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.

Burke Constanza & Carberry website

Today:  Northwest Indiana attorney Alfredo Estrada, whose primary practice is in immigration law, joins us to reflect on those issues as they happened during 2019, the need for comprehensive immigration reform, and his thoughts on what the candidates running for Congressman Pete Visclosky's seat should know about the issue.  District 15 State Representative Chris Chyung talks about the issues ahead as the 2020 General Assembly begins its "short" session and, later, Leah Nahmias with Indiana Humanities talks about the "INseparable" documentary film tour that makes its first stops next week here in northwest Indiana. It's part of the two-year-long initiative tbat focuses on how Hoosiers relate to each other across boundaries, real or imagined.

Ballotpedia website

Today:  Another Democratic Party primary election candidate for First Congressional District is in the studio to talk about the campaign ahead in 2020.  Ryan Farrar, who ran unsuccessfully for Indiana state Senate Dist. 6 in 2018, is now in the field of candidates who are seeking the nomination for Congressman Pete Visckosky's seat.  Farrar says he's centering his campaign around the issue of campaign finance reform.  Heather Ennis with the Northwest Indiana Forum takes a look at the organization's busy 2019 and looks ahead at 2020.  The Forum is a nonprofit focusing on regional economic development, with its current initiative entitled "Ignite The Region."   And we revisit our conversation with northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer about the window of opportunity to convert Roth IRAs.

commons.wikipedia.org

Today:  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with Griffith Town Councilman Rick Ryfa about the process that the community is going through to be able to secede from Calumet Township and shift into a different Lake County township.    Reporter Michael Puente has a remembrance of former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher, who passed away late last week.  The feature first aired on Lakeshore Public Radio on Monday.   Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith and his guests talk about the latest Indiana news topics on "Indiana Week In Review."  Reporter Annacaroline Caruso reports on ways to help Hispanics, especially undocumented immigrants, get healthcare in northern Indiana.  And NPR's Steve Inskeep and David Greene offer a feature on the latest "Star Wars" film coming out this weekend and how the original hit movie ended up as a radio drama on NPR, 40 years ago.

Indiana Economic Digest website

Today:  Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research executive director Michael Hicks joins us to talk about his 2020 economic forecast for the U.S. and Indiana.  It's a forecast with good points and bad points, and he explains how he reaches the conclusions listed in the forecast.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio" with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities.  His report is also supported by NIRPC.  Brandi Adams, the director of resource development with Lake Area United Way, talks about the recent "Santa's Worshop for Working Families" held at Wicker Park in Highland and how is part of the United Way overall local mission to help local families.  And we talk with Erica Rios, the social worker with the Griffith Police Department, about her work in her community and how she can help in times of crisis. 

Sheriff Dave Reynolds Facebook page

Today:  Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds joins us to talk about the just-completed work on the Indiana Jail Overcrowding Task Force, created to look into the issues surrounding county jail overcrowding  and how to resolve them.  The task force, made up of legislators, state officials and judges, toured the Porter County Jail during a series of meetings held around the state and Porter County's way of dealing with the issues received favorable attention.  The report can be found  here . We also have more about the Cline Avenue bridge project on "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.   

Frank J. Mrvan Facebook page

Today:  Indiana University Northwest professors Charles Hobson and Micah Pollak are in the studio to talk about a study that they and colleague Bala Arshanapali conducted on military-friendly businesses -- and learned that hiring veterans is good for business.  Merrillville town councilman Shawn Pettit talks about the community center project that they just broke ground on recently.  The land, which was once the site of a drive-in theatre along Broadway, will be home to several athletic fields as well as a facility that could rival Hammond's Sportsplex.  And North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan joins us in the studio to talk about his candidacy for the seat now being held by U. S. Congressman Pete Visclosky.  Mrvan will be on the 2020 Democratic Party primary election ballot.

Dan Carden, "Times"

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable," we talk to Dan Carden and Bill Dolan of the "Times" and Carole Carlson with the "Post-Tribune" about the stories they put out in print and online.  Dan's stories include updates from the most recent Lake County Council meeting and Gov. Eric Holcomb's 2020 legislative agenda.  Carole covered stories from Gary Common Council and Airport Authority board meetings that include Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.  Bill Dolan covered the East Chicago City Counncil meeting where firefighters' work schedules were the big topic of debate -- and of a proposed ordinance that the Mayor may veto, if it passes. Bill also has an update on former Portage Mayor James Snyder's new federal court trial.

