Coronavirus COVID-19

New York Times

GARY -- Mayor Jerome Prince is commending City of Gary Health Commissioner Dr. Roland Walker.. for being nominated for a COVID-19 Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum... for his work in fighting the spread of the virus.

Mayor Prince said in a statement that Dr. Walker has given us guidance, solid medical advice, even as he has dealt with the illness in his own family.

The JFK Presidential Library and Museum will announce the winner in the fall.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter creator and editor Ed Feigenbaum joins us to talk about the latest revenue numbers from the Indiana Gaming Commission and how casinos are recovering from the pandemic. These figures show the first full month of casino business since they reopened. We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. And Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance president Steve Coxhead also joins us to about the impact of Amtrak's proposed changes on long-distance passenger rail service which will affect the nation, including to northwest Indiana.

IU Northwest

Today:  Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman is back with us to cover some of the topics she watches, including economic development issues in the city of Gary.  She talks about a meeting on Zoom tonight that discusses the city's 2019 community benefits ordinance, which is up for amendment soon.  At issue is a new housing project in Gary that is not covered in the ordinance.  Schererville Realtor and board chairman of the Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, Craig Friendling, joins us to talk about the latest regional home sales and median selling price data this summer, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local home sales and buying.  And musician, songwriter and "Positive Vibes Only" founder R.J. Griffith tells about the group's second annual "Good Day" book bag giveaway on Aug. 15th in  East Chicago, which will be a drive-through event this year because of COVID-19.

Ivy Tech Community College

GARY -- Ivy Tech Community College's Lake County campus is ready for a new school year, even though it is the first ever during a public health emergency.  Chancellor Louie Gonzalez and his facilities director, Bruce Curry, were on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday to talk about the myriad of safety measures that are in place to protect students, faculty and staff.

Indiana Public Media

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, we focus on education stories put out by local reporters in print and online.  "Times" education reporter Carley Lanich first brings us up to date about some school districts which reported their reopening plans, including School City of Hammond and School Town of Highland. Next, "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson talks about her stories on the Gary Community Schools referendum  -- a request on the November general election ballot to voters in the city to approve a multi-year tax increase for operating expenses.  The referendum's goal is, among other things, to get the school district out of state takeover status. Finally,  "Post-Tribune" freelance education reporter Hannah Reed tells us about her conversations with several area parents who have their concerns about their children and themselves, when schools reopen for the new year and students start to mingle.

Free Thought Fort Wayne/YouTube

Today: Andy Downs, the director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Ft Wayne is with us to review the state of Hoosier politics during the pandemic, with the statewide candidates seeking votes and finances after the late primary election going into the November general election.  Andy also talks about the issue of "vote-by-mail" -- the push for it that was prompted by COVID-19  and whether it will return in November.  Lake Central School Corp. superintendent Dr. Larry Veracco also joins us to talk about the decision, by his board, for parents to have the choice of in-person or virtual learning for their youngsters as the fall semester begins.  He talks abut how future reviews of, among other factors, local  COVID positivity will play a role in keeping things as they are.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Today:  Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson joins us to talk about the delays and cancellations of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in years past --some due to wars, others due to weather.  This year's running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the 104th running, will be on August 23rd but it will be run without spectators.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University today, and Sandra Noe and Rachel Hurst with Meals on Wheels in Northwest Indiana will talk about the organization's mission throughout the coronavirus pandemic to continue providing meals to people who need them the most, as well as making sure that those meal recipients are safe.

Corey Ohlenkamp/The Star Press

Today: We talk with Ball State University professor Michael Hicks, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, about a new report just released that reviews the impact that the "digital divide" in Indiana schools and communities may have on students' abilities for e-learning when classes resume, in some form, this academic year. The report indicates that more than 84,000 K-12 students do not have the Internet access they need for proper learning -- and not all of the deficiencies are in rural school districts.  We find out more about the new social media group "Out in LaPorte" from PFLAG board member Esther Stiles.   And we bring back our conversation with Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer on a lengthy study about the impact of the pandemic the recession it caused for local, county and state government.

