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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Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

  Two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found in St. Joseph County. 

Health Department officials say neither person has been hospitalized. Both are in self-isolation and recovering. 

These cases bring the total in St. Joseph County to three confirmed cases. More tests are pending.

 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

  A singer who performed at Andrews University in Berrien Springs in early March has tested positive for COVID-19.

Singer Sandi Patty performed on March 8th. She also held an in-person experience after the concert. Patty announced she has tested positive for COVID-19 on her Facebook page yesterday (Wed).

The Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland are working to get tests for anyone who had contact with Patty and are showing symptoms.

Notre Dame's golden dome
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

A University of Notre Dame student has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The student was in self-quarantine after returning from a London study abroad. They did not return to the University’s South Bend campus. 

The student is at home and receiving medical care. They are not from Indiana.

 A release from the University says the students local health department has been authorized to trace the students recent contact and will be notifying those individuals.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The alcohol industry is taking a hit with all bars and restaurants in Indiana and Michigan ordered closed to dine-in patrons amid coronavirus spread. 

Governors across the US have ordered dine-in restaurants and bars closed in a social-distancing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan has closed down almost entirely. Owner Bill Welter said they’re still distilling, but all their restaurant, bar, and event space business is shut down.

FILE PHOTO: WFIU/WTIU

 

Kids across Indiana and Michigan are home from school and encouraged to stay away from older relatives to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But, how do you explain to your children all these unprecedented changes? 

WVPE’s Jennifer Weingart spoke to Darcia Narvaez, a psychologist from the University of Notre Dame, about how to talk to kids about coronavirus.

 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

All K-12 Schools in Michigan are closed Monday. It’s the first day in an extended closure meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks. 

For some Michigan kids, the meals they get at school are the only guaranteed food they get in a day. During the closure, the state has told districts to go to a model that resembles summer feeding programs.

University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins released a video statement to the campus community overnight on Sunday. 

 

The University is closed this week. The extension of spring break was made to allow professors time to move classes online. Those courses will begin Monday, March 23rd.

Spectacle Entertainment

 Four Winds four casinos in Michiana will remain open for the time being amid Coronavirus outbreaks. 

The Indiana Gaming Commission announced Saturday that all state licensed casinos will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday. 

Four Winds casinos are under tribal government jurisdiction and are not subject to that closure. 

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi website shows the tribe has postponed all tribal events and activities. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Schools across Michigan are working to implement plans for coronavirus closures they hoped they wouldn’t have to use.

Health officials in Michigan say 13 more people have tested positive for the coronavirus, more than doubling the number of cases to 25. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday the new cases are adults.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The state of Michigan has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Metro Detroit. Michiana organizations are continuing to prepare for the possibility of a local outbreak.

No major closures have happened in Southwest Michigan yet. But health officials are saying local businesses are restricting non-essential international and domestic travel. The health department says individuals should do the same.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Michigan’s budding marijuana market is off to a slow start. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about why that is and whether it can eventually catch up to other states.

St. Joseph County Health Department

 

The St. Joseph County Health Department is urging preparedness over panic as fears of a potential local coronavirus outbreak increase.

 

COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is a respiratory illness. It’s main symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. So far there have been no cases confirmed in Indiana or Michigan, the closest cases are in the Chicago area.

Peter Ringenberg

After finishing fourth in the South Carolina primary, Buttigieg came home to South Bend to an emotional and loud crowd to make his announcement Sunday night. 

At the announcement South Bend resident Tracey Thomas, and many others, said the announcement was a loss. 

“As he was speaking up there, I was suddenly really struck. A really capable, talented, thoughtful, dedicated candidate has dropped out of the race and it’s heartbreaking really,” Thomas says. 

Justin Hicks / IPBS News

After finishing fourth in the South Carolina primary, Buttigieg came home to South Bend to an emotional and loud crowd to make his announcement Sunday night. 

He did not throw his support behind any other candidate, but instead called for unity in the party moving forward. 

“I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January,” Buttigieg says.

At the announcement South Bend resident Tracey Thomas, and many others, said the announcement was a loss. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The South Bend Common Council and the South Bend Community Schools Board held a first-of-its-kind joint meeting Tuesday night.

 

The two groups wanted to create a more formal partnership and solve problems that impact them both. 

“We come together for this exciting and historic meeting to begin a dialogue between our two bodies so that we may continue to move our community forward,” said School Board President John Anella in his opening remarks.

Pixabay

 

Elkhart County is moving forward in the planning process to consolidate County Courts into one location.

 

The plan is to eliminate the Elkhart and Goshen courthouses and instead  have all the County’s courts in one space.

“Both buildings are old," County Commissioner Mike Yoder said. "And especially the building in Elkhart has become a maintenance dollar blackhole, it’s not a good work environment for our employees, and there’s no way to meet current Indiana Supreme Court guidelines for security.”

