5 things to know for your Wednesday in Indiana

Elkhart County Sheriff visits Nevada where a land conflict between a rancher and the federal government is unfolding, Elkhart County is denied FEMA assistance after a severe winter and three other stories to start your day.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 3:44 a.m.

1. Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers visits Nevada over land conflict between rancher, federal government

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers traveled to Bunkerville, Nev., over the weekend where a land conflict between rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government is unfolding. Rogers said his goal was to urge the local sheriff of Clark County, Nev., Sheriff Douglass Gillespie, to get involved as a mediator.

Bundy has been involved in a dispute with federal U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials that has been going on for more than two decades involving fines and fees for grazing cattle on federal land. The situation has grown tense of late, with armed Bundy supporters on one end and federal officials on the other. Rogers didn’t express support for either Bundy or federal government. 

Rogers visited the area at the invitation of representatives from Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Oath Keepers covered the costs of his visit.

2. FEMA request denied for Elkhart County after severe winter storms

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved 19 Indiana counties for federal assistance after severe winter storms in January, but Elkhart County was not one of them. Elkhart County was one of 20 counties that were denied assistance, according to a press release from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s office. The 2013-2014 winter was one of the snowiest and coldest for Elkhart County.

3. Elkhart City Council OKs rezoning for phase two of Shoppes on Six

The Elkhart City Council approved a rezoning request on Monday, April 21, which is a key part of the upcoming Shoppes on Six retail development in the city’s north side. The land is a strip of property on C.R. 6 which includes a Goodyear service store. The Goodyear store’s general manager Martin Rzepka said the company has about five months to move. The shopping center will house a Shoe Carnival, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and a Dunkin Donuts.

4. Readers react: Elkhart County workers aren't lazier, they need better pay

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced on Monday, April 21, that the unemployment rate in Elkhart County dropped to 5.8 percent in March - the lowest it has been in six years. However, some say that it is harder than ever to find workers. Doug Gaddert, general manager at RV company Forest River Inc. and chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, said he thinks the community has grown lazier. Our readers voiced their opinions on social media and our website's comments section. Many readers said that companies are not paying enough. Some said that employers are looking for younger workers, not those with long gaps in employment. Others agreed with the general manager, saying that people are lazier than they have ever been before.

5. Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams to be honored with Purple Heart

Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq last December, will be honored with a purple heart at a ceremony on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, veteran service officer Ron Lundy, Elkhart Superior Court 1 Judge Evan Roberts and Pastor Mark Waltz of Granger Community Church will present the award to the mother and daughter of Staff Sgt. Williams on April 24 at Granger Community Church in Mishawaka. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded or killed in action.


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