The Welcome Project at Valparaiso University

Indiaa state Democratic Party website

Today:  Indiana state Representative Carolyn Jackson (D-Hammond) is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about being a panelist for the next "Women4Change" online forum on Wednesday, July 28th that will focus on reducing the state gender pay gap.  Jackson joins WGU Indiana chancellor Alison Bell in the discussion.  Sophie Quinton with the Pew Charitable Trusts' "Stateline" project talks about a new report on state tax revenues which grew into surpluses in some states, like Indiana, during the pandemic.  Indiana's surplus will trigger a tax return to Hoosiers.  Sophie will discuss what the "Stateline" team discovered in what the states plan to do with the additional funds coming in over the next few years, and any impact it may have on long-term budgeting.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

IPB News - Brandon Smith

Today:  Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about what Hoosier legislators are supposed to be doing when they return to Indianapolis this fall: redrawing state legislative and congressional district maps.  Andy offers some insight to the process and has some suggestions.  The work on redrawing the maps is being delayed because of the lack of new U.S. Census data.   We bring back our conversation with U.S. Health and Human Services pediatrician Dr. Michael Warren about the vaccines that young people should receiving this summer, aside of the COVID-19 vaccine (if they can receive it).  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Photo provided by Hard Rock Casino

Today:  Ed Feigenbaum with the "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter, published by Hannah News Service,  is on "Regionally Speaking" with the latest Indiana Gaming Commission revenue data from all of the state's casinos -- including northwest Indiana casinos.  We also hear from the Indiana Youth Institute's Tami Silverman on what young people should know about racism and how to explain it to them, depending upon their age. Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer explains in detail why one shouldn’t get financial advice from social media to create an investment plan… especially from those who are social media influencers.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Porter County Recycling website

Today:  Erika Mihalek with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about how last weekend's household hazardous waste collection event in Chesterton helped residents properly dispose of some items that shouldn't be kept too long in garages or basements -- and event  planners can take advantage of free recyclables containers this summer.  Erika also has an update on the county's drop off recycling sites (one of them is located at the Valparaiso compost site, as pictured last winter).  Also on the program is Brian Rock of Merrillville, a gourmet pizza-making businessman who gives back to the community in need, by making free wood-fired pizzas for people affected by disaster – in this case, people affected by the recent tornadoes.  And we have this week's conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:  Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus is on "Regionally Speaking" to discuss the topics behind his "Eye On The Pie" columns dealing with issues about the Hoosier economy.  This time, his recent columns include one related to Father's Day.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  And we bring back our conversation with Urban Land Institute member Christopher Kunz and ULI staff member Tom Eitler about the recent ULI report to Hammond city officials of its upgrade of the city's master plan. The plan's been under discussion since 2019. 

Hoosier State Press Assn

  

Today:  The new owner and publisher of the "Chesterton Tribune," Don Hurd, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about his multi-member "hyper-local" community newspaper group and what prompted him to acquire the Chesterton publication and revive it in the interest of serving smaller towns and cities.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. And we revisit our conversation with Diocese of Gary Bishop Robert McClory about the return to in-person Masses at northwest Indiana Catholic churches effective on Friday.  Bishop McClory, along with the other bishops of Indiana, agreed that churches can safely accommodate more parishioners for Masses and lifted the dispensation which has been in effect for more than a year.

Photo provided

Today:   Kathy Sipple, the northwest Indiana senior coordinator for the Resilience Cohort, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about this summer's greenhouse gas emissions inventory project with 14 participating municipalities. It's part of a statewide effort to better understand such emissions and how communities can reduce them.  We bring back our conversation with Indiana Dunes Tourism's Lorelei Weimer, as we get ready for a conversation with South Shore CVA executive director Speros Batistatos for a complete look at area tourism efforts.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

CNN.COM

Today:  North Lake Environmental Partnership is providing free water sampling early next month in Gary and Hammond, so residents can determine if their tap water is contaminated with lead.  It is one of the lasting legacies of pollution in the Region. We’ll speak to one of the research team members working on the project -- Hope College (Michigan) chemistry professor Kenneth Brown.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acting administrator Tom Murphy talks about some major changes the VA is making that can positively affect veterans' lives. And a Gary native and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduate is joining with his wife to provide a scholarship program that will assist young people attend the private engineering school in Terre Haute -- youngsters who might not otherwise be able to afford college. We bring back our conversation with Mike Mussellem.

