The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:00 am


R&D site in Whitley to deliver jobs

Staff, news services

A groundbreaking was held Tuesday on a more than $3 million research and development facility in Columbia City that will create up to 20 jobs.

The Whitley County Economic Development Corp. and Wright Medical Group, a global medical device manufacturer, recently announced the company will build in the Park 30 Business Center.

Wright Medical Group provides surgical solutions for the upper extremity, lower extremity and biologics markets, three of the fastest-growing segments in orthopedics, a news release said.

“We are truly pleased that Wright Medical has decided to construct its research and development facility along Orthopedic Alley here in Whitley County,” Jon Myers, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Corp., said in a statement. “We believe that our other companies will benefit from the local development of Wright's cutting-edge technology.”

Construction of the new state-of-the-art facility will involve a design-build team led by Michael Kinder & Sons that includes Elevatus Architecture and Engineering Resources.

The IEDC offered Wright Medical Group up to $260,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans.

Scan while shopping at Meijer stores

Meijer on Tuesday launched Shop & Scan, a mobile shopping checkout program, in Fort Wayne and Warsaw.

Shop & Scan enables users to scan bar codes on items via a mobile app and place in their digital cart. A running total of items purchased is available as customers shop through the store, scanning and bagging their groceries. Once a customer has completed their shopping, they simply scan their phone at a self-checkout lane and pay.

The scan technology works via the free Meijer Mobile App that customers can download through the Apple or Android app stores. All mPerks coupons and rewards are automatically applied to the order at checkout.

More than 25,000 Meijer customers took part in the pilot in Michigan. The program will be available at all 235 Meijer stores later this year.

Home prices rise despite lower sales

U.S. home prices rose in April from a year earlier, lifted by bidding wars in many cities where buyers fought over a sparse supply of homes.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index moved up 6.6 percent from a year earlier, led by big gains in Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco. All three cities showed double-digit increases.

Prices rose even as home sales fell and mortgage rates climbed. Sales of existing homes dropped in April and May and are now running 3 percent below their year-ago level. Fewer homes are available – the supply has fallen 6.1 percent in the past year – and they are selling quickly.

Confidence index slips this month

American consumers lost a bit of their optimism in June but are still feeling good by historical standards. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped this month to 126.4, down from 128.8 in May but up from 117.3 in June 2017.

The index measures both consumers' assessment of current economic conditions and expectations for the future.

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