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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

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The Cook County Board this week rescinded the unpopular sweetened-beverage tax.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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Received $1.8B Grant To Help Reduce Jail Population

Cook County is receiving a $1.8 million grant to help reduce its jail population.

WBEZ Updates

Chicago Gun Owners: Just As Shaken After Las Vegas Shooting

The mass shooting in Las Vegas has shaken many Americans, including some gun owners.

WBEZ Updates

Activist Continue Fight For Higher Minimum Wage in Calumet City

Activists say they plan to continue to fight for a higher minimum wage in Calumet City, even after Cook County’s higher minimum wage was rejected.

WBEZ Updates

Sweetened-Beverage Tax Opponent Not Running For County Board President

A vocal opponent of the new Cook County sweetened-beverage tax says he is not running for county board president.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Officials: Efforts To Repeal ACA Still A Threat

The Affordable Care Act survived the latest Republican attempt in Congress to repeal it. But Cook County officials say the struggle continues.

WBEZ Updates

Valparaiso, Indiana City Council Considers Anti-Hate Resolution

The City Council in Valparaiso, Indiana is expected to consider an anti-hate resolution at its meeting this evening.

WBEZ Updates

Valparaiso, Indiana City Council Considers Anti-Hate Resolution

The City Council in Valparaiso, Indiana is expected to consider an anti-hate resolution at its meeting this evening.

WBEZ Updates

Illinois Residents Covered Under ACA To See Premium Hikes In 2018

Health insurance rates for people covered through the Affordable Care Act in Illinois will see dramatic premium increases next year.

WBEZ Updates

As Maria Comes, Natives Of Puerto Rico Living In Indiana Try To Stay In Touch With Family And Friends

Natives of Puerto Rico now living in Northwest Indiana are trying to stay in touch with family and friends on the island as Hurricane Maria moves through.

WBEZ Updates

Lake County, Indiana, Selects New Sheriff

A career police officer is the new sheriff in Lake County, Indiana, and will finish the term left by his predecessor who was convicted of corruption.

WBEZ Updates

DeVos Visits Gary Charter School, Bypasses Struggling Public Schools

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited a successful charter school in Gary, Indiana today where the traditional public schools are hurting. DeVos brought her “Rethink School” tour to 21st Century Charter — a mostly African-American, privately-run publicly-funded charter. The school is where students can earn college credit while in high school has garnered national attention. Critics say DeVos champions charter schools at the expense of traditional public schools. She doesn’t see it that way. DeVos says she’s highlighting schools that could be role models for other areas of the country.

WBEZ News

5 Things To Know About Attempts To Repeal The Sweetened-Beverage Tax

WBEZ reporter Michael Puente breaks down the tax — and attempts to repeal it.

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