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.

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.

Wikipedia

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.

WXIN-TV

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.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

The latest concern that law enforcement, addiction treatment centers and the public face in the battle against opioids is called "gray death."  It's a deadly concoction of gravel-like heroin that was first reported in Southern states and is spreading across the country.   The drug is so powerful that it can be absorbed into the body by merely touching it. 

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory

Today:   Valerie Thorn, the executive director of the RecoveryWorks treatment facility in Merrillville, talks about the latest concerns that law enforcement, addiction treatment centers and the public face in the battle against opioids -- "gray death."  It's a deadly concoction of gravel-like heroin that was first reported in Southern states and is spreading across the country.

Indiana House Republicans via Pinterest

State Representative Hal Slager (R-Schererville) joined us on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about the just-completed 2017 General Assembly session and the big issues that lawmakers addressed. 

He also talks about the bills he introduced and supported that affect northwest Indiana residents and businesses -- including road and bridge improvements, and his bill that sets up the mechanism to support the South Shore Line's "double tracking" between Gary and Michigan City and the proposed "West Lake Corridor" project. 

Indiana House Republicans

Today:   A conversation with State Representative Hal Slager (R-Schererville) about the just-completed 2017 General Assembly session and the big issues that lawmakers addressed.  He also talks about the bills he introduced and supported that affect northwest Indiana residents and businesses -- including road and bridge improvements, and his bill that sets up the mechanism to support the South Shore Line's "double tracking" between Gary and Michigan City and the proposed "West Lake Corridor" project.  

Shutterstock

Today: it's the weekly Reporters' Roundtable conversation of many of the big local news stories, with Times of Northwest Indiana reporters Bill Dolan and Carmen McCollum and one important state education story -- Wednesday's meeting of the Indiana state Board of Education, covered by Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Eric Weddle.

engagingnwibusinesswomen.org

Today:  We learn more about "InnovateHERS," a nationwide cash-prize competition by the U.S. Small Business Administration that encourages businesswomen to offer their ideas for innovative products and services that fill a need in the marketplace and have commercial potential.  Valparaiso attorney Angela Cossen is a member of the regional "InnovateHERS" committee that is asking for nominations to consider this summer here n northwest Indiana. 

The winner of the regional competition will then go on to the semifinal round.

habitatfor humanity

Today:  Dan Klein, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Northwest Indiana joins us to talk about the house being constructed in Lowell by volunteers -- most of them women -- who are involved in this year's National Women Build Week.  Volunteers got together recently to build the walls of the house, and they were transported to the site on North Castle Street for today's work.  Klein also talks about other local Habitat for Humanity building projects coming up.

Indiana Humanities

Hoosier residents are being invited Tuesday evening to participate in a unique conversation model at participating restaurants across the state -- including Dish Restaurant in Valparaiso -- to talk about the nature of evidence and how we decide if it's reliable and valid.

Indiana Humanities calls the event "Chew on This: Are You Sure."  Indianapolis author-editor-cultural strategist David Hoppe will act as a facilitator for the local event, and he joined us Monday on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about it. 

Legacy Foundation

Today:  A conversation with Legacy Foundation President Carolyn Saxton about the September 26th "On The Table" community mealtime discussions about finding ways to make Lake County healthier, safer and more prosperous. The concept is being introduced with a $60,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson talked with Bruce Rowe with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on the plans to reopen the Mount Baldy beach -- but keep the now-infamous sand dune closed.

On this edition of "Regionally Speaking," Tom Maloney filled-in for Chris Nolte on the "Reporter's Round Table Wrap-up."

He spoke with Dan Carden, Statehouse Reporter for The Times, about statewide alcohol legislation, road funding, and the South Shore expansion through the Region. Lakeshore Public Radio Reporter Steven Lattimore spoke to Tom about the "People's Climate Rally" march from the past weekend.

