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.

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.

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.

Geese swim in overflow from the St. Joseph River
Jennifer Weingart


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.

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.



  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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Barbara Anguiano / WVPE



The recent announcement of a proposal by CoreCivic, a private, Tennessee-based company, to build an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Elkhart County has some residents in search of ways to make their opposition known. The immigrant advocacy group, Elkhart-Goshen Sanctuary Coalition, hosted a seminar Saturday in Elkhart to discuss protest techniques with residents.  


EPD officers with facial hair
Courtesy photo: EPD


Officers at the Elkhart Police Department are back to well shaven after a month of growing beards and collecting food for the Salvation Army.

For the month of November Elkhart police officers could forgo shaving and bring in a non-perishable food item each day to wear a beard.

Officers are allowed to have a mustache under their dress code, but no other facial hair.

Department spokesperson Chris Snyder says it was fun seeing all the different types of facial hair.

Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder confirmed Thursday that CoreCivic of  Nashville, Tennessee has expressed interest in Elkhart County property to for a new Immigration and Customs Detention Center in Indiana. County Commissioners will have final approval over the facility if a final proposal is presented.

Richard Aguirre, Founder of Elkhart County HOPE, a nonprofit immigrant advocacy group, said community leaders found out about CoreCivics’ interest in property last Friday.

Jacob Manly prepares to cut the ribbon
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE


The city of Elkhart cut the ribbon in its first Americans with Disabilities Act compliant playground.

The new playground at McNaughton park features artificial turf and wider walkways that make it easier for maneuvering wheelchairs. And a special enclosed pod for children on the autism spectrum who might become over stimulated in a group.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese said the road to the project has been a long one.

Mayor, Residents Discuss Future of Tolson Center

Oct 10, 2017

Mayor Tim Neese said he expected questions  about the Tolson Center at the Town Hall held on Monday at City Hall.

The City Council has been under scrutiny by some Elkhart residents, after allegations of secret meetings among republican council members in regards to budget cuts, that led to a proposal to lease the Tolson Center to Lifeline, a religious, community organization.

If the lease proposal goes through, Tolson would no longer be run by the city Parks department.