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.

Nuvo.net

Today:  Jesse Kharbanda, the executive diretcor of the Hoosier Environmental Council, joins us to talk about the organization's 2020 General Assembly agenda, including efforts for passage of  bills that offer more solar energy options for homeowners and mass transportation that uses clean-energy processes.  He also talks about last weekend's "Greening the Statehouse" program.  And Josh Hale, the CEO of Chicago-based Big  Shoulders Fund, talks about the independent charitable organization's long-range efforts to assist schools in the Gary Catholic Diocese of Gary with the help of a $16 million gift over 10 years from the Bruce and Beth White Family Foundation.  It will be the Big Shoulders Fund's first venture into northwest Indiana.

Indiana Secretary of State Election Division

Today:  Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne is on the program to review the Indiana municipal elections this month.  He notes a number of changes  for mayor in several cities this past election and how incumbents mamaged to hold on to their mayoral positions in some cities like Indianapolis.  Regional Health Systems president-CEO Robert Krumweid is in the studio  to talk about his three-decades-long post with the area behavioral health care provider, beginning with a small location in East Chicago.  "Post-Tribune" columnist Jerry Davich discusses the thoughts behind his series of columns on the town of Ogden Dunes and issues between the chairman of the town's planning commission and residents and contractors.. 

Getty Images

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable" Thursday we turn to Dan Carden of the "Times" and "Post-Tribune" reporter Michael Gonzalez to talk about the stories they posted online and had in the print editions this week.  Dan covered the announcement from U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky that he would not seek re-election in 2020, and of two people who already are interested in seeking the longtime Congressman's seat -- Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. and North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan.  Dan also has the story about the Schererville town election where Councilman Michael Troxell won the Clerk-Treasurer's race.    Michael was in Portage on Election Night to watch how mayoral candidate John Cannon (who is serving out ex-Mayor James Snyder's term of office) and Sue Lynch did at the polls.  His story in the "Post-Tribune" detailed Lynch's election victory and post-election comments from Cannon.

HammondMan-Wikipedia

Today:   The Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest is holding a discussion on Thursday with regional leaders, including some of the public officials who were involved in Tuesday's election.  PNW professor and LNI academic director Rachel Clapp-Smith joins us with the details of the event.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio" with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities with the focus on Hammond's economic development program. The director of the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project, Karen Lloyd, talks about the project -- which is similar to Story Corps -- and its importance to keeping the lines of conversation with veterans alive.  And Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute is with us, with the IYI's tips on making holiday familiy gatherings  enjoyable, educational for young people, and with minimum conflict.

Roads and Bridges website

Today:   We bring back our conversation with Terry Velligan and Laura Weber, two of the United Bridge Partners staff members working on the Cline Avenue bridge project in East Chicago.  The toll bridge is scheduled to be completed early next year, to take the place of the structurally-unsound bridge near ArcelorMittal  that was demolished.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," hosied by Carl Lisek from South Shore Clean Cities.  And Indiana University Northwest economist Micah Pollak talks about Friday's annual "Business and Economic Outlook" program to be held at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso.  Speakers include Professor Pollak and other academicians and northwest Indiana business and economic development leaders, who will offer their "big picture" look of 2020 in the Region.  Roman Bronson of "Indiana Plan" returns with news of another union construction trades job seminar next week at the ArtHouse -- A Social Kitchen in downtown Gary.

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:   Lake County Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser and his Republican Party counterpart, Dan Dernulc, talk about the last-minute campaigning efforts that their candidates are making, one week ahead of the municipal elections. They also talk about the joint letter they issued in response to remarks posted on Facebook by the former Libertarian Party chairman about two Hammond City Council candidates.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," with host Kevin Comerford from the Construction Advancement Foundation -- and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

Photo Provided

Today:  Hoosier economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus is back, to talk about some of his "Eye on the Pie" columns published across the state and in particular about some of the topics that link Indiana economics and the upcoming municipal elections.   The president and CEO of Merrillville-based Cimcor, Inc., Robert Johnson III, is in the studio to talk about his company and the recent recognition it's received as one of the "Top 150 Cybersecurity Companies to Watch In 2020" by Cybersecurity Ventures.  It's grown from its beginnings in 1997 to become one of northwest Indiana's sought-after companies for its specialized products.

