Local News

Michigan City Schools Launch Solar Power Initiative

Mar 28, 2018
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Michigan City Area Schools

Michigan City Area Schools today celebrated the addition of new solar arrays to its facilities in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Krueger Middle School.

 

The recently installed ground-mount solar arrays feed into the NIPSCO power grid and the school corporation expects the new solar panels, which have been placed  at 7 of its 16 facilities, including the main administration building, to offset utility costs by at least 52 percent per year.  

 

That’s an annual savings of about $704,000 dollars.

INDOT

Today:  a conversation with Matt Deitchley, director of communications for the LaPorte District of the Indiana Department of Transportation, better known as INDOT.  He'll review the history of Interstate-65  -- how it got so comgested -- and the plans for improving I-65 in Lake and northern Newton Counties.  INDOT's contractors are widening the highway between U.S.

Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County

Donna Stuckert of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction district was on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the reopening of the county's composting operations -- about an added drop-off facility in Portage -- and the 2018 household hazardous waste collection schedule around Porter County.  The drop-offs allow residents a chance to bring in items that cannot be thrown  into the trash, such as oils, old gasoline and fluorescent bulbs.  Here's the conversation.

18artists.com

Today:  a conversation with Donna Stuckert of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction district, on the county's composting operations -- an added drop-off facility in Portage -- and the 2018 household hazardous waste collection schedule around Porter County.  The drop-offs allow residents a chance to bring in items that cannot be thrown  into the trash, such as oils, old gasoline and fluorescent bulbs.

NORTHWEST INDIANA- Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen almost 4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.57 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana.  This compares with the national average that has increased just under five cents per gallon in the last week to $2.60 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy said Monday that Northwest Indiana residents who are filling up their tank to make sure they shop around.

Town of Griffith, Indiana

Today:   a conversation with Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance, who is working with Indiana University Northwest faculty members and the town of Griffith's community YMCA for another series of workshops, in the hopes of adding diversity to his and other local police departments.  The workshop sessions are planned for May 19th in Gary.

JoeyBLS Photography

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Northwestern Indiana officials say a developer plans on spending at least $40 million to build a data center at a former power plant site along Lake Michigan.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. says the state economic development agency has approved $9 million in tax credits toward the project, which is still under negotiation.

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a northwestern Indiana man died when scrap metal he was cutting up apparently fell onto him in an industrial area.

The Lake County coroner's office says 40-year-old Joshua Klein of Wheatfield was pronounced dead Thursday morning at a business on Gary's far west side.

Fire officials say preliminary findings show that Klein was cutting iron truss scrap metal when it apparently fell onto him as he was working.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the coroner's report did not identify the name of the business where Klein died.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — An Illinois man accused of stealing nearly $150,000 from the federal government has been convicted of filing a false tax return.

A federal jury in Hammond convicted 41-year-old Airrion Blake on Thursday of one count each of submitting a false claim upon the federal government and theft of government money.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports jurors heard evidence during the Lansing, Illinois, man's three-day trial that he filed a false trusts and estates tax return in October 2012.

NPR.org / NPR

On this edition of "Lakeshore Update," you'll hear the latest on proposed federal cuts to the environment,  Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson discusses her upcoming visit to Canada with Governor  Eric Holcomb,
and we find out what industries could be impacted by steel and aluminum tariffs.
All of that, and more, on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

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As students across the nation prepare to hold rallies Saturday calling for gun control legislation and safer schools, one man in Valparaiso is holding a rally the same day, calling for the protection of the second amendment.
 

Pro-gun advocate Jack Pupillo said he feels he doesn’t have a voice when it comes to the gun debate. So he’s organized a counter-rally.
 

“I think there needs to be a voice, and I think it starts small,” he said, “I really think it starts from the ground up.”
 

JoeyBLS Photography

Today:  on this Reporter's Roundtable, we welcome Joseph Pete, business reporter for the "Times of Northwest Indiana," and his Statehouse colleague Dan Carden.  They talk about the stories they wrote that were in print as well as online.

There are usually two sides (perhaps more) to a controversial issue.  This controversy surrounds a proposal by Merrillville-based Maya Energy LLC to build a solid waste materials processing facility in Gary.  Lakeshore Public Radio offers, first, the proposal from Maya Energy and, secondly,  the viewpoint of environmentalists and the businesses and residents affected by it.

Here is James Ventura, a former East Chicago city councilman who is the principal of Maya Energy LLC, when he came on "Regionally Speaking" on March 12th.

WMUB Public Media

Today:   we continue our conversation on the proposed solid waste materials recovery facility in Gary with "the other side" of the issue.  Sam Henderson, an attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council, is in the studio to talk about the concerns that the HEC and local citizens, businesses and educational organizations like the Steel City Academy about Maya Energy LLC's proposal. 

GasBuddy / GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just over five cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.51/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has increased almost 3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.54/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy says the price up-tick is pretty typical for this time of year.

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0/Flickr

CHICAGO (AP) — Voters in the Illinois county that includes Chicago have backed the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum.

