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.

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

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:  For this "Reporters' Roundtable" program, we talk with "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden about the stories he's put out in print and online.  They include the latest in the dispute between the Lake County Commissioners and County Council over who has jurisdiction over purchasing matters, and a look at how state legislators from northwest Indiana will play a role in shaping state policy when the General Assembly session begins next month.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete talks about his stories, including his comprehensive look at changes in the local steelmaking industry with a new player: Cleveland-Cliffs, and one about a gain in northwest Indiana population despite the early-2020 job losses.  And Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. joins us for a lively city-wide update.   

Today:   Abbey Omodunbi with PNC Financial Services Group is back on "Regionally Speaking" with another analysis of the local, regional and national economic pictures.   Side Effects Public Media reporter Farah Yousry has another in her feature series on COVID-19 and diabetes.  And we revisit our conversation with  Terry Velligan with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC, as next week's official opening of the new toll bridge in East Chicago approaches.

Pew Research Center

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Purdue Research Foundation's David Broecker talks about a wireless high-speed internet initiative that will benefit students and families in the Kankakee Valley Schools district next year.  The current plans call for connections to be made in January.  Side Effects Publc Media reporter Farah Yousry has a report on the concerns that diabetics -- particularly those with Type I diabetes -- have, in trying to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic with a condition that has been found to develop severe symptoms and complications if they contract the virus. We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, from a northwest Indiana resident whose family came to the U.S. from Mexico.

Photo Provided

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Chris Bayh, the son of former Senator Birch Bayh, and Joe Allen, a former Bayh staffer who now heads up the "Bayh-Dole-40" initiative that marks the 40th anniversary (actually observed earlier this month) of the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act.   The Bayh-Dole Act fundamentally changed the nation's system of technology transfer, by enabling universities to retain title to inventions and take the lead in patenting and licensing groundbreaking discoveries.  We also have Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute to talk about her latest column entitled "Still Home for the Holiday: Supporting Our Kids Over Break." Young people usually await the holidays to enjoy being with friends and family, as well as the presents.  But the pandemic changed all that and added stress to the holiday plans.  Tami offers some tips in dealing with that stress.

Lt Governor's Office/WKVI Radio website

Today:  "Times" reporters Mary Freda and Carley Lanich are with us to talk about the stories they posted on the newspaper's website and in print editions this week, including the latest on COVID pandemic-related issues with regional schools, a court decision that affects the former owner of the Crown Theatre in downtown Crown Point, packages being stolen off residents' porches and plans for major expansion projects in the Crown Point Community Schools. There is now a third round of COVID-19 response grants available for communities to help those impacted by the pandemic. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs are working with and overseeing the program. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with the Lieutenant Governor about the next round of grants. And we bring back our conversation with Edgewater Health executive Dr. Danita Johnson-Hughes about this evening's virtual fundraiser.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer is on "Regionally Speaking" with a look back at the important financial issues of 2020 and putting them in perspective as we look into 2021. Pangere Corp. safety coordinator Don Hancock also talks about his work with a Purdue University Northwest construction science and leadership class on giving students some "real world" experience thay can use when they begin their careers. They created a PowerPoint presentation that can be used to train others on OSHA and other safety training procedures.

Photo Provided

Today: La Lumiere School's Head of School Adam Kronk is with us to talk about how they managed to be able to provide "in person" learning during the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting nearly all classes outdoors.  The LaPorte County private college-prep school is now on "remote learning" between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks because of the colder weather.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with Gary Mayor Jerome Prince. He talks about his early schooling while living in the city's Glen park neighborhood.

Today: Businessman and St. Joseph's College alumni Mark Andrew Zwartzynski wants to help his alma mater and he's proposed an ambitious  plan to revive the Rensselaer campus, the city of Rennselaer and the entire area.  Mark joins us for an at-length conversation about it.  He presented a 128-page proposal to the college's board of trustees last month, but they decided not to vote upon it at this time. Noted Indiana economist-writer-speaker Morton Marcus is back with more of his "Eye On The Pie" columns to talk about.  Some deal with the township governments and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.

CDC.gov

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable" Thursday, Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune" reviews for us her stories related to the coronavirus pandemic, and "Inside Indiana Business" host Gerry Dick talks to an Indianapolis-based standup comedian on how he had to shift from stage performances to virtual performances on Zoom.   Edgewater Health president and CEO Danita Johnson-Hughes gives us a preview of the organization's virtual fundraisier coming on December 19th.

