Local News

Today:   Abbey Omodunbi with PNC Financial Services Group is back on "Regionally Speaking" with another analysis of the local, regional and national economic pictures.   Side Effects Public Media reporter Farah Yousry has another in her feature series on COVID-19 and diabetes.  And we revisit our conversation with  Terry Velligan with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC, as next week's official opening of the new toll bridge in East Chicago approaches.

Humane Indiana / Humane Indiana

MUNSTER - Humane Indiana's Home to Home program is serving the organization well in getting animals permanent homes while keeping them out of shelters, even with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humane Indiana Shelter Director, Jessica Petalas-Hernandez, says the program started at Humane Indiana before the pandemic took hold, in the spring of 2019 and last year 61 animals were adopted as a result of the program.

Pew Research Center

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Purdue Research Foundation's David Broecker talks about a wireless high-speed internet initiative that will benefit students and families in the Kankakee Valley Schools district next year.  The current plans call for connections to be made in January.  Side Effects Publc Media reporter Farah Yousry has a report on the concerns that diabetics -- particularly those with Type I diabetes -- have, in trying to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic with a condition that has been found to develop severe symptoms and complications if they contract the virus. We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, from a northwest Indiana resident whose family came to the U.S. from Mexico.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Hoosiers are split over whether Indiana lawmakers should draw their own districts – as they currently do – or an independent commission should be responsible for redistricting.

Photo Provided

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Chris Bayh, the son of former Senator Birch Bayh, and Joe Allen, a former Bayh staffer who now heads up the "Bayh-Dole-40" initiative that marks the 40th anniversary (actually observed earlier this month) of the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act.   The Bayh-Dole Act fundamentally changed the nation's system of technology transfer, by enabling universities to retain title to inventions and take the lead in patenting and licensing groundbreaking discoveries.  We also have Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute to talk about her latest column entitled "Still Home for the Holiday: Supporting Our Kids Over Break." Young people usually await the holidays to enjoy being with friends and family, as well as the presents.  But the pandemic changed all that and added stress to the holiday plans.  Tami offers some tips in dealing with that stress.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 551 additional confirmed deaths over the last week – the most reported in a single week during the pandemic, and nearly double the high reported in April. That brings the state’s total to 6,495 confirmed deaths. ISDH also reported nearly 43,000 new cases in the last week.

Twitter

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville has issued a lakeshore flood advisory for Lake and Porter Counties across the shorelines of Northwest Indiana.

It's in effect from 3 p.m. Saturday until 9:00 a.m., Sunday, December 13th.

Minor lakeshore flooding is expected due to large waves of eight to 12 feet, high lake levels, and up to a one foot surge.

Meteorologist Matt Friedlein says it will feel colder after the system moves into the area.

Gary Police Department

GARY- Gary Police are looking for information in connection to a shooting of a 15 year-old.
According to Gary Police Department Public Information Officer Lieutenant Dawn Westerfield, officers responded to the 800 block of West 36th Avenue at around 9:15 a.m. Thursday for reports of a gunshot victim. 

"When the officers arrived they did discover a 15 year-old male from Gary who had a gunshot wound to the leg.  That victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment and we had information that the suspect was in the wooded area nearby," Westerfield says.

Lt Governor's Office/WKVI Radio website

Today:  "Times" reporters Mary Freda and Carley Lanich are with us to talk about the stories they posted on the newspaper's website and in print editions this week, including the latest on COVID pandemic-related issues with regional schools, a court decision that affects the former owner of the Crown Theatre in downtown Crown Point, packages being stolen off residents' porches and plans for major expansion projects in the Crown Point Community Schools. There is now a third round of COVID-19 response grants available for communities to help those impacted by the pandemic. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs are working with and overseeing the program. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with the Lieutenant Governor about the next round of grants. And we bring back our conversation with Edgewater Health executive Dr. Danita Johnson-Hughes about this evening's virtual fundraiser.

Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS - There is now a third round of COVID-19 response grants available for communities to apply for to help those impacted by the pandemic. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs are working with and overseeing the program. Crouch says some Northwest Indiana counties were awarded grants during the initial launch of the program in April and in the second round, in August.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer is on "Regionally Speaking" with a look back at the important financial issues of 2020 and putting them in perspective as we look into 2021. Pangere Corp. safety coordinator Don Hancock also talks about his work with a Purdue University Northwest construction science and leadership class on giving students some "real world" experience thay can use when they begin their careers. They created a PowerPoint presentation that can be used to train others on OSHA and other safety training procedures.

Lake Station Community Schools Seeking TIF Funds

Dec 8, 2020
Lake Station Community Schools

LAKE STATION - Lake Station Community Schools is seeking a portion of the municipality's tax increment financing district proceeds.

The "Times" reports the city created a TIF district in 2019 to capture funding for economic development endeavors. The TIF is expected to start generating money in 2021, but it isn't known how much will be generated.

State law allows school districts to petition for as much as 15 percent of TIF revenue.

Photo Provided

Today: La Lumiere School's Head of School Adam Kronk is with us to talk about how they managed to be able to provide "in person" learning during the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting nearly all classes outdoors.  The LaPorte County private college-prep school is now on "remote learning" between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks because of the colder weather.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with Gary Mayor Jerome Prince. He talks about his early schooling while living in the city's Glen park neighborhood.

GasBuddy

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Gas prices in Northwestern Indiana have risen 1.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.99/ per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 stations. Region gas prices are just over 3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand almost 48 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Gary is/was priced at $1.75 per gallon as of today/Monday while the most expensive is $2.19/ per gallon.

Today: Businessman and St. Joseph's College alumni Mark Andrew Zwartzynski wants to help his alma mater and he's proposed an ambitious  plan to revive the Rensselaer campus, the city of Rennselaer and the entire area.  Mark joins us for an at-length conversation about it.  He presented a 128-page proposal to the college's board of trustees last month, but they decided not to vote upon it at this time. Noted Indiana economist-writer-speaker Morton Marcus is back with more of his "Eye On The Pie" columns to talk about.  Some deal with the township governments and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.

Rebecca Thiele / IPB News

Energy prices in states surrounding Indiana are expected to go up — which could make Indiana more attractive to businesses. That’s according to a new study released by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. It comes just a few weeks after a legislative task force finalized its recommendations for a statewide energy plan. 

U.S. Steel Restarting Blast Furnace

Dec 3, 2020
apnews

GARY - U.S. Steel is restarting a blast furnace at its plant in Gary earlier than expected after it shut down in April for a maintenance project then stayed idled due to COVID.

The "Times" reports at the time, U.S. Steel warned the state it would temporarily furlough up to 3,800 steelworkers at Gary Works and at the Midwest Plant in Portage.

U.S. Steel executives warned  investors it likely would keep the No. 4 blast furnace at Gary Works and blast furnace A at Granite City Works in Illinois idled through at least the end of 2020.

CDC.gov

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable" Thursday, Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune" reviews for us her stories related to the coronavirus pandemic, and "Inside Indiana Business" host Gerry Dick talks to an Indianapolis-based standup comedian on how he had to shift from stage performances to virtual performances on Zoom.   Edgewater Health president and CEO Danita Johnson-Hughes gives us a preview of the organization's virtual fundraisier coming on December 19th.

Star America website

Today:  We revisit our conversation recorded here at Lakeshore Public Radio with Tom Dakich, the creator of the "Digital Crossroad" data center that is now open for business in Hammond.  An official grand opening late last month was postponed because of the pandemic.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Natalie Krebs has a report on businesses that are preparing for the pandemic's winter months. And Craig Miller, Franciscan Health's adminstrative director for ambulatory services, talks about the new remote urgent care services instead of a personal visit to a clinic.

United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund

UNDATED -Beachfront Dance School in Gary has received a $15,000 dollar grant.  The organization is one of an additional sixty-one Midwestern arts and culture organizations that received COVID-19 relief grants Tuesday from Arts Midwest.  The funds come from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund.

