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WASHINGTON (WISH) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is scheduled to hear a case that some argue could restrict Americans’ chances to sue over Medicaid decisions and, perhaps more concerning, cause millions of people to lose access to Medicaid programs.

The case involves Gorgi “Jorgo” Talevski. He’d been living with dementia. The longtime Valparaiso resident died Oct. 6, 2021 at age 85 in a nursing home in Bremen, Indiana, his obituary says.

Talevski entered a Valparaiso nursing home in January 2016. His wife, Ivanka Talevski, sued the nursing home in September 2016, arguing it was not providing proper care. The nursing home then tried to move Gorgi to another facility two hours away. An administrative law judge ruled for the move to be stopped, but Gorgi was never returned to the Valparaiso nursing home.

Ivanka in January 2019 sued again, claiming Valparaiso Care & Rehabilitation, a facility of the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, Indiana, did not provide adequate care and moved her husband to another facility. A federal district court threw the case out because it believed federal law does not allow people receiving Medicaid to sue for damages. An appeals court later ruled the district court was wrong to throw out the case, questioning the use of drugs to restrain him due to discipline or staff convenience, and his move to another care facility.

The Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County says it properly restrained and medicated Talevski. The Marion County government agency operates the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health, Eskenazi Health Foundation, Indianapolis EMS, and more than 70 skilled nursing facilities for long-term care in Indiana.

In response to the appeals court ruling, the Health and Hospital Corp. asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Americans have the right to sue states operating of a program funded by the federal government.

Opponents say if the Supreme Court favors the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, the decision would hurt Americans with disabilities, and patients who have low incomes. A ruling for Health and Hospital Corp. could also affect other federal-state programs, including food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Justices have scheduled 65 minutes for the oral arguments, according to Tuesday’s Supreme Court schedule. The audio will be livestreamed at The case is Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, et al., v. Ivanka Talevski, personal representative of the estate of Gorgi Talevski.

Previous News 8 coverage

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network, the advanced energy technology and transportation initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, will merge with the Battery Innovation Center in Newberry, the CICP announced Thursday. The partnership says the merger will create “a number of synergies and efficiencies” between the two organizations.

The Battery Innovation Center was originally created by ESN in 2010 with the goal of advancing the state’s ability to develop, test, manufacture and commercialize battery system technologies. It spun out as its own entity in 2012.

ESN has certainly had an impressive track record in their ability to bring interesting and meaningful projects to Indiana. However, they have always had stakeholders from outside the state and outside of the U.S. who seek for them to do more,” David Johnson, president and CEO of the CICP, said in written remarks. “Joining together with the BIC will enable them to further engage with companies, universities and governments from around the world.”

The merger will take effect Aug. 5. Paul Mitchell will remain president and CEO of ESN, while Ben Wrightsman will remain president and CEO of BIC.

“CICP was the perfect proving ground for ESN’s efforts and our mission to leverage our network of global thought leaders to develop integrated energy solutions by reducing costs, emissions and waste, influence policy and advance technological innovations,” said Mitchell. “However, as the organization looks to the future and fields opportunities that are arising from beyond Indiana’s borders, the partnership with the BIC makes strategic sense and will strengthen both of our organizations.”

We’ll have more on the merger in Friday’s INside Edge Morning Briefing newsletter.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development will Thursday host a hiring fair in Indianapolis. The event, held in conjunction with Helping Veterans and Families of Indiana Inc., is open to anyone looking for employment with a special emphasis on veterans and their families.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Indiana Veterans Center at 777 N. Meridian Street in downtown Indianapolis.

Organizers say company representatives will be available to meet with job seekers who can apply for various positions that pay at least $15 per hour. Some employers may conduct on-the-spot interviews, so job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately.

Some of the participating employers include Mitsubishi Motors, Freudenberg, Draper Fencing, SMC, Custom Concrete, IMH, Heartland, Herff Jones, Henry Schein, BSN and more.

Organizers says job seekers should bring documentation, including a DD-214 or NGB Form 22, a resume, any prior work portfolios, and a government-issued ID card such as a driver’s license or VA Healthcare card.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A post on social media has led to a growing direct-to-consumer cheesecake business in Indianapolis. Cassie Smith-Johnson is the founder of The Cheesecake Lady Indy, which makes a variety of cheesecake products using her own homemade recipe. Smith-Johnson makes the treats out of a 24-hour shared commercial kitchen after finishing her day job at an Indianapolis insurance company.

In an interview with Around INdiana Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Smith-Johnson said it all started by answering a Facebook post from a friend. Click here to watch interview

“They made a post asking if somebody could make a banana pudding cheesecake, and I responded,” she said. “I made a post, a picture of the cheesecake, and once I posted it, I got a lot of feedback from other Facebook friends asking me to make them cheesecakes. And, it just blossomed from there. I got so busy with them that I just decided that I would make a business.”

