The Welcome Project at Valparaiso University

Porter County Recycling

Today:  We have a coronavirus update for northwest Indiana, with the first three COVID-19 cases reported at hospitals in Lake and Porter Counties.

Photo Provided

Today:  We continue our conversations with new northwest Indiana Mayors with Portage Mayor Sue L:ynch.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Today:   Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in Ft. Wayne joins us to talk about the 2020 General Assembly session which is in its final weeks, and the bills that've been come up so far for review.  Dr. Erik Mikaitis with Franciscan Health Crown Point explains the coronavirus, its symptoms and how the healthcare system is getting ready to deal with it -- in the hopes that they don't have to.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. Purdue University Northwest is observing Women's History Month with a series of events, and Kimberly Trajkovski tells us about a program this weekend at the Hammond campus on "believing in restorative justice."

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.

Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune

Today:  Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy joins us in an at-length conversation about succeeding Jon Costas in office last month, his first "State of the City" address on January 28th, and what he is proposing for the city as he takes over the administrartion. He talks about city projects and programs that are continuing or willget underway this spring.  We also have an encore edition of "Green Fleet Radio" with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities, and Allison Schuette with the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University talks about tonight's "Flight Paths" presentation and workshop in the Anderson Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.  

IMDB website

Today:  Gary native, Hollywood actor and film festival host William L. Johnson talks about the 9th annual Black Film Festival, to be held this Friday evening and Saturday evening at the Glen Theatre in Gary.  The focus of the festival is on the achievements of African-American actors and filmmakers.   We have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council is at the Statehouse to keep an eye on environmental bills still before the 2020 General Assembly, and he talks with us about HB 1414 -- a major bill affecting clean energy and public utilities.  It is coming up soon before the Senate Utilities Committee for a hearing.

IU Northwest/Portage Life website

Today:  We talk with Jana Szostek, the director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Professional Development, a component of the School of Business and Economics.  The center provides assistance to northwest Indiana businesses of all sizes, including helping employees with professional certifications or aiming them toward college degrees, if they choose.    Kevin Comerford hosts another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. Isaiah Mears with the Indiana Federation of College Republicsns is back with an update about a letter that he and other young GOP officials just sent out to Indiana's Republican congressional delegation about the need for a climate change plank in the party's platform this election year.  They say it's an important issue to be taken rom an economic view.

Diocese of Detroit

Today:  We have two conversations on the program, ahead of the February 11th ordination and installation event for the new shepherd of the Diocese of Gary, Bishop Robert McClory.   Frs. Marty Dobrzynski and Mike Yadron talk first about the planning for the event at the Catherdral of the Holy Angels in Gary and of the work getting the new Bishop readty for his work in northwest Indiana.  We then follow with our conversation, recorded late last week, with the Bishop.   We also have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

WFYI Public Radio

Today:  Updates on the 2020 Indiana General Assembly session -- first, from Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Ft. Wayne, and later, from Dr. Indra Frank with the Hoosier Environmental Council,  which is closely watching environmentally-related measures moving through the Legislature.  We have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and a new conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Hanover Community Schools website

Today:  We bring back our conversation with Wabash College student and Indiana College Republicans leader Isaiah Mears, on the state Young GOP organization's partnering with a national team to come up with a conversation on climate change.  We also have another "Building Northwest Indiana" conversation from the Construction Advancement Foundation.   And Hanover Community School Corporation Superintendent Mary MacAuley is with us to talk about the south Lake County school district's $79 million capital improvement project and their request for patron support, when it comes up as a question on the May 5th primary election ballot. More information can be found here.   We also have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  Today, a Gary senior remembers the neighborhood of her childhood.

