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.


Today:  Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers is a third-generation Hoosier, a physician, as well as the former Indiana State Health Commissioner. He recently announced that former State Representative Linda Lawson, who served Northwest Indiana in the legislature for 20 years, is his running mate. They join us to discuss their campaign ahead of the primary election.

Today: The latest topics surrounding COVID-19 dominate this "Reporters' Roundtable."

“Times” chief political reporter Dan Carden shares the latest on politics locally as well as at the statehouse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joseph Pete  business reporter for the “Times” looks at what will happen to the local economy as businesses slowly reopen. Plus U. S. Representative Pete Visclosky joins us to talk about everything from how Congress is working to tackle concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic to Hoosier politics.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The latest topics surrounding COVID-19 dominate this "Reporters' Roundtable."

Photo Provided

State Senator Eddie Melton came on "Regionally Speaking" Tuesday to talk about the 2020 legislative session – bills he authored and its impact on northwest Indiana.   Here's that conversation.

Lauren Chapman, IPB News

Today:  The latest topics surrounding COVID-19 dominate this "Reporters' Roundtable."

Today:  State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon joins us with her thoughts on the state response to the coronavirus pandemic, from her view as a state legislator. We also have a conversation with a psychologist on how to talk with youngsters about COVID-19 and how the Gary Communnity Schools  is helping their students stay educated outside of classrooms by use of YouTube.  "Green Fleet Radio" with Carl Lisek from South Shore Clean Cities is on the program today, along with northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer on making tough decisions during what can be considered some rather volatile financial times.

Porter County Recycling

Today:  We have a coronavirus update for northwest Indiana, with the first three COVID-19 cases reported at hospitals in Lake and Porter Counties.

WVPE Public Radio

Today: We have three conversations about the coronavirus: one of them, with a Crown Point woman who has self-quarantined after testing negative for the flu, step-throat and RSV.   State Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) talks about the 2020 General Asssembly session and of his own decision to stay at home, with symptoms of the cold and flu, because of his concern over COVID-19. And NFIB state director Barbara Quandt reviews a recent survey of Hoosier small businesses on how they are dealing with COVID-19.

Today: The U.S. Census Bureau begins mailing invitations to all Americans this month to respond to the once-a-decade population count that is so important.  Deb Stempowski has an overview of the 2020 Census and how to respond by mail, by phone or through the Internet.

Hanover Community Schools website

Today:   A south Lake County school district is asking its patrons (and voters)  to consider a question that will come up on the May 5th primary election ballot.  Mary McAuley with Hanover Community Schools is leading an ambitious project to be able to educate a growing number of students.

Photo Provided

Today:  We continue our conversations with new northwest Indiana Mayors with Portage Mayor Sue L:ynch.

city of Michigan City website

Today:  We continue our conversations with newly-elected Mayors in northwest Indiana communities with Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry (R). 

Indiana Public Media

Today:  "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden joins us to talk about the stories he offered in print and online, including news of major bills at the General Assembly that will have an impact on northwest Indiana.  They include what may be the resolution of the issue of the town of Griffith wanting to secede from Calumet Township.  "Region Nerd Alert" podcaster Jose Rodriguez talked with two vendors at last weekend's Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, C2E2, and he gives us his conversation. Ron Taylor with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District has the latest on the household hazardous waste collection dates in 2020, the cleanliness of the county's recycling drop-off sites and a sneak peek at the 2020 northwest Indiana Earth Day observances in April.  And Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council is at the Statehouse with the latest status in the General Assembly of bills dealing with the Indiana environment.

Today:   "Indiana Political Insight" and "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletters editor and creator Ed Feigenbaum joins us to talk about the leadership change coming in the 2021 General Assembly session, when House Speaker Brian Bosma hands the gavel over to Rep. Todd Huston.  Bosma is the longest-serving House Speaker in state legislative history, second only to Rep. Pat Bauer of South Bend.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio" from South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC.  Carley Samayoa with the Porter County Substance Abuse Council is with us to talk about the organization and the success of its podcast "Matters of Substance." And Andrea Proulx Buinicki with Lake Area United Way talks about the importance of humanitiarian aid to migrants in northwest Indiana.  The LAUW is seeking applilcants for federal financial help to the regional immigrant community. More information about the grant program is on the Lake Area United Way website.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Today:   Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in Ft. Wayne joins us to talk about the 2020 General Assembly session which is in its final weeks, and the bills that've been come up so far for review.  Dr. Erik Mikaitis with Franciscan Health Crown Point explains the coronavirus, its symptoms and how the healthcare system is getting ready to deal with it -- in the hopes that they don't have to.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. Purdue University Northwest is observing Women's History Month with a series of events, and Kimberly Trajkovski tells us about a program this weekend at the Hammond campus on "believing in restorative justice."

