Local News

Tony Martin, Times Media / Provided by Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Forum, the seven-county economic development organization is taking part in creating a regional economic development strategic playbook.

The organization serves Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke Counties.  Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, says the development of a regional economic development plan will work to serve all the partners in a more combined fashion.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Two members of the Latin Kings gang in northwestern Indiana have been convicted of federal racketeering and drugs charges linked to the slaying of a 15-year-old boy.

U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announced Wednesday that a jury found 28-year-old Darrick Vallodolid of Hobart and 44-year-old Robert Nieto of Gary guilty following an 11-day jury trial in Hammond. The charges they were convicted of Tuesday include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

The Fix website

Today:   Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds joins us to talk about the series of roundtable discussions  that he and his fellow Indiana Sheriffs Association members have held across the state -- including one at his jail in Valparaiso recently -- to talk about the big issues that they are dealing with.  They include narcotics (the opioid epidemic, in particular), mental health issues and overcrowded jails.  Reynolds will become the president of the ISA in about two years from now.

NWITimes.com

Three months have passed since the deadly school shooting at Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida and the nation is, yet again, faced with another set of school shootings.  The most recent shooting, happening at Noblesville West Middle School.

 

Yellowstone Public Radio

Today:    A conversation with Justin Phillips, a mother of three (and a victim of the opioid addiction problem) who created an overdose lifeline in central Indiana -- and is now Indiana co-director of Addiction Policy Forum.  It's a statewide telephone and online resource to addicts, their families and others caught up in the opioid epidemic.  We also bring back IPBS reporter Jill Sheridan's conversation with journalist - author Sam Quionones -- who just wrote a book about the crisis. 

Provided by Brian Kallies

NORTHWEST INDIANA/CHICAGO - A City at War: Chicago, a new documentary by Executive Producer, Writer, Director John Davies, and by Co-Executive Producer, Editor and Director of Photography, Brian Kallies and hosted by Bill Kurtis, makes it National Public Television premiere this Memorial Day weekend on more than 100 stations.  Lakeshore Public Radio spoke with Kallies, who back in 2005 was a production manager at Lakeshore Public Television.  He is now living in Los Angeles and making documentaries like, A City at War: Chicago," which will air on Lakeshore PBS on May 28th at 9:00pm.

Indy Suburbs Fastest Growing Cities, Towns In Indiana

May 24, 2018

Indiana outpaces the Midwest for population growth. But a new Indiana Business Research Center study finds the suburbs around Indianapolis take the spotlight.

Suburban counties around Indianapolis are growing rapidly, while other metropolitan areas in the state like Gary and Evansville are losing population.

Indiana Business Research Center senior analyst Matt Kinghorn says that’s part of a larger trend for the state. While Indiana isn’t growing as fast as southern or western states, but Kinghorn says Indiana is still standing out. 

city of Gary

Today:  On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we ask "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters Giles Bruce and Andrew Steele and "Post-Tribune" reporter Greg Tejeda to join us, to talk about the stories they worked on for the newspaper and Web sites -- including the latest from the city of Gary, northwest Indiana  healthcare and transportation. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson also has her feature on a  documentary airing this holiday on Lakeshore PBS about life in Chicago during World War II.

IDEM Predicts High Ozone In Indiana On Thursday

May 23, 2018

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management predicts high levels of ozone for most of the state on Thursday May 23. This means children, seniors, and anyone with a heart or lung condition should avoid strenuous work or exercise outside. 

The Chicago Lighthouse-Vimeo

Today:   Steve and Georgianne Pangere are going to receive a special award from The Chicago Lighthouse on June 22nd, and they join us ahead of the event to talk about it, as well as about Steve's amazing story of life after blindness.  That story includes success in continuing the family business to the success it is today.

Photo Provided

Hoosier legislators returned to the Statehouse recently for just one day -- for a special session that was called by House and Senate leaders to finish work that wasn't completed before the chaotic end of the regular session.  State Senator Eddie Melton came on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the work done in that one-day session -- and its impact on northwest Indiana, particularly in Gary.   Here's that conversation.

Photo Provided

Today:   we look at last week's Regional Transportation Summit, sponsored by the Gary Public Transportation Corp. and held at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond.  The Summit brought together a number of public officials as well as planners, administrators and advocacy groups to explore the future of public transportation in northwest Indiana.

Heather Eidson / The Times

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Environmental groups are urging northwest Indiana residents to comment on a proposed federal settlement over a U.S. Steel plant's discharging of a potentially carcinogenic chemical that entered a Lake Michigan tributary.

The Times reports that the public comment period on the proposed settlement ends June 6. Save the Dunes and the Ogden Dunes Environmental Advisory Board will host a public meeting Wednesday about the settlement.

Lauren Cross / The Times

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Authorities in Indiana are continuing an investigation into a weekend shooting that wounded two off-duty police officers.

The Times reports that both officers were patrons at Growlers Bar in Highland, Indiana, when they were shot early Saturday.

The officers are from East Chicago and Gary.

Gary-Chicago International Airport

GARY, Ind. (AP) — The Gary/Chicago International Airport has reopened its main runway after a three-week closure to rebuild much of it.

Airport officials say crews were able to complete work for the $7.9 million runway project on Saturday. The project involved replacing the aging asphalt with concrete on about 4,000 feet of the nearly 9,000-foot-long main runway, along with installing new storm drain piping.

