the trip, he had to break down the bike, ship it back, and reassemble.

“The conclusion was if there was someone in Montana who would have owned an extra gravel bike, he would have paid double to not deal with that headache,” said Laughlin.

That pain point helped the entrepreneurs come up with a concept. But before developing the app, they conducted over 100 user interviews to examine other challenges for outdoor adventurers, such as storage space for equipment and retail cost of the gear.

The app makes the peer-to-peer introduction, but the owner sets the rental price. Laughlin says prices for a kayak or paddleboard could range from $20-$50 a day, while bikes could range from $30-$100 daily.

“Natural market forces there. We provide some guidelines, but the owner can charge whatever he or she like would like to for the gear,” explained Laughlin.

The team has already notched some big successes. In November, they won the Elevate Nexus Regional Pre-Seed Competition. The following month, they won the 2021 Crossroads Idea Competition hosted by Bloomington-based business incubator The Mill.

“I have been working with Josh and John since they were in the ideation stage. Elevate invested back in November through our Nexus Pitch Competition and it’s been impressive watching them build Quiptu around unlocking the untapped value of outdoor equipment that often goes unused,” said Cy Megnin, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Elevate Ventures.

Quiptu is launching in a total of eight markets in Indiana and Colorado. The locations are centered around college towns and metro areas, including Bloomington, Lafayette, South Bend and Indianapolis. The company’s head of marketing, Ben Kirby, is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he will work to boost Quiptu’s market share.

“Our research told us that college campuses and college towns are our ideal places for this to happen because undergraduate students tend to be adventurous but don’t have a big checking account for buying gear,” said Laughlin.

He says they want to build towards a network of lessors, so renters have regional options to obtain gear. Laughlin says there has been a surge in popularity in kayaking, biking and camping since the start of the pandemic. He says their app is helping first-time adventurers to seasoned explorers enjoy the outdoors.

“One of our values is ‘Green time over screen time’. We couldn’t be happier to allow the opportunity for people to live their adventure, to get outside and do something fun that would have normally been cost prohibitive,” said Laughlin. “This sort of positive force has us excited and willing to work as hard as we have been on this”

As far as the company name? Laughlin says they’re “looking to ‘equip you’” with the necessary gear to start an adventure.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Indiana University has named Ash Soni interim dean of the IU Kelley School of Business. Soni, who currently serves as executive associate dean for academic programs at the school, will begin his new role August 1.

Soni succeeds Idie Kesner, who announced in April she will step down as dean in order to return to teaching. Her last day as dean will be July 31.

Soni has been with the Kelley School since 1981 and is a professor of operations and decision technologies.

“Ash has served as a prominent, effective leader at the Kelley School for more than 40 years,” IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav said in written remarks. “His history of helping guide the school through many transitions and changes qualifies him well for the interim dean role.

Shrivastav says the school is preparing for a national search to find Kesner’s permanent successor. However, the school did not provide an estimated time frame for when that person would be selected.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Bloomington-based startup that wants to streamline the process for real estate developers to source construction materials has won the 2022 Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition. Business and entrepreneurship incubator The Mill says Andrew McMaster, co-founder and chief executive officer of Finniva, took home a $2,500 investment from the Flywheel Fund.

Finniva is building a streamlined marketplace for large multi-family and commercial real estate developers to source materials directly from the supplier. Finniva helps developers efficiently locate the best materials for each project’s specifications, which McMaster says keeps the work on time and on budget.

“We believe in rethinking how things are done and aim to revitalize the way developers source direct materials for good. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done,” said McMaster

McMaster is a student at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. He founded the company with Kelley grad Michael Wayne, who is also CEO of Detroit Riverside Capital, a real estate investment firm with focus on constructing mixed-use communities.

They’re working with developers to build the platform and populate it with suppliers. They are currently focused on doors, but plan to expand to other products. Finniva expects to launch in January 2023.

Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition was open to any student currently enrolled at any Indiana university or college with a startup based in Indiana.

The Mill runs Flywheel Fund which is a member-managed capital fund for early-stage and high potential startups based in Indiana.