Michael Puente | WBEZ
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Michael Puente

Michael Puente

Northwest Indiana Reporter

Michael covers news and issues primarily in Northwest Indiana, Chicago’s Southeast side and South Suburbs.

The first 13 years of Michael’s journalism career was in print. He’s worked for the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana (part of the Sun-Times Media Group) and the Daily Herald based in Arlington Heights, Ill. Michael got his start in radio as co-host of the Latin Lingo Show on WJOB AM 1230 in Hammond. He joined WBEZ in 2006.

The NWI Studio in Crown Point is WBEZ’s only studio outside the City of Chicago. He earned a B.A. in Communications from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond, Indiana where he now teaches as an adjunct professor.

Michael’s stories on WBEZ have earned more than three dozen awards including from the Indiana and Illinois Associated Press broadcasters associations, Indiana Society of Professional Journalists, the Chicago Headline Club, and National Headliner Awards. Michael is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a former board member of the Latino Council on the Media of Chicago.

Michael is an avid White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears fan. He also acts on occasion in community theater in Northwest Indiana.

Recent Stories


Richard Hatcher, First Black Mayor of Gary, Dies At 86

Richard Gordon Hatcher was one of the first African Americans elected to lead a major U.S. city. His family says he died Friday.


Michigan Priest To Become New Bishop Of Gary Diocese

Monsignor Robert McClory, 56, becomes bishop of the diocese serving Northwest Indiana.


Thousands Of Indiana Teachers Rally For Pay Hikes

Teachers from across the state are at the Indiana Statehouse to pressure lawmakers for pay increases for educators.


‘This Seemed Impossible’: Deported Army Veteran Is Now An American Citizen

Facing a return to Mexico, Perez said, “I’m just glad, happy and thankful that I made it back alive.”


Chicago's Top Immigration Official, Lightfoot Spar Over Sanctuary City Status

The new top official at ICE's Chicago office spoke publicly for the first time Thursday, and Lightfoot showed up at his front door.


Deported Army Veteran Returns To Chicago In Bid For Citizenship

Miguel Perez Jr. was deported to Mexico, but he’s been allowed to return to Chicago for several weeks to pursue his citizenship application.


University Of Chicago Medical Center Nurses Begin Walkout

More than 2,000 nurses are holding a one-day strike after contract talks between their union and medical center officials broke off.


2,200 Fetal Remains Were Stacked In Boxes In A Garage, Officials Say

Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley said it took 50 detectives to go through boxes at home of the late Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who died Sept. 3


Girl Battles Leukemia As Suburban Father Faces Deportation

A west suburban man is facing deportation as his 18-month-old daughter battles leukemia.


Northwest Indiana Beach Reopens A Week After Toxic Waste Spill

A steel plant leaked ammonia and arsenic near Lake Michigan. A beachfront city wants to know why it took days to hear about it.


Gary’s Airport Is Hub For Air And Water Show

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other aerial performers fly in and out of the airport 30 miles south of Chicago during the annual air show.


2 Dillinger Relatives Doubt Body In Grave Is The Gangster

Two relatives of 1930s gangster John Dillinger say they have "evidence" the body buried in an Indianapolis cemetery may not be him.


Remembering Justice John Paul Stevens — Chicago’s Supreme Court Justice

Friends and colleagues says Stevens, who died on Tuesday, never strayed far from his Chicago roots.


A Weekend Of High Alert Passes As Immigrants Remain Vigilant

Promised ICE raids didn’t appear to materialize after a weekend of fear among immigrants. Plans to remain on alert continue this week.


17 Indicted In Gang Investigation That Crossed Indiana, Illinois State Line

What seemed like a routine murder case broadened into a crackdown on the Latin Dragons street gang.


Fair Oaks Farms Faces More Abuse Allegations, Lawsuit

An animal rights group has released a new video it says shows more “extreme and systematic abuse” of cows at Fair Oaks Farms.


Indiana Dunes Readies For The National Park Spotlight

The next time you visit the Indiana Dunes, you’ll be visiting the Chicago area’s newest national park.


Gary Mayor Defends Record As 8 Rivals Seek To Unseat Her

Gary’s two-term mayor says she deserves another four years, but eight rivals say she’s had her chance to lift the beleaguered city.


Outside-The-Box Ideas Chicagoans Have For Mayor-Elect Lightfoot

Hundreds of Chicagoans submitted their ideas for improving the city to Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot. Some are traditional. Some are unique.


Youth Soccer Coach With Chicago Fire Charged With Sex Crime

A junior soccer team coach is facing charges for allegedly inappropriately touching teenage female players and grooming them for sex.

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