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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

Migrant Workers Could Be Scared Away By Trump’s Policies

Robert White of the Indiana Farm Bureau said food costs could rise as much as 30 percent if enough migrant workers are not found.

WBEZ News

Gary’s Disappearing Public Schools

In the last two years, Gary has closed six buildings amid declining enrollment, dwindling tax revenue and competition from charter schools.

WBEZ News

Indiana Governor Pledges State Aid For East Chicago Lead Problems

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb told East Chicago officials that the state will do all it can to address the city's lead contamination problems.

WBEZ News

Indiana Governor Issues Disaster Order Over East Chicago Lead

Two months earlier, then-Gov. Mike Pence rejected the city's request.

WBEZ News

Gary Cop Killer Sentenced To Life In Prison

Carl Blount was sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting death of patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield.

WBEZ News

Man Who Killed Gary Cop Released From Prison After 35 Years

Gary police Lt. George Yaros was killed in 1981. His son believes the killer “should be executed.”

WBEZ News

Travel Ban Prevents Woman From Visiting Sick Mother

A Syrian native attempting to visit her sick mother in Valparaiso, Indiana, was not allowed into the country this weekend, her family said.

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.

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