Northwest Indiana

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Organizers are planning the return of the county fairs in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.  

Although it's not a 100% guarantee the events will be held this summer, Lake County Fair Board President Tom Lump told the "Times" he has cautious optimism.

The summer events, which are a longtime tradition, with the LaPorte County fair being the oldest, had to be canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS - There is now a third round of COVID-19 response grants available for communities to apply for to help those impacted by the pandemic. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs are working with and overseeing the program. Crouch says some Northwest Indiana counties were awarded grants during the initial launch of the program in April and in the second round, in August.

GasBuddy

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Gas prices in Northwestern Indiana have risen 1.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.99/ per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 stations. Region gas prices are just over 3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand almost 48 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Gary is/was priced at $1.75 per gallon as of today/Monday while the most expensive is $2.19/ per gallon.

American Red Cross

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the people affected by the wildfires in the west.

The chapter's Executive Director, Kristin Marlow-Kellemen was sent to Oregon to help in the battle with the wildfires that have been destroying the west for weeks, according to the "Times."  

She landed in Portland and headed to Eugene, Oregon, to join other volunteers in that district to assist with the relief efforts.

Tom Maloney

NORTHWEST INDIANA - A severe thunderstorm hit Northwest Indiana Monday afternoon that brought high winds, heavy rain and knocked out power to about 21,800 NIPSCO customers.

During the afternoon on Monday Northwest Indiana was under a severe thunderstorm watch that was expected to possibly bring  winds up to 100 miles per hour.

Meteorologist Brian Leatherwood with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville told Lakeshore Public Radio before the storm that everyone should take cover.  

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana casinos are once again open after being shut down for three months due to the Coronavirus pandemic and visitors need patience to navigate the new system.

The Region's five gambling facilities opened Monday and visitors were faced with long lines from the road, in the parking garage and at the door, to be in compliance with state-mandated COVID-19 safety policies.  

They also were given temperature checks, as required by the Indiana Gaming Commission to identify visitors with a fever, which can be a sign of COVID-19 infection.

www.nipsco.com / NIPSCO

NORTHWEST INDIANA- NIPSCO is still responding to the widespread power outages across Northwest Indiana and some may not see power restored until tomorrow (Thursday), according to the utility's website.

The outages are due to a second round of strong storms that came through northern Indiana mid-morning on Wednesday and the sustained high winds still in effect as of Wednesday afternoon after 2 p.m.  

Blue Chip Casino to Layoff 60% of its Workforce

May 27, 2020

MICHIGAN CITY - Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa is permanently laying off up to 60 percent of its workers in Michigan City due to the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic.  

The "Times" reports the layoffs will take effect between July 1 and July 14. It's not yet known exactly how extensive the layoffs will be.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the extended shutdown of Northwest Indiana's casinos and they are not allowed to reopen until at least June 14.  The mandatory closures went into effect mid-March.

This edition of "MIDWEST BEAT with Tom Lounges" was originally broadcast on MAY 12, 2020 on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio 

GUEST: JOSEPH S. PETE (Journalist/Book Author)
 

On April 13, 2020, Times business journalist Joseph S. Pete released his new book, "Lost Hammond" (Arcadia Publishing/History Press),  a reflective look back at places one  who grew up in Northwest Indiana might have known, places you might have forgotten, and even places you probably never even knew existed.

Holcomb Orders Action On Erosion Along Lake Michigan

Feb 20, 2020

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order on Thursday to help cities along Lake Michigan experiencing erosion. Among other things, it directs the state to speed up approvals for projects that protect homes and infrastructure and determine whether Indiana can declare an emergency to receive federal dollars. 

HOBART - A draft version of a revitalized downtown Hammond was shared Thursday at the annual One Region luncheon at the Avalon Manor in Hobart.

The "Times" reports the organization's President and CEO Leah Konrady led a discussion with nationally known urban planner, Jeff Speck and two former Grand Rapids, Michigan, officials on their experiences with redeveloping downtowns.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed getting rid of the limits for how much coal ash can be used as fill at construction sites. A resident from the northwest Indiana town of Pines will speak against the proposal at a public hearing on Wednesday

GasBuddy.com / GasBuddy

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana gas prices are unchanged  in the past week, averaging $2.48 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 stations. Gas prices in the Region are almost 18 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, yet stand just over 34 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Gary was priced at $2.26 per gallon Monday while the most expensive was $2.79 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 1 cent per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.55/g Monday.

www.nwi-pride.org

On this edition of the podcast you'll hear the latest on Portage Assessor Jon Snyder, a former Gary technology chief  has been sentenced for computer thefts, Samantha Horton has details on General Motors investing millions of dollars in Fort Wayne, Hammond City Councilman Robert Markovich has been granted permission to contest his four-vote loss in the May 7 Democratic primary and Chris Nolte has a conversation Chris Nolte with Amari Victoria and Elisabeth Menning, organizers of the first annual NWI Pride event at the Lincoln Center in Highland.

