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

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

Partially Blind Fighter Has His Eye On The Prize

One 152-pound boxer doesn’t let partial blindness keep him from chasing his dream.

WBEZ News

Village, Protesters At Odds Over Plan For ICE Center

Dwight, Ill., approved a measure that could bring Illinois it’s first privately operated detention facility to house undocumented men.

WBEZ News

Aurora Shooting Victims Include An Intern There For His First Day

Five people were killed while at work Friday afternoon before police fatally shot the 45-year-old gunman in the suburb west of Chicago.

WBEZ News

Northbound Lake Shore Drive Near Chicago River Reopens

Transportation officials say northbound Lake Shore Drive near the Chicago River has reopened after being shut down due to beam cracks.

WBEZ News

Volunteers Rally To Help The Cold And Homeless In East Chicago

When people saw an urgent need during this week’s subzero cold, they created a homeless shelter inside a church.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

Emanuel Calls For Increase To Gas Tax

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

WBEZ News

Jingle Really, Really Big Bells

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

WBEZ News

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.

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