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NWI.com Blogs (short for "weblogs") are written by Northwest Indiana Times staff and selected members of Northwest Indiana and Illinois communities. The writing is not supervised by an editor, and readers are free to converse directly with the author (and other readers) in the comments below each post. If you have an idea for a blog and are interested in becoming a community blogger, please contact our online news staff.

Newsroom Blogs

NWI and Beyond

NWI and Beyond

The blog that gives you more than your every day news. Find extra content, special features and more.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Each week view our photographer's favorite photos.

Sports

Inside Prep Sports

Inside Prep Sports

Find exclusive coverage from The Times award-winning sportswriters that see, document and report on the Region's most talked-about sports.

Inside VU Sports

Inside VU Sports

Follow The Times behind the scenes of Crusaders athletics. Get the scoop on everything from basketball to soccer to softball to the stats, standings and shenanigans of the Horizon League.

Inside the RailCats

Inside the RailCats

Follow the RailCats live during home games and through all of the off-season activity that only the Northern League can cook up.

First Pitch

Read stories about the area residents who brave the mound to toss out a first pitch at a RailCats game.

Your Family Blogs

Close To Home

Close To Home

Stephanie Precourt is a stay-at-home mom to three boys and a baby girl, but don't let that fool you. She'll keep you in style and in-the-know with this thing called parenthood. Even though none of us know what we're doing.

Food with a Dash of Fun

Food with a Dash of Fun

We've all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more with Barb Ruess.

Father Knows Nothing

Father Knows Nothing

Rick Kaempfer's business card says author/writer/blogger, but his real job is "stay-at-home-dad.

Shore Magazine Blogs

Adventures in Everyday Living

Adventures in Everyday Living

Shore's Associate Publisher and Editor Pat Colander brings you up-to-date on what's going on in the Shore universe-evenings, weekends and all times in between issues.

Of Notoriety

Of Notoriety

From play and restaurant openings to premiere parties and red carpet movie screenings, Philip Potempa reports on celebs and notables.

The Culinarian

The Culinarian

Columnist and features writer Jane Dunne never runs out of ideas when it comes to cooking for family, entertaining at home or dining out.

Starcast with Fran Smith

Starcast with Fran Smith

As with Shorecast by Fran Smith, which appears regularly in Shore magazine, the 12 sun-signs are highlighted; here, the focus is on how every planetary move affects each of the 12 sun-signs. Its contents include specific-and fun-information that readers won't find anywhere else.

Latest Posts

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 17, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chester Gregory comes home to reprise his role as Jackie Wilson in a one-night tribute production at West Side and Bartlett's in Beverly Shores starts Third Thursday with Johnny V music nights.--- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor,…

April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Inside the Tulsa Tip

Covering a coaching change may just about be the most maddening type of story in all of sports journalism.

April 15, 2014 3:46 pm

Drew looking at Tulsa (and beyond?)

Given Monday night's Tulsa World report that Bryce Drew has potentially ascended up Tulsa's wishlist, the Valparaiso faithful should be preparing themselves for the inevitable that Drew will no longer be pacing the sidelines at the Athletics-…

April 14, 2014 8:12 pm

Starcast: April Part 1

Starcast: April Part 1

Welcome to “Starcast”—an amazing look into what the Cosmos has in store for the 12 sun-signs. This is huge! We’re going to look back over the last several years and see why unusual and unexpected events and situations have occurred. On Thursd…

April 11, 2014 9:00 am

Milwaukee banned, Drew bouncing?

One thing became vividly clear after a crazy Wednesday -- a guarantee that Milwaukee won't be knocking Bryce Drew out of the Horizon League tournament again next season.

April 09, 2014 7:23 pm

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 10, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bistro 157 will close soon (sniff), Blue Chip Brewfest marks year 4 in Michigan City and Harbor Shores Grille and Golf starts the 2014 season.--- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor, Shore Magazine.

April 09, 2014 12:00 am

Modjeskas aren't the only thing sweet about revived, downtown Louisville

The 4-foot penguin first appeared at the end of my hall, but 30 minutes later when I opened my door, the rotund red bird was there in front of me. “Don’t worry,” said a man walking by. “They’re always on the move.”

