Jennifer Weingart

Reporter/Host, All Things Considered

Jennifer Weingart is a reporter and All Things Considered host. She holds a degree in broadcasting and journalism from Central Michigan University, prior work experience from WCMU in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. and WDET in Detroit. She likes stories that involve passionate people doing awesome things. Her work is heard on WVPE, the Michigan Public Radio Network, Indiana's regional journalism cooperative and a few times on NPR.

Jennifer believes that Public Radio is where the best stories go to get told.

When she's not chasing a story she can be found listening to NPR podcasts while running, baking recipes off Pinterest, doing something marching band related, or reading anything that stands still long enough. She also enjoys cats, dresses with weird prints, camping and TV shows with quality character development. She is a fantastic whistler.

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The University of Notre Dame


Ramadan, the month of fasting and prayer in Islam began at sunset Thursday. Though the holiday is deeply personal, some group celebrations will be missed this year. 

In Islam, Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar calandar. It celebrates God giving Muhammad the first chapters of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy text. Muslims spend the month praying and fasting during the day.  

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


A group at the University of Notre Dame is bringing a global nature observation challenge to Michiana starting this year.

The City Nature Challenge is usually a competition for people around the world to find and identify as many plants, animals and insects as possible this Friday through Monday. 

Niele Ivey To Muffet McGraw: "I'm Here Because Of You"

Apr 22, 2020
Screenshot from virtual news conference

NEW (Posted Apr. 23 at 1:05pm): 

The University of Notre Dame officially introduced Niele Ivey as the new head women’s basketball coach today.


Ivey played for Notre Dame. She was a part of the team that earned the Irish their first NCAA tournament win in 2001. Following the win, she spent five seasons playing for the WNBA on the Indiana Fever.  

Ivey returned to Notre Dame as an assistant coach under Muffet McGraw in 2007. She left ND to spend the last season as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

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


Spectrum Health Lakeland is starting to put select appointments and procedures back on the calendar as the impact of social distancing measures begin to show in local COVID-19 numbers.


Elective procedures are not part of the change, and any emergency or urgent care will still be prioritized. But some procedures that could be safely postponed for a few weeks, but not longer, will start to be scheduled at Lakeland facilities.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Berrien County health department is focusing on contact tracing and monitoring vulnerable populations in the fight against the coronavirus.

Berrien County Health officer Nicki Britten says the department is working on speaking to anyone who had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. She says that work is important but people should be aware of scams. 

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


A next step has been approved in Benton Harbor on a plan with the state of Michigan to improve student and financial outcomes. The Benton Harbor Community Engagement Advisory Committee approved the draft financial and academic plan in a virtual meeting Monday night.

The Advisory Committee was created to make a plan to overhaul Benton Harbor Area Schools academics and finances. It was created after community outcry against a state plan to close the district’s high school last spring.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

Christians across the world and around Michiana celebrated Easter Sunday, at a distance. The holiday usually brings families together for meals and the faithful to churches. But this year, Christians needed to get creative in order to find safe ways to celebrate.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


The advisory committee tasked with creating a plan to turn Benton Harbor Area Schools around is accepting public comment on a draft plan until a meeting Monday night.

The plan is a response to community outcry against a state plan to close the high school last spring.

Michigan Deputy Treasurer Joyce Parker says they’re pushing ahead with the draft plan even while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic so the district can begin implementing changes for next fall.


Passover began Wednesday night and millions of Jews across the country were figuring out how to celebrate the holiday while social distancing. 

Normally families get together and have a Passover Seder ceremony and meal on the first night of the holiday. This year many are having virtual Seder including Temple Beth-El in South Bend, and WVPE’s Sid Shroyer and his family. Both celebrated with a Seder over Zoom this year.


Listen for more on Passover and how one family held a Seder from homes across the country.

University of Notre Dame


The University of Notre Dame has repurposed 3D printers from labs across campus to make clear plastic face shield kits for health care workers.

More than 40 3D printers are working hard at Notre Dame to turn out about 250 face shield kits a day. 

Matthew Leevy is the director of the Innovation Lab at Notre Dame’s Idea Center.

Barbara Brosher, WFIU/WTIU News


Funeral Homes are considered essential business unders stay-at-home orders.

In-person funerals are officially restricted to immediate family only. Many funeral homes are doing livestreamed services, posting videos after, or working with families to postpone memorial services. 

Curtesy: The South Bend Cubs


The South Bend Cubs are putting fan messages up on their video board with proceeds going to the food pantry at the Kroc Center.

The South Bend Cubs would normally be getting ready for Thursday’s opening day, but with the coronavirus shutdowns the season is postponed. 

Joe Hart is the President of the South Bend Cubs. He said the messages help the club stay connected with fans when there’s no baseball.


The first of the eggs in the eagles’ nest at St. Patrick County park hatched over the weekend. Two other eaglets are expected to hatch in the next few days. 

The nest has been at the Notre Dame Linked Environmental Ecosystem Facility since 2015. The eagles took the nest over from a pair of red-tailed hawks. 

The eagle cam can be viewed live online.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The CDC now recommends covering your face when you enter public places such as grocery stores or public transit stations. (More on that from NPR here.) Proper manufactured medical masks, especially N-95 particulate masks should be saved for health care personnel.


