Regionally Speaking

Monday - Thursday, 11 AM -12 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.

Indianapolis Star

Today:    Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, is on "Regionally Speaking" to bring us up-to-date on the bills dealing with the Indiana environment that are moving through the 2021 General Assembly session.  Donna Catalano, community development director of the Legacy Foundation, is also on the program with the latest on several programs she is involved in, including "NWI Biz Hub.com" and "Lake County Eats Local."  And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Lauren Chapman has a feature report on the effort by legislators to attempt to criminalize protestors.

Indiana Public Media

Today:   "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the stories from the 2021 Indiana Legislature that he's put out in print and online.  Melina Rivera with Healthy Communities Of LaPorte County will talk about smoking cessation programs in her county and about a special Town Hall meeting to be conducted in Spanish tonight on Facebook Live.  It focuses on smoking and vaping and the impact they can have on dealing with the coronavirus.  

PNC Financial Services Group

Today:  PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi is on "Regionally Speaking" for an update on the northwest Indiana and Midwest economic views and outlooks.  We also bring back our recent conversation with northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer, and his recommendations on how to be able to plan for a comfortable retirement in 2021.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson also has more on how healthcare professionals are encouraging adults to talk to children about mental health issues since they, too, are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chicago Crusader website

Today:     Retired public school superintendents Tony Lux and Michael Berta and Merrillville Community Schools administrator Danny Lackey are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about Thursday's first of a two-webcast series co-hosted by Purdue University Northwest and the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education that will focus on education and race, as barriers to learning.  The virtual panel discussion is free and available to the public on the Purdue Northwest  YouTube channel.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, a conversation with Griffith Town Council president Rick Ryfa on events and issues involving the town, and Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman joins us for the latest on the 2021 "Kids Count Data Book" just released.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:    Northwest Indiana political activist Ruth Needleman is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the ongoing issue of immigration in the Region. She also suggests some interesting Black-themed movies to "binge watch." Purdue University Northwest professor Richard Rupp is also on the program to talk about the first of a series of Zoom conversations over the next few months that center around an exploration of the post-COVID world from differing viewpoints. The conversations are with PNW scholars and community experts, on the opportunity for re-invention. Indiana Humanities fellow and independent researcher Nicole Poletika also talks about her research project that centers around the 1972 National Black Political Convention held in Gary.  

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:   "Post-Tribune" reporter Carrie Napoleon is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the stories about the city of Gary that she's posted online and print.  They include stories about the cleanup effort after the recent winter storms.  "Inside Indiana Business" host Gerry Dick spoke recently on his program with Gary Mayor Jerome Prince about his city's economic development successes and we have that conversation.  It includes the recent  announcements about Ackyumen Industries and the Hard Rock casino along I-80-94.  And Veterans Health Administration executive Dr. Patricia Hastings talks about the new Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits Registry that Hoosier veterans -- especially Gulf War veterans -- should sign up to be included. It could offer them some medical assistance, if they show any symptoms of any health problems associated with their overseas duty.

Ivy Tech Community College

Today:  Ivy Tech Community College Lake County campus IT program chairman Matthew Cloud and recent graduate Daniel Lopez are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the local version of the statewide program to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity and IT.  Jordan Stanfill with Housing Opportunities in Valparaiso is also on the program to talk about the organization's assistance to homeless Porter County citizens, including adding more beds to accomodate more people on frigid, snowy nights. Additional funding from the state made the effort possible through about mid-March.  And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brock Turner has a report on the racism-related issues healthcare workers face in trying to persuade Blacks to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Visit Indiana website

Today:  "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter creator and editor Ed Feigenbaum is on "Regionally Speaking" with the Indiana Gaming Commission's monthly report on casino revenues around the state, including northwest Indana, and other gambling-related news.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about gettng ready to fill out those income tax returns, and Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy talks about the latest topics in his city. They include digging out from the latest snowstorm and the strategic planning process that is underway. City officials are seeking community input this month.

