Local News

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 77 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 2,706. The state announced more than 62,000 total confirmed cases, with more than 701,000 Hoosiers tested.

IU Kelley School of Business

Today:  I.U. Kelley School of Business professor Bipin Prabhakar explains the new Project HOPE, a joint project between the business school in Bloomington and the Indiana Small Business Development Corp. that helps small businesses build an online presence, if they don't have one.  Dr. Woody Myers, the Democratic Party gubvernatorial candidate, made several campaign stops in northwest Indiana late last week and we ask him about them and the latest issues surrounding COVID-19. And we bring back "Off Mic" host and reporter Michael Puente's converssation with an IUPUI medical researcher about his concern that things will get worse before they improve, as far as the pandemic is concerned.

Southlake Mall

HOBART - An officer was injured and three women were arrested in a fight at Southlake Mall Friday afternoon.

The "Times" reports two of the women are 26 years-old and one is 32 and they are from Hobart, Gary and Chicago.  One of the women will face a battering a law enforcement officer charge.

Officers were called to the Southlake Mall at about 1:10 p.m. and one of the Hobart officers sustained scratches and cuts on his face an arms while trying to break up the fight.

Indiana University Northwest

  

GARY- Ivy Tech Community College students now have a clearer path to earn a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University Northwest.

Northwest Indiana Business Magazine reports that's because of the Guaranteed Admission Agreement between both institutions that serves to ensure a smooth transfer for students, enabling them to complete their bachelor's degree on-time.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Congress continues to debate next steps on federal assistance for small businesses and individuals. An advocacy group says more needs to be done to help many Indiana shops survive.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable, we talk to Indiana Public Broadcasting reporters Eric Weddle and Jill Sheridan and "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete about the stories and interviews they've posted online and, for Meredith, her stories in print.    Most deal with reopening public schools locally and around the state and about the coronavirus pandemic.  Meredith tells us about her story on contract tracing in northwest Indiana and of two stories dealing with toxic waste cleanup. Jill's interview is with a central Indiana official about how the pandemic is creating additional challenges for those going through reentry.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Attorney General Curtis Hill, in a non-binding opinion, says Gov. Eric Holcomb doesn’t have the authority to mandate Hoosiers wear masks in public or attach a criminal penalty to that order.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Most Indiana students – and all adults – must wear masks at school as buildings prepare to reopen to in-person instruction.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday Indiana would join neighboring states in a statewide mask mandate, starting Monday, July 27.

Seth Tackett / WTIU

Honey beekeepers in the U.S. lost about 22 percent of their colonies this past winter. While that might not sound good, the Bee Informed Partnership says that’s the second lowest winter colony loss it’s seen in more than a decade. 

Justin Hicks / IPB News

All Hoosiers will have to wear a mask in public starting Monday, July 27, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.

LaPorte County

LAPORTE COUNTY - The LaPorte County Commission is giving 27 small businesses a lifeline grant from Phase 1 of the COVID-related LaPorte County Action Fund.

This program is funded by a grant LaPorte County applied for from the State of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

President of the LaPorte County Commissioners Sheila Matias, announced on Wednesday that final approval had been received.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana will have a statewide face mask mandate starting next week, joining many other states in the attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Indiana House and Senate Democrats want the governor to call a special session of the General Assembly to meet in August.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   Chris Holford with Purdue University Northwest is with us to talk in more detail about the reopening procedure for both Hammond and Westville campuses this fall semester, as the coronavirus pandemic is still underway.   Classes are scheduled to resume on August 24th.  A recent study on the "Modern Healthcare" website suggests that a pregnant woman invested with COVID-19 might be able to spread the illness to the fetus.  Dr. Cameual Wright, a central Indiana OB-GYN and medical director for CareSource Indiana, talks about the concerns that pregnant Hoosier women have during the pandemic  about their child's health and their own health.

Flickr/Wikipedia

Today:  Mike Noland, the president of the South Shore Line commuter railroad, is with us with good news on the two major improvement projects: the West Lake Corridor and the Double Tracking projects.  Federal funding is due to be received soon to help begin the West Lake Corridor project that will build new tracks from Dyer, north through Munster and into Hammond, and create a north-south connection to the existing east-west tracks. The Double Tracking project adds and improves connections between Gary and Michigan City with new tracks and new stations.  Construction on the West Lake Corridor is slated to begin in October.  Urban League of Northwest Indiana president-CEO Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud tells more about the 75th anniversary of the Urban League this year, and about a fundraiser next month.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University -- and Jill Hoffmann with the White River Alliance tells us about the Third Annual (and virtual) Indiana Water Summit in Indianapolis.  It's an event that focuses on policy that encourages clean water supplies for all Hoosiers.

