Coronavirus COVID-19

SOUTH SHORE CVA

Today:  Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. is on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest on this year's "Festival of the Lakes," to be held July 13th through the 18th at Wolf Lake.  It is considered the first big public event in Lake County after the statewide public health emergency is lifted.   Elisabeth Menning with NWI Pride is with us to talk about this weekend's "Love Runs the Region 5K" walk, beginning from the Lake County Fairgrounds, and other events during this Pride Month. Employment law attorney Elizabeth Owens Bille talks about the concerns that employees may have about returning to the workplace after the COVID-19  pandemic, and how employers can change their minds if workers decide to quit -- rather than come back.   

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.

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.

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. 

Indiana surpassed 13,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths Sunday. The state’s rate of newly reported deaths has continued its exponential slowdown since the state began vaccine distribution.

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.  

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.   

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.  

Photo provided

Today:   NFIB in Indiana director Barbara Quandt is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the latest NFIB small business optimism index.  She notes that there is some optimism as the pandemic restrictions ease but Hoosier small business owners are still hampered by hiring issues.  IPB News reporter Jeanie Lindsay talks to Hoosier families about how they've adjusted their at-home learning, one year after the start of the pandemic.  And "Morning Edition" host and Indiana native Steve Inskeep talks with two members of Congress about a bipartisan effort to boost civics and history education, through a little financial incentive.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:    Indiana economist-writer-speaker Morton Marcus is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about his latest "Eye on the Pie" columns about the Hoosier economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics.  Dr. Maggie Stevens and Tiffany Powell with "Foster Success" will also tell us about a new college readiness program coming to northwest Indiana that will benefit young people from foster homes, leading them to a  better transition to college.  Powell's been named as the director for the new program. And we have conversations with two  Hoosiers who've endured the pandemic for the past year -- a school bus driver from Valparaiso who also is a delivery person for Instacart, and a high school teacher from western Indiana.

Michael Gard / Post-Tribune

Today:   "Post-Tribune" freelance reporter Carrie Napoleon and "Times" reporter Mary Freda are on "Reporters' Roundtable" to talk about the stories they put out in print and online.  Carrie attended the first day of the mass vaccination clinic at Gary Roosevelt High School and she tells us about the event, along with other stories.   Mary's stories review some public comments made by Cedar Lake's fire chief and two public school district stories.  We also have a special edition of "Indiana Lawmakers" with Jon Schwantes and his guests, legislators who are working on the next two-year Indiana state government budget. 

PURDUE FT WAYNE/YOUTUBE

Today:    Indiana political analyst Andy Downs is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about what's happened or about to happen during the 2021 General Assembly session, including the review of bills for the next two-year state budget.  There are conversations on "Neighborhood Voice" from the Legacy Foundation and  from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University ,   Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Rebecca Thiele also has another "one year later" conversation during the COVID-19 pandemic -- this time she checks back with an Indianapolis supermarket butcher who contracted the virus since their first conversation.

Today:  Valparaiso University administrator Byron Martin is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the annual (held virtually this year) celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (pictured here in Indiana) on April 7th.  This year's program is entitled "Lessons from the Movement."  Reporter/host Sharon Jackson speaks with a motivational speaker who is coming to Indiana University Northwest.  Ivy Tech Community College  Lake County drector of student life Iris Sanchez and board member Jena Belleza talk about the 8-week-long "Student Success" course for parents of middle schoolers at the Charter School of the Dunes.  It offers help for parents who may never have gone to college what the benefits of college education can be for their children. And Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Rebecca Thiele checked back  with janitor Dennis Osborn (to whom she first spoke at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic), to see how he's doing, one year later.

Photo provided

Today:   Immigration attorney Alfredo Estrada is back on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest on immigration issues across the nation and in northwest Indiana.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson reports on what the Governor had to say on Tuesday afternoon  about the path that the Hoosier State is taking out of the pandemic. And Side Effects Public Media reporter Natalie Krebs has another report in our "Reflections" series of conversations about people dealing with the pandemic. This report focuses on hospitals and healthcare workers.

