Local News

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Hoosier hospitals are bearing the brunt of Indiana’s surging COVID-19 case numbers. 

NFL Hall Of Fame Running Back Paul Hornung Dies At 84

Nov 13, 2020
(AP Photo, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Paul Hornung, the dazzling "Golden Boy" of the Green Bay Packers whose singular ability as a runner, receiver, quarterback and kicker helped turn the team into an NFL dynasty, has died. He was 84. Hornung won the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame, then headed to the Packers. He was the NFL MVP in 1961 and played on four championship teams. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

WVPE Staff

Elkhart’s Lerner Theate aennounced late Thursday afternoon that they would cancel all remaining events at the facility through the end of the year. In a statement posted on their Facebook page, officials said that, while The Lerner Theatre’s events can be considered commercial or special events under Governor Holcomb’s new COVID-19 restriction guidelines, the Lerner Management and Governing Board made the decision to cancel all remaining events through the end of 2020.

No. 2 Notre Dame Brings Unbeaten Season To Boston College

Nov 12, 2020
(Matt Cashore/Pool Photo via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — Second-ranked Notre Dame is looking to avoid another historic loss to Boston College as it tries to continue its journey to the College Football Playoff. The two schools will square off Saturday in the 26th edition of college football's Holy War. Boston College has some history of spoiling good seasons for the Irish, who come into the game with a 7-0 mark. The Irish beat Clemson at home in double overtime in their last game. The Eagles are 5-3 and nearly knocked off Clemson two weeks ago.


UPDATE: On Sunday Indiana Reports Nearly 7,000 New COVID-19 Cases, 22 Deaths

Nov 12, 2020

NEW (Nov. 15):

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Public health officials have reported another 6,844 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 22 additional deaths. The Indiana State Department of Health on Sunday reported 53,776 administered tests with an 11.3% average positive test rate over seven days. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 251,597 confirmed cases in Indiana and 4,660 deaths. Starting Sunday, most of the state will fall under a new governor’s order reinstating limits on crowd sizes after weeks of steep increases in coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations. 

Elkhart Honors 99-Year-Old WWII Vet On Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2020
Photo provided by the City of Elkhart


On Veterans Day in Elkhart the city honored WWII veteran, Arden Miller.

Arden, who will turn 100 on December 3rd, was at the city's annual Veterans Day event at Rice Cemetery to receive a certificate of recognition from Mayor Roberson.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

A former Elkhart resident was sentenced Monday to 78 months in prison after pleading guilty to financing terrorism in a case that has gained national attention.


UPDATE: Notre Dame Mandates Virus Testing After Football Celebration

Nov 9, 2020
(Matt Cashore/Pool Photo via AP)

UPDATE (Nov. 9): 

The University of Notre Dame began COVID-19 exit testing for its students Monday ahead of the holiday break. After this weekend’s football game -- where students gathered for pre-game parties and rushed the field in violation of social distancing -- penalties have increased for students who don’t get tested.

In an email to students, University President Fr. John Jenkins called the conduct “disappointing” and laid out the new guidelines: if students don’t report for COVID-19 testing, they won’t be able to register for spring classes. They’re also not allowed to leave South Bend until they receive their results and know they're virus-free. 


The City of Elkhart released news today that a long-time business leader and philanthropist, Art Decio, died at age 90. Decio founded Skyline Corporation which contributed to the city's role in becoming a leading location for the production of RVs and manufactured housing. 

Alex Brandon/Associated Press


The University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart

The University of Notre Dame is reporting a record 220 active COVID-19 cases on its Dashboard. Its seven-day moving average, at 26, is also the highest it’s been since the campus was locked down in August.

With the university’s football game against Clemson on Saturday, St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox expressed concern about off-campus gatherings.

Elkhart Police have released information that two people have died following a crash Thursday morning on Cassopolis St. between a Jeep and a motorcycle.

The two people who died were both on the motorcycle. The motorcycle driver who died was Justin Walker, 22, South Bend. Walker's passenger also died. She is identified as Courtney Short, 30, Elkhart. 

The driver of the Jeep was not injured. 

Police say the crash happened Thursday around 8am near the intersection of Cassopolis and Sunset Ave. as the Jeep pulled out of a parking lot colliding with the motorcycle.

Photo Of The Week - Just Look Up

Nov 5, 2020
Todd Efsits

This week's WVPE Photo of the Week reminds us that if you just look up, you may see something beautiful.  Todd Efsits of Elkhart did just that on October 22nd in front of his home by the St. Joseph River. Blue skies, sunshine and autumn leaves combined to create the image Todd captured. 

We'd love to see what you are taking photos of. 

Email Photo of the Week submissions to us at wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Screenshot from Facebook Live



Those were some of the words St. Joseph Co. Health Officer, Dr. Mark Fox, used to describe his reaction to the latest COVID-19 stats the county is facing.


NEW (Nov. 3): On the same day that Elkhart's Mayor learned he tested positive for COVID-19, Elkhart County reached a new high in daily cases. According to data from the Indiana State Dept. of Health, on Nov. 2nd Elkhart County reported 243 new cases of coronavirus, the most ever on any single day yet for the county. The county also reported four new deaths. 

PHOTO/VIDEO GALLERY: Election Day 2020 - Polls Have Closed In Indiana And Michigan

Nov 3, 2020
Justin Hicks/WVPE & Lauren Chapman/IPB

Election Day 2020 is finally here. In Indiana the polls opened at 6am and close at 6pm. In Michigan polls opened at 7am and close at 8pm. 

