• March 29, 2017

    EDITORIAL: Commuter rail builds firm foundation for growth

    Northwest Indiana stands to benefit greatly from twin commuter rail projects planned for the Region.

    The West Lake Corridor project will extend commuter rail service beyond the existing east-west route for the first time in more than a century.

    The double-tracking project will speed and improve service along the existing route, making the commute by train quicker and more pleasant.

  • March 24, 2017

    Visclosky speaks on House floor against GOP healthcare bill

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, spoke on the House floor today in opposition to the GOP’s American Health Care Act.

    The text of Visclosky’s comments:

    “Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act.

    “I believe that the purpose of any health care legislation should be to improve the health and well-being of our nation’s citizens, and to allow for access to quality and affordable health care for all.

  • March 21, 2017

    EDITORIAL EDITORIAL: Dunes deserve full park status

    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a crown jewel at the apex of our Region's quality of life and a major economic foundation for tourism.

    We've long argued anything that can enhance the social and economic benefit of the Dunes can and should be pursued.

    It's why an effort by U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, both Indiana Democrats, makes so much sense.

  • March 20, 2017

    Hundreds attend meeting with pledge to get involved

    More than a dozen Northwest Indiana groups have joined Indivisible Guide, a national movement tearing a page from the tea party's playbook on political activism to rally against President Donald Trump and his administration.

    One group, Indivisible NWI, drew hundreds of area residents March 4 to the Ironworkers Local 395 in Portage to question longtime U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, a Merrillville Democrat, and learn how to organize against what the group called "the Trump agenda."

  • March 20, 2017

    Bill would re-brand Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as national park

    U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, R-Ind., and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st--with the support of the entire Indiana Congressional delegation--have introduced respective legislation in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House to designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as a National Park. Specifically, the legislation would retitle the “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore” as the “Indiana Dunes National Park, which would become the first national park in Indiana and the 60th in the U.S., according to a joint statement released on Thursday.


  • March 16, 2017

    Region leaders react to Trump budget plan: 'We all stand to lose quite a bit'

    PORTAGE — The budget blueprint issued Thursday by President Donald Trump's administration calls for substantial cuts in federal spending, including cuts to the Department of Transportation that would eliminate the program that would provide significant funds for the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor and Double Track NWI projects. 

    The proposal limits funding in the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant program to projects that already have full funding grant agreements. Neither South Shore project has reached that level.

  • March 16, 2017

    President's Budget Cuts EPA Funding In Great Lakes States

    President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have created uncertainty about environmental cleanup and restoration efforts in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. 


    Although the specific effects of the potential cuts are still unclear, the president’s budget blueprint slashes $2.6 billion from the EPA’s budget, including cuts that could affect Superfund cleanup sites like the one in East Chicago, Ind. It also eliminates all money going toward the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that started in 2010 to restore habitats, wildlife and water quality across eight Great Lakes states including Illinois and Indiana. 

  • March 12, 2017

    GUEST COMMENTARY: Steel, oil, quality of place drive NWI fortunes

    I believe Northwest Indiana, despite some days in the winter, is the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, we have suffered through some very difficult economic times, and many young people have chosen not to stay in our Region.

    Since 1970, the number of school-aged children in Lake County, Porter County and Michigan City has dropped by more than 72,000 children.

    The key to economic success in Northwest Indiana is to retain and enhance our current manufacturing base, whose foundation is steel and oil, and to make investments in transformational projects to improve our quality of place so that young people will stay and return.

  • March 2, 2017

    Visclosky: Maintain federal transit funding

    Three days after President Donald Trump's administration announced plans to propose deep cuts in federal discretionary spending, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky urged members of the House Budget Committee to leave funding in place for grant programs that would pay half the cost of the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor and Double Track NWI projects.

    In testimony offered Tuesday, Visclosky acknowledged the difficulty in balancing "responsible fiscal policies with the need to make investments to support a strong economy.

  • March 1, 2017

    Great Lakes steel output shoots up by 23,000 tons

    Great Lakes steel production rose to 694,000 tons last week, a 3.4 percent increase from the 671,000 tons of output the previous week.

    So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 13.8 million tons of steel, about 4.7 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016.

    Domestic steelmakers used about 74.7 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended Feb. 25, up from 74.6 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. It was up from 73.1 percent during the same time period in 2016 but remains well below the 90 percent capacity utilization some analysts consider as healthy.

  • February 28, 2017

    DOUG ROSS: How to balance the federal budget

    President Donald Trump’s budget will include a 10 percent increase for military spending and a commensurate cut for social programs, the world was told this week. Last week’s exercise in balancing the federal budget puts that decision in perspective.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and theConcord Coalition, a nonpartisan group promoting fiscal responsibility, asked residents of the 1st Congressional District to make the tough decisions necessary to balance the budget and reduce the national debt.

  • February 23, 2017

    Budget game gives Visclosky look into resident priorities

    The debate by the members of "Congress" over reducing funding for the arts and humanities by $6 billion over 10 years gave U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky a look at what Northwest Indiana residents think about the federal budget.

    "When push comes to shove, I love the arts and humanities but it doesn't put food on the table," said Debra Nelson of Valparaiso, who argued that the arts could be funded by private enterprise, and she preferred seeing the money go toward pre-kindergarten programs.

  • 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

    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 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.