Local News

Barb Anguiano/WVPE News

The Tolson Community Center has served south-central Elkhart almost continuously for the last 30 years. This weekend, Tolson officials and alums are gathering to celebrate the community center’s past and offer an update on its future.

Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

A former University of Notre Dame student has filed a lawsuit against the school seeking a refund on tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 semester after classes were moved online due to the pandemic.

Erik Anderson / Wikimedia Commons

A federal labor board sided with an Indiana union Wednesday in a dispute over a display outside of a trade show in Elkhart. It signals government support for a classic labor protest symbol, known by many as Scabby the Rat.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE


South Bend is holding a series of public meetings to plan the city’s 2022 budget, and there’s an extra focus on the nearly $59 million in federal dollars the city is getting from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The extra money is about one sixth of the city’s overall annual budget of nearly $350 million, and the city is holding three special public meetings on how to spend it:

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

The City of South Bend and the United Way of St. Joseph County have renewed their partnership to fund early childhood education. 

The United Way established a grant fund in 2019 to help local programs make improvements on Paths to Quality, the state’s rating system for early childhood programs.


Screenshot captured via YouTube

Following back-to-back shootings in Elkhart earlier this month, Mayor Rod Roberson issued a video statement on Monday denouncing gun violence in the city.


Roberson extended the city’s condolences to the loved ones of the shooting victims, and encouraged community members to support one another. 


Notre Dame School of Architecture

This spring, students at the Notre Dame School of Architecture developed a plan to reimagine South Bend’s William Street corridor. The city has expressed interest in some elements of the plan, which aims to connect Downtown to the Near West Side. 

City of South Bend

South Bend is hosting its first Small Business Launch Pad at the Charles Black Community Center on Saturday. It’s part of a city effort to promote women and minority-owned businesses.

(Read the full release from the city below.)

The City of South Bend’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting its first Small Business Launch Pad event to celebrate the resilience of our community and small businesses during the economic challenges of the last year.


South Bend city officials had their first public conversation Wednesday night about how to spend the nearly $59 million the city will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act.

flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

St. Joseph County and South Bend leaders voted this week to opt out of Indiana’s settlement plan for lawsuits against opioid companies.

Both the county and city have pending lawsuits against different opioid manufacturers, marketers and distributors. They’re seeking redress for the effects of the opioid epidemic on local communities, as well as financial compensation for public funds used to address those effects.


Photo courtesy of the Snite Museum of Art.

After being closed to the public since March 2020 due to the pandemic, the University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art reopened on June 1. Museum director Joseph Becherer said they had several dozen visitors on the first day.

“There’s nothing like being with a work of art — standing in front of a painting, walking around a sculpture,” he said. “It’s really wonderful to see people in the galleries.”

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Earlier this month, the Israeli army and Palestinian militants had their worst clash since 2014. In the wake of the cease-fire declared late last week, protesters in support of Palestine rallied in South Bend on Monday.

(Provided by IU Health)

If you live in St. Joseph County, you’ll have an opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine nearly every day this week. The Indiana Department of Health will be hosting two mobile vaccination centers in South Bend. 

The first will be on Tuesday and Wednesday at La Casa de Amistad on South Michigan Street. The second will run from Thursday to Saturday at the Civil Rights Heritage Center on West Washington Street. 


Image of Dave Miller posted Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 on his campaign's Facebook page. Credit https://www.facebook.com/MayorDaveMiller/

Updated May 24, 2021 at 6:28 PM

Former Elkhart Mayor Dave Miller has died, according to a press release from current Mayor Rod Roberson's office, which said Miller died at Elkhart General Hospital Sunday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 62.

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.


Justin Hicks/IPB News

People who were recently released from prison often have a hard time getting hired. But some northern Indiana companies are looking to hire those returning citizens to fill gaps in their workforce. 

Captured via Facebook Live

St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox expressed concern at the county's COVID-19 update on Friday that vaccinations in the county might be plateauing.


He said there are now 30 distribution sites around the county, and enough available appointments for everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one.


However, he said the county’s vaccination rate still isn’t rising as steeply as it has been over the last several weeks.


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.