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.

Wikipedia.org

Today:   On "Reporters' Roundtable Thursday,"  we talk with former "Post-Tribune" reporter Amy Lavalley (who covers Porter County events in places like the County Courthouse (pictured above) and "Post-Tribune reporter Carrie Napoleon about the stories they wrote and put out in print and online.  Amy also talks about her next career move.  We also have an "Inside Indiana Business" report on the future of northwest Indiana's business climate.  Gerry Dick talks to Northwest Indiana Forum CEO Heather Ennis.  

Food Bank NWI / Linked-In

Today:  Allyson Vaulx with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on the food bank's operations and summer programs, and with the news of financial assistance from a major healthcare provider based in Indianapolis.  Also on the subject of food insecurity, we bring back our conversation with Michigan City EDC executive director Clarence Hulse on the study that his organizatuon and Purdue Extensive Service in LaPorte County is conducting, to find solutions to the city's two "food deserts."  Two Michigan City neighborhoods currently have no markets that sell fresh, wholesome food.  And "Post-Tribune" columnist Phil Potempa unpacks his telegraph key to put on a "one-man show" this week about famed newspaper gossip columnist and broadcaster Walter Winchell.  

Hoosier State Press Assn

  

Today:  The new owner and publisher of the "Chesterton Tribune," Don Hurd, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about his multi-member "hyper-local" community newspaper group and what prompted him to acquire the Chesterton publication and revive it in the interest of serving smaller towns and cities.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. And we revisit our conversation with Diocese of Gary Bishop Robert McClory about the return to in-person Masses at northwest Indiana Catholic churches effective on Friday.  Bishop McClory, along with the other bishops of Indiana, agreed that churches can safely accommodate more parishioners for Masses and lifted the dispensation which has been in effect for more than a year.

Times of Northwest Indiana

Today:   South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority president Speros Batistatos is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the Region's tourism and hospitality sectors, as the COVID-19 pandemic loosens its grip on local events and festivals and of the hotels and other businesses that depend on them.  We also bring back our conversations with Patrick Maloney and Cal Bellamy about Franciscan Health's plans to "downsize" the Hammond hospital and with Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy.  And Megan Telligman with Indiana Humanities talks about the new multiyear "Unearthed" initiative to help Hoosiers to explore how we shape the environment and how the environment shapes us.

Rail-Volution website

Today:   NIRPC executive director Ty Warner is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk at-length about transit oriented development (TOD for short) and the concept's potential impact on northwest Indiana.  TODs (like the one pictured) are included within transit development districts (TDDs) -- like ones that are being proposed within the West Lake Corridor expansion of the South Shore Line.  Ty says the one of the concept's goals is to make neighborhoods more livable.  A public engagement hearing is coming up June 9th about the Hammond Gateway TDD project, which is part of the West Lake Corridor.  And Erin Stojic, financial wellness coalition coordinator with the Lake Area United Way, joins us to talk about the non-profit's first Community Savings Challenge.  It's a program bringing community banks together with LAUW to encourage northwest Indiana citizens to save at least $250 in six months... to bolster the habit of "saving for a rainy day."

Photo provided

Today:   Kathy Sipple, the northwest Indiana senior coordinator for the Resilience Cohort, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about this summer's greenhouse gas emissions inventory project with 14 participating municipalities. It's part of a statewide effort to better understand such emissions and how communities can reduce them.  We bring back our conversation with Indiana Dunes Tourism's Lorelei Weimer, as we get ready for a conversation with South Shore CVA executive director Speros Batistatos for a complete look at area tourism efforts.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

Brandon Smith, IPB News

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, veteran Statehouse radio reporter Eric Berman is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the work that the General Assembly must do this summer in drawing legislative and congressional district maps -- and the impact the new maps will have on Indiana politics.  Lawmakers took a break right now, but will be back to work on the maps, amid calls for public input on what they will look like.   "Post-Tribune" freelance reporter Carole Carlson and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete will talk about the stories they recently put out in print and online.

Diocese of Gary Indiana website

Today:  A conversation mid-way in the program with Diocese of Gary Bishop Robert McClory, on the impending return to in-person Masses at northwest Indiana Catholic churches.  This takes place beginning June 11th.  But first, we revisit our conversation with Lake County Elections and Voter Registration director Michelle Fajman on the new election equipment and personnel management project that will be in effect as early as 2022, and the impact the change may have on future elections.  And later, we find out more about two young Black entrepreneurs that found a way to combat food insecurity in an eastside Indianapolis neighborhood, with the help of an  Indiana medical equipment company.