NICTD West Lake Corridor web page

Today:  Sarah Ferraro and Terri Weems of the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area, and Maranda Fishback with RISE NWI and the Legacy Foundation's community engagement coordinator, are in the studio to talk about the "Vote411.org" project and its local link for Lake County voters to get election-related information.   It is a way for voters to be educated before they head to the polls on Election Day next month, and is a platform for candidates to use with their constituents.  Later in the program, we talk with Matt Moss, Vice President of F. H. Paschen, which is joining with Ragnar Benson on its joint-venture proposal for the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor Project.  He explains how the two companies which have worked on many projects in the region are working together on this one, and about an outreach effort in Dyer on Thursday afternoon.

Think Progress website

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable," we ask "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete to talk about the stories they put forth in print and online in their respective media.  Meredith's stories include one of a lawsuit filed by the EPA as it investigates the lead-and-arsenic contamination issue in East Chicago, and Joe Pete covers a lot of news-related ground about U.S. Steel and on the ceremony for Midland Metal Products' moving from Chicago into the old Lear Corp. plant in Hammond.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has her conversation with an author about the Maharishi Yogi's influence on the Beatles and their music. Ahd we add to the mix, our conversation with officials with the Hoosier Environmental Council on the agency's bringing "Improving Kids' Environment" into the HEC organization.

city of Valparaiso Indiana website

Today:  Maggie Clifton, director of community engagement for the city of Valparaiso, joins us to talk about the 14 neighborhood projects that being supported this year by the Redevelopment Commission's Neighborhood Improvement Grant program.  This the second year for the program and this year's grants will be focued on projects like new sidewalks, street lights and playground equipment.    We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," with host Carl Lisek of  South Shore Clean Cities.  and there is an addition to Majestic Star Casino in Gary -- mobile sports betting, as supplied by an Illinois company.  Frank Ignatius, the founder and president of USA Sports Gaming, talks about the new partnership with  casino owner Spectacle Emtertainment of Indianapolis.

trailtowns.org

Today:   Jena Bellezza with the Indiana Parenting Institute talks about this Friday's "State of the Family Luncheon, to be held at Avalon Manor in Hobart.  Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute joins us to talk about National Hispanic Heritage Month and how educators and parents  can pave the way for students to more well-rounded citizens.  We have another conversation with Ty Warner with NIRPC on "Building Northwest Indiana." And Mitch Barloga with NIRPC is live in the studio to talk about the Greenways Foundation of Indiana's upcoming series of workshops to explain and encourage the establishment of Trail Towns. Trail Towns can generate economic growth and tourism dollars, as well as protect trails. Mitch is the president of the board of directors for the Greenways Foundation.

boleriam books website

Today:  Indiana University Northwest sociology professor Jack Bloom joins us to talk about "Class, Race and the Civil Rights Movement," a book he wrote and was published more than 30 years ago and is still relevant today -- so much so, that he added some new material for the second edition now in print.  He will talk about it, and sign the books, on October 24th on the Gary campus.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with Portage Mayor John Cannon last week when the Porter County emergency communications system was upgraded to meet statewide standards.   IPBS reporter Rebecca Thiele travelled to Lake Michigan communities to find out more about the impact that recent chemical spills are having on UIndiana Dunes National  Park tourism. And we hear from northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer and from Steve Coxhead of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance about how the IPRA is still lobbying hard for support for the "Hoosier State" rail service.

United Bridge Partners

Today:  "Times" reporters Dan Carden and Olivia Heersink are in this program's "Reporters' Roundtable" segment talking about stories they wrote for print and in the online newspaper  and website.  Dan covers stories in Lake County and state government, and Olivia is the morning police and breaking-news reporter.  They cover topics ranging from Lake County Recorder Michael B. Brown -- to new political candidate announcements -- to innovative ways that Griffith Police are taking advantage of a staffer who is trained in social work. The police department is one of only two Indiana police departments with a full-time social worker.  Terry Velligan and Laura Weber with the local United Bridge Partners staff also talk about the new Cline Avenue bridge that is under construction in East Chicago -- in the footprint of the bridge that was torn down because of structural corrosion.

