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.

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.

Indiana’s top agriculture official has been tapped to oversee global farm trade for the Trump administration.

Indiana Department of Agriculture director Ted McKinney now faces a Senate confirmation to become the USDA’s first-ever trade undersecretary.

He says he’s grateful for the support he’s received since getting the news.

“I am so honored to be nominated by the president, and I look forward to serving if confirmed,” McKinney says.

Indiana’s growing number of wineries and small vineyards want to make the Hoosier state synonymous with wine country.

Yet, a tricky climate limits what grapes they can grow in-state, and complex regulations limit where they can sell the resulting wines.

So these local wine destinations are finding other ways to make their marks.

At Two-Ee’s Winery near Huntington, the barrels and tanks in the production room are full of juice from grapes you’ve probably never heard of.

Indiana workforce officials are convening dozens of groups of local education and business leaders across the state to improve training efforts for new workers.

It’s the next phase of the Indiana’s SkillUp program, which aims to help localize training efforts for the state’s estimated million job openings in the next decade.

The choice of former state Sen. Beverly Gard to lead a commission on overhauling Indiana’s alcohol code is drawing praise from at least one side of a heated debate: the gas station and convenience store lobby.

The two-year study committee is tasked with finding ways to modernize Indiana’s complex rules for the sale of beer, wine and liquor. Legislative leaders want the panel to be free of any ties to the alcohol industry.

The Indiana University School of Medicine is getting $25 million from the Lilly Endowment to recruit new scientists to Indiana, and to pair them up directly with big Indiana companies.

Medical school research dean Anantha Shekhar says it aims to fast-track the creation of treatments from discoveries about cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more.

He says new technologies like gene sequencing are facilitating those applications faster than ever.

The Indianapolis suburbs are growing, while rural areas of the state lose residents.

That trend isn’t new, but it deepened in 2016 census data analyzed this summer by the Indiana Business Research Center.

The data shows Indiana’s fastest-growing city is Whitestown, in Boone County. It’s topped that list for six years running, as its population has more than doubled.

The cost of an Independence Day picnic’s worth of groceries continued to drop in Indiana this year, as part of a race to the bottom in the prices of competing food products.

The Indiana Farm Bureau tracks the cost of different sets of grocery items throughout the year. For July Fourth, it’s a 10-person barbecue – hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs, watermelon and other sides, plus drinks and condiments.

It all costs $51.50 this year, down 35 cents from last year and about 75 cents from 2014.

A federally-funded program that helps Indiana homeowners avoid foreclosures stopped taking applications at the end of June.

The Indiana Hardest Hit Fund provides mortgage assistance to people in danger of losing their homes.

It stopped taking new applications at the close of business Friday, after learning in the spring that it would need remaining funds for current participants.

Economic rebirth in Indiana downtowns can be a two-way street – literally.

Hoosier cities are spending millions to convert one-way main streets into two-way arteries.

The change can help boost the local economy, but it can also be hard on small businesses, like the one John von Erdmansdorff runs in West Lafayette.

Von Erdmansdorff is a local legend who’s spent almost 50 years selling all kinds of treasures out of his row of stores, Von’s Shops, on State Street.

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