Courtesy of the Weinzapfel and Rokita campaigns

The field for Indiana attorney general is set, as Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel faces off against Republican Todd Rokita.

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

INDIANA - The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is asking Hoosiers to limit using cash and pay with a credit card or check when possible.

The BMV is making this request because of the national coin shortage which has directly impacted its branches.

The United States Federal Reserve is experiencing a coin shortage that is currently impacting all Financial Institutions within the U.S.  As a result, the BMV is unable to access additional coin inventory to replenish its supplies.

Chicago Tribune website

Today:  We hear from two northwest Indiana school district superintendents on their reopening plans for classes this fall: first, from School City of Hammond superintendent Scott Miller and, later, from Merrillville Community Schools superintendent Nick Brown, speaking with Sharon Jackson.  In between, Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman is with us to talk about the help that the Lilly Endowment and the state organization of United Ways is doing to help Hoosier nonprofits that serve young people -- agencies which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.   The Lilly Endowment is creating a $20 million fund to help youth-serving organizations that it calls the Youth Program Resilience Fund. 

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana will be under a heat advisory Saturday from as far north as the lakeshore to as far south as Benton County.

Brett Borchardt, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville says to limit outdoor activity.

He says that if you must go outside between noon and 10 p.m. to make sure you protect yourself from the oppressive heat.

NIPSCO

WHEATFIELD - Fire crews spent a large part of Thursday afternoon fighting a fire that broke out inside  NIPSCO's RM Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield.

Wendy Lussier, NIPSCO Director of Communications, says it started at about 1:30 p.m.

"And as a result of the fire we did evacuate a portion of the facility and smoke has been visible in the vicinity to people who are out in the community," Lussier says.

It's Thursday, July 16, 2020. I'm Tom Maloney with Lakeshore Public Radio, this is your midday news update. Stay tuned for the latest on an explosion at ArcelorMittal, layoffs at Blue Chip, and we'll have the latest on your weekend forecast.

Post-Tribune

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable, "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden reviews his stories in print and online this week, including one about Lake County health officer Dr. Chandana Vivilala's visit to the County Council seeking funding for more help during the pandemic. He also talks about the Indiana GOP attorney general nomination.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete covers stories like one on re-purposing a vacant Target store in Calmuet City and on the 100th anniversary of a Gary institution: Koney King.  Ivy Tech Community College Indiana president Dr. Sue Ellspermann and the chancellor of the Lake County Ivy Tech campuses, Louie Gonzalez, join us live to talk about the reopening plans for campuses in August and of Dr. Ellspermann's visit to the White House.

Courtesy of Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture

The coronavirus pandemic has caused American farmers to feel less optimistic than before about their present and future. A recent national survey shows farmer sentiment is improving for a second month in a row after falling from its all-time highest point earlier this year.

Merrillville Community School Corporation

Indiana Keeps Its Reopening Plan On Hold Through July

Jul 15, 2020
Courtesy of the governor's office

The state won’t advance its reopening plan for “at least” another two weeks, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Is my drinking water safe? How can I find out what polluted sites are in my neighborhood? Several of our audience members wanted to know the answer to these questions and more.

EPA Doesn't Plan To Tighten Standards For Smog

Jul 15, 2020
Marco Verch / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to pass on another opportunity to tighten air pollution standards. In April, the agency proposed not changing the standards for particle pollution. It announced on Monday it also doesn’t plan to tighten the standards for ozone — commonly known as smog.

Gary Community Schools/YouTube

Today:   Gary Community Schools emergency manager Dr. Paige McNulty is with us to talk about the reopening plan to bring students back to school, in accordance with the guidelines to be able to safely do so during this coronavirus pandemic.  We also find out about a northwest Indiana school district that will begin the academic year with virtual e-learning, instead of in-class learning.  Catisha Toney with Coates  Inc. talks about tomorrow's workshop for high school graduates and their families to help get ready for attending college this fall.  The workshop will be held at RailCat Stadiium in downtown Gary.  Military personnel getting ready to become veterans are taking advantage of a modernized Veteran Readiness and Employment Program, offered through the VA.  William Streitberger is the program director, and he joins  us to talk about how veterans are getting some high-tech help during this pandemic.

VALPARAISO - A Valparaiso resale shop seems to be slowly back on the upswing, after thieves stole merchandise from collection bins behind the alley in early June.  

Presbyterian Resale Shops is reportedly now experiencing more donations and fewer thefts.  Store manager Pam Skaltsas told the "Times" thefts have decreased and donations have doubled.

The shop also acquired new cameras with an app that contacts her or others from the shop when someone is illegally taking items from the bins. The store employees then can contact police.

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