CNN.COM

Today:  North Lake Environmental Partnership is providing free water sampling early next month in Gary and Hammond, so residents can determine if their tap water is contaminated with lead.  It is one of the lasting legacies of pollution in the Region. We’ll speak to one of the research team members working on the project -- Hope College (Michigan) chemistry professor Kenneth Brown.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acting administrator Tom Murphy talks about some major changes the VA is making that can positively affect veterans' lives. And a Gary native and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduate is joining with his wife to provide a scholarship program that will assist young people attend the private engineering school in Terre Haute -- youngsters who might not otherwise be able to afford college. We bring back our conversation with Mike Mussellem.

Gary Chamber of Commerce website

  

Today:  Chuck Hughes, executive director of the Gary Chamber of Commerce, is on "Regionally Speaking" with his thoughts on the new Hard Rock Casino in his city and on what role the Jackson family has had in supporting their youngsters' hometown.  We talked with him after the grand opening. Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer has some tips for new graduates -- high school and college -- to better prepare themselves, financially, for young adulthood.  And Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman talks about mental health care for youth and teachers in recovery efforts during the pandemic.  Her complete column on the subject is on the IYI website.

Times of Northwest Indiana

Today:   Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on what's going on in the city.  Northwest Indiana resident and author Brian Vukadinovich is also on the program to talk about policing and police reform from his own personal perspective, and we find out the latest on efforts to get more Gary residents innoculated against COVID-19. And Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Jill Sheridan has a feature report on an Indianapolis woman who filed a housing discrimination complaint over a discrepancy in her mortgage refinancing application because she is Black.  

Photo provided

Today:  The Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission-- made up of Republicans, Democrats and independents -- submitted a report based on a series of statewide public meetings to the General Assembly, which will return to Indianapolis later this year to draw new political district maps.  Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana and representative for the Citizens Redistricting Commission, is on "Regionally Speaking" for an in-depth conversation on the report and what recommendations the commission is making to the map makers.  We revisit our conversation with Valparaiso city parks and recreation director John Seibert on what residents and visitors to the city can expect from their parks this year.  And educator and language pathologist Holly DeLeon talks about some "red flags" in learning loss that parents can spot in preschoolers because of the pandemic. 

PNC Financial Services Group

Today:   PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the latest concerns caused by the federal stimulus package, supply dislocations and other economic issues in the northwest Indiana, Midwest and U.S. economies.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, a visit from "Women4Change" executive director Rima Shahid about the May 22nd virtual training session for women interested in seeking public office, and a look at how returning to a pre-pandemic life can cause anxieties for some Hoosiers.

Dean and Barbara White Foundation

Today:   We revisit our conversation with Bill Hanna, the new executive director of the Dean and Barbara White Foundation.  Reporter Michael Puente has a report on the new Gary casino that opened for business on Friday and the impact that a new Chicago casino, if it opens, could have on the city of Gary's fortunes.  We talk to Michael Jackson's second-grade music teacher who recognized the innate talent that he had, even at that early age.  And Lorelei Weimer with Indiana Dunes Tourism and Indiana Landmarks regional field office director Brad Miller talk about some upcoming events. Brad talks about the May 22nd "Logs to Lustrons" 2021 virtual talk. Two couples share their experiences revitalizing two homes in Indiana Dunes National Park: one of them, a 19th Century log home and the other, a post-World War II steel Lustron home. 

Porter County Sheriff's Department/Facebook

Today:  Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about law enforcement-related measures that made it through the 2021 General Assembly session to become law that affect criminal justice reform.  They include changes involving juveniles. We talk with Tom Murphy, the new acting under-secretary for benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs about some new initiatives that can transform veterans' lives.  Region native and documentary producer Dan Zancam created a series called "History Alive" and his latest episode examines some little-known facts about the Old Lake County Jail.  We talks with him about that and what he has planned for the future.  And "Post-Tribune" reporter Hannah Reed talks about her recent stories in print and online, two of them some post-pandemic "good news" stories.