Indiana University

Indiana University Northwest's new Chancellor comes from the East Coast but says he's excited to now be a part of the Region.

Ken Iwama was on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday to talk about his new job, his first impressions of northwest Indiana when he came in for his on-campus interview and his leadership goals for I.U. Northwest, especially during the pandemic.  He begins the conversation, by noting that Lakeshore Public Radio was one of the first "voices" he heard, as a finalist for the position back in February.

Photo Provided

Today:  We ask Lake County Public Library director Ingrid Norris and Crown Point Community Library director Julie Wendorf about the latest measures, in how libraries are doing in dealing with so many service changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The changes include patrons' curbside pickup of materials outside the branches themselves, quarantining materials brought back to the drop-off boxes before redistributing them, and making everyone wear face coverings in the buildings.   The pandemic's impact on reopening public schools includes how crowded classrooms might be -- when students actually come back to school.  Zippia.com did a survey of all states and reports that Indiana is ranked number nine on the Top 10 States with Crowded Classrooms.  Kathy Morris with the career support website joins us to talk about it.

IU Kelley School of Business

Today:  I.U. Kelley School of Business professor Bipin Prabhakar explains the new Project HOPE, a joint project between the business school in Bloomington and the Indiana Small Business Development Corp. that helps small businesses build an online presence, if they don't have one.  Dr. Woody Myers, the Democratic Party gubvernatorial candidate, made several campaign stops in northwest Indiana late last week and we ask him about them and the latest issues surrounding COVID-19. And we bring back "Off Mic" host and reporter Michael Puente's converssation with an IUPUI medical researcher about his concern that things will get worse before they improve, as far as the pandemic is concerned.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable, we talk to Indiana Public Broadcasting reporters Eric Weddle and Jill Sheridan and "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete about the stories and interviews they've posted online and, for Meredith, her stories in print.    Most deal with reopening public schools locally and around the state and about the coronavirus pandemic.  Meredith tells us about her story on contract tracing in northwest Indiana and of two stories dealing with toxic waste cleanup. Jill's interview is with a central Indiana official about how the pandemic is creating additional challenges for those going through reentry.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   Chris Holford with Purdue University Northwest is with us to talk in more detail about the reopening procedure for both Hammond and Westville campuses this fall semester, as the coronavirus pandemic is still underway.   Classes are scheduled to resume on August 24th.  A recent study on the "Modern Healthcare" website suggests that a pregnant woman invested with COVID-19 might be able to spread the illness to the fetus.  Dr. Cameual Wright, a central Indiana OB-GYN and medical director for CareSource Indiana, talks about the concerns that pregnant Hoosier women have during the pandemic  about their child's health and their own health.

Chicago Tribune website

Today:  We hear from two northwest Indiana school district superintendents on their reopening plans for classes this fall: first, from School City of Hammond superintendent Scott Miller and, later, from Merrillville Community Schools superintendent Nick Brown, speaking with Sharon Jackson.  In between, Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman is with us to talk about the help that the Lilly Endowment and the state organization of United Ways is doing to help Hoosier nonprofits that serve young people -- agencies which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.   The Lilly Endowment is creating a $20 million fund to help youth-serving organizations that it calls the Youth Program Resilience Fund. 

Post-Tribune

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable, "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden reviews his stories in print and online this week, including one about Lake County health officer Dr. Chandana Vivilala's visit to the County Council seeking funding for more help during the pandemic. He also talks about the Indiana GOP attorney general nomination.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete covers stories like one on re-purposing a vacant Target store in Calmuet City and on the 100th anniversary of a Gary institution: Koney King.  Ivy Tech Community College Indiana president Dr. Sue Ellspermann and the chancellor of the Lake County Ivy Tech campuses, Louie Gonzalez, join us live to talk about the reopening plans for campuses in August and of Dr. Ellspermann's visit to the White House.

