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.

Indiana Public Media

Today:    On this "Reporters Roundtable,"  we hear from "Post-Tribune" reporters Meredith Colias-Pete and Carole Carlson about the stories they published in print and online.  Meredith talks about her stories detailing audit reports on local charter schools -- a General Assembly bill to include school safety costs in future public referendum questions, if approved -- and her feature about two sisters born in the Ukraine, separated at childhood, but recently reunited at O'Hare International Airport.  Carole's stories include Senator Eddie Melton's economic development proposal for Gary that

Today:   Purdue University Northwest joins Valparaiso University in planning celebrations of the life and work of civil rights icon Martin Luther King. Jr  next week.  We talk with the coordinator of the events on the Hammond and Westville campuses, Laura Odom, about the January 21st and 22nd events  and we bring back our conversation with Byron Martin and Heath Carter with Valparaiso University, about their January 21st program.

Inquire First website

Today:   We asked Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor spokesman Anthony Swinger to talk about the appeal that the OUCC filed in response to approval by state utility regulators of the $20 million sale of the city of Lake Station's water system to Indiana-American Water Company.  The Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the OUCC request.  Anthony also gives us an update on the statewide water utility's proposed rate case.   The proposal before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission would raise rates in two phases, increasing its total annual operating revenues by $38.8 million.


Today:  The issue of homelessness in northwest Indiana is far from going away, so we bring back our conversation with Marcus Martin, an East Chicago resident with "Grace Beyond Borders Northwest Indiana,"  a non-profit organization with a mission of combating homelessness in the region.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer helps us get ready for all of the changes that we'll face in preparing our income tax returns this year. 

IPBS/Lauren Chapman

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, "Times" Statehouse reporter Dan Carden and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete talk about the stories they're put out in print and online.  Greg Tejeda with the "Post-Tribune" also offers his stories on Gary city government and about the new candidates on the city's primary election ballot.  And Becca Costello with the Indiana Public Media digital team tells us about her ongoing series of website stories drawn from a Hoosier Civil War soldier's diary entries.  Peter J Matthews served in a regimental band and documented his daily experience

Porter County Recycling & waste Reduction District

Today:    Steve Coxhead, the president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, is with us to talk about the advocacy organization's lobbying efforts with state legislators to make sure that the Indiana Department of Transportation continues to support the "Hoosier State" and other regional passenger rail services. Hoosier lawmakers are working on a new two-year state budget this session.

Imperfect Produce website

Today:   Sam Lacy and Nathan Sumner from "Imperfect Produce" tell us about the produce subscription service expanding into northwest Indiana, to offer consumers fresh "ugly" produce that might otherwise end up in the landfill.  The company is opening a local warehouse on Monday, and they offer new members a discount and will partner with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana to support local food pantries.  Byron Martin and Heath Carter from Valparaiso University also tell us about January 21st's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration convocation.

Lakeshore Public Media/AP

Today:   Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney talks about the events on Election Day (and Night) last November that led to late-evening polls, uncounted absentee ballots and, in general, a three-day wait for election returns.  Blaney and her colleagues in county government created a 19-page document, complete with flow charts, that sets out in detail who is responsible for elections and lists contacts with local officials, where appropriate.  Crown Point resident Heather Zivkovich talks about the monumental task to fulfilling her late father Bob Morgan's wish -- to complete what he start

IPBS/Brandon Smith

Today:    On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we check in first with Indiana Public Broadcasting's Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith and his guests on Indiana Week in Review, prepared just ahead of this week's opening of the 2019 General Assembly.  It includes a look at Indiana politics in 2018 and other topics.  We bring back our conversation with CNHI community newspapers' reporter Scott Miley about his series on Indiana township governments, and Michael Puente offers his feature on East Chicago's historic Marktown neighborhood and the residents who are unhappy with offers that BP is

Today:    One of the major programs for Lake Area United Way is to help working-poor families affordable healthcare and livage-wage jobs.  We bring back our conversation with the United Way's chief executive Lisa Daugherty on the goals in 2019.  We also have "Howey Politics Indiana" creator Brian Howey with the big Indiana political stories of 2018 and on how the 2019 General Assembly session will look, with the issues and personalities involved.  State Rep.

