Local News

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Noted Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus is back on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest "Eye On The Pie" columns he's put out, most of them dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19.  Dr. Kalyani Gopal, the founder and president of the SAFE Coalition for Human Rights talks about the importance of being aware of human trafficking and how to recognize the signs of it.  January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  The Coalition's phone number is 312-998-2339 and you can reach their website here. And we also have another "Art On The Air" Spotlight, this one focusing on public library virtual programs.

A Conversation with Abbe Omodunbi

Provided

HAMMOND-A former Wheeler High School Teacher has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for collecting nude pictures of female high school students.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell says 32 year-old Brian Kunze of Valparaiso, received the sentence on Tuesday from United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon after pleading guilty plea to receiving child pornography.

The 12-year sentence, will be followed by 10 years of supervised release and Kunze is ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to each of the identified victims, for a total of $30,000.

Porter County Recycling website

Today:  Ron Taylor with Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on what is being recycled in Porter County these days, including the latest on plastic bags recycling. Addiction specialist Joshua Andrus talks about a series of books for young people that helps them better cope with the pandemic. One specific book is titled "Thriving During COVID And Beyond."  And Sandi Haywood with "Home Instead" focuses on the importance of caregivers assisting seniors who would rather live at home instead of in a facility.  Sandi says they are looking for more people who might be interested in helping out part-time, or in a career as a caregiver.

Wharton School of Business website

Today:  Purdue Northwest professor Yu Ouyang talks about the recent transition of the Trump and Biden administrations following Biden's inauguration. Northwest Indiana business advisor Greg Hammer has some points to consider in preparing for a comfortable retirement in 2021. And Aetna resident Penelope Love is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the Aetna Manor Revitalization Program established in the Gary neighborhood.

Department of Justice

HAMMOND-A 23 year-old Chicago woman has been sentenced in Federal court in Hammond to five years in prison for conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.

A news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell says Tiffany Barragan plead guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as an associate of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang,

The members of that gang have been charged with crimes involving in excess of 50 victims, including 15 murder victims.

WGN Channel 9

Today:   "Regionally Speaking's" Reporters' Roundtable includes "Post-Tribune" reporter Amy Lavalley's conversation with "Off Mic" host Michael Puente, on her story on Hammond resident and conservative influencer Kash Lee Kelly's arrest following the U.S. Capitol building assault earlier this month.  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete also talks about his recent stories in print and online.  And Indiana Youth Instiute president-CEO Tami Silverman talks about her latest column, written and released in observance of Mentor Month. She speaks in particular about the I.Y.I. initiative MENTOR Indiana.

AP News / AP News

NORTHWEST INDIANA-Indiana Small Business have until Friday (January 22) to apply for a Restart Grant.

The Indiana Small Business Restart Fund provides eligible Indiana small businesses the opportunity to seek reimbursement for qualified business expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments for real or personal property, and safety investments, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and infrastructure improvements.

Provided

NORTHWEST INDIANA - An Indiana State Trooper working on the Indiana Toll Road was unexpectedly called on to help deliver a baby.

Indiana State Police Public Information Officer, Sergeant Glen Fifield said in a news release that it happened on Friday at about 12:30 p.m., when a male truck driver requested assistance from Trooper Thomas Maymi.  

The driver told Maymi that his wife was pregnant and may be in labor.  Maymi advised dispatch to call for an ambulance, then went with the driver to his truck to check on the pregnant female.  

Building Indiana website

Today:  NFIB For Indiana Director Barbara Quandt is on "Regionally Speaking" to give the latest on how Hoosier small businesses are coping in the pandemic, and on what state lawmakers are considering this session to help them survive.  We revisit our conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chief Jim Weiser on the Jan. 30th caucus at the Hammond Civic Center to choose a new North Twp. Trustee.   And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Gemma DiCarlo has a feature report on a research team at University of Notre Dame that has been tracking the presidential transition process.  Lakeshore Public Radio is carrying the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C on Wednesday.

