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.
Find exclusive coverage from The Times award-winning sportswriters that see, document and report on the Region's most talked-about 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.
Follow the RailCats live during home games and through all of the off-season activity that only the Northern League can cook up.
Read stories about the area residents who brave the mound to toss out a first pitch at a RailCats game.
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.
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.
Rick Kaempfer's business card says author/writer/blogger, but his real job is "stay-at-home-dad.
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.
From play and restaurant openings to premiere parties and red carpet movie screenings, Philip Potempa reports on celebs and notables.
Columnist and features writer Jane Dunne never runs out of ideas when it comes to cooking for family, entertaining at home or dining out.
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.
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 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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
Just when everything looked like it was going Valparaiso's way last weekend, A.J. Pacher had to throw a wrench into the mix.
Welcome to “Starcast” – a fascinating look into what the Cosmos has in store for the 12 sun-signs. It’s Valentine’s Day! And no other Holiday creates quite the kind of excitement that this one does. A red Heart is at the center of, and on, ev…
There comes a moment in every poker tournament when you're put to a decision for all of your chips and you need to figure out just what your objective is. Maybe you're nearing the money bubble and you don't necessarily want to put all your ch…
This is a mixed-up weekend full of pent-up energy for love and romance, re-scheduled events and special Presidents Day shopping sales. To prove my thesis I'm going to NYC for a wedding. --- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor, Shore …
The dust has settled on an incredible weekend of games in the Horizon League and with three days off until the next contest, it's time to take some inventory of what we learned.
Three hundred people on the street in downtown St. Joe; Mark Spenser’s Fences has been extended until Sunday and Chicago Lighthouse throws a benefit for programs for visually-impaired children at the DeLux Bar & Grill in Chicago. --- Pat …
On the back roads in West Kentucky, artisan ham makers like Charles Gatton Jr. continue traditions born of necessity before the days of refrigeration.
If the last week was any indication, we're in for a wild final month of the Horizon League regular season. With most teams still having six or seven conference games left, it's likely far too early to start examining how the final standings c…
Welcome to “Starcast” – a delightful look into what the Cosmos has in store for the 12 sun-signs. Here, on Earth, we’re quite familiar with the concept of “late-breaking news.” It’s a lifestyle staple and permeates our phone calls, our conver…
Game No. 23
I received a pretty cool phone call on Monday night, although not nearly as cool as the call Adam Amin received.
If you are a reader of The Culinarian, you already know of my love for blood oranges, those beauties of the ruby red flesh and soft, thin peel that taste like a combination of berries and orange.
Blizzards and storms may have cut into my meeting and party schedule, but the silver lining is long stretches of unanticipated time to read books, like a glutton, including selections from Carl Sandburg, James McBride and Solomon Northrup. --…
Pop-up events seem to be, well, popping up all over Southwest Michigan. Paula Bartholome, co-publisher of Edible Michiana magazine and writer of the blog gardenttotable.com, is partnering with Journeyman Distillery to host a pop-up
Game No. 21
For as good as the Valparaiso men's basketball team has been over the last two years, the Crusaders never truly dominated the Horizon League while winning both regular season titles.
Many of my friends don't cook anymore. They entertain in different ways with lovely drinks parties, visits to a favorite restaurant, or other outings somewhere in the city, but (alas) no longer with dinner parties at home.
I am keeping calm and carrying on through the snow to the dunes and back to civilization, slowly. This creates thrilling determination to make the weekends count. --- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher and Editor, Shore Magazine.
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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 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 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 covers a menagerie of sports as a reporter in the Times.
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 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 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 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 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 is a Shore writer who is also a daily food and entertainment newspaper columnist for The Times Media Company.
Doug Ross has been covering Northwest Indiana for 30 years, including two decades at The Times of Northwest Indiana.
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.
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.
- Petal Talk with Jean Starr
- NWI TweetUp
- How to Publish a Book of Blues. Hopefully.
- Dave Woodson: Real Estate, Mortgage and Tech
- Kevin Tracy and his most excellent contributors
- Blue County in a Red State
- The Valpo Core
- Clair Boone: Mummy Deals
- Mystified in the Middle East
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Should Winfield hire a town marshal and deputies?