PNC Financial Services Group

Today:   PNC Financial Services economist Abbey Omodunbi is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the latest concerns caused by the federal stimulus package, supply dislocations and other economic issues in the northwest Indiana, Midwest and U.S. economies.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, a visit from "Women4Change" executive director Rima Shahid about the May 22nd virtual training session for women interested in seeking public office, and a look at how returning to a pre-pandemic life can cause anxieties for some Hoosiers.

Franciscan Health NWI-Inside Indiana Business

Today:  Patrick Maloney, the president-CEO of Franciscan Health Dyer-Munster-Hammond and Cal Bellamy, the chair of the northwest regional Franciscan Health board of trustees, are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the plans to downsize the hospital on Hohman Avenue in Hammond into a more compact healthcare facility.  They discuss the plan for the historic facility and the impact on the neighborhood, already under review for improvements.  We have another conversation from the "Welcome Project" at Valparaiso University. Reporter Steve Burger traces the path of a COVID-19 vaccine vial from its manufacturer to the dose that went into the arm of a Hoosier at a recent mass-vaccination clinic.  And Indiana Public Broadcasting's Emma Atkinson has a report on the impending explosion of millions of cicadas from their deep underground sleep.

Times of Northwest Indiana

Today:   A conversation with Lake County Elections and Voter Registration executive director Michelle Fajman, about a company working with county officials that -- by the 2022 elections -- could have an electronic system in place that tracks election equipment, sets up payroll and training for poll workers, and creates maps of polling locations.   We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Miller Beach Arts & Creative District executive director Meg Roman talks about the community's May 22nd “Art Still Lives” fundraiser.  

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Today:   Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. president and CEO Debie Coble is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about her career, beginning as a local store manager and going all the way to her becoming the chief executive of the regional Goodwill operation,  She is the next virtual speaker on Wednesday in the "Breaking The Glass Ceiling" series held by the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association.  Indiana Public Broadcasting Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith has a wrap-up report on the 2021 General Assembly session.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Purdue University Northwest

Today:   Yohlunda Mosley with Purdue University Northwest is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the University's plans to disburse nearly 4 million dollars in federal pandemic-related assistance directly to PNW students in financial need. The latest round of funds were distributed to PNW by the U.S. Department of Education.  Andy Campbell and Tara MacElmurry with NIPSCO talk about the utility's renewable energy initiative, including the newest wind farms and other projects coming up.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. This time, a former Gary resident recalls how his old neighborhood changed over the years.

Lakeshore Public Radio/IU Northwest

Today:   Northwest Indiana political activist Ruth Needleman is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about some of the events and protests over local and national issues.  Recent protests happened outside the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point and in Hobart. Dana Dornsife with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation will talk about the organization's Community IMPACT program to help improve health outcomes and disparities related to cancer. They hope to be able to expand it into the Chicagoland area.  And Indiana Youth Institute president-CEO Tami Silverman talks about Child Abuse Awareness Month.  She says there are signs that adults should know to help protect the safety and well-being of Hoosier children.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Indiana Public Media

Today:   Steve Coxhead of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about Amtrak's plans to expand its nationwide routes with $80 billion from President Biden's infrastructure plan.  IPB News reporter Mitch Legan has a feature on diversity and the lack of it in the General Assembly and state politics in general.  Valparaiso University music professor Jeffrey Brown talks about this week's virtual Jazz Fest and VU civil engineering professor Jay Grossman talks about his continuing research into traffic signal detection systems this year that will come with an INDOT grant. The research will study if the  new technologies are as safe and efficient as current ones.