In 2021, Smith-Johnson joined Indy’s Kitchen on the city’s near north side where entrepreneurs can rent space by the hour.

“It’s for [restauranteurs] like myself who either don’t have the means to have the equipment on a build out as far as their own location or someone who also maybe just doesn’t want to have their own brick-and-mortar,” she said.

In addition to making full cheesecakes in a variety of flavors, The Cheesecake Lady Indy also makes cheesecake bites and 16-ounce tall cheesecake cups.

Smith-Johnson says the majority of her business comes through social media engagement.

“[On] Instagram, if I’m not posting daily, I have a sponsor post constantly engaging my customers, showing them what I have, promoting my business hours. I actually speak directly to the customers. I respond to them in the inbox.”

After two years in business, Smith-Johnson says she’s most proud of herself for sticking with it.

“Anyone who has owned and operated a business, there are seasons where it’s up and down, and the lows kind of hit really hard,” she said. “And that can be very, very discouraging, but really, I’m really proud of myself for just not giving up in the moments where I felt like I needed to or that I should. I figured out how to just keep it level and keep it balanced and make it work, and it’s going really, really well.”

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Evansville-based Old National Bancorp (Nasdaq: ONB) has selected Rafael Sanchez for the newly-created position of chief impact officer, the bank announced Tuesday. Sanchez, who also serves as the bank’s Indianapolis market president, is tasked with focusing on the financial advancement of underrepresented communities.

Sanchez joined Old National in 2018 as private banking president after serving as president and chief executive officer of Indianapolis Power & Light Co., now AES Indiana.

As part of his new role, Sanchez will be active in government relations activities in the central Indiana region, the bank says.

“Rafael’s broad range of experience and strong reputation as a servant-leader make him the ideal person for this important role,” Old National CEO Jim Ryan said in written remarks. “His passion and energy coupled with his unique skills and experience will help drive the advancement of underrepresented communities.”

The appointment comes seven months after Old National settled allegations of redlining against Black residents in Indianapolis by agreeing to pay more than $27 million in loans to qualified Black applicants, among other concessions.

Our partners at The Indiana Lawyer reported in October the bank was sued by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana for making disproportionally fewer mortgages to Black residents, closing branches in predominately Black neighborhoods and providing Black residents with less information during the mortgage application process.

Old National denied any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A joint venture between the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and the Indy Chamber is launching a pilot program to help businesses address inequity in the workforce. Business Equity for Indy says the Workforce Pilot will provide companies with evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities, drive equity and support their business competitiveness.

“What we’re responding to with the Workforce Pilot is the continuation of the Great Resignation, the great attrition that we’re seeing, the talent challenges that are impacting employers across the spectrum,” said Taylor Hughes, vice president of policy and strategy at the Indy Chamber.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hughes said around 60% of employers in the market today are considering quitting their jobs, about 25% above pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s particularly challenging for women and people of color. We’re seeing that 64% of women are considering leaving, and around 300,000 Black workers have left the labor force across the country even this year,” he said. “We are seeing significant and persistent talent challenges, particularly in the diverse hiring space.”

The two-year pilot aims to attract 30 participating companies that will complete a five-stage program with guidance from university partners and other subject matter and technical experts from throughout the country.

The BEI Workforce Pilot comes into that space to say, ‘Here are strategies we know have an evidence base that if you put them into practice, they will help to close racial disparities within your workforce and also help make a difference on your your business bottom lines, things like talent, attraction, retention, productivity, other competitiveness, metric metrics like that,’” said Hughes.

Hughes says BEI will also provide resources to help companies implement the strategies outlined in the pilot. The program will also be available at no charge to the participating companies.

Hughes says he believes demand for a first-of-its-kind program such as the Workforce Pilot is very strong.

“We want to be able to say regardless of where you’re starting from as a company, whether you’ve been working with a DEI consultant, you’ve got a plan that you’re working with already that we can help support, or this is the first time you’ve come out and you really are looking for a lot of help in putting something new into place, we want to have a good spectrum of those companies so that we can help your firm regardless of where you are in this journey, and articulate that equity is essential to innovation and competitiveness.”

Applications for the pilot are being accepted through August 31. Companies will be notified if they are selected for participation by mid-September.

You can learn more about the Workforce Pilot by clicking here.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The chief executive officer of the Indiana Association of REALTORS says the state is starting to see a shift to a more balanced housing market. Over the first six months of the year, home sales were down 2.4%, while new listings increased 4.7% percent. “After two years of surging demand chasing fewer homes for sale, increasing inventory is good news for Hoosier homebuyers,” said Mark Fisher, who adds sellers are still benefiting from rising prices.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Fisher said the shift is due to several factors.