Photo Provided

Today:  Karen Toering, the founder of the Gary International Black Film Festival, is in the studio to talk about this year's event -- a weekend of viewing great independent films created by black filmmakers.  It opens on Friday with a red carpet reception at Indiana University Northwest's Bergland Auditorium. Film screenings will take place on campus and in other venues in Gary.  "Green Fleet Radio" from South Shore Clean Cities is back, with host Carl Lisek and his guests from GPTC talking about "clean" mass transit. And we have an at-length conversation with Indiana state Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary), who announced on Tuesday that he is a Democratic Party 2020 primary election candidate for Governor.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:  Stephan Piggee II, the associate director of recruitment and events for the Purdue University Northwest undergraduate admissions office, is on the program to talk about two "Preview PNW" events coming up -- on October 19th on the Hammond campus and on November 16th on the Westville campus.    There will be lots for prospective students, their families and visitors to see, to learn and to do at both events.  "Building Northwest Indiana" host Kevin Comerford talks with Ty Warner of NIRPC, and we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. This week, a Gary resident recalls how she met her husband. Indiana Dones Tourism executive director Lorelei Weimer talkls about the efforts to bring cruise ships to the Port of Indiana.  And an honors students group at Ivy Tech Community College is holding a clothing giveaway in East Chicago today.

Photo Provided

Today: We have a remembrance of northwest Indiana environmental activist Lee Botts, who passed away on Saturday at age 91.  We have comments that she made in 2009 to a local video producer and on "Eye on the Arts" conversation on Lakeshore PBS in January 2019 that was recorded ahead of the "Shifting Sands" documentary.  State Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) has been holding public town hall sessions on public education issues lately and two more are coming up this week.  He'll talk about them, and we bring back our conversation with Allison Wuerffel with the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University about the NEH grant that is supporting the current "Flight Paths" initiative.

Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:  On  this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we talk with Carole Carlson with the "Post-Tribune" about her recent stories in print and online. They include comments from the president of Gary Common Council about incidents involging a stolen vehicle (his), some teenagers and an East Chicago police investigation.  Carole also has details on the state Board of Education visit on Wednesday to Gary and some passionately angry Gary residents voicing their conerns about the consdition of public school buildings in the city. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson talks with a recipient of a "Woman of the Year in STEM" award.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Northwest Indiana community activist Ruth Needleman is in the studio to talk about a number of topics, including her "take" on the "Business Insider" survey that found that Gary was one of the country's "most miserable cities."   We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," made possible by South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC. Professor Karen Bishop Morris, a boardmember of Laini Fuellen Charities, and Dr. Mary Nicholson with Community Healthcare System will talk about "triple negative breast cancer," the research work underway to find a cure and the October 12th "Pink Tie Affair" event to raise money for the work and other programs.  The "Pink Tie Affair" will be held at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago.

Today:   Andy Downs of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne is with us to talk about the municipal elections next month across the Hoosier State.  We have another edition of “Building Northwest Indiana,” from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

Hannah News Service

Today:   Ed Feigenbaum with Hannah News Service's "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter joins us to talk about the new mobile gaming service being established in Indiana this week.  Indiana Youth Institute presidient-CEO Tami Silverman has her column out on the newest Indiana Dept. of Education database on Hoosier public school discipline issues.  She talks about how parents can help their local schools do better.  And we bring back Side Effects Public Media's Isiah Seibert's conversation with journalist and podcaster Greg O'Brien -- who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

WNDU-TV file photo

Today: On "Reporters' Roundtable,"  we talk to "Post-Tribune" reporter Grant Morgan about his stories posted online and in print -- including his story on news conferences held by Will County authorities and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill about the fetal remains found in a Crete Twp. garage owned by the late Dr. Ulrich Klopfer. The investigation continues into the remains from Dr. Klopfer's womens'  clinics in northern Indiana.  Grant also has the latest on the Elkhart woman facing trial in U.S. District Court in Hammond for allegedly aiding ISIS.  A judge gave Samantha ElHassani's lawyers permission to seek depositions from three people in Iraq about her case.

