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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


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.


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.


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.


Indiana Dunes Could Be Hoosier State’s First National Park

Right now, the dunes are a national lakeshore, but U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky thinks the area would draw more tourists as a national park.


Lawsuit Targets East Chicago For Lead Levels

A local attorney filed a class-action lawsuit against the city for high lead levels in the soil which is forcing 1,100 residents to move.


Ford Heights Avoids Water Shutoff

Water service will continue to flow in the south Chicago suburban community after an agreement was reached on paying down a big overdue bill.


Indiana’s Refugee Ban Put Under Microscope

A federal appeals panel in Chicago is deciding if Indiana Governor Mike Pence has the authority to ban Syrian refugees from resettling in Indiana.


Notre Dame Fighting Against Open Police Records

An ESPN attorney told the state Supreme Court that the ability of university police to arrest and apprehend are 'core powers of the state.'


Da Coach Gets Tough On NFL On Concussions

Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was in downtown Chicago on Monday speaking about concussions in football.


Getting On The Same Page: Lead Contamination In East Chicago

A Northwest Indiana congressman wants all agencies dealing with lead contamination in East Chicago to get on the same page.


Water Woes In Ford Heights

Residents in one south Chicago suburb are worried they could be without water soon.


Gubernatorial Candidate Tours East Chicago Housing Complex

The Democratic candidate for Indiana governor toured a housing complex in East Chicago where lead is forcing residents to move.


Feds Working To Move Indiana Residents From Lead Contamination

It’s estimated that it will cost over a million dollars to relocate the East Chicago residents.


EPA And East Chicago Work To Mend Relationship

The first step was an open house to provide residents with updated information concerning clean up efforts of contaminated soil.


Indiana Mayor Takes Aim At EPA Over Lead Soil Issue

The mayor of East Chicago, Indiana, criticized the EPA’s plans to address lead-contaminated​ soil in a public housing complex in a letter to the agency and President Obama.


Skyway Maintenance Workers To Hit Picket Line

There’s only 11 of them, but the workers play a vital role in keeping the Skyway Toll Bridge running.


How The EPA Is Tackling Lead Contamination In East Chicago

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to clean up an area that used to be home to a lead smelting company.


Lead Contamination Leaves Homeowners Stranded

Residents in a public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana are being moved. But nearby homeowners have few options but to stay.

All Things Considered

Pierogi Fest Brings Poland To Indiana Annually

For our series on off-kilter summer festivals, we go to the annual Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Ind. The festival includes beer halls, pierogi eating contests and even pierogi tossing contests.


Chicago Tuskegee Airman Dies At 94

Tuskegee Airman Shelby Westbrook, who had never set foot in a plane before World War II, has died the age of 94.

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