Gary Community Schools/YouTube

Today:   Gary Community Schools emergency manager Dr. Paige McNulty is with us to talk about the reopening plan to bring students back to school, in accordance with the guidelines to be able to safely do so during this coronavirus pandemic.  We also find out about a northwest Indiana school district that will begin the academic year with virtual e-learning, instead of in-class learning.  Catisha Toney with Coates  Inc. talks about tomorrow's workshop for high school graduates and their families to help get ready for attending college this fall.  The workshop will be held at RailCat Stadiium in downtown Gary.  Military personnel getting ready to become veterans are taking advantage of a modernized Veteran Readiness and Employment Program, offered through the VA.  William Streitberger is the program director, and he joins  us to talk about how veterans are getting some high-tech help during this pandemic.

Indiana University Northwest

Today:   Ellen Szarleta, the director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence is with us to talk about the summer non-credit class offerings this year, done differently  because of the coronavirus pandemic.  They include courses about career training, Social Security and COVID-19, emergency preparedness for seniors -- and a summer reading program for all agea.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with a Gary resident's recollections of her school days. And we bring back our conversaton with I.U. Northwest economist Micah Pollak about his coronavirus Twitter feed.

City of Hammond website

Today:  Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. talks about how the city is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, its impact on city services and events like those at the Sportsplex, on businesses and how the reduced casino revenue eill affect the city's 2020 budget.  He also has some good news about the latest firefighter-paramedics hired into the department, which include the first female hired since 1969.  Big Shoulders Fund CEO Josh Hale is with us with an update on the initiative to support the schools in the Catholic Diocese of Gary and the impact of COVID-19 on the schools, as they prepare to reopen for the fall semester.

Mark Leyva For Congress website

Today:  Mark Leyva, the Highland resident who is the Republican Party candidate for the First Congressional District seat currently held by Pete Visclosky, is on the program to talk about himself, his position on the issues in his campaign and how he is dealing with campaigning during the pandemic.  We also ask Lake County Surveyor and Plan Commission chairman Bill Emerson to explain the July 15th public hearing on an amended ordinance that, if approved, will set guidelnes for public meetings in the future for citizens to speak out about solar panel farms, if any are proposed for their area. A Chicago company is already interested in putting up a site in south Lake County.  And we we revisit our conversation with Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy about this weekend's Fourth of July celebrations in his city.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  "Indiana Gaming Insight" creator and editor Ed Feigenbaum has an update on how Hoosier casinos, including the local ones, are progressing in their post-COVID-19 shutdown reopenings.  He also has the latest on sports betting, post-pandemic, and the recent "virtual" Indiana political party conventions.  Northwest Indiana immigration attorney Alfredo Estrada is also with us to talk about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting DACA and its impact on young people and their residency status in the Region.  We also bring you another conversation from The Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Kyle Telechan, Post-Tribune

Today:  Indiana University Northwest economics Professor Micah Pollak talks about his major COVID-19 related project: almost daily entries in his personal Twitter account with data, observances and views on the impact of the pandemic on northwest Indiana.  Check it out here.   Joseph Pete with the "Times of Northwest Indiana" reviews his recent stories out in print and online, many of them as updates about the coronavirus' impact on local and regional business.  Stories include some projected casino layoffs and the latest unemployment report.  He also talks about a project to bring three new restaurants into a busy Schererville business corridor.

Edgewater Health

Today:  Dr. Danita Johnson Hughes, the president and CEO at Edgewater Health, is with us to talk about the guest column she wrote for the "Post-Tribune" entitled "The Pandemic, The Police and Politics."    It is a column with her thoughts on the issues of  the coronavirus crisis, racial disparity, relations between minorities and police and the political conditions of the day.  Julie Wendorf, director of the Crown Point Community Library, joins us to talk about the reopening of the Crown Point and Winfield branches on June 15th when the governor's plan allowed it to happen.  The Lake County Public Library is going through the reopening process right now, with the Merrillville branch to reopen on Monday.  And Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy talks about his city's ongoing efforts toward equality with established organizations working with police and citizens, how the community's coping during the COViD-19 pandemic and the city's  big plans for the July 4th holidays.

Today on “Off Mic” The COVID-19 epidemic is having a profound effect on life in the United States, the State of Indiana and right here in Northwest Indiana. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana’s National Guard is helping distribute supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to hospitals across the state and is taking the lead as supplies come in.

Pages