Wake-Up Call: New Pics Document Whiting Lakefront Progress

The ongoing construction work on the Whiting shoreline is really starting to come together, and you can now see the outline of what it will look like once work is completed. For the latest look at progress, check out the pictures here.

In other news and notes this a.m., Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Sean Keefer was in NWI yesterday touring U.S. Steel and learning about steps the company has taken to improve workplace safety.

Bolstered by the first increase in state spending in a year, the U.S. economy grew 1.7% in the second quarter.

Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order yesterday renaming the state’s Office of Federal Grants and Procurement the Office of State-Based Initiatives. The new office will be required to track and report on the costs of implementing federal grants and regulations.

Researchers are investigating the growing presence of “microplastic” pollution in the Great Lakes. Many of the particles are tiny, perfectly round pellets which scientists suspect are abrasive micro-beads used in personal care products. The beads are too small to be screened out at waste treatment plants. Companies are being urged to stop using the beads.

The Lake County Fair kicks off tomorrow!

RDA Releases 2012 Annual Report

RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna (left) and Chairman of the Board Donald P. Fesko.

What has the Regional Development Authority been up to lately? For the answer you can check out our most recent annual report here (pdf). If you would like an actual, physical copy, just drop me a note at dwellman (at) rda.in.gov and I’ll be happy to send you one — while supplies last! In the meantime, here is this year’s message from our Chairman of the Board, Donald P. Fesko and our President and CEO, Bill Hanna.


On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, we are pleased to present our fiscal 2012 annual report. The Board treats its fiduciary responsibilities to the citizens and elected officials of Northwest Indiana with utmost seriousness and are pleased to report that this year’s annual independent audit of RDA finances shows that more than 95 percent of funds we receive are being used directly on job creation and infrastructure development throughout the region.
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Your Morning News: South Shore Survey, Community Hospital Expansion

Some early results from the new South Shore ridership survey are in, including riders’ desires for quiet cars.

Lake County Councilman Dave Hamm wants to consolidate waste services in Lake County, but no one seems interested.

The $33 million expansion of Community Hospital in Munster is coming along on time and on budget.

High demand shortened the auto industry’s traditional summer break in Chicagoland this year.

RDA Teams Up With NWIndianaLife.com

What if I told you there was a place with great schools, beautiful beaches, tons of outdoor recreation and sports opportunities, low taxes, great people and easy access to one of the biggest, most vibrant cities in the world? Sounds like a great place to (as the phrase goes) live, work and play, right? Well, guess what: that’s all right here in Northwest Indiana.

To help get the word out about the region and what the RDA is doing to grow the economy and improve quality-of-life, we’ve teamed up with the great folks at Ideas in Motion Media and their sites NWIndianaLife.com, ValpoLife.com and PortageLife.com. You can check out our profile here (or here or here!). We’re looking forward to working with them to tell the Northwest Indiana story and make the rest of the state (and country and world) jealous of how good we have it.

RDA Approves Matching Grant for Hammond

The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority approved a $200,000 matching grant for the City of Hammond during today’s quarterly board meeting. The grant will supplement $800,000 from Hammond for demolition and cleanup work on the 2500 block of New York Avenue.

“Both private developers and Calumet College of St. Joseph have expressed interest in building housing and dormitories in this area if vacant buildings are removed,” said RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “With this award we have an opportunity to stay within our role as a catalyst but also support secondary education and the economic benefits commensurate with a strong and diverse regional college and university system.”

According to the city, demolishing the former Amoco Oil Company Research and Development Laboratory, which is vacant, will create approximately $18 million in housing and dorm development opportunities.
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Your Morning News 7.22.13

On Friday, Gary announced ambitious plans to revitalize the Horace Mann, Emerson, Aetna and Miller communities. The plan’s announcement included the award of a new $350,000 EPA grant to the city for brownfield remediation.

The Northwest Indiana construction industry is looking for new jobs now that BP is winding down.

The Gary airport plans to put out a final call for investors this week.

Existing home sales in NWI were up in June for the 24th consecutive month.