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.

Ways to Connect

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


A group of people is working to set up a Montessori high school in South Bend.

South Bend already has several options for Montessori schools for younger children, including one that’s part of the city’s public district. This new school would be only the fifth Montessori high school in the state. 

South Bend Montessori High School co-founder Eileen Mariani said high schools are rarer in part because the Montessori method is less fleshed out for older kids. She said the approach is not for every student.

Rick Rycroft / AP Photo


The Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend is using its first winter day opening to raise money for wildlife rehabilitation in Australia.

Raging bushfires across Australia are devastating human settlements and also impacting wildlife and their habitats. One Australian ecologist estimates nearly half a billion animals have died in the state of New South Wales alone. 

Potawatomi Zoo director Josh Sisk said the wildlife cost of the fires won’t be fully known for a while.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Indiana woman who killed three children after passing a stopped school bus in October 2018 has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Alyssa Shepherd drove past a stopped school bus in Rochester. She hit four children -- killing three siblings.

In addition to four years in prison, the judge sentenced Shepherd to three years home detention and three years probation. Her driver’s license will be suspended for ten years.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


Water levels in Lake Michigan are at near-record highs after hitting record lows nearly seven years ago. This rapid swing, coupled with increasing storm activity is eating away at the shoreline. 

On a sunny and cold Saturday in December volunteers flocked to Weko Beach in Bridgman to fill sandbags.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


Benton Harbor Area Schools chose Dr. Andrae Townsel as it's new superintendent Monday night

The two final candidates, Townsel and interim superintendent Patricia Robinson spent all day Monday meeting with students, teachers, administrators and community members. 


The city of Elkhart released the findings of an independent investigation into its police department Thursday morning.


In January 2018 two Elkhart Police officers were caught on video beating a suspect who was handcuffed to a chair. The video, and other instances of misconduct within the department were uncovered by a series of investigative reports done by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica. 

The front door and facade to the Buchanan District Library. It's grey stone with glass doors, and a lit overhang.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Buchanan District Library has eliminated all fines. It’s following a national trend of libraries going fine-free. Chicago, Kalamazoo, Detroit and other libraries have jumped on board too.

Teresa Crawford/AP Photo


Some families in Michiana will soon have extra support thanks to a program through Goodwill Industries.

The Nurse-Family Partnership Program is specifically for low-income, first-time mothers in Elkhart, St. Joseph and LaPorte counties. Registered nurses with the program will do home visits throughout a pregnancy and until a child’s second birthday.

City of Elkhart logo on the sidewalk in front of city offices.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The city of Elkhart is running a final training in a series on fair housing this week.

This training is specifically on discrimination within the lending process. It will cover an overview of fair housing laws and then dive in to the common forms of lending discrimination, redlining and the dangers of rent-to-own transactions. 

Abby Wiles is with the city. She said anyone is welcome, but they’re hoping to reach out to people who deal with housing transactions daily.

A toddler in gray winter coart traces the D in 'Howard' in white cut out letters as tall as he is stuck into mostly dead grass
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


This time of year the main attraction at Howard Park is the skating pond and new ice trail. The city brought in a big name to inaugurate the ice during a re-opening event Friday.

Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Brian Boitano entertained visitors and created a new skating move for one well-known resident.

“Boot, edge, edge is a skating term. We have a boot and we have a blade with two edges on it. So I thought as a tribute to you we would make a move called the boot, edge, edge!”

Stock Photo


This spring the Elkhart and Goshen Libraries stopped charging fines on children and young adult materials. Since the change libraries are now seeing more use.

If you check out a children’s book or movie at any library in Elkhart or Goshen and then turn it in late, you won’t be charged a fine. It’s an initiative that the libraries began this spring. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The final touches are being put on the overhauled Howard Park. The city is throwing it a big ‘welcome back’ party on Friday with art, fireworks, food and celebrity guests. 

“It’s critical that cities have places like this where we can come together and celebrate milestones, celebrate large occasions," Aaron Perri, director of Venues, Parks and Arts for South Bend said. "A place to show off to visitors when they come to town and see what South Bend’s all about.” 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


Volunteers and city officials planted trees in Goshen Monday morning, it's the beginnings of the city’s new public orchard.

Tiny trees, little more than sticks, rise out of donuts of mulch at Abshire Park in Goshen. It’s the beginnings of an Orchard that will be tended, and harvested by the public. 

The project is the brainchild of Goshen resident Patrick Coonan. It’s funded by a $30,000 grant provided by Enterprise through the Arbor Day Foundation.


More than six percent of youth in South Bend Schools don’t have stable housing. That’s according to a survey run by the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) and IU South Bend.

Youth with unstable housing in South Bend are less likely to have regular medical care, and more likely to have unmet physical or mental health needs. These numbers are largely in line with similar nationwide surveys.

The Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend ran the survey. The goal was to identify unmet health needs in South Bend’s kids.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Several thousand teachers wearing red surrounded the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday calling for better pay and more respect from the Republican-dominated state government in a protest that closed more than half of the state's school districts for the day.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


South Bend Community School Corporation officially re-opened the Kennedy Academy Planetarium today after a 100 thousand dollar renovation.

