Mayor James Mueller

Screenshot captured via Facebook

At the last regular COVID-19 update on Friday, St. Joseph County and South Bend leaders said the tide of the pandemic has turned decisively in the county.

Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox says the county’s seven-day rolling average of new cases is at its lowest point since September of last year, with the exception of a “historical data dump” on May 15 that resulted in a one-day case spike. 


Fox said those cases date back to February, and aren’t a result of the CDC’s updated mask guidance.


Concerns arose recently that South Bend police officers aren’t being properly trained on the department’s new Use of Force policy.

The new policy bans the use of chokeholds, emphasizes deadly force as a last resort and requires officers to report incidences of unreasonable force they've witnessed.

Screenshot via Facebook Live

As of now, St. Joseph Co. Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox says that 10% of the county's residents are fully vaccinated. Deaths from COVID-19 are coming down. The county has only seen two deaths from the virus in March and there were 20 deaths in February of s021. Fox says the number of cases has hit a plateau. He says the U.K. variant that has now been detected in the county is likely to infect more people and may cause more deaths. 

"We don't want to become hysterical, but we don't want to become complacent," Fox said in reference to the B.1.1.7 variant.  

(Joey Mendolia/WFIU/WTIU)

The CDC and FDA authorized the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use this weekend. Ahead of the vaccine's rollout, local health officials are encouraging residents to get a dose of any approved vaccine once they're eligible.


South Bend Mayor James Mueller updated the South Bend Common Council on the financial state of the city on Monday, Feb. 8.

Mueller said while the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the city’s economy, the impacts haven’t been as drastic as officials feared.


“There’s a lot of work ahead as a community with residents needing opportunities, but we certainly could have fared far worse,” he said.


Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

On Tuesday, South Bend Mayor James Mueller announced a draft of a 10-year plan to rebuild South Bend’s streets. In the short term, the city will invest $25 million in street repair over the next three years.

The plan is the result of a 2018 community survey that showed neighborhood street conditions were a big concern for South Bend residents.


Facebook Live

Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox was able to note some positive trends at the St. Joseph County biweekly COVID-19 update on Friday, Dec. 18.


The county's new daily case count has decreased over the last 10 days, which Fox called "some of the best news we've had in a while." The "second-best news," he said, is that the county's 7-day rolling average of new cases is below 200 for the first time since early November.


Peter Ringenberg

On Dec. 16, President-elect Joe Biden chose former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to lead the federal Department of Transportation.

The transportation department manages the nation's roadways, railways, shipping and airlines. It's not the first federal department most citizens think of, but current South Bend Mayor James Mueller said it's the one with the most direct impact on people's daily lives.

From that perspective, he said it makes sense to appoint a local official to head the department.

Facebook Live

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror and the December holidays loom large, South Bend Mayor James Mueller says, "It's not inevitable we will have a medical catastrophe." But he reminds area residents that he believes there is "no margin for error." 

"These are gonna be dark days in the winter," he acknowledges as fears continue that more holidays will mean more spikes in local COVID-19 cases. 

City of South Bend

On Thursday, the City of South Bend released a second draft of its Use of Force Policy that incorporates feedback from community members and other stakeholders.

Mayor James Mueller said the new draft mostly adds clarification to the first draft, which was released in August.

“There were suggested changes on all sides, and sometimes they were at odds with each other," Mueller said. "This draft is trying to find the balance of what’s right for our community.”

Screenshot via Facebook Live

Friday St. Joseph County and South Bend leaders provided an update on an ever worsening situation with COVID-19 locally.

Dr. Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer for St. Joseph County, says he expects the county will move into a "red" designation from the Indiana State Dept. of Health by the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. County Commissioner Andy Kostielney echoed that concern saying that he is also concerned about hospitals being able to provide care. 

Facebook Live

According to Dr. Mark Fox with the St. Joseph Co. Health Department, the county is seeing the highest number of patients in the hospital as compared with any previous point in the pandemic. He says there has also been a significant increase in deaths from COVID-19 in the county in September and October. For example, October has been the deadliest month so far. The virus has claimed 49 lives and the month isn't over. Last month, in September, 24 people died from coronavirus in the county. Fox says the increase in deaths is largely due to cases among individuals in nursing homes. 