McClatchy News Service

A Pulaski County native was the last American working in the U.S. embassy in Iran who was taken hostage in November 1979 -- and released along with the 65 other hostages 444 days later, on January 20th, 1981 -- The release came just minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President.   And that happened 40 years ago tomorrow.

Former Lake County Councilman's Trial Delayed Again

Jan 15, 2021
Provided

CROWN POINT - Former Lake County Councilman Jamal Washinton's trial for domestic battery has been continued for a third time.

The "Times" reports the 47 year-old Washington had been scheduled to go to trial in March.  He is accused of hitting Gary Councilwoman LaVetta Sparks-Wade and holding her against her will at her home for nearly 16 hours in January of 2019.

Washington's attorney, Michael Lambert, and Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Arnold both requested from the Judge that the trial be rescheduled because of issues with ongoing discovery.  

Provided / Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Volunteers are needed at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

Sarah Barnard, Volunteer Coordinator for the Food Bank is asking for the help for a Mobile Market in East Chicago on Wednesday, January 20th.

Barnard says COVID-19 has driven up the need for the Food Bank's services.

"We are currently operating at heightened capacity, at an increase of about sixty percent of our normal distribution because of COVID response," Barnard says. "

Indiana Public Broadcasting News

Today:   "Times" chief political reporter Dan Carden is on "Regionally Speaking" with an update on the stories from the 2021 General Assembly session that he's put out in print and online.   Hoosier Environmental Council chief executive Jesse Kharbanda is also on the program with a look at what environmental bills the HEC is watching closely this session.  Gary native Montia Gardner is also on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about an important educational online conversation on Monday, Jan. 18 on what's called CRP.

Provided

SCHERERVILLE - A Matteson, Illinois, police officer who crashed her car along U.S. 30 in Schererville is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Schererville Town Court.

According to information the "Times" obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Schererville police arrested 32 year-old Stacey J. Vander Kam on November 28th on suspicion of operating while intoxicated.

Vander Kam allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol at the Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill before leaving to drive home.  

Indiana Department of Health

Today:  Dr. Indra Frank, the environmental health and water policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council, tells us about two bills now before the Indiana General Assembly that, if passed and enacted into law, would make improvements in coal ash disposal procedures for Hoosier coal-fired power plants.  State Representative Pat Boy and State Senator Karen Tallian are co-sponsors.  Dr. Frank has more on an online policy forum on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. on the subject of coal ash disposal.  Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Rebeca Thiele has a feature on the impact of power plant closings on the communities in which they are located.  The latest news on COVID-19 vaccines given out locally and across the state, and a report on how legislators are addressing redrawing political boundaries are also topics on the program today.

PORTER COUNTY - A county judge cited a conflict, but didn't elaborate on what it was, in his decision to decline on hearing a civil dispute over a local affordable housing project.

The "Times" reports Porter Superior Court Judge Mike Fish, who took over for retired Judge Roger Bradford, said in his order of recusal that the two sides in the dispute have seven days to agree on a new judge or a special judge will be appointed.

The case is JJD Properties versus Valparaiso Board of Zoning Appeals, Housing Opportunities and Neighbors Corp.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   We continue our conversations with leaders of northwest Indiana higher education institutions with Purdue University Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon.  We also speak with Robert Blaszkiewicz with Franciscan Health Northern Division about the next distribution of coronavirus vaccines, this time for seniors age 80 and older.  Appointments can be made online or by calling 211.   We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, this time with someone who is very knowledgable about properties in the city of Gary and the importance of neighborhoods. 

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Lake County Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk in detail about the Jan. 30 North Township caucus at the Hammond Civic Center to select a new Township Trustee, to fill the vacancy left by now-Congressman Frank Mrvan.   PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi, joins us for our monthly conversation on the northwest Indiana and national economic outlooks.  And former "Lakeshore News Tonight" anchor-reporter  -- now a videojournalist with the Associated Press -- Hilary Powell talks about her assignment covering last week's Washington DC political rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol.    

gohammond.com

(HAMMOND) -- A precinct committee member caucus will be held on Saturday morning, January 30th, at the Hammond Civic Center, to select someone to fill the North Township Trustee post once held by Frank Mrvan.  There were nearly two years left on Mrvan's term of office, when he was sworn in as Congressman.

