Off Mic with Michael Puente

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Today on Off Mic: Money, money and more money is coming to Indiana as well as the rest of the country as part of the president’s $1.2 Trillion investing into infrastructure bill. We’ll speak to one Lake County lawmaker who was there for the signing.  And we get an update on one safety net hospital in East Chicago.  We’ll replay a conversation about economic development and food insecurity in northwest Indiana. All of this on Off Mic…

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Today on Off Mic ....

A public forum will take place next week that some in East Chicago hope will address concerns about the future of a safety-net hospital;

We talk about food insecurity in Northwest Indiana as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches;

And, as we near the end of the year, we want to highlight some of Northwest Indiana's biggest wins in terms of economic development.

All this on Off Mic.

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Today on Off Mic:  We revisit the conversation about northwest Indiana police departments trying to lure Chicago police officers across the state line. This is happening as Chicago police are at odds with the city over a vaccine mandate. We hear from a local sheriff who is hiring Chicago police officers. We talk to the new president of the Lake County Bar Association and what makes his appointment mean in terms of history. And the fallout of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal continues to grow. We hear from a reporter who has been covering the scandal. All this on Off Mic.

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Today on Off Mic …An Indiana senator recruits Chicago Police officers to apply for law enforcement jobs in Northwest Indiana.  Is that a good move? And – no fooling around – we hear about an upcoming comedy show. And move over Bulls – there’s a new basketball champion in town. And we wrap up the show giving you a fresher course on Dia de los Muertos …. All this on Off Mic.


Today on Off Mic: October is a time we celebrate Hispanic and Native American culture, the coming of fall and Halloween but it’s also a time for serious issues like domestic violence and preventing it. We talk to one Indiana State representative who views domestic violence as a public health crisis, including right here in Northwest Indiana. We get an update on the DACA program and why there are long delays for those needing to renew their status to work and to live freely.

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Today On Off Mic: Latinx are traditionally Democrats but a sizable percentage vote Republican. We talk with the author of a book who chronicles the history of Hispanics and the GOP, from Nixon to Trump. And, it is true? Are da Bears heading to da burbs? We'll talk about how Chicago hopes to keep their beloved Bears in the city. And, we'll find out what are the chances of the White Sox going deep in the playoffs. All this on Off Mic.

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Today on Off Mic: We talk about the controversy over a 9-11 parade float in Valparaiso last week and more issues of potential bias happening in that city. We talk to to a motivational speaker about being positive and authentic. And it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. We talk about the issues and get a jump start on the month.  All this on Off Mic.

Michael Puente

Today on Off Mic: Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. We talk to one local reporter on what she remembers of that day and how local journalists responded. We hear from the mayor of Gary and his city's plans to mark the day. And we rebroadcast a story from the 10th anniversary and how the wars that followed impacted the mental health of one local service member. All this on Off Mic.

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Today on “Off Mic” with guest host Post-Tribune columnist Jerry Davich we’ll take a look at the broader picture behind all the “We’re Hiring” signs at local businesses, with insights from an economics professor at IUN about the ongoing "great reassessment of work,” as it’s called.

We’ll also hear from a Gary pastor who says he went through hell after contracting COVID-19 – “the worst 17 days of his life” – and how he now feels compelled to spread the gospel about vaccinations for the deadly virus.

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Today on Off Mic with guest host Michael Gonzalez: We’ll take a quick look at the proposed $26 Billion settlement between several pharmaceutical companies and 15 states, including Indiana. We also have a glimpse at what the opioid crisis means for police in one local community. The opioid crisis may have some unintended effects for chronic pain sufferers, as we’ll hear from one guest. We’ll also talk with a local parent following a years-long ordeal as she watched her son struggle with side effects of a number of different prescription drugs, including psychotropic drugs. What do we look for and how do we help our loved ones who need help navigate a complicated mental health system? We’ll also visit with a psychiatrist and author who says we’ve become a “quick fix culture” and offers direction on making sure we get the proper care for mental health issues. And we finish off with a look at this year’s Gary International Black Film Festival. All of this coming up on “Off Mic.”