Students from across South Bend schools and neighboring districts have classes in the planetarium to learn about astronomy and other science topics.

The Planetarium at Kennedy Academy was built in the 70s. Since then it’s been renovated a few times but it was in need of an overhaul.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News


More than 100 school districts across Indiana will be closed on Tuesday. That represents more than 40 percent of Hoosier students. They’re closing to allow teachers, students and staff to participate in a rally at the state capital. 

Nearly 13,000 people are signed up to stand up for public education in Indiana. The group is largely made up of teachers, but will also include students, administrators, support staff and community members.  

forground shows snow fence, snow with trash and broken small boat, gray green lake and gray sky
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Lake effect snow brought several inches of snowfall this week to Michiana. Snow is predicted to continue through Tuesday night as temperatures fall.

Many schools in the area are off today due to treacherous road conditions. 

Lake effect happens when cold wind blows over a warmer lake. This band brought snow further inland making it almost to Fort Wayne.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


If you’re new to Michiana, or if you just never learned, lake effect snow is what happens when cold air meets a warmer Lake Michigan.

“Generally we get some really cold air that flows over the open waters that are a lot warmer," said Megan Dodson with the National Weather Service. "It can cause some instability and that can generate some snow bands in the form of lake effect.”

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The city of South Bend cut two ribbons Wednesday on the Technology Resource Center at Innovation Park.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg got handed a virtual lightsaber, really a VR controller, to cut a ribbon coded by the South Bend Code School.

On the screen the ribbon turned into blue balloons. They also cut a real ribbon with the usual golden scissors for good measure.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Dave Miller conceded the Elkhart mayoral election to Rod Roberson, his Democratic opponent. 

Miller told the group who listened, "I'm proud of our efforts."

“I’m grateful to all of you who believed enough in me to enable us to run a strong, positive visionary, professional campaign. I’m proud of our effort, proud of all of you," Miller went on to say.

Miller is a former mayor of the city. Twice while campaigning this time around he fainted during public debate events. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

  Tuesday is election day across Michiana. 

In Indiana it’s municipal elections. Most city councils are on the ballot. South Bend and Elkhart have mayoral races. Goshen and Mishawaka have incumbent mayors running unopposed.


White letters on red brick on the outside of the St. Joseph County Public Library main branch in South Bend
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Main Branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library is now closed as of today. Its last day open was October 31. It’ll be closed for at least a year and a half for a major renovation. 

Library spokesperson Jennifer Henecke said there are plenty of other libraries in South Bend and St. Joseph County for people to use during the renovations.

“We have 10 locations which is actually fairly unique for a city of our size to have so many branches. And this is a great opportunity for people to, kind of, explore their own city.”

Justin Hicks


Heartless. It’s the name of the play, but it’s also an allegory for the way the men felt when they were incarcerated.       


Five men, four of them convicted murderers, performed the play Monday night at the South Bend Civic Theatre. The play weaves a work of fiction in with the stories of the men.                                                         


Rick Callahan/AP Photo/FILE


The Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting two solar energy workshops this week in Valparaiso and Shipshewana.

The workshops are meant to give people an idea of how to go solar; the technology, the costs, and the benefits. 

Jesse Kharbanda is the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


Elkhart Community Schools officially broke ground Thursday on a new building that will house engineering and technical education classes.

When the district’s two high schools merge next school year students will choose an area of study. The new building will have classrooms and labs for students in the Engineering, Technology and Innovation, or ETI, track. 

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


The Benton Harbor Area School Board has voted to create an advisory committee with the state. The committee will create and operating plan for the struggling district. 

In May the state of Michigan suggested closing Benton Harbor High School as a way to pay down the districts debt and focus on academics for kindergarten through 8th grade students. After staunch resistance, the plan was dropped.

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo/File


It’s likely going to be a few more weeks before it gets cold enough in Michiana to kill all the mosquitoes. That’s more important this fall with the cases of a deadly mosquito-borne virus. 

Health officials and residents are waiting for the temperature to drop low enough to kill mosquitoes that could be carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

City of Elkhart logo on the sidewalk in front of city offices.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Elkhart Police and Fire Department and the dispatch center will be moving to the old Bayer site.


The council allocated $3.4 million Monday Night to purchase the Bayer site and adapt it to the needs of fire, police and dispatch. 

Elkhart Police Chief Chris Snyder said they’ve outgrown their space. “We’ve done everything we can to adapt this building to what our needs have been during that time. Our needs now just exceed what the four walls here give us.”

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


UPDATED: Activists are again calling for greater transparency over the Indiana Enterprise Center (IEC) after they received stacks of emails through a public records request. 

The IEC is a proposed industrial park development on land between South Bend and New Carlisle. The Open Spaces and Agricultural Alliance (OSAA) says the plan for the Center has been made behind closed doors. They say it threatens the drinking water in the area and will turn rich farmland into brownfields.