November 5, 2017
Northwest Indiana's efforts to expand and improve Region commuter rail service are on the best possible track to success. Regardless of what happens as the project seeks millions in matching federal dollars, a bipartisan coalition of Region, state and federal officials are "raising eyebrows" in Washington with an impressive, multi-tiered strategy.
November 3, 2017
The leader of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority said a recent trip to Washington, D.C., to promote the South Shore Line's expansion projects generated positive reactions regarding state and local commitments to the projects' financing and to promotion of private development.
"We were able to go in and say we're 100 percent funded from a state and local perspective," RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna said.
November 2, 2017
A push to make the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the country's 60th national park has cleared a big step in Congress. The U.S. House approved the bill in a unanimous voice vote Wednesday, sending it to the Senate for consideration. It would put the national park designation on 15,000 acres along the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
October 31, 2017
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor landed a $9.85 million grant that will let it move more cargo, including more multimodal containers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation signed off on partial federal funding for a $19.7 million expansion that will boost the port's cargo handling capacity. The Indianapolis-based Ports of Indiana, a quasi-government agency that's run like an independent business, would fund the other half of the cost.
October 27, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today applauded the Congressional Steel Caucus letter to the president urging prompt action in the Section 232 investigation into the impact of foreign steel imports on national security. Gibson issued the following statement:
October 10, 2017
HAMMOND — Officials on Tuesday cut a ceremonial ribbon marking the completion of the levee tieback project that U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D- Merrillville, said has been 41 years in the making.
“Today is a historic day in Northwest Indiana,” said Visclosky, who recalled talking with others about flood control along the Little Calumet River in 1976. “This project provides economic opportunity, job creation and quality of place.”
October 5, 2017
MICHIGAN CITY — It took more than 100 years, but Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a 15,000-acre park stretching along the Lake Michigan Shoreline from Gary to Michigan City, is finally on its way to becoming a national park.
That is, if the legislation continues moving forward.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved Congressman Pete Visclosky’s legislation, H.R. 1488, the Indiana Dunes National Park Act, by unanimous consent. The measure is now referred to the full House and is expected to be considered in the coming months.
October 5, 2017
GARY — The city of Gary has been awarded a grant to support the development of a National Civil Rights Hall of Fame, according to a release Thursday from the office of U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville.
The $59,000 grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. It will be used to support the development of a feasibility study and business plan to establish a National Civil Rights Hall of Fame facility and headquarters for the National Civil Rights Institute and Hall of Fame, Inc., in Gary, according to the release.
September 29, 2017
MERRILLVILLE — A new federally qualified health center has opened in Merrillville.
Regional Health Clinic, the fourth FQHC for Regional Mental Health Center, celebrated its grand opening Sept. 19. The event highlighted the need to integrate physical and behavioral health care services.
“Primary care has become the gateway for many individuals with both primary care and behavioral health needs,” said Regional Mental Health Center CEO Bob Krumwied.
September 20, 2017
MICHIGAN CITY — On Wednesday, Safe Harbor opened its doors to Edgewood Elementary School to welcome Community leaders from Michigan City and other parts of the State for its Lights On Afterschool Celebration.
The event featured several local leaders, including Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer, Congressman Pete Visclosky, and representatives from Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly's offices. Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Barbara Eason-Watkins was also in attendance.
The event consisted of the group walking through different areas of the school, checking out different activities offered by Safe Harbor while interacting with students enrolled in the program.
September 20, 2017
MICHIGAN CITY — U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, was in Michigan City on Wednesday, visiting various organizations within the area.
Visclosky represents Indiana's 1st Congressional district in the House of Representatives.
Visclosky began the day visiting Head Start of La Porte County. He met with leaders of Head Start at Niemann Elementary to discuss issues facing the organization. Following the meeting, Visclosky read childrens books to a group of students.
September 19, 2017
MUNSTER — Joe Martin and Ryan Cusack shared story after story and statistic after statistic with fellow firefighters Tuesday night with one shared goal: To scare colleagues into changing old habits and thinking about their occupation’s greatest threat — cancer.
They cited a 2013 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study that analyzed cancer in firefighters across three large U.S. cities — Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. The study, in part, found a higher rate of mesothelioma, with researchers concluding the findings were likely associated with asbestos exposure.
September 12, 2017
Congressman Visclosky announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a grant to the City of Hammond Fire Department under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
The $621,164 grant award will be used to assist in the purchase of ninety-five self-contained breathing apparatuses, along with additional spare air cylinders, face pieces, and rapid intervention team emergency air kits. The funding will also support training on how to use the equipment and fit testing for all personnel. In addition to personal protective equipment, FEMA’s AFG program generally awards grants to support professional training, equipment for wellness and fitness programs, modifications to facilities, and supplies that support firefighting and non-affiliated EMS operations and safety.
September 8, 2017
The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has approved a resolution formalizing the RDA's financial commitments to the South Shore commuter line’s West Lake and Double Tracking bond issues.
The board also formally accepted reports from KPMG and Farr Associates which, along with the resolution, will be submitted to the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) today by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD).
September 5, 2017
It's always encouraging to see the stock rising for plans putting our Region on course to economic transformation and growth.
And the recent Indiana visit of U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao presented a green arrow pointed firmly upward for the future of Northwest Indiana commuter rail expansion and improvement.
Last week, Chao attended a two-hour briefing in South Bend, hearing the merits of the proposed South Shore Line expansion from Hammond to Dyer, double tracking from Gary to Michigan City and realignment of tracks in South Bend.
September 5, 2017
The potential end of a federal citizenship program was called "cruel" by some Indiana officials but seen as an opportunity for immigration reform.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving a six-month time frame for Congress to draft its own immigration proposal, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
September 2, 2017
Union membership may be declining nationally but their voice in political circles has not grown quiet.
Even as the country's labor landscape continues evolving and some jobs move offshore, mostly in manufacturing and traditional union strongholds, unions have not let up on advocating for their members. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research’s 2016 Election Cycle Analysis of big labor political spending estimates unions spent $1.7 billion during the 2016 election cycle.
September 1, 2017
Congressman Visclosky announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a grant for the Michigan City Fire Department under the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.
The $718,468 grant award will provide the Michigan City Fire Department with the ability to hire six additional firefighters. In general, the SAFER program is designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation’s overall level of preparedness.
September 1, 2017
As unions celebrate Labor Day on Monday, many will be keeping an eye on efforts to revamp the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, and hoping that this time the end result will be good for workers.
"I don't want to see a NAFTA on steroids," said Pete Trinidad, president of United Steelworkers Local 6787 in Chesterton, which represents steelworkers at ArcelorMittal's Burns Harbor plant.
August 29, 2017
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao cites bipartisanship, private investment possibilities of South Shore projects
SOUTH BEND — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao suggested Tuesday that bipartisan support and the opportunity for private development associated with the South Shore Line's major infrastructure projects will be important factors as things move through the planning stages.
The secretary made the comments after a two-hour briefing on the South Shore's West Lake Corridor, Double Track NWI and South Bend realignment projects at South Bend International Airport.