Elkhart P.D. Reports Attempted Kidnapping

Dec 6, 2019
Elkhart P.D.

Elkhart Police report there was an attempted kidnapping Thursday evening in the 2600 block of S. Nappanee Street at a car wash. It was reported that the victim and her 8 year old daughter and 4 year old son were cleaning their vehicle. The mother look over to see a white male 60-70 years old with a grey beard with pock marks or scars on his cheeks in a late 90s tan GMC Safari Van. The male was sitting in the driver’s seat of the van and had his arm out the window with candy in his hand talking to the children.

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

The City of Elkhart officially renamed the Donor Lobby of the Lerner Theatre after Art Decio, a local philanthropist.

The City of Elkhart aimed to honor Decio, an Elkhart native who’s a major supporter of the Lerner Theatre.

Elkhart to Hold Fair Housing Training

Dec 2, 2019
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.

Courtesy Sotheby’s via AP

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Officials at a northern Indiana museum say it was "a very pleasant shock" that a 19th-century sculpture it had owned for more than 40 years ago recently sold at auction for $7.55 million, exceeding estimates for the work.

BREAKING NEWS: Two People Shot In Elkhart, One Dies

Nov 24, 2019

Elkhart Police are reporting a deadly shooting occurred this weekend. 

NEW: "Red For Ed" Will Close Goshen Schools Nov. 19, Schools Closing Statewide

Nov 6, 2019
Michael Conroy/AP Photo/File


Friday Goshen Schools announced that there will be no class on Nov. 19 when teachers will rally at the Indiana Statehouse for "Red For Ed" Day. 

Today the school posted the following on its website: 

In order to support GCS teachers and staff who wish to participate in the Indiana State Teachers Association Call to Action Day at the IN General Assembly Organization Day, GCS will be closed on Tuesday, November 19. The number of staff members planning to attend the Call to Action Day is high enough that GCS is unable to procure sufficient substitute teachers for the day in order to have a safe and productive day of instruction. We realize that closing school creates complications for our families and therefore we wanted all to be aware of this decision as soon as possible.  The make-up day will be on Friday, February 14, 2020.

GCS appreciates the support from the Goshen community with the passing of an operating referendum to help offset the lack of funding GCS receives from the state of Indiana. However, the GCS staff is planning to attend the event in Indianapolis to stand up for all public education in the state. Traditional public schools in Indiana have not been adequately funded, while charter schools and vouchers have seen increases in funding. GCS should not have to ask the community for a referendum in order to help pay teachers better salaries and to keep class sizes at manageable levels, but with the significant funding losses GCS has experienced, there was no choice.

Therefore, GCS teachers and staff are standing up for students, for reasonable class sizes, for more qualified teachers in the state’s classrooms, and for better funding for all traditional public schools


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — School days are being called off for tens of thousands of Indiana students as their teachers make plans for attending a union-organized Statehouse rally.

Some school district officials say so many teachers are taking personal time off for the Nov. 19 rally that they wouldn't be able to find enough substitute teachers to cover classrooms. But they also say they support the push by teachers for a bigger boost in school funding.

The president of the Indiana State Teachers Association says at least 4,000 teachers have registered for the Statehouse lobbying effort on the day legislators are gathering for organization meetings ahead of their 2020 session starting in January.

The union says more than 30 school districts have canceled classes or are having students work online from home that day.

WATCH VIDEO: Elkhart Elects First African American Mayor

Nov 5, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE

Less than two hours after the polls closed in Elkhart, history was made. Democrat Rod Roberson learned that his mayoral opponent, Republican Dave Miller had conceded the election. Roberson is a former Elkhart council member who now becomes the city's first black mayor. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Not many cars were parked in the parking lot at Elkhart's North Side Gym. That is just one of the polling sites in the city where residents may vote today in municipal elections.

Elkhart Police Department Expects Policy Changes

Nov 1, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

The Elkhart Police Department will be implementing some changes as a result of an ongoing review of policies and standards. 

Elkhart’s Police Department was under scrutiny last year after a video surfaced showing officers beating a handcuffed man after he tried to spit on one of them. 

RV Shipments See A Slight Year Over Year Uptick

Oct 29, 2019
Joe Raymond/AP Photo/File

The RV Industry Association is reporting a slight uptick in September shipments compared to last September. It’s the first time in more than a year the industry has seen positive growth.


With less than two weeks until Elkhart residents go to the polls to choose a new mayor, WVPE's Michael Linville is conducting in-depth interviews with each candidate. 

Listen here to Michael's interview with Democratic candidate, Rod Roberson, which aired during Morning Edition on October 23.

Michael's interview with Elkhart's GOP mayoral candidate, Dave Miller, will air October 24 on Morning Edition.

Beekeepers Protect Hives From Pesticide Amid Virus Fight

Oct 4, 2019
Elise Amendola/AP Photo

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a northern Indiana county say precautions that beekeepers took prior to aerial spraying to combat a rare mosquito-borne virus apparently spared their honey-producing hives from losing bees to the pesticide.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

This school year, a dozen high school students in Elkhart County are testing out a new apprenticeship model that went from Colorado to New York City, and now Indiana. Student apprentices will work part-time at local companies and get paid. Organizers hope the program will help connect students with companies that say they can’t find enough skilled workers. 

