Jakob Lazzaro


Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.

Jakob grew up mostly in Charleston, South Carolina, but was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived in Sydney, Australia for several years in the late 2000s.

Jakob is looking forward to telling important stories in Michiana.

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After deliberating for more than seven hours Thursday, a jury found 19-year-old Jaheim Campbell not guilty of murder in the death of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in a South Bend drive-by shooting last August.


Chrisyah Stephens was attending a birthday party at High and Donald streets near Riley High School. Prosecutors said Campell opened fire on the gathering, aiming for another man, and hit Stephens instead.

Princeton University Eviction Lab

Judy Fox is a University of Notre Dame law professor and directs the school’s Economic Justice Clinic. She’s represented low-income clients on eviction cases for more than two decades but said now is the worst she’s ever seen.

Indiana Department of Health


According to the state’s COVID-19 tracking map, Fulton, Pulaski, Marshall and Kosciusko counties are now in the more serious “orange” category, which indicates high spread of the virus.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


South Bend’s old Marquette Elementary School — vacant for the past decade — could be converted into a 46-unit affordable housing development after the Common Council unanimously approved a zoning change Monday night.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


The South Bend Common Council has started consideration of a pair of bills that would strip the salary from embattled former Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds. 

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

South Bend has reached a new agreement with the federal government to improve the city’s sewer system and decrease discharge of raw sewage into the St. Joseph River during heavy rains. The new agreement costs $437 million less and gives the city until 2038 to make improvements.

Justin Hicks/WVPE


A group of former South Bend police officers is asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to step in and prevent the long-contested police tapes from being released.


Back in May, St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Steven Hostetler ruled that the officers lacked legal standing in the case and that the tapes could be turned over to the Common Council once all appeals were resolved.


School City of Mishawaka

Starting next week, Mishawaka schools are implementing a universal indoor mask mandate for all students, staff and guests regardless of vaccination status. Masks will remain optional outdoors.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE



The body of Mercedes Lain, the 11-month-old Plymouth baby reported missing Sunday by parents Tiffany Coburn and Kenneth Lain, was found Wednesday night in a heavily wooded area in Starke County.

Indiana Department of Health



For the first time since February, there are no Indiana counties in the “blue” category — indicating low spread of the virus — on the state’s COVID-19 tracking map. Almost all WVPE listener counties remained in the “yellow” category, indicating moderate spread of the virus, but Fulton County has moved to the more serious “orange” category, which indicates high spread.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE / Screenshot from YouTube




St. Joseph County is seeking to provide dedicated funding for the consolidated 911 dispatch center by redirecting existing tax revenue. Right now, the center is funded by South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County and handles emergency calls for most of the county.

Justin Hicks / WVPE


South Bend Community School Corporation has announced a series of public meetings to take input on how the district should spend federal COVID-19 relief funds. The district is getting $92.7 million in federal elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds.


U.S. Census Bureau


According to 2020 census data released Thursday, Michiana’s cities grew, rural communities shrank and the region became more diverse since 2010.


South Bend, the area’s largest city, had its largest population increase in 50 years. The city added 2,285 residents since 2010 and now has a population of 103,453.

Whole Woman's Health Alliance


Several major Indiana abortion laws were struck down in federal court on Tuesday. The case was brought by the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, which operates an abortion clinic in South Bend.

Indiana Department of Health

For the first time since April, all WVPE listener counties are back in the “yellow” category, indicating moderate spread of the virus, on the state’s COVID-19 tracking map. Last week, St. Joseph, Marshall and Starke counties were still in the “blue” category, indicating low spread of the virus.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


The South Bend Common Council unanimously voted Monday night to move oversight of the city’s Community Police Review Board to the mayor’s office. But following an amendment from Councilmember Henry Davis Jr., the board could return to the city clerk’s office after the 2023 election.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


The South Bend NAACP, Black Lives Matter and other community organizations are urging the Common Council to not change the structure of the city’s Community Police Review Board. The council is expected to consider a bill tonight that would move oversight of the board to the mayor’s office from its current home in the city clerk’s office.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News


The St. Joseph County Health Department is urging all county K-12 schools to implement universal indoor mask mandates. That follows Centers for Disease Control guidance recommending students, teachers, staff and visitors all wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.


Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch was in South Bend Thursday to promote a new fiber optic network installed along the Indiana Toll Road. 

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

During an Aug. 4 town hall hosted by Black Lives Matter, South Bend Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds said moving oversight of the board to the mayor’s office from its current home in the city clerk’s office would destroy the board’s credibility.

City of Goshen, Indiana

The Goshen City Council passed an ordinance August 3 that creates a deputy mayor position for the city.


Mark Brinson, the city’s current director of community development, will be appointed as the deputy mayor.


Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said during the meeting that he wanted to create the position to help redistribute administrative workloads and provide more efficient city services, as he “can’t be everywhere at once.”


Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was in Benton Harbor Aug. 3 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new 80 unit multi-family housing development. The $20 million project is being funded by Whirlpool Corporation and is being built across the street from the company’s Global Technology Center and across the river from its Riverview Campus.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

The South Bend Community School Corporation has implemented a universal face mask mandate for this academic year. Seven public commenters spoke against the measure, but it passed 5-0 with one abstention from board member Jeanette McCullough.

Justin Hicks/WVPE


During an August 2 town hall meeting, embattled South Bend Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds said that over the past month, he’s met with the city, the South Bend Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police and several community organizations. He’s also spoken with police review boards in Oakland, Berkeley and Cincinnati to help develop the board’s process in South Bend.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

On July 31, Niles hosted its first ever recreational cannabis festival. And from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the city’s riverfront park was filled with dispensaries, vendors, live music and people.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE



In his July 29 annual state of the city address, South Bend Mayor James Mueller made infrastructure investments a priority and announced plans for a revamped community center on the city’s west side.

Indiana Department of Health



On Tuesday, Indiana surpassed 1,000 new coronavirus cases per day for the first time since May. Now, many WVPE listener counties have moved back into the “yellow” category, indicating moderate spread of the virus, on the state’s COVID-19 tracking map.

City of South Bend

South Bend is hosting several public workshops for the Near West Side and Northeast Neighborhood plans this August.


The series includes two visioning workshops and a priorities workshop for each neighborhood.


The visioning workshops are scheduled first and will allow residents to share ideas on neighborhood planning issues such as housing, infrastructure, land use and amenities.


Anthony92931 / Wikimedia Commons


The South Bend Trader Joe’s is hosting an in-person job fair this week. The store has been under construction since last fall, and a store representative said the store is planning to open for business in late August.


Justin Hicks/WVPE



South Bend community police review board director Joshua Reynolds has agreed to turn over his past employment records to the common council.


That comes after the council rules committee unanimously voted last week to request or subpoena Reynolds’ employee records from his time as an Indianapolis Police Department and Butler University Police Department officer.