Local News

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. 


Elmer Street: The Northside

Apr 14, 2021
Photo provided by Karl Smith, Logo by Tiana Batiste Waddell

WVPE's Karl Smith steps out of his usual role as host and producer of shows that focus on music and the arts to look at a piece of South Bend's secret history.  It's a program based in part on the book Better Homes of South Bend along with personal recollections from Karl's family and friends.


Support comes from SCORE, volunteers providing confidential mentoring, and workshops to entrepreneurs. SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration with a local chapter serving the Michiana region.  Volunteer or get help with your business go online to SCORE.org.

North Central Indiana SCORE


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. 


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. 

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Monday is Dyngus Day, the traditional Polish holiday celebrating the end of Lent. In South Bend, that usually means Polish food and political speeches, but the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the holiday for the second year in a row.

Polish sausage, sweet-and-sour cabbage and Kluski noodles are still on the menu at the West Side Democratic and Civic Club in South Bend. But, the ongoing pandemic means you have to order ahead and pick your food up via drive-through.


Photo Of The Week - Student Sunrise

Apr 1, 2021

A class assignment resulted in a great photo recently at the Elkhart Academy. ​The science class headed outside to look for beauty in nature, and a sunrise image is what ​student Savannah Tennison came up with. Thanks to the academy science teacher and Savannah for sharing this photo.

What are you taking photos of? 

Email them to us at photo@wvpe.com


The University of Notre Dame is hosting one of Indiana’s mass vaccination clinics on campus Friday and Saturday. State health officials expect to administer just under 6,000 doses of the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Indiana residents who registered ahead of time. They say all appointments are already taken. 

The Metro Homicide Unit in St. Joseph County is investigating a drive-by shooting that occurred Tuesday night. It happened at Jefferson and Eddy and the car hit a tree at the intersection. The woman who was driving died. The male passenger who was also hit by gunfire survived. 

Elkhart RV Maker Plans Luxury RV Expansion, 650 New Jobs

Mar 16, 2021

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A recreational vehicle manufacturer plans to expand production of luxury RVs at its northern Indiana campus and create up to 650 new jobs by 2023. Alliance Recreational Vehicles announced Tuesday that it will invest $33 million to expand its Elkhart campus, which opened in 2009. The company plans to create up to 650 new jobs by the end of 2023, and says it has already hired 75 new workers. If Alliance RV reaches its job-creation goal, it will receive up to $9.3 million in tax credits, pending the approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.


Screenshot captured via Zoom

The co-founder of the national Black Lives Matter movement weighed in on South Bend’s community police review board during a round-table discussion Monday evening.

The community police review board was established back in October to respond to civilian complaints against police officers. City Clerk Dawn Jones said the city is now in the process of hiring a director for the board.


(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A state agency is partnering with Uber and Lyft to provide people with free, safe rides home. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute says its Sober Ride Indiana pilot program will provide $15 ride credits to the first 10,000 total rides through Uber and Lyft in six cities through April 5. Those six cities are Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend and West Lafayette. Credits can be redeemed only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 3 a.m. To redeem the credit, visit SoberRideIndiana.com.

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — Two northern Indiana companies are collaborating with a New Jersey city to turn old school buses into laundry and shower facilities for homeless women. Infinity Trailers in Elkhart and Diamond Trailers & Specialty Vehicles in Middlebury are revamping two school buses purchased from Joliet, Illinois, into mobile shower and laundry vehicles. Each bus has two showers, a washer, dryer and couches and can house about eight people at a time.

Notre Dame Names 2021 Laetare Medal Recipient

Mar 14, 2021


This weekend Notre Dame announced its latest Laetare Medal recipient. 

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.  


Today Notre Dame announced that scheduling changes and a reservation system would be in place as Holy Week and Easter Sunday approaches. Most Holy Week services will not be available to the general public, with the exception of Easter Sunday when a reservation will be required.

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man charged in the February killing of a 19-year-old man fatally shot outside a convenience store is awaiting extradition to Indiana following his arrest in Tennessee. Twenty-six-year-old Darius K. Thomas was arrested without incident last week in Memphis, Tennessee. The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office says the Middlebury, Indiana, man was found with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service. The Elkhart Truth reports he was charged last month with murder in the Feb. 5 death of Shamar Barnes.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say coronavirus vaccine shots were given to more than 16,000 people during Indiana’s first mass vaccination clinic and all appointments have been filled for two similar upcoming clinics. The four-day clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wrapped up Monday with 16,511 getting shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All appointments have been taken for the mass vaccination sites set for this Friday and Saturday at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg  and March 26-27 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.