PURDUE FT WAYNE/YOUTUBE

Today:    Indiana political analyst Andy Downs is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about what's happened or about to happen during the 2021 General Assembly session, including the review of bills for the next two-year state budget.  There are conversations on "Neighborhood Voice" from the Legacy Foundation and  from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University ,   Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Rebecca Thiele also has another "one year later" conversation during the COVID-19 pandemic -- this time she checks back with an Indianapolis supermarket butcher who contracted the virus since their first conversation.

Valparaiso University Facebook

Today:    Valparaiso University President Jose Padilla (shown here during his first official day's visit out on campus) is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about himself, his new position as the university's president and his vision for the future of the university.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Pria Mahadevan has a feature on the challenges that Hoosier childcare providers are facing during the pandemic.  We talk with Susan Ticen, the operations manager of Purdue University's Surplus Operation, to find out more about the facility on the West Lafayette campus and what items are brought in from campus buildings -- including Purdue Northwest -- for sale to the public.  What they sell may surprise you.  And we have more conversations from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Chicago Crusader website

Today:     Retired public school superintendents Tony Lux and Michael Berta and Merrillville Community Schools administrator Danny Lackey are on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about Thursday's first of a two-webcast series co-hosted by Purdue University Northwest and the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education that will focus on education and race, as barriers to learning.  The virtual panel discussion is free and available to the public on the Purdue Northwest  YouTube channel.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, a conversation with Griffith Town Council president Rick Ryfa on events and issues involving the town, and Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman joins us for the latest on the 2021 "Kids Count Data Book" just released.

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. 

Foster Success website

Today:  The recent COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by the President will have an impact on Hoosier foster youth as they leave their foster homes and move on toward adulthood.  Dr. Maggie Stevens, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based "Foster Success," talks with us about the provisions of the bill that can best assist them.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, this time a young Black talks about trying to make friends, after moving into a new neighborhood.  Ty Warner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission talks about a recent report entitled "E-commerce in Northwest Indiana."  It's a report that addresses in more detail the dynamic shifts in the local economy.  And Pangere Corp. safety supervisor Don Babcock tells us more about a recent educational collaboratin with a Purdue University Northwest professor to offer students a way to be better prepared for careers after graduation.

Pew Research Center

Today:  We revisit our conversation with Purdue Research Foundation's David Broecker talks about a wireless high-speed internet initiative that will benefit students and families in the Kankakee Valley Schools district next year.  The current plans call for connections to be made in January.  Side Effects Publc Media reporter Farah Yousry has a report on the concerns that diabetics -- particularly those with Type I diabetes -- have, in trying to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic with a condition that has been found to develop severe symptoms and complications if they contract the virus. We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, from a northwest Indiana resident whose family came to the U.S. from Mexico.

Photo Provided

Today: La Lumiere School's Head of School Adam Kronk is with us to talk about how they managed to be able to provide "in person" learning during the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting nearly all classes outdoors.  The LaPorte County private college-prep school is now on "remote learning" between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks because of the colder weather.  We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with Gary Mayor Jerome Prince. He talks about his early schooling while living in the city's Glen park neighborhood.

The Associated Press

Today:  Our colleague Michael Puente from Chicago Public Radio WBEZ sent along his recent "Off Mic" conversation with Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne, on the political futures of Vice President (and former Governor) Mike Pence and former South Bend Mayor (and presidential primary candidate) Pete Buttigieg.  We bring it to you, along with conversations from northwest Indiana's minority business community on "Neighborhood Voice" and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso Univeity.  Today's conversation is with a well-known Gary public official.

Digital Crossroad website

Today:  The "Digital Crossroad" data center and tech incubator along Lake Michigan in Hammond is up and running, and its creator -- Tom Dakich -- is on the program today to talk about it.  The $40 million project has plenty of room for expansion for any interested client, and Tom talks about the great economic development benefits of the "Crossroad" for the entire city of Hammond.   We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and we bring back our conversation with Karen Toering, the creator of the Gary International Black Film Festival, the ten-day event underway today, that this year is "virtual."  

