Local News

Marc Chase / Northwest Indiana Times

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Flooding on the Kankakee River continues to present challenges for those living in Schneider. Todd Kluber, Meteorologist with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville, on Wednesday said parts of the river will remain a concern in the short term.

Gary Community Schools

Today:  this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday features "Times of Northwest Indiana"  county government and politics reporter Bill Dolan and Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter Eric Weddle.  They talk about the stories they put out online and in print (in Bill's case), and on-the-air (in Eric's case) this week.

Today:  we revisit our conversation with Irene Boone Phillips and Mike Maska, both with Franciscan Health, which is a lead agency for the Lake County Smoking Prevention and Cessation Program.  The program's anti-smoking public information campaign continues this week.

9f557116-8761-4ca6-a743-36dc790eb91f
Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

Some property owners in Northern Indiana are preparing to face eminent domain battles as plans for South Shore Rail Line improvements move forward this year.

 

Sen. Todd Young Outlines Agenda, Kicks Off Series Of Roundtable Discussions

Feb 20, 2018

For the first stop in a series of roundtable discussions, Sen. Young  met with community and business leaders in Indianapolis to talk about the government’s role in tackling big issues. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


Indiana Republican U.S. Sen. Todd Young is travelling the state to hear from Hoosiers, an effort to help shape his agenda in office. It comes more than a year after Young was sworn into office.

Young calls it his Fair Shot Agenda, and it outlines four key areas: opportunity, safety, health, and better government.

Indiana Business Research Center

Today:  we talk to Carol Rogers, who is the Deputy Director and Chief Information officer for the Indiana Business Research Center in Indianapolis.  She is in charge of the award-winning interactive Web service STATS Indiana.  The site's become one of the nation's most-used public data sites  along with its sister site STATS America. You can find almost any statistic within Indiana on it, dating back more than 100 years.

State Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary)

Today:  A special edition of "Regionally Speaking" of the question-and-answer portion of the Feb. 7, 2018 public forum held at the Glen Theatre in Gary by the members of north Lake County's state legislative delegation. Most of the questions by constituents were about the House bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Harris, Jr., which sought to change the IDEM rules on the distance of a construction-demolition waste site from nearby residential property in the city of Gary.  Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was also on-hand to answer some questions.

GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen almost three cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.45/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has fallen just over five cents per gallon in the last week to $2.51/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy on Monday said that prices last week jumped briefly to about $2.49 per gallon and now things are cooling back off.

One of the first bills headed to the governor’s desk this session will allow Indiana students to easily carry and apply sunscreen at school.

That’s as some lawmakers grumble about why the bill was necessary.

Gary Emergency Manager Plan: Close High School, Reconfigure Grade Levels

Feb 16, 2018

The state-appointed manager of the Gary Community School Corporation told state officials Friday the district faces an $18 million annual deficit and a proposal to close two buildings is only the start of cutting costs.

Gary Schools emergency manager Peggy Hinckley asked the state’s Distressed Unit Appeal Board Friday to let her close the Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy and the district’s central office, formerly the Lincoln School, this summer.

Senate Education Committee Delays School Finance Bill Vote

Feb 15, 2018

An Indiana Senate committee has decided to postpone voting on a controversial school financials bill because of its effect on Muncie and Gary schools. Some committee members say the bill too radically changes plans lawmakers approved last session.

Last year, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) singled out Gary and Muncie schools for their financial debts, putting emergency management processes in place.

READ MORE: Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

Portage Police Department

PORTAGE - Schools were on lock down and police responded for several hours Thursday morning when the department received reports from several people regarding two men walking down the road with firearms.  Portage Police Chief Troy Williams says several calls came into the Portage Police Department at about 7:40 a.m. reporting sightings of two men walking near Fegely Middle School.

Celina Weatherwax, MAAC

Today:  on this Reporters' Roundtable, we hear from "Times" education reporter Carmen McCollum and "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson.  Both talk about the stories they contributed online and in print for their respective newspapers.   We also hear from MAAC Foundation's Celina Weatherwax about the next graduating class of volunteer firefighters from the Valparaiso-based Fire Training Academy.

NICTD/Thomas Woolworth

Today:  Michael Noland, the president of NICTD, talks about the progress of the two South Shore Line projects now moving through the funding and planning stages -- "Double Track NWI" and the "West Lake Corridor," which expands the commuter railroad service south from the existing east-west line through Hammond and Munster and into Dyer.

We also have the latest in a decision from a federal court judge on a request to allow East Chicago residents affected by the lead contamination in the area to participate in the court case. 

GasBuddy / GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have fallen just over 11 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.44/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has fallen almost four cents per gallon in the last week to $2.57/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.com says prices have plummeted nicely and prices declined another three cents per gallon on Monday.

Porter County govt website

Today: we revisit our conversation last month with Porter County Commissioner Jeff Good about the county's major capital improvement projects and the successful bond issue that is supporting them. 

