5 things to know for your Wednesday in Indiana

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers stands by his decision to visit the Cliven Bundy ranch, the Environmental Protection Agency held a public meeting about groundwater contamination in Elkhart and three other stories to start your day.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:08 a.m.

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers defends trip to Cliven Bundy ranch

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers stood by his decision to visit the ranch of Cliven Bundy last week, where the federal government is facing off against critics of federal overreach. Rogers called the visit a “peacekeeping mission” in a Facebook