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Air in the Rust Belt blog

Today:   we close out the month of April with a reminder about an important public presentation at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso on Monday evening.  Two dynamic speakers  are dealing with the proliferation of violent video games, bullying and school shootings.  It's a program sponsored in part by Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds, and he talks about the speakers and the topics.

Annie Ropeik, IPBS

On this edition of "Lakeshore Update," we'll hear about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s unannounced visit to East Chicago, Lauren Chapman reports on a deportation vigil in Indianapolis,  Governor Eric Holcomb is planning a trip to Israel and Europe, and Chris Nolte has a conversation about a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) on a certified organic dairy in Newton County. All of that, and more, on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

Messer Discusses Issues In Bruising Senate Primary

Apr 27, 2018
Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) is one of three Republicans vying to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Three Republican candidates are jockeying for a chance to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly this year. Luke Messer joined that race after serving in Congress since 2013 – with a few years at the Statehouse on his resume before that. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith talked with Messer about issues in the bruising GOP primary campaign.

Former state representative Mike Braun is one of three candidates running for a chance to face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith
Indiana Economic Digest

On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we check in with "Indianapolis Star" political columnist (a northwest Indiana native and former local reporter) Matthew Tully about his columns on the three Republican Party candidates for U.S. Senate.  He brings us up-to-date on their antics on the campaign trail and on the debate stage.  The final pre-election debate is coming up in Indianapolis.  Rob Earnshaw of the "Times" talks about his stories out of Crown Point, including the story of a municipal water customer with an outrageously high bill.

When the polls close, you'll know. Tune-in for election night coverage, beginning at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, May 8th. You can follow the latest updates on social media, as well, with #NWIPolitics.

Starting at 6:00 PM, Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM will air statewide primary election night coverage from Indiana Public Broadcasting. Stan Jastrzebski, News Director of WBAA, will host the first hour of coverage from West Lafayette, IN.

Shelbie J. Luna / Instagram

Ragen Hatcher and Jessica Renslow debate for the open State Representative of District 3 seat. Chris Nolte, host of "Regionally Speaking," moderated the debate, held at Temple Israel, in Gary, IN. The debate was in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area. Primary election night coverage will be on-air, on Tuesday, May 8th, at 6:00 PM, on Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM.

Click here for the Facebook Live video feed from the debate.

Indiana Dept of Child Services

Today:   Retired Indiana University Northwest professor Rick Hug joins us to talk about his creation -- now in its 28th year.  The Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect will be held on the Gary campus on Friday, in the new Arts and Sciences Building.  Hug says they have a very knowledgable keynote speaker and participant in one of the workshops this year. 

Lakeshore Public Media

LAKE AND PORTER COUNTY - Lake County's air quality grade for Ozone is at the bottom of the scale.  Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association, says for the past 19 years the American Lung Association has put out a "State of the Air" report, which collects data from monitors operated by State Environmental Protection agencies in all states.  The American Lung Association evaluates the data to determine the air quality county by county.

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

Natural Prairie Dairy Indiana website

Today:  a conversation with Will De Jong, the operations manager for the new Natural Prairie Dairy organic farm in northern Newton County.  It's a facility that has drawn attention from nearby residents for its plan to build a controversial confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) for the dairy cows that will live and graze on the pasture and produce milk for sale to local markets.  The farm is owned by Donald and Cheri De Jong.  The operation's explained in more detail here.

Indiana Brownfields Coalition

Today:   Kay Nelson with the Northwest Indiana Forum joins us in the studio  to talk about Wednesday's NWI Forum and NIRPC co-sponsored brownfield redevelopment education panel discussion, to be held in Portage.  Brownfields are defined as former industrial or commercial sites where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination,  Northwest Indiana has a multitude of them -- but many have great redevelopment potential, if the problems can be resolved.

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This week on "Lakeshore Update" we'll hear the about the indictment on former Lake County police commander Dan Murchek, Barbara Broscher has the latest on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Brandon Smith reports on Congressman Todd Rokita's plans to participate in an upcoming Senate GOP primary debate and Chris Nolte has a conversation with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch about the 2018 General Assembly Session. All of that, and more on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

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PRESS RELEASE: US Attorney's Office Northern District of Indiana

HAMMOND – Daniel Murchek, 57, of Schererville, Indiana was indicted for making false statements to federal authorities, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. 

Indiana Parenting Institute / Indiana Parenting Institute

GARY - April is Parenting Awareness Month Indiana and local organization, the Indiana Parenting Institute uses the occasion to help educate and support people in the critical task of parenting.  

Jena Bellezza, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Branding for the local chapter in Gary says Parenting Awareness Month is about drawing people's attention to parenting and the challenges that it presents.

Two men, convicted and later exonerated for rape, announced yesterday they are suing the city of Hammond and local and state authorities for allegedly framing them for rape.

 

Roosevelt Glenn and Darryl Pinkins spent a combined 42 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape in the early 90s. Glenn was later released on parole in 2009, while Pinkins was released in 2016.