The Associated Press

Today:  Our colleague Michael Puente from Chicago Public Radio WBEZ sent along his recent "Off Mic" conversation with Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne, on the political futures of Vice President (and former Governor) Mike Pence and former South Bend Mayor (and presidential primary candidate) Pete Buttigieg.  We bring it to you, along with conversations from northwest Indiana's minority business community on "Neighborhood Voice" and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso Univeity.  Today's conversation is with a well-known Gary public official.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter with Hanna News Service has an update on the Indiana gaming industry, including the latest Indiana Gaming Commission meeting topics that include revenues from the casinos and sportsbooks, as well as the investigation into allegations involving executives with Spectacle Entertainment and former casino operator Centaur Gaming and the probe's impact on the Gary and Terre Haute casino projects.  We also bring back out conversation with Porter County Substance Abuse Council executive director Dawn Pelc and board president Chuck Harris, about the organization's effort to reduce the number of former Porter County jail inmates going back behind bars because of drug-related crimes.  Many of those returning inmates don't have the education or job skills to find meaningful jobs in the community.

Legacy Foundation

MERRILLVILLE - Hoosier small businesses affected by COVID-19 may be able to get some help.  They can apply for the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant.

Carolyn Saxton, President of the Legacy Foundation, says small businesses that qualify need to get their application in quickly as the deadline is December 1st.

"The deadline is coming up very quickly so it's really important that the businesses that think they could apply to go online to do that now," Saxton says.

Photo Provided by Icon website

Today:  Ty Warner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission talks about the new report "E-commerce in Northwest Indiana," which follows the explosive growth of ecommerce in the Region as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and makes some recommendations to help adapt to the changes.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Thiele has another feature on the economic impact of coal-fired power plants on the communities where they are located. We also bring back our conversation with Linda Eales, the curator of the Samara House in West Lafayette.  It's a structure that was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright back in the 1950's for a Purdue University professor and his family. The house is now on the National Register of Historic Places and Indiana Landmarks is setting aside one million dollars for continued restoration of the structure.

Lakeshore Public Radio

IU Northwest economics professor Micah Pollak was on "Regionally Speaking" last month to talk about a study commissioned from EMSI, on the economic impact that IU Northwest has on students, alumni and the community at large.  He also talked about his Twitter posts that update local residents on the COVID pandemic.  These remarks came as the number of cases began to rise dramatically. IPB News reporter Rebecca Thiele has a feature about the Michigan City NIPSCO power plant, and Purdue Research Foundation's David Broecker talks about a wireless high-speed internet initiative that will benefit students and families in the Kankakee Valley Schools district next year.

County Judge Strikes Down Gary Immigration Ordinance

Nov 24, 2020
Justin Hicks / IPB News

A Gary, Indiana, ordinance that limited how city officials could cooperate with federal immigration authorities was struck down recently by a Lake County judge.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

More Hoosiers voted in the 2020 general election than in any election in state history, crossing the 3 million-voter mark for the first time.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

More than 5,000 Hoosiers have now died from COVID-19. While state officials have tried to slow the spread of the virus, some health experts say it wasn't enough. 

City of Gary

GARY - Gary Mayor Jerome Prince on Monday laid out new COVID-19 restrictions in his city to help mitigate the spread of the virus.  Last week Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated Lake County as a red county, which means the county has to adhere to the highest level of restrictions, and locally mayors and other city leaders are free to implement higher restrictions than set by the state.  After discussing the matter with his administration, Prince announced the rules being imposed on the residents and businesses in the city of Gary.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Terry Velligan, the general manager for operations at the Cline Avenue bridge construction site, is with us with an update on the near-completion of the bridge that is over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago.  The final segment constructed on-site was raised into place earlier this month and the finishing touches are being made to get ready to open the bridge to traffic  in early winter.  CareSource Indiana president Steve Smitherman talks about the non-profit organization's efforts to assist Hoosiers in getting their 2021 health insurance needs met.  And northwest Indiana community activist Ruth Needleman has the latest on local racial and community-police issues.

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