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.

Larry Brechner

Ivy Tech Community College in Gary is partnering with Indiana University Northwest in the use of the new Arts & Sciences Building, which will be officially dedicated on Friday.   Vice chancellor for academic affairs Margaret Semmer was on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday, as the conversation continued about the new building along Broadway at 35th Avenue. 

Inside Indiana Business

Today:  a conversation with Jeff Strack, the chief executive of Indiana Grocery Group, the company that now owns and operates 20 of northwest Indiana's most popular supermarkets.  The group purchased some of the Strack & VanTil stores, along with a few Town & Country and Ultra stores, from Central Grocers in U.S. bankruptcy court.  Jeff talks about the process of creating a brand-new company  -- setting up the wholesale agreements to replace Central Grocers -- and planning for the future.

Larry Brechner

This coming Friday afternoon, officials from Indiana University will join Gary city officials for the dedication of the newest structure on the IU Northwest campus -- the $45 million Arts & Sciences Building.

Larry Brechner

On Friday, August 25th, Indiana University Northwest will officially open its new $45 million Arts & Sciences Building.

NWI Times / Inside Indiana Business

Methodist Hospitals began the process two years ago of seeking Level III Trauma Center status for the Northlake campus in Gary from the American College of Surgeons.  Today -- the hospital has that designation.

Methodist Hospitals CEO and President Ray Grady says this achievement recognizes the trauma center's dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.  And Grady adds that working toward getting the Trauma Center in Gary was a team effort of doctors, nurses and staff across the organization. 

NWI Times / Inside Indiana Business

Today:  A conversation with Jennifer Mullen, RN, Trauma Program Coordinator and Dr. Reuben Rutland, one of the trauma surgeons at Methodist Hospital Northlake campus in Gary, which has just been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level III Trauma Center -- the only trauma center in northwest Indiana.  The hospital first sought accreditation two years ago.

Indiana Public Broadcasting's Annie Ropeik reports on a citizen in Indianapolis who's taken it upon himself to help maintain the streets he drives on in his city -- by filling in potholes when he sees them.

Today: Stories about education topics are featured on this Reporters Roundtable Thursday, from Carmen McCollum of the Times of Northwest Indiana, Carole Carlson of the Post-Tribune, Inside Indiana Business managing editor Andy Ober and northwest Indiana public radio reporter Michael Puente.

NWI Business Quarterly

Today: we find out from Lakeshore Public Radio's Megan Fernandez why companies from outside Indiana are so interested in locating (or relocating) into Lake and Porter Counties.  Megan talked to, among other people, Mayors Jon Costas of Valparaiso and Tom McDermott Jr. of Hammond.

We meet and talk with the local chapter president of the Freedom Riders of Indiana, "Boone" Duvall, to learn more about this charitable organization -- its mission and goals -- and who benefits from its fundraising events, like one coming up on August 26th.

Pinnacle Treatment Centers / The Mooney Group

In the "war on drugs," we hear the raw data and statistics about deaths and the like, and about the lack of options for those addicted and their loved ones.  But there are also men and women who offer healing and hope -- who are an inspiration to all of us. 

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

Today:  the final Town Hall meeting in the statewide series of meetings set up by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus is coming up this Saturday at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, so we bring back our conversation with State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and his Caucus colleague, State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis). They talk about the entire Town Hall series and the Caucus' intentions for the comments they hear in creating new legislation.


Today: "South Bend Tribune" political writer and columnist Jack Colwell joins us to talk about his latest column, also found on "Howey Politics Indiana," about what one author noted -- from an actual pre-campaign event in 2011 --  how seriously President Donald Trump takes everything, even jokes aimed in his direction.

Indiana Economic Digest

Today:  It's Reporters Roundtable on "Regionally Speaking," when we ask reporters in northwest Indiana media to talk about their stories they researched and wrote for their online and print publications.  This edition features "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters Giles Bruce and Sarah Reese, Greg Tejeda from the "Post-Tribune" and Jon Gard of the LaPorte "Herald-Argus" and Michigan City "News-Dispatch."

NWI Business Quarterly

Today:  a conversation with Paul Boardman, one of several candidates who are asking a Republican Party caucus in LaPorte this coming Friday evening to be selected as Mayor for the two-plus years remaining in Blair Milo's term of office.  Milo recently joined the Holcomb administration and stepped down as Mayor.  Boardman talks about his concerns about the economic future of LaPorte and other issues.


Today:  Steve Coxhead, the president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, joins us to talk about concerns about late trains on Amtrak's "Hoosier State passenger service between Indianapolis and Chicago.  The national rail provider says only one in three Indianapolis-bound trains arrived on-time in June, a change from past months  Coxhead says there are problems on CSX, the freight line that provides the rails for both the "Hoosier State" and the Indiana "Cardinal" passenger routes. 

Annie Ropeik, IPBS

Today:   a conversation with northwest Indiana community activist Ruth Needleman, on a visit by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Ben Carson and other political leaders to East Chicago, for an update briefing on the city's lead contamination issues and how they're being addressed.  Ruth also talks about the question of whether an Illinois steel company's move to Gary will mean more local jobs.