 

Purdue University Northwest

Today:  we have two major conversations --  first,Leslie Plesac, the executive director of the Sinai Forum at Purdue University Northwest, is in the studio to talk about the first speaker for the 65th season of the town  hall-style series:  former FBI Director, and now award-winning author, James Comey.  His talk is scheduled for Sept. 9 in Michigan City.  And then, Gary Mayor Karen Freman-Wilson joins us from City Hall to talk about a multi-faceted anti-crime strategy that involves city officials, the faith community and Gary residents.

NPR

Today:    we look at one facet of the opioid addiction crisis that is gripping the nation as well as the state of Indiana -- the enormous cost that it brings, in terms of families as well as communities.  NPR News is reviewing the issue in Muncie, Indiana and interviewed Ball State University economist Michael Hicks for its Web story.  Professor Hicks, the director of the Center for Business Economics and Research, compared the opioid epidemic to a war in economic terms.  He discusses with us the personal  economic impact, and his team's new report that compares how jobs as well as health i

Report: Indiana Air Pollution Hurts Hoosier Health

Apr 17, 2018

A new national report outlines the impact of pollution in Indiana on public health and finds communities across the state register significant negative impacts.

Indianapolis, South Bend and Madison rank low for communities that experience poor air quality leading to asthma, respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. American Lung Association Senior Vice President Paul Billings says factors like vehicle traffic impact air quality in northern and central Indiana. 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Debate Commission’s April 30 televised U.S. Senate Republican primary debate includes a three-candidate field in what will be the only statewide debate offered live to hundreds of Indiana media outlets.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita had initially declined, while Indiana businessman Mike Braun and U.S. Rep. Luke Messer had confirmed the hour-long time slot to debate. With all three now committed with an agreement signed today, the April 30 debate will be broadcast 7 p.m. EDT.

Montana Public Media

Today:   Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds joins us to talk about a special program coming up on April 30th at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso, where two nationally-known speakers will talk very candidly about the dangers of bullying and violent video games, as they relate to the ongoing issue of school shootings.  The Porter County Safe Schools Commission is working with the Sheriff's Department on this program.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission. (WFIU/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County

Residents in Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties are invited to spend a day this coming Saturday connecting with the environment, be educated and have some fun in the process.  The annual Earth Day Celebration will be held at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Donna Stuckert, the Public Education Coordinator for the District, was on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about Earth Day, its importance and about all of the events to be held this weekend.

renslow4rep.com

Today:   a conversation with one of the two Democratic Party primary election candidates for Indiana House District 3 -- Gary community builder Jessica Renslow. Renslow and Gary Common Councilwoman Ragen Hatcher will be on the May 8th election ballot, seeking the party nomination for the seat vacated when State Representative Charlie Brown retired.  We reached out to Ms. Hatcher with an invitation to join us, but have not yet received a response before this program.

Indiana State Of Our Health Tour Kicks Off

Apr 13, 2018
Community Health Network CEO and Alliance Chairman Bryan Mills addresses the State of Our Health summit in Indianapolis. (Alliance for a Healthier Indiana)
Jill Sheridan

The inaugural Indiana State of Our Health Summit was held in Indianapolis.  The event also kicked off a statewide tour to raise awareness about Indiana’s poor health rankings.

American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation / American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation

NORTHWEST INDIANA - If you've ever been curious about what's outside your window on a South Shore train ride between Millenium Station in Chicago and South Bend, there is an organization with members that volunteer on the weekends in the summer to help educate and inform.  Robert Tabern, Executive Director of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation says there are a lot of places and things of interest between Northwest Indiana and Chicago.

GasBuddy / GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Gasoline prices are starting to shoot up in Northwest Indiana.  That's according to GasBuddy head of Petroleum Analysis P atrick DeHaan who spoke to Lakeshore Public Radio on Wednesday.  

"Gas prices across most of Northwest Indiana are going up to $2.89 a gallon whereas outside Northwest Indiana, the rest of the state is looking at an increase to $2.79," DeHaan says. "Of course this time of year Northwest Indiana makes the switch to reformulated gasoline whereas the rest of the state doesn't have to so."

Photo Provided

Today:   It's Reporter's Roundtable Thursday and we have on the program: Meredith Colias-Pete from the "Post-Tribune," Jon Gard of the LaPorte "Herald Argus" and Michigan City "News-Dispatch," and Joseph Pete from the "Times of Northwest Indiana."  They talk about the stories they had in print and online for their newspapers.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson is also on the program with her story of a Highland teacher who uses art to enhance the school's STEM curriculum.

Local Attorney Tapped For Federal Post

Apr 12, 2018
3c036b9b-f0eb-4974-819e-499480a6121e
Rebecca Green

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the appointment of Fort Wayne attorney Holly Brady to the federal bench.

A 1991-graduate of Indiana University with a degree in English, Brady practices law at Haller & Colvin. She obtained her law degree from Valparaiso School of Law in 1994.

 

Wikipedia

Today:  we find out the latest in a semi-annual report from PNC Financial Services Group from a survey of small- and mid-sized Indiana businesses owners and executives on the Hoosier economy -- how it's going and what needs to be improved.  They mention the lower percentage of qualified employees that can be hired in Indiana.  Kurt Rankin is a vice president and economist with PNC.

We have the latest edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean Cities.  Host Carl Lisek talks with Therese Haller of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District.

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