Regionally Speaking

Monday - Thursday, 12-1 PM
  • Hosted by Chris Nolte

Addressing the most important local issues facing the Region during a daily hour of stimulating conversation with local news-makers.

Joshua Claybourn - Vimeo

Today:  Josh Claybourn, an Indiana attorney, Republican and contributor to Howey Politics Indiana joins us to talk about his recent commentary about the first weeks of the Trump administration and its impact on the GOP.  He called it "a great fork in the road."


Today:   A conversation with Tami Silverman, the President and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, on the  "op - ed" pieces that the IYI is encouraging Indiana media to run, to ask Hoosier legislators to support more pre-kindergarten programs.  It's one of the topics that is on the 2017 General Assembly agenda.

In the past week -- the chaotic implementation of a travel ban barring people from 7 majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. and a deadly attack on Muslims at prayer in Canada.  There have been demonstrations of support in Canada - complete with placards and signs --  but shadows remain in that country and in Victoria, Texas, a mosque was burned to the ground.

Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is conducting its third annual Knight Cities Challenge, a national call for ideas to make the 26 communities in which Knight invests become more vibrant places to live and work.  One of them is the city of Gary, where the Knight brothers owned and published the Post-Tribune.

WBAA Public Radio

Today:  Cal Bellamy, the president of the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission, is in the studio to talk about the multi-county commission and its goals to train employees of governmental offices and other facilities in ethical workplace practices.  The SEAC just released its 2016 annual report and Bellamy talks about 2017, including its annual Ethics Summit in early April.

PICC website

A Hammond native and communication professor at Purdue University's West Lafayette campus is being recognized by a major media publication as one of the nation's top journalism educators.

Ambassador Carolyn Curiel was named by Crain's NewsPro as one of the top journalism educators in the nation.  Crain’s NewsPro selected Curiel from among educators nominated by top practitioners.

Purdue Univ. News Service

Today: A conversation with Hammond native Carolyn Curiel, a journalist and journalism professor, former Clinton administration staffer and former U. S. Ambassador to Belize.  She founded and is Executive Director of the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication. 

She talks about her roots in Hammond (she's a Morton High School grad) and how her professional experience guides young people into careers in journalism and more analytical thinking.

Trains Magazine

Riders getting on board Amtrak's Hoosier State Line passenger service between Chicago and Indianapolis beginning March 1st will notice that they're sitting in  Amtrak cars.  Iowa Pacific, the company contracted by the Indiana Department of Transportation last year to provide the equipment, is ending its agreement effective February 28th.  Amtrak will resume complete control of the service on March 1st.

WBAA Public Radio

Today:  Tom Pappas and Dave Clark from the city of Portage's veterans committee are in the studio to talk about tomorrow evening's monthly committee meeting with special guest Lynette Taylor.  She will explain the new "My VA" program and how it is designed to rebuild trust in the VA, improve service and quality of care for northwest Indiana veterans.

Post-Tribune reporter Meredith Colias talks about how a Portage man turned the discovery of a World War II veteran's dog tags found in his late uncle's belongings into a search for the family of the man who owned the dog tags.

EDC Michigan City website

Michigan City officials are joining citizens in supporting a proposal that, if approved, would transform a run-down section of Franklin Street in the downtown district into a public plaza.  It's a vision of  "a community space for concerts, shows, exhibitions, vendors, street musicians and other activities." 

A petition on is asking for citizen support of the project before the city's Redevelopment Commission.

EDC Mich City /

Today:  Clarence Hulse, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corp. of Michigan City, talks about a proposal to transform a section of Franklin Street in the downtown district into a public plaza,  "a community space for concerts, shows, exhibitions, vendors, street musicians and other activities."  A petition on is asking for citizen support of the project before the city's Redevelopment Commission.

Howey Politics

Indiana economist Morton Marcus reviewed U.S. Census data for northwest Indiana communities between 2000 and 2015 for a story in The Times of Northwest Indiana and he found, among other things, that cities and towns in south Lake County and Porter County are growing and north Lake County communities are shrinking.  Marcus talks about the reasons he sees for the changes, including migration between Indiana and Illinois. 

Today:  A conversation with Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus about U.S. Census data that shows that communities in north Lake County are growing smaller and communities in south Lake County and in Porter County (including lakefront cities like Portage) are growing... and the reasons for the change.   

Marcus also talks about what he discussed at a recent public meeting in Crown Point, and he takes a look at the latest Statehouse debate about how to pay for funding road and bridge projects.  Morton says lawmakers are missing the point about it.

Eve Pytel, Delta Institute

Today:  an extended conversation with Eve Pytel of Delta Institute, the Chicago firm that created "Steel City Salvage" which works with specially-trained contractors to assess and deconstruct abandoned houses in the city of Gary and re-purpose the materials taken out of the homes. 

Pytel says there are more training sessions planned to bring more qualified Gary-based contractors into the program.  Right now, work is underway on homes in the Aetna neighborhood, but Eve says more neighborhoods will be targeted as contractors get trained. 

National Association of Realtors

Single-family home sales for the seven counties around northwest Indiana are reported very strong for both the month of December and the year 2016.   I asked Peter Novak, the President and CEO of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors,  for his views on the reasons for the strong year-end and year-long sales and how 2017 is likely to appear as well.  Here's the conversation as aired on Tuesday's "Regionally Speaking" program.

Today:  We bring you the second of three finalists for the Knight Cities Challenge from the city of Gary: the Ball Park Plaza project.  It was submitted by the late Kenneth Parr and now taken over by the city of Gary. We talked to both Brenda Scott-Henry, the city's Director of Environmental Affairs, and Renetta Dubose, the step-daughter of Kenneth Parr, about a project that would take a city-owned lot across from the U.S.