“There is a lot of uncertainty around inflation, the impact of the interest rates rising and mortgage rates rising. Even though we have strong employment and wage growth, there’s just a lot of uncertainty in the market,” said Fisher. “So, we are starting to see a little reduced demand, and on the positive side, we’re starting to seen an uptick in inventory.”

The association says median sales prices were $250,000 for June, up 13.6% year-over-year, but still down from May’s 14.8% and the year-to-date growth of 15.5%.

Looking forward, Fisher says he expects the Federal Reserve to look at raising interest rates, which will have an impact on mortgage rates. However, he says Indiana still has a strong housing market.

“We still have a lack of inventory overall; we haven’t seen a year-over-year increase in inventory since 2014,” he said. “So, we do see that while the demand has softened a little bit, it’s still a very, very health market. Prices continue to go up…but we are starting to see that level off. So, [it’s] great for consumers [and] great for individuals that are looking to enter the market.”

The association says, among Indiana’s urban counties, Lake and Vanderburgh counties saw the sharpest increases in year-to-date new listings at 6% and 8.1%, respectively. The northwest and southwest regions are also seeing year-to-date sales higher than the first six months of 2021 at 1.1% and 0.9%, respectively.

Fisher reiterates the market is in a good place, especially for first-time homebuyers.

“Even where the mortgage rates are going, they’re still at historic lows; they’re still affordable,” he said. “The uptick in the inventory and the slower demand is great for homebuyers.”

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indiana’s unemployment rate increased to 2.4% in June after three consecutive months at 2.2%. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state gained 5,000 private sector jobs last month.

The state’s labor force participation rate roes to 63.1% in June, remaining higher than the national rate of 62.2%. The labor force, which includes residents who are employed or seeking employment, stands at 3.3 million.

“For the third time in four months, Hoosiers have set a new record for private-sector employment in Indiana,” DWD Interim Commissioner Josh Richardson said in written remarks. “And, as a sign of Indiana’s strong economic growth, employers still have near record numbers of job openings.”

Indiana’s total private employment stands at more than 2.7 million. The DWD attributes the new jobs to gains in the leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and manufacturing sectors.

The state’s unemployment rate remains well below the national rate, which remained flat in June at 3.6%.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Patrick Talty has been selected as the next president of the Indiana Sports Corp, the organization announced Thursday afternoon. Talty, who previously served as chief operating officer, succeeds Ryan Vaughn, who stepped down from the role July 1.

Talty joined the Indiana Sports Corp as COO in October 2019. Since that time, he helped the organization with its role in the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and oversaw the bidding efforts to bring several major sporting events to Indianapolis.

“Patrick has a strategic vision for the future of Indiana Sports Corp, and I look forward to him being able to share it broadly,” Karin Sarratt, Indiana Sports Corp Board Affairs Chairperson said in written remarks. “Patrick understands the significance of galvanizing relationships inside and outside of the community to help us elevate the organization to meet the needs of our city, state, and the events industry.”

Prior to coming to Indianapolis, Talty served as general manager of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which hosted a Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Final Four during his tenure. He is also a former senior vice president of live events for World Wrestling Entertainment.

“I am honored to be elected as the next Indiana Sports Corp President and am excited to lead the nation’s top sports commission,” said Talty. “Our focus is to continue Indy’s rich history of hosting world-class sporting events and creating significant impact that goes well beyond the competition venue. I’m proud to be back home serving this amazing city and carrying on our mission of advancing and inspiring the community through sports.”

In May, Vaughn announced plans to step down as president of the Indiana Sports Corp after eight years in the role. Last month, our partners at the IBJ reported Vaughn was named president of Indianapolis-based information technology firm Sondhi Solutions.

OXFORD, Ohio (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. was named the Grand National Champion at the 2022 U.S. Open Beer Championships in Ohio. The brewery earned the honor by having the most winning entries, while several other Indiana-based breweries also earned medals.

Sun King, including its Sun King Small Batch subsidiary, earned 10 medals in all, including five gold, two silver, and three bronze. This is the second Grand National Champion honor for Sun King, which earned the title in 2019.

Primeval Brewing in Noblesville was also ranked 10th in the Top 10 Breweries list from the competition. The brewery took home three gold medals.

The Indiana medal winners are listed below. You can connect to the full list of winners by clicking here.

Sun King Brewery (Indianapolis)

Primeval Brewing (Noblesville)

Byway Brewing Co. (Hammond)

Metazoa Brewing Co. (Indianapolis)

Grand Junction Brewing Co. (Westfield)

Four Day Ray Brewing (Fishers)