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A pilot program is launching in Gary, Indiana, where more than a hundred residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500. (WTTW News)

It’s an idea that’s grown increasingly popular in recent years: guaranteed or universal basic income payments. Now, a pilot program is launching just outside Chicago, where more than 100 residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500.

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The Gary, Indiana, home of the Jackson 5. (WTTW News)

The celebration was in full force May 13 at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana, as the city marked the home of the Jackson 5 with official highway signage. We visit the historic site and speak to Marlon and Tito Jackson about their childhood home.

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Gary Mayor Jerome Prince appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, April 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

Elected in 2019, Gary Mayor Jerome Prince promised to bring much-needed economic development and growth to the struggling Northwest Indiana city. But just a few months into his first term, things have changed.

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Gary, Indiana (WTTW News)

The city of Gary has struggled mightily, even in economic good times. The COVID-19 pandemic and statewide shutdown have only exacerbated existing problems. 

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Dr. Roland Walker appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, April 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

The coronavirus has permeated every aspect of Dr. Roland Walker’s life. As health commissioner of Gary, Indiana, he oversees the city’s response to the pandemic. But it has taken a toll on his personal life, too.

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(Marc Chase / nwi.com)

WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente joins to discuss the start of the new school year in Gary.

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(Courtesy of Michael Puente / WBEZ)

WBEZ reporter Michael Puente joins us to discuss funding problems surrounding the public school system in Gary, Indiana.