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Regionally Speaking, Wednesday, May 31, 2017

IU Northwest

Today:  Northwest Indiana activist Ruth Needleman joins us in the studio for our occasional conversation about the local issues of the day, including a public forum tonight on the Ivy Tech Gary campus about the proposed letter of intent to bring Methodist Hospitals in Gary and Merrillville into the Franciscan Alliance family.  A group of organizations, including the SEIU that represents Methodist Hospitals employees, is sponsoring the discussion.  

Ruth also talks about the latest protest outside the Gary-Chicago International Airport about the ICE-sponsored deportee flights out of the area.  And she has the latest in the lead contamination issues in Region water supplies.

Michigan City's City Controller Rich Murphy talks about the "Artspace Lofts" project in the historic downtown business district -- the transformation of a long-standing building that once housed the Montgomery wards store into artists' studios, offices and living units for artists and their families.  The project picked up a recent Innovators Award from the Society of Innovators in Northwest Indiana.

We begin a series of conversations about crime spillage from Illinois into northwest Indiana with Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Chief of Police Dan Murchek.  He's a veteran law enforcement officer who's been with the Sheriff's Department for 22 years. Murchek talks abut the origins of the latest crime spillage into the Region, how police agencies are planning (both short-term and long-term) to combat and reduce criminal activities, and the very important relationship between law enforcement and the community.

And we close out the program with a conversation with Town of Highland Redevelopment Director Cecile Petro, for an update on the Town Theatre block demolition project (that is, once the last business is relocated to a new home) and other community redevelopment projects.  Petro is retiring from her post on June 9th.

Chris Nolte produces and hosts “Regionally Speaking” aired weekdays from noon to 1:00 p.m. He's also the temporary local "Morning Edition" host.