Today:   we wrap up our 2018 programs with conversations with three local authors:  first, we bring you former Cedar Lake teacher and now author of "Motion for Justice -- I Rest My Case," Brian Vukadinovich.  Then, Indiana University Northwest History professor emeritus James Lane talks about the third edition of "Gary -- A Pictorial History," just released in print.  And finally, Purdue University Northwest professor David Detmer and his book "Zinnophobia: The Battle of History in Politics and Scholarship." It's a book that looks at Howard Zinn and how former Governor Mitch Daniels reacted

Today:   Three newly-elected northwest Indiana state lawmakers are getting ready to attend their first General Assembly session next month.  We bring back our individual "Regionally Speaking" conversations with Lisa Beck (D-19), Chris Chyung (D-15) and Carolyn Jackson (D-1) after their November 6th general election victories. 

panorama now website

Today:  The Mascot Hall of Fame officially opened to the public in Whiting and we have two conversations -- first, with the Executive Director of the mascot-themed interactive childrens' museum, Orestes Hernandez and then, with Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura on the important economic development benefits that the Hall of Fame bring to his city.  We also have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," from South Shore Clean Cities.  Host Carl Lisek talks with an executive with ChargePoint, which supports electric vehicles. website

Today:   On this "Reporters' Roundtable Thunrday," we check in with Sarah Reese and Lauren Cross of the "Times," to talk about the stories they worked and posted online and in print this week.  They include updates on where toxic contamination dredged from the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal is to be disposed of, the "case of the dead swans" found in a Hammond lake, and if the city of Gary is still considering about asking for state permission to build its own construction-demolition waste landfill.

MAAC Foundation website

Today:   Lake Area United Way is focusing its 2019 effort to help working-poor families find affordable child care and livable-wage jobs.  These households are also known by the term ALICE, and we revisit our conversations with Lisa Daugherty, President and CEO of Lake Area United Way, to review the nonprofit's strategies next year.    We also have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean Cities.  And Celina Weatherwax with the MAAC Foundation in Valparaiso joins us to talk about the organization's training efforts for emergency personnel that includes a new p

Frank J. Mrvan's Facebook page

Today:   North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan Jr joins us to talk about the issues, facts and discussion surrounding the town of Griffith's request to join North Township, following the community vote for secession from Calumet Township.  The Board of Trustees had to review a lot of information and chose not to make a decision last week... but may decide as soon as tonight.  A decision must be made by December 31st.  St. John Township officials already chose not to accept Griffith into its township government.

Ball State University

Today:   We talk to Ball State University economist Michael Hicks, the executive director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, about the recent Indiana economic outlook report into 2019 that he presented last week in Muncie.  He begins with a statewide and national look, followed by the breakdown by region, including northwest Indiana.  By the way, he thinks our region has a positive outook going into the new year.

Joey BLS Photography

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we call on "Post-Tribune" education reporter Meredith Colias-Pete and "Times" Lake County government reporter Bill Dolan to tell us about the stories they offered to readers (in print and online) -- and we hear from Side Effects Public Media's Lauren Bavis and, from Lakeshore Public Radio, Sharon Jackson and Tommy Williams.

Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Today:   We have a conversation with Marc Magill, the medical director of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, about his recent Town Hall Meeting with northwest Indiana veterans, their families and caregivers held at the Adam Benjamin Outpatient Clinic in Crown Point.  Magill says topics like the VA REACH program, an update on the ongoing concerns about veteran suicides and local veterans' concerns about the future of VA health care services came up at the meeting.

IU Northwest

Today:   Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman joins us in the studio to talk about --among other topics -- a look at some of the issues that could come up in the next General Assembly session, including Indiana teachers' pay, as well as the latest on the "Can We Talk" series of discussions leading toward the creation of a trauma center in Gary and "NWI Resistance's" proposed billboard against illegal immigration flights out of Gary-Chicago International Airport.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University -- and Hoosier Environmental Council attorney

Natons Well website

Today:   We have a conversation with Marcus Martin of East Chicago-based "Grace Beyond Borders Northwest Indiana," a non-charitable public organization with a mission to combat homelessness in the Region.  They have a 30-day campaign underway called "A Night Without A Home," where Marcus sleeps with the homeless each night to raise awareness about homelessness and to solicit support for an emergency shelter.