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass County is holding a town hall on Thursday to talk about new rights Michigan voters can exercise.

In 2018 Michigan Voters approved a ballot measure that changed the state’s constitution to give voters more rights. Starting with elections this year, Michiganders can vote no-reason absentee and register to vote up to, and on election day. 

 

The St. Joseph County Public Library broke ground Friday morning on its major renovation and expansion project. 

When finished the main branch of the SJCPL in downtown South Bend will cover a whole block. There will be new outdoor spaces and a community learning center and auditorium.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Congressman Fred Upton visited the shoreline in his southwest Michigan district Thursday to talk about lake levels and erosion.

Republican congressman Fred Upton was in St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and South Haven to look at the state of the marinas to see the impact high water may have on boating, fishing and recreation.

“The fishing industry, the recreation industry, I mean, this is almost a $10 billion industry for the Great Lakes.”

R. Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy Tuesday morning. The organization is facing some 300 lawsuits from men who say they were abused while in the program.

BSA says the bankruptcy will allow them to create a ‘Victims Compensation Trust.’ To pay victims and provide them with counseling.

 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The more than 2,400 fetal remains that were found in the garage of a doctor who performed abortions in Indiana were buried Wednesday. More than 100 people gathered for the service in South Bend.

The crowd at Southlawn Cemetery listened to the state Attorney General, sang hymns and prayed over the burial site. 

Curtesy: St. Joseph County Public Library

 

The St. Joseph County Public Library is bringing an author to South Bend whose book will soon be a Netflix TV show.

A’Lelia Bundles wrote the book ‘On Her Own Ground.’ It’s a biography of Madam C.J. Walker, who started a cosmetics empire in the early 20th century. Bundles is one of Walker’s descendants.

Library spokesperson Jennifer Henecke said the book tells the story of a remarkable woman. 

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, Inc.

 

The bids started off quickly Wednesday night, with baselines laid down for 16 parcels of property. Then, as the parcels were combined together, the bids got slower and the prices climbed higher. 

In the end Amish Acres sold in seven parts to six bidders for a total of $4.255 million. 

The heart of the property; the restaurant, theatre, Round Barn and Amish Acres names, the liquor license and rights to the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival went to the team behind the Kruse Plaza Entertainment space in Auburn for $1.55 million.

The main entrance of Washington High School in the snow.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Representatives from the United States Department of Justice are visiting schools in South Bend this week. It’s part of a decades long agreement to integrate the district.

The South Bend Community School Corporation is under a consent decree to integrate its schools from a 1980 court case. Decades later, what that means is the district speaks regularly with the government about it’s progress and problems. 

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

 

Any kindergartner enrolling in South Bend Schools next year will need to have a blood lead test done.

Kids going to public schools already have to have certain vaccines and the district recommends that kids have physicals, and eye and dental exams. The lead test is a new addition made possible by a state provision. 

Sue Cullen is the School Nurse Manager for South Bend. She said the test before kindergarten should catch kids that haven’t been tested before.

The main entrance of Washington High School in the snow.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The South Bend Community School Corporation board likely won’t partner with a new charter from Purdue University coming to the city. A recommendation on Monday night’s school board agenda would take an innovation agreement off the table for the coming school year.

Water nearly reaches the arches under Jefferson Boulevard
Jennifer Weingart

 

More than a dozen flood-prone homes in South Bend will be coming down soon thanks to a grant from FEMA.

The $2.1 million grant from FEMA will be matched partially by the county. More than $2.8 million will go to acquiring and demolishing 15 homes and properties along the Phillips and Laing ditches in the Jewell Woods neighborhood on the south side of South Bend. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The Elkhart Area Career Center cut the ribbon on its new automotive annex Thursday.

The Elkhart Area Career Center teaches students from 16 area schools. The new 20,000 square foot facility is bright and clean with tall ceilings and enough space for plenty of projects It’s a state of the art shop for teaching automotive and diesel technology. 

Students learn everything from changing tires to re-building engines.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Elkhart Community Schools is asking for the community’s help in writing lyrics for the new fight song for the combined high school that students will attend this fall.

Elkhart Memorial and Central High Schools will compete as one set of sports teams next school year. 

Because of the merger, there have been a lot of decisions to be made. Last spring the school choose the Lions as the new mascot. 

 

Community education advocates gathered Saturday to discuss the Purdue Polytechnic Charter High School coming to South Bend.

 

Purdue was granted a charter by the state to open a Purdue Polytechnic charter high school in South Bend. There are two Purdue Polytechnic High Schools operating in Indianapolis. 

What’s up for debate is whether or not Purdue will partner with South Bend Community Schools to make the charter an innovation school that would operate within Washington High School as a STEM focused program.

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