IU Northwest

Today:  Northwest Indiana political activist Ruth Needleman is in the studio with more topics of discussion, including a meeting of " NWI Resistance" this Saturday in Gary about immigration issues.  Indiana University Northwest director of admissions Dorothy Frink and colleague Candace Rayburn talk about the series of three information sessions called "Yes to College," to be held in three separate locations in Gary on March 17th,19th and 23rd.  They are designed to help parents learn and ask questions about the benefits of young people attending college (or, perhaps, themselves as adults). We also revisit our conversation with Ivy Tech Community College system president Sue Ellspermann, about the next series of eight-week-long courses beginning, statewide, on March 16th.

Tyler Lake / WTIU Blomington

Today:  we begin with "Off Mic" host Michael Puente's conversation with Porter County state Senator Karen Tallian about the Lake Michigan erosion issue and of the executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb to put state agencies at work with local assistance -- and possibly a requst for federal help.  Michael also talks later about the northwest Indiana connection for the new Disney Co. CEO.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Jose Rodriguez, host of "Region Nerd Alert," and his cohosts have the latest about this weekend's C2E2 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Tom Maloney talked with NPR's Bob Boilen about the next series of "Tiny Desk Concerts." Side Effects Public Media's Isaiah Seibert spoke at length with New England journalist Greg O'Brien about his personal journey with Alzheimers' and the podcast he created to talk about it. 

South Bend Tribune

Today:  Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, has the latest from the Statehouse on environmental bills still moving through the General Assembly, including two that are up for review in separate Environmental Affairs Committees this week.  The HEC's Kim Ferraro tells us about the Indiana Supreme Court decision on a request to review an appeals court case about "factory farms" and their impact on local farms and residents.  And  also speaking of the environment, we have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities.  "Off Mic" host Michael Puente spoke recently with Gary attorney Tony Walker about Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill's legal problems, and we revisit that conversation. Walker served as chairman of the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Roads and Bridges website

Today:  Terry Velligan and Laura Weber with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC join us to give us an update on the new toll bridge going up over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago. Right now, plans call for completion and its opening to traffic this summer.  We have today's  "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  LaPorte Mayor Tom Dermody is another new mayor in the Region, and we find out from him on how his first couple months in office are going. And Dr. Bill Carroll, the consultant working with the St. Joseph's College Board of Trustees, tells us about the revival of the college in Rensselaer that is based on a three-year plan that calls for partnerships with other educational institutions and with the community.

Andy S/Youtube

Today:  Michael Noland, president of NICTD, is with us to tell us the latest about the South Shore Line expansion projects.  The first of a series of public meetings begins in Michigan City on Wednesday, and continues into March and into this summer, about the Double-Tracking (Gary to Michigan City) and the West Lake Corridor (Lake County) projects.  We bring back our conversation with Indiana University Northwest professors Charles Hobson and Micah Pollak about a study that showed that returning veterans are very employable.  And VA Undersecretary for Field Operations Willie Clark tells us about the concerns the VA has that Vietnam War veterans on ships stationed off the coast could be just as much at risk, as the sailors on river boats, for contracting illnesses related to Agent Orange.  The VA has expanded the list of medical conditions associated with Agent Orange.

The Associated Press

Today:  We begin with "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete's stories she put in print and online, including the news that Indiana Medicaid must reimburse the federal government about $1.1 million for payments made to Medicaid patients who reportedly died but not cleared from the payment system.   Meredith also reported the news of a legal disciplinary hearing officer's report on Indiana Attorney General  Curtis Hill,  Lakeshore Public Radio's Dee Dotson talked with the founder of an organization that focuses on inspiring and empowering the next generation of entertainers -- and we revisit Sharon Jackson's conversation with an American Lung Association board member about the ALA's request to the FDA to crack down on vaping product makers who claim they are in the "quitting smoking" business.   We also revisit our conversations with immigration attorney Alfredo Estrada and Northwest Indiana Forum chief executive Heather Ennis.

Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune

Today:  Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy joins us in an at-length conversation about succeeding Jon Costas in office last month, his first "State of the City" address on January 28th, and what he is proposing for the city as he takes over the administrartion. He talks about city projects and programs that are continuing or willget underway this spring.  We also have an encore edition of "Green Fleet Radio" with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities, and Allison Schuette with the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University talks about tonight's "Flight Paths" presentation and workshop in the Anderson Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.  