Franciscan Health NWI

Today:   Franciscan Health Northwest Indiana spokesman Robert Blaszkiewicz tells us about the changes in visitor  restrictions that had to be put in place at the healthcare provider's hospitals in Dyer, Hammond and Munster on Friday because of the surge in COVID-19 cases in northwest Indiana.  We also bring back our conversation with Aaliyah Stewart, a young northwest Indiana resident who wants to establish a youth center in Gary and is raising funds toward its construction.   Seema Verma, the Adminstrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington, D.C. (and a former Hoosier healthcare consultant) talks about the open enrollment period for Medicare for 2021 that is currently underway through December 7th.  This is the only time of year when more than 60 million Americans on Medicare -- 1,280,707 in Indiana -- can review their health coverage to find new health and drug plans and new benefits and, in the process, save money.  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

resource recycling magazine-shutterstock

Today:   We revisit our conversation with Ron Taylor with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District and Valparaiso University professor Julie Peller on plastics pollution in the county, as found during a recent study, and add to it a recent "Morning Edition" segment about the history of how America got so deeply involved in plastics recycling.  Caren Jones with the YWCA of Northwest Indiana tells us the history of the organization that is now 100 years old.  A virtual gala celebrating the YW's 100th anniversary is coming up on Halloween.  We bring you another in our series of conversations with young Indiana activists, and more local conversations from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   Indiana University Northwest economics professor Micah Pollak is with us to talk about the recent study commissioned by I.U. with EMSI, a worldwide provider of economic impact studies to colleges and universities, that explains the economic value that IUN adds to the students and alumni of the university and to the northwest Indiana community at large.  For example: the impact of increased earnings of IUN alumni and the businesses they work for is equal to an economic boost that is similar to hosting the World Series 37 times.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Side Effects Public Media reporter Carter Barrett looks into the struggle that rural hospitals face in trying to bring in enough revenue from a pandemic-stunted economy to stay open -- and serve their communities.  Indiana Youth Institute president-CEO Tami Silverman also reviews her latest monthly column entitled "Talking Politics With Our Kids."  It's an appropriate topic in this "election season." The entire column can be found on the IYI website.

Photo provided

Today:   We revisit our conversation with Carolyn Saxton of the Legacy Foundation about the initiative that  the Lake County community foundation established with the Knight Foundation, Indiana Black Expo, and the cities of Gary and East Chicago to help small businesses in both cities stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.  The application deadline for the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund ends during the month of October,  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Habitat for Humanity Northwest Indiana executive director Dawn Michaels tells us the latest house under construction in Gary's "Field of Dreams" neighborhood, in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Adams and Washington Streets, which will give another family an affordable place to live sometime early next year. The owner of Majestic Star Casino, Spectacle Entertainment, is partnering with HFH on this project.  Reporter Michael Puente also spoke to several Latin-x supporters of President Donald Trump, and he offers us that conversation.

Suzanne Tennant / Post-Tribune

  

Today:  "Times" business reporter Joseph Pete has written another book that looks into the Region in great detail.  This latest book, published by Reedy Press, is titled "100 Things to Do in Gary and Northwest Indiana Before You Die." There will be several opportunities in October to buy and have a signed copy from the author.  Reporter Michael Puente tells us about Latino voters who support President Donald Trump.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  And Michelle Fajman, the director fo the Lake County Election and Voter Registration Office, has the latest on the process of preparing for the November 3rd general election.  Thousands of absentee ballots have already been cast and they are expecting thousands more to come in  -- ahead of the early voting period beginning next month.

GettyImages.com

Today:  We talk with Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman about her latest column topic: keeping Hoosier children healthy by feeding as well as we can during the coronavirus pandemic, when schools aren't able to help as much as in the past. Lake Area United Way president-CEO Lisa Daugherty is also with us to bring us up-to-date on programs that help working families-in-need in Lake County during the COVID crisis.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University and the second part of Indiana Public Broadcasting's Ella Abbott's two-part series on "Sundown Towns" in Indiana: how the past is affecting present day life in those communities.

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