northwest Indiana economy

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Today:   Noted Indiana economist -writer-public speaker Morton Marcus joins us from "on the road" in the state to review his recent "Eye on the Pie" columns that he offers to Hoosier media.  This time, he talks about the state's many regions, among other topics -- and he also discusses a column he recently wrote where he complains about the President's "telegraphing" economic news ahead of the public release deadline.for his personal political uses.

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.

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.

Supermarket News

Today: It is Reporters' Round Table day on "Regionally Speaking," as we call on local reporters who worked on some of the major stories of the week to review and talk about them. 

Highland based grocer Strack & Van Til announced Tuesday it will sell off 22 of its stores and close nine under performing stores immediately.  Strack's parent company Central Grocers Inc. is working with a legal team and financial advisors toward implementing a sale of Strack and Van Till stores, which will continue to operate as normal until a sale is official. Two of the 9 stores closing immediately are based in Indiana, the Gary Ultra and the Merrill Point Ultra in Merrillville, the rest of the seven stores are based in Illinois.

Ray Steele blog

Today:  Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research Executive Director Michael Hicks joins us to talk about the Indiana and national job outlooks, as well as the latest about factories of not only Indiana-based firms -- but companies with only a presence in the Hoosier State.  Hicks also tells us about a new report from the CBER on the link between educational attainment and earnings.

"Great Lakes Today" reporter Rebecca Thiele tells us about potential changes of the U.S. lakefronts when more nuclear power plants shut down. 

Bring it to the Table.org

Today:   Julie Winokur, the documentary filmmaker is the featured speaker for the second annual "Dialogue and Discernment" program Thursday evening at the the Helge Center, adjacent to the Chapel of the Resurrection of Valparaiso University.  Julie talks about her film "Bring It to the Table" and what she'll discuss after the 7:00 p.m. screening. 

Centre For Medical Humanities

Three Indiana University Northwest faculty members creating a medical humanities curriculum for the Gary campus, as well as at IU South Bend and IU Kokomo, are one of the winners of the inaugural IU Regional Campus Grand Challenges Initiative. 

Grand Challenges are defined in IU's Strategic Plan as "major and large-scale problems" facing humanity that can "only be addressed by multidisciplinary teams of the best researcher." 

TRI-CREEK SCHOOL CORP.

Today:  Tri-Creek School Corporation in south Lake County is the recipient of a March "Innovators Award" from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana.  Superintendent Debra Howe joins us to talk about the programs that led to the award, beginning with a student-pilot project on solar energy that led to a district-wide program and will save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year -- more than enough to cover the cost of the project.

Indiana’s ports had one of their best years ever in 2016, moving nearly 11.3 million tons of cargo.

That included rising grain and coal exports, the kind that could see major changes under Trump administration trade reforms.

A food pantry established at a Cedar Lake church almost three decades ago is now part of the entire south Lake County area. 

Project Love Food Pantry is part of the United Methodist Church's local mission of service.  Pastor Ken Puent was on "Regionally Speaking" on Wednesday to talk about the facility, who it serves and with what items and how it's grown so quickly.  That growth is, in large part, because the local economy's shrunken.

Gary-Chicago International Airport

The Gary-Chicago International Airport is planning for the future -- at least, the next ten years or so -- and the first of a series of public workshops will be held tonight (Monday, Feb 13) at 6:00 p.m. at the Airport Terminal offices for a presentation of the work done so far on a Master Plan Update.

The chairman of the Airport Authority, Stephen Mays, was on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about the need for a Master Plan Update, the company conducting the workshops and the impact that an updated plan will have on northwest Indiana.  Here's the conversation.

Marine Link

The Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor handled nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo in 2016, down from 2.8 million tons the previous year. But - despite the volume decrease - The Ports of Indiana says last year's tonnage brought the port to its highest three-year total in history.

More than 8.6 million tons of cargo have been handled at Burns Harbor since 2014.

The Ports of Indiana says grain shipments in 2016 were up 57 percent over the previous year while mineral and oil shipments increased 19 percent. Coal was up 11 percent as well.

Howey Politics

Indiana economist Morton Marcus reviewed U.S. Census data for northwest Indiana communities between 2000 and 2015 for a story in The Times of Northwest Indiana and he found, among other things, that cities and towns in south Lake County and Porter County are growing and north Lake County communities are shrinking.  Marcus talks about the reasons he sees for the changes, including migration between Indiana and Illinois. 

Today:  A conversation with Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus about U.S. Census data that shows that communities in north Lake County are growing smaller and communities in south Lake County and in Porter County (including lakefront cities like Portage) are growing... and the reasons for the change.   

Marcus also talks about what he discussed at a recent public meeting in Crown Point, and he takes a look at the latest Statehouse debate about how to pay for funding road and bridge projects.  Morton says lawmakers are missing the point about it.

National Association of Realtors

Single-family home sales for the seven counties around northwest Indiana are reported very strong for both the month of December and the year 2016.   I asked Peter Novak, the President and CEO of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors,  for his views on the reasons for the strong year-end and year-long sales and how 2017 is likely to appear as well.  Here's the conversation as aired on Tuesday's "Regionally Speaking" program.