IPB News

Today:  Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Barbaba Brosher learned about the Pizza King restaurants when she moved into Indiana and she put together a feature on this Hoosier icon around smaller  towns and cities -- and she shared it with us. We  have for you this week's editions of "Building Northwest Indiana," with Kevin Comerford of the Construction Advancement Foundation (part two is next week) and "Green Fleet Radio," with host Carl Lisek with South Shore Clean Cities. And a celebrated jazz musician paid a visit to Merrillville High School this week to spend time with a music educator and her classes. We have conversations with Diane Rosenthal and "jazzman" Charley Harrison.

Hammer Financial Group

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer is back with some tips on being financially healthy -- even though this is "Healthy Aging Month." William Streitberger with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. talks about some important and high-tech enhancements to the agency's Rehabilitation and Education Service programs that assist veterans with disabilities.  And Hoosier Environmental Council assistant attorney Aaron Corn spoke to a citizens' group in Porter County about the recent pollution concerns coming from the U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal plants at Portage.  Aaron joins us to talk about his remarks and the reaction to them from residents.

GPTC

Today:  We bring back our conversation with David Wright, the planning director for Gary Public Transportation Corp. about the recent service changes and what will be "On the Table" at the next Legacy Foundation-sponmsored discussion on Monday at Gary Public Library.  Ann Massie of the Northwest Indiana Food Council tells about the last series of "Farm Hop" farm tours around the Region, and Professor Tim Tomasik has details of this year's Valparaiso University Film Festival.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson also talks with  Allison Mack with Gas Buddy.com about the impact that recent attacks on Saudi crude oil facilities will have on what we here in northwest Indiana pay for gasoline.

NWI Times - artist's rendering

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Dee Dee White, a workforce specialist with Ivy Tech Community College's Lake County campuses.  She talks about the casino dealer training courses underway and how they can link residents to new jobs proposed at the Hard Rock Casino in Gary.  State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) was with us to talk about the potential review of the two-year state budget that could happen in the next General Assembly session.  And school buses and other school district transportation projects are discussed in the latest edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC. Carl Lisek's guest is Amy Rosa of the Wa-Nee Community School Corp.

AARP website

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about the recent anniverary of the Social Security system and offers some ways to save time and effort in seeking benefits.  Mary Ruble of Chesterton-based "The Artistic Recovery" joins us to talk about the organization that links art and recovery from substance abuse and about this weekend's "Hooked On Art" street art festival to be held in Centennial Park.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Constructiion Advancement Foundation.  Host Kevin Comerford learns more about current Purdue University Northwest construction projects, and we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Photo Provided

Today:   Two college professors who are also authors came into the "Regionally Speaking" studio to talk about their books -- first, I.U. Northwest professor emeritus James Lane about the 3rd edition of "Gary - A Pictorial History," and then Purdue University Northwest professor Carolyn Boiarski talks about her latest book that chronicles the effects of good and bad communication.  One good example that she brings up is Enbridge Energy's effort to comunicate with Griffith residents before expanding a pipeline.

GPTC

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable" Thursday we talk to "Times" business reporter Josaeph Pete and "Post-Tribune" education correspondent Hannah Reed about the stories they covered and wrote for print and on-line editions.   Sandwiched in between their remarks, we have a conversation with David Wright with Gary Public Transportation Corp. about the upgrades in public transit and what will be discussed at the Legacy Foundation's next "On The Table" discussion on Sept. 23rd at the Gary Public Library and Cultural Center.  It's an opportunity to speak out about public transportation needs and how they affect issues like "food deserts" and food insecurity.

Northwest Indiana Food Council website

Today:  Ann Massie with the Northwest Indiana Food Council joins us to talk about the final set of urban and rural farms on this year's "Farm Hop" tour -- an in-depth look into the amazing work being done at family farms, community gardens and other similar projects in the Region.  The final tour will be held on September 21st.  We also talk with Valparaiso University professor Tim Tomasik about the next International Film Festival, and we have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," with host Carl Lisek, supported by South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC.

NWI Times

Today:   We talk with Lake County Council president Ted Bilski about the discussions with the county department heads about their 2020 budget proposals, as councilmembers get ready to finalize the budget.  Bilski goes into detail about the fiscal constraints that they face in the next year and how they will make sure that the 2020 budget is balanced.  We also have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Construction Advancement Foundation. Host Kevin Comerford talks with RDA COO Sherri Ziller.  There is also another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. And we have details on this year's weekend MBA program offered at Indiana University Northwest.

Pages