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.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrapped up a Midwest road trip at the Indiana State Fair Tuesday.

Perdue met in private with state lawmakers about their goals for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization.

That’s the $800 billion package of laws governing the nation’s agricultural and nutritional assistance programs.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says officials will work to help displaced families from a lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago.

Carson met privately Monday with some residents and local lawmakers near the now-empty West Calumet Housing Complex. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland joined the discussion.

IBM owes Indiana more than $78 million after it failed to deliver on its contract to privatize the state’s welfare system a decade ago. A county judge determined the final dollar amounts in a decision published Monday.

It comes after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last year IBM had breached its $1.3 billion contract with then-Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will sit down with state lawmakers at East Chicago’s lead-contaminated public housing complex Monday.

The visit comes five months after three Indiana congressmen invited Carson to the USS Lead Superfund site, which is contaminated with high levels of lead and arsenic from old factories.

Indiana’s three ports had their second-best start to the year ever in 2017.

Burns Harbor, Mt. Vernon and Jeffersonville moved 19 percent more cargo in the first six months of this year than at the same time in 2016 – 5.7 million tons overall.

Almost two-thirds of that went through the southwest port of Mt. Vernon, in the form of bulk cargoes – things like coal, ethanol, fertilizer and minerals, which get transferred between railcars, river barges and trucks.

The Indiana State Fair, starting Friday, provides a nearly month-long showcase for Hoosier agriculture. As that industry has changed, its role at the fair has stayed much the same.

Every year, Hoosiers get to try Indiana-grown wares of all kinds at the State Fair. They get to see 4-H participants show off their small flocks and exhibition animals.

What’s interesting, says Indiana State Poultry Association executive vice president Paul Brennan, is that it’s all evolved and modernized far less than the state’s major agriculture sectors themselves.

Half a dozen homeowners in rural Bartholomew County will get to pay less in property taxes because they live near concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

The decision comes about a year after the families in the town of Hope appealed to the county about the impact of large hog farms on their home values.

After the county denied their requests in March, the neighbors appealed the case to the State Board of Tax Review.

Annie Ropeik/IPB News

 

One year ago, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland told residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex they had to move out because of lead and arsenic contamination.

The announcement sparked a year of frantic action from residents, public officials, activists, and lawyers that's still ongoing.

In Blood, Lead & Soil: A Year In East Chicagoa special hour of coverage from Indiana Public Broadcasting, our reporters look at the past year of the crisis and take stock of what's ahead.

A national fair housing group says Deutsche Bank and two other businesses are less likely to maintain foreclosed, bank-owned homes in majority-black areas of 30 cities, including Indianapolis and Gary.

A new version of a federal complaint, out this week, expands the investigation.

The National Fair Housing Alliance and 19 local organizations first filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against Deutsche Bank in 2014.

Layoffs began Thursday at the Carrier factory in Indianapolis, where last year President-elect Donald Trump celebrated a deal to save jobs from moving to Mexico.

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