WVPE's Justin Hicks reports that in the first hour of voting there were already long lines at McKinley School in South Bend. 

At the voting site at the Century Center in South Bend early this morning, voters seemed to be moving through fairly quickly.

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — An auction of hundreds of rare and antique automobiles that once belonged to a northern Indiana businessman has generated more than $44 million in proceeds in a bankruptcy case. Last weekend's auction of the 240 autos as well as memorabilia once owned by former Interlogic Outsourcing Inc. CEO Najeeb Khan drew more than 2,500 bidders worldwide. RM Sotheby's said the auction grossed just under $44.4 million.

BREAKING: Another Shooting Death In South Bend

Nov 1, 2020

The St. Joseph Co. Metro Homicide Unite has been activated to investigate a shooting death that occurred early Sunday morning in South Bend. 

(Ken Ruinard/Pool Photo via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Kyren Williams ran for two touchdowns, Ian Book passed for another score and No. 4 Notre Dame stifled Georgia Tech 31-13. Book completed 18-of-26 for 199 yards in another efficient performance for the 6-0 Fighting Irish. Williams shook off a fumble that Georgia Tech returned 93 yards for a touchdown to score on two short runs. Georgia has lost three in a row to drop to 2-5. Next up for Notre Dame: a showdown against No. 1 Clemson. 

Elkhart Police Dept.

Elkhart Police report that two individuals have been arrested for the June 29th robbery of a man in a wheelchair at 418 W. Franklin Street. After the crime occurred, police posted security camera footage of what happened. In the video you can also see the suspects hitting the victim. 

O'Neill Sentenced For On-Duty Sexual Encounter

Oct 29, 2020
Photo provided by SBPD in June of 2019

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A white former South Bend police officer whose fatal shooting of a Black man roiled then-Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a charge related to an earlier on-duty sexual encounter. Forty-four-year-old Ryan O’Neill was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation after pleading guilty to ghost employment for a paid sex act with a woman while he was on duty in May 2019.


An outdoor mass was held Tuesday evening at Notre Dame Stadium to remember the two 19-year-old students who were hit by a van and killed over the weekend. 

Valeria Espinel of Ecuador and Olivia Lara Rojas of Bolivia died early Saturday morning. They were members of Notre Dame's Class of 2024. 

Mass For ND Students Killed Planned For ND Stadium Tonight

Oct 26, 2020

A memorial mass is planned for Tuesday at 8pm at Notre Dame Stadium to honor the two students killed Saturday when they were hit by a minivan. 

The mass comes on the same day that autopsies are scheduled for Valeria Espinel and Olivia Laura Rojas. Both were 19 years old and were first year students at ND. 

A third student was also hit and was hospitalized in critical condition at last report on Saturday. 

As students headed back to class this week following the tragedy, Notre Dame student Sophia Mazzone says students are having a hard time coping with what has happened. 

“It’s just something we can’t fathom. We just can’t put into word the suffering or make it better for us,” Mazzone said.

Charlie Marder, an RA on campus, says the tragedy forced a previously disconnected campus to come together as a community again.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face reminder that we are all Notre Dame. As isolated as you might be feeling right now, that will never take away the fact that we are inherently connected,” Marder said.

Notre Dame student Annie Morejon says it’s something that impacts all students. 

“You don’t have to know them to feel that a part of our community is still missing,” said Morejon.

Annie also says the tragedy comes at a time when most students are already at a breaking point. 


“Some people are probably having a really horrible time with their mental health right now. We need a reprieve from academic stuff. I feel like we should just call it quits on a bunch of stuff this year,” Morejon added.

The mass commemorating Valeria Espinel and Olivia Lara Rojas will take place at 8:00 p.m. in Notre Dame Stadium and will be livestreamed as well. 


Today is the last day the Department of Homeland Security is open to feedback on its new proposed rule that would impose new time limits on student visas.


Notre Dame filed a formal comment this weekend urging the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw the proposal.


The proposed policy would restrict international students to a stay of two to four years with the opportunity to apply for an extension. Students from countries with high overstay rates would be restricted even further. 

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett won crucial backing  when one of the last Republican holdouts against filling the seat so close to Election Day announced support ahead of a confirmation vote expected Monday. Sen. Lisa Murkowski declared her support Saturday as the Senate worked through a rare weekend session that's set to continue Sunday. President Donald Trump’s nominee already appeared to have enough Republican support to push past Democratic opposition. But the nod from Murkowski gives Barrett a boost.

The Notre Dame campus is in mourning after three students were hit by a minivan as they walked along Ironwood Road near Bulla in St. Joseph County shortly after 4am Saturday. Two of the students were killed and one is in critical condition.

The students who died have been identified as first year students. 19-year-old Olivia Lara Rojas of Bolivia and 19-year-old Valeria Espinel of Ecuador.  The lone student who survived is 19-year-old  sophomore Eduardo Jose Elias Calderon of the Dominican Republic.

Autopsies Set For Tuesday For ND Students Killed By Minivan

Oct 24, 2020

NEW (Oct. 25 at 6:50pm): 

Autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday for the two Notre Dame students who died this weekend after being hit by a minivan. A spokesperson for the St. Joseph County Fatal Accident Crash Team was unable to provide any update on the condition of the third student who was hit but who survived. As of Saturday evening, that student was in critical condition.  

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. 

Two men are dead following a shooting at the Waterford Glen Apartments in South Bend last night. No suspects are in custody.

The two men who were killed last night have been identified by authorities as Malik Balderos, age 21, and Ricky Kinds Jr., age 20.

(You can read the release below.)