1. More than 700 people attend the funeral of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams
Friday was a somber day in Elkhart as hundreds gathered to honor and celebrate the life of an Elkhart soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan on Dec. 17, 2013.
Several of those who knew Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams shared their memories of him during the funeral service. They recalled a determined family man who inspired those around him to be better people.
Sgt. First Class Janice Pleasant, who had served alongside Williams in Afghanistan, said Williams talked about his family back home constantly — especially his daughter, 6-year-old Madison.
“He talked about his family a lot, but his number one prize was Madison,” Pleasant said.
2. Snow and below zero temperatures are headed for Elkhart County beginning this weekend
Temperatures will reach the mid 20s on Saturday and Sunday, but snow expected to begin late Saturday night will come with gusty winds and colder temperatures.
The National Weather Service is expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow accumulation through Sunday night. The predicted high on Monday is minus 7, with wind chills as low as minus 35 or lower.
3. Still need to get a flu shot? The Elkhart County Health Department has about 100 available
The shots will be given to children and adults while supplies last during three flu vaccine clinics.
Clinics are from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 10, and from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 13. Clinics are at the Lincoln Center, 608 Oakland Ave., Elkhart.
Vaccines are $25 for people 3 and older and $29 for children ages 6 months to 35 months. An administration fee will be charged for children eligible for Vaccines for Children. Medicare part B will be accepted with card.
4. Despite cold, hundreds attended the seventh annual Fire and Ice Festival
Between temperatures in the mid-teens and biting cold wind, it was plenty cold on Friday night. But that didn't deter people from attending the seventh annual Fire and Ice Festival, part of the Goshen First Fridays festivities for January.
Rachel Eisenhour said the cold has never been an issue for the family in deciding to come to the event.
“We love the sculptures and we like to support downtown Goshen,” she said. “It's a fun family thing.”
5. Purse thief caught red-handed by assistant police chief while making his getaway
One of the last people a thief wants to run into immediately after committing a crime is Elkhart's Assistant Police Chief.
But one man did just that after police say he stole a purse on Friday, Jan. 3.
A caller told Elkhart dispatchers that a black man wearing red gloves and Ed Hardy jeans had stolen her purse at B on the River around 4:20 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3, and took off running across Central Park.
Moments later, Assistant Chief Laura Koch asked dispatch to confirm the description.
“I've got him here on the Plaza,” she said.