The Welcome Project

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.

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.

Photo Provided

Today:  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer joins us again, this time to offer some wise financial advice on how to best use a 2017 income tax refund.  He says the average taxpayer got a refund of several hundred dollars and some get back one thousand dollars or more. 

We bring you another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  This conversation is from a woman who recalls her family life in Gary and how her mother hesitated to move out of the home in which she lived with her husband and raised her children.

Pottawatomi Indian Nation

Today:  Ed Feigenbaum, the editor and publisher of "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Political Insight" newsletters, joins us to review how Indiana casinos -- including the Northwest Indiana boats -- did in February. (Spoiler Alert: they're all hoping for a better month of March.)  Ed also talks about the 2018 General Assembly session, its successes and its failures -- especially in the final hours of the regular session.  Lawmakers are preparing for a short, special session in May.

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.

Photo Provided

Today:  Noted Indiana economist-speaker-writer Morton Marcus joins us to talk about some of his latest "Eye on the Pie" columns published across the state that cover the Hoosier and national economy and related topics, sprinkled with his unique (and sometimes whimsical) views.

Daily Mail website

Today: a conversation with Lake County Coronor Merilee Frey, after she spoke to the recent Lake County Advancement Commission meeting in Schererville about the Region's opioid epidemic.  She offers the latest figures and more.  We also have a related feature from Indiana Public Broadcasting's Lindsey Wright.  She focuses on what regional and state leaders are hoping to find out from the Trump administration, when it announces its policy plan in the weeks ahead.

Montana Public Radio

Today:  we revisit our conversations with Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez, Jr. and Portage Police Chief Troy Williams on being prepared for an active shooter situation, in light of the recent one at a high school in Florida.  Police departments in communities like in Portage are offering workshops to educate the public in how they can deal with these serious incidents.

We have for you another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, this time with a young Muslim woman here in northwest Indiana.

Crown Point Community Schools website

Today:  Crown Point Community Schools Superintendent Teresa Eineman is the recipient of one of the latest "Innovator of the Month" awards from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana, for the successes and improvements made during her 13 years so far as CPSC's CEO.  She joins us on the program to talk about it all.  

Indiana Business Research Center

Today:  we talk to Carol Rogers, who is the Deputy Director and Chief Information officer for the Indiana Business Research Center in Indianapolis.  She is in charge of the award-winning interactive Web service STATS Indiana.  The site's become one of the nation's most-used public data sites  along with its sister site STATS America. You can find almost any statistic within Indiana on it, dating back more than 100 years.

Porter County govt website

Today: we revisit our conversation last month with Porter County Commissioner Jeff Good about the county's major capital improvement projects and the successful bond issue that is supporting them. 

We also bring you another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  The Welcome Project collects first-person stories and pairs them with intentional conversations to help forge stronger ties within and across our communities. This conversation is particularly poignant, because it involves a "DREAMER."

Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne

Today: a conversation with Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne, about the half-way point in the 2018 General Assembly session.   Bills that originated in the Indiana House had to pass by Monday to make it to the Senate, and Senate-originated bills had to jump through the same hurdles on Tuesday.  He talks about the House bills now headed up for Senate review.

Valparaiso University

Today:  Elizabeth Lynn, the executive director of the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University, tells us about the spring 2018 "Pathways to Purpose" speaker series on campus, now underway through May 2nd.  This series welcomes exemplary practitioners of leadership and service, including VU alumni.  The speakers come onto campus on Wednesdays, and more information about the  program series is available here.

Temple University School of Law

Today:  we talk with Valparaiso University School of Law professor Jeremy Telman about this Thursday's 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture  on campus.  This year, the guest speaker is professor Henry Richardson III, from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. He is a renowned expert on international law, and his insight into how it fits into today's world view will be ompared with Dr. King's own views. 

Congressman Peter Visclosky's office

Today:   We revisit our conversation about the South Shore Leadership Center's upcoming "Vision Project" delving into northwest Indiana issues and ways to deal with them.  The "Project's" task this time is on tourism.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson reports on gasoline prices and why they're so high this year compared to 2017. 

Plunkett Raysich Architects

Today:  The city of Portage's veterans committee holds its first 2018 meeting on Wednesday and, to go along with that, we bring back our conversation with Marc Magill, of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.  He is also responsible for the operations at the VA outpatient clinics in Crown Point and other regional communities.  Marc is conducting regularly quarterly "town halls" to learn from veterans their concerns about healthcare.

Celebs website

Today:  Local filmmaker  Nick Mantis in in the studio to talk about the final stages of work on his  documentary "Shep" -- about Hammond's "master story teller" Jean Shepherd, as told by the people who knew him, were influenced by him and help keep his memory alive -- and narrated by "Shep" himself.  Nick plans for a pilot of the documentary to come out this coming spring.

attorney.mtmedia.us

Today:  A conversation with former Gary Mayor Scott King, now an attorney in northwest Indiana and a consultant.  He talks about his years in office as well as the changes in economic development that he's seen take place since being at Gary City Hall.

