Local News

The Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) wants to hear from Indiana residents who once lived elsewhere but like it well enough to stay and make Indiana their permanent home.   

Body Found in Snowbank in Valparaiso

Feb 17, 2021

VALPARAISO - Police say a man has been found dead in a snowbank in Valparaiso following this week’s snowstorm.  He has been identified, but the Porter County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it cannot release his name or provide other information about him until his family is notified. The department says the case remains an “open investigation.” Porter County Coroner Cyndi Dykes says a Valparaiso property owner found the man’s body Tuesday evening in a snowbank, and an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

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.

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NORTHWEST INDIANA - At one point in the later part of Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. 14,000 people in Northwest Indiana were without power, both customers of NIPSCO and customers of  Kankakee Valley REMC.

NIPSCO Public Affairs Manager Dana Berkes told Lakeshore Public Radio the issue was at a substation.  She said all repair crews were sent to the scene to get customers restored as quickly as possible.  Repair crews had to switch the effected customers to another circuit.

Visit Indiana website

Today:  "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter creator and editor Ed Feigenbaum is on "Regionally Speaking" with the Indiana Gaming Commission's monthly report on casino revenues around the state, including northwest Indana, and other gambling-related news.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about gettng ready to fill out those income tax returns, and Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy talks about the latest topics in his city. They include digging out from the latest snowstorm and the strategic planning process that is underway. City officials are seeking community input this month.

Sharon Jackson, Show Host/Reporter

NORTHWEST INDIANA- Northwest Indiana is getting hit hard with yet another winter storm. Travel has been hazardous Monday and Tuesday and it's recommended not to take any unnecessary trips.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with Matt Friedlein, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chicago about this weather event.

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WASHINGTON D.C. - Congressman Frank Mrvan has his committee assignments for the 117th Congress.

Mrvan announced on Friday that he will serve on the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the 117th Congress.  He will also be the Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization.  

During the organizing meeting for the Education and Labor Committee, Mrvan obtained positions on the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee, and the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee.

Schererville Police Department / Schererville Police Department


SCHERERVILLE - The Schererville Police Department is doing an emergency hiring, looking for two experienced police officers to replace two who have recently retired.   

Sergeant Tim Arvanitis says applicants can learn about the positions and access the application at schererville.org.

"Currently what we're looking for is officers that are already certified either in the state of Indiana or Illinois, that are prepared to come aboard our agency and assist us for the next 20 to 30 years," Arvanitis said.

Sharon Jackson, Show Host/Reporter / Lakeshore Public Radio

CHESTERTON - The National Park Service has implemented the federal mask mandate at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Bruce Rowe, Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information Officer said in a news release that the mandate was put in place to protect the health of those who live, work, and visit national parks and National Park Service facilities, and in support of President Biden’s executive order on protecting the federal workforce and requiring mask-wearing.

Sharon Jackson, Show Host/Reporter / Lakeshore Public Radio

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The bitter cold temperatures and a little snow are going to stick around in the Region this week.  Eric Lenning, Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chicago, explains.

"Well you know lately people have happy if it's actually double digits.  That's our light at the end of the tunnel right now and that's pretty much going to be the case through the remainder of the week," Lenning says.

Stephen Nichols, engineer with Otis Worldwide. This and more on Regionally Speaking home page.

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Organizers are planning the return of the county fairs in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.  

Although it's not a 100% guarantee the events will be held this summer, Lake County Fair Board President Tom Lump told the "Times" he has cautious optimism.

The summer events, which are a longtime tradition, with the LaPorte County fair being the oldest, had to be canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Brookings Institute website

Today:   Another in the Purdue University Northwest virtual lecture-discussion series "Race, Racism and Anti-Racism" was held on World Cancer Day and the topic is health equity and communities of color.  We talked with moderator Professor Karen Bishop-Morris and two participants in the conversation, Tranece Artis and Shari McKinley, ahead of the event.  We also have a conversation from "Indiana Lawmakers" program host Jon Schwantes and his guests about a bill in the General Assembly that focuses on law enforcement reform.  And two Indiana Landmarks preservation projects in Gary are getting financial support from the funds set up years ago by the man who became the first Black chemist with Eli Lilly and Company.  We'll tell you more about them.

