Local News

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Steel will pay a $600,000 civil penalty and $630,000 to reimburse various federal agencies for costs and damages after one of its plants discharged wastewater containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical into a tributary of Lake Michigan, federal and state officials said Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department said those terms are contained in a consent decree filed Monday in federal court in which U.S. Steel promised to take steps to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Indiana law.

Jessica Renslow / Facebook


Lakeshore Public Radio conversations with candidates for public office in the May 2018 primary election began on Monday with the two Democratic Party candidates for Indiana Senate District 1.  Veteran incumbent Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) and his challenger, Fr. Mark Kurowski, came into the "Regionally Speaking" studio to talk about the reasons for running (or seeking re-election) and about the issues that affect Northwest Indiana residents.  The conversation became spirited at the end, as you can hear for yourself.

Gov. Holcomb Announces Rail Safety Program

Apr 3, 2018

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb was in Chesterton yesterday to unveil new details for the Local Trax Rail Overpass Program.
 

The new program stems from the Next Level Roads plan. It’s aimed at both decreasing traffic congestion and increasing safety around railroads.

Governor Holcomb said at least $125 million dollars will be available in matching state funds for local communities that apply for the grant.

Crews begin tearing down a portion of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 2. They drench the debris to prevent the spread of lead and arsenic contamination to the surrounding neighborhood. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Demolition began Monday afternoon on East Chicago’s West Calumet Housing Complex, but the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site still leaves former residents concerned for their future.

An excavator slowly tore down a duplex at the corner of Magnolia Lave and Aster Avenue as water canons sprayed onto and surrounding the building to prevent any contamination.

Kokomo Tribune

Today:  We begin our conversations with candidates for public office in the May 2018 primary election, with the two Democratic Party candidates for Indiana Senate District 1.  Veteran incumbent Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) and his challenger, Fr. Mark Kurowski, are in the studio to talk about the reasons for running (or seeking re-election) and about the issues that affect Northwest Indiana residents.

Gary Mayor: Lawmakers Need To Stay Out Of Our Schools

Apr 2, 2018
The mayor of Gary says lawmakers should let the current emergency management process function without further interference. (Steve Burns/WTIU)
Jeanie Lindsay

 

Lawmakers worked on a controversial school financial management bill this year, but it died in the last minutes of the regular session. The mayor of Gary says lawmakers should avoid more community specific mandates during the special session.

Indiana Parenting Institute

NORTHWEST INDIANA - April is Parenting Awareness Month Indiana and the Indiana Parenting Institute is marking the occasion with it's annual annual Kickoff Breakfast.  It's from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30th at the IBEW 697 headquarters in Merrillville.  

Jena Bellezza, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Branding, says the guest speaker is Dr. Lori Desautels [DE saut-els], of Butler University, who will be speaking on Educational Neuroscience and its application when working with youth who have had, or are currently experiencing, adversity and trauma.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana man accused of stealing two dogs and killing them, apparently because their owner rejected his advances, faces new charges in the case.

Lake County prosecutors charged 23-year-old Anthony M. Priestas on Wednesday with burglary, residential entry and theft.

Authorities say the Hammond man entered the Crown Point woman's home Feb. 21 when no one was home, stole her pugs Mugsey and Marley, and fatally beat them in adjacent Porter County.

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We turn on the faucet and expect the water to flow freely, but it isn't always that simple a procedure.  The flow is oftentimes interrupted by leaks in antiquated pipes.  Water utilities may not make regular inspections of their piping to search for these leaks.

TheStatehouseFile.com

Today:  on this Reporter's Roundtable, we bring in "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters Giles Bruce and Carmen McCollum to talk about the stories they covered in print and online for the newspaper.  We also bring you an extended conversation with State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) about the efforts to improve the state's water infrastructure improvement.  Besides his work in the Indiana General Assembly, Charbonneau participated in a recent Great Lakes states policy workshop on the issue.

Adra Young

GARY - Seeing the impact bullying has on so many kids, Gary Author Adra Young, wrote a book of realistic fiction called "The Misfits."  Realistic fiction is a genre consisting of stories that could have actually occurred to people in a believable setting. The stories resemble real life, and fictional characters within these stories react similarly to real people.

Young says her latest book was released in March of 2017 and she has sold about one thousand copies of "The Misfits."  

Michigan City Schools Launch Solar Power Initiative

Mar 28, 2018
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Michigan City Area Schools

Michigan City Area Schools today celebrated the addition of new solar arrays to its facilities in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Krueger Middle School.

 

The recently installed ground-mount solar arrays feed into the NIPSCO power grid and the school corporation expects the new solar panels, which have been placed  at 7 of its 16 facilities, including the main administration building, to offset utility costs by at least 52 percent per year.  

 

That’s an annual savings of about $704,000 dollars.

INDOT

Today:  a conversation with Matt Deitchley, director of communications for the LaPorte District of the Indiana Department of Transportation, better known as INDOT.  He'll review the history of Interstate-65  -- how it got so comgested -- and the plans for improving I-65 in Lake and northern Newton Counties.  INDOT's contractors are widening the highway between U.S.

Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County

Donna Stuckert of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction district was on "Regionally Speaking" on Tuesday to talk about the reopening of the county's composting operations -- about an added drop-off facility in Portage -- and the 2018 household hazardous waste collection schedule around Porter County.  The drop-offs allow residents a chance to bring in items that cannot be thrown  into the trash, such as oils, old gasoline and fluorescent bulbs.  Here's the conversation.

18artists.com

Today:  a conversation with Donna Stuckert of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction district, on the county's composting operations -- an added drop-off facility in Portage -- and the 2018 household hazardous waste collection schedule around Porter County.  The drop-offs allow residents a chance to bring in items that cannot be thrown  into the trash, such as oils, old gasoline and fluorescent bulbs.

NORTHWEST INDIANA- Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen almost 4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.57 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana.  This compares with the national average that has increased just under five cents per gallon in the last week to $2.60 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy said Monday that Northwest Indiana residents who are filling up their tank to make sure they shop around.

Town of Griffith, Indiana

Today:   a conversation with Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance, who is working with Indiana University Northwest faculty members and the town of Griffith's community YMCA for another series of workshops, in the hopes of adding diversity to his and other local police departments.  The workshop sessions are planned for May 19th in Gary.

JoeyBLS Photography

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Northwestern Indiana officials say a developer plans on spending at least $40 million to build a data center at a former power plant site along Lake Michigan.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. says the state economic development agency has approved $9 million in tax credits toward the project, which is still under negotiation.

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a northwestern Indiana man died when scrap metal he was cutting up apparently fell onto him in an industrial area.

The Lake County coroner's office says 40-year-old Joshua Klein of Wheatfield was pronounced dead Thursday morning at a business on Gary's far west side.

Fire officials say preliminary findings show that Klein was cutting iron truss scrap metal when it apparently fell onto him as he was working.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the coroner's report did not identify the name of the business where Klein died.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — An Illinois man accused of stealing nearly $150,000 from the federal government has been convicted of filing a false tax return.

A federal jury in Hammond convicted 41-year-old Airrion Blake on Thursday of one count each of submitting a false claim upon the federal government and theft of government money.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports jurors heard evidence during the Lansing, Illinois, man's three-day trial that he filed a false trusts and estates tax return in October 2012.

NPR.org / NPR

On this edition of "Lakeshore Update," you'll hear the latest on proposed federal cuts to the environment,  Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson discusses her upcoming visit to Canada with Governor  Eric Holcomb,
and we find out what industries could be impacted by steel and aluminum tariffs.
All of that, and more, on this edition of "Lakeshore Update."

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As students across the nation prepare to hold rallies Saturday calling for gun control legislation and safer schools, one man in Valparaiso is holding a rally the same day, calling for the protection of the second amendment.
 

Pro-gun advocate Jack Pupillo said he feels he doesn’t have a voice when it comes to the gun debate. So he’s organized a counter-rally.
 

“I think there needs to be a voice, and I think it starts small,” he said, “I really think it starts from the ground up.”
 

JoeyBLS Photography

Today:  on this Reporter's Roundtable, we welcome Joseph Pete, business reporter for the "Times of Northwest Indiana," and his Statehouse colleague Dan Carden.  They talk about the stories they wrote that were in print as well as online.

There are usually two sides (perhaps more) to a controversial issue.  This controversy surrounds a proposal by Merrillville-based Maya Energy LLC to build a solid waste materials processing facility in Gary.  Lakeshore Public Radio offers, first, the proposal from Maya Energy and, secondly,  the viewpoint of environmentalists and the businesses and residents affected by it.

Here is James Ventura, a former East Chicago city councilman who is the principal of Maya Energy LLC, when he came on "Regionally Speaking" on March 12th.

WMUB Public Media

Today:   we continue our conversation on the proposed solid waste materials recovery facility in Gary with "the other side" of the issue.  Sam Henderson, an attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council, is in the studio to talk about the concerns that the HEC and local citizens, businesses and educational organizations like the Steel City Academy about Maya Energy LLC's proposal. 

GasBuddy / GasBuddy.com

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just over five cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.51/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 3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.54/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy says the price up-tick is pretty typical for this time of year.

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0/Flickr

CHICAGO (AP) — Voters in the Illinois county that includes Chicago have backed the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum.

Tuesday's question for Cook County voters asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

Although the referendum is advisory only, the vote could help state lawmakers make their case for the legalization of marijuana use.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A lawyer for a northwestern Indiana man accused of stealing two dogs from a home and beating them to death says authorities charged the wrong person.

The Times reports family members of 23-year-old Anthony Priestas testified Tuesday they were with him or knew of his whereabouts at the time of the alleged crimes.

Defense attorney Andy Kyres says authorities "have the wrong guy." Prosecutors are moving forward with the case.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will headline this year's Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

Travis Scott, The National, Vampire Weekend and Odesza also were among the performers announced Wednesday morning on Lollapalooza's website . More than 180 acts will play on eight stages Aug. 2-5 in Chicago's lakefront Grant Park.

Founder Perry Farrell launched Lollapalooza as a touring festival in 1991. It's been held in Chicago since 2005.

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