Come check out the best artists from the ages in the Chicago and NWI Music scenes from your own Region Radio Host Tom Lounges!

EPA Doesn't Plan To Tighten Standards For Smog

Jul 15, 2020
Marco Verch / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to pass on another opportunity to tighten air pollution standards. In April, the agency proposed not changing the standards for particle pollution. It announced on Monday it also doesn’t plan to tighten the standards for ozone — commonly known as smog.

photo credit to Kristie Schram

This edition of "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges" originally aired on September 20, 2019 on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio.


Shooting on popular Chicago trail leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

May 29, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are investigating a shooting on a popular walking and biking trail on the city's Northwest Side that left one man dead and two other people injured.

Police say the three were walking on the Bloomingdale Trail that's widely known as the 606 trail at about 12:10 a.m. Tuesday when three males asked about their gang affiliation and opened fire.

Buttigieg says he'd consider codifying abortion rights

May 17, 2019
Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says writing into law the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion is an idea "that deserves to be taken seriously."

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor said Thursday he needs to look at different ways to accomplish it as president, either by legislation or a constitutional amendment.

Speaking in Chicago, Buttigieg referenced a recent abortion ban signed into law in Alabama. He says "I don't think you're free in this country if your reproductive health can be criminalized."

Courtesy of Don Zminda

CHICAGO - There is now a book out about Sports Broadcaster Harry Caray that goes beyond his Cubs years.  "The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball’s Greatest Salesman," was written by Don Zminda.  

Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Zminda on the story about things that weren't widely known about the legendary broadcaster.

Some Facts About Harry from the book:

Caray, the man who made “Holy Cow!” his signature phrase, was deathly afraid of cows.

Dyer man gets 3 years in prison in alleged waste scheme

Apr 12, 2019
Twitter / Provided

CHICAGO (AP) — An Indiana man who pleaded guilty in Chicago federal court to an alleged scheme that involved his recycling firms reselling hazardous electronic waste has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Lou Malnati's Coming to Schererville

Apr 10, 2019

SCHERERVILLE - The iconic pizza chain Lou Malnati's is coming to Schererville.  The "Times" reports it will be its first location in Indiana.  It'll be moving into the old Gayety's Chocolate & Ice Cream shop at 36 U.S. 41.  The pizza place will have carryout, delivery and catering at the Schererville location when it opens in the summer.

Lou Malnati's was founded in 1971 in Lincolnwood and now has 53 Chicagoland locations and three in Arizona.


Nam Y. Huh, Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — "Mayor Pete," as he's known to his growing fan base, is running a surprisingly strong and well-funded campaign for president. Lori Lightfoot has just won a landslide victory to become Chicago's mayor.

Together, the ascendance of Lightfoot and Pete Buttigieg — the two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana — highlights the remarkable progress made recently by gay and lesbian politicians, to the point where their sexual orientation is either an asset or a nonissue. Both Lightfoot and Buttigieg have talked comfortably about LGBT issues and their own same-sex marriages.

Push continues for rail line connecting Chicago, Columbus

Oct 27, 2018

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A proposed passenger rail line that would run from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, could see between 387,000 and 765,000 passengers annually, according to an engineering firm's analysis.

The Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association and engineering firm HNTB argued Thursday that the proposed Amtrak line would connect cities that don't have convenient connections, The Times reported .

Chicago State gets grant to increase minorities in science

Sep 24, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago State University is receiving a $1.3 million federal grant to increase minority participation in science, technology, engineering and math.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush said the National Science Foundation is providing the funding to the Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence. The center is a partnership between Chicago State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Synthetic Marijuana Linked To Severe Bleeding

Mar 30, 2018
(Public domain/U.S. Marines)
Lauren Chapman

The Indiana State Department of Health, ISDH, issued a warning this week about the dangers of synthetic marijuana after severe bleeding was associated with cases in Indiana and Illinois.

Two cases have been recorded in Indiana, more in Illinois. ISDH Deputy Health Commissioner Pam Pontones says there are numerous chemicals in these illegal substances that are not regulated.

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0/Flickr

CHICAGO (AP) — Voters in the Illinois county that includes Chicago have backed the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum.

Tuesday's question for Cook County voters asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

Although the referendum is advisory only, the vote could help state lawmakers make their case for the legalization of marijuana use.

Female Chicago photographer, Tyesha Moores breaks barriers in the world of race and art. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sarah Opat features guest, Moores "On the Radar" to talk about where the passion began. 

Any Northwest Indiana veteran can find out more about programs available to them by attending the monthly meetings of the city of Portage's veterans' committee.  Tom Pappas, the chairman of the committee, came back on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 4th.  He was joined later on the phone by Marc Magill, the new director of the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chicago.  Magill came to a quarterly town hall meeting for veterans and their families on Monday at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Crown Point. 

Engine Summer strikes a chord of harmony this Summer of 2017 releasing four new songs within this interview.

