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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 Updates

Cook County Board Less Than A Week Away From Approving 2018 Budget

The Cook County Board is less than a week away from approving its 2018 budget. Board President Toni Preckwinkle is proposing deep cuts.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Board President Proposes Deep Budget Cuts

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is proposing deep cuts to the county budget. And it the justice system the hardest.

WBEZ Updates

Former Chicago Ald. Bob Fioretti To Challenge Cook County Board President In Democratic Primary

Former Chicago Ald. Bob Fioretti announced Monday that he’s challenging Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in next year’s Democratic primary.

WBEZ Updates

Environmental Activists Call For More Lake Michigan Protections

Environmental activists say more needs to be done to protect the area’s largest source of fresh water: Lake Michigan.

WBEZ Updates

Illinois Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto Of Port Loan Forgiveness Bill

Illinois lawmakers overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to forgive a state loan to a Chicago port that’s one of the busiest in the Midwest.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Commissioner: Residents Should Be Able To Vote On Recreational Marijuana

A Cook County commissioner says residents should be able to vote on whether they think Illinois should legalize recreational marijuana use.

WBEZ Updates

Gary's Richard Hatcher, First African-American Mayor Of A Large American City, To Be Honored

A pioneering African-American politician is being honored this weekend in Northwest Indiana.

WBEZ Updates

Biden Says Trump's Foreign Policy Moves Are Eroding America's Credibility

Former Vice President Joe Biden told a Chicago audience Wednesday that President Trump is eroding America’s credibility around the world by pulling out of agreements.

WBEZ Updates

Hillary Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book At A Northern Suburb

Fans lined up for hours Monday for a book signing by Hillary Clinton in a northern suburb.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Budget Hearings Are Underway

The first of several hearings to set next year’s Cook County budget got underway Monday.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Assessor Makes No Promises On Budget Cuts

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios made no promises to the County Board Friday on whether he will actually cut his budget.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Commissioners Grill Sheriff About Cutting Budget

Cook County commissioners grilled Sheriff Tom Dart for more than four hours Wednesday about ways he can cut his budget by 10 percent.

WBEZ Updates

Activists Hold Discussion On Combating Police Violence On Anniversary Of Laquan McDonald's Death

Friday marks the third anniversary of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

WBEZ Updates

Activists: Latinos On Southeast Side Being Racially Profiles By ICE

Immigrant activists say Latinos on the Southeast Side are being racially profiled, harassed, and detained by federal immigration officials.

WBEZ Updates

Walgreens To Add 300 New Jobs To Downtown Complex

Drugstore giant Walgreens will be adding new jobs to its downtown Chicago complex.

WBEZ Updates

Sweetened-Beverage Tax Repeal Could Open Door For Other Tax Increases

The Cook County Board this week rescinded the unpopular sweetened-beverage tax. But the move could open the door for other tax increases.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Board Takes Final Vote To Repeal Sweetened-Beverage Tax

Cook County commissioners took the final vote to repeal the controversial sweetened-beverage tax on Wednesday.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County's Controversial Sweetened-Beverage Tax Seems To Be On Its Way Out

A Cook County board committee voted overwhelmingly to repeal the so-called pop tax Tuesday afternoon.


Sweetened-Beverage Tax May Be On Its Way Out This Week

The Cook County Board is expected to begin the process of repealing the controversial sweetened-beverage tax on Tuesday.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Board Presidents Proposes $5.3B Budget Based On Beverage Tax

The Cook County board president is proposing a $5.3 billion budget for next year, but some of it hinges on sweetened-beverage tax revenue.

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