Local News

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Indiana casinos have a few new rules to follow after Gov. Eric Holcomb’s latest COVID-19 executive order.

Alan Mbathi / IPB News

When a coal plant shuts down, the loss of jobs and tax revenue can be devastating for the towns that host them. The state is grappling with how to help workers and local governments in Indiana with that transition.

Alan Mbathi / IPB News

Indiana has crossed 300,000 positive COVID-19 cases. Monday’s newly reported cases were the fewest in nearly a week – though the state has reported more than 5,000 cases every day since Nov. 10. 

As of Sunday, 5,040 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The most recent 1,000 confirmed deaths were reported over the span of just 24 days.

Opioid Treatment Center Gets to Stay in Gary Neighborhood

Nov 20, 2020

GARY - An opioid treatment center that has relocated in Gary's Miller neighborhood is unwelcomed by several area residents, who took their concerns to city administration.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Indiana’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, continuing an encouraging downward trajectory since the start of the pandemic. But the number of people in the labor force is falling too – and that’s not a good sign.

Merrillville Man Charged in Fatal Crash on IU Campus

Nov 19, 2020

GARY - A Merrillville man has been arrested for fatally striking another man with a vehicle on Monday.  The man who was hit was working as a private contractor for a Gary construction company on the campus of IU Northwest.  The alleged victim, 29 year-old Jacob Moore, was working on a renovation project in Marram Hall.

The "Times" reports 29-year old Gregory Phillips is accused of causing the death of  Moore.

Phillips is charged with a felony count of reckless homicide and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving. He was being held at Lake County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

As COVID-19 numbers continue to surge across the state, more hospitals are forced to send non-emergency patients elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean local hospitals will stop caring for patients needing urgent care. 

Photo Provided

Today:  On this "Reporters' Roundtable" Thursday, we have Lakeshore Public Radio reporter Sharon Jackson's conversation with Crown Point Mayor David Uran, who is convalescing at home after having tested positive for COVID-19 about 18 days ago.  He is doing well, and he shared his experiences with Sharon.  "Post-Tribune" reporter Hannah Reed and "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete are talking about the stories they wrote and posted online and in the print editions.  Hannah's stories are pandemic-related, about school districts changing their students' instruction modes, and Joseph's stories run the gamut, from business layoff-related (BP in Chicago and Whiting) to the downtown Gary demolition projects to the passing of Gary teenaged chef Ben Watkins.

Courtesy of Governor Holcomb's office

Gov. Eric Holcomb will appoint Katie Jenner as Indiana's first-ever appointed education secretary. Holcomb announced his pick for the state's top school official in a statement Thursday.

Brock Turner / WTIU

A task force charged with developing a statewide energy plan voted to pass its final recommendations to the Indiana legislature on Thursday. Its report suggests lawmakers determine how the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission can ensure reliable electricity.


NORTHWEST INDIANA -There is a wind advisory for all of Northwest Indiana that goes into effect from 9 a.m.  until  4 p.m. Thursday.  Ricky Castro, Meteorologist at the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville encourages everyone, including businesses with outside dinning, to prepare their outdoor spaces for the strong winds.

"We're looking at maximum wind gusts around 45 miles an hour, Castro says.  The wind advisory is in effect from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The highest gusts will be kind of in the 10 a.m. until 2 or 3 p.m. timeframe."

AP News

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana residents will be able to go to several local pharmacy chains in the Region to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free once it's available to the public.

The "Times" reports several pharmacy chains, many of which are in big-box stores, are set to get allocations of the vaccine once it's approved in the United States.

Lee Lewellen, Indiana Landmarks

Today:   William Carroll, the executive director of St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, is with us to give us the latest in the effort to continue the liberal arts college's return to educational solvency, so to speak, following some financial issues in recent years.  The college resolved those obligations  and approved a three-year plan.  Carroll and his Board of Trustees are soliciting ideas and have heard from at least one alumnus.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us to talk about some of the things that family members can discuss when they get together for the holidays, whichever way that may be.  That may include updating retirement accounts or even estate planning, if needed. 

When do we expect the national economy and local economy to return back to the pre-pandemic normal? “Regionally Speaking” host Chris Nolte recently spoke with Abbey Omodunbi, an assistant vice president and economist for The PNC Financial Services Group about the economic recovery post-election.  Abbey says “…the resurgence of the coronavirus and the absence of an additional stimulus package are the biggest risks”.

Here’s the full conversation.

City of Crown Point

CROWN POINT - The City of Crown Point’s Clerk Office is moving to Bulldog Park temporarily.

Bette Babjak, Chief Deputy for the Crown Point City Clerk Treasurer, says the office is moving due to renovations being made.

"Bascially due to COVID we've got 13-plus people in this space and the mayor and our clerk felt the need to do something to try to spread us out," Babjak said.

The move is a short-term arrangement and the office staff hopes to be back into its old space by March of 2021.  

Courtesy of NIPSCO

Indiana lags behind other states when it comes to closing toxic coal ash ponds safely. That’s according to a new report by the Hoosier Environmental Council. 

