Annie Ropeik

IPBS Economy Reporter

Annie Ropeik is the economy and business reporter for the Indiana Public Broadcasting network, based at WBAA. She’s covered farming, fisheries and other industries at public radio stations from Massachusetts and Delaware to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and earned accolades from the Alaska and Delaware Press Clubs for her reporting on rural business issues. Originally from Silver Spring, Md., Annie has a Hoosier mother and a degree in classics from Boston University. She also performs a mean car concert, boasts a worryingly encyclopedic knowledge of One Direction lyrics and is a Hufflepuff.

Indiana’s corn and soybean growers are getting seeds in the ground this week – but more rain on the way could put farmers in a difficult position.

As of Monday, 56 percent of the state’s projected corn crop and 23 percent of the projected soybean crop have been planted.

Friday marked the official end to Indianapolis-based Anthem’s bid to merge with Cigna, and the second time in recent months a major health insurance merger has failed.

It underscores the uphill regulatory battle that big health insurers face in trying to join forces.

Anti-trust officials blocked mergers between Humana and Aetna, and Anthem and Cigna this year. Those four have something in common: they’re among their industry’s biggest, top-earning companies.

A merger between Indianapolis-based Anthem and fellow health insurance giant Cigna is officially dead – and Anthem says it won’t pay Cigna a break-up fee.

Anthem killed the $54 billion deal Friday after a failed bid to keep Delaware-based Cigna at the bargaining table.

The Indiana-based Marsh grocery store chain filed for bankruptcy Thursday, triggering a process where it could be bought out, preserve more profitable locations, or close entirely.

The 44 remaining Marsh stores in Indiana and Ohio could close in 60 days if the company can’t find a solution. Marsh already closed 21 other low-earning locations and sold its pharmacy business this year.

As places such as East Chicago, Indiana, grapple with lead contamination, they face a challenge for after cleanup: how to redevelop and revitalize once-toxic neighborhoods.

In Evansville, community leaders have used decades of remediation to their advantage.

In what was once the most-contaminated part of the city’s Jacobsville Neighborhood Superfund site, a vacant lot sits waiting.

“So as we’re standing here right now, we’re standing where Garfield Commons will be,” says Chris Metz, assistant director of Evansville’s ECHO Housing Corporation.

Congress is once again considering a bill to help pay off more student debt for veterinarians in high-need, rural areas.

The proposal has stalled in committee for the past several years – but advocates for Hoosier vets say it’s needed now more than ever.

Indiana’s two USDA-designated veterinarian shortage areas cover most of the west central part of the state – two districts made up of 17 counties, centered around the cities of Lafayette and Brazil.

Indiana’s manufacturing sector is regrouping after a legislative session they’d hoped would focus on workforce development.

While some advocates applaud the reform that did pass – geared toward using the career and technical education system to fix labor shortages – others say there’s a lot more work to be done.

A new study from Ball State University underscores how higher education can boost wages – especially in certain parts of the state.

Its author, at the Center for Business and Economic Researcher, says the study suggests poorer counties have lots to gain from regional educational partnerships.

Graduate researcher Nathan Law found that since the recession, it’s been easier for Hoosiers with at least a bachelor’s degree to find full-time work.

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Lead Testing In East Chicago

Apr 20, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Thursday designating parts of East Chicago, Indiana, as “areas of special concern.”

The bill indefinitely extends parts of Holcomb’s emergency declaration to expand lead testing in the city’s soil and water.

Hoosiers will see more farm equipment in the fields in the next few weeks, as spring corn and soybean planting ramps up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farmers in Indiana and nationwide to plant more soybeans than ever this year, while corn acreage looks to hold steady.

Purdue University agronomist and self-named “corn guy” Bob Nielsen says corn prices are still lackluster, with plenty in storage, and that’s driven soybean prices up.

Pages