Off Mic, with Michael Puente

Friday @ 11 AM

A weekly local news show addressing issues in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. Hosted by Michael Puente.

TODAY ON OFF MIC….Indiana is a very agricultural state but if you live in the urban areas of northwest indiana – a farm is as foreign to you as Mars. But that could change under legislation to expand urban agriculture. There’s also plans to enhance economic opportunities on the lakefront in Gary; And – why aren't teachers given priority to get the covid vaccine in Indiana? We’ll talk to one teacher who has issues with that; And could the Chicago Bears land Russell Wilson? We’ll find out. All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic,

President Biden is pushing through an aggressive plan to allow 11 million undocumented immigrants to become citizens. It’s a move that many welcome but those on the right, are opposed. We talk to one local professor on what this legislation may mean for those living in the shadows locally and nationally; We talk about African-American contributions to Major League Baseball, including the White Sox and Cubs. And, how historic was all this snow we got this week? We talk to a legendary Chicago weatherman. And, it’s cold outside but sports are heating up. All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic …

Protecting the Environment. Indiana lawmakers seem to be going backwards in doing just that. From wetlands to solar power, some say Indiana is not moving in the right direction. We talk to the director of the Hoosier Environmental Council to see what needs to be done; And part of our ongoing series on people who have started a business during the pandemic, we talk to one man who got tired of looking for work – so he became his own boss; We also talk to the White House reporter for Politico; And --- this weekend’s Valentine’s Day. Many couples will be going out to celebrate. We talk to one person who says you might be able to bring a smile to a child for Valentine’s Day.All this on Off Mic ….

TODAY ON OFF MIC ….PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN CONTINUES TO PUSH HIS COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS THROUGH CONGRESS. BUT HE’S GETTING PUSH BACK FROM REPUBLICANS. HE’S ALSO GOT A NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS HE’S TRYING TO GET PASSED. WE TALK TO POLITICAL REPORTER NATASHA KORECKI WHO HAS A FRONT-ROW SEAT TO WHAT COMES OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE. WE CONTINUE OUR SERIES OF LOCAL WOMEN STARTING BUSINESSES DURING THE PANDEMIC.AND – A PREVIEW OF SUNDAY’S BIG GAME. ALL THIS ON OFF MIC.

Today on Off Mic: Whether you supported him or not, President Trump had a large following. And much of that following does not trust the news media. That's a big problem for the press. How does the press win those people back? We talk to one person who says strengthening media literacy is the key; And, we talk to a local writer about 100 things to do in Northwest Indiana before you die. All this on Off Mic. 

Today on Off Mic:President Joe Biden is in the White House now and he's pushing forth ambitious plans on a number of issues. One is providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. We talk to one activist on what they may mean for those living in the shadows in Northwest Indiana; And, the pandemic has led to the collapse of many small businesses in Indiana and Illinois. But there are some who have decided that now is the time to open a business. We talk to three women who are doing just that. All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic …

Of the hundreds of pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, at least one was from Northwest Indiana. And, he has a large following on social media. But who is Kash Lee Kelly? And, the Trump administration executed a woman this week, it’s one of several that have been carried out in the last months of President Trump’s term in office. And, with the Bears out of the playoffs, what’s next for the team?All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic, Indiana’s newest Congressman reflects on being sworn into office and the unrest that unfolded at the Capitol. Frank J. Mrvan is the new Representative for Indiana’s 1st Congressional District replacing longtime Rep. Peter J. Visclosky. Mrvan talks about his historic swearing in and whether President Trump should be removed from office. We’re also joined by Indiana State Rep. Earl Harris Jr to get a look at his legislative agenda.

Celebrate the Christmas spirit with a delightful Sherlock Holmes radio drama put on by Michael Puente and friends! 

Today on Off Mic: The good news: We have a vaccine. The bad news: We’re still months away from it getting to the masses. Until then, the economy will continue to the struggle and that includes mass transit.We take a lonely ride on the south shore with one of the few remaining riders. And – saying goodbye to a 100-plus year old community newspaper in Porter County. And – who’s water is better? Chicago’s or Hammond’s Well, it’s up to Joliet to decide. All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic, Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Northwest Indiana. We take a look at the latest numbers. But help may be on the way. Pfizer’s new vaccine could be making its way to Indiana hospitals soon. And, you may be spending a lot of time at home. That means doing a lot of movie watching. So, what are the best streaming services? We’ll talk to one expert. And while it’s football season, the White Sox are getting all the press. All this on Off Mic

Today on Off Mic, the numbers continue to look ugly in the battle against COVID-19 across the country and in Northwest Indiana. We talk to a local expert on the latest numbers and the challenges facing us. And we’ll hear a report on worker complaints to OSHA on COVID-19 issues such as pressuring employees to come in even if they are sick; And the Grammy nominations came out recently with some noticeable snubs. Who gets to vote and what is the process like? We talked to one voting member of the Grammy Awards. He’s actually a very familiar voice. All this on Off Mic.

