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.

gohammond,com

Work will begin soon on construction of a major Sportsplex here in northwest Indiana, one that could be the state's largest when it is completed next year.  It will be built on some of the land that was at one time the Woodmar Shopping Center.

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. was on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about the ideas behind the plans for a facility that can support several athletic events in one place.  Here's the conversation.

RoadsideArchitecture.com

Today:  Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. joins us to talk about the plans for a major Sportsplex to be built on some of the former Woodmar Shopping Center site.  When it's finished next summer, it'll be a building that the Mayor says will be larger than the state's largest similar structure, in the Indianapolis suburb of Westfield.   McDermott also updates us on the consent decree the city signed with U.S. EPA and IDEM that addresses compliance with orders to resolve sewage overflows into the Little Calumet and Grand Calumet Rivers.

Methodist Hospitals and Franciscan Alliance are considering becoming northwest Indiana's largest healthcare provider, if the details can be worked out and regulators approve the proposal. A non-binding letter of intent was signed this week by the two.

Ray Grady, the President and CEO of the Gary-based system, was on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday to talk  about the months-long process of finding a partner -- what will now happen over the next six months -- and what becoming part of the Franciscan Alliance system can bring to the future of northwest Indiana healthcare.

Ray Grady, Methodist Hospitals
Chicago Crusader

Today:  a conversation with Ray Grady, the President and CEO of Methodist Hospitals, about the letter of intent between the two-hospital system and Franciscan Alliance to explore a full integration of healthcare facilities and services in Lake County. 

Franciscan Alliance is one of the Midwest's largest providers.  He talks about the months-long process of finding a partner -- what will now happen over the next six months -- and what becoming part of the Franciscan Alliance system, if approved by regulators, will bring to the future of northwest Indiana healthcare.

A Purdue University Northwest faculty member is conducting research into the best way that preschoolers learn how to count. 

Lori Peterson came on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday to talk about her project, which she says so far shows that youngsters may more quickly learn counting skills by reading a book, rather than physically handling objects.  She talks bout how she began her research with ten 3-year-olds enrolled at Purdue Northwest's Riley Child Center on the Hammond campus. 

Today:   A conversation with Purdue University Northwest assistant psychology professor Lori Petersen on her research into how preschoolers best learn how to count and related numerical concepts.  She began her study last fall with ten 3-year-olds who were enrolled at Purdue Northwest's Riley Child Center in Hammond.  Petersen talks about some of her early findings.

City of Valparaiso website

The Valpo Parks Foundation is a key participant in city park improvement projects like the Tower Park renovation, now underway.  The project is being supported by the Foundation's "Leaders Giving Back" initiative. 

City of Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Director John Seibert came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about how members of the community  are joining community leaders through the initiative -- and intend to finish the improvements this year.  Here's the conversation, beginning with Seibert talking about the city's parks and recreation system.

City of Valparaiso website

Today:  City of Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Director John Seibert talks about how the Parks Foundation is a key participant in park improvement projects like the Tower Park renovation, now underway.  The project is being supported by the Foundation's "Leaders Giving Back" initiative.

NWI TIMES

The Lake County Democratic Party has a new chairman, who says he is ready to review what happened in the 2016 general elections that led to Republican Party victories. and make some changes.

Northwest Indiana attorney James Weiser came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about the recent reorganization caucus that put him in  leadership and what local and Indiana Democrats must do to insure victory in future elections.  Here's the conversation.

NWI TIMES

Today:   The new Lake County Democratic Party chairman, James Weiser, joins us to talk about the change in leadership, his thoughts about how that change came about and his views on bringing together all local Democrats to meet the challenges that came after the November 2016 election that put Donald Trump into the White House. 

Indiana scientists, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs have been leaders in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields for generations -- and the Indiana Humanities is joining with Eli Lilly and Company, Dow AgroSciences and other organizations to celebrate the legacy of STEM in a two-year thematic initiative called "Quantum Leap."

Chicago Traveler website

The Federal Reserve Bank board on Wednesday decided to once again incrementally raise interest rates --the third such hike in the past 13 months.

Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer came on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday to examine the rate hike's impact on Hoosiers -- ranging from mortgages, to credit cards, to student loans, to what'll happen on Wall Street.  He first looks at how mortgage rates can change over time.

Today:   Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about the decision by the Federal Reserve Bank board on Wednesday to once again incrementally raise interest rates --the third such hike in the  past 13 months.  Hammer looks at the impact  on Hoosiers ranging from mortgages, to credit cards, to student loans, to what'll happen on Wall Street.

north township trustee's office

Today:   North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan Jr. learned some shocking statistics on child sexual abuse in northwest Indiana -- and offers his personal reasons why he created the "No More Secrets" public awareness campaign.  He's speaking to students in local schools and other places this week and next, and is sponsoring a Saturday symposium on child sexual abuse at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.

erin merryn blog

The trustee of Indiana's second largest township -- Lake County's Noth Township -- is crossing the Region this week and next, speaking to school students and community groups about the shocking issue of child sexual abuse.

Purdue NW

Purdue University Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon was on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the progress of the Hammond and Westville campus unification that just earned an Innovators Award for the month of March from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana. 

