Make your home page

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Starting Sunday, residents across northern Indiana must use all 10 digits to make a phone call, even if it is local. The switch affects phones in the 219 and 574 area codes. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission notified users in April about the switch, giving them six months to adjust to the new dialing pattern.

The IURC says calls that are local now will remain local, even though the area code is added. You can still dial three digits for 911 (emergency services), 211 (social services), 411 (directory assistance), 711 (telecommunications relay service), and 811 (utility call before digging into the ground).

The agency says the change is necessary to accommodate the “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as designated by the Federal Communications Commission. All telecommunications providers in the U.S. are required to implement the three-digit 9-8-8 dialing code for the national hotline by July 16.

The IURC reminds phone users to make sure their preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. It says this is especially important for life safety systems, medical monitoring services and security alarms.

Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place for several years in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes. The 260 and 765 area codes are not affected, according to the IURC.

INDIANANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — U.S. News and World Report has just released the list of the 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022, and three Indiana communities made the cut. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.

Indianapolis is the highest ranking for Hoosier cities, coming in at No. 66, followed by Fort Wayne at No. 73 and South Bend at No. 88.

The publication touts the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, telling readers “The Circle City has plenty to keep locals entertained.”

Fort Wayne is credited for a stronger recovery than many other Rust Belt communities that lost thousands of jobs in the 1980s. “Fort Wayne is undergoing a long-term revitalization with new living options and economic development projects centered downtown and the riverfront area,” said the publication.

Likewise, South Bend has faced economic challenges, but the publication says, “South Bend’s downtown, on the scenic St. Joseph River, has undergone revitalization in recent years, bringing new apartments and condos that are attracting young professionals and empty nesters.”

Overall, Boulder, Colorado tops the list, followed by Raleigh-Durham, NC and Huntsville, Alabama. Click here to view the list.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The parent company of electrical junction box manufacturer RACO has notified the state it is shutting down its warehouse in South Bend and relocating the work to Illinois. Connecticut-based Hubbell Inc. says 75 employees will lose their jobs because of the move.

The company says the layoffs will begin around June 1 and is expected to occur in stages throughout the month.

Hubbell/RACO says 65 of the workers are members of the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Technical, Salaried & Machine Workers (IUE) – Local 84913.

According to the company website, RACO was started in Chicago in 1921. In 1930, the owners moved the operations, then called Roach Appleton Manufacturing Co. to South Bend, where it continues to operate manufacturing facilities. Hubbell acquired the company in 1981.

In 2012, the company announced it was moving its warehouse operations from South Holland, Il. to South Bend.

Inside INdiana Business reported in September 2013, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. awarded RACO $1.5 million for its job creation plans in St. Joseph County.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is planning to build a 23-story hotel at its Four Winds Casino in South Bend.

According to the Pokagon Gaming Authority, which oversees operations of the casino, the tower will offer 317 rooms, including 83 suites. The cost of the project was not disclosed.

The gaming authority said the new building will also offer a convention area, a ballroom, and an outdoor roof-top swimming pool.

“The expansion will bring to life a variety of exciting features and amenities we envisioned during our original planning process,” said Matt Wesaw, tribal council chair and president of the Pokagon Gaming Authority.

Four Winds Casino in South Bend opened in January 2018 with 140,000 square feet of gaming space, including 1,400 electronic machines, but no table games. That could be changing, according to Wesaw.

In August, the Pokagon Band made a formal request to the state of Indiana to negotiate a compact that would allow for table games, like blackjack, roulette and craps.

Governor Eric Holcomb has appointed Sara Gonso Tait, the executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, to lead a negotiating team.

The tribe hired Memphis-based HBG Design to be the architect of the project. Construction is expected to take two years to complete, creating 400 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs with the gaming outlet.

“Not only is this expansion an important milestone for all Pokagon citizens but it also demonstrates our economic commitment to support the South Bend community,” said Wesaw.

The Michigan-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians operates four casinos, three in southwest Michigan and one in South Bend.