Local News

Rochester Institute of Technology website

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Purdue University Northwest criminal justice professor Nicky Jackson about her October 6th presentation on "Race and Wrongful Convictions," part of the university's series of conversations called  “Race, Racism, Anti-racism” which began earlier this month and continue into November.  The programs are offered on Zoom and Facebook Live.  State Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) was a contestant on a new social media democracy game show series "Internet Expert," produced and put out on YouTube and other media by GBH (Boston).  We talk with Chris and the program's host Malick Mercier, a student journalist.  You can watch it here.   

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Hoosiers can celebrate National Public Lands Day next weekend by supporting their favorite state property with volunteer work or simply visiting. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort involving public lands. State park properties will have programs for visitors to volunteer as individuals or as part of many events across Indiana, but they can also choose to visit and just enjoy their favorite areas.

GettyImages.com

Today:  We talk with Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman about her latest column topic: keeping Hoosier children healthy by feeding as well as we can during the coronavirus pandemic, when schools aren't able to help as much as in the past. Lake Area United Way president-CEO Lisa Daugherty is also with us to bring us up-to-date on programs that help working families-in-need in Lake County during the COVID crisis.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University and the second part of Indiana Public Broadcasting's Ella Abbott's two-part series on "Sundown Towns" in Indiana: how the past is affecting present day life in those communities.

Screenshot of Zoom call

A seven-county region of northwest Indiana was designated a “21st Century Talent Region” by the state. It’s the eighth region to be recognized for having local groups work together on a shared workforce development agenda. 

Samantha Horton / IPB News

The Environmental Protection Agency is facing a lawsuit for not setting limits for certain hazardous air pollutants at steel mills — like mercury and the cancer-causing chemical benzene.

FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik / IPB News

Indiana is withdrawing from purchasing land for a fourth port. This comes three years after an agreement to potentially purchase the land was first signed.

Indiana Dunes National Park / National Park Service

CHESTERTON - Indiana Dunes National Park has a new introduction video, and it's going to be showcased in a fundraising gala for the park.

Dustin Ritchea, Production Director for Indiana Dunes Tourism, says the movie night fundraiser will be at the 49er Drive-In on October 8th.  The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the first film starting at 6:30 p.m.  The event will also include a snack box, popcorn, live music from Johnny V. and a cash bar.

"The 49er Drive-In actually donated the venue for us to be able to do this as kind of a community outreach," Ritchea says.

WISH-TV Indianapolis

Today:  Legacy Foundation president Carolyn Saxton talks about the cooperative initiative between the Lake County community foundation, the Knight Foundation, Indiana Black Expo and the cities of Gary and East Chicago to set up the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund.  It's been designed to provide one-time grants to applicants that are minority-owned and operated businesses in both cities. Applications are being accepted now, with grants to be issued in October.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Ella Abbott has the first of a two-part report on what are called "Sundown Towns," and the curator of the Samara House in West Lafayette, Linda Eales, joins us to tell us more about the 64-year-old landmark home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the recent $1 million grant from Indiana Landmarks to help restore it to its original condition.

Pxhere

Indiana’s state health commissioner said she believes there is a safe way that Hoosiers can enjoy Halloween this fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Indiana Public Media

Today:   "Reporters Roundtable" guests today are "Post-Tribune" reporters Hannah Reed and Carole Carlson.  They talk about the stories they put out in print and online, and all involve public school districts.  Hannah's stories are about local schools either returning to in-person classes and the number of COVID-19 cases found during the first month of in-person classes.   Carole will talk about Portage Township Schools students returning to in-person classes next month, and about the Gary Common Council endorsement of the upcoming Gary Community Schools referendum vote.  The Council heard Manager Paige McNulty explain, before their vote, the eight-year $71.2 million referendum that would support the school district's operating costs. 

city of Valparaiso

VALPARAISO -
The City of Valparaiso is helping to launch a new nonprofit organization created to assist qualifying homeowners in maintaining their homes.

Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy says Home Team Valpo is a way for the city and others to come together to help families make their homes safer and more  comfortable.  In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Porter County, Home Team Valpo will be city-inspired and volunteer-driven.  Home Team Valpo will be about lifting up individuals and neighborhoods, improving quality of life, one home at a time, according to Murphy.  

Chris Nolte speaks with Rober Johnson about his work with ZOOM 

Chris Nolte speaks with Nicky Jackson about criminal justice reform

Forbes Magazine website

Today:   Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer is with us to outline what he calls the Five Ways to Stop the "Pandemic Panic" when working on planning for retirement in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson talked with some Hoosiers about the topic of racism in medicine, and she has a report.  And U.S. Census Bureau spokesperson Virginia Hyer gives us an update on how the all-important count of Americans this year is going, here in the Hoosier State.  The official count will end soon.

Big 10 To Resume Football Season In October

Sep 16, 2020
FILE PHOTO: Casey Abbett / WBAA

Big Ten football will resume next month after the season was called off in August over concerns about COVID-19.