WFYI Public Media

Today:  Lake County Surveyor Bill Emerson Jr. is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the impact that the new statewide wetlands law -- passed by the Legislature this session -- will have on Lake County property owners.  (The wetland shown above is in Marshall County.)  Michael Santos with Northwest Indiana Mutual Aid Initiative, composed of three grassroots, volunteer-based organizations, will talk about last weekend’s “Mutual Aid Pop-up” event in East Chicago and any others planned for the months ahead.  And Rima Shahid, executive director of "Women4Change" talks about the May 22nd virtual training session for women who are interested in seeking public office.

Franciscan Health NWI-Inside Indiana Business

Today:  Patrick Maloney, the president-CEO of Franciscan Health Dyer-Munster-Hammond and Cal Bellamy, the chair of the northwest regional Franciscan Health board of trustees, are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the plans to downsize the hospital on Hohman Avenue in Hammond into a more compact healthcare facility.  They discuss the plan for the historic facility and the impact on the neighborhood, already under review for improvements.  We have another conversation from the "Welcome Project" at Valparaiso University. Reporter Steve Burger traces the path of a COVID-19 vaccine vial from its manufacturer to the dose that went into the arm of a Hoosier at a recent mass-vaccination clinic.  And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Emma Atkinson has a report on the impending explosion of millions of cicadas from their deep underground sleep.

South Shore CVA

 

Today:  One of the participants in the last of a series of Zoom forums sponsored by Purdue University Northwest is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the subject.  Professor Godwin-Charles Ogbeide is director of the PNW White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.  The panel talked about the impact of the pandemic on local and regional tourism and hospitality and about some strategies to be able to "bounce back."  I.U. School of Medicine adjunct professor and opthamologist David Gross talks about the importance of  "Healthy Vision Month" and Clarence Hulse, executive director of the Michigan City Economic Development Corp., join us with news of a partnership with Purdue Extension in LaPorte County on a study that will lead to solutions about the community's "food deserts."  There are two neighborhoods in Michigan City where there are no stores that sell fresh, wholesome food. 

Franciscan Health NWI-Inside Indiana Business

Today:  "Times" business reporter-writer Joseph Pete is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the stories he's put out in print and online, including a comprehensive look at how northwest Indiana florists and other flower vendors are dealing with some of the worst shortages and highest prices they've ever seen, as Mothers' Day approaches.  "Off Mic" host Michael Puente talked to a state legislator who's been advocating for better healthcare for young people in the Region, and we bring you that conversation.  "Meals On Wheels" volunteer coordinator Charlie Misovye talks about their new campaign called "Swing Into Spring." And Dr. Andrea Klemes, the chief medical officer of MDVIP, is on the program to talk about a survey that reveals the lack of information that women are not receiving to address the health risks they face during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Times of Northwest Indiana

Today:   A conversation with Lake County Elections and Voter Registration executive director Michelle Fajman, about a company working with county officials that -- by the 2022 elections -- could have an electronic system in place that tracks election equipment, sets up payroll and training for poll workers, and creates maps of polling locations.   We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Miller Beach Arts & Creative District executive director Meg Roman talks about the community's May 22nd “Art Still Lives” fundraiser.  

Indiana Democratic Party website

Today:  We have an in-depth conversation with state Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) on the 2021 General Assembly session just ended.  She offers her thoughts about, among other topics -- the new two-year state budget, her bills that passed and signed into law and those that did not.  Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Mitch Legan has a feature that focuses on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.  We also have a conversation with Lauri Keagle with South Shore Clean Cities and Charles Breitenfeld with the northwest Indiana office of the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management, about last Friday's "Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air" awards and the 2021 scholarships program recipients, which were issued virtually.  Four awards were presented for voluntary actions taken to improve air quality during 2021.  Three young people will receive scholarships to help them in their future environmental studies at college.  

Affordable Housing Online

Today:  two conversations about affordable housing:  first, with Jamie Palmer, the lead researcher on a project with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute which is examining challenges facing Indiana communities, including affordable housing – internet connectivity and drug abuse.  "Prosperity Indiana" policy director Andrew Bradley will later talk about a recent report from the organization and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, on where Indiana really ranks in being an affordable place to live.   And we have a conversation with Mike Mussallem, a Gary native and Irvine, California business executive who, along with his wife, set up a big scholarship fund to support NWI students to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute.   

