Local News

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

IndyStar.com

Today:  we have highlights of the races in the May 8th primary election, along with reaction from winners and from the "Times" reporters and political observers who joined us on Tuesday night's four-hour broadcast.

Voters Across Indiana Approve More School Funding

May 8, 2018

Every one of the 12 school funding measures on the primary ballot passed this week.

Anderson Community Schools had two measures on the line, for school operations and construction. Both passed with around 60 percent of voter approval.

Goshen Community Schools also had two measures up for consideration, but the margin of victory was a bit closer – both passed with a little more than 50 percent of the vote.

Sharon Bohling, Crossroads YMCA / Griffith Police Department

GRIFFITH - The Griffith Police Department has had a difficult time attracting female and minority applicants and is working to solve that.  Shortly after Greg Mance, became Chief of the department in 2013, he discovered how few minoriti es and females had an interest in applying for the police department. Many of those who did apply had a difficult time with the application process.

Today:   Ahead of Tuesday's primary election -- and Lakeshore Public Radio's Election Night coverage, beginning at 6PM -- we offer a look from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Barbara Brosher about the importance of young voters, if they come out to the polls. Barbara says many young voters don't participate in the primary election process.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention / American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

KOUTS - People will once again remember victims and family and friends of those who have committed suicide during the Out of the Darkness Walk on Sunday, May 6th.

Cindy Perkins, who is a Middle School and High School Teacher at Kouts Middle High School and advisor for the school's Family Career and Community Leaders of America club says the FCCLA is organizing the walk at the school.  It will be held at the Kouts school track.

Wes Aldridge

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Police departments in northwestern Indiana are turning to key fobs as a way to unlock doors at local schools electronically so officers can quickly enter if there's an emergency.

The Times reports that the newly implemented system in Crown Point gives officers access to all doors at every school in the district. Officers will also be issued a school ID card.

People are said to experience food insecurity when they do not have access to enough food for all family members to live a healthy, active life. An annual report measures the rate of food insecurity in Indiana slightly under the national average, almost 14 percent of the population. 

The county where the Map the Meal Gap report found the highest rate of food insecurity is Marion County, at 18.3 percent. The county with the lowest measured rate is Hamilton County, at 8.8 percent.  

Chris Starnes / Trains Magazine

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY - An investigation is underway into a CSX train derailment in which two people were injured.  Captain Chris Mckeand, of the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department says it happened at 12:45 a.m. on Thursday near Nappanee in Kosciusko County. 

He says the injuries to the victims were minor and they were treated and released.  Mckeand spoke to Lakeshore Public Radio at about 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday.  

(Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)

On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we turn to Dan Carden of the "Times of Northwest Indiana" for his stories on the final U.S. Senate candidates' debate held in Indianapolis and other stories this week -- and to Carole Carlson of the "Post-Tribune" for her stories about the upcoming primary election.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith completes his series of Senate candidate conversations with Todd Rokita. And we also have reporters and editors from the "Times" in one of the "That's So Region" podcasts. 

John Luke / The Times

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A special prosecutor will investigate allegations that a developer moved forward with a construction project at Indiana Dunes State Park without a permit.

The Times reports the Porter County prosecutor made the request because his senior staff members are acquaintances with developer Chuck Williams.

Counties Want Out Of New Indiana Abortion Lawsuit

May 2, 2018
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie (left) and ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk discuss a recent victory in an abortion lawsuit. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Three Indiana county prosecutors don’t want to defend the state’s new anti-abortion law against a suit brought by Planned Parenthood.

IU Northwest

Today:   Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman is back in the studio to talk about events coming up this month -- including another immigration deportation protest vigil at the Gary-Chicago International Airport, and of an upcoming lawsuit hearing in federal court in Hammond involving the city of Gary. That hearing is all about Gary's "welcoming city" status.

We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," with Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities.  He talks with Dunes Learning Center executive Geoff Benson.

Governor's Workforce Cabinet Meets For The First Time

May 1, 2018

A couple of months after being created by lawmakers, the newly-formed Governor’s Workforce Cabinet met for the first time Tuesday.

A mixture of government and education officials, as well as business leaders from across the state make up the 21-person cabinet. Chairman Danny Lopez says the cabinet must be results-driven to work. 

Indiana University Bloomington

Today:   we talk to the president of Great Schools, Matthew Nelson, about the organization's first-of-a-kind list of more than 800 public and charter high schools across the country -- 45 of which are in Indiana and five in northwest Indiana -- that received "College Success Awards."  It's an award which recognizes schools that are doing the best at preparing students to get into and succeed in college.  The five local schools are: Chesterton Senior High School, Hanover Central High School in Cedar Lake, Munster High School.

GOP Senate Candidates On The Attack In Final Debate

Apr 30, 2018
Indiana's Republican U.S. Senate candidates (from left) Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg), Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg), and Mike Braun greet each other after the final debate before the May primary election. (Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)
Brandon Smith

The final debate between Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun, U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) was focused almost entirely on attacks between each candidate.

The moderator at one point implored them to answer his specific question – a request the candidates mostly ignored.

quitsmokingsupport.com / quitsmokingsupport.com

LAKE AND PORTER COUNTY - The negative effects of bad air quality on the health of Lake and Porter County residents is prominent.  Each year the American Lung Association releases a "State of the Air" report, which collects data from monitors operated by State Environmental Protection agencies in all states.  The organization evaluates the data to determine the air quality county by county. 

Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association says just over 114,550 Lake County residents suffer from lung disease.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates vying for a chance to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates hoping to emerge from the state’s Republican primary and face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) this fall. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith discussed the campaign with Rokita, who formerly served as Indiana’s Secretary of State.

Barbara Brosher / WTIU/WFIU

For the final time in the Republican Primary race, U.S. Rep.'s Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, along with Mike Braun, will debate for the U.S. Senate race. The winner in the May 8th primary election will go on to face Democratic incumbent, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.

The live video stream is available here:

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