Coronavirus COVID-19

BUILDING A SAFER EVANSVILLE WEBSITE

Today:  Alfred “Chip” Cooke, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration northern Indiana office, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the drug enforcement and prevention efforts because of the overdose epidemic.  The culprit is fentanyl, a deadly opioid which is increasingly being laced into heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and other dangerous and illicit drugs, as well as prescription pills that have been diverted from appropriate medical use.  Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne, has an update on the General Assembly's work on new district maps -- legislative and congressional -- before they vote on them and send them on to the Governor's office.  Citizen groups are angry that they haven't had much input into the drawing of the maps, and only a few public meetings are scheduled before they are voted upon.  And Dr. Elizabeth Brill, deputy chief medical officer for Veterans Health Administration, joins us to talk about the VA’s mandatory vaccination requirement for all employees, to protect veterans who come into their facilities from contracting the virus.

Brandon Smith, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable Thursday," we talk with "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden about the new Indiana House and Congressional district maps released by legislators this week and their impact on northwest Indiana lawmakers' current seats and taxpayers.  "Times" correspondent Bill Dolan talks about a case in federal court in Hammond that involves properties purchased at Lake County property tax sales and how one man is alleged to have taken advantage of the process.  And "Post-Tribune" Lake County government reporter Alex Kukulka talks about her stories on the latest votes by the Lake County Council about COVID-19 mask mandates in schools, a big purchase order from the sheriff's department and the 2022 county budget process.  

U.S. Dept of Justice

Today:  Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about Saturday's "Prepare To Serve and Protect Workshop" at Griffith YMCA.  It's an opportunity for those interested in a career in law enforcement to learn tips and techniques to become successful in the hiring process.  Side Effects Public Media's Stephanie Whitesides has a report on student nurses and the more stressful environment they need to learn about, when they return to class this fall.  Matt Schuffert, the general manager of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary, talks about the first months of the casino's operation since its May opening.  And "Save The Dunes" executive director Natalie Johnson has the list of September events, including an important IDEM virtual hearing on a Burns Harbor water pollution hotspot on Sept. 1st.  

Bloomberg.com

Today:  Amateur Gary historian and Facebook group leader Korry Shepard is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about his love of history in his hometown and seeks answers to his questions. One question is: why are there so many abandoned houses in Gary?  He brings up the subject of historic housing discrimination in the city.  Pediatrician Dr. Tina Tan talks about the importance of getting youngsters ready for in-person learning this year with vaccination.  The delta variant is affecting children at a higher rate than previous variants of the virus. Dr. Tan is an attending physician with the Lurie Childrens' Hospital in Chicago.

Harvard.edu

Today:  Indiana University Northwest professors Linda Galocy and Dorinda Sattler are on "Regionally Speaking" with their earlier conversation on privacy laws during the COVID-19 pandemic -- and what businesses can ask of their customers and of their employees.  State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) talks about her demand that the state Department of Workforce Development stop demanding that "gig economy" Hoosiers who received pandemic unemployement benefits repay the state for the benefits. And Side Effects Public Media's Carter Barrett has a conversation with colleague Lauren Bavis on the impact of ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations. An Indianapolis-based healthcare provider is still trying to bring affected systems back online, two weeks after the hackers' attack.

Indiana Public Media

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable Thursday," "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden and "Post-Tribune" Lake County government reporter Alex Kukulka talk about the stories they've put out in print and online lately.  Dan reports on the Indiana Supreme Court decision to temporary suspend a former Portage city official's law license and a happy day for a local legislator on the ceremonial signing into law of a bill he introduced to deal with an issue that he's fought to resolve.  Alex's stories include updates on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in northwest Indiana and of the local public meeting about the impending work by state legislators to redraw the legislative and congressional district maps.  And Mark Dollase with "Indiana Landmarks" is with us to talk about the August 19th video tour of several mid-century modern homes around the state.  The virtual tour includes an exclusive look into a unique 1964 house in Munster which shows the influences of post-war American and Scandinavian design. Anyone who wants to see the video tour can purchase tickets in advance on the "Indiana Landmarks" website.

Today:  Chuck Harris and Dawn Pelc with the Porter County Substance Abuse Council are on "Regionally Speaking" with a previous conversation about the county's substance abuse issues and how the Council is working with addicts to keep them out of jail.  We revisit our conversation with Charmaine Bogue with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the 77th anniversary of the GI Bill. Indiana Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Thiele has a report on what may be an unnecessary concern about banning reusable shopping bags from supermarkets during the COVID pandemic.  And Side Effects Public Media's Darian Benson continues her series of reports on Black women and HIV that includes a conversation with a woman who's been HIV-positive for 30 years.

Indystar.com

Today:  Indiana Youth Institute president-CEO Tami Silverman is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the return of high school sports activities (like last fall's Indy Chatard-Merrillville football game, pictured above) and their importance to young people as they get ready to return to classes.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talked about where one should get investment advice (not from the social media pundits) and we bring back that conversation.   Side Effects Public Media's Darian Benson begins a series of reports about a hidden HIV epidemic: among Black women. And we have a conversation from IPB News on the concerns that some have about police officers stationed in public schools who aren't specifically trained to be around students.

IPB News - Brandon Smith

Today:  Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about what Hoosier legislators are supposed to be doing when they return to Indianapolis this fall: redrawing state legislative and congressional district maps.  Andy offers some insight to the process and has some suggestions.  The work on redrawing the maps is being delayed because of the lack of new U.S. Census data.   We bring back our conversation with U.S. Health and Human Services pediatrician Dr. Michael Warren about the vaccines that young people should receiving this summer, aside of the COVID-19 vaccine (if they can receive it).  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

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.

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