April 08, 2014 1:00 pm

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 3, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Round Barn in Baroda is one of 50 "Michigan Companies to Watch," Michigan City's SSAA throws a banquet tomorrow and enthusiastic tree planters, with work gloves and spade shovels, are needed at Meadowlark in Valpo next weekend for a "refo…

April 02, 2014 12:00 am

PRO BASEBALL: Don't be a fool, it's independent baseball

PRO BASEBALL: Don't be a fool, it's independent baseball

You should read the release first and then the explanation later. Here's the release that came from the Frontier League on March 31, announcing a "groundbreaking" rule change. (Hint, read carefully)

April 01, 2014 2:01 pm

A Tasty Mission: Chasing spies and food on the QM2

A Tasty Mission: Chasing spies and food on the QM2

Counter-espionage, double agents, straight penetration, Arnold Deutsch, The Cambridge Five - Philby, Blunt, Burgess, McLean, Cairncross -, "the bump and the pitch", Anatoly Gorskey, NKVD, MI5, the Enigma code, Bletchley Park, Michael Straight…

March 30, 2014 8:00 am Photos

Photos

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 27, 2014

Congratulations to director Glenn Hering and lead actors Ric Heath, Matt McCann and Kevin Doler, also Caroline Rau Geldernick and numerous others in the cast and orchestra in 4th St. Theater's production of Sweeney Todd.--- Pat Colander, Asso…

March 26, 2014 12:00 am

Initial Valparaiso Basketball post-mortem

Valparaiso's season came to an end on Tuesday night in what seemed to be a cruel repeat of similar games from earlier in the year. Columbia delivered the third buzzer-beating defeat of the season at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Throw in a…

March 19, 2014 12:04 am

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 20, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 20, 2014

PNC hosts a couple of adventurous musical events this weekend with performances by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) musical group, the first ever Box Factory Follies in St. Joe and edgy art and birding at Fernwood Gardens in Buchanan…

March 19, 2014 12:00 am

Starcast: March Part 1

Starcast: March Part 1

Welcome to “Starcast” – an amazing look into what the Cosmos has in store for the 12 sun-signs. There’s no doubt about it. Our solar system is magnificent and unrelenting in its forward motion – truly one of the most compelling entities in th…

March 14, 2014 9:00 am

CIT Again? What's different this time for Valparaiso?

The images of Valparaiso's last trip to the CollegeInsider.com tournament are still hard to shake three years later. Whether it was Brandon Wood going through the motions in one of his lowest scoring games in a Valparaiso uniform or director …

March 12, 2014 9:15 pm

Boxty for Saint Patrick's

Boxty for Saint Patrick's

"...If you can't bake Boxty, Sure you'll never get a man." I'm not sure I'd go that far but boxty (Irish pancakes made with potatoes) sure are delicious!

March 12, 2014 9:00 am

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 13, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 13, 2014

Behold a handful of off-cycle events scheduled in the next seven days that deserve attention including glass artistry in Chicago and Benton Harbor, along with the dazzling annual Chicago Flower and Garden Show. --- Pat Colander, Associate Pub…

March 12, 2014 12:00 am

Crusaders search for answers following disappointing exit

The fans had long left a darkened Resch Center when Clay Yeo walked back into the arena following Valparaiso's 74-57 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night.

March 08, 2014 9:42 am

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 6, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dramatic developments in the wake of the Oscars in Miller Beach on Saturday, First Friday fest in Michigan City bounces to life and at the Box Factory, St. Patty's Day arrives early. --- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor, Shore Magazine.

March 05, 2014 12:00 am

Predicting the Horizon League Championship

March Madness is officially upon us as the Horizon League Championship begins on Tuesday evening with a trio of games at campus sites. I figured I'd sit down and predict my thoughts on how the tournament would play out, but first I looked bac…

March 03, 2014 5:34 pm

Starcast: February Part 2

Starcast: February Part 2

Welcome to “Starcast” – an absorbing look into what the Cosmos has in store for the 12 sun-signs. Here we are, on Earth, during one of those fascinating cycles when the Sun enters the next sun-sign one day – and the New Moon (when the Sun and…

February 28, 2014 9:00 am

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, February 27, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three special art exhibits this weekend plus a buy-one-get-one-free offer at the Towle Theater in downtown Hammond, plus fast forward to a dueling pianos concert coming up at Bethel. --- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor, Shore Magazine.

