The Welcome Project at Valparaiso University

Food Bank NWI / Linked-In

Today:  Victor Garcia, the executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the Mobile Markets out around the region and how important they are to fighting food insecurity – especially in Hispanic- and Black-populated neighborhoods.  Hispanics make up a big number of the food-insecure in the region -- and many are afraid to use the Mobile Markets because they must prove by ID of being an Indiana resident.  We also bring back our conversation with Gary Chamber of Commerce president Chuck Hughes and Dr. Marlon Mitchell, about what could a life-changing opportunity for many in the city of Gary: a chance for better housing and a better job.   We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Indiana Tourism website

Today:  Paige Sharp with the Indiana Arts Commission is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the IAC's partnership with the state's Small Business Development Center for its annual "On Ramp Entrepreneur Accelerator which helps Hoosier artists, and the businesses they run, to be more resilient and be able to deal with the pandemic and the financial impact it brings.  South Shore Arts is a local partner in the program.  Karen Anaszewicz with the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting talks about how the downtown attraction is doing during COVID-19 and has the details on two big projects which include a November 5th fundraiser -- with the accent on "fun."  And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Kyle Telechan / Post-Tribune

Today:  Heather Ennis with the Northwest Indiana Forum is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the economic development initiatives that her organization is conducting along with the READI program supported by Governor Eric Holcomb (he's seen here being escorted into the Indiana Dunes State Park Pavilion for his visit on Aug. 24).  We also bring back our conversation with the leaders of the Lake Area United Way and the United Way of Porter County about their impending merger. And we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

BBC

Today:  We speak with Dyer resident and U.S. Army veteran Chris McClanathan who – like many veterans – is doing his best to get an Afghan, who was an interpreter with him while on-duty in northern Afghanistan in 2011, out of the country (along with his family) as the Taliban take over the country.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, with another viewpoint on the city of Gary.  And we also talk with Gary attorney Tracy Coleman, and two of her clients, about a federal court lawsuit filed against the state of Indiana and a local election board.  They want state control of Gary Community School Corporation removed, and return it to local -- elected official -- control.   The 18-page lawsuit claims the district’s 2020 successful 72.1 million dollar, eight-year referendum violated the state’s constitution.

U.S. Dept of Justice

Today:  Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about Saturday's "Prepare To Serve and Protect Workshop" at Griffith YMCA.  It's an opportunity for those interested in a career in law enforcement to learn tips and techniques to become successful in the hiring process.  Side Effects Public Media's Stephanie Whitesides has a report on student nurses and the more stressful environment they need to learn about, when they return to class this fall.  Matt Schuffert, the general manager of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary, talks about the first months of the casino's operation since its May opening.  And "Save The Dunes" executive director Natalie Johnson has the list of September events, including an important IDEM virtual hearing on a Burns Harbor water pollution hotspot on Sept. 1st.  

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.  

Photo provided

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.

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