Indiana Public Media

Today:  We have two environmental topics that are linked to northwest Indiana and NIPSCO's coal-fired plants.   Hoosier Environmental Council director of environmental health and water policy director Dr. Indra Frank talks about the release of a 32-page white paper entitled "Our Waters At Risk, Part 2: The Impact of Coal Ash."  It addresses the concerns about groundwater contamination by power plants' coal ash "impoundments"  -- the unlined pits in flood plains of Lake Michigan and Indiana rivers.  Jamie Palmer, a policy analyst with the I.U. Public Policy Institute talks about a recent analysis designed to help Hoosier lawmakers discuss the state's shift from coal to emerging technologies to create electricity.  PNC Financial Services Group economist Abbey Omodunbi joins us for the first of a monthly series of conversations about the local and national economies.  And Indiana Youth Institute president-CEO Tami Silverman talks about her recent column on helping get family members ready for a very different Thanksgiving and Christmas.

City of Crown Point / City of Crown Point

Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Crown Point Mayor Dave Uran on Wednesday, November 11th, two days after he learned that he tested positive for COVID-19.  Here's the full conversation in which Uran talked about his experience.



CROWN POINT - Crown Point mayor Dave Uran wasn't feeling well on Sunday night.  He said he knew something was wrong. Then on Monday (Nov. 9th) he learned he tested positive for COVID-19.  Uran spoke to Lakeshore Public Radio on Wednesday to share his experience.

Kyle Telechan / Post-Tribune

Today:   "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson talks about the stories that she put out in print and online -- including the Gary Community Schools referendum vote results and the demolition of several vacant and blighted buildings on Broadway in downtown Gary.  (See the photo of an abandoned bank with a wall that once housed a mural of the Jackson 5.)  Burgess Peoples with the city of Gary Faith Leaders and Community Partnerships organization reviews the latest of the series of virtual panel discussions with law enforcement, elected officials, ministers and community members about important local topics. Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council has more about their participation in a federal lawsuit against the EPA and "Greening the Statehouse 2020" going virtual this year.  And Jena Bellazza with the Indiana Parenting Institute tells us about two major events, one of them an annual conference coming up.


MICHIGAN CITY - A Michigan City hemp processor is expanding, since its commercial enterprise has flourished in Indiana.

The "Times" reports the expansion is also expected to produce fifteen additional jobs at the Viobin facility, which is located at 1700 E. U.S. 12.  

Viobin is investing $6.1 million dollars into the facility for the expansion which includes greater capacity for hemp drying, feed production and processing along with additional equipment.

The growth plans come after the City Council approved a tax abatement on the investment last week.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday he will reimpose some COVID-19 restrictions on counties failing to control spread of the virus.

Merrillville Community School Corporation logo

MERRILLVILLE -The Merrillville Community School Corporation is announcing that its students will continue virtual learning through early January.

The "Times" reports Superintendent Nick Brown made the announcement Monday.  Merrillville is among other school districts, including Crown Point and Portage, that have changed course or  postponed in-person classes as cases of COVID-19 have spiked in recent weeks.

Digital Crossroad website

Today:  The "Digital Crossroad" data center and tech incubator along Lake Michigan in Hammond is up and running, and its creator -- Tom Dakich -- is on the program today to talk about it.  The $40 million project has plenty of room for expansion for any interested client, and Tom talks about the great economic development benefits of the "Crossroad" for the entire city of Hammond.   We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and we bring back our conversation with Karen Toering, the creator of the Gary International Black Film Festival, the ten-day event underway today, that this year is "virtual."  

City of Crown Point

CROWN POINT - Crown Point Mayor Dave Uran has tested positive for COVID.

Uran disclosed on social media that he received his positive results from Great Lakes Laboratory after taking a test Monday morning.  
He said he developed flu-like symptoms late Sunday evening, that deteriorated very quickly as the night went on that caused him to reach out to the city of Crown Point covid task force for guidance.  

The mayor said he spent several hours on Monday notifying the people who were in close or direct contact with him, per CDC guidelines.  

Photo provided

Today:   Gary Redevelopment Department staff member Deb Backhus is on the program to talk about the work underway to create a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle master plan for the city.  City officials want to link neighborhoods to each other and offer some transportation options besides public transit.  They also see some major improvements that can come about in recreation for residents and visitors to Gary.   Purdue University civil engineering professor Pablo Zavattieri also talks about research being done on campus, and elsewhere around the country, to develop new materials with the same herculean toughness as the shells of the diabolical ironclad beetle.  Zavatteri says the beetle can survive being run over by a car but be as ductile as a paper clip.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 259 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 4,383 – the largest reported in a single week since early May. 

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana crossed 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as it set yet another record-breaking daily case total Friday. While the number of tests the state has done has steadily increased, new cases outpace it. 

Justin Hicks / IPB News

As key states continue counting votes to determine the winner in the race for president, Indiana teachers are busy fielding questions from their students. Teachers say students are curious about a lot: like how the electoral college works, why results are taking so long – even asking about their political views.