IMDB website

Today:  Gary native, Hollywood actor and film festival host William L. Johnson talks about the 9th annual Black Film Festival, to be held this Friday evening and Saturday evening at the Glen Theatre in Gary.  The focus of the festival is on the achievements of African-American actors and filmmakers.   We have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council is at the Statehouse to keep an eye on environmental bills still before the 2020 General Assembly, and he talks with us about HB 1414 -- a major bill affecting clean energy and public utilities.  It is coming up soon before the Senate Utilities Committee for a hearing.

Ivy Tech Community College

Today:   We have a conversation about Democratic Party politics, as more states hold primary elections -- northwest Indiana political observer Joseph Conn and a supporter of candidate Amy Klobuchar spoke with "Off Mic" host Michael Puente last Friday and we have that conversation on today's program.  Ivy Tech Community College president Sue Ellspermann joins us to talk about the next series of eight-week-long courses to be offered on IVTC campuses beginning March 16th.  She says this is the largest group of courses designed for people who want to take classes and fit them into their busy lives.  And we bring back our conversation with National Weather Service senior hydrologist Scott Franklin about the new designation of flooding along the Kankakee River -- important changes to note, during this icy time of year.

Chicago Crusader website

Today:  For this "Reporters'  Roundtable" program we ask "Times" reporters Dan Carden and Joseph Pete and "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson to talk about their latest stories in print and online.  Carole has the latest (as of Thursday morning) on the Gary Roosevelt building situation, as decided by the Distressed Unit Appeals Board.  Dan reviews local politics, including Lake County Recorder Michael B. Brown and candidates who've withdrawn from the May 5th primary election ballot, as well as stories from the Statehouse.  Joe Pete has business news for us, including another hazardous waste investigation in East Chicago, and an interesting story about his brother Tom.  Chuck Garber with Valparaiso University also joins us with details on Saturday's annual "Polar Plunge" benefit for Special Olympics Indiana, happening on campus.

Diocese of Gary website

Tioday:  On this first day of Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary Bishop Robert McClory's being the Region's new shepherd, we revisit our conversation with him last week.  He was ordained and installed on Tuesday in a liturgy in Gary.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," from South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC with Carl Lisek. And northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us with some important tips   that can go toward offering a Valentines' Day gift that goes beyond candy or flowers: financial security that can last for years.

IU Northwest/Portage Life website

Today:  We talk with Jana Szostek, the director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Professional Development, a component of the School of Business and Economics.  The center provides assistance to northwest Indiana businesses of all sizes, including helping employees with professional certifications or aiming them toward college degrees, if they choose.    Kevin Comerford hosts another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. Isaiah Mears with the Indiana Federation of College Republicsns is back with an update about a letter that he and other young GOP officials just sent out to Indiana's Republican congressional delegation about the need for a climate change plank in the party's platform this election year.  They say it's an important issue to be taken rom an economic view.

Indiana House Democrats

Today:  We begin with highlights from a February 5th "Indivisible NWI"' forum where State Rep. and Democratic Party congressional candidate Mara Candelaria Reardon spoke and answered residents' questions at the Griffith-Calumet Township Library branch.  Reardon is one of 14 candidates who will be on the ballot, seeking to be on the November general election ballot to seek the seat held by retiring Congressman Pete Visclosky..  Donna Muta with the city of Hammond is with us to talk about this Saturday's 5th annual "219 Day," at the Civic Center, billed as a "fun, weird and wacky event that celebrates everything Region."   and Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra conductor Kirk Muspratt talks about the March 6th concert that features works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Vivaldi.

WTHI-TV Terre Haute website

Today:  We have Governor Eric Holcomb's complete "State of the State" address from last month at the Statehouse.  Among the topics he brings up: education and teachers' pay.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has her conversation with Tony Rodriguez, the director of LaPorte County's office of community and economic development, on the plans for the use of a performance-based grant to link the Kingsbury Industrial Park with two major railroad lines.  And Lakeshore Public Radio's Dee Dotson offers her conversation with "Emma's Footprints" creator Amelia Kowalsyn, about the organization she founded to help families whov'e lost babies after birth deal with their grief.

Crossroads Chamber of Commerce

Today:  Lake Area United Way is continuing in its mission to help low-income Lake County residents with the services and assistance they need the most --including adequate child care for working families -- with a collaboration with Methodist Hospitals to create a new child care center at the hospital's Northlake campus in Gary.  Lisa Dougherty, the president and CEO with the United Way, is with us to talk about the "child care desert"  issues, the new project and the financial help they received from Early Learning Indiana to make it happen.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," from South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC, and this one focuses on the Indiana Toll Road's sustainability programs.  Bill McCall with ITR is with host Carl Lisek.  And we bring back our conversations with Merrillville-based Cimcor chiel executive Robert Johnson III about cybersecurity concerns, and with Bill Wozniak of INVestEd about a recent Indiana study on higher education expenses.