At Robert Weed Plywood in Bristol, it’s high school junior Chris Camacho’s first day on the job – and his first day of school. He’s getting a tour of the factory floor from his training supervisor, Natalie Hart.


Voters in Northern Indiana have several chances to connect with candidates before the November municipal elections.

There will be debates, forums, and meet the candidate events in the next few weeks for voters in South Bend,  Mishawaka, and Elkhart.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

The League of Women Voters and the American Democracy Project are sponsoring several upcoming forums to allow voters to meet candidates who will be on the ballot in Nov. 2019 municipal races. Information about the events is below. 



Renovated Tolson Community Center To Open In Elkhart

Sep 25, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

Elkhart Parks and Recreation held a ribbon cutting Wednesday to celebrate the newly renovated Tolson Community Center.

The Tolson Community Center is back after about a year-long hiatus. The Center closed last summer after losing funding from the City. However, the City is once again funding Tolson.

Annacaroline Caruso

Elkhart rededicated an historic landmark that has been undergoing repairs for years. It honors one of the City’s founders. 

The Dr. Havilah Beardsley Memorial Fountain was damaged in April 2017 by a vehicle that crashed into it during a police chase.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

The RV industry is celebrating a grand opening of its newest facility in Elkhart Monday. The RV Technical Institute will help reduce a shortage of workers who repair recreational vehicles.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Jimtown) and representatives from the RV industry association will celebrate the grand opening of the technical institute. It represents a $10 million commitment from the RV Industry Association to reduce a significant shortage of repair technicians.   


Today the Indiana State Dept. of Health issued a warning about mosquitoes and a rare virus that has been detected in Elkhart County. Earlier this month in Michigan, the disease was confirmed in Berrien County and a person died from it in Kalamazoo County. 

Here is the Indiana Dept. of Health release in its entirety: 

INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites in response to the detection of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in northern Indiana.


Man's Body Found In River In Elkhart

Sep 10, 2019

Elkhart Police released the following information on a discovery made along the river Tuesday evening:

On September 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm officers were dispatched to the 200 block of South Michigan St in regards to a body in the St. Joseph River.

Officer along with members of the Fire Department arrived on scene and located a male deceased in the river. The body was found on the north side of the river near Lexington Ave and Vine St. The Elkhart County Homicide Unit was called in to investigate the incident.

Two 16-year-olds have died in separate shootings.

The first occurred Friday night in the 1,800 block of Sampson in South Bend.  The victim is identified as Curtis A. Frazier, Jr.

Friday South Bend police responded to a call of shots fired around 9:35pm and found two people with gunshot wounds. Frazier was dead at the scene. The other victim, Makyi E. Toliver, 18, of South Bend survived. 

Elkhart Kiwanis Club to Hold Mayoral Debate

Sep 4, 2019
City of Elkhart logo on the sidewalk in front of city offices.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The Kiwanis Club of Elkhart is hosting a debate next week for the city’s mayoral candidates.

The two candidates, Republican Dave Miller and Democrat Rod Roberson, will face each other in a debate moderated by local journalist Marshall King.

Joe Raymond/AP Photo (FILE)

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Economists are warning that a downturn in shipments of recreational vehicles from the northern Indiana "RV Capital of the World" suggests an impending recession.

RV Industry Association data shows more than 80% of recreational vehicles sold in the U.S. are produced in Indiana, and roughly 65% of those come from Elkhart County.

The wholesale shipments of RVs are down 20% so far this year. Companies such as Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. have slashed output and cut back the work week to slow production.

Elkhart Central Wins the Mangy Lion for the Last Time

Aug 24, 2019
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The final Elkhart Central/Memorial rivalry football game leaves Elkhart Central High School as the  keepers of the Mangy Lion trophy.


Ahead of his concert on Friday, August 23 at The Lerner in Elkhart, ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro took some time to talk to WVPE's Michael Linville.  Listen as Jake reflects on how he got interested in the ukelele in his home state of Hawaii and went on to become a YouTube sensation. 

Annacaroline Caruso

An Elkhart flute maker was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association to celebrate his contribution over 70 years in the business.

However, Emerson DeFord wasn't always in the flute making business.

Elkhart-Based Payroll Company Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Aug 13, 2019
Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana-based payroll processing company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, blaming its financial woes on a "complex scheme" orchestrated by its founder.

Elkhart Grand Prix Returns With Night Racing

Aug 10, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso

The Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix returned this weekend, but this time things were a little different.

Go-karts lit up the streets of Elkhart this weekend for the first-ever night race.

NEW: 3 Victims Killed In Shooting In Elkhart Named

Jul 31, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso


Elkhart police say one of the dead men is the suspected shooter. Elkhart County Homicide Unit Cmdr. Mark Daggy identified the dead victims as 66-year-old Gail Shields, her boyfriend, John Malk, along with the suspected shooter, 76-year-old Lawrence Faco. The wounded woman wasn't identified.

Schools Raise Pay, Offer Incentives To Attract Bus Drivers

Jul 28, 2019
Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo


ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Some Indiana school districts are raising pay to keep and attract bus drivers.

Doug Thorne, chief of staff at Elkhart Community Schools, says there's a significant shortage of people in the U.S. who have a commercial driver's license.

A new driver will get $19.99 per hour after 55 days in Elkhart. The top rate is $22.47 per hour. There's also a $250 bonus per semester under certain conditions.