IPB News

Northwest Indiana Forum CEO Heather Ennis says she and her colleagues met recently with the northwest Indiana legislative delegation in Indianapolis to promote the Forum's legislative agenda for this session. 

Ennis came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about what the Forum would like to see legislators enact this year, knowing full well that it is a budget-writing session as well. 

NWI Realtors

Residents in the town of Munster will likely vote on May 2 on a two-question request from the School Town of Munster to raise school corporation taxes to cover both a proposed $48 million facilities improvement program and additional operating funds to cover the anticipated impact of revenue cuts from the state.  The last time that Munster voters approved a school tax increase referendum was in 2013.

Superintendent Jeffery Hendrix was on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to explain in detail what will be done with the additional funds, should voters approve the referenda. 

School Town of Munster Website

Today:   School Town of Munster Superintendent Jeff Hendrix joins us to talk about a proposed May 2 special election in his community, where residents will be asked to vote on two tax increase referenda: one that would support $48 million in school building repairs and improvements and another that would cover operating expenses in advance of anticipated revenue cuts from the state.  The last time that a school tax referendum was approved was in 2013.

Indiana Public Media

A mentor can have a life-changing impact on a young person, regardless of race.  But an upcoming Indiana Youth Institute-Urban League of Northwest Indiana mentoring workshop will focus on vulnerable black men and boys.

State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) is also co-sponsoring the event.  He will share his thoughts and experiences as a mentor with the two-day workshop on January 27 and 28.  It will be held at the Gary City Life Center, 225 W. 5th Ave.  I talked with him about this event on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday.  Here's the conversation.

The Associated Press

Today:  We talk with Melanie Dunajeski and Shelbie Byers, two management-side labor and employment attorneys who were the guest speakers at today's "Morning Mingle" session at the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce office in Merrillville.   Their topic: what to expect in labor and employment law from the incoming Trump administration.

Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore visited the Veterans Cafe in Merrillville to not only sample the food but talk to those at the cafe who benefit from the business' mission of helping local veterans.

Valparaiso University

Today:   Elizabeth Lynn, the director of the Valparaiso University Institute for Leadership and Service, talks about the beginning next week of the spring 2017 "Pathway To Purpose" speakers series on-campus.  There is a wide range of topics and speakers this year and Ms. Lynn tells who they are and what'll they talk about.

Governor Eric Holcomb delivered his first State of the State address on Tuesday night, and we have some of his remarks as well as reaction to the speech from Michigan City Representative Scott Pelath, who is Indiana House Democratic Leader.

National Police Car Archives

Today:   Lake County Sheriff John Buncich reviews the Lake County Drug Task Force report for 2016, what he calls the most successful year on record:  more than $1 million in illegal drugs seized, nearly 400 felony and misdemeanor charges filed against individuals and the identification of nearly 100 gang members. 

Sheriff Buncich notes that the most significant drug bust of the year was that of the uncovering of a drug trafficking operation near Crown Point High School.

IPB News

Today:  "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter editor Ed Feigenbaum talks about the latest casino revenues report from the Indiana Gaming Commission -- how the northwest Indiana casino boats did last month and last year -- and a look at revenue-related issues before the General Assembly and how they will fit into Governor Eric Holcomb's first State of the State address on Tuesday evening.  You can hear that address on Lakeshore Public Radio.

Edgewater Systems website

Today:   Dr. Danita Johnson Hughes, the President-CEO of Edgewater Systems, talks about how the organization earned a January Innovators Award from the Society of Innovators for Northwest Indiana for its new Edgewater Primary Care Centers in Gary and Griffith. analyst Jill Gonzalez is with us to talk about how Indiana cities fared in the latest "Most and Least Recession-Recovered Cities" list for 2017.  No city in the Hoosier State ranked very high on the list (mostly cities in the Southwest.)

A Chicago Sojourn blog

Today:  Times of Northwest Indiana business reporter Joseph Pete talks about a recent article on how northwest Indiana is becoming an exporter of high-tech knowledge through several avenues.  including the ArcelorMittal R&D laboratory in East Chicago and Cimcor in Merrillville.

Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore reports on a donation of equipment to the School City of East Chicago that will provide fresh salads and vegetables to students.  The hope is that this will help the students' bodies deal with the lead contamination in that community.

Howey Politics Indiana

By: Chris Nolte

January 10, 2017 -- "Regionally Speaking," Lakeshore Public Radio

INDIANAPOLIS -- "Howey Politics Indiana" recently released its 2017 "Power 50 List" of Hoosier political movers and shakers. 

"HPI" creator and editor-publisher Brian Howey came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about his latest list, which includes several prominent northwest Indiana residents who have been on past "Power 50 Lists."   Here's the conversation.

JoeyBLS Photography

Today:  Brian Howey of "Howey Politics Indiana" joins us to review his 2017 HPI Power 50 List - a listing of the state's political  "movers and shakers" for the coming year.  They include some northwest Indiana figures who have been on many past Power 50 Lists.

IPI homepage

Today:  Jena Bellezza of the Indiana Parenting Institute joins us in the studio to talk about the IPI's designation by the Governor's Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention as a "Treatment Best Practice."  IPI is the only organization in Lake County.  She also talks about successful programs, including a 10-week-long truancy reduction program.

WFYI Public Radio

Today:   Patrick DeHaan of says we can expect higher gasoline and diesel fuel prices in 2017 -- and he gives us the reasons why.

We also talked with Lake County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center assistant director Jessica Petalas-Hernandez about the temporary quarantine in place right now due to the canine flu -- and with Rachel Delaney of the Humane Society Calumet Area about the canine and feline flu outbreak they experienced last year, and how they dealt with it.