Local News

Elkhart Mayor Addresses Flood Recovery

Feb 26, 2018
Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

 

As Elkhart residents begin the process of recovery after days of flooding, Mayor Tim Neese addressed related concerns today in the city. Police Chief Ed Windbigler and Fire Chief Chad Carey joined the mayor as he addressed the press.
 

Neese commended the support the city has received from local communities, and the work that city departments have done since the flooding. .
 

He said the main focus now is on recovery and cleanup.
 

South Bend waiting for river to recede

Feb 26, 2018
A yellow car sits on dry ground with water covering the street behind it
Jennifer Weingart

 

It was sunny and warm in South Bend on Monday. And the river has receded quite a bit, but some roads and parks are still closed.

 

The St. Joseph River at South Bend is down to just over nine and a half feet. That’s still within major flood stage, but down three feet from where it peaked last week.

Sheryl Brown was out for a lunchtime walk around Bartlett Street in South Bend with three of her colleagues from Memorial Hospital.

Elkhart residents spend the weekend cleaning up flood damage

Feb 26, 2018
The river swells to cover houses and a pavillion in water
Jennifer Weingart

 

As flood waters continue receding some people are able to get back into their homes to clean-up, but other houses are still underwater.

On top of that, power is still shut off for safety and some areas have to deal with looting.

Generators hum all through formerly flooded neighborhoods in Elkhart as residents pump out water and work on drying their basements.

There’s no electricity here. The power was shut off to prevent electrical fires.

South Bend looking toward clean-up as river recedes

Feb 22, 2018
Water nearly reaches the arches under Jefferson Boulevard
Jennifer Weingart

 

The St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers have both peaked and are starting to recede. Still some residents living in the flood zone continue to battle water while others start to think about clean-up.

The St. Joseph River peaked last night at 12.7 feet, nearly two feet above the historic flood mark of 10.9 last set in 1993.

Rivers Continue to rise, mayors warn of water dangers

Feb 21, 2018
Lime Bike in water in howard park
Jennifer Weingart

 

  Some schools and roads around the area are closed as rivers continue to rise. About five or six inches of rain in the last 48 hours has put area waterways above flood stage and flooded roads, homes and businesses. Rain is not predicted for Wednesday but could fall again along with snow on Thursday and Friday.

Elkhart, St. Joseph River pass flood stage

Feb 20, 2018
Geese swim in overflow from the St. Joseph River,
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

 

The city of Elkhart is offering residents sandbags to combat the rising water from snowmelt and Tuesday’s rain.

Sandbags are available at the Elkhart Street Department or by delivery by calling Elkhart’s Emergency Management Department at 970-7996.

Suspect Identified in Mishawaka Pipe Bomb Cases

Feb 15, 2018
Elkhart Police Department

Jacob Ryan Underwood, 22, from Elkhart has been charged by criminal complaint with possession of a destructive device in an arrest that may have a connection with the pipe bombs found in Mishawaka in late January.

 

Underwood is also accused of watching two other pipe bombs be made and later throwing them out of a car window in Mishawaka.  

Investigators linked Underwood to an explosion outside of his home, and also with assisting in the construction of a pipe bomb.

 

Mel Sandock, a prominent South Bend businessman, died Monday at the age of 96.

Mel’s father, Sal Sandock, came to the United States at the age of 13 from a small Polish town near the Russian border. Sal and his brother, Barney, moved to South Bend from Chicago in 1904. They built a successful furniture and appliance business, B&S Sandock Furniture Store, on the city's west side.

In 2015, Mel Sandock shared his memories of living and working through the depression and other tumultuous events on South Bend Stories.

 

Researchers at The University of Notre Dame are using wearable technology to study the habits of successful workers.

There have been ways to track success by output since people started working. The aim of the study at Notre Dame is to find out what habits can be tracked that impact that success.

The 21-month study includes 750 participants who will have a wrist-based activity tracker, a mobile app and a bluetooth beacon to record their work and collaboration habits as well as other information.

NCAA denies Notre Dame appeal over academic integrity

Feb 13, 2018
Jennifer Weingart

 

The NCAA has denied an appeal by The University of Notre Dame after the school’s football wins in 2012 and 2013 were vacated over academic integrity issues.

 

The 2012 season included the NCAA Championship, though Notre Dame lost in the final.

Notre Dame found an undergraduate working as an athletic training assistant wrote or substantially edited assignments for several football players.

A conversation with Bill Kurtis

Feb 7, 2018
NPR

 

Bill Kurtis is a well-known anchorman, news reporter, and narrator, and scorekeeper for Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. He reported on such stories as the Charles Manson case, the Speck murders and broke the story on the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. He spoke with WVPE’s Jennifer Weingart on the phone on Monday.

 

---Transcript----

 

The South Bend Civic Theatre is holding a symposium Tuesday evening on race and identity in American theatre as part of the lead-up to it’s run of the musical “In The Heights.”

 

The symposium is a panel discussion and conversation about the people in American Theatre and the stories that are being told.

 

Panelists:

 

 

  Icy road conditions across the area this morning resulted in many crashes and part of US 20 being closed.

Yesterday’s rain froze to roadways and new freezing rain fell making roadways treacherous this morning.

