MORE COVERAGE: Fewer Than Half Of Indiana Students Meet New Exam Standards

Sep 4, 2019
Tom Davies/AP Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fewer than half of Indiana students met expected achievement levels on the state's new standardized test, leading the state's top educator to renew her call for changes on how those results are used for rating schools and teachers.

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.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News


Results for the state’s new ILEARN test are now public, and reveal just how much lower achievement rates on the test look compared to previous iterations of the state’s standardized exam. According to state data, less than half of all students reached proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and math, with proficiency rates of 47.9 and 47.8 percent respectively. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


Benton Harbor parents now have a place to go to get help with their kids and be directed to other local, state and federal programs for services.

The Family Resource Center is a classroom at the high school. It’s walls are painted gray and covered in inspirational artwork. Donated furniture and computers, and parenting books fill the room. 

Traci Burton is Family and Community Coordinator at BHAS. She said the idea is to help parents help their kids.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


The Benton Harbor Area Schools board declined to vote Tuesday night to create an advisory committee for the district.

The advisory committee is a state plan, from the Michigan Department of Treasury. It would be made up of representatives from the state, the district and the community. 

They would be tasked with coming up with an operational plan that would pay down the district’s debt and get students back on track academically.

Annacaroline Caruso

Black Lives Matter South Bend held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss their expectations for the citizen that will sit on the City’s Board of Public Safety. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The state has approved a new round of school safety grant funding for Indiana schools. The money will go to 429 schools through the state’s Secured School Safety Grant program. Last year 388 schools received funding through the program. 

National Cancer Institute

A federal grant to an Indiana researcher will fund the study of a type of therapy for late-stage cancer patients that focuses on improving quality of life. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is often used to treat mental health and chronic pain conditions.  This study will explore its use in patients who have advanced cancer diagnoses.

IUPUI associate professor of psychology Catherine Mosher will lead the research.  She says the intervention uses principles of mindfulness and meaningful activities.


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University wants the public to know that it has no connection to a company blamed for helping drive the nation's opioid crisis.

The university has spent years repeating that it has no affiliation to Purdue Pharma, the Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company that's the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Hoosier Lottery Generates Record Revenue For State

Sep 3, 2019
Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Hoosier Lottery generated a record amount of revenue for the state over the last year.

The Lottery Commission unveiled its fiscal year-end numbers Tuesday.

The state will get $312 million from the Hoosier Lottery, based on revenue from the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s the most ever, $6 million better than last year.

Will Vectren Be Mostly Wind And Solar In The Future?

Sep 3, 2019
Samantha Horton/IPB News

Since Vectren’s plan to build a large natural gas plant was rejected in April, the utility has been looking for other sources to replace its three retiring coal units. If the utility’s recent energy bids are any indication, we could see more renewables in the mix. 

St. Joseph Co. Sheriff Warns Of Fraud Alert

Sep 3, 2019
Justin Hicks/WVPE

Twelve fraud reports that ended with fraud victims cumulatively losing nearly $90,000 have prompted St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman's office to issue the following warning: 

St. Joseph County – September 3, 2019 – Today Sheriff William J. Redman issued a Fraud Alert and request to community to help protect family members, neighbors and friends against a rash of frauds occurring across our community and the nation. During the months of July and August the St. Joseph County Police responded to 12 Fraud Reports totaling losses of $89,589.00 by the victims.



All the scams were initiated via phone call or online message. The victims were of a variety of age ranges, although a couple of the victims were elderly, unfamiliar with technology and susceptible to criminal persuasion. One victim was a recent widow and assumed the caller was a company the deceased spouse had dealt with. One victim was deaf. The scams all cast large nets by touching large numbers of people using automated-calling or Google search results with a fake phone number.



One common payment transfer method used by almost all the scams is the use of pre-paid cards. This should be a huge red-flag that the caller is attempting to get your money through a mostly untraceable method. Sheriff Redman warns, “never purchase pre-paid gift, Mastercard, Google Play, eBay or any other type of card to make payment to anyone.” People should also take precaution when doing an online search for phone numbers for companies such as Google and Apple. Scammers have fake numbers online making the caller think they are calling a reputable company.



Sheriff Redman stated, “we want to make all of the residents of St. Joseph County aware of the techniques scammers are using. The scammers cast a very wide net and just need to catch a few people. Generally, the people caught in the scammers net are those who are vulnerable or are put into a temporary state of fear or concern by the scammer and thus are not thinking with a clear mind. The victims have recent widows and people who have been put into a state of fear regarding the safety of their personal information or the safety of family members. Often these scammers have just enough information about the victim to not immediately raise a red-flag in the mind of the victim.”



The Sheriff asked for the assistance of the public, “we need people to help protect those who might be vulnerable. Those folks that are older and not familiar with computer or technology. Those that have recently experienced trauma or the loss of a loved one and might not be clear-headed. Those who might fall victim to a caller that knows what bank they use or what city their family members lives in, or that a spouse or loved one has recently passed away.



Sheriff Redman closed by stating “we need the whole community to look out for those that might be at risk. These scams are causing very serious damage, often to those that cannot afford to lose the amounts of money they are being scammed out of.” 


Summary of SJCPD July & August 2019 Fraud Reports

 July 5, 2019 63-year-oldVictim found a dog on an online site, obtained photos and AKC papers for a dog wanted to purchasefrom a breeder in Oklahoma. The victim was to make a down payment for the dog and the breederwould then have the dog delivered to the South Bend Airport at which time the remainder of thepurchase price was due. The victim attempted to pay the down-payment via PayPal, but the transactionwould not go through. The breeder told the victim to then make payment with eBay gift cards. Thevictim purchased $500 in eBay gift cards and gave the numbers to the breeder. The breeder instructedthe victim that the down payment was received, however that the victim needed to also make paymentwith more card numbers to person at South Bend Airport who would be receiving the dog. The victimbecame suspicious and attempted to cancel and get a refund from the breeder. The breeder stoppedanswering the victims calls and was no longer posted online with dogs for sale. 

No. 9 Notre Dame Pulls Away From Louisville 35-17

Sep 3, 2019
Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Briefly caught off guard by Louisville's intensity, Notre Dame turned up its energy as well to take control with big plays.

Annacaroline Caruso

With summer weather comes a long list of landscaping chores like watering flowers, pulling weeds…..and mowing the lawn. A new technology may make that chore just a little bit easier.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

Communities in southeast Indiana will receive more than $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to get recovering opioid users back into the workforce. State officials celebrated the announcement at a Honda manufacturing plant Friday. 

At the event, Indiana Drug Czar Jim McClelland called the opioid crisis a “plague” and Fred Payne, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, noted that in 2018 the state lost nearly $2 billion to the opioid crisis. Both say the grant represents a significant step in solving the workforce issues created by addiction.