February 26, 2014 12:00 am

Fish Creek offers both sweet and savory traditions to help visitors warm up

Fish Creek offers both sweet and savory traditions to help visitors warm up

When it’s so cold, snowy and windy as it has been for what seems like forever, I often think of a trip I took to Door County, Wisc., a narrow peninsula tucked between Lake Michigan and Green Bay.

February 24, 2014 1:00 pm Photos

Photos

Florentine Meatloaf

Florentine Meatloaf

I would ordinarily, at this time of year, write something about being in the home stretch, spring just around the corner and daylight savings on the horizon. However, the snow outside my window this Presidents Day in Chicago, is blowing at wh…

February 19, 2014 10:15 am

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Adventures in Everyday Living, Thursday, February 20, 2014

The weekend meltdown gets underway tonight with NWI Dancing with the Stars competition in Merrillville and a shout-out to size zeroes to grab those stilettos and head to Indian Summer in Chesterton on Saturday. --- Pat Colander, Associate Pub…

February 19, 2014 12:00 am
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Contributors

Robert Blaszkiewicz

Robert Blaszkiewicz

Robert Blaszkiewicz is a Northwest Indiana native and joined The Times in 1994. He has filled a variety of roles, including night editor, Porter County editor, features editor and new media coordinator. His current position is assistant managing editor for operations.

Al Hamnik

Al Hamnik

Al Hamnik has been a reporter and columnist in Northwest Indiana for 42 years and is a member of the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, as well as a winner of the Indiana sportswriter of the year award, an IHSAA media award winner, a Corky Lamm Award winner and a three-time HSPA winner.

Steve Hanlon

Steve Hanlon

Steve Hanlon was the Prep Beat writer for The Times from 1995 through 2000 before he went to work at the Indianapolis Star. Upon returning to The Times in 2004, he covered Valparaiso University for one season before he took back the Prep Beat beat in 2005.

Jim Hunsley

Jim Hunsley

Jim Hunsley covers a menagerie of sports as a reporter in the Times.

John Luke

John Luke

John Luke discovered photography while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from a small Michigan college. John transferred to an art school in Detroit where he was hired to work in the photo lab at one of the dailies, and five years later, "promoted" to photojournalist.

Tony V. Martin

Tony V. Martin

Tony V. Martin shoots on location in the Midwest and around the world. His editorial credits include ESPN, Sports Illustrated, American Theatre, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Reader and other publications in the U.S. and abroad.

Jonathan Miano

Jonathan Miano has been a photojournalist in the Chicago area since 2003 and started with The Times at the beginning of 2011. He has covered the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

Paul Oren

Paul Oren

Paul Oren is a beat reporter for Valparaiso University as well as various high school sports throughout the Region. He has covered NCAA tournaments in basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, along with numerous IHSAA state championship events.

Jim Peters

Jim Peters

Jim Peters graduated from Andrean (Class of 1981) and Purdue (1985), where he met and worked with current Porter County Assistant Sports Editor Greg Smith. He spent the first 10 or so years of his professional career at a chain of Northwest Indiana weeklies that covered Merrillville, Andrean, Hobart, Portage, Lake Station and River Forest before catching on at the Times in the summer of 1998. Jim covers high school sports in Porter County.

Philip Potempa

Philip Potempa

Philip Potempa is a Shore writer who is also a daily food and entertainment newspaper columnist for The Times Media Company.

Doug Ross

Doug Ross

Doug Ross has been covering Northwest Indiana for 30 years, including two decades at The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith

Hillary Smith has covered prep, pro and college sports -- and even a Dixie Baseball World Series -- for newspapers north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1995.

John J. Watkins

John J. Watkins

Began his career as a photojournalist at The Times in 1985, first as a freelancer and later that year as a staffer. He was a late bloomer at the age of 29 and sometimes has to laugh because many of his colleagues were not even born when he started working at the paper.

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