Brookings Institute website

Today:   Another in the Purdue University Northwest virtual lecture-discussion series "Race, Racism and Anti-Racism" was held on World Cancer Day and the topic is health equity and communities of color.  We talked with moderator Professor Karen Bishop-Morris and two participants in the conversation, Tranece Artis and Shari McKinley, ahead of the event.  We also have a conversation from "Indiana Lawmakers" program host Jon Schwantes and his guests about a bill in the General Assembly that focuses on law enforcement reform.  And two Indiana Landmarks preservation projects in Gary are getting financial support from the funds set up years ago by the man who became the first Black chemist with Eli Lilly and Company.  We'll tell you more about them.

Chicago Tribune

Today:  There've been a lot of concerns voiced about how safe it is to travel in elevators during the coronavirus pandemic -- but very little solid research into those concerns.  Otis Worldwide commissioned Purdue University mechanical engineering professor Yan Chen to look into it, and Otis engineer Stephen Nichols is on "Regionally Speaking" to reveal the study's findings.  February 7th is National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day and Dr. Laura Cheever with the Ryan White HIV-AIDS Program in Washington DC speaks about the significance of the day and of the legacy of Ryan White himself.  The Hoosier teenager died from the disease in April 1990.  And Andy Campbell, the lead person on the renewable assets team with NIPSCO, and NIPSCO spokesperson Tara McElmurry join us to talk about the solar and wind projects that the utility is working on... or, in the case of two wind farms, has put online.  It's part of the utility's renewable energy initiative to be "coal-free" by 2028.

NPR.org/Getty Images

Today:   Evan Hock, the co-founder of Indiana-based website MakeMyMove is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the number of remote workers who are leaving expensive, congested cities to find places to upgrate their quality of life and still have a career.   Pew research shows about 54-percent of Americans who are working from home because of the pandemic won't want to go back into the office.  And Abhijit Karve, the director of business development with the Purdue Research Foundation is with us to talk about the "Purdue Technology Showcase," coming up virtually on Feb. 10th and 11th.    The showcase will feature novel innovations from inventors at Purdue, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and other organizations.  Registration deadline is Feb. 9th and can be made here .

Indiana Public Media

Today:   Indiana Dunes National Park superintendent Paul Labovitz is with us to talk about the beachfront remediation done last year to correct the growing erosion problem along Central Avenue Beach and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.  He also talks about other projects at the National Park which are planned for 2021.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Thiele has a report on the push to allow reusable shopping bags during the coronavirus pandemic.  Later in the program, Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Ft. Wayne has a review of the first month of the 2021 General Assembly session.  

Associated Press

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable Thursday," we speak with Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune" about her stories related to COVID-19 vaccinations in Lake County.  She also reviews her story on a bill in the General Assembly that, if it becomes law, would affect protecting wetlands in Indiana.  "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson talks about her recent stories from the city of Gary, including the Gary Community Schools.  And we bring back a conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chief Jim Weiser, about this weekend's North Township caucus in Hammond.  It will be held with all health and safety precautions in mind because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Noted Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus is back on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest "Eye On The Pie" columns he's put out, most of them dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19.  Dr. Kalyani Gopal, the founder and president of the SAFE Coalition for Human Rights talks about the importance of being aware of human trafficking and how to recognize the signs of it.  January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  The Coalition's phone number is 312-998-2339 and you can reach their website here. And we also have another "Art On The Air" Spotlight, this one focusing on public library virtual programs.

Porter County Recycling website

Today:  Ron Taylor with Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on what is being recycled in Porter County these days, including the latest on plastic bags recycling. Addiction specialist Joshua Andrus talks about a series of books for young people that helps them better cope with the pandemic. One specific book is titled "Thriving During COVID And Beyond."  And Sandi Haywood with "Home Instead" focuses on the importance of caregivers assisting seniors who would rather live at home instead of in a facility.  Sandi says they are looking for more people who might be interested in helping out part-time, or in a career as a caregiver.

