Regionally Speaking

Monday - Thursday, 12-1 PM
  • Hosted by Chris Nolte

Addressing the most important local issues facing the Region during a daily hour of stimulating conversation with local news-makers.

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.

The welton Wire

Today: We find out more about Thursday afternoon's 10th Annual Diversity Business Job Fair and Symposium, to be held at Avalon Manor in Merrillville.  The event is free and open to the public.  The event coordinator is "Times" classified ad manager Roxanne Olejnik. 

Star Plaza Theatre

Speros Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to offer his thoughts on the final closing and demolition next year of the Star Plaza Theatre. 

The theatre's owner, Merrillville-based White Lodging, announced last week that the facility as well as the Twin Towers office complex on the site at U.S. 30 and I-65 would be torn down to make way for future development.  Speros was with us when the initial announcement was made last year for closing and demolition -- a decision that was later delayed.

Star Plaza Theatre

Today: a conversation with Speros Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, on some summertime "stay-cation" ideas  -- making short trips to places here in northwest Indiana -- and his thoughts on the decision to close and demolish the Star Plaza Theatre after its final performances in December. 

Hammer Financial Group

A 2017 survey from T. Rowe Price that analyzed parent attitudes and behaviors associated with youngsters' financial habits showed that positive money behaviors "rubbed off" onto their offspring.   Conversely, troubling financial habits were often found when parents had a troubling history with money.

Northwest Indiana-based advisor Greg Hammer came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about that survey and offered some common-sense tips that can establish positive habits and minimize the negative ones.

City of Valparaiso website

Today: A conversation with Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas on why the City Council deferred action on a request to rescind the city's $25 a year vehicle "wheel tax" in favor of a state wheel tax plan.

Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore attended a recent Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce meeting where the head of a Florida-based bridge construction company talked about the new Cline Avenue bridge.  He also talked to East Chicago residents and motorists who are glad that the new bridge will be built soon but not about the $2.50 toll that'll be charged to travel on it.

Figg Bridge Partners

Today: It's Reporters Roundtable, when we ask members of the northwest Indiana and Indiana media to talk about the stories they worked on this week.  On this edition of the Roundtable are Greg Tejeda of the Post-Tribune, Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore, Indiana Public Broadcasting's Eric Weddle and INside Indiana Business host Andy Ober.

University of Notre Dame

Today:  A conversation with Julie Giorgi of "Promise Porter County."  Beginning this coming school year, the seven Porter County school districts are going to participate in a joint effort to give the families of first-graders an opportunity to be able to save for college, vocational or trade school or other post-secondary educational facility.

Marc Malczewski, Lake County Highway Department Director, joins us to give us an update on all of the major road resurfacing and improvement projects that are underway -- will be starting soon -- or are planned for the summer months.

Promise Indiana website

Beginning this coming school year, the seven Porter County school districts are going to participate in a joint effort to give the families of first-graders an opportunity to be able to save for college, vocational or trade school or other post-secondary educational facility.

Morton Marcus

Today:  Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus joins us from "on the road somewhere in the Hoosier State" to talk about some of his latest columns, focusing on the state's economic forecasts, growth (or non-growth, in his opinion) and related topics.

Indiana Youth Institute President and CEO Tami Silverman looks at what's happened 20 years after the release of a groundbreaking study on adverse childhood experiences and how youngsters are coping with them (or, in some cases' not coping with them)

John S and James L Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is awarding this year's “Cities Challenge” grant in the city of Gary to a project that will transform a historic, abandoned Gothic-style church into a beautiful ruins garden and event space. 

The Foundation is sending more than $163,000 to the city Redevelopment Department to go toward the City Methodist Church project.  It fits in with one of the goals of the Cities Challenge competition: to make cities like Gary more vibrant places in which to live and to work and, in this case, attract more visitors and business to Gary.

Michigan City Area Schools

It's been a year of records for the students of Michigan City High School Class of 2017:  breaking records for academic excellence with the most students earning perfect 4.0 GPA and regional or state honors in areas including vocational and college-prep programs.  The Wolves boys' basketball team set a single season record, even though they faced tough competition in the Duneland Athletic Conference,

Places That Were website

Today:  Michigan City Area Schools Assistant Superintendent Wendel McCollum talks about the great accomplishments by the High School's Class 0f 2017, as recognized at recent commencement exercises. Those accomplishments include academic, athletic and community service.

Today:  On this Reporters' Roundtable edition of "Regionally Speaking,"  we bring in Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore along with "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters Rob Earnshaw, Ed Bierschenk and Bill Dolan and -- in his initial appearance, LaPorte "Herald-Argus" and Michigan City "News-Dispatch" reporter Jon Gard.  They talk about the big stories they covered for their media outlets this week.

Indiana Connected By 25

Today:  We find out more about a special summer learning program to be held at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.  A group of about 50 Hoosier foster youth from across the state will spend the next eight weeks beginning Friday in the Summer Bridge Program.  These youth will stay in residence halls and study on campus, as they learn skills that will help them adjust to life from foster homes to life -- on their own --in college. 