US 20 was closed between State Road 19 and County Road 17 to clear accidents and lay down salt and sand to prevent new ones.

ADEC looking for buddies for it's ball

Jan 24, 2018

 

ADEC, a Bristol-based non-profit that works with people with disabilities, is looking for community members to accompany its clients to a ball in April. A program it’s calling 'buddies.'  

The buddies are not really volunteers. They still need to purchase a ticket to the ball but they will accompany one of ADEC’s clients to the event.

The buddy pairs will also take part in a choreographed dance at the ball.

Advocacy Group Launches Effort for Community IDs

Jan 22, 2018

A local non-profit, Justicia Sin Fronteras, or Justice Without Borders, gathered at the Elkhart Public Library Saturday to kick off an effort to establish a Community ID card program for city residents that could be used in place of state IDs to verify a holder's identity and address.
 

CoreCivic to Withdraw Detention Center Plans

Jan 22, 2018
Coalition Against the Elkhart Immigration Detention Center / Facebook

 
The private company CoreCivic today announced it will formally withdraw plans to build a multimillion dollar detention center just south of Elkhart.
 

Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder said company representatives called to let him know about the change in plans late this morning.
 

Facebook

 

Leaders of the Greater Elkhart and Goshen chambers of commerce are among the signatories of a letter released yesterday  that opposes  building an immigration detention center south of Elkhart.

 

American Airlines returns to South Bend

Jan 18, 2018
Officials pose at South Bend Regional Airport. (L toR) South Bend Regional Chamber President Jeff Rea, St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners President Andrew Kostielney, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board of Dire
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

 

American Airlines is returning to South Bend International Airport with non-stop flights to Dallas and Charlotte.

American Airlines left South Bend in 2003. The airline's return will connect South Bend to its two biggest hubs.

The move will bring 93 thousand seats on flights and an estimated 20 million dollars in revenue to the area.

Governor Eric Holcomb said the expansion in South Bend is part of a larger  trend. Indianapolis added it’s first non-stop route to Europe in September.

Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

Community leaders and immigrant advocates gathered yesterday to voice concerns regarding CoreCivic’s proposal to build a hundred million dollar immigration detention center for Immigration Customs Enforcement in Elkhart County.

Community organizer Richard Aguirre says the event was intended to send not only a strong message of opposition to CoreCivic’s proposal and but also a message of unity amongst diverse segments of the community.

 

The Indiana Youth Institute is holding a lunch event in South Bend on Thursday to discuss youth human trafficking in Indiana.

The Youth Worker Café events are meant for people who work with youth like police officers and after-school program coordinators.

Participants will learn the signs of human trafficking, how to identify victims and more about the scope of the issue.  

Melanie Walker is the Northwest outreach manager for the Indiana Youth Institute:

Application for abortion clinic in South Bend denied

Jan 10, 2018

 

The Indiana State Department of Health has denied an application for a license to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.

 

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a non-profit entity, applied in August to open an abortion clinic offering medication abortions, also known as the abortion pill. It was announced to the public in October.

 

University of Notre Dame golden dome
Jennifer Weingart

 

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are working on a program with community college students found those who receive mentorship support had a greater chance of completing an associates degree than those who didn’t.

Sunburst Races drops marathon

Jan 8, 2018
Sunburst Races

 

Michiana’s longrunning Sunburst races has dropped the marathon for the event this year.

 

Organizers say they plan to focus on the shorter races.

The marathon went from 800 finishers a few years ago to under 250 in 2017. That prompted organizers to cut it.

The race on June second will still have a half-marathon, 10-K and 5-K.

Travis Bladecki is the race director for Sunburst. He says with everything that goes into planning a marathon, it wasn’t worth it anymore.

Shootings up, use of force down in South Bend for 2017

Jan 8, 2018
South Bend Police Department

  

  Data from the South Bend Police Department show more shootings in 2017 but fewer use of force incidents, and other positives in the numbers.

There were 102 shootings in South Bend in 2017. That’s up from 81 in 2016.

Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said they’re not happy with the numbers.

“Obviously we had an uptick from shootings in 2016 to 2017. None of us at this table, none of us not at this table, are happy with it at all. One is too many, period.”

Food Rescue 'Cultivate' expands with additional donors

Jan 3, 2018
Jennifer Weingart

 

After a successful football season rescuing food from Notre Dame, non-profit Cultivate is rescuing food from basketball and hockey games as well.

Cultivate rescued more than 7 thousand pounds of unused food after Notre Dame football games this fall. Now they’re rescuing food after hockey and basketball games.

Cultivate partners with food banks and shelters around South Bend. The food is either donated directly or repackaged as meals and given to those in need.

Fate of Elkhart Crossing Guards Still Unknown

Dec 21, 2017
Letter sent to Troy Thomas
Courtesy of Troy Thomas

As students leave for holiday break, the fate of Elkhart crossing guards is still unknown. The city of Elkhart cut funding for school crossing guards when they adopted their new budget in October. The cost to fund crossing guards for a year is about $222,000.

The kerfuffle over who should pay for crossing guards is not new to Elkhart. Most people say it’s a often a disagreement between schools and city officials but usually settled quickly.

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