Local News

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.

Tom Maloney

NORTHWEST INDIANA - A severe thunderstorm hit Northwest Indiana Monday afternoon that brought high winds, heavy rain and knocked out power to about 21,800 NIPSCO customers.

During the afternoon on Monday Northwest Indiana was under a severe thunderstorm watch that was expected to possibly bring  winds up to 100 miles per hour.

Meteorologist Brian Leatherwood with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville told Lakeshore Public Radio before the storm that everyone should take cover.  

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.

Zach Herndon / WTIU News

A top lawmaker in Indiana is warning schools they could lose out on 15 percent of state funding if they start the new school year only online. 

Tony Webster / Flickr

The northern Indiana utility NIPSCO will pay one of the highest fines in state history for natural gas pipeline safety violations. The state said the company failed to timely find or mark some of its pipelines — which could have caused natural gas explosions. 

Youtube screenshot

Indiana schools are reopening for the new academic year, with some reporting cases of COVID-19 among staff or students, and the state's top school official says efforts to find people who have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus is proving difficult.

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.

Porter County, Indiana

PORTER COUNTY -
The Porter County Health Department is identifying metrics local health officials will use to advise school districts on what instructional models to implement, based on coronavirus outbreaks.

The "Times" reports a Porter County memo outlines a three-tier threshold for county positivity rates using a seven-day period.  A county average of 0-5% indicates schools should operate in person; at 6-12%, schools should operate in-person or with a hybrid model; and at 13% or higher, districts should pursue remote learning.

FILE PHOTO: Nick Janzen

According to a new report from Earthjustice and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, 70 percent of the most dangerous hazardous waste sites in the country are located within a mile of federally assisted housing.

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.

Did May Flooding Recontaminate Homes In East Chicago?

Aug 6, 2020
Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Residents in the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago are worried that flooding in May could have recontaminated their homes with arsenic and lead. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is ready to call the soil at several properties clean. 

State Launches COVID-19 Help Hotline For Schools

Aug 6, 2020
Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The State Department of Health announced Wednesday it launched a hotline for school administrators to call with questions about COVID-19.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Indiana will launch a settlement arbitration tool for Hoosier landlords and renters as it braces for a flood of evictions when the state’s eviction moratorium ends Aug. 14.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana

SOUTH HAVEN - The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana has just received one of it's biggest and most valuable donations it has ever gotten thus-far.

It has been given nearly two acres of land that is adjacent to the South Haven Boys & Girls Club on what is now the north end of the Club’s property.  The donation came from Indiana American Water.  According to a news release from the Boys & Girls Clubs, the lot is valued at more than $130,000.

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.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Indiana says it has spent – or committed to spending – less than $1 billion in federal CARES Act money out of the $2.4 billion it’s received.

You Asked: How Contact Tracing Works

Aug 4, 2020
GORDON JOHNSON / Pixabay

Experts say contact tracing is key to understanding and managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and many community members have questions about the process. Side Effects received dozens of those questions through our partnership with Indiana Public Broadcasting. 

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.

Jessica Whittle Photography / Flickr

Former Indiana Lt. Gov. John Mutz, a Republican, says pressure from President Donald Trump is the reason Gov. Eric Holcomb won’t allow many Hoosiers to vote by mail this fall.

July 30, 2020: NWI Midday News Update - Stay tuned for the latest on a shooting that left a toddler in critical condition, then one university's plans for admissions this fall, while another region high school moves to e-learning.

IU Press Bloomington IN

Today:  We have conversations with the new chancellor of Indiana University Northwest, Ken Iwama, and with former Congresswoman, gubernatorial candidate and I.U. ethics professor Jill Long Thompson.  Chancellor Iwama begins his post this weekend on the Gary campus, taking over from William Lowe, who returns to the university faculty.  Chancellor Iwama was selected from a field of finalists who each visited campus last February.  He came from a key administrative post at College of Staten Island, New York. Jill Long Thompson is the author of the book "The Character of American Democracy," available from Indiana University Press.   She is a former three-term U.S. Representative and was a candidate for Governor in 2008.  Her biography notes that her political career began in 1983 when she launched a successful campaign to win a seat on the Valparaiso City Council, a post she held from 1984 to 1986.  She is currently a member of the faculty of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

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