• February 14, 2017

    Merrillville tables vote on South Shore project contribution

    MERRILLVILLE — The Town Council has delayed taking action on a resolution that would decrease its investment to the South Shore Line’s West Lake Corridor project, but it looks like reducing its pledge isn't feasible.

    The council decided Tuesday to table voting on the resolution that would drop Merrillville's annual contribution of its County Economic Development Income Tax proceeds from 22 percent to 8 percent for the project. Multiple council members indicated additional discussion is needed about the matter.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky traveled Tuesday to the Region specifically to attend the meeting, and he said an interlocal agreement Merrillville approved for its investment is binding and can't be legally changed.

  • January 16, 2017

    Visclosky: Recommit to King's legacy

    The freezing rain before sunrise Monday did nothing to extinguish the spirits of those who marched to the Hammond Civic Center, even if it extinguished the candles.

    The City of Hammond's annual march and ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, "Dream With a Purpose," brought young talent from all over the city and residents seeking a renewed sense of self.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, asked the crowd to recommit itself to King's legacy and start peacefully protesting as he did with marches and other nonviolent dissent. He pointed out that one of the big victories of the Civil Rights Movement – the Voting Rights Act, in which U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., played a big role – has been gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • January 14, 2017

    New leadership renews target on Planned Parenthood funding

    With a new administration and Republican control in the House of Representatives and the Senate, promises to defund Planned Parenthood because of concerns over abortion are closer to a reality, proponents and opponents say.

    Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, as well as a local legislator and a public health professional are vehement in their opposition.

  • January 12, 2017

    ArcelorMittal USA secures tariffs of up to 94 percent

    The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined imports of steel plates from Brazil, South Africa and Turkey have been hurting U.S. steelmakers, a decision that will result in tariffs of up to 94 percent.

    ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor and SSAB from Lisle, Illinois, requested the tariffs on cut-to-length steel plates. The United States plans to impose tariffs as high as 50 percent on imports from Turkey, 74.52 percent on imports from Brazil and 94.14 percent on imports from South Africa.

  • January 8, 2017

    Visclosky predicts great future for Region

    MICHIGAN CITY — The future is great for Northwest Indiana, particularly if the country continues to regulate the dumping of foreign steel and investments in transportation are made, said U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville.

    Visclosky spoke Saturday at a town hall meeting in Michigan City with about 50 people in attendance at City Hall.

  • January 8, 2017

    Congressman prepares for Trump

    SCHERERVILLE — U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, told a public forum Sunday night the expansion of the South Shore commuter rail system is one of the keys to Northwest Indiana's economic future.

    "Young people in many instances do not stay. We need investments to change that."

  • December 16, 2016

    Hammond plan for South Shore extension OK'd

    The $600 million South Shore line extension from Hammond to Dyer won the approval Friday of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District board, clearing the way to begin working on federal approval and funding.

    Called "Hammond Option 2," and suggested by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, NICTD will build the Gateway Station about two blocks west of the current Hammond station on Hohman Avenue, south of Gostlin Street in North Hammond.

  • December 16, 2016

    West Lake commuter rail plan celebrated, but 'more work to do'

    CHESTERTON — The South Shore Line's governing body gave the railroad's plan to build the nine-mile West Lake Corridor its official endorsement Friday — "a day 30 years in the making," according to the South Shore's president.

    "It's a historic day, it's a day for celebration," Michael Noland said about publication of a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the West Lake Corridor project, which would extend the South Shore south from Hammond to Dyer.

  • December 11, 2016

    Legacy Project inspires outstanding citizens

    MUNSTER — An idea to engage and inspire youth and young adults to become outstanding and involved citizens took root in this community last spring, becoming an Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project that has blossomed throughout the Hoosier state.

    On Sunday afternoon, the exact date Indiana became a state in 1816, 13 students from five Munster schools received accolades in a ceremony at Eads Elementary School for completing the DOC 200 project organized by the Munster Junior Historical Society.

  • December 10, 2016

    NIRPC celebrates 50 years of building up the Region

    The largest gatherings of Region elected officials happens several times a year on a Thursday morning in Portage, when the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission gathers mayors, council members, surveyors and more from the three-county area.

    This month, the organization wrapped up celebration of 50 years in existence, marking the anniversary of the creation of its predecessor, the Lake-Porter County Regional Transportation and Planning Commission, by Gov. Richard Branigin in 1966. It was authorized by legislation passed in 1965.

  • November 2, 2016

    Updated Schedule: Moving Indiana Forward Tour

    Please join me and support our outstanding Democratic Candidates at the Moving Indiana Forward rallies in Indiana’s First Congressional District!

  • October 28, 2016

    Federal drug task force expanding into LaPorte, Marion counties

    Fighting the flow of illegal drugs into the Region just got a boost.