Herbert Reynolds/Provided

On this edition of the podcast you'll hear the latest on school layoffs in Griffith, a multi-million dollar cleanup is underway on the Lake George Canal, Sharon Jackson has details on an upcoming renaming ceremony at Indiana Dunes National Park,  Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Purdue Pharma, Jill Sheridan and Carter Barret report on student mental health, and Chris Nolte has a conversation Chris Nolte with a conversation with Scott Pelath on the Kanakee River Basin Commission. All of that, and more, on this edition of “Lakeshore Update”…   

Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Radio

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Indiana Dunes National Park is celebrating its new national park designation with a renaming ceremony on Tuesday May 28th and a massive indoor exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center.  

Park superintendent, Paul Labovitz, says "61: An Exhibit Celebrating the 61st National Park" will highlight various feature of Indiana Dunes National Park.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a memo this week saying contamination in groundwater that feeds into rivers, streams, and lakes doesn’t need to be regulated under the Clean Water Act. It goes against two federal court decisions that argued the opposite. 

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

MERRILLVILLE - In spite of the awareness, the Gender Pay gap still exists everywhere and the state of Indiana, and Northwest Indiana specifically, is one of the worst offenders. Kim Churches, CEO of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Washington D.C., spoke to Lakeshore Public Radio Reporter/Show Host Sharon Jackson about the problem and some solutions.-

Tony Martin, Times Media / Provided by Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Forum, the seven-county economic development organization is taking part in creating a regional economic development strategic playbook.

The organization serves Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke Counties.  Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, says the development of a regional economic development plan will work to serve all the partners in a more combined fashion.

Indiana Parenting Institute / Indiana Parenting Institute

GARY - April is Parenting Awareness Month Indiana and local organization, the Indiana Parenting Institute uses the occasion to help educate and support people in the critical task of parenting.  

Jena Bellezza, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Branding for the local chapter in Gary says Parenting Awareness Month is about drawing people's attention to parenting and the challenges that it presents.

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Congressman Pete Visclosky, who represents the first district congressional district in Indiana is running for an 18th term.  

"I'm running again to continue some transformational programs in Northwest Indiana" Visclosky says.

Indiana State Police / Indiana State Police

GARY- A portion of 80/94 was closed for about five hours Wednesday morning into the afternoon.  That was due to downed power lines.  Indiana State Police Department Public Information Officer Sergeant Ann Wojas says the interstate was closed from about 8:25 Wednesday morning until just after 1:15 p.m.

NIPSCO crews removed the power lines that were laying across the entire interstate and will return later this evening to replace the compromised power pole.  It is not expected that traffic on I-80/94 in either direction will be affected by this replacement.
 

qz.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana women will soon have an opportunity to have their voices heard at the upcoming Women's March Chicago. The event is January 20th in Grant Park at East Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive.  Ogden Dunes resident Joan Machuca, who is a retired Director of Special Education turned activist, is helping organize Northwest Indiana Women for the event.  She also helped organize Region women last year for the event in which women wore pink hats to stand up for womens' rights.  

This "A LOOK AT THE ARTS with TOM LOUNGES" originally aired Friday, May 5, 2017

Guest:  Children's Book Author NICK MANTIS (Waterville Book Series)

Northwest Indiana native NICK MANTIS -- a long time region videographer is also the creator and writer of the delightfully entertaining and educational "WATERVILLE" book  series populated by many colorful characters who live in the wild.   

Valparaiso Church Recieves a "Golden" Donation

Apr 17, 2017
coins.ha.com

A gold coin donated to a northwestern Indiana church is so rare it's helping pay for construction of a new church building. Pastor Ben Lamb Says Grace Point Church was founded in 2009 with a bare bones budget and operated out of an elementary school.  As the Church grew, the congregation came together and raised enough money to purchase a building. However, with general maintenance and renovations figured into the cost, the church was still short $300,000.

This “MIDWEST BEAT with Tom Lounges” program originally aired on Tuesday, March 14 

Region Hit With Lake Effect Snow Warning

Mar 13, 2017

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy Lake Effect snow starting early Tuesday morning and pushing through until the late evening hours. Lakeshore Public Radio's Dan Clark has more.

 

This “MIDWEST BEAT with Tom Lounges” originally aired March 22, 2016

IN-STUDIO GUEST:  Guitar Virtuoso MARCO VILLARREAL

 

Tonight’s edition of  “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges” features in-studio guest MARCO VILLARREAL, an amazingly talented Northwest Indiana guitar virtuoso who began playing at age 15 and has never looked back.