Today on Off Mic with guest host Michael Gonzalez: We’re celebrating athletics as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games wind down. We’ll hear about the late, great Dianne Durham, of Gary, the first African-American Senior National Gymnastics Champion and how she paved the way for many of the superstar athletes we see today. Along with the 2020 Olympics, 2021 has become the year of seeing sports psychology in action. What does it mean and what should we make of it? Gary has a long history in professional and amateur boxing.

Michael Puente

Today on Off Mic: Gary native Clifford Johnson has been nominated to become the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana. We talk about what his selection may mean and talk to two people who know him well. And if covid infections are going up, why then aren’t more people getting vaccinated? We talk to two ladies who are trying to boost vaccine rates in NWI. And there is continued unrest in Cuba, we talk to someone who knows the country well and gives us his thoughts about U.S. involvement.

There is continued unrest in Cuba.

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Today on Off Mic: One hospital in Northwest Indiana has already announced plans to dramatically downsize. Could another follow? We talk to two Indiana state lawmakers who are trying to get answers about the future of St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; we also talk to one doctor who has worked at St. Catherine for decades and hear her worries about the future of the hospital; and finally a discussion about a new Indiana law that will give the public a new tool to get answers from not-for-profit hospitals. 

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Today on Off Mic, Well, it’s here. Gary’s new $325 million Hard Rock Casino. We’ll bring you some of the sights and sounds from the grand opening just a week ago. And, we discuss if a future Chicago casino is a real threat. And we bid adieu to two of our production interns who will be graduating from college this weekend. All this on Off Mic!

Kenosha On Edge.

Today on Off Mic:

COVID-19 numbers are going through the roof in Indiana. But the virus may even be more troubling that first thought. We speak to a professor who led a study of Hoosiers and the affects the virus is playing on the state; We talk to two young brothers who developed an app that makes shopping locally a little bit more safe during this pandemic; And even tough carnivals aren’t happening this summer, we talk to the author of a new book about his experience as a traveling carnival worker. And baseball is back for the North and South Siders! But is it safe to play during the pandemic?

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Today on Off Mic we get the latest on the pandemic in Northwest Indiana with rising COVID-19 rates and a call for the state to set up a free testing site.

Today on Off Mic, much of Northwest Indiana is awakening from its COVID-19 slumber. Restaurants in Porter County began to reopen this week. It’s Lake County’s turn next week. We’re a little more than two weeks away from the big primary for Congress in Northwest Indiana. We’ll hear what the big issues are for people with disabilities and see which candidates responded to a survey and who didn’t. And, it’s the last dance this weekend for ESPN’s documentary on the Chicago Bulls the “Last Dance.”

On Off Mic today we talk about the latest updates around The Region, including statistics and what the community is doing dealing with COVID- 19

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This week on Off Mic: A candidate for Congress in Northwest Indiana responds to “victim shaming” directed at her. It’s due to her connection to the disciplinary case against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, a native of Hammond is now the head of the Disney Empire, a Chicago man talks about his work on the August Wilson play “Gem of the Ocean”, we talk to a local organizer of a Friday Fish Fry and we get an update on Spring Training for the White Sox and Cubs.

Today on "Off Mic" Indiana’s governor got a bird’s eye view of Northwest Indiana’s eroding lakeshore recently. Could a disaster declaration be coming soon? We speak to Beverly Shores Town Council president Geof Benson and Indiana State Sen. Karen Tallian about the issue.



Today on Off Mic, we remember a political trailblazer whose memory will be remembered beginning today. Love him or not, Richard Gordon Hatcher left his mark on Northwest Indiana. We take a look back at his tenure as mayor of Gary, the fall out and his legacy. And, if you think Baby Yoda couldn’t get any more cute, wait until you hear what we have.

Michael Puente hosts "Off Mic."

Michael Puente hosts "Off Mic."

Michael Puente hosts "Off Mic."


In this episode … we talk to a man who wants to open a new restaurant in Gary but the city wants to tear down not just the building, but the entire block. We hear about a conference this weekend that takes a look at the music of the Calumet Region from Chicago’s far south side to Northwest Indiana, I debate with a longtime local rock disc jockey on whether entertainers like Whitney Houston and Notorious BIG should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we hear about a film documentary about one of the pioneers of aviation who did much of his work on the Indiana Dunes, and we also examine the changing landscape of the region’s casino market.