Gemma DiCarlo

Reporter

Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM. 

Gemma is originally from Harrisburg, Oregon, and is looking forward to covering all things Michiana. 

BCHD

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten will be leaving the health department next month to serve as the director of population health at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Deputy Health Officer Courtney Davis is expected to be approved as Interim Health Officer.

(Read the full release from the health department below.)

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

A former social studies teacher at Concord High School is facing a number of criminal charges, including possession of child pornography.

IDOH

The vast majority of Hoosier counties maintained their “blue” status this week on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map. 

 

Blue is the least serious of the state’s four color categories, indicating low spread of the virus. 

 

All WVPE listener counties kept their blue status from last week, except for Fulton County – it remains in the “yellow” category, which indicates moderate spread of the virus.

 

Jakob Lazzaro/WVPE News

A state committee has chosen a charter school to take over South Bend’s Tarkington Elementary School building, which the school board voted to close earlier this year. 

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

With some state incentives for solar energy set to end next July, a co-op has launched to help Northern Indiana residents go solar before the deadline. 

Back in 2017, the state voted to lower net metering rates, meaning solar homeowners will receive less credit on their energy bill for the excess power they send back to the grid.

 

MANUEL BALCE CENETA / AP

Several local organizations will be celebrating Juneteenth this Saturday, June 19. The day is generally recognized as end of slavery in the U.S. 

Jakob Lazzaro/WVPE News

Council and school board members, as well as South Bend Mayor James Mueller and School Superintendent Todd Cummings, met June 17 to discuss ways to improve education in South Bend.

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Two years ago on June 16, Eric Logan, a Black man, was shot and killed by a white South Bend police officer near downtown South Bend.

Image provided by SBPD


After months of review, the South Bend Board of Public Safety approved changes to the city’s Police Use of Force Policy Wednesday. 

IDOH

All but seven of Indiana’s 92 counties are now in the “blue” on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map, including almost all counties in the WVPE listening area.

Provided by Elkhart County Commissioners

Elkhart County leaders announced details for the county's new consolidated courts facility, which will be located between Elkhart and Goshen. 

(Read more in the release below.)

Jakob Lazzaro / 88.1 WVPE

South Bend city leaders held a meeting Tuesday night to gather community feedback on the South Bend Community School Corporation’s School Resource Officer program. About 70 people met at Washington High School to discuss whether police officers have a place in city schools.

flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

St. Joseph County and South Bend leaders voted this week to opt out of Indiana’s settlement plan for lawsuits against opioid companies.

Both the county and city have pending lawsuits against different opioid manufacturers, marketers and distributors. They’re seeking redress for the effects of the opioid epidemic on local communities, as well as financial compensation for public funds used to address those effects.

 

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Once considered a coronavirus hotspot, Elkhart County’s COVID-19 cases are now at their lowest levels in a year. 

Photo provided courtesy of Goshen Health

Goshen Health is closing its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Pro Park One, and offering the vaccine at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine & Urgent Care instead. 

(Read more in the release below.)

GOSHEN, Ind., June 14, 2021 – Effective today, COVID-19 vaccines will be administered at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine & Urgent Care – 2824 Elkhart Rd, Goshen. 

(file)

If you live in St. Joseph County and see a group of people going through your recycling bin, don’t panic – they’re part of a new program meant to keep trash out of recycling.

Recycling Works, a sister company of local sanitation provider Borden Waste-Away, received a $50,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to reduce contamination in recycling. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/MayorDaveMiller/

Governor Eric Holcomb is directing flags in Elkhart County to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, June 12, in honor of former Elkhart mayor Dave Miller.

Miller died last month due to complications from COVID-19. He served as mayor from 2000 to 2007, and ran for a third term against current mayor Rod Roberson in 2019. His memorial is set to be held Saturday. 

Screenshot captured via Microsoft Teams

At the beginning of the year, the City of South Bend implemented a new program plan for contracting with minority and women-owned businesses. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion released its first report under the new plan Tuesday night.

 

IDOH

The Indiana Department of Health's latest color-coded COVID-19 tracking map shows over 70 percent of all Hoosier counties in the least serious “blue” category.

Courtesy Elkhart County Historical Museum

The Elkhart County Historical Museum has won a national award for its exhibit “Crossroads of Elkhart County," which chronicles the county's history from the arrival of native groups to the industrial revolution and the present day. 

 

The exhibit took three years to complete, and seeks to highlight the county’s Native American, African American, Latinx and Anabaptist voices.

 

Photo provided.

Earlier this year, the Morris Performing Arts Center announced a $30 million fundraising campaign for its 100th anniversary. At least $1 million of money would fund an Equity in the Arts endowment, which officials say will be shaped by community input.

 

Patrick McGarvey/Flickr

 

 

Michigan loosened its COVID-19 restrictions this week, removing limits on outdoor gatherings and increasing capacity limits indoors.

 

Berrien County Health Department spokesperson Gillian Conrad said the relaxed restrictions could help beach towns in Southwest Michigan recover the business they lost last summer.

 

“Many of our businesses rely on the busy summer months with tourists and visitors in the area to really help boost their business,” Conrad said.

The City of Elkhart announced Friday that longtime public works employee Rob Miller died of COVID-19 on Memorial Day. 

(Read the full release from the city below.) 

The City of Elkhart recognizes the passing of one of its staff members. Rob Miller worked for the  City of Elkhart as a Utility Operator in the Public Works department for 18 years. He passed  away on Monday, May 31st after a brief battle with COVID-19 at the age of 55. Rob took  immense pride in his work and was dedicated to providing Elkhart with safe water. 

FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik/IPB News


A regional partnership has awarded almost $2.5 million in grants to colleges and universities throughout the South Bend-Elkhart area. 

IDOH

For the first time since the Indiana Department of Health launched its COVID-19 tracking map, St. Joseph County is in the "blue" category, which indicates the lowest spread of the coronavirus. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

New, loosened COVID-19 restrictions took effect in Michigan on Monday.

With over 50 percent of eligible residents at least partially vaccinated, Michigan officials have lifted capacity limits on outdoor gatherings and increased indoor capacity to 50 percent. Additionally, masks are now only required for unvaccinated individuals indoors. 

 

St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox says people can feel a little safer about this year’s Memorial Day celebrations than last year.

 

He said while the county’s 7-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases is actually about 50 percent higher than at this time last year, the county is still in a “much better position” than last Memorial Day.

 

Screenshot captured via https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/april-rv-shipments-set-record-continue-six-month-streak

The pandemic has driven many to seek outdoor activities and safer ways to travel, causing demand for recreational vehicles to soar. Now, the RV Industry Association is reporting its sixth straight month of record shipments

The association’s April survey found manufacturers had shipped close to 52,000 RVs by the end of the month, the most for any April on record.

 

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

It was 75 years ago Wednesday when South Bend’s all-female baseball team played their first game at Playland Park, between South Bend and Mishawaka. 

IDOH

For the first time in more than two months, the Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 tracking map shows no counties in “orange,” which indicates high spread of the coronavirus.

In the WVPE listening area, LaPorte, Starke, Marshall, St. Joseph and Elkhart counties all maintained their “yellow” status from last week, which indicates moderate spread of the virus. 

 

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