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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

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

Motorola Solutions Opens West Loop Headquarters

Motorola Solutions officially opened its new global headquarters in the West Loop Monday.

WBEZ News

Northwest Indiana School Shut Down Because Of High Levels Of Lead

Elementary students in one public school district in Northwest Indiana head back to class Monday -- but in a different building several miles from their home.

WBEZ News

Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre To Be Demolished

Some of the biggest names in entertainment have played there. But come next year, an iconic theater in Northwest Indiana will be gone.

WBEZ News

Northwest Indiana School Shuttered Due To Lead Concerns

It’s part of a discovery in East Chicago that is also driving hundreds from their homes.

WBEZ News

Judge Denies Blagojevich's Bid To Lighten 14-year Sentence

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appeared on a courtroom video as a judge weighed whether to cut his 14-year sentence.

WBEZ News

Chesterton Swimmer Wins Olympic Gold

A Northwest Indiana town is celebrating one of its own taking home a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

WBEZ News

Gary Approves Massive Demolition Plan

The city of Gary, Indiana, approved a controversial proposal Friday to clear away thousands of abandoned structures.

WBEZ News

Holcomb Replaces Pence On Indiana Ticket

When Donald Trump tapped Mike Pence to be his running mate, it left the GOP with no candidate for governor. Now, the party’s made its choice.

WBEZ News

Indiana's Republican Party Will Meet To Select New Governor

Indiana Republican party leaders will meet this week to pick a new candidate for governor. The old one, Mike Pence, dropped out to become Donald Trump’s running mate.

WBEZ News

Mike Pence Expected To Tell ‘Indiana’s Story’

When Indiana Gov. Mike Pence takes the stage tonight to deliver his vice-presidential acceptance speech, he’s not expected to shy away from touting his state’s robust economy.

WBEZ News

What Does Pence As Trump's VP Pick Mean For Indiana?

Pence was in a tight reelection campaign and Indiana Republicans will now have to pick a new candidate for governor.

WBEZ News

All Signs Point To Pence

Several media outlets are reporting that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be Donald Trump’s running mate.

WBEZ News

Indiana Democrat To Run For His Old Senate Seat

Indiana’s most popular Democrat Evan Bayh is making a return to politics.

WBEZ News

Pastor: Pence Is The ‘Anti-Trump’

A Northwest Indiana pastor says Mike Pence is the anti-Trump and would be a welcomed addition to the Trump campaign.

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