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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

Community Groups Sue Cook County Assessor, Alleging Discrimination

Two Chicago community groups are suing Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios. They claim he discriminates against poor, minority homeowners in the way his office assesses properties.

WBEZ Updates

Cleanup Costs For Lead-Contaminated Northwest Indiana Site Now 4 Times Original Estimate

Cleanup costs for a lead-contaminated site in Northwest Indiana are now four times what the federal government originally estimated.

WBEZ Updates

Illinois State Rep. Ives Says She Plans To Formalize Run Against Gov. Rauner

Illinois state Rep. Jeanne Ives says she plans to file paperwork Monday to formalize her challenge to Governor Bruce Rauner in the March Republican primary.

WBEZ Updates

Part-Time Faculty At Columbia College In Chicago On Strike

Part-time faculty at Columbia College in Chicago went on strike today after bargaining for a new contact stalled.

WBEZ Updates

Part-Time Faculty At Columbia College In Chicago On Strike

Part-time faculty at Columbia College in Chicago went on strike today after bargaining for a new contact stalled.

WBEZ Updates

Congressman Gutierrez Endorses Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia As Replacement

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez says he's endorsing Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to replace him.

WBEZ Updates

Cook County Board Adopts Amended 2018 Budget

In a unanimous vote, Cook County commissioners adopted an amended 2018 budget that no longer includes $200 million in revenue from a now repealed sweetened-beverage tax.

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.

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