St. Joseph College in Rensselaer

Lee Lewellen, Indiana Landmarks

Today:   William Carroll, the executive director of St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, is with us to give us the latest in the effort to continue the liberal arts college's return to educational solvency, so to speak, following some financial issues in recent years.  The college resolved those obligations  and approved a three-year plan.  Carroll and his Board of Trustees are soliciting ideas and have heard from at least one alumnus.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us to talk about some of the things that family members can discuss when they get together for the holidays, whichever way that may be.  That may include updating retirement accounts or even estate planning, if needed. 

Hanover Community Schools website

Today:   A south Lake County school district is asking its patrons (and voters)  to consider a question that will come up on the May 5th primary election ballot.  Mary McAuley with Hanover Community Schools is leading an ambitious project to be able to educate a growing number of students.

Roads and Bridges website

Today:  Terry Velligan and Laura Weber with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC join us to give us an update on the new toll bridge going up over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago. Right now, plans call for completion and its opening to traffic this summer.  We have today's  "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  LaPorte Mayor Tom Dermody is another new mayor in the Region, and we find out from him on how his first couple months in office are going. And Dr. Bill Carroll, the consultant working with the St. Joseph's College Board of Trustees, tells us about the revival of the college in Rensselaer that is based on a three-year plan that calls for partnerships with other educational institutions and with the community.

Kiichiro Sato / AP Photo

RENSSELAER, Ind. (AP) — Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is helping out a now-shuttered northwestern Indiana college that once hosted the Bears' preseason camps.

Ditka will be the featured speaker at a June 9 fundraiser benefiting the renovation of a former St. Joseph's College campus building.

That building would become a new residence hall for the Rensselaer campus if a proposed partnership with Marian University allows it to reopen as a two-year school. The Catholic school closed last year under $27 million in debt.

Indiana Youth Institute

Today:  Tami Silverman, the president and CEO of Indiana Youth Institute, joins us to talk about the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, broken down by counties.  She goes over the data for northwest Indiana.  You can see the entire Data Book at the IYI's website. 

Nick Johnson from the website also joins us, to talk about their latest Safest Cities in Indiana List -- and four Lake County communities are in the Top 10.  The entire list is here. 

Brandon Smith, IPBS News

Today:  It's Reporters Roundtable Thursday, where we ask reporters from northwest Indiana media to talk about their stories of recent days.  This week we have Bob Kasarda, Joseph Pete and Dan Carden with the Times of Northwest Indiana, Jon Gard of the LaPorte Herald Argus and Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore.

On this Memorial Day Weekend edition of the podcast, we'll hear from Steven Lattimore about a new VFW post in Gary, and Jill Sheridan reports on what the Indy 500 is doing to help organ donors. We'll also hear from Nick Janzen about the conservation of Bison in Indiana, along with John Cain on “Eye On the Arts” about the upcoming performance of Primal Roots.

Sun-Times/Indiana Economic Digest

Today:  We talk to Dan Vicari, the executive director of the Gary-Chicago International Airport, about the one-year agreement (with two one-year potential extensions) with a Merrillville auto transport company to allow the firm to bring in and store any of the Chicago area's Volkswagens with defective emissions systems until the vehicles can be repaired for resale. 

Vicari says they've set aside several acres for the storage, in what was land that was last used to store construction equipment and supplies for the recent main runway extension project.

Sr. Joseph's College

Today:  A group of St. Joseph's College faculty are suing the Catholic-affiliated college in Rensselaer for how the college is handling the suspension of operations and their employment status.  One of the faculty members talks about the group's frustration over not knowing when their employment will officially end and if they'll get any severance-related benefits or help in finding new jobs.


Today:  A conversation with city of Valparaiso Economic Development Director Patrick Lyp on two major 2017 projects: the implementation of the Bike Share program and efforts to create a larger parking lot for the city's Chicago Dash commuter bus service between Valparaiso and Chicago.  The Bike Share program is a joint project of the city and Valparaiso University.  The city is looking at buying and transforming much of the old Anco wiper blade factory site into a new bus depot and parking lot.

Independent Colleges of Indiana

There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the announcement that St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer is closing at the end of this academic year for one year, as campus officials attempt to "re-engineer" the Catholic-affiliated college back to fiscal health.

Chris Nolte talked with Lafayette Journal and Courier opinions editor and columnist Dave Bangert about this topic.  The newspaper's devoted staff time as well as print and online space covering the announcement as well as the concerns of faculty, students, students' parents and alumni. 

Annie Ropeik / WBAA News

Three days after announcing St. Joseph's college in Rensselaer would suspend operations for the 2017-2018 academic year, Board of Trustees Chairman Ben Sponseller Monday met with students, faculty and staff in an attempt to answer the question on most everyone's mind: how did it come to this?