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.

An older audience of Indiana Farm Bureau members heard a younger perspective at their annual conference in Indianapolis this past weekend – from the head of millennial engagement at agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Vance Crowe told Hoosier farmers they should rethink how they communicate about the food system.

Crowe is one of many recent hires at Monsanto tasked with changing the public narrative about GMOs, industrial agriculture and other controversial issues.

President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration does not apply to people on visas – but there’s another change to the visa program for skilled immigrant workers that could put a strain on foreign hires at Indiana universities.

The temporary change to the H-1B visa program would halt what’s called “premium processing,” which speeds up visa applications for foreign, highly skilled workers.

Indiana’s ports had one of their best years ever in 2016, moving nearly 11.3 million tons of cargo.

That included rising grain and coal exports, the kind that could see major changes under Trump administration trade reforms.

A group of lawyers is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to issue an emergency order about lead contamination in drinking water in East Chicago, Indiana.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, worked with residents and their lawyers to file the petition for emergency action with the EPA .

In East Chicago, Indiana, federal officials have approved a plan to allow involuntary relocation of families who remain in lead-contaminated public housing beginning on April 1.

These would be considered “emergency transfers” to units that have been inspected for lead in East Chicago and, in Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. Families would stay in these units while they kept looking for permanent housing, still using the same rent vouchers and other HUD-provided counseling and resources.

Wednesday, March 1, is the deadline for residents of a lead-contaminated East Chicago, Indiana, housing complex to renew their federal housing vouchers.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, gave out the Section 8 vouchers late last year to help residents find new homes.

As of this month, HUD says 106 families still live in West Calumet Housing Complex, and 91 of those have not yet found a new place to live – including Keesha Daniels and her sons.

 

Indiana House lawmakers passed a bill Monday requiring doctors to inform women their drug-induced abortions could be reversed – and also to say there’s no scientific study to support that claim.

The vote for the measure, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Boonville), came over bipartisan opposition.

 

A lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana could soon become a lead-contaminated vacant lot – and if local and federal officials can’t resolve a key dispute, it might stay that way for a long time.

That’s because the city and Environmental Protection Agency are at odds over redevelopment plans for the neighborhood.

A new report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says a rising number of people are getting educational certificates from two-year Indiana colleges, which may help fill the state’s open manufacturing jobs.

The CHE report focuses on credit-bearing certificates – the kind college students can earn in less than one or two years, from programs that “commonly have a career or occupational focus.”

In Indiana, CHE found a 32 percent increase in production of these certificates since 2012, mostly from two-year public schools like Ivy Tech Community College.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will visit East Chicago on Friday to discuss his disaster declaration for the city’s ongoing lead contamination crisis.

Meanwhile, lawyers for residents being displaced by the contamination say the order doesn’t properly address the biggest concerns.

Pages