We also bring you another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  The Welcome Project collects first-person stories and pairs them with intentional conversations to help forge stronger ties within and across our communities. This conversation is particularly poignant, because it involves a "DREAMER."

Ben Franklin Middle School

VALPARAISO - A Ben Franklin Middle School teacher has been accused of having "inappropriate communications" with a student. "The Times" reports Associate Superintendent Julie Lauck confirmed the allegation was brought to the administration's attention on January 31st. The incident allegedly happened three years ago.  The conversations took place on instant messaging.  The teacher has been placed on a leave of absence.

The Independent

Irene Boone Phillips and Mike Meska, both with Franciscan Health -- a lead community agency for the Lake County Smoking Prevention and Cessation Program -- came into the Lakeshore Public Radio studio on Monday to talk about the efforts this week, and the week of February 19th, across Indiana to tell stories and conversations that they hope will emphasize the importance of stopping smoking -- or not beginning to smoke at all. 

Both Irene and Mike say they want to make sure no one suffers any longer from the impact of the tobacco industry.

The Conversation web site

Today: Irene Boone Phillips and Mike Meska, both with Franciscan Health -- a lead community agency for the Lake County Smoking Prevention and Cessation Program -- join us in the studio to talk about the efforts this week, and the week of February 19th, across Indiana to tell stories and conversations that they hope will emphasize the importance of stopping smoking -- or not beginning to smoke at all.  Both Irene and Mike say they want to make sure no one suffers any longer from the impact of the tobacco industry.

Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Merrillville) wants to create a special legislative commission to investigate the Department of Child Services.

Melton says his proposal is meant to work in conjunction with ongoing independent efforts to explore issues at the embattled state agency.

Tax issues concerning short-term rentals – such as Airbnb – won’t get solved in the 2018 session.

/ South Shore Line

CHESTERTON - The South Shore Line has released a statement regarding the snow that's expected during the winter storm tonight into tomorrow (Thursday into Friday).  The significant snowfall that's expected over the next couple of days is within the South Shore Line service area. At this point, the South Shore anticipates all trains being on time, but they will keep passengers updated on any changes or service disruptions via their website, mobile app and email alerts and of course you can get that information at Lakeshore Public Radio, 89.1 fm.

The Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad will invest about $600,000 dolalrs into railroad improvements in LaPorte County from Wellsboro to LaCrosse.

 

The six hundred thousand dollars earmarked for infrastructure improvements across the approximate 28 miles of railroad come from a mix of grants from the Indiana Department of Transportation and private funds. Railroad officials say they are trying to keep up with business demands in the area.
 

Andrean High School / Diocese of Gary, IN

Today:  on this Reporters Roundtable Thursday, we turn to Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune" for her stories, mainly about education and the General Assembly session, and to Jon Gard, who is a reporter for the LaPorte "Herald Argus" and the Michigan City "News Dispatch."

Pintrest

NORTHWEST INDIANA - On the heels from a ration of about one to three inches of snow that hit the Region Monday evening, another round of snow is headed for Northwest Indiana.  Todd Kluber, Meteorologist with Chicago National Weather Service Office in Romeoville says we'll start to see the new snow system on Thursday.

Gary/Chicago Crusader

Today:  Dr. Vanessa Allen McCloud, the president and CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana joins us to talk about the 6th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards Luncheon, to be held on March 22nd in Merrillville.   She explains the categories for this year's awards -- how applicants can put in nominations for them -- and how the awards fit in with the Urban League's goals of promoting, encouraging and enhancing services for all minority groups in northwest Indiana.  The deadline for applications for this year's awards is February 16th.

Nurse-Family Partnership website

The Nurse-Family partnership, a successful program to help new mothers.  It's a program of Goodwill Industries Central and Southern Indiana and -- in our region -- Goodwill Industries of Michiana.  We talk with Paulette Maxie, director of operations of Nurse-Family Partnership and new northwest Indiana mother Julia Cook-Jones.  Julia not only has a new baby to take care of, but she's also working on her degree from Purdue University Northwest. Here's the conversation, aired on Tuesday on "Regionally Speaking."

GasBuddy / GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just under nine cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.58/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has increased almost two cents per gallon in the last week to $2.60/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, on Tuesday said prices are a bit higher than they were a week ago.  

Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne

Today: a conversation with Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne, about the half-way point in the 2018 General Assembly session.   Bills that originated in the Indiana House had to pass by Monday to make it to the Senate, and Senate-originated bills had to jump through the same hurdles on Tuesday.  He talks about the House bills now headed up for Senate review.

Lakeshore Public Media

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana is getting hit with more snow.  Ricky Castro, Meteorologist with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville says the system is going to be a continuation of what the Region received over the weekend.  Castro says the snow on Monday was expected to arrive in Northwest Indiana at around three in the afternoon, or slightly before.

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