Today: On this Reporter Roundtable Thursday, we hear from three reporters for the Times of Northwest Indiana about the stories they covered online and in print this week: Dan Carden, Bob Kasarda and Joseph Pete. 

The topics today range from the new emergency manager named for the Gary Community School Corp. --  to new jobs ahead for LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner -- to the latest on the Strack and VanTil Supermarkets transition from Central Grocers, Inc. to the new owners Indiana Grocery Group, and comments from U.S. Steel Corp.'s new CEO.

Lakeshore Public Media

State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) was on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming Indiana Black Legislative Caucus Town Hall meeting on August 19th at I.U. Northwest in Gary.  But -- while we had him in the studio --we asked him for his thoughts about the appointment of an emergency manager for the fiscally- and academically-troubled Gary Community School Corp. 

The Senator introduced a bill last General Assembly session, which became law, calling for the procedure to select the emergency manager.

Photo Provided

Today:  an extended conversation with State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) about the series of Indiana Black Legislative Caucus statewide Town Hall meetings, ending in Gary on August 19th in the Bergland Auditorium at the Savannah Center of Indiana University Northwest in Gary.  Both Melton and Taylor have attended some of the other Town Hall meetings in other Hoosier cities.

AP-Think Progress website

Miguel Molina is a northwest Indiana resident who is involved in "The People's Voice" project -- a statewide project with a mission to "transform Indiana into a state that represents the wishes of all Hoosiers through civic engagement." 

AP-Think Progress website

Today:  We meet and talk with Miguel Molina, a northwest Indiana resident who is involved in "The People's Voice" project -- a statewide project with a mission to "transform Indiana into a state that represents the wishes of all Hoosiers through civic engagement." 

Miguel and others in northern Indiana are working to give what are called "low propensity voters" a voice in the community through voter education and voter registration programs ahead of the 2018 election cycle.

Lear Corporation

Today is "Reporter Roundtable" Thursday, where we bring in reporters (and editors) from northwest Indiana area media to talk about their stories this week.  We have Ed Bierschenk, Bill Dolan and Investigative Editor Marc Chase from the "Times" and "Chicago Tribune" reporter Michael Hawthorne.

Summer is in full gear and for many, that means traveling the country and taking some much-needed time off. But if you’re like many Americans, there’s a good chance you’ll also be taking on some debt in order to take your trip. According to a new survey, 74% of people polled say they’ve gone into debt to pay for a vacation (the average vacation debt is $1,108).


Most Popular Vacation Ideas website

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer talks about summertime vacations, how expensive they can be and how not to let them affect your family budget or your saving for your retirement years.

Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore introduces us to a Gary resident who's tired of all of the bad publicity about his hometown -- and has produced a documentary offering some positive things to consider.

Ball State University

The Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research, along with another state policy study group, delved into the issues of two forces that could affect the work force of the future:  automation and "offshoring" jobs.  The Center's executive director, economist Michael Hicks, came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the study, which compared the risks in urban areas to those in rural areas of the Hoosier State.


Today:   We find out more about a recent trade mission that Northwest Indiana Forum President-CEO Heather Ennis made to Seattle, along with members of a delegation from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Noted Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus joined us again on "Regionally Speaking" Monday afternoon for a look at his latest "Eye on the Pie" columns that focus on Hoosier economic topics, including the cost of living in Indiana and the impact of federal entitlement programs like Social Security on the average Indiana resident.

valparaiso community schools

The Valparaiso Community Schools is going through a construction and renovation process at many buildings -- a process that includes construction of a new elementary school, the first south of U.S. 30 in a growing area of the city. 

I talked to Superintendent Ric Frataccia on "Regionally Speaking; on Monday about all of the ongoing building projects, as well as an update on the long-range redistricting plan.  He says the construction work began after a successful campaign to seek community support for tax increases.

valparaiso community schools

Today:  a conversation with Ric Frataccia, the Superintendent of the Valparaiso Community Schools, about next month's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the district's newest elementary school -- and an update on the long-range redistricting plan.

Noted Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus joins us again for a look at his latest "Eye on the Pie" columns that focus on Hoosier economic topics, including the cost of living in Indiana and the impact of federal entitlement programs like Social Security on the average Indiana resident. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Wikipedia

On this Reporters Roundtable Thursday, we find out more about the major news stories of the week from the reporters who covered them.  With us in the studio is Post-Tribune reporter Javonte Anderson and by phone are his Post-Tribune colleagues Carrie Napoleon and Greg Tejeda and -- from the LaPorte Herald-Argus and Michigan City News-Dispatch -- reporter Jon Gard.  

Collings Foundation

Today:  A conversation with Hunter Chaney of the Collings Foundation, which is bringing one of its World War II-vintage aircraft exhibits back to the Porter County Regional Airport early next month.  This year, Hunter says they have a new and exciting addition to the Flying Fortresses and Liberators that are in their "living history" collection that will be coming to northwest Indiana.  The proceeds from the exhibit will support the MAAC Foundation of Valparaiso.