Wharton School of Business website

Today:  Purdue Northwest professor Yu Ouyang talks about the recent transition of the Trump and Biden administrations following Biden's inauguration. Northwest Indiana business advisor Greg Hammer has some points to consider in preparing for a comfortable retirement in 2021. And Aetna resident Penelope Love is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the Aetna Manor Revitalization Program established in the Gary neighborhood.

WGN Channel 9

Today:   "Regionally Speaking's" Reporters' Roundtable includes "Post-Tribune" reporter Amy Lavalley's conversation with "Off Mic" host Michael Puente, on her story on Hammond resident and conservative influencer Kash Lee Kelly's arrest following the U.S. Capitol building assault earlier this month.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete also talks about his recent stories in print and online.  And Indiana Youth Instiute president-CEO Tami Silverman talks about her latest column, written and released in observance of Mentor Month. She speaks in particular about the I.Y.I. initiative MENTOR Indiana.

Building Indiana website

Today:  NFIB For Indiana Director Barbara Quandt is on "Regionally Speaking" to give the latest on how Hoosier small businesses are coping in the pandemic, and on what state lawmakers are considering this session to help them survive.  We revisit our conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chief Jim Weiser on the Jan. 30th caucus at the Hammond Civic Center to choose a new North Twp. Trustee.   And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Gemma DiCarlo has a feature report on a research team at University of Notre Dame that has been tracking the presidential transition process.  Lakeshore Public Radio is carrying the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C on Wednesday.

Indiana Public Broadcasting News

Today:   "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on the stories from the 2021 General Assembly session that he's put out in print and online.   Hoosier Environmental Council chief executive Jesse Kharbanda is also on the program with a look at what environmental bills the HEC is watching closely this session.  Gary native Montia Gardner is also on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about an important educational online conversation on Monday, Jan. 18 on what's called CRP.

Indiana Department of Health

Today:  Dr. Indra Frank, the environmental health and water policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council, tells us about two bills now before the Indiana General Assembly that, if passed and enacted into law, would make improvements in coal ash disposal procedures for Hoosier coal-fired power plants.  State Representative Pat Boy and State Senator Karen Tallian are co-sponsors.  Dr. Frank has more on an online policy forum on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. on the subject of coal ash disposal.  Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Rebeca Thiele has a feature on the impact of power plant closings on the communities in which they are located.  The latest news on COVID-19 vaccines given out locally and across the state, and a report on how legislators are addressing redrawing political boundaries are also topics on the program today.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   We continue our conversations with leaders of northwest Indiana higher education institutions with Purdue University Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon.  We also speak with Robert Blaszkiewicz with Franciscan Health Northern Division about the next distribution of coronavirus vaccines, this time for seniors age 80 and older.  Appointments can be made online or by calling 211.   We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, this time with someone who is very knowledgable about properties in the city of Gary and the importance of neighborhoods. 

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Lake County Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk in detail about the Jan. 30 North Township caucus at the Hammond Civic Center to select a new Township Trustee, to fill the vacancy left by now-Congressman Frank Mrvan.   PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi, joins us for our monthly conversation on the northwest Indiana and national economic outlooks.  And former "Lakeshore News Tonight" anchor-reporter  -- now a videojournalist with the Associated Press -- Hilary Powell talks about her assignment covering last week's Washington DC political rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol.    

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable" program, Indiana Public Broadcastng's Katy Anderson talks with political analyst Andy Downs about Wednesday's chaos on Capitol Hill and the impact that it may have on American politics.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has a report on the upcoming Bishop Noll Institute entrance exam, scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd at the Catholic-affiliated high school in Hammond. And Inside Indiana Business reporter Mary-Rachel Redman visited the city of Gary and spokes to city officials and residents about "Dear Ole Roosevelt" -- Gary Roosevelt High School, one of three high schools in the state that was built for Black childrens' education.  The school is now on Indiana Landmarks' latest list of Most Endangered Buildings.

