Last week, South Bend won the 2021 Driehaus Award for the Evolution of Form-Based Codes due to the city’s innovative zoning policy, and local urban planners are excited. But what exactly does it mean?

Flickr User Bart / http://J.Mp/1SPGCl0

The water situation in Benton Harbor became more complicated Wednesday when the city experienced what was described as a large water main break which resulted in a system-wide loss of water pressure across the city.

The city issued a warning to residents not to drink the water until further notice. City residents had already been under a recommendation not to drink the water due to high lead content.

Photo provided courtesy of Goshen Health

The Indiana National Guard is now supplementing the healthcare staff at Goshen Hospital.

Sixteen National Guard members arrived at the hospital Wednesday "to pitch in where needed," according to a release from the health system. That's after Gov. Eric Holcomb called on the National Guard to assist state hospitals, many of which are experiencing staffing shortages. 

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

South Bend officials and community leaders held a press conference Wednesday calling for an end to gun violence after three people were shot and killed in the city in the past week.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health is sending another COVID-19 “strike team” to South Bend’s Four Winds Field this week. The department sent a first team earlier this month.


The department will provide free COVID testing and vaccination from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 through Saturday, Oct. 23.


Both rapid antigen and PCR tests will be available, as well as the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. No appointments will be necessary.


The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners vetoed the county’s 2022 budget Tuesday. That’s after the county council approved it in a 6-3 party-line vote last week.


The issue? Raises for county employees – the budget raises the minimum yearly salary to $32,000 a year, or about $16.41 an hour. Other county officials – including members of the county council and board of commissioners – would also receive raises.


South Bend Police Department

A South Bend police officer is being charged with six felonies, including two counts of child seduction, over an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

According to a news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office, the Mishawaka Police Department received a tip regarding 36-year-old SBPD officer Timothy Barber in early October, and the investigation was handed over to the special victims unit.

Screenshot captured via Zoom

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners voted to deny federal funding Tuesday that allows the county health department to hire more community health workers. That’s after the Elkhart County Council denied an application for the same grant last month. 

Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

The Benton Harbor City Commission declared a local state of emergency Monday night in response to high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited the city Tuesday morning for a listening session with residents and local political leaders.

Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE

The real estate group that owns Elkhart’s Concord Mall is being ordered to pay almost $7 million dollars in unpaid expenses. 

Screenshot captured via Facebook

Berrien County Health Department Acting Health Officer Courtney Davis has resigned, saying in a statement that she can “no longer effectively do her job” due to the “politicization of public health” during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning Benton Harbor residents to be on the lookout for price gouging, particularly of bottled water. 

Due to lead contamination in the city’s water, health officials have advised residents to use only bottled water for drinking, cooking, teeth brushing, and mixing baby formula.

The attorney general said in a Friday release that’s created the opportunity for local retailers to unfairly hike the price of bottled water. 

Myron Bontrager

Myron and Dana Bontrager own and operate the Electric Brew coffee shop. But from August to October, they were biking down the East Coast, starting in the Maine town of Calais on the Canadian border and ending in Key West, Florida 49 days later.

Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE

Governor Eric Holcomb and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan were both in attendance at a groundbreaking ceremony for a massive solar project Thursday.

Flickr User Bart / http://J.Mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that the state plans to replace all lead service lines in Benton Harbor over the next 18 months.


Both Elkhart and St. Joseph County recently passed their budgets for the 2022 fiscal year. 

The St. Joseph County Council passed a roughly $192 million budget Tuesday evening, putting the county at a $2.4 million deficit.


The spending will be used to boost salaries for county employees – the minimum salary is now $32,000 a year, or about $16.41 an hour. 


Indiana Department of Health

Last week, only one WVPE listener county — LaGrange — was in the “red” category, indicating unchecked community spread of the virus, on Indiana’s COVID-19 tracking map. But this week, LaGrange has been joined in the “red” once again by Fulton and Starke counties.

City of Goshen, Indiana

The Goshen City Council unanimously approved the city’s $69.8 million 2022 budget Tuesday night.

Mayor Jeremey Stutsman told the council last month that the city currently has the largest cash balance in decades, with 16 months — or 135 percent — worth of reserves.

The city’s 2022 budget was developed with a focus on spending down some of those reserves.

That includes investments in infrastructure such as repaving streets and upgrading parks, equipment and a 7 percent raise for Goshen police and 3.5 percent raises for all city employees.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded more than $14 million Tuesday to help cities across the state clean up their water.


Twenty-eight cities, villages and townships received grants to support lead service line replacement, enhance water affordability plans, or connect homes with contaminated wells to safe drinking water supplies.


WVPE File Photo

The University of Notre Dame is offering free football tickets to people receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Starting this week, anyone getting their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will get two complimentary tickets to a select Fighting Irish football game, while supplies last.

Individuals can choose between the 3:30 p.m. Nov. 6 game against Navy or the 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 game against Georgia Tech.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

The South Bend Common Council approved the bulk of the city’s 2022 budget Monday night. The council passed a $386.4 million budget bill, not counting American Rescue Plan funding. 

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

Thanks to millions in federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan, South Bend Mayor James Mueller said the city’s 2022 budget will be a “historic” investment in infrastructure, affordable housing, community resources and public safety.

“The resources that we have from federal and state partners is accelerating our ability to transform our community and our neighborhoods,” Mueller said during a Monday afternoon press conference at 466 Works, an infill housing development on South Bend’s southeast side.

solar panels
Jennifer Weingart

The Elkhart County Commissioners voted Monday to deny the needed zoning changes for a proposed solar farm project. That’s after the county council unanimously approved the project’s economic development agreement Saturday.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Another Hoosier is joining the Biden administration. The president Friday nominated former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly to be ambassador to the Vatican.

Alan Mbathi / IPB News

Transportation problems for schools are spilling over to some after-school programs. The lack of bus drivers or other staff across Indiana is hindering efforts to reach students who need additional academic support.

solar panels
Jennifer Weingart

Elkhart County officials will vote on a large-scale proposed solar project this weekend.

St. Joseph County Democrats Facebook

St. Joseph County Council member Diana Hess has been elected as the next chair of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party.

In a Facebook post, the party announced Hess was chosen as chair in a Thursday night party caucus. She’s the first woman to serve as chair in more than 40 years.

Scott Lewis/Flickr / Flickr

Amazon announced plans Thursday to open two new buildings in Elkhart County.

Michigan State Police

A Michigan State Police trooper was shot during a traffic stop in Niles late Wednesday night.

According to a post by the state police on Twitter, the incident occurred on 9th St. between Regent and Main around 10:30 p.m.

The trooper pulled over a Nissan for reportedly failing to stop at a stop sign, and the driver was arrested for driving with a suspended license.

The passenger reportedly then exited the vehicle and shots were fired by the passenger and the trooper. It is unclear who fired first.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Two people have now been charged in a South Bend shooting that involved a 4-year-old child. 


On Tuesday, Oct. 5, officers responded to an incident in the 1100 block of Queen Street where a child had been shot in the foot. An emaciated dog was also found at the scene.


The child’s mother and her boyfriend have both been charged with Level 3 and6 felonies for neglect of a dependent. The mother has also been charged with two Class A misdemeanors –  assisting a criminal and animal cruelty.