MERRILLVILLE - Lakeshore Public Radio spoke with State Senator Karen Tallian on Wednesday, the day chaos broke out at the U.S. Capitol.  The lawmaker, who is from Ogden Dunes, said while Indianapolis was fairly quiet on Wednesday, with only a few protestors circling the Statehouse in loud, noisy trucks waving the flag, the incidents Wednesday in Washington D.C., in which riots broke out just make you sick, as she put it.

Tallian says Wednesday's events in Washington are an embarrassment to this entire country.

Ruth Needleman

NORTHWEST INDIANA - In response to protestors and rioters storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday (January 6th), Indiana University Professor Emerita, Ruth Needleman says the incident was predictable.

"Because we have a president who has been calling for insurrection, who has refused to accept the fact that he lost by millions and millions of votes, the election, and then there's this core of senators and congressmen including our own, Braun, who refuse to recognize the democratic process and the institutions that are there," Needleman says.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Today:  On this "Reporters Roundtable" program, Indiana Public Broadcastng's Katy Anderson talks with political analyst Andy Downs about Wednesday's chaos on Capitol Hill and the impact that it may have on American politics.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has a report on the upcoming Bishop Noll Institute entrance exam, scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd at the Catholic-affiliated high school in Hammond. And Inside Indiana Business reporter Mary-Rachel Redman visited the city of Gary and spokes to city officials and residents about "Dear Ole Roosevelt" -- Gary Roosevelt High School, one of three high schools in the state that was built for Black childrens' education.  The school is now on Indiana Landmarks' latest list of Most Endangered Buildings.

Photo provided by IU

Today:   Indiana University Northwest Chancellor Ken Iwama is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the university in 2020 and a look ahead to 2021. He reviewed the response to the COVID pandemic and its impact on higher education.  Side Effects Public Media's Farah Yousry has a report about the lengths that some diabetics will go, to make sure they have the insulin they need to stay alive. And we bring back a conversation about a new addition to the LaPorte County Public Library's community services: a way to offer education that can lead to high-skilled, good-paying jobs.

Bishop Noll Institute

HAMMOND - For students making the transition from Middle School into High School; Bishop Noll Institute is hosting an entrance exam at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 23 at the school at   1519 Hoffman St. in Hammond.  Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson talks to Jeff Stur, Bishop Noll's director of admissions, about the test, tuition, student population and diversity at the the longtime Catholic School.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Legislative Insight" newsletters, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the latest Indiana gaming industry news including the local casinos -- and about the 2021 General Assembly session that just began this week in Indianapolis. We also have Jim Ventura, the CEO of Maya Energy LLC, which is building a solid waste and recyclables processing facility on Gary's west edge.  Plans call for a 156,000 square foot building to accept and process up to 1,600 tons of municipal waste and construction and demolition waste for reuse each year.  Land surveying and preparation just began on the site and Maya Energy anticipates its opening late this year.

Bishop Noll Institute

HAMMOND- For students making the transition from Middle School into High School; Bishop Noll Institute is hosting an entrance exam at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 23 at the school at   1519 Hoffman St. in Hammond.

According to Bishop Noll's director of admissions, Jeff Stur, the entrance exam is the first step in the admissions process for all 8th graders who have not taken the entrance exam and are interested in attending Bishop Noll.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, seats for this exam are limited.  Parents must pre-register their child on the Bishop Noll website.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Northwest Indiana political activist Ruth Needleman joins us to talk about the issues of 2020 and a look ahead (including two new organizatons' Zoom meetings coming up) in 2021.  Side Effects Public Media reporter Farah Yousry has a feature report on the importance of making sure that diabetics get the best food possible, even during a pandemic.  And we bring back, for one last time, our in-studio conversation with Indiana University Northwest professors Charles Hobson and Micah Pollak on a look into a study (assisted by their colleague Bala Arshanapali) on military-friendly businesses... and they learned that the business of hiring veterans is, indeed, good business.

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