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


O’Hare Global Terminal Project Reveals 5 Architecture Finalists

The designs pitches a sleek, futuristic look for the $8.5 billion terminal, which could be one of the largest in the nation.


Chicago Hospital Performs Historic Triple Organ Transplants

University of Chicago Medicine says its doctors performed the first ever back-to-back triple organ transplants on two patients last month.


Home Sellers In Historic Town Say Oil Giant BP Is Lowballing Them

Residents in Northwest Indiana are willing to sell their homes to BP, but they accuse the oil giant of shortchanging them.


Transgender Chicago Man One Step Closer To Joining Air Force

Nick Bade, a transgender man from Chicago, is heading to basic training as part of the Air Force’s delayed entry program.


No Messing Around — Mascot Hall Of Fame Is Real!

A new building in Whiting, Indiana honors the legends and antics of the sports mascot world.


Emanuel Calls For Increase To Gas Tax

At 19 cents per gallon, Illinois hasn’t increased its motor fuel tax since 1990.


Jingle Really, Really Big Bells

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel rings in the holidays with a concert played on its huge carillon.


Celebrating The Life Of Dr. Tamara O’Neal

More than 600 attended Friday’s funeral for Dr. Tamara O’Neal, a Mercy Hospital doctor who was a native of Northwest Indiana.


Slain Doctor, Pharmacist Lived To Help Others

Dr. Tamara O’Neal and pharmacist Dayna Less are being remembered as dedicated women who had a passion for caring for people.


Mike Braun Wins Indiana Senate Race

Republican Mike Braun beat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly on Tuesday night in the hotly contested Indiana Senate race.


Indiana Attorney General Won't Face Criminal Charges For Alleged Groping

Attorney General Curtis Hill won't face criminal charges in the alleged groping of four women at a party.


Protesters Unable To Shut Down Kennedy Expressway Near O'Hare

Demonstrators gathered near Interstate 90 near O’Hare Monday. State police arrested some protesters and no one made it onto the expressway.


Diocese In Gary Releases Names Of 10 Abusive Priests

The Roman Catholic priest abuse scandal that has rocked the church continues in Northwest Indiana.


Indiana’s Attorney General Under Pressure To Resign

One of the women accusing Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill of groping says she’s giving a voice to the women who may be afraid to speak.


New Tragedy For Gary’s Former Mayor

Former Gary Mayor Scott King lost a nephew to gun violence. Now, that nephew’s son could face life in prison.


NW Indiana Cop Has A History Of Confrontations At Bar

An East Chicago officer who was shot Saturday outside a bar was involved in another incident with a gun at the same bar in September.

WBEZ Updates

ICE Has Eyes On New Immigration Detention Center Site

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, is looking at a new site in Northwest Indiana to build an immigration detention center.


Illinois’ 4th Congressional District: Fight For The ‘Latino Earmuffs’

As firebrand immigration reform advocate Luis Gutierrez steps away, voters say immigration is still a top issue.


Beer Sales (Finally) Allowed On Sundays In Indiana

Indiana ends prohibition on Sundays, and Hoosiers are lining up.

WBEZ Updates

Northwest Indiana Doctor Indicted For Illegal Opioid Prescriptions

A Northwest Indiana doctor is under federal indictment for illegally writing thousands of prescriptions for opioids.

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