The Gary airport says the project increases the runway's weight limit and allows it to handle larger planes. Crews completed the runway work a day ahead of schedule.

Provided

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A former Lake County Sheriff's Department official has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during a public corruption investigation that led to the conviction of former Sheriff John Buncich.

The Post-Tribune reports that former Deputy Chief Dan Murchek appeared Monday in U.S. District Court.

Kiichiro Sato / AP Photo

RENSSELAER, Ind. (AP) — Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is helping out a now-shuttered northwestern Indiana college that once hosted the Bears' preseason camps.

Ditka will be the featured speaker at a June 9 fundraiser benefiting the renovation of a former St. Joseph's College campus building.

That building would become a new residence hall for the Rensselaer campus if a proposed partnership with Marian University allows it to reopen as a two-year school. The Catholic school closed last year under $27 million in debt.

metro recycling

Today:   An extensive conversation with Neil Samahon, the CEO of Metro Recycling -- northwest Indiana's  metals recycling operation.  The company, based in Blue Island but with big operations in Griffith and Valparaiso,  just received a "Business of the Year" award from Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air.  Neil talks about not only his operations -- but about the impact that overseas trade and tariff issues can have on the business.

Geese swim in overflow from the St. Joseph River,
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

Three new Disaster Recovery Centers opened in Northern Indiana this week to help residents still dealing with aftermath from this year’s floods.

The centers operated by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are intended to help those seeking federal assistance for flood damages. Center workers are available to help navigate resources and assist with registration.

MERRILLVILLE - Indiana State Police confirmed this Thursday that they have been asked to investigate an excessive force complaint against three Lake County sheriff's officers. 

The investigation was spurred by an excessive force complaint filed with the Gary Police Department by Miata L. Lawson, 27, of Gary following her arrest on May 9th, for suspicion of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, battery on law enforcement and public intoxication.

WRTV/General Assembly

Today:  On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we asked Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations' statehouse reporter Brandon Smith to talk about the special legislative session on Monday, and Joseph Pete of the "Times of Northwest Indiana" to tell us about the stories he posted online and in print.   They included the dramatic rise in gasoline prices in northwest Indiana and of an upcoming cable TV network documentary about a Hobart woman who could be considered a serial killer.

Streets Blog Chicago website

Today:   Gary Public Transportation Corp. general manager Daryl Lampkins and Northwest Indiana RDA spokesman Dave Wellman are in the studio to talk about this week's Regional Transportation Summit -- a day-and-one-half-long event that begins on Thursday at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond.  The mission of the event is to hold "crucial conversations" dealing with the challenges, efficiencies, connectivity and growth of the Region's public transportation system.

The state department of education hosted a school safety roundtable Tuesday, with school safety specialists from across the country.

Sharon Bohling, Crossroads YMCA / Griffith Police Department

GRIFFITH - Shortly after Greg Mance became Chief of the Griffith Police Department, he became aware of a big challenge of the job, getting female and minority applicants to apply. Then there was the even bigger challenge of getting them successfully through the application and testing process, to getting hired as an officer.  Mance enrolled other organizations to help solve that problem.

National Association of Realtors

Today:   Northwest Indiana Realtor associate Laura Konieczny of LaPorte talks about the REMAX Integra Midwest 2018 home buying and selling market report -- which includes an update for the region.  She says the average home selling price rose 8.8% from this time last year to $120,278.  That's the highest first-quarter price for the past five years.  Laura also notes what other Realtors are saying -- buyers are competing for fewer homes on the market.

IU-Purdue Fort Wayne

Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about last week's primary elections and his "take"on the winners and how he sees the campaigns shaping up during the months before the November general election.  This includes the contentious Republican Party race for U.S. Senate, won by Mike Braun.  Here's the conversation.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says some Hoosier taxpayers would have seen tax increases without legislation approved during the special session. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers approved two substantial tax measures during Monday’s one-day special session.

Many of the provisions sought to conform state tax laws with major policy changes made by the recent federal tax reform bill – which Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says is part of what made a special session necessary.

Today:   Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne joins us to talk about last week's primary elections and his "take"on the winners and how he sees the campaigns shaping up during the months before the November general election,  This includes the contentious Republican Party race for U.S. Senate, won by Mike Braun.

Celina Weatherwax of the Valparaiso-based MAAC Foundation talks about the addition to the training center curriculum of OSHA safety training courses for northwest Indiana businesses and industries.

Donnelly-Braun Race Shaping Up To Be Contentious

May 11, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and his Republican challenger Mike Braun. (Photos courtesy of the U.S. Senate and Indiana General Assembly)
Brandon Smith

The Senate race between incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Republican Mike Braun is fully underway as both men gear up for what’s likely to be a contentious campaign. 

Today:   It's Reporter's Roundtable Thursday and we asked three "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters to join us to talk about the May 8th primary election races they kept track of -- Bill Dolan, Dan Carden and Carmen McCollum.  Carmen reported on the Lake Central and Crown Point school referenda questions.  The "Times'" Lauren Cross talked about her story on the financial questions under review of the city of Gary's ambulance and EMS-related bank accounts.  And Chicago "Tribune" reporter Michael Hawthorne talks about his story of more lead contamination found in neighborhoods in northwest

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