Photo provided by IU

Today:   Indiana University Northwest Chancellor Ken Iwama is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the university in 2020 and a look ahead to 2021. He reviewed the response to the COVID pandemic and its impact on higher education.  Side Effects Public Media's Farah Yousry has a report about the lengths that some diabetics will go, to make sure they have the insulin they need to stay alive. And we bring back a conversation about a new addition to the LaPorte County Public Library's community services: a way to offer education that can lead to high-skilled, good-paying jobs.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Legislative Insight" newsletters, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the latest Indiana gaming industry news including the local casinos -- and about the 2021 General Assembly session that just began this week in Indianapolis. We also have Jim Ventura, the CEO of Maya Energy LLC, which is building a solid waste and recyclables processing facility on Gary's west edge.  Plans call for a 156,000 square foot building to accept and process up to 1,600 tons of municipal waste and construction and demolition waste for reuse each year.  Land surveying and preparation just began on the site and Maya Energy anticipates its opening late this year.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Northwest Indiana political activist Ruth Needleman joins us to talk about the issues of 2020 and a look ahead (including two new organizatons' Zoom meetings coming up) in 2021.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Farah Yousry has a feature report on the importance of making sure that diabetics get the best food possible, even during a pandemic.  And we bring back, for one last time, our in-studio conversation with Indiana University Northwest professors Charles Hobson and Micah Pollak on a look into a study (assisted by their colleague Bala Arshanapali) on military-friendly businesses... and they learned that the business of hiring veterans is, indeed, good business.

Photo Provided

Today:  We bring you three conversations from 2020 -- two of them focusing on the efforts by St. Joseph's College trustees and administrators to follow through on the plan to revitalize the Catholic-affiliated college.   First, we speak with executive director William Carroll, and then with alumnus and Texas businessman Mark Zwartinski, who offered the Board of Trustees an ambitious plan of action.  We also have our conversation with former legislator and Indiana University professor Jill Long Thompson, who wrote a book titled "The Character of American Democracy," published by I.U. Press. Dr. Thompson began her political career as a Valparaiso City Councilperson.

Foster Success website

Today:  The recent COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by the President will have an impact on Hoosier foster youth as they leave their foster homes and move on toward adulthood.  Dr. Maggie Stevens, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based "Foster Success," talks with us about the provisions of the bill that can best assist them.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, this time a young Black talks about trying to make friends, after moving into a new neighborhood.  Ty Warner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission talks about a recent report entitled "E-commerce in Northwest Indiana."  It's a report that addresses in more detail the dynamic shifts in the local economy.  And Pangere Corp. safety supervisor Don Babcock tells us more about a recent educational collaboratin with a Purdue University Northwest professor to offer students a way to be better prepared for careers after graduation.

Indiana Democratic Party website

Today:  State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the issues coming up in the 2021 General Assembly session -- a session that is not only a biennial budget-writing session but one marked by revenue concerns due to COVID-19.  Tammi Davis with the Gary Sanitary District is also a member of an Indiana advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  She tells us about an in-depth report on environmental injustice dealing with lead poisoning in Indiana -- a topic of great interest in northwest Indiana. And we have another edition of "Neighborhood Voice" minority business owner conversations from the Legacy Foundation, as Erica Fizer talks to a Hammond cafe owner.

Metro Oasis CDC Twitter

Today:   Toya Dumas Robinson, CEO of Metropolitan Oasis CDC, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the organization founded by her late father in Gary and the new program that the Indiana DCS is asking the organization to do.   We also bring you edited highlights of Wednesday's ribbon cutting ceremony on the new Cline Avenue toll bridge in East Chicago.  The structure, planned and built over the past five years, was described by the contractor as the “Gateway of Lake County.”  It takes the place of a defective Cline Avenue bridge over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal that was demolish

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