Groovy and high spirited band members, Ben Kostecki and Jeremy Marsan hop On the Radar with Sarah Opat to talk about passion, jams, and upcoming shows in Chicago.

If you were wondering, the interview was a three way conference call on a Thursday evening. 

The interview features Engine Summer 's new releases including, Commander, Cab, Basement, and Outro.

Local artist, Liz Mares joins the air waves inside Lakeshore studios with "On the Radar" host, Sarah Opat. 

The two ladies break down the process of creation, growth, and how to evolve as an artist.

Mares currently works as her own boss from home in downtown Highland. She's an abstract artist, aesthetician, and friend of mother nature.

"For the past two years, Liz has been a walking/talking inspiration for art, female empowerment, and bold encouragement to keep creating." says friend, Sarah Opat.

Shamanic healer from Chicago, Juan Alzate joins Sarah Opat at Lakeshore studio.

Here in the cave, they open up a conversation about activating the luminous healer inside. 

The message is clear. Alzate explains how one can practice releasing fear to embrace your luminous warrior within.

The Luminous Healer holds a safe space for meditation ceremonies and one on one healing sessions in Old Irving Park in Chicago. 

"The answers are within." says Alzate. 

Alzate adds in a few personally selected songs to the interview.

This edition of Midwest BEAT originally aired on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 


JIMMY PANKOW  was inducted, along with his Chicago band mate Robert Lamm, into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 15. Jimmy has written or co-written many of the group's hits, including "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday In The Park," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Make Me Smile," and others.

Chantalism: Art Talk

Jun 6, 2017

The man. The legend. Chantala Kommanivanh steps into the radio studio and talks culture, art, and his personal rap career with Lakeshore's Sarah Opat On the Radar. 

Fresh beats  (all songs) by Chantala's group: Maintenance Crew


Chantala Kommanivanh is an award-winning Lao American Artist, Educator, and Musician.

National Donut Day

May 31, 2017
Salvation Army

As if Friday isn’t a treat of itself now you can also treat your stomach to a free donut, because this Friday June 2nd is National Doughnut Day.

New York native, Phillip Scott shares his story and perspective on art with Lakeshore's Sarah Opat. Bold, blunt and fresh - his word is heard.

Artist P. Scott now lives in Chicago and runs NYCH Gallery (pronounced: niche) in Pilsen on 643 West 18th street. The gallery hosts monthly events on the second Friday.

The next opening reception at NYCH Gallery is Friday June 9, 2017 6pm-11pm featuring P. Scott's work. Free entry.

Connect with P.Scott on Instagram and keep up with his creations: @PSCOTTART

Find P. Scott's art on social media:

Lakeshore's Sarah Opat gets on the line with front man and piano player Adam Weiner from Philadelphia rock 'n roll band Low Cut Connie. The rock group radiates a sound strangers can nod their head to.

Rolling Stone recently described Low Cut Connie's new single: "If the New York Dolls had done a session with Jerry Lee Lewis it'd sound a lot like the Philadelphia rocker's new one - a political anthem drunkenly teetering on plat from heels."


Every spring, thousands of banks and other financial institutions join in a nation-wide financial education effort called “Money Smart Week.” It began 15 years ago in a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago... and Doug Tillett was in the room for that first meeting and all of the others that've followed.  Doug came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about how the project began and grew from a Midwest idea to across the country.

Steven Lattimore / Lakeshore Public Media

Residents from across the Midwest say they are banding together to fight for environmental justice.  They held an Anti-Trump march in downtown Chicago, on Tuesday, April 11th, to fight a proposed plan to defund the Environmental Protection Agency.  As Steven Lattimore reports, East Chicago advocacy groups were there to make their voices heard as they deal with the lead contamination crisis that has impacted residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex.

Photographer Ross Bacon

 Chicago music artist Matthew Skirving, known as DJ Hegemony talks about his passion for scratchin' with Lakeshore's Sarah Opat.

The interview cuts deep into personal meaning, growth, and what collaboration means for DJ Hegemony. 

This edition of “A Look At The Arts  with Tom Lounges” originally aired on Friday, March 17 

Alligator Records

World-renowned blues harmonica master James Cotton, whom Rolling Stone called, “One of the greats of all time, burning with brilliant virtuosity,” died on March 16, 2017 of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was 81. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica playing was one of the iconic sounds of the blues. He toured worldwide for over 60 years.

Vice President of Human Resources Derek Kinney said the supermarket chain was shutting down the decades-old Merrillville location. Also included in the closure are four Illinois stores, including a Strack and Van Til and an Ultra in Chicago. He said it was a difficult choice the company had to make because these locations couldn't meet quota, and their leases were soon up. 

Kinney stated that they're "very saddened having to do this," and he continued to thank Strack and Van Til customers for their support, and workers for their hard work. 

Dr. Gina Bartucci talks about mindfulness with Lakeshore Public Radio's Sarah Opat. Bartucci is a clinical psychologist in Chicago who implements mindfulness and meditation programs in groups. The simple act of using mindfulness allows our brains to live our lives more fully.