The merging of academic and business operations of both campuses -- that began more than one year ago -- created the state's 5th largest university, with 15,000 students and more than 1,500 faculty and staff.  Here's the conversation.

NWI Times

Today:  Region food columnist and author Phil Potempa is in the studio to talk about the long-awaited "Farm Cooking Show," coming April 2nd to the Center for the Performing Arts in Munster.  The program goes along with his "From The Farm" column recipes and cookbooks.  The last time that Phil offered the audience his preparation of tasty dishes was in May 2010.

Today:   Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus joins us with an update on his views on the Hoosier State economy and, in particular, how one national magazine ranks Indiana's higher education institutions and government finances.

A spring cleaning, of sorts, is underway in one Gary neighborhood suffering from urban blight. Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore reports on the latest work this is underway in Aetna.

Wikipedia

The Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance holds its monthly board meeting on March 23rd in Michigan City, and one of the discussion topics is the South Shore Line improvement plan for the commuter line running through that city.   

The IPRA supports moving the tracks to alongside city streets rather than their present location in the middle, along with the "double tracking" of the Line between Gary and Michigan City and the West Lake Corridor project. 

Steven Coxhead, the president of the IPRA, was on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday and here's the conversation.

The Real Life - Rail Tourist blog

Today:  "Regionally Speaking" focuses on rail transportation in northwest Indiana.  

First, a conversation with Steve Coxhead, the president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance.  The Alliance holds its monthly board meeting on March 23rd in Michigan City, and one of the discussion topics is the South Shore Line improvement plan for the commuter line running through that city.    The IPRA supports that work, along with the "double tracking" of the Line between Gary and Michigan City and the West Lake Corridor project.

Tri-Creek School Corp.

Tri-Creek School Corporation in south Lake County is the recipient of a March "Innovators Award" from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana. 

Superintendent Debra Howe came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the programs that led to the award, beginning with a student-pilot project on solar energy that led to a district-wide program that will save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year -- more than enough to cover the cost of the project.  Here's the conversation.

TRI-CREEK SCHOOL CORP.

Today:  Tri-Creek School Corporation in south Lake County is the recipient of a March "Innovators Award" from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana.  Superintendent Debra Howe joins us to talk about the programs that led to the award, beginning with a student-pilot project on solar energy that led to a district-wide program and will save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year -- more than enough to cover the cost of the project.

Tom Pappas is a member of the city of Portage veterans' committee, which holds monthly meetings in Portage to bring together veterans across northwest Indiana to learn more about issues that affect them, including healthcare and -- as Tom mentioned on "Regionally Speaking" -- Porter County's Veterans Court.  Here's the latest conversation.

VA website

Today:  City of Portage veterans' committee member Tom Pappas joins us for a monthly review of the latest committee meeting, with guest Porter County Veterans' Court Judge Jent.  He also talks about VA healthcare issues that include why veterans' claims get denied, and the 70th anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs' work with medical colleges across the country to give physicians-in-training valuable experience in veterans' health issues.

Two Purdue University Northwest faculty members and an alumnus attorney discussed the issues surrounding “Executive Power & Legal Questions about Immigration” on Tuesday. Feb. 28th on the Purdue University Northwest Hammond Campus. It was aired Thursday on "Regionally Speaking."

The event, offered collaboratively with Northwest Indiana Lakeshore Public Radio, was held in the Student Union & Library's "Room with a View."

Today:  Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer joins us to talk about his "thank you" message to the special education program employees at the Michigan City Area Schools on Wednesday, to kick off Indiana Disability Awareness Month.  Similar events are scheduled for later this month in Gary.

The Governor's Council for People with Disabilities says just over 19-percent of Hoosiers have some sort of disability, but they want to be recognized and accepted as people who want to be included in their communities, just like everyone else.

Indiana Landmarks

Today:  Todd Zeiger with Indiana Landmarks talks about the next "Logs to Lustrons Tour" at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, May 13th and 14th.  Homes representing more than a century of architecture, ranging from log cabins built by Swedish settlers to the houses from the Century of Progress at the 1930s Chicago World's Fair to Lustron-construction houses will be available for viewing, some not normally open to the public.  Some are also vacant landmarks in need of a new use.

Ancestry Blog

Indiana first female County Sheriff is the subject of a play to be performed this weekend in the Maki Ballroom of the historic Old Courthouse in downtown Crown Point. And infamous gangster John Dillinger plays a role in her career as well.

"Lillian" is a play that was written decades ago but wasn't allowed to be performed until the passing of all of those involved, including Lillian Holley and her daughters.  I talked with playwright Marion Kellum for "Regionally Speaking."  He begins the conversation with the importance that Lillian Holley played in Lake County history.

rarenewspapers.com

Today:   A conversation with Marion Kellum, the Crown Point resident who learned about the first (and, for now, only) Lake County Sheriff, Lillian Holley, and her link to the infamous gangster John Dillinger.  Kellum wrote a play several decades ago about Lillian but it's just now coming to the "stage" in the Maki Ballroom of the historic Old Courthouse in Crown Point this coming weekend.

PBS

"Howey Politics Indiana" creator and publisher Brian Howey wrote a column for his newsletter this week that looks at how former Governor - now Vice President - Mike Pence views his career in the context of the Trump administration.  Brian came on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about it.

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