City of South Bend

The South Bend Common Council unanimously voted to adopt the city's 2021 budget at its regular meeting on Oct. 12, and according to a press release from the Office of the Mayor. It was approved by Mayor James Mueller on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The $354.7 million budget represents a $4 million reduction in general operational spending from the 2020 budget. According to the release, the 2021 budget marks the start of a three-year plan to achieve full structural balance after the city faced revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Bend Mayor Marries Over The Weekend

Sep 28, 2020
Photo provided

South Bend Mayor James Mueller and Kellye Mitros were wed on Saturday at Island Park at the Century Center, with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg officiating according to a spokesman for the city.

The ceremony was small, with 20 immediate family members and four close friends in attendance.

The couple will have larger celebration and a honeymoon at a later date. The Mayor won’t be taking any time off this week as it’s currently budget season and there’s a Common Council meeting tonight. 

Screenshot from Facebook Live

City and county leaders in St. Joseph County are expressing concern about the state's moving to Stage 5.

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Mayor James Mueller and the South Bend Heritage Foundation announced this morning that they will build a permanent supportive housing complex on the corner of Hope Avenue and Patty Lane, near Edison Park.


Heritage Foundation Executive Director Marco Mariani said that the project will take a housing-first approach to homelessness. By addressing the most basic need of the chronically homeless — shelter — Hope Avenue Homes will allow residents to focus on other concerns in their life. 


Screenshot from Facebook Live

During a biweekly news conference City of South Bend and St. Joseph County officials expressed optimism about COVID-19 statistics currently trending downward. 

"We acknowledge the impact of the cases at Notre Dame. Much of that has washed out," Dr. Mark Fox with the St. Joseph Co. Health Department said. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

South Bend residents and members of the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association are calling on City officials to immediately open a 24-hour homeless shelter. This is in response to what residents say is an ongoing homelessness problem in South Bend.

South Bend Releases Newest Version of Police Discipline Matrix

Jun 18, 2020
Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

City of South Bend officials released the latest draft of the police discipline matrix Thursday. This comes after pressure from the community to see steps taken with police reform.

Image provided by the South Bend City Clerk

Friday night the Democratic Caucus members of the South Bend Common Council issued a lengthy letter. The five page document included pointed remarks for the city's mayor, media and police. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

Faith leaders met with South Bend Mayor James Mueller Thursday Morning to push for the adoption of a discipline matrix for South Bend Police Officers. It’s a document that outlines how an officer would be penalized or disciplined for different violations on the job. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

South Bend Mayor James Mueller and the Common Council discussed possible solutions for the City’s homeless population during a meeting Tuesday night. This comes after a heated confrontation between police and protestors at a homeless camp Tuesday afternoon

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The homeless who are staying in tents near downtown South Bend were given until 10 a.m. Tuesday to disperse. But they didn’t start leaving until late this afternoon resulting in protests and police being called to the scene. 

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The City of South Bend is in the beginning stages of coming up with short-term and long-term solutions for the City’s homeless population. This comes in the wake of a homeless tent city that recently popped up near downtown South Bend.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

During the weekly St. Joseph County, Indiana COVID-19 update Friday, officials continued to stress caution as businesses start reopening and people begin venturing out. 

South Bend Travel Advisory Extended Until May 11th

May 4, 2020

South Bend Mayor James Mueller extended the City's travel advisory that limits non-essential travel.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

South Bend Mayor James Mueller received a response from Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel on his request for more information from the investigation into the shooting death of Eric Logan.


It’s been roughly one month since Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a stay-home-order due to the coronavirus. St. Joseph County, Indiana officials discussed when it may be safe for the county to start reopening during a virutal press conference Friday.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

  The City of South Bend will use the Motel 6 on Indiana 933 in Roseland as an isolation facility for homeless people who have the coronavirus. 

WVPE News / Annacaroline Caruso

South Bend residents met Thursday night with city leaders to further discuss the findings of the Eric Logan shooting investigation. Many community members are still angry.