American School and University magazine

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we talk with "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson, who's covered the major stories of the week surrounding the Gary Communty Schools - state emergency management team, including the revelation that a former state Superintendent of Public Instruction is on the board of the firm that now manages the GCSC.  She reports on the reaction from northwest Indiana state legislators to the news, and also talks about the new emergency manager.  Peter Morikis takes over for the retiring Peggy Hinckley.  And Carole tells us that Gary teachers aren't goin

Lake Area United Way

Today:   We find out more about the Lake Area United Way's 2019 campaign -- continuing 0n the effort of 2018 by the nonprofit, to help Lake County "working poor" families with affordable childcare and into jobs paying livable wages.  Statistics show 22-percent of Lake County households are considered in the "working poor" category, and that is on top of an additional 15-percent of local households in poverty.


Today:   We asked Barbara Dahl, the director of the Indiana University Northwest Counseling Center into the studio to talk about the different types of stress that can affect personal or family relationships during the holidays.  44% of women and 31% of men report that their stress levels are higher than normal over the holidays, levels that could -- in some cases -- even destroy relationships or marriages.  Barbara offers some tips to be able to deal with these stresses.  Peter Novak of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors also talks about the latest single-family home sal


Today:   Indiana University Northwest history professor emeritus James Lane joins us in the studio to talk about the book he's co-authored with Ronald Cohen: "Gary -- A Pictorial History," now in its third edition.  Professor Lane says the book is now up-to-date, including events in the Steel City into the 21st Century.   We also talk with Indiana state Senator Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores) about the bill he's co-authoring to address "bias" in more comprehensive terms than stated in current Indiana law.


Today:    On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we begin with a special conversation from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Jennifer Weingart with "South Bend Tribune" reporter Christian Sheckler who, along with reporters from "ProPublica," dug into issues involving the Elkhart Police Department.  Joseph Pete, business reporter for the "Times" of Northwest Indiana," will review his stories on local and regional businesses.  And "Times" LaPorte County correspondent Stan Maddux tells us more about an abandoned warehouse in Westville that is being revitalized by Dollar General Stores for use as

Today:   Lake County Coronor Merilee Frey spoke to a local group about the area's opioid crisis and we bring you the conversation we had with her after the meeting. A little later in the program, we have another new Indiana state legislator from northwest Indiana -- State Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D-1), who defeated Libertarian Party candidate Donna Dunn in the Nov. 6 general election to represent residents of sections of Hammond and Whiting.  She talks about the issues she raised during the campaign that got her elected, many of which she says came from residents she spoke with.

Photo Provided

Today:   Lake County Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr joins us to talk about the work that his drainage crews've done in clearing away more debris this summer and autumn that was clogging some of the county's drainage ditches.  His department is responsible for managing more than 600 miles of waterways outside the cities and towns and in unincorporated Lake County townships.  Cleaner ditches means less possibility of flooding.  Emerson also says the efficient use of his crews saved taxpayers thousands of dollars this year.  Later, another conversation with a new member of the Lake County legislativ

Calumet Roundtable, Purdue NW

Today:   Purdue University English literature Professor Carolyn Boiarsky spoke with us recently about her latest book on the effects of good and bad communication.  We bring back her remarks, and her examples -- as noted in the book -- about good communication (Enbridge Pipeline Co.) and bad communication (events that led to the 1992 Chicago flood and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill).  We also have immediate past chairman of the SCORE Northwest Indiana chapter, Jim Hubbard, who talks about the organization that links seasoned business veterans with small businesses that need their ad

Lisa Beck for State Rep. Facebook page

Today:   An extended conversation with one of the new state legislators, State Rep. Lisa Beck (D-19), who joined her northwest Indiana colleagues for swearing-in and Organization Day at the Statehouse, in advance of the 2019 General Assembly session.   We also have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean Cities.  Lauri Keagle is in once again for host Carl Lisek, with a conversation with John Scharingson, the Executive Director, Sales & Marketing at the Renewable Energy Group.