Today Notre Dame announced it will be offering a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic later this month at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Photos provided by the St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor's Office

Metro Homicide is investigating after a Monday morning shooting left an 18-year-old dead. Investigators are seeking help from the public to locate two individuals for questioning in the case. The shooting happened early Monday morning on Liston Street.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency has awarded Indiana housing authorities $35 million for large-scale projects to modernize public housing around the state. The funding announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to 40 of Indiana’s public housing authorities for projects such as replacing roofs, upgrading heating systems and other improvements. The city of Gary’s housing authority will receive the largest share of Indiana’s funding, about $6.6 million.

UPDATE: Questions Surround Death Of Former NFL & ND Player Louis Nix III

Feb 28, 2021
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

NEW (Mar. 1):

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Notre Dame and NFL player Louis Nix III has died after being missing for several days, but many questions linger about the circumstances of his death. Nix's mother Stephanie Wingfield told multiple news outlets in Jacksonville, Florida, that authorities said her son died but haven't been able to tell her how. Family members say his car was pulled out of a pond near his home on Saturday. In December 2020, he was shot in an armed robbery. Nix had received high praise during his time with the Fighting Irish. He was then drafted by the Houston Texans in 2014 but struggled to make an impact in the NFL due to injuries.

Potawatomi Zoo Announces Plans For Giraffe Habitat

Feb 28, 2021
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

The Potawatomi Zoo has announced online that it is planning to bring giraffes to the zoo in the future.

Captured via Facebook Live

At St. Joseph County and South Bend’s biweekly COVID-19 update Friday afternoon, South Bend Mayor James Mueller said officials feel that spring is on the way.


“It seems brighter, the weather’s warmer," Mueller said. "That’s both in terms of the actual weather, but also in terms of where we are in this pandemic.” 



The Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security shared a video during the state's weekly COVID-19 briefing that highlighted a program to vaccinate homebound Hoosiers. The video focused exclusively on efforts in St. Joseph County and South Bend. 

Watch the video here.

Elkhart's Mayor Gets COVID-19 Vaccine

Feb 24, 2021
Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE

Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson just got his COVID-19 vaccine today. WVPE's Gemma DiCarlo is covering this. Listen for her report on 88.1 WVPE this afternoon during 'All Things Considered.' She talked with Roberson about why he thinks all community members should get vaccinated


SBPD Find Snowmobile Running, Man Dead

Feb 21, 2021

The St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor's Office has released information on a shooting that occurred Saturday evening in South Bend that left one man dead. 


Almost a year after they first closed to the public, the Morris Performing Arts Center and the Century Center in downtown South Bend are reopening for live shows and events. The city announced the reopening Friday as St. Joseph County’s COVID-19 case count and test positivity rate continue to decline.

Jeff Jarnecke, executive director of venues for the City of South Bend, said the city had to furlough the majority of staff members at both venues when the pandemic began last March. 


He said Morris staffers returned to work Feb. 1, and while part of the Century Center staff is still on furlough, Jarnecke said they hope to bring the rest back in the coming weeks.


“Knowing that it’s starting to feel like some sense of normalcy may be coming back to us is incredibly exciting,” he said. 


Jarnecke said each event on both venues' schedules will be independently reviewed by the health department, and attendance will be decided accordingly.

Jarnecke said all event dates are subject to change based on the county’s COVID-19 status, but as of now, the Century Center’s first events are scheduled for March, and the first shows at the Morris are slated for April. Reduced seating capacity and social distancing will remain in place. 

Justin Hicks/WVPE

As of Thursday, Feb. 18, new COVID-19 restrictions are in place for Notre Dame students, including reduced seating in dining facilities and limited visitation in residence halls. The restrictions come as new daily case counts among students are on the rise.

According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been four days in the last two weeks where the university reported over 45 new positive daily cases. 


(AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

The distribution of ashes at Notre Dame’s Ash Wednesday services will look a little different for this year.

According to the university’s Campus Ministry site, ashes will be sprinkled on the head, rather than marked in the sign of the cross on the forehead.