1. Only $1,500 is needed for the Ox Bow Tower to be rebuilt
Local residents determined to show their support for the reconstruction of the Ox Bow Tower made a pledge and walked on a sunny, albeit cold, Sunday afternoon, raising $1,325.
More than 75 community members showed up Sunday, March 23, to participate in March for the Tower, Elkhart County Parks' final round of raising funds to rebuild the Ox Bow Tower, which was destroyed in a fire in July 2010.
Ronda DeCaire, superintendent of operations, said the parks department is now $1,500 away from reaching its goal of $130,500 to start building the tower in the summer.
AJ Hopper and his wife, Chellé, participated in the walk. They brought their son, Clayton, who was one of 28 children participating in a 1-mile kids run.
"We live in Mishawaka now but we promised (our son) we would come to the march," AJ said. "I've told him about the tower before and I want for him to be able to see it too someday."
2. A suspicious house fire in Elkhart is under investigation
A house burned down on Saturday that was supposed to be used for firefighter training on Sunday, March 23.
The Elkhart Fire Department was called to the corner of Elizabeth and Bar streets at about 11:53 p.m. Saturday, March 22, for reports of a fully involved house fire.
Battalion Chief David Cushwa said that because the structure was being used for a fire department class, there was no electricity or gas installed in the house.
"Someone had to have set the fire, because there was no other way it could have started," he said. "It was a completely unoccupied structure."
3. There are 6,000 TONS of sand in Elkhart's streets
As the snowy remnants of winter melt away from city curbs and tree lawns, the final insult of winter is waiting for some attention from street department workers and even a few homeowners.
In the course of one of the snowiest winters in recent memory, Elkhart’s street department spread an estimated 6,000 tons of sand across city streets to improve driving conditions, but that material is not going away without a little help.
Somewhat caked and sometimes muddy, the sand — plus organic debris leftover from the fall — lingers along curbs throughout much of the city, with larger amounts found along the multi-lane thoroughfares.
4. Cub Scouts leader steals $5,000 - a year's worth of fundraising money - from pack
Cub Scout Pack 762 sold more than $5,000 worth of popcorn last year, but they have nothing to show for it.
That money was spent over a period of about five months by former Cub Master Nicole Taylor at various fast food restaurants in Elkhart County, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Elkhart County Superior Court 6 on March 10.
Parents of the scouts are shocked and wondering how to keep the group afloat without a year's worth of funds.
"Normally we put all of our effort into the fall fundraiser," Ann Linley, a member of the group, said. "That keeps us going and it has for many years, so it kind of catches you off guard when you lose all your money."
Now, the group will be selling popcorn again in an attempt to recoup some of its losses. It's tough to ask the boys to redo all their work, parents said, but there's not much choice.
5. Does Elkhart need more sidewalks and bike lanes?
Lined by businesses and stops for the Interurban Trolley, Cassopolis Street is one of the busiest roads in Elkhart. In addition to vehicles on the road, pedestrians can often be seen walking along the sides and crossing the street.
On Saturday, March 22, a pedestrian died after being struck by a car in the 2200 block of Cassopolis Street and several readers mentioned that the lack of sidewalks made that stretch of road dangerous.