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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

Can Indiana Benefit From Vice President Pence?

Indiana residents are hopeful Mike Pence can use his new influence to help the Hoosier state -- but that could be wishful thinking.

WBEZ News

Indiana's New Governor Giving State Of State Speech Tuesday

Governor Eric Holcomb may advocate for a tax increase to pay for infrastructure improvements - one of his higher priorities.

WBEZ News

BP Protesters, Charged With Trespassing, Offered Deal

The 35 protesters charged with trespassing in May 2016 took a deal: the charge will be dropped if they avoid arrest in the next six months.

WBEZ News

New Security System For Lincoln's Tomb

A new surveillance system will help protect Abraham Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield from vandalism and theft, officials said.

WBEZ News

Puerto Ricans Ask Obama To Free Imprisoned Nationalist

A petition asking President Barack Obama to release Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera has generated more than 100,000 signatures.

WBEZ News

Alderman Willie Cochran Arraigned On Corruption Charges

Cochran pleaded not guilty to charges he took money from his 20th Ward charity fund.

WBEZ News

Lake County Chief Of Police Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charge

The second in command in the Lake County, Indiana sheriff’s department pleaded guilty today to taking bribes in a towing scheme.

WBEZ News

East Chicago Officials Reassure Residents About Water Despite EPA Report

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that testing revealed 18 homes in East Chicago had elevated lead levels.

WBEZ News

East Chicago Mayor Copeland: City Needs To Calm Fears Of Residents

City officials in East Chicago, Indiana will be meeting with residents to address concerns about the city’s drinking water now that high lead levels have been detected in some homes.

WBEZ News

Steelworkers Union Chief Stands By Criticism Of Trump's Carrier Claim

The head of a steelworkers union in Indiana said he is not backing down after being criticized on Twitter by President-elect Donald Trump

WBEZ News

Disability Services Of Illinois Appeals License Suspension

A Chicago area firm that operates group homes for adults is appealing the suspension of its license.

WBEZ News

East Chicago Lead Crisis Needs More State, Federal Help, Mayor Says

Mayor Anthony Copeland's plea for more state and federal funding comes as his administration faces an onslaught of lawsuits.

WBEZ News

Feds: Indiana Sheriff Charged In Pay-To-Play Towing Scheme

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich and other northwest Indiana officials were indicted Friday for an alleged pay-to-play towing scheme.

WBEZ News

Superintendent: Loss Of Revenue Leads To Unpaid Teachers in Gary

The cash-strapped Gary Community School Corporation is expected to pay its employees Tuesday -- four days after their scheduled payday.

WBEZ News

Indiana Elections Preview

When Indiana Governor Mike Pence agreed to be Donald Trump’s vice-presidential running mate, it opened up the race for governor in the Hoosier state. Democrat John Gregg and Republican Eric Holcomb are in a tight race.

WBEZ News

Indiana Attorney General Candidates Vow To Be More Selective

Indiana's attorney general candidates say they will avoid taking up hard-to-win cases for political reasons.

WBEZ News

A Little Bit Of Wrigley In Northwest Indiana

Can’t make it to the Cubs World Series game? A Northwest Indiana man’s got the next best thing.

WBEZ News

Cubs Fans Hope World Series Ends 'Lovable Losers' Nickname

Fans flocked to Wrigley Field days after the Cubs won the National League pennant and prepare for game one of the World Series on Tuesday.

WBEZ News

East Chicago Residents Fear For Their Health

Residents in East Chicago, Indiana are calling for more testing after lead was discovered in the soil beneath a public housing complex.

WBEZ News

Northwest Indiana Residents React To Their Governor's Performance In VP Debate

Northwest Indiana residents are split on how the state’s governor did in last night’s debate.

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