We bring you another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  The project collets first-person stories and pairs these with intentional conversation to help forge stronger ties within and across our communities.

Future Center web site

Today: We invite back to  "Regionally Speaking" Professor Arthur Cyr, who is director of the A. W. Claussen Center for World Business at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI.  He last spoke in northwest Indiana at the Region's World Trade Alliance meeting this past summer in Merrillville.  He's also experienced in northwest Indiana and Chicago area economic development.  He offers his views on some of the world political issues and how they pertain to economics and business.

Indiana Democratic Party Caucus

Today:   we revisit our conversation with State Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary), who says this is to be his last General Assembly session.  Brown is not seeking re-election and is endorsing fellow Democrat and Gary Common Councilwoman Regan Hatcher for the party's primary election  in May.

Residents in Valparaiso can learn how to help "stop the bleed" if anyone they encounter is bleeding profusely before the first responders arrive.  Valparaiso Fire Chief Chad Dutz joins us to talk about this Sunday's initial public awareness and training session at MAAC,

Indiana Democratic Party Caucus

Today:  an extended conversation with Indiana State Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary) about his plans not to seek re-election in 2018 and what his plans are for his last General Assembly session beginning in January. 

He talks about some of the issues he's supported -- including the creation of the "Healthy Indiana Plan" in 2007 and the statewide smoking ban (and his plans to revisit that ban next session).  And Rep. Brown offers some clues about his interest in local politics.

Traveling Ted blogsite

Today:   We learn more about the next initiative of the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University:  the Chorus of Voices and what co-creator Professor Allison Schuette calls "Flight Paths: Mapping Our Changing Neighborhoods."  It is a multi-year project that will bring together the voices, especially Gary residents' voices, as they talk about why their families either stayed in or left Gary and led to the area's deurbanization.

IU Northwest

Today:  We find out about the latest Northwest Indiana Coincident Economic Index from Indiana University Northwest economist Micah Pollak, and learn that the Region's economy is steadily improving. Pollak and his colleague Bala Arshanapalli sift through the data on several key areas of the  economy in Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties to create the Index report.  He presented the latest information at a recent Chancellor's Commission for Community Engagement meeting.

Michigan City Area Schools

Today:  We talk to Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Barbara Eason-Watkins about the school district's "1:1" (one-student, one-device) high tech expansion program that includes Chromebook computers for students.  The program, supported by grants from the community and other sources, gives Michigan City students a chance to organize and enhance their work and stay engaged through "blended learning": the process of combining digital and traditional learning.  The program's picked up another "Innovators Award" for the school district from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana

The Atlantic website

Today:  Indiana Youth Institute president and CEO Tami Silverman  is back on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the success of the first year of the Lilly Endowment-funded Comprehensive Counseling initiative.  This $22 million investment is aimed at helping school districts and charter schools implement innovative changes in school counseling.  Lake Ridge New Tech Schools, Hanover Community School Corp. and the School City of East Chicago received thousands of dollars in grants from Lilly Endowment to put their plans in place.

Heartland Now

Today:  we asked noted Indiana economist, writer and speaker Morton Marcus back on the program for the latest from his "Eye on the Pie" columns published across the state.  Some of his remarks are timely, in dealing with natural disasters like from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and how much we should really depend on Uncle Sam for help in recovering from the storms. 

We bring you another in the series of comversations from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University --  this time it centers around the Gary community of Miller.

Indiana Public Broadcasting News

Today:  we have more about a report from the Health Impact Project, a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.  The Project issued a report on August 30th titled "Ten Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure."  We talk with Rebecca Morley, the director of the Health Impact Project about the report's findings and recommendations that affect residents in East Chicago.

YouTube

Today:  a conversation with Lake County Democratic Party chairman Jim Weiser, who called for a special precinct committee member caucus on Saturday, September 16th to choose a new Lake County Sheriff.  He talks about the process of finding candidates to fill the rest of former Sheriff John Buncich's term of office and what Weiser hopes will be the beginning of a new era in local government.

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

Today:  the final Town Hall meeting in the statewide series of meetings set up by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus is coming up this Saturday at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, so we bring back our conversation with State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and his Caucus colleague, State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis). They talk about the entire Town Hall series and the Caucus' intentions for the comments they hear in creating new legislation.

Amtrak

Today:  Steve Coxhead, the president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, joins us to talk about concerns about late trains on Amtrak's "Hoosier State passenger service between Indianapolis and Chicago.  The national rail provider says only one in three Indianapolis-bound trains arrived on-time in June, a change from past months  Coxhead says there are problems on CSX, the freight line that provides the rails for both the "Hoosier State" and the Indiana "Cardinal" passenger routes.