PBS.org

Today:   Byron Martin, the executive director of International and Intercultural Engagement at Valparaiso University, is in the studio to talk about the 2020 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration and Convocation entitled "Our Time," to be held Monday, January 20th at the Harre Union.   It includes a speech by noted author and speaker Dr. Imani Perry. More information can be found here.   We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  And we talk with Merrillville High School senior Xavier Thompson, and his assistant principal Michael Knocke, about how Xavier's love of cooking with his grandmother is leading him toward a career in culinary arts -- through his classes at MHS and a $17,000 scholarship from Johnson and Wales University in Florida.  Thompson took advantage of classes in the high school's CTE Pathways program.

Indiana Senate Democrats website

Today:  Indiana State Senator Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) talks about the 2020 General Assembly session that began on Monday and the measures he's supporting or sponsoring this "short" session. We also have this week's edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation  and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Sheriff Dave Reynolds Facebook page

Today:  Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds joins us to talk about the just-completed work on the Indiana Jail Overcrowding Task Force, created to look into the issues surrounding county jail overcrowding  and how to resolve them.  The task force, made up of legislators, state officials and judges, toured the Porter County Jail during a series of meetings held around the state and Porter County's way of dealing with the issues received favorable attention.  The report can be found  here . We also have more about the Cline Avenue bridge project on "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.   

Sabrina Haake for Congress website

Today:  Another candidate for local Democratic Party voters to consider in the May 2020 primary election for U.S. Representative joins us in the studio -- attorney and activist Sabrina Haake.  She talks about herself and the issues that she feels are most important, including building a "green economy" in northwest Indiana.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  And Ron Taylor and Keri Marrs Barron with the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District bring us up-to-date on the county's drop-off recycling centers, how users can help make them more efficient, and a sneak peek at the Earth Day Celebration next year at the Porter County Expo Center.

Purdue University Ag. Economics

Today:  There will be 50 new mayors taking office in 2020 in Indiana cities and towns.   Many campaigned during the elections on promises -- and must now turn those promises into policy.  Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer joins us from his West Lafayette campus office to talk about some of the issues the new mayors will face, and how the Indiana economy has evolved over the years to treat urban, suburban and rural communities differently. He talks about research going into a new formula that he will unveil later this year.  We also have this week's edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:   Lake County Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser and his Republican Party counterpart, Dan Dernulc, talk about the last-minute campaigning efforts that their candidates are making, one week ahead of the municipal elections. They also talk about the joint letter they issued in response to remarks posted on Facebook by the former Libertarian Party chairman about two Hammond City Council candidates.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," with host Kevin Comerford from the Construction Advancement Foundation -- and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

trailtowns.org

Today:   Jena Bellezza with the Indiana Parenting Institute talks about this Friday's "State of the Family Luncheon, to be held at Avalon Manor in Hobart.  Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute joins us to talk about National Hispanic Heritage Month and how educators and parents  can pave the way for students to more well-rounded citizens.  We have another conversation with Ty Warner with NIRPC on "Building Northwest Indiana." And Mitch Barloga with NIRPC is live in the studio to talk about the Greenways Foundation of Indiana's upcoming series of workshops to explain and encourage the establishment of Trail Towns. Trail Towns can generate economic growth and tourism dollars, as well as protect trails. Mitch is the president of the board of directors for the Greenways Foundation.

Photo Provided

Today: We have a remembrance of northwest Indiana environmental activist Lee Botts, who passed away on Saturday at age 91.  We have comments that she made in 2009 to a local video producer and on "Eye on the Arts" conversation on Lakeshore PBS in January 2019 that was recorded ahead of the "Shifting Sands" documentary.  State Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) has been holding public town hall sessions on public education issues lately and two more are coming up this week.  He'll talk about them, and we bring back our conversation with Allison Wuerffel with the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University about the NEH grant that is supporting the current "Flight Paths" initiative.

Today:   Andy Downs of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics at Purdue Ft. Wayne is with us to talk about the municipal elections next month across the Hoosier State.  We have another edition of “Building Northwest Indiana,” from the Construction Advancement Foundation and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. 