Purdue University Northwest - Hammond

Today:  a one-hour presentation of the Monday, June 5th community forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Lake County, Lakeshore Public Radio and Purdue University Northwest and held  on the Hammond campus.

Today:   Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project talks about the dangers of swimming or surfing (or even boating) in Lake Michigan and why it's so important to know what to do if you get into trouble in the water. 

The Chicago-based organization conducts informational and training sessions every year and -- Benjamin says -- encourages schools to include water safety drills, just as they plan for and conduct fire or earthquake drills.

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

It's almost officially summer and the water temperature in Lake Michigan is getting warmer -- at least close to the shoreline.  This summer, thousands will flock to northwest Indiana beaches to enjoy the sand and Lake Michigan surf.  But the lake is fickle and it can be very dangerous.

Today: It's "Reporter Roundtable Thursday,"  when we bring in some of the reporters from northwest Indiana media to talk about the major stories they worked on this week.  On the program are Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore and Carmen McCollum, education reporter for the Times.

Lake County Sheriff's Department

We begin a series of "Regionally Speaking" conversations about crime spillage from Illinois into northwest Indiana, with Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Chief of Police Dan Murchek.  He's a veteran law enforcement officer who's been with the Department in Crown Point for 22 years.

Murchek talks abut the origins of the latest crime spillage into the Region, how police agencies are planning (both short-term and long-term) to combat and reduce criminal activities, and the very important relationship between law enforcement and the community.

IU Northwest

Today:  Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman joins us in the studio for our occasional conversation about the local issues of the day, including a public forum tonight on the Ivy Tech Gary campus about the proposed letter of intent to bring Methodist Hospitals in Gary and Merrillville into the Franciscan Alliance family.  A group of organizations, including the SEIU that represents Methodist Hospitals employees, is sponsoring the discussion.  

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Today:  Our monthly conversation with Tom Pappas, Jr. of the city of Portage Veterans Committee about next week's meeting and about a special Veterans Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, June 7th at the Adam Benjamin Outpatient Clinic in Crown Point.  The new Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Director, Marc Magill, will be at both meetings to talk to veterans about new programs planned in the Chicago area.

Sun-Times/Indiana Economic Digest

Today:  It's Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, where we bring in northwest media reporters (and, for some stories, Indiana reporters) to talk about the major stories they worked on this week.  With us today are Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore -- Greg Tejeda and Carole Carlson of the Post-Tribune -- Times of Northwest Indiana business reporter Joseph Pete -- and, talking about major education stories, Indiana Public Broadcasting's Eric Weddle. Eric and his colleagues worked on a series for NPR this week about school vouchers. 

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.

Veterans History Project

Today:   As we approach Memorial Day, we talk with Karen Lloyd, a retired Army Colonel who is director of the Veteran's History Project. It is part of the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center that collects, preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of U.S. war veterans so that their stories live on.  She is encouraging individuals and groups to contribute photos, letters or diaries of deceased veterans and to record conversations with those still living.  And Karen will offer information on how to do this.

Photo Provided

Jamal Washington takes his job as a Lake County Councilman very seriously, and his passion about the concerns of his constituents comes through in his conversation on Monday on "Regionally Speaking."  He represents Merrillville, Gary’s Miller and Eastside neighborhoods, and precincts in Schererville and Griffith.

Photo Provided

Today:  an extended conversation in the studio with Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington about the County Council's work and some of the issues that he is most concerned about.  

Hammond City Councilwoman and Council President Janet Venecz joins us to talk about tonight's Council meeting -- where an ordinance will be introduced amending the mission of the city's Human Relations Commission to include LGBTQIA issues.


Today:  It's Reporters' Roundtable Thursday, where we bring in the reporters who worked on some of the major news stories of northwest Indiana this week.  On the program today were Greg Tejeda, who covers the city of Gary for the Post-Tribune -- Sarah Reese of the Times of Northwest Indiana -- Carrie Napoleon, Lake County government reporter for the Post-Tribune -- and Joseph Pete with the Times of Northwest Indiana.

Indiana Senate Democrats

Today:  An extended conversation with northwest Indiana State Senator Karen Tallian (D) about the 2017 General Assembly session, the issues and the bills that addressed those issues and her thoughts on what might come up on the agenda of the 2018 Indiana Legislature session.

Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us again to talk about the Trump administration tax reform program, as it now exists, and some common-sense advice to high school and college graduates as they get into the workplace and start earning a paycheck.


State Senator Karen Tallian talked with us for Wednesday's "Regionally Speaking" about how the 2017 General Assembly session went, in her opinion, and about the major issues which were reviewed and passed on to Gov. Eric Holcomb for his signature -- including major infrastructure like roads and bridges and how to pay for those projects and the two-year Indiana state budget. 

Karen also talks about what may come up in the 2018 session.