    LaPorte and Marion counties have been added to the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The HIDTA designation from the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy will allow those two counties, along with existing members Lake and Porter counties, to access federal resources to combat drug operations and increase enforcement.

  • October 16, 2016

    Crossing the Line — National Parks

    Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs. Readers are asked to share ideas for this weekly feature. This week: National parks.

    Neither Indiana nor Illinois are among the 27 states and two U.S. territories that are home to at least one of the 59 national parks.

  • October 15, 2016

    Big changes planned for commuter rail in Michigan City

    MICHIGAN CITY — Plans to get South Shore Line tracks out of the streets of this city and to cut the commute to Chicago by more than half an hour were outlined Thursday night in front of about 100 people.

    The trip to Chicago’s Loop on the South Shore commuter train currently takes about an hour and 40 minutes and boosters of the plan say cutting it to as little as one hour is one key to making Michigan City more prosperous.

    The commute time would be cut by turning the mostly one-track route between Gary and Michigan City into a double track as part of the $210 million Double Track NWI project.

  • October 13, 2016

    Visclosky testifies on pipe imports from Middle East

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, today testified for the seventh time this year before the International Trade Commission (ITC), his office announced this morning.


    Today’s hearing was on circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe from Oman, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.


    Excerpts from Visclosky’s testimony:

    “As you are well aware, the steel import crisis is perilously threatening the livelihoods of the dedicated workers in steel communities throughout our nation. The recent influx of illegal steel imports has prompted the initiation of nine steel trade cases, and today I am testifying here at the ITC for the seventh time this year. . . .

  • October 12, 2016

    ASCE Northwest Indiana Branch Reactivated

    American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Northwest Indiana Branch (NWIB) recently inducted their Board of Directors and Committee members for the fiscal year 2016-2017 at a ceremony held on October 7, 2016 at the Centennial Park in Munster, Indiana. The program was attended by Congressman Mr. Pete Visclosky US Representative, Indiana District-1, Mr. Bill Dubois, ASCE's Regional Governor, Mr. Dan Vicari of Gary/Chicago International Airport and about 60 attendees from northwest Indiana and south Chicago areas. 

    In a short speech, Mr. Visclosky reiterated the importance of various infrastructure projects in the northwest Indiana especially the proposed West Lake Corridor of the South Shore passenger rail expansion project which is expected to have a tremendous impact in the region in the coming years. Mr. Vicari made a presentation about the recently completed Gary Airport runway expansion project.

  • October 9, 2016

    RICH JAMES: State Dems still united against the Pence factor

    Not long ago, I would have bet the farm that Hoosier voters would throw Gov. Mike Pence out of office.

    If the owner of every “Fire Pence” sign voted, it seemed clear Democrat John Gregg would be our next governor.

    I suspect that Pence, too, saw the negative signs, and that’s one reason he agreed to be Donald Trump’s running mate.

    Indiana Democrats don’t have Pence to kick around anymore. Yet, the “Fire Pence” signs are still standing — serving as a reminder why they sprouted across Indiana in the first place.

  • October 7, 2016

    Visclosky Announces COPS Hiring Program Grant Award for the City of Hobart

    Congressman Visclosky announced today that the City of Hobart has received a grant award under the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program

    The COPS Hiring Program provides funding directly to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies for the hiring and rehiring of entry-level career law enforcement officers in an effort to create and preserve jobs and increase community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. The City of Hobart will receive funding for one officer with a focus of addressing drug abuse issues.

  • October 7, 2016

    Indiana Dunes sees prestige in 'park' designation

    The superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore had a quick answer when asked what becoming a "park" rather than a "lakeshore" could mean.

    "It makes our name shorter, so we pay less for signs by the letter," said Paul Labovitz, jokingly.

    In late September, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, proposed designating the lakeshore as a national park. The change won't bring the destination more federal money or programs, but it will up its status to a group that includes the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. That could mean drawing a greater number of visitors who are inclined to stop for a national park.

  • October 6, 2016

    Gregg, Hale rally Democrats during Portage event

    PORTAGE — John Gregg joked there were three times as many people in the audience Wednesday night than there is in his hometown of Sandborn.

    Gregg, Democrat candidate for governor and his running mate Christina Hale, a Michigan City native, topped a lineup of some of the area’s and state’s top Democrats during a rally/fundraiser at the Duneland Falls Banquet Center. The event was sponsored by Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich and St. Joseph County Sheriff Michael Grezgorek.

    In addition to Gregg and Hale, the audience of steelworkers and teachers, firefighters and police officers, heard from Attorney General candidate and former Lake County judge Lorenzo Arrendondo, former Indiana First Lady Susan Bayh and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st.