Valparaiso University Facebook

Today:    Valparaiso University President Jose Padilla (shown here during his first official day's visit out on campus) is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about himself, his new position as the university's president and his vision for the future of the university.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Pria Mahadevan has a feature on the challenges that Hoosier childcare providers are facing during the pandemic.  We talk with Susan Ticen, the operations manager of Purdue University's Surplus Operation, to find out more about the facility on the West Lafayette campus and what items are brought in from campus buildings -- including Purdue Northwest -- for sale to the public.  What they sell may surprise you.  And we have more conversations from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   PNC Financial Services Group economist Abbey Omodunbi is on "Regionally Speaking" with his monthly report on the local and national economies, and with news of what PNC economists learned from interviewing  small- and mid-sized businesses across the country on whether they will be permanently changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Gemma DiCarlo has a feature on House Bill 1367, a measure that was supposed to focus on just a local education issue, but ended up bringing both controversy and confrontation between Black legislators and their Republican colleagues.  And Lakeshore PBS production chief Tony Santucci joins us to talk about the new season of "Eye On The Arts" and "In Studio," both programs beginning this week.  He says there are some changes in the "Eye On The Arts"  television program format.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:  Tim Winders, vice-chancellor at Purdue University Northwest, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the virtual discussion program he's moderating on March 22nd. It's another in the virtual series of “On The Other Side” on cybersecurity, and it features local businesspeople as well as on-campus speakers.  Before that conversation, we talk with Indiana University Northwest associate vice-chancellor Cynthia O’Dell, who is coordinating “A Celebration of Faculty Research” this Friday morning.  Ten faculty members will present a series of eight-minute TEDx-style talks to enlighten the campus and community about the important work and impact of faculty scholarship.  We also feature another conversation in our "Reflections" series on Midwesterners whose lives were changed by COVID-19, and  with Indiana Youth Institute president-CEO Tami Silverman on the difficult issues facing Hoosier youth during the pandemic.

Indiana Public Media

Today:   "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the stories from the 2021 Indiana Legislature that he's put out in print and online.  Melina Rivera with Healthy Communities Of LaPorte County will talk about smoking cessation programs in her county and about a special Town Hall meeting to be conducted in Spanish tonight on Facebook Live.  It focuses on smoking and vaping and the impact they can have on dealing with the coronavirus.  

PNC Financial Services Group

Today:  PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi is on "Regionally Speaking" for an update on the northwest Indiana and Midwest economic views and outlooks.  We also bring back our recent conversation with northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer, and his recommendations on how to be able to plan for a comfortable retirement in 2021.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson also has more on how healthcare professionals are encouraging adults to talk to children about mental health issues since they, too, are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ivy Tech Community College

Today:  Ivy Tech Community College Lake County campus IT program chairman Matthew Cloud and recent graduate Daniel Lopez are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the local version of the statewide program to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity and IT.  Jordan Stanfill with Housing Opportunities in Valparaiso is also on the program to talk about the organization's assistance to homeless Porter County citizens, including adding more beds to accomodate more people on frigid, snowy nights. Additional funding from the state made the effort possible through about mid-March.  And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brock Turner has a report on the racism-related issues healthcare workers face in trying to persuade Blacks to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Chicago Tribune

Today:  There've been a lot of concerns voiced about how safe it is to travel in elevators during the coronavirus pandemic -- but very little solid research into those concerns.  Otis Worldwide commissioned Purdue University mechanical engineering professor Yan Chen to look into it, and Otis engineer Stephen Nichols is on "Regionally Speaking" to reveal the study's findings.  February 7th is National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day and Dr. Laura Cheever with the Ryan White HIV-AIDS Program in Washington DC speaks about the significance of the day and of the legacy of Ryan White himself.  The Hoosier teenager died from the disease in April 1990.  And Andy Campbell, the lead person on the renewable assets team with NIPSCO, and NIPSCO spokesperson Tara McElmurry join us to talk about the solar and wind projects that the utility is working on... or, in the case of two wind farms, has put online.  It's part of the utility's renewable energy initiative to be "coal-free" by 2028.

Indiana Public Media

Today:   Indiana Dunes National Park superintendent Paul Labovitz is with us to talk about the beachfront remediation done last year to correct the growing erosion problem along Central Avenue Beach and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.  He also talks about other projects at the National Park which are planned for 2021.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Thiele has a report on the push to allow reusable shopping bags during the coronavirus pandemic.  Later in the program, Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Ft. Wayne has a review of the first month of the 2021 General Assembly session.  

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Noted Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus is back on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest "Eye On The Pie" columns he's put out, most of them dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19.  Dr. Kalyani Gopal, the founder and president of the SAFE Coalition for Human Rights talks about the importance of being aware of human trafficking and how to recognize the signs of it.  January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  The Coalition's phone number is 312-998-2339 and you can reach their website here. And we also have another "Art On The Air" Spotlight, this one focusing on public library virtual programs.

Porter County Recycling website

Today:  Ron Taylor with Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on what is being recycled in Porter County these days, including the latest on plastic bags recycling. Addiction specialist Joshua Andrus talks about a series of books for young people that helps them better cope with the pandemic. One specific book is titled "Thriving During COVID And Beyond."  And Sandi Haywood with "Home Instead" focuses on the importance of caregivers assisting seniors who would rather live at home instead of in a facility.  Sandi says they are looking for more people who might be interested in helping out part-time, or in a career as a caregiver.

Building Indiana website

Today:  NFIB For Indiana Director Barbara Quandt is on "Regionally Speaking" to give the latest on how Hoosier small businesses are coping in the pandemic, and on what state lawmakers are considering this session to help them survive.  We revisit our conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chief Jim Weiser on the Jan. 30th caucus at the Hammond Civic Center to choose a new North Twp. Trustee.   And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Gemma DiCarlo has a feature report on a research team at University of Notre Dame that has been tracking the presidential transition process.  Lakeshore Public Radio is carrying the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C on Wednesday.

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. 

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.

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