Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

In the wake of several recent shootings, many of them involving young people, South Bend community and city leaders led a peace march through part of the city’s west side on Friday. 


To date, the South Bend Police Department has responded to 36 shooting incidents, nine of which were fatal.


Speaking to the crowd, Imani Unidad Executive Director Debra Stanley said marches like this are a beginning, rather than an end. 



The Sierra Club has won a lawsuit against BP for pollution violations at its Whiting refinery in northwest Indiana. The plant exceeded its limits for particle pollution from 2015 to 2018 and also failed to do required follow-up tests.

Captured via Facebook Live

Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer encouraged high schools to shift to remote learning for two weeks in an effort to slow the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases. However, students in Berrien County will continue to learn in-person.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said she and other health officials believe the benefits of in-person learning outweigh the current risks.


“We really are not seeing school settings as being the driver of transmission amongst our youth,” Britten said.


WVPE File Photos

After a year without minor league baseball, tickets went on sale today for the South Bend Cubs’ first games of 2021, brining with them the promise of a summer season.

Indiana Department of Health

For the first time in over two months, no WVPE listener counties are in the “blue” on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map.

Photo courtesy of Regina Scott

Businesses in St. Joseph County can still be fined up to $250 dollars for failing to enforce mask-wearing among employees. The County Council voted to keep the enforcement measure in place until the health department’s mask order expires on May 27. 


Following a federal recommendation, the Berrien County Health Department has announced it will pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. A J&J clinic scheduled for Thursday will use the Moderna vaccine instead, with a second-dose clinic scheduled for May 13. 

(You can read more in the release below.)


The South Bend Common Council passed a resolution on Monday against voter suppression efforts from state and federal legislators.

CDC Chief Urges Michigan To 'Close Things Down' Amid Spike

Apr 12, 2021
Courtesy of the Governor's Office

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Michigan should “close things down” to help address surging coronavirus infections. Dr. Rochelle Walensky's statement Monday comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instead urges people to voluntarily restrict certain activities. Whitmer wants the federal government to send additional doses to the state, but the administration of President Joe Biden has stuck with allocating proportionally by population. Walensky says shutting things down would help flatten the curve.

(Rebecca Green/WBOI)

The Elkhart County Health Department has announced several opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine over the next month:

The University of Notre Dame opened its first on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday, and in addition to doctors and nurses, some students are helping administer vaccines. 

Carol Mullaney, director of the university’s COVID Response Unit, said students who are certified as EMTs and certified to deliver injections have been working alongside other medical staff and volunteers. 


“They really enjoy working with each other, and then the staff just so enjoy working with them," Mullaney said. "They remind us on a daily basis why we’re here.”

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana Senate Republicans unveiled their $36 billion two-year state budget proposal Thursday – making a number of changes to the House’s K-12 funding plan and focusing heavily on one-time spending.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A House committee dramatically scaled back a controversial bill Thursday that would have imposed new voter identification requirements on absentee ballot applications.

(Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as long as a virus is circulating from person to person, it’s bound to mutate into new strains over time. However, if viral transmission slows down or stops, so does the process that leads to new variants. 


The City of Elkhart just announced a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for this weekend. The city is partnering with Walgreens, the county health department, First Presbyterian Church and the Hispanic and Minority Health Coalitions to host a clinic at the Tolson Community Center on Saturday.

Health department and Walgreens staff will administer the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine from 1 to 7 p.m. About 600 doses will be available, and unlike previous clinics, walk-in appointments are welcome. 


Indiana State Police K9 Zoia Gets Protective Vest

Apr 8, 2021
Photo provided by Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police announced that a K9 based in northern Indiana now has protective equipment.


23.7% Of Hoosiers Fully Vaccinated

Apr 8, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say nearly a quarter of Indiana residents age 16 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard showed Wednesday that a total of 1,291,190 Hoosiers — or 23.7% of Indiana’s residents who are at least 16 — have been fully vaccinated. Another 1,827,696 first doses of vaccine have been administered statewide. State officials made all state residents age 16 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on March 31.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's health director says the state is focusing on getting more people vaccinated, not imposing new restrictions on the economy, despite a wave of COVID-19 cases. Elizabeth Hertel notes that indoor high school sports, a source of infections, are wrapping up soon, and spring sports are outdoors. All teen athletes must be regularly tested. Michigan lately has been No. 1 in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases. The health department says about 37% of residents 16 and older has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Indiana House made a final vote of approval Tuesday on legislation directed at the Indiana State Teachers Association. Now, with a stroke of the governor’s pen, it would become a law critics say is an attempt to weaken the state’s largest teacher union.

(Aleksomber/Wikimedia Commons)

Black vultures have been harassing and sometimes killing calves, costing Indiana cattle farmers money. Purdue University researchers need farmers’ help to study the problem so they can come up with solutions.

Notre Dame announced vaccination against the COVID-19 virus will be required of students attending the university in the Fall of 2021. A university spokesman says that faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, but at this time will not be required to do so. 

Indiana Department of Health

The Indiana Department of Health’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map shows fewer counties in the least serious “blue” category for the second week in a row.

All WVPE listener counties are now in the “yellow” category this week, except for LaGrange and Pulaski County. They’re still in the blue, which indicates the lowest spread of the virus.


(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Members of the religious coalition Faith in Indiana gathered at the Statehouse Tuesday to do two things: call on Gov. Eric Holcomb to use part of Indiana’s share of the American Rescue Plan on gun violence intervention programs, and ask for a summer study committee to revisit proposed legislation for driving cards.


A bill telling pregnant workers they can ask for workplace accommodations without retaliation is one step away from becoming law after it passed a final vote in the General Assembly.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Indiana Republican lawmakers to change the way local health officials are allowed to do their jobs during a public emergency.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Religious organizations would be shielded from many health orders in future public emergencies under legislation approved by the House Tuesday.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News

House lawmakers voted Tuesday to prioritize protecting monuments and statues across the state, even cutting off some funding from local governments that don’t.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana doctors would be forced to tell patients about so-called “abortion reversal” protocols under legislation approved by the Senate Tuesday.

(Mareea Thomas/WNIN)

Republican lawmakers want to require an extra check of a voter’s identification on absentee ballot applications. Supporters say it’s about election security. Opponents argue it will unfairly cost some Hoosiers their vote.

Two Die In Benton Harbor Morning House Fire

Apr 6, 2021

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A house fire killed two people before dawn in southwestern Michigan. The roof had collapsed when Benton Harbor firefighters arrived after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. One victim was in a front room while the other was in the kitchen. Their names and ages were not immediately released. The Public Safety Department in Benton Harbor says the cause is under investigation.