Local News

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Lead Testing In East Chicago

Apr 20, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Thursday designating parts of East Chicago, Indiana, as “areas of special concern.”

The bill indefinitely extends parts of Holcomb’s emergency declaration to expand lead testing in the city’s soil and water.

Environmental Activists take a wait and see approach to promises of help from the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt made a visit to East Chicago this week, as Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore reports...

Supermarket News

Today: It is Reporters' Round Table day on "Regionally Speaking," as we call on local reporters who worked on some of the major stories of the week to review and talk about them. 

Highland based grocer Strack & Van Til announced Tuesday it will sell off 22 of its stores and close nine under performing stores immediately.  Strack's parent company Central Grocers Inc. is working with a legal team and financial advisors toward implementing a sale of Strack and Van Till stores, which will continue to operate as normal until a sale is official. Two of the 9 stores closing immediately are based in Indiana, the Gary Ultra and the Merrill Point Ultra in Merrillville, the rest of the seven stores are based in Illinois.

Howey Politics Indiana

Today:   Howey Politics Indiana editor-publisher Brian Howey joins us to talk about some of the topics in his recent newsletter columns, as well as his views on the final days of the 2017 General Assembly session.

 

Cyberbullying is the topic of a recent "CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon" television conversation.  His guests were Cathie Bledsoe of the Indiana State Police, Northwest Indiana Times editor Bob Heisse and School Town of Highland Superintendent Brian Smith.

 

Indiana Town Considers Water Utility Sale

Apr 18, 2017

 

Lake Station, Indiana, is treading water.

“We have no money whatsoever in this city,” says Bill Carrol, who manages the Ace Hardware in town.

Lake Station’s operating budget is $2 million overdrawn. Because of the city’s debt, the state is forcing budget cuts. So, Lake Station is considering selling its drinking water utility to a private company, Indiana American Water.

Today:   A conversation with Indiana economist, writer and public speaker Morton Marcus on how the Indiana Economic Development Corp. shouldn't have offered state funds to two businesses to relocate jobs inside a county, a move that won't affect the overall state economy -- and how local and state decisions can be affected by proposed Trump administration budget cuts. 

A recent "Byline" report from the Times of Northwest Indiana looks at a Gary city government commission that focuses on crime fighting and crime prevention in the Steel City. 

Monique French speaks at a rally to raise the tobacco tax in Indiana.
(Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

In the last few hours of the legislative session, as lawmakers work out the final details of the budget, the proposed cigarette tax increase faces its last chance to pass.

Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Media

March until June is nesting season for Canada geese, and that can become a problem for Hoosier property owners.  During nesting season these geese are especially aggressive, sometimes attacking and nipping at people to protect their nests.  But you can get a permit in Indiana to destroy their eggs, nests and even kill the adults.

coins.ha.com

A gold coin donated to a northwestern Indiana church is so rare it's helping pay for construction of a new church building. Pastor Ben Lamb Says Grace Point Church was founded in 2009 with a bare bones budget and operated out of an elementary school.  As the Church grew, the congregation came together and raised enough money to purchase a building. However, with general maintenance and renovations figured into the cost, the church was still short $300,000.

Ball State University

Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research Executive Director Michael Hicks came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about the Indiana and national job outlooks, as well as the latest about factories of not only Indiana-based firms -- but companies with only a presence in the Hoosier State. 

Hicks also tells us about a new report from the CBER on the link between educational attainment and earnings.  Here's the conversation.

Ray Steele blog

Today:  Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research Executive Director Michael Hicks joins us to talk about the Indiana and national job outlooks, as well as the latest about factories of not only Indiana-based firms -- but companies with only a presence in the Hoosier State.  Hicks also tells us about a new report from the CBER on the link between educational attainment and earnings.

"Great Lakes Today" reporter Rebecca Thiele tells us about potential changes of the U.S. lakefronts when more nuclear power plants shut down. 

MERRILLVILLE - Lakeshore Public Radio – 89.1 FM won 3 first place 2016 Indiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

John Cain talks with Kirk Muspratt about the 75th Anniversary of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Northwest Indiana Symphony. 