Food banks and pantries across Indiana are seeing more people in need of assistance during the coronavirus crisis.

A lot of food pantries in Indiana are part of a network of food banks. The Food Bank of Northern Indiana, one of 11 regional banks, serves St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaPorte, Marshall, Starke and Kosciusko counties.




Most people are spending the majority of their time at home right now. But not everyone has a safe home. Local organizations and mental health services are using a variety of methods to provide support for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

In the last week the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s office has seen a slight uptick in calls for family disputes and disturbances. 

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


Mishawaka High School is teaming up with a local company to train temporary helpers for the health care industry.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb granted a temporary waiver that allows for people with basic training to help medical personnel with simple tasks like dressing, feeding and taking temperatures. 

These new medical workers are called Personal Care Attendants, or PCAs. 

Monica Caponigro / Robinson Shakespeare Company


The Robinson Shakespeare Company at the University of Notre Dame is usually an after school drama program for kids. Because of the coronavirus those kids are out of school, and performances are cancelled. The company has turned to using Shakespeare to promote proper handwashing.

Twenty second songs, like ‘My Country Tis of Thee,’ or ‘Happy Birthday,’ (twice) are the usual recommended methods for timing your handwashing. But students at the Robinson Company are using Shakespeare. 

Map by: South Bend Community School Corporation


For the last week or more schools across the country have been closed. Many students have been taking their classes online, including some students in South Bend who get the internet for those classes from a school bus.

South Bend Community Schools got some of their buses outfitted as WiFi hotspots so they could be deployed during snow day elearning this school year. When school was closed for the coronavirus, the buses were ready to roll.

Barbara Brosher, WFIU/WTIU News

  Among businesses still open under statewide stay at home orders are animal shelters. If you’re looking to adopt a pet as an isolation buddy, most shelters in the area are asking that you call first and make an appointment. 

Janet Graham at the Elkhart County Humane Society said the organization is letting just a few people in at a time and are stepping up their already rigorous cleaning and disinfection schedules.


Barbara Brosher


Health Departments across the country are working hard to get information about the coronavirus out to people to help slow the spread of the disease. But what if all the modern methods of communication, from the internet down to phone and radio aren’t an option?

There’s a sizable community of Amish people in Elkhart County. The County Health Department does have ways to communicate with them even during normal times. 

Curtesy Photo: Potawatomi Zoo


Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend announced Tuesday that it will not open for the season as planned on April third because of the coronavirus crisis. A postponed opening date has not been set.


With the Zoo largely closed to the public in the winter, there haven’t been any big changes yet. But with opening day coming up, Zoo officials decided to postpone it for now.

Five South Bend firefighters are in self-quarantine after interacting with a patient last week who has since tested positive for COVID-19.

Curtesy Photo: Centier Bank


  As efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus continue to shut down businesses, banks remain open. But, most banks have all but closed down their lobbies, leaving drive thru windows as the way to do business. They’re also doing a lot more cleaning and disinfecting.

Len Amat is Senior Vice President for Centier Bank. He said their lobby is still open by appointment only and they're working to keep customers informed.

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

  Berrien County Michigan is reporting an additional three cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to five. 

Only one of the three newly reported cases is related to the March 8th concert at Andrews University. That case is a man over 60 who did not go to the concert, his wife did. She is one of the original two cases reported Saturday. The couple is recovering at home.

The other two cases are also men over age 60. One is self-isolating at home, the other is being treated at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joe.

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


On the afternoon of Sunday, March 22, the Indiana State Dept. of Health announced two more coronavirus deaths in the state.

The Goshen News is reporting that Goshen Health has 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Saturday Elkhart County announced its first case of the disease. Indiana State Health Dept. data so far does not reflect the additional cases in Elkhart County.

Meantime, St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman announced on social media Sunday that, "My department is complying with Governor Eric J. Holcomb's Executive Order suspending all eviction and residential foreclosure proceedings during this state of emergency." 

Indiana Public Broadcasting has learned that a press briefing has been scheduled by the Indiana Governor's Office for Monday at noon.  The Governor's briefing will be about 15 minutes in length and will emanate from a location in front of his office doors.


Today Nick Simons posted to Facebook that the COVID-19 test results he and his wife had been waiting for finally came back.

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


Thursday Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced remote services for mental health, addiction services and prescribing would be expanded statewide. In the midst of a pandemic, those services are critical.

Being away from work, having kids at home, worrying about the coronavirus; all these things are realities right now, but are not so great for our mental health.

Lake Michigan Vintners tasting room
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE


  With coronavirus closures Michigan’s only degree earning wine and viticulture program is facing the challenges of colleges and wineries.

Wineries across Michigan are closed as part of the restaurant and bar closure instituted by the Governor to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Lake Michigan College has a Wine and Viticulture program where students also work in a college owned vineyard, winery and tasting room.

The University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart

  The University of Notre Dame has extended its suspension of in person classes through the end of the spring semester. 

In a letter to the campus community university President Father John Jenkins says the move stems from recommendations by the CDC. 

The university has not yet decided if graduation ceremonies will continue as planned. Jenkins says they may elect to postpone graduation to sometime in the summer.