Brock Turner / WTIU

A House bill aims to ensure reliable electricity for Indiana as utilities move toward renewable energy sources. It addresses a goal set by the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force

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.

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GARY - The Gary Common Council is considering changes to its approval process of day care businesses in the city.

The "Times" reports there has been a steady stream of applications being submitted to the Common Council for in-home day cares. According to the latest data available, there are already 55 registered in the city, as of last fall.

Councilwoman Tai Adkins, Democrat from the 4th district, said she noticed day care applications coming before the council nearly every month that they meet.

NPR.org/Getty Images

Today:   Evan Hock, the co-founder of Indiana-based website MakeMyMove is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the number of remote workers who are leaving expensive, congested cities to find places to upgrate their quality of life and still have a career.   Pew research shows about 54-percent of Americans who are working from home because of the pandemic won't want to go back into the office.  And Abhijit Karve, the director of business development with the Purdue Research Foundation is with us to talk about the "Purdue Technology Showcase," coming up virtually on Feb. 10th and 11th.    The showcase will feature novel innovations from inventors at Purdue, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and other organizations.  Registration deadline is Feb. 9th and can be made here .

HealthLinc

NORTHWEST INDIANA -A Northwest Indiana health care organization is offering a sign-up list for people who want the COVID-19 vaccine.  Sharon Jackson spoke with the CEO of HealthLinc, Beth Wrobel, about the process of going to the HealthLinc website, getting on the waiting list and what to expect after that.

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.  

UNDATED - School Choice Week is underway this week.  Shelby Doyle, Director of Communications and External Relations, for National School Choice Week, says they conduct the awareness campaign annually to let parents know they have options in choosing their child's education.

Associated Press

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable Thursday," we speak with Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune" about her stories related to COVID-19 vaccinations in Lake County.  She also reviews her story on a bill in the General Assembly that, if it becomes law, would affect protecting wetlands in Indiana.  "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson talks about her recent stories from the city of Gary, including the Gary Community Schools.  And we bring back a conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chief Jim Weiser, about this weekend's North Township caucus in Hammond.  It will be held with all health and safety precautions in mind because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

A Conversation with Abbe Omodunbi

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HAMMOND-A former Wheeler High School Teacher has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for collecting nude pictures of female high school students.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell says 32 year-old Brian Kunze of Valparaiso, received the sentence on Tuesday from United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon after pleading guilty plea to receiving child pornography.

The 12-year sentence, will be followed by 10 years of supervised release and Kunze is ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to each of the identified victims, for a total of $30,000.

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.

Wharton School of Business website

Today:  Purdue Northwest professor Yu Ouyang talks about the recent transition of the Trump and Biden administrations following Biden's inauguration. Northwest Indiana business advisor Greg Hammer has some points to consider in preparing for a comfortable retirement in 2021. And Aetna resident Penelope Love is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the Aetna Manor Revitalization Program established in the Gary neighborhood.

Department of Justice

HAMMOND-A 23 year-old Chicago woman has been sentenced in Federal court in Hammond to five years in prison for conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.

A news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell says Tiffany Barragan plead guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as an associate of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang,

The members of that gang have been charged with crimes involving in excess of 50 victims, including 15 murder victims.

WGN Channel 9

Today:   "Regionally Speaking's" Reporters' Roundtable includes "Post-Tribune" reporter Amy Lavalley's conversation with "Off Mic" host Michael Puente, on her story on Hammond resident and conservative influencer Kash Lee Kelly's arrest following the U.S. Capitol building assault earlier this month.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete also talks about his recent stories in print and online.  And Indiana Youth Instiute president-CEO Tami Silverman talks about her latest column, written and released in observance of Mentor Month. She speaks in particular about the I.Y.I. initiative MENTOR Indiana.

AP News / AP News

NORTHWEST INDIANA-Indiana Small Business have until Friday (January 22) to apply for a Restart Grant.

The Indiana Small Business Restart Fund provides eligible Indiana small businesses the opportunity to seek reimbursement for qualified business expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property, and safety investments, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and infrastructure improvements.

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