Local News

Belt Publishing

Today:  We talk with Gary activist Sam Love, who is the editor of "The Gary Anthology," a series of stories and poems from Gary residents that cover topics like steel, violence, race and urban blight -- but also tell stories of hope.  It's available from Belt Publishing.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with a Gary resident who remembers his years in the public schools. Celina Weatherwax with the MacMillan Foundation also tells us about last weekend's First Responder Appreciaion and Demonstration Day at the MAAC center in Valparaiso.  It was a way for visitors to learn more about how first-responders are trained to help address emergencies.

HOBART - A Hobart woman and her boyfriend were arrested last week and are charged with abusing and neglecting the woman's grandmother and disabled aunt.

The "Times" reports the woman, 32-year-old Brittany Stewart, has an aunt with cerebral palsy and is nonverbal.

Police first questioned Stewart and 30-year-old Nathan Soria July 19th, after Stewart's 76-year-old grandmother climbed out of a window and told a neighbor "Nathan" was going to kill her, but she escaped.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  We welcome back into the studio Indiana economist-writer-speaker Morton Marcus, to talk about his recent "Eye on the Pie" columns that find a way to explain and to comment on sometimes complex economic issues in the Hoosier State in an entertaining way.  We also bring back our recent "welcome to northwest Indiana" conversation with the new Chancellor of Indiana University Northwest, Ken Iwama. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

For the month of July, Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped more than three points from the previous month down to 7.8 percent. But that metric is only a rough indicator of how the economy is improving. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana counties can no longer reject a voter’s absentee, mail-in ballot because an official says their signature doesn’t match – without giving the voter a chance to fix it.

City of Gary

GARY - The city of Gary Common Council on Tuesday, August 11th passed the City of Gary Climate Resilience and Recovery resolution.  

The move calls for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the goals of the United States Climate Mayors.

Brenda Scott-Henry is in charge of the Gary Office of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs.  The office will lead the city in the climate resiliency program, which includes a detailed Climate Action Plan.

Karen Toering, Founder/Director GIBFF

GARY - A very special film is being shown online and at the Gary SouthShore Railcats Stadium on Saturday, August 22.  Karen Toering, Founder and Director of the Gary International Black Film Festival says the film is called Nationtime and is a historic documentary that was filmed at the 1972 Black National Political Convention.  

Toering spoke with Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson about the upcoming Gary International Black Film Festival and the one-off moving showing on Saturday.


Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz / Wikimedia Commons

The state has announced which schools, cities, and businesses will get money for greener vehicles during the second round of Volkswagen settlement awards. Indiana received funding to reduce the state’s diesel emissions after the company violated the Clean Air Act. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana will soon send a total of $61 million to Hoosier schools to help them with their technology needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable" program we have "Times" reporters Lauren Cross and Mary Freda and "Post-Tribune" reporter Carrie Napoleon talking about the stories they put out in print and online.  Lauren's stories on Gary city government included one on the federal fraud charges against former city official Mary Cossey and of more grand jury subopoenas served at Gary City Hall for information in undisclosed investigations.  Mary talks about stories that include one on a new hospital proposed for Crown Point and discussions in Winfield about flooding.  And Carrie's stories include the city of Gary's community benefits agreement and a grant headed to Cedar Lake to help the community's historical association.

Lake Area United Way logo

LAKE COUNTY - Low income parents who need to continue working in  spite of the rise of e-learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, may now have assistance to help pay for out-of-school child care.

Lake area United Way last week approved $578,000 in funding to assist working parents who will rely on e-learning, out-of-school care and child care this fall.  To qualify, parents must be employed, reside in Lake County, and meet income guidelines.

Lake Area United Way logo

LAKE COUNTY - Low income parents who need to continue working in  spite of the rise of e-learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, may now have assistance to help pay for out-of-school child care.

Lake area United Way last week approved $578,000 in funding to assist working parents who will rely on e-learning, out-of-school care and child care this fall.  To qualify, parents must be employed, reside in Lake County, and meet income guidelines.

Porter County Parks website

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer is with us to talk about an important deadline coming up, for anyone who withdrew funds from retirement accounts under the terms of the CARES Act during this pandemic -- and now wants to return that money to the retirement accounts.  Porter County veterinarian Dr. Larry McAfee and Porter County Parks and Recreation superintendent Walter Lenckos join us from Sunset Hill Farm, outside Valparaiso, to talk about a donation of antique veterinary instruments used by his father Dr. John McAfee during his time as Sunset Hill Farm's veterinarian from the 1940s to 1960s.  The farm is now a Porter County park.  And we have post-speech comments from state Representative Earl Harris Jr of East Chicago, the vice-chairman of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus about Governor Eric Holcomb's proposed plan to address racial inequity in Indiana.  The proposal includes creation of a new state government position.


HAMMOND - The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond is now offering state and federal identity services.

Erika Dahl, Director of Communications for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority says the South Shore CVA was approached by a company called IdentoGO, that was looking for new office space.  

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he wants to be a “barrier buster” to help reduce racial inequality in the Hoosier State.