Star America website

Today:  We revisit our conversation recorded here at Lakeshore Public Radio with Tom Dakich, the creator of the "Digital Crossroad" data center that is now open for business in Hammond.  An official grand opening late last month was postponed because of the pandemic.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Natalie Krebs has a report on businesses that are preparing for the pandemic's winter months. And Craig Miller, Franciscan Health's adminstrative director for ambulatory services, talks about the new remote urgent care services instead of a personal visit to a clinic.

The Associated Press

Today:  Our colleague Michael Puente from Chicago Public Radio WBEZ sent along his recent "Off Mic" conversation with Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne, on the political futures of Vice President (and former Governor) Mike Pence and former South Bend Mayor (and presidential primary candidate) Pete Buttigieg.  We bring it to you, along with conversations from northwest Indiana's minority business community on "Neighborhood Voice" and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso Univeity.  Today's conversation is with a well-known Gary public official.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter with Hanna News Service has an update on the Indiana gaming industry, including the latest Indiana Gaming Commission meeting topics that include revenues from the casinos and sportsbooks, as well as the investigation into allegations involving executives with Spectacle Entertainment and former casino operator Centaur Gaming and the probe's impact on the Gary and Terre Haute casino projects.  We also bring back out conversation with Porter County Substance Abuse Council executive director Dawn Pelc and board president Chuck Harris, about the organization's effort to reduce the number of former Porter County jail inmates going back behind bars because of drug-related crimes.  Many of those returning inmates don't have the education or job skills to find meaningful jobs in the community.

Photo Provided by Icon website

Today:  Ty Warner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission talks about the new report "E-commerce in Northwest Indiana," which follows the explosive growth of ecommerce in the Region as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and makes some recommendations to help adapt to the changes.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Thiele has another feature on the economic impact of coal-fired power plants on the communities where they are located. We also bring back our conversation with Linda Eales, the curator of the Samara House in West Lafayette.  It's a structure that was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright back in the 1950's for a Purdue University professor and his family. The house is now on the National Register of Historic Places and Indiana Landmarks is setting aside one million dollars for continued restoration of the structure.

Lakeshore Public Radio

IU Northwest economics professor Micah Pollak was on "Regionally Speaking" last month to talk about a study commissioned from EMSI, on the economic impact that IU Northwest has on students, alumni and the community at large.  He also talked about his Twitter posts that update local residents on the COVID pandemic.  These remarks came as the number of cases began to rise dramatically. IPB News reporter Rebecca Thiele has a feature about the Michigan City NIPSCO power plant, and Purdue Research Foundation's David Broecker talks about a wireless high-speed internet initiative that will benefit students and families in the Kankakee Valley Schools district next year.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Terry Velligan, the general manager for operations at the Cline Avenue bridge construction site, is with us with an update on the near-completion of the bridge that is over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago.  The final segment constructed on-site was raised into place earlier this month and the finishing touches are being made to get ready to open the bridge to traffic  in early winter.  CareSource Indiana president Steve Smitherman talks about the non-profit organization's efforts to assist Hoosiers in getting their 2021 health insurance needs met.  And northwest Indiana community activist Ruth Needleman has the latest on local racial and community-police issues.

Photo Provided

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable" Thursday, we have Lakeshore Public Radio reporter Sharon Jackson's conversation with Crown Point Mayor David Uran, who is convalescing at home after having tested positive for COVID-19 about 18 days ago.  He is doing well, and he shared his experiences with Sharon.  "Post-Tribune" reporter Hannah Reed and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete are talking about the stories they wrote and posted online and in the print editions.  Hannah's stories are pandemic-related, about school districts changing their students' instruction modes, and Joseph's stories run the gamut, from business layoff-related (BP in Chicago and Whiting) to the downtown Gary demolition projects to the passing of Gary teenaged chef Ben Watkins.

CDC.org

Today:  The president of the LaPorte County Board of Commissioners, Sheila Matias, is with us to give an update on the COVID-19 health crisis in her county and of the latest restrictions that include closing county government offices effective Monday.   And "Off Mic" host Michael Puente talks with newspaper reporter Mike Hutton, who is involved in a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine.

Lee Lewellen, Indiana Landmarks

Today:   William Carroll, the executive director of St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, is with us to give us the latest in the effort to continue the liberal arts college's return to educational solvency, so to speak, following some financial issues in recent years.  The college resolved those obligations  and approved a three-year plan.  Carroll and his Board of Trustees are soliciting ideas and have heard from at least one alumnus.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us to talk about some of the things that family members can discuss when they get together for the holidays, whichever way that may be.  That may include updating retirement accounts or even estate planning, if needed. 

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