Indiana Republican Party website

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable Thursday," we speak with "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden about his recent stories on the General Assembly, including the Governor's signing into law a bill authored by Representative Hal Slager (R-Schererville) (pictured above)  that will benefit families and children who need to go to Chicago-area hospitals. The measure increases Indiana Medicaid reimbursement rates for care in out-of-state healthcare facilities.  Dan also talks about the lawsuit filed by the Governor against the Legislature over the overridden veto over a bill authorizing emergency legislative sessions with the Governor's consent... and has an update on the developing controversy over an obscene flag flying in the front yard of a Hammond resident. "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson is also on the program to talk about her stories in print and online, including one about the volunteer effort to spruce up Gary Roosevelt College and Career Academy's baseball field for the Little League season. 

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:   Indiana University Northwest economist Micah Pollak is on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest from his Twitter COVID data feed, and he talks in more detail about a recent paper that he and his colleagues published on the connection between in-person K-12 instruction and the spread of the virus in Indiana. It could offer some insight in reviewing at the risks and benefits (particularly economic) of in-person learning in the state's public schools.  We also bring back our conversation with Purdue Northwest student Kayla Vasliko on her research on a silent movie actress born in Michigan City who later became an auto racing driver. Anita King's story will be told in a documentary film and as an exhibit in the LaPorte County Historical Museum.   

Photo provided

Today:   Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. president and CEO Debie Coble is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about her career, beginning as a local store manager and going all the way to her becoming the chief executive of the regional Goodwill operation,  She is the next virtual speaker on Wednesday in the "Breaking The Glass Ceiling" series held by the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association.  Indiana Public Broadcasting Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith has a wrap-up report on the 2021 General Assembly session.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Photo provided to IU by Kennesaw State Univ.

Today:   The president-elect of Indiana University, Pamela Whitten, is on "Regionally Speaking," as she visits regional campuses like Indiana University Northwest ahead of officially taking over for the retiring Michael McRobbie this summer.  We speak with Kristi Carney, director of behavioral health at CareSource Indiana about the organizations work with Hoosier’s suffering from substance abuse disorders and the impact of COVID-19 on them. Hoosier Environmental Council executive director Jesse Kharbanda is also on the program to talk about the bills the HEC's been closely watching that did -- and didn't -- pass   through the 2021 General Assembly session.  And Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has a conversation with Indiana Dunes National Park spokesman Bruce Rowe about the latest issues about Mount Baldy, the giant dune that swallowed a young boy a few years ago (he made it out all right) but is moving closer to a well-used parking lot.

AP News.com

Today:   We have three conversations with local reaction to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis  (pictured: post-verdict reaction from George Floyd family members) --  first, from state Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary), and then from Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance and finally, from Purdue University Northwest associate English professor Colette Morrow.  Melton has a post-verdict statement from his fellow Black legislators and the Indiana Democratic Party, and he talks about the measures that he authored or supported that will lead to police reform in Indiana.  Chief Mance brings us a local view of the issues that law enforcement face, including the training that his police officers receive to deal with them.   Professor Morrow held a Zoom meeting just hours after the verdict was announced, to offer a "safe place to speak and listen " about the tensions created after the George Floyd death.   She has some in-depth observations on these issues of the day.

Photo provided/Facebook

Today:   Gary Public Transportation Corp. planning and marketing director David Wright is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about how the bus system that services 10 northwest Indiana communities is helping residents get to mass COVID vaccination sites and -- very soon -- to the new casino in Gary.   Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Pria Mahadevan has a feature on the financial issues behind getting a misdemeanor off a Hoosier's criminal record.  And Julia Vaughn talks about Thursday evening's virtual public meeting on what state legislators will be doing later this year -- deciding on House, Senate and Congressional district boundaries. The link to register is on the "All IN For Democracy" website, an organization of which Vaughn is executive director.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   Yohlunda Mosley with Purdue University Northwest is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the University's plans to disburse nearly 4 million dollars in federal pandemic-related assistance directly to PNW students in financial need. The latest round of funds were distributed to PNW by the U.S. Department of Education.  Andy Campbell and Tara MacElmurry with NIPSCO talk about the utility's renewable energy initiative, including the newest wind farms and other projects coming up.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. This time, a former Gary resident recalls how his old neighborhood changed over the years.

Chicago Tribune/Post-Tribune

Today:    Porter County Health Officer Dr. Maria Stamp is on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest on the county's battle against COVID-19, including the mass vaccination sites and other efforts to get Porter County residents immunized against the virus.  We have some COVID-related features today from Side Effects Public Media and Indiana Public Broadcasting reporters, and Valparaiso city parks and recreation director John Seibert is also on the program with how the city's parks and other facilities are re-opening during the pandemic and some warm-weather month activities.  

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