IPBS

Today: our first "Regionally Speaking" Reporters' Roundtable discussion of the big local stories of the week, including updates on the East Chicago lead-arsenic contamination cleanup and the impact of the contamination on the West Calumet Housing Project.  The EPA Secretary  and HUD Secretary will visit East Chicago to see first-hand the issues and the cleanup.  We also discuss the investigation into a leak of the chemical chromium-6 from a U.S. Steel waste outlet into Burns Waterway in Portage, just hundreds of feet from Lake Michigan.

Steven Lattimore / Lakeshore Public Media

Residents from across the Midwest say they are banding together to fight for environmental justice.  They held an Anti-Trump march in downtown Chicago, on Tuesday, April 11th, to fight a proposed plan to defund the Environmental Protection Agency.  As Steven Lattimore reports, East Chicago advocacy groups were there to make their voices heard as they deal with the lead contamination crisis that has impacted residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex.

U.S. Steel Chemical Spill Threatens Lake Michigan

Apr 12, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to a chemical spill, which threatens beaches and the nearest public water intake, from the U.S. Steel facility in Portage.

US Steel reported Tuesday the wastewater spill into Burns Waterway, about 100 yards away from Lake Michigan. In a statement released late Wednesday, U.S. Steel says the spill resulted from an equipment failure and it has idled all production processes at the facility.

edutopia.org

For Financial Literacy Month,  we asked northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer to come on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday to give us some basic tips and advice to follow on planning and implementing some sound financial goals. 

A recent national study found two out of every three American adult lack financial literacy.  Here's the conversation.

The Second Annual Civility takes time out to encourage good behavior. And as Steven Lattimore reports it might seem like something simple but organizers say the result it something special .

Community Healthcare System

Today:  a conversation with two Community Hospital officials on the new Surgical Center at the Munster hospital that is in its final stages of completion.  Dr. Richard Berkowitz and John Olmstead talk about the goals and objectives behind the $20 million project and how it fits into northwest Indiana's overall  healthcare picture. 

YouTube-Community Healthcare

The  nearly four-year-long Surgical Services Department project at Community Hospital in Munster is nearly complete.  It is part of a $40 million total investment that began five years ago and included the new Emergency Department Pavilion and additional private rooms.

The Environmental Protection Agency and East Chicago’s mayor remain at a standstill over the future of a lead-contaminated public housing complex.

After Mayor Anthony Copeland doubled down on his insistence that the EPA clean West Calumet Housing Complex to a residential standard, the EPA has maintained it can’t move forward with cleanup until it gets more information from the city.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

The Indiana General Assembly is in the final weeks of the 2017 Session, and northwest Indiana lawmakers are busy working on passage of bills that they sponsored or co-sponsored as well as other measures, including funding for transportation improvements and a new two-year state budget. 

Times of Northwest Indiana's man at the Statehouse -- Dan Carden -- was on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to offer an update on the important issues before legislators.  Here's the conversation.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Today:  Northwest Indiana Times Statehouse reporter Dan Carden joins us for an update on what local legislators are working on, in the final days of the 2017 General Assembly session.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Today:  excerpts from Friday's vigil and rally outside the Gary-Chicago International Airport of citizens protesting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement flights of deported undocumented immigrants out of the Midwest.  About 50 people stood in the chilly winds along Airport Road outside the Airport, listening to speakers and chanting in protest when two unmarked buses filled with deportees passed by.

Indiana Public Broadcasting's Peter Balanon-Rosen has a report on "sanctuary campuses" and where Hoosier colleges and universities stand on the controversial issue.

city of east chicago

Today:  East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland offered his 2016 "State of the City" this week and Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore attended the event and has a report, along with comments from the mayor.

The Lake County Council is thinking about making some changes in the amount it is setting aside as its contribution to the South Shore Line expansion project and it may be much less than earlier committed.

 

Republicans rejected several attempts by Democrats Wednesday to increase pre-k funding as they voted down proposed amendments to the budget.

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