Today on Off Mic: Hope in a Bottle: Northwest Indiana sportswriter Mike Hutton participates in a trial for a COVID-19 vaccine; And, what does the future hold for two prominent Hoosiers: Vice President Mike Pence and former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg;  And, can a casino open during a pandemic?

Today on Off Mic

  As the world awaits the finally numbers for the presidential race, we’ll talk about the state of national politics and in Northwest Indiana. We talk with Tony Walker, Gary attorney and former chair of the Indiana Judicial Disciplinary Commission, on local politics. We talk to Akilia McCain who is the newest member of the Gary School Board. And, an update  on the White Sox selection of Tony La Russa as its new manager.

The Catholic Divide:

Today on Off Mic: We are just days away from the Presidential election. Millions have already voted but some will on vote on election day. This election has caused a divide among Roman Catholic voters who to support and what does it mean to be a devout Catholic? We speak to several Roman Catholics in Chicago and here in Northwest Indiana, including a former priest who answers the question: Can you be a devote Catholic and still support a pro-choice nominee like Joe Biden?

WE ARE NOW IN THE 9TH MONTH OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.AND RIGHT NOW – THE DISEASE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING UP.

Today on Off Mic ….

Immigration is a major issue in the upcoming presidential election. But the issues surrounding immigration isn’t just for border states like Texas or California. It affects Northwest Indiana as well. Today, demonstrators are demanding that the Gary Chicago International Airport stop allowing federal officials to use it to fly undocumented immigrants out of the country. We also talk to the author of a book that details the history of Latino support for the GOP. And, we talk to one Latino supporter for President Trump.

Painting the town red. Literally. A new public arts program in Gary hopes to turn abandoned structures into works of art; And, the issue of child abuse and neglect takes center stage in an on-line conference today sponsored by IUN in Gary; Reliving Purdue University Northwest’s celebration of Day of the Dead; And, the Cubs and Sox are struggling but they play a big series tonight all before the playoffs start in this COVID-19 era. All this on off mic.

Today on Off Mic …..We remember the events of Sept 11 – and how the day shaped who we are today. We talk about a new book that claims President Trump downplayed the severity of the coronavirus back in March. Did the famous writer have a duty to report those claims as soon as he found out? And its up, up and away for comic book stores. And we talk a little White Sox, Cubs and Bears.

Kenosha On Edge.

Today on Off Mic:

COVID-19 continues to climb in Indiana and in Northwest Indiana.The City of East Chicago, with its large Latino population, is leading the way.We talk to one East Chicago couple who battled the virus and won.

Today on Off Mic:

COVID-19 numbers are going through the roof in Indiana. But the virus may even be more troubling that first thought. We speak to a professor who led a study of Hoosiers and the affects the virus is playing on the state; We talk to two young brothers who developed an app that makes shopping locally a little bit more safe during this pandemic; And even tough carnivals aren’t happening this summer, we talk to the author of a new book about his experience as a traveling carnival worker. And baseball is back for the North and South Siders! But is it safe to play during the pandemic?

Today on Off Mic:

 To Teach or Not to Teach in the Fall?With COVID-19 cases going up in Indiana, the big debate is whether children will be back in class? And, if they do, who will teach them? That’s because many teachers are unsure if they will be back in the classroom; And, what is it like to have COVID-19? We hear from one East Chicago woman who is still recovering from the dreaded virus; And, Batter up! The Cubs and White Sox play this weekend but one of our Boys of Summer is battling COVID-19.

Race and Justice: Here and Now  Episode 3

 A live discussion about police training, tactics, and options for reform as part of its ongoing community conversation, Race and Justice: Here and Now, with host Michael Puente. 

Photo Provided by The History Press

Today on Off Mic we get the latest on the pandemic in Northwest Indiana with rising COVID-19 rates and a call for the state to set up a free testing site.

Race and Justice: Here and Now” episode 2

Today on Off Mic: 

The U.S. Supreme Court pushes back on the Trump administration and its move to the dissolve the DACA program. This gives nearly a million people brought to the United States illegal as children by their parents hope. We talk to a college student in Northwest Indiana who is directly impacted by this decision. We also talk to a local attorney who works on DACA ISSUES. We also talk to three local people about the ongoing discussion about police reform including Gary, Indiana Mayor Jerome Prince.

Listen to a special edition of Off Mic where Micheal Puente hosted "Race and Justice: Here and Now", where he sat via Zoom with Northwest Indiana Community Leaders, Political Figures, and Law Enforcement to discuss recent events that sparked from the death of George Floyd.

TODAY ON OFF MIC Less than two weeks ago no one knew George Floyd’s name. Today the world knows it and America deals with another incident of a black man killed at the hands of police. Civil unrest in large cities and small towns has put the pandemic on the back burner. Raw emotions were on display at demonstrations this week here in Northwest Indiana. We talk to the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Indiana’s first congressional district race, and will there be any baseball this year?

Today on Off Mic, the primary is finally here! The most anticipated race is the Democratic primary for Indiana’s First Congressional District seat. We hear from five candidates running for the nomination: Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr., Sabrina Haake, Jim Harper, Indiana State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon and North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan.

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