Elkhart County


The Indiana State Dept. of Health has announced that aerial mosquito spraying is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday after a human case of EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) has been diagnosed in an individual in LaPorte County. Cases among horses have been reported in LaGrange, LaPorte and Kosciusko counties. 

(You can read more below from the ISDH release on the aerial spraying plans.) 

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE


The National Weather Service out of North Webster, Indiana, has confirmed that two tornadoes touched down Monday night. Both were category EF-1 tornadoes. One touchdown occured six miles southwest of Wakarusa with maximum wind speeds of 110 miles per hour. The other touched down one mile north of North Webster with maximum winds of 90 miles per hour. 


A case of miscommunication… that’s what Elkhart County’s Health Officer said happened last week with Elkhart County school superintendents. It caused confusion and upheaval in several districts’ back-to school plans. The health officer is blaming social media for playing a big part in the misunderstanding.

Courtesy of the Elkhart Co. Health Dept.

The Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools shared with staff late Thursday that he was on a call with other Elkhart County school superintendents and the Elkhart County Health Officer, Dr. Mertz.

Fire Destroys Middlebury Barn, Kills About 240 Calves

Aug 6, 2020

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — Fire officials say a fire that swept through an Amish family's livestock barn in northern Indiana killed more than 200 calves. Middlebury Fire Chief Jeff Wogoman says the barn's owner and his children were inside the barn when the fire started Wednesday afternoon, but all of them escaped without injury. Wogoman says crews brought the fire under control in about 30 minutes, but only 29 of the 270 calves that were inside the barn survived the fire. Fire officials continue investigating the cause of the barn fire in Middlebury.



Beginning Tuesday, ISDH will be offering free testing this week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the following area counties: Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange and Marshall.

The Elkhart County Health Officer has just issued new guidance on reopening schools. She is recommending that schools can offer an option to reopen for in-person instruction. In addition, Dr. Lydia Mertz will also announce today that Elkhart County will move to Stage 4.5 with the rest of the state in reopening the economy. Elkhart County had been "paused" at Stage 4 behind the rest of the state due to earlier surging COVID-19 case numbers.


This weekend Concord Schools has announced that football workouts are suspended until July 27 after a coaching staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

Elkhart County Issues Face Mask Order Effective Tuesday

Jun 29, 2020
Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Starting Tuesday face masks will be required in Elkhart County in public when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. This order comes after a continued surge of COVID-19 cases in the county.

Justin Hicks/WVPE


The Indiana State Dept. of Health announced it would offer more free COVID-19 testing next week in Elkhart County. Elkhart County will remain in Stage 4 through July 17 as the rest of the state moves to Stage 4.5 of the 'Back on Track' plan to reopen Indiana's economy. 



According to the latest figures released by the Indiana State Dept. of Health on Wed., June 24 Elkhart County saw a day that tied its second highest yet for new COVID-19 cases. The county reported 101 new cases. That ties the case count on June 12.  June 17 remains the day the county saw its highest case count yet, with 112 new cases on that day. 

Elkhart County Hospitals Feeling Impact Of Coronavirus Surge

Jun 19, 2020
Justin Hicks / WVPE

Elkhart County recently moved into position as having the 3rd highest COVID-19 case count of all counties in Indiana. Local hospitals are starting to feel the impact of the surge.

During Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's regularly scheduled COVID-19 news conference Wednesday, one of the first topics addressed was the surge of COVID-19 cases being experienced in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

UPDATE: As of Thursday, Elkhart County has no plans to implement a face mask mandate or hold the County back from entering the next stage of Governor Eric Holcomb’s back-on-track plan. 

THE LATEST: Elkhart County Sees Another New All Time High In Daily COVID-19 Cases On June 17

May 30, 2020

NEW (June 18):

New data from the Indiana State Dept. of Health indicates Elkhart County has reached its highest daily case count yet for COVID-19. The county saw at least 121 cases on Wed., June 17. Tuesday state health officials visited Elkhart County to meet with government and health leaders about the ongoing case surge. On Wednesday the state set up a free pop-up testing site for that one day only in Goshen. 

Currently, Elkhart County has 2,400 COVID-19 cases and has seen 36 deaths from the virus. 

Elkhart County now ranks third among all Indiana counties for the highest number of cases. Only Lake County and Marion County have more cases. 

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Many Indiana counties are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases as restrictions ease, but Elkhart County is seeing new cases at one of the highest rates in the nation. That’s according to data released by the New York Times earlier this week. 

Photo Of The Week - Bonneyville Mill

May 21, 2020
Candice Parker

A building at Bonneyville Mill County Park in Elkhart County is framed by blossoming tree branches in WVPE's latest Photo of the Week.    

Thanks to Candice Parker of Granger  for this submission. 

The  photo was taken on Candice's drive home from work in Shipshewana on May 15th. 

Bonneyville is home to Indiana's oldest continuously operating grist mill that still produces stone-ground flour.  

Are you capturing images of spring and nature in bloom or of area landmarks? 

Email photos to wvpe@wvpe.org. 

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man faces welfare fraud and other charges alleging that he hid his father’s body for two years so that he could cash his benefit checks.

Irvin Nicholson Jr. was charged Tuesday with three counts of felony welfare fraud and one misdemeanor count of failure to report a dead body.

Justin Hicks

Normally around this time of year, you would expect to start seeing garage sales. Warm weather is right around the corner and many people have more time to clean out their homes with the shelter in-place order.

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. 

UPDATE: 6 Hoosier COVID-19 Deaths

Mar 21, 2020
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.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The City of Elkhart announced it’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday. Mayor Rod Roberson signed an executive order this morning putting some changes in place.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News

Lacasa cut the ribbon on a new office located in downtown Elkhart Thursday. Lacasa is a local community outreach organization and is celebrating 50 years in Elkhart County. 

Elkhart County Moves Forward with Courts Consolidation

Feb 25, 2020


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.”

Annacaroline / WVPE News

A traveling Smithsonian exhibit that highlights rural America has made a stop at the Elkhart County Historical Museum. 

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” It’s an exhibit that’s travelling around the country to educate visitors about rural communities.

Elkhart Woman Pleads Guilty To Fatally Shooting Man

Feb 9, 2020

A northern Indiana woman has pleaded guilty in the fatal 2018 shooting of a man whose body was dumped in a wooded area.

Indiana State Police


Today the St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor's office released new information in the pursuit and fatal crash from Friday that followed a police chase. The driver police were chasing is still at large and has not been named, but some of the others who were riding with him have been charged. Charging documents provide some more clues as to why police may have been chasing the vehicle in the first place. The documents indicate that those who have been arrested are accused of having a role in setting up a meeting with a victim by using Tinder with a plan to to lure the victim in with the promise of exchanging sex for money, but once the victim gave over the money, to run away with it before any sexual activity took place. The victim told police he dove from his own moving vehicle for fear of being murdered. 

Annacaroline Caruso/ WVPE News

Elkhart County residents gathered at the Lerner Theatre Wednesday night for something called “The Big Event.” It was a chance for people to show their pride in Elkhart .

The Vibrant Communities Organization hosted the event. It’s an initiative that aims to highlight all the good things about Elkhart County and continue to make improvements.

Sgt. Ted Bohner, Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police responded to a Toll Road crash in Elkhart County on New Year's Eve morning that left a semi dangling after the cab of the truck fell onto railroad tracks below.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Office released information via Facebook on a Christmas Day dog attack.