Chris Nolte speaks to Young Kim about disenfectants with food coloring

Chris Nolte Speaks with Robert Blaszkiewicz talks about COVID Thermal Scanners

Chris Nolte Speaks with Steve Coxhead about the Rail System in NWI

Chris Nolte talks to Hannah News about the latest updates on gaming in NWI

Chris Notle Speaks with the Good Folks On Positive Vibes

Chris Nolte Speaks with the good folks from Meals On Wheels and how their operations are running in spite of the pandemic

Regionally Speaking's Chrisnolte speaks with realto Craig Fendling

American Rails website

Today:   Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance president Steve Coxhead is back with us to answer a listener question:  why does passenger rail service work in Europe, but not here (in the U.S.)?  He has a very complete explanation behind the rail systems and the changes over the decades leading up to today.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Jill Schleuter-Kim, the executive director of "Girls on the Run Northwest Indiana," talks about the organization and how it helps 8-to-13-year old girls in become empowered and learn life skills through lessons and running.  GOTR has to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, and Jill outlines the changes for the fall season of events, the group's 27th such season.

Lakeshore Public Radio

  

Today:   Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman is with us to talk about issues involving city government in Gary, including decisions about the city's community benefits agreement ordinance and the purchase and redevelopment of the city's North Gleason Golf Course. She also asks the question: what are they hiding at the Gary-Chicago International Airport, when it comes to issues surrounding immigration flights?  Purdue University assistant professor of physics and astronomy Dan Milisavjevic talks about his groundbreaking research into supernovas and supernova remnants and what is being done in the laboratories on the West Lafayette campus.  Some of the work involves cutting-edge virtual reality technology that may someday be available to the general public.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 74 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 3,214. The state announced more than 105,000 total confirmed cases – including three days with more than 1,000 reported cases – and more than 1.7 million Hoosiers tested.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  We chat with "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden and business reporter Joseph Pete about the stories they've written and put out in print and online.  Dan's stories focused on different aspects of the upcoming general election: about the judicial retention questions that voters will be asked on both local and state judges, as well as the recent federal court decisions concerning laws that impeded voter registration.  Joseph's stories include a comprehensive look at northwest Indiana labor unions as their members return to work in the pandemic, amid reduced union membership, and a look at the newspaper's "Enterprise of the Year," Cimcor, based in Merrillville.  We end the program with our conversation with Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District's Ron Taylor and Valparaiso University environmental chemistry professor Julie Peller, about professor Peller's work earlier this year with her students into the extent of the problem of local plastics pollution.

Regionally Speaking's Chris Nolte Speaks With Ruth Needlemen

Former Whiting Mayor Pleads Guilty in Court Wednesday

Sep 9, 2020
whitingindiana.com

HAMMOND - Former Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura admitted in court that he looted his campaign donations to gamble and for other personal uses over the last five years.

The "Times" reports Stahura appeared late Wednesday morning before a U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge to formally plead guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

The charges, which were filed last month, could land Stahura in prison.  They also end his long political career which includes decades of public service as a Whiting city councilman and mayor.

During his time as Whiting mayor, Stahura coordinated the revitalization of the city’s downtown retail district and lakeshore recreational area.

The 64-year old Whiting native told the court Wednesday he knew it was illegal to convert re-election campaign funds to his personal use, but did it repeatedly for five years, between 2014 and 2019.

Stahura also admitted to filing a false 2018 federal income tax return that didn’t account for the diverted money from his campaign account, as well as a false 2018 campaign finance disclosure report to the county that overstated his repayment of money he took from his campaign fund.

As part of the plea deal, Stahura agreed to waive his right to a jury trial. He also resigned last week as mayor as part of his deal with U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II  in exchange for Kirsch to recommend Stahura receive leniency.  Kirsch also is opting not to charge Stahura’s wife, Diane, with any involvement in misusing campaign money.

If U.S. District Court Judge James T. Moody accepts Stahura’s guilty plea and the plea deal, he will likely sentence Stahura in the first week of December.

UPDATE:  Stahura's attorney Kerry Connor said in a statement sent to Lakeshore Public Radio on Wednesday:

"The full story is that over the years Joe routinely made payments back to his political campaign account, and he returned the vast majority of funds to the account long before he had any inkling that he was being investigated. No city money was ever touched."

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   Sheila Matias, the executive director of the Leadership Institute at Purdue University Northwest, is with us to talk about the program that has for years given members of the community a way to become  more insightful, stronger leaders.  The coronavirus pandemic offered the Institute an opportunity to expand the access to the landmark "Leadership Northwest Indiana" program through a virtual program.   Another LNI class is about to be launched.   Marie Pittman, program manager of "Lake County Eats Local" joins us to talk about this year's series of land-based and mobile food markets that battle food insecurity in communities like Gary and East Chicago.  The organization joined with Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, Gary Housing Authority and other groups to sponsor this summer's markets.

Theatre at the Center

MUNSTER-

The only professional theatre company in Northwest Indiana, Theatre at the Center, in Munster has canceled its 2020 season due to COVID-19.

The "Times" reports the performing arts theater, which is at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster, has called-off all plans in the immediate future to create original theatrical productions.  

Theatre at the Center, is housed in the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.  It has over 400 seats configured in a tight semi-circular space.  

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