Tom McDermott Jr-Twitter

Today: We continue our conversations with northwest Indiana residents interested in the U.S. Representative seat now held by Pete Visclosky. Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. is one of the candidates who will appear on the May 2020 primary election ballot.  He talks about his experience, including that of mayor, and his views on the issues.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC. And Lake County Councilman Charlie Brown is with us to talk about efforts to make the county government department budgeting process more efficient.  A committee chaired by Brown will be meeting next year to begin work on the issue, ahead of the 2021 budget year.

Sabrina Haake for Congress website

Today:  Another candidate for local Democratic Party voters to consider in the May 2020 primary election for U.S. Representative joins us in the studio -- attorney and activist Sabrina Haake.  She talks about herself and the issues that she feels are most important, including building a "green economy" in northwest Indiana.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  And Ron Taylor and Keri Marrs Barron with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District bring us up-to-date on the county's drop-off recycling centers, how users can help make them more efficient, and a sneak peek at the Earth Day Celebration next year at the Porter County Expo Center.

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:  We begin our conversations with northwest Indiana residents who want to succeed Congressman Pete Visclosky.  The longest-serving U.S. Representative from our area decided not to seek re-election and several have already made their intentions known to be on the Democratic Party ballot in the May 2020 primary election.  Valparaiso attorney Jim Harper is one of them.  We also bring back our conversation with Dee Dee White with Ivy Tech Community College, about the series of casino dealer traiming courses being offered that can provide jobs at local casinos, including the new Hard Rock Casino to be built in Gary. 

National Park Service

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable," we talk with Meredith Colias-Pete of the "Post-Tribune" about her story on the concerns over the growing erosion on Portage's Lakefront and Riverwalk and the impact on the Pavilion.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete is with us to cover the stories he's put out in print and online, including the flooding at the U. S. Steel Gary Works and a year-in-review review of Region retail businesses. It covers those businesses which opened and closed in 2019.  Michael Puente also offers his "Off Mic" conversation with documentary filmmaker Paul Nelson on his latest project, covering Octave Chanute.

Photo Provided

Today:  Indiana University Northwest professor Jack Bloom's book "Class, Race and the Civil Rights Movement" is now in its second edition, and the subject is still as important today as it was decades ago. We bring back our conversation with professor Bloom -- along with conversation with IU Northwest professor Maureen Rutherford on the Gary campus' neuroscience degree program.  We also have a look at the changes coming to Hoosier cities and towns from the November elections from Andy Downs of Purdue University Ft. Wayne.  He is executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

stock photos

Today:  Peter Novak with the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors talks about the latest report on northwest Indiana home sales and their median prices, issued last month for October, and a look ahead to 2020 local home building and sales and buying trends.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Jill Sheridan has a report on the Affordable Care Act in Indiana and about supporters who help Hoosiers apply for healthcare insurance.  We also have this week's edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Construction Advancement Foundation.... and northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer.

Visist Indiana website

Today:  Valparaiso University geography professor Mike Longan talks about the research into the exurban culture in northwest Indiana that led to his studies into the geography of country music and the better understanding of rural working-class culture.  He's been able to travel to other countries to learn more and wants to write a book about the subject.  Erika Dahl with the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority joins us in the studio to talk about "A Christmas Story Comes Home," the displays and events held at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond this month surrounding the 1983 film based on the writings of master storyteller Jean Shepherd.  She talks about how the displays came to northwest Indiana as well as more  about the public events linked to the movie. 

Purdue University Ag. Economics

Today:  There will be 50 new mayors taking office in 2020 in Indiana cities and towns.   Many campaigned during the elections on promises -- and must now turn those promises into policy.  Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer joins us from his West Lafayette campus office to talk about some of the issues the new mayors will face, and how the Indiana economy has evolved over the years to treat urban, suburban and rural communities differently. He talks about research going into a new formula that he will unveil later this year.  We also have this week's edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Photo Provided

Today:  We talk to Purdue University Northwest professor Dietmar Rempfer, who is the director of the University's School of Engineering, about the new faculty internship program.  The School is expanding and deepening its connections with industry and manufacturing partners in new and unique ways that benefit them as well as the Hammond and Westville campuses and students who are taking engineering classes.  Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman joins us in the studio for an update on topics ranging from immigration, to efforts in Gary Commun Council to enact benefits for both the city and its residents. to an opportunity to help Region residents through another "Can We Talk?" session.   And "Indiana Legislative Insight" and "Indiana Gaming Insight" creator Ed Feigenbaum reviews the recent legislative Organization Day, the municipal elections around the state and updates on Indiana gaming issues.

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.

Pages