AARP website

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about the recent anniverary of the Social Security system and offers some ways to save time and effort in seeking benefits.  Mary Ruble of Chesterton-based "The Artistic Recovery" joins us to talk about the organization that links art and recovery from substance abuse and about this weekend's "Hooked On Art" street art festival to be held in Centennial Park.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Constructiion Advancement Foundation.  Host Kevin Comerford learns more about current Purdue University Northwest construction projects, and we have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

NWI Times

Today:   We talk with Lake County Council president Ted Bilski about the discussions with the county department heads about their 2020 budget proposals, as councilmembers get ready to finalize the budget.  Bilski goes into detail about the fiscal constraints that they face in the next year and how they will make sure that the 2020 budget is balanced.  We also have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Construction Advancement Foundation. Host Kevin Comerford talks with RDA COO Sherri Ziller.  There is also another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University. And we have details on this year's weekend MBA program offered at Indiana University Northwest.

Hannah News Service

Today:  Ed Feigenbaum with Hannah News Service's "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletter joins us with his review of, and opinions on, last week's Indiana Gaming Commission meeting which took up the Gary land-based casino project and Indiana sports wagering (which officiallly began on Sunday). He also takes a look at some of the effects that the new Hard Rock Casino project in Gary will have on northwest Indiana construction trades jobs.  We also have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

IU Northwest

Today:  We have our conversations with both Lake County political party leaders:  Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser and Republican Party chairman Dan Dernulc. Weiser talks about his party's new candidates out campaigning for their respective town and city elections and Dernulc does the same, including candidates looking to hold onto existing GOP seats and ones trying to gain new ones.

Photo Provided

Today:   Katie Kerstensen with the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University joins us to talk about the Institute and its latest "Pathways to Progress" series of speakers coming to campus becinning next month.  The Institute for Leadership and Service is, simply speaking, a place at VU where it is okay for students to admit all the things they haven't yet figured out about their future.  The "Pathways" series helps inspire and guide them.  We have another edition of "Building Northwest Indiana," supported by the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversat

IPB News file photo

Today:  We continue our conversations with Lake County's political party leaders with Republican Party chairman Dan Dernulc -- to find out more about the local party's plans and (perhaps) strategies for the Nov. 5 town and city general elections.  We talked with Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser on July 1st  and he told us about the new names and faces who're running as candidates.  The Construction Advancement Foundation presents its inaugural "Building Northwest Indiana" program.

Photo Provided

Today:  Documentary filmmakers Pat Wisniewski and Tom Desch are in the Lakeshore Public Radio studio  to talk about their films --  ones that've aired on Lakeshore PBS and upcoming projects -- and Tom talks about a years-long project on the controversial proposed south suburban Chicago airport -- a film titled "The Field: A Fight or Flight Story."  It comes up at a special screening soon at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.

Wikipedia

Today:   We talk to Father Mike Surufka, a-k-a Father Mike, the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus parish in Cedar Lake and, now the administrator for the Cathedral of Holy Angels and the Church of Sts. Monica and Luke, both in Gary neighborhoods that are affected by the city's overall blight problems.  Fr.

Joey BLS Photography website

Today:  Portage Mayor John Cannon is on the program to talk about the concerns that his administration has about the delays in getting the state-mandated high-frequency radio communications upgrade  made in Porter County.  He put out a letter to outline the concerns that contractors working on the project are still unable to communcate well, to be able to get four new radio towers installed.  Only two of the four  have been put up.

U.S. Defense Dept.

Today:   Leslie Plesac with Purdue University Northwest's Sinai Forum speaker series joins us with the list of speakers this coming fall -- a list which includes retired General John Kelly, "Sully" Sullenberger, Gloria Steinem and Alan Dershowitz.  The former White House chief of staff is the first speaker on Sept. 8th at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.  All the other speakers will be on the Westville campus.   We also have comments from state Rep.

Boston Realtor newsletter

Today:  Marietta Rodriguez, the president and CEO of NeighborWorks America, joins us to talk about the results of a survey on the gap between renting and homeownership for minority families, primarily African American and Hispanic.

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