Photo provided

Today:  Purdue University Northwest is holding a series of interdisciplinary lectures and discussions beginning Sept. 3rd entitled "Race, Racism and Anti-Racism" that focuses on race relations and racism in America.  We have one of those presenters on the program:  associate professor of criminal justice Nicky Jackson who, along with exoneree Roosevelt Glenn, will speak on "Race and Wrongful Convictions" on October 6th.  All of the lectures will be free, open to the public and viewable via Zoom and Facebook Live.  More information's available on the PNW website.   We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University and the CEO of Merrillvile-based tech company Cimcor, Robert E. Johnson III, joins us to talk about his firm's association with Zoom to give the videoconferencing giant better security and compliance through its new software.  Zoom began using CimTrak software in 2019.

Screenshot of Microsoft Teams

The Hoosier Lottery generated more than $300 million for the state in the last fiscal year, which supports teacher retirement and police and firefighter pensions.

United States Department of Justice

HAMMOND - A 41 year-old Schererville man and member of the Latin Kings has been sentenced to 87 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.  

According to a news release from the Department of Justice and the office of U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch, U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon issued the sentence on Monday in Hammond.  As part of his guilty plea, Mark Toney also gets 2 years of supervised release.

City of Hobart website

Today:   Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor joins us to talk about how his city is coping with the coronavirus pandemic, and he explains in detail his reasons for switching political affiliations from Democrat to Republican.  Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman's produced another public column about helping Hoosier youth during the COVID-19 pandemic and the important role that teachers play in the process.  She talks about the column, as school systems attempt to reopen during the pandemic.  Susan Bannwart, the community engagement manager for the LaPorte County Public Library, explains how its new Mobile STEAM Classroom can help prepare for high-skilled and good-paying jobs in northwest Indiana.  And Brad Miller, the northwest field director for Indiana Landmarks, talks about the latest Ten Most Endangered List and one of this year's additions is Gary Roosevelt High School.  It is one of the three high schools that provided unprecedented learning opportunities to African Americans.

Premiere YMCA Could Be Coming to Highland

Aug 13, 2020
Town of Highland / Town of Highland

HIGHLAND/WICKER PARK - YMCA officials are considering building premiere facility in the Wicker Park area of Highland.  

It would be similar in "size and scale" to Crown Point's 120,000 square foot location that was renovated and unveiled last year.

Jay Buckmaster, CEO of Crossroads YMCA, told the "Times" the organization is exploring a $35 million project with stakeholders, including officials with the town of Highland and North Township for a "new regional YMCA."

Emmis Communications

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable," we talk to "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden and to business reporter Joseph Pete about the stories they put out in print and online.  Dan Carden's stories include updates on financial assistance to arts and tourism groups hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the state schools superintendent's support for vote-by-mail in November because of the pandemic.  Joseph Pete's stories focus on assistance from the CARES Act to NIRPC, the pandemic's impact on BP and on Lear Corporation that have important local repercussions, and a very quiet act of kindness by a television chef toward a Region teenager who is battling a very rare form of cancer.  Also on the program today -- Politicking App co-founder and Gary native Jordan Wilson talks about a virtual civic mixer this weekend in collaboration with two local organizations.

Gayle Davis

NORTHWEST INDIANA- A Michigan City middle school teacher as been chosen as a Indiana Policy Fellow by Teach Plus Indiana for the 2020-21 school year.  

Teach Plus is a national nonprofit organization that is focused on empowering teachers in the classroom as well as at the policy level.  The organization empowers teachers to lead improvements in education policy and instructional practice.  

Gayle Davis, a teacher at Barker Middle School in Michigan City, was one of nine teachers chosen from across the state and is the only one from the Region.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) says talks over another federal coronavirus relief package remain at an impasse.

Franciscan Health

Today:   Robert Blaszkiewicz with Franciscan Health here in northwest Indiana joins us to talk about, among other topics, the participation of the Hammond facility  in an Eli Lilly clinical study evaluating the safety and effectivemess of an antibody treatment drug for early-stages of the coronavirus. He also tells about how the latest thermal scanning technology is being used to screen visitors to all of its facilities.  We bring back our conversation with Big Shoulders Fund CEO Josh Hale about the work the organization is doing with the Diocese of Gary schools. And Purdue University biomedical engineering professor Young Kim talks about how he and his research team are developing an airborne disinfection method -- using edible food coloring dyes -- that could be an effective sterilization process in the fight against COVID-19. 

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE: On Wednesday, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ordered state-regulated utilities to offer payment plans of at least six months for their customers. Late fees, disconnection fees and reconnection fees have also been suspended until Oct. 12. 

Last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state has no plans to further extend a ban on utility shutoffs during the COVID-19 crisis. But more than 11 percent of Hoosiers are still unemployed and cases are going up. 

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.

MUNSTER - A disturbance at a bar and grill in Munster sent one person to the hospital.

The "Times" reports what's being described as a 'physical disturbance' happened late Friday.  Police responded to Marko's Bar & Grill at around 11:45 p.m.

A man was taken to a nearby hospital with a head wound.  Lieutenant John Peirick says there are no suspects in the case at this time.  

Anyone with information is asked to call the Munster Police Department at 219-836-6630.


Jeanie Lindsay / IPB News

Indiana's moratorium on evictions is set to expire this week and additional pandemic unemployment benefits have already ended, and schools are on edge for what it could mean for students with unstable housing. 

Justin Hicks / IPB News

It’s been one year since a northwest Indiana steel facility’s spill into a Lake Michigan waterway — which killed about 3,000 fish and forced beaches to close temporarily. The Environmental Law & Policy Center said ArcelorMittal’s pollution violations haven’t stopped in 2020. 

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.