1. A Sunday fire at an Elkhart business left the building nearly destroyed, if not a total loss
Elkhart firefighters spent Sunday afternoon getting a fire under control at Premium Concrete Services.
The call came in around 1 p.m., Elkhart Battalion Chief Wes Johnson said, and crews found the building fully involved when they arrived. It took them nearly an hour to get the fire under control.
"It's heavily damaged throughout," he said. "The contents will probably be a total loss I'm thinking, or close to it."
Premium Concrete Services, located at 4331 Pine Creek Road, is a family-owned concrete contractor.
2. Steve Neff ends his 37th and final season as NorthWood's girls basketball coach
An unexpected whistle with no time on the clock led to a game-winning Norwell free throw which sent Indiana's winningest girls basketball coach home for the last time.
Steve Neff spent the past 37 years as the girls' basketball coach at NorthWood High School and is heading into retirement with 24 sectional crowns and 10 regional championships under his belt.
"No cookies," Neff said with a grin as he wrapped up his post-game remarks.
3. School leaders are getting more aggressive about school safety.
When something bad happens at a school, it's often the principal who is on the front lines.
Robby Morgan, assistant principal at Chandler Elementary School in Goshen, said that's on his mind as he goes through school safety training each year in Indianapolis, and school leaders are getting different training now than when he first attended in 2006.
"When I first started going, a lot of it was being very reactive to things that were happening, whereas now they are talking about being proactive, trying to think ahead ... and preventing something that may happen," Morgan said.
He said what to do in case of a school shooting is always included in the training, but it's not the main focus.
The two days of training center on Internet safety, laws that affect schools and dealing with gangs and parents who get out of hand, he said.
4. Empty Bowl fundraiser organizers believe this year was the best yet
Final totals haven't been tabulated yet, but the Empty Bowl fundraiser could be looking at its best year yet.
According to Jessica Koscher, a member of the Clay Artists Guild in Goshen, more than 800 people attended the Saturday, Feb. 22, fundraiser held at the Goshen Farmer's Market.
The event, now in its 13th year, benefits Interfaith Hospitality Network, an agency that provides temporary housing for homeless people with jobs who are looking for permanent housing.
The Clay Artists Guild sponsors the event, with members crafting unique bowls that are sold at the benefit and used by participants to hold their soup.
5. Elkhart area same-sex marriage advocates say they can't stop fighting against HJR-3
The removal of the so-called second sentence from House Joint Resolution 3 earlier in the legislative session this year reduced the scope of the measure meant to prohibit same-sex marriage. But for gay rights activists in and around Elkhart County, the whole thing needs to be scrapped.
“To me, that was a short-term victory,” said Lynn Young, a Walkerton woman whose same-sex marriage a year-and-a-half ago in Massachusetts isn’t recognized here in Indiana. "The whole thing needs to go."
Chad Crabtree, a gay man from Elkhart who actively lobbied against HJR-3, goes further. Not only should HJR-3 be scrapped, but same-sex couples deserve the right to marry, just like heterosexual couples.
“We won the battle, but the war is not over,” he said. "The victory will be when there's marriage equality in all 50 states of this country that I live in."