Tuesday's question for Cook County voters asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

Although the referendum is advisory only, the vote could help state lawmakers make their case for the legalization of marijuana use.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A lawyer for a northwestern Indiana man accused of stealing two dogs from a home and beating them to death says authorities charged the wrong person.

The Times reports family members of 23-year-old Anthony Priestas testified Tuesday they were with him or knew of his whereabouts at the time of the alleged crimes.

Defense attorney Andy Kyres says authorities "have the wrong guy." Prosecutors are moving forward with the case.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will headline this year's Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

Travis Scott, The National, Vampire Weekend and Odesza also were among the performers announced Wednesday morning on Lollapalooza's website . More than 180 acts will play on eight stages Aug. 2-5 in Chicago's lakefront Grant Park.

Founder Perry Farrell launched Lollapalooza as a touring festival in 1991. It's been held in Chicago since 2005.

(THE CONVERSATION) President Donald Trump has been promising to save American manufacturing, and the steel industry in particular, since the presidential campaign. His attempt to follow through on that promise was the March 8  tariff increase on foreign steel and aluminum, arguing that the tariffs were necessary to protect U.S. industries and workers.

Trump joins a long line of presidents, both Republican and Democrat, who have used trade policy in an attempt to create or protect jobs – almost always in vain.

Provided

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined Lakeshore Public Radio's Tom Maloney to discuss her upcoming trade mission to Canada, with Governor Eric Holcomb. Mayor Freeman-Wilson also discusses business expansion for the Hoosier state, as well as what's next for Gary following the city's Amazon HQ2 bid.

Photo Provided

Today:  Noted Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus joins us to talk about some of his latest "Eye on the Pie" columns published across the state that cover the Hoosier and national economy and related topics, sprinkled with his unique (and sometimes whimsical) views.

NIPSCO, RTO Online

Today:   A conversation with Dr. Indra Frank, the environmental health director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, about a new report of the impact of coal-fired power plants' ash disposal pits on water quality in the areas near the pits.  The HEC used new data released for the first time as a requirement of the 2015 federal coal ash rule to create the report.  Dr. Frank goes through the data that affects northwest Indiana the most: coal ash coming from the Bailly Generation Station along Lake Michigan at the Port of Indiana and the Schaefer power plant in Jasper County.

One of the firms that worked on the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida, killing six people, also is building a bridge in East Chicago.

CBS-2 is reporting that Florida-based FIGG Bridge Group designed the Florida pedestrian bridge that collapsed, and is building the upcoming Cline Avenue bridge replacement.

The new bridge over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal will rise 10 stories over the canal when it opens next year,  It replaces a Cline Avenue bridge closed and declared unsafe by INDOT.

Photo Provided

Today:  on this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we have "Post-Tribune" reporters Meredith Colias-Pete, Carole Carlson and Carrie Napoleon to talk about the stories they covered both in print and online.  Much of what they worked on was related to public education, school safety and gun reform.

We also bring you a report from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith on the close of the 2018 Indiana General Assembly on Wednesday at midnight and a look at the issues addressed this session.

Ravinia Festival / Ravinia Festival

IN Passenger Rail Alliance

Today:  we find out the latest concerns about railroad safety, especially in light of recent passenger and freight train incidents around the country, from Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance president Steve Coxhead.  Steve also has updates on the Amtrak "Hoosier State" and "Cardinal" services between Indianapolis and Chicago and -- for the "Cardinal" -- points to the East Coast.   A very unique south Lake County bed-and-breakfast is featured as Indiana's only listing on a special U.S.

Daily Mail website

Today: a conversation with Lake County Coronor Merilee Frey, after she spoke to the recent Lake County Advancement Commission meeting in Schererville about the Region's opioid epidemic.  She offers the latest figures and more.  We also have a related feature from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Lindsey Wright.  She focuses on what regional and state leaders are hoping to find out from the Trump administration, when it announces its policy plan in the weeks ahead.

HOBART, Ind. (AP) — The former treasurer of a defunct northern Indiana funeral home faces felony charges for allegedly misusing funds set aside for customers' funerals.

A Lake County judge entered a not guilty plea Monday on 67-year-old Jacqueline Kraft's behalf. She faces theft, corrupt business influence and other charges.

Prosecutors allege that between 2003 and 2015 customers paid Kraft Funeral Home funds intended for their funerals or cremations when they died.

Michigan Public Broadcasting

Maya Energy LLC is a Merrillville-based company that is working on the materials recovery and recycling facility that is proposed along West 35th Avenue in Gary.  The facility will accept many types of recyclables, construction and demolition waste and mixed waste that can be converted into fuel, and prepare it for end users.   The principal of the company, Jim Ventura, was on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to explain the project and to answer questions about it.  Here's the conversation.

StateImpact Indiana

Last year’s Senate Bill 567 set in motion plans for the state to intervene in Muncie and Gary schools.  This year, House Bill 1315 updates many provisions in that bill, including handing the running of Muncie Community Schools from an emergency manager to Ball State University.

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