Casual Fridays (with Jerry Davich and Karen Walker)

Fridays at Noon

The popular Post-Tribune columnist hosts an hour of local issues and conversation.

Ways to Connect

Jerry didn’t try to make Fabian Griffin break down in tears with his last interview question. Her mother didn’t mean to make her cry either with a final, follow-up question. What advice, Jerry asked Fabian, would she give to other young single mothers in a similar situation as her?

Griffin, who’s 30, has four young daughters. She’s never been married to the girls’ father. And she has struggled to make ends meet and find permanent housing.

"Be strong,” replied Griffin, choosing her words thoughtfully. “Choose your own way. Be your own woman. Don't follow a man.”

On today’s show, we welcome into the Lakeshore studio Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who will be asked dozens of questions, from silly to serious, similar to our entertaining chat recently with Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.

Plus, we promise to ask the Gary mayor a few questions she’s NEVER been asked before, by any media outlets…. We think.

 We call this segment, “Inside the Casual Friday’s Studio,” similar to the popular show on Bravo TV with host James Lipton. We’ll begin with that in just a minute.

We will talk on the studio line with South Shore representative Mike Noland about the rail line’s Bikes on Trains program and how to best utilize it.

Jerry Davich / Post-Tribune/Lakeshore Public Radio

My Mother's Day column will introduce Lakeshore listeners to a group of seven local women who've been meeting monthly for six years.

Originally to celebrate their birthdays and update their lives, but eventually to dine at restaurants across Northwest Indiana and write reviews on their meals and service, based on their ethnic backgrounds.

One of those women, Liz Moses Culp, will be calling in to my Casual Friday's radio show, giving listeners a sneak peek at the restaurants they've reviewed through the years.

Braxson Jones was just 6 months old when his father allegedly shook him so violently that it led to the arrest last week of Curtis Jones, a former Porter County cop whose initial court hearing attracted a lot of media attention.

What’s it like to be a union steelworker in this gritty region who has a talent for playing guitar, singing and performing? And what’s it like to be noticed and to travel to Nashville to record some cuts in a genuine studio? On today’s show, we’ll find out.

We welcome Jay Wacasey, a 44-year-old musician from Hobart, into our studio today to tell us ALL about it, and why his head is still spinning from the whirlwind experience. Plus, Jay will perform a song for Lakeshore listeners in just a few minutes. 

Jerry’s recent column on the “No More Secrets” campaign in Northwest Indiana, which reaches and rescues child victims of sexual abuse, also introduced readers to Isha Haley.

The 35-year-old sexual abuse survivor from East Chicago shares her harrowing story with area students, who are responding to her candor and openness. So far, more than 70 students have come forward to report abuse after listening to Haley’s inspiring words.

Do you remember attending the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in your younger days? Well, the cult classic film from the ‘70s is still playing across the country, including at The Art Theater in Hobart beginning again this weekend.

On today’s show, we will chat with the theater’s manager, John Davey who also happens to be one of the diehard “shadow cast” fans who still dresses up in campy costumes to honor the movie. Why? How? With who? We’ll tell Lakeshore listeners in a few minutes.

On today's show, we welcome into the studio Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr., not only to talk politics and challenging issues facing the region, but also to give listeners a peek into his personal life.

Brianne Coleman, a domestic violence survivor who credits St. Jude House for her healing and her life’s turnaround, has started a new organization, Dimensions of Intersections, to help others in her former situation.

Her life has been rocky and, in many ways, it reflects Women’s History Month, which we are marking this month. We’ll talk with Brianne in a just a minute about her new support group and its hope for women across the region.

What's it like to be addicted to heroin and any other drug that would give you a similar escape?

Is skateboarding making a resurgence, or has it never went away?

If someone challenged you to place your right hand on your cell phone and vow to never text and drive again, would you stick to it?

If you had a terminal illness, would you want your partner to find true love, again, without you? Really?

And do you know what a leprechaun really is? Or why people kiss the Blarney stone?

Have you heard of Brothers Keeper shelter in Gary for homeless men across NWI? It’s housed in a beaten-down building that once sold tires, not soulful redemption.

I visited the cash-strapped, space-crunched, volunteer-starved shelter and spoke with its longtime director, Mary Edwards, a dedicated volunteer, Mike McDonald of Chesterton, and a grateful client, Levi Gildon, who credits the place for saving his life.

It’s called Z’s Donut Bar and Bakery and it’s attracting lines of customers out its single door who are waiting an hour - or two! – for a costly milkshake or a pricey sweet treat, ever since a video of its magical milkshakes went viral earlier this month.   

Where oh where is this amazing place located? ……In Gary, Indiana, across from a Broadway church, abandoned homes and gritty, hardscrabble streets. Yes, Gary.

On today's Casual Fridays radio show we will chat with a magician, a demonstrator and an activist, among other ordinary region residents doing extraordinary things in Northwest Indiana.

We will hear from Clara Burnett, whose special needs daughter attended the unforgettable "Night to Shine" event at Valparaiso Nazarene Church, and also with Todd Laczynski, one of the many church members who helped make it a reality for 325 prom-goers.

With the 2016 presidential election, we discovered something surprising - the digital age and social media expression is leading us to form political impressions based on snippets of information from multiple sources at multiple times a day.

Have you heard of the "Police Bible Ministry," the brainchild of Gus and Roberta Flores of East Chicago, where Gus served as police chief?

The couple has made hundreds of homemade nut-rolls to raise money for their beloved project, which gives custom-inscribed bibles to police officers across NWI to help protect them, guide them and comfort them.

On this week's Casual Fridays radio show, we’ll talk to the couple about their unique ministry, for God's glory, and how you can help make a difference in the lives of our region's police officers.

Similar to most of us who live outside of Chicago, or Gary for that matter, Tammy Hnatiuk didn’t feel a personal sense of loss from the endless shooting homicides in that city. Sure, she feels badly for each victim and their families, as we all do, but nothing beyond common decency and human compassion.

Teresa Chillemi went missing, officially, on Jan. 3, and according to police she was found Jan.6th, But she’s been missing from her mother’s life for months, if not years. The 37-year-old mother of three from Portage has lived a troubled adult life and her mother has no idea of her whereabouts or safety.

We often hear of such troubled people who become formally listed as “missing” yet who’ve been missing for years in many ways from their families or loved ones. Some family members, including Jerry, have given up on these lost souls at one time or another.