He spoke with Carole Carlson, of the Post-Tribune, about the passing of Munster and Lake Station's school referendums and the failing of East Chicago's.

thinkstock

Today:   An extended review of Tuesday's three public school referenda elections in Lake County -- East Chicago, Lake Station and Munster.  We have comments from School Town of Munster Superintendent Jeffery Hendrix, Lake Station Community Schools Superintendent Thomas Cripliver, a statement from School City of East Chicago Superintendent Paige McNulty and the director of the Lake County Board of Elections, Michelle Fajman, whose staff counted the votes from the three communities. 

thinkstock

LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA -- Voters in Lake Station and Munster voted on Tuesday to raise their property taxes to support their local school districts, while East Chicago voters soundly rejected their district's referendum bid.  Here are the unofficial figures, from the Lake County Board of Elections:

Munster --  Public Question #1  (School Tax Levy, Replacing One Passed In 2015 Referendum)

2903        67.94% Yes

1370        32.06% No

 

Public Question #2   (Building Repairs, Tech. Expansion Project)

2892        67.81% Yes

IU Northwest

Today:   Tom Pappas of the city of Portage veterans committee joins us in the studio with the latest on what the committee will talk about on Wednesday night in Portage, along with how well Hoosier veterans' groups did in their negotiations with state legislators, and a big "scam alert" for veterans who call the wrong VA Choice toll-free phone number. (Hint: The official number is an 866, not 800 phone number).

Waylan Cooley, Photographer

One of Indiana's newest members of the General Assembly came into the Lakeshore Public Radio studios on Monday to talk about his first trip to Indianapolis to serve as a lawmaker and a bill he sponsored that started out his Indiana Legislature career. 

Gary Community School Corp.

Today:  An extended conversation with Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Merrillville), on his first (and very busy) General Assembly session.  He talks at length about his Senate Enrolled Act 567, which creates the mechanism for a state-appointed emergency manager for the Gary Community School Corp., a financial management board and where the Mayor of Gary, the elected School Board and Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt fit into the efforts in helping resolve the academically- and financially-troubled school district's longtime problems.  A public forum with Melton and his north Lake County

Lakeshore Public Media

Today:  It's another Reporters' Round Table discussion of the big news stories of the week here in northwest Indiana.

Times of Northwest Indiana health and healthcare business reporter Giles Bruce, Post-Tribune reporters Carole Carlson and Carrie Napoleon and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations education reporter Claire Mcinerny join us to talk about the stories and issues.

Wikipedia

Today:  a conversation by "Living On Earth" host Steve Curwood with environmental journalist Dan Egan, on his new book that looks at the death -- and life -- of the Great Lakes.

Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura talks about his marketing campaign for the new Mascot Hall of Fame, now under construction, and other projects in the city -- and he offers an update about major lakefront economic development.

Annie Ropeik, IPBS

U. S. Senator Joe Donnelly gave Lakeshore Public Radio an update on several big issues here in northwest Indiana, the Hoosier State and on Capitol Hill in a Wednesday-morning conversation that airs today on "Regionally Speaking."

Donnelly began his comments with his latest efforts to get the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to tour East Chicago's lead-tainted neighborhoods.

NWI Times

The Indiana Gaming Commission issued its March revenue report from the Hoosier State's casinos and analyst Ed Feigenbaum came on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about how the northwest Indiana riverboats did -- as well as about gaming-related legislation that came up during the 2017 General Assembly session. 

Ed also talked about other bills and issues that were debated and passed by lawmakers this past session.  Here's the conversation, aired on Tuesday.

Brandon Smith, IPBS News

Today:  A conversation with Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the Indiana Gaming Insight and Indiana Legislative Insight newsletters,  about the March 2017 revenue report from the northwest Indiana casinos, the impact of outside forces on the riverboats -- and Ed's review of some of the big bills from the just-ended 2017 General Assembly session.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez joins us with some good news for the city of Gary -- a recent survey from the website shows that Gary mortgage holders are the third least over-leveraged in the country.

Money SmartWeek.org

Every spring, thousands of banks and other financial institutions join in a nation-wide financial education effort called “Money Smart Week.” It began 15 years ago in a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago... and Doug Tillett was in the room for that first meeting and all of the others that've followed.  Doug came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about how the project began and grew from a Midwest idea to across the country.

Sr. Joseph's College

Today:  A group of St. Joseph's College faculty are suing the Catholic-affiliated college in Rensselaer for how the college is handling the suspension of operations and their employment status.  One of the faculty members talks about the group's frustration over not knowing when their employment will officially end and if they'll get any severance-related benefits or help in finding new jobs.

City of Whiting

Whiting city officials are working on a nationwide marketing approach to its Mascot Hall of Fame, now under construction.  I went to Mayor Joe Stahura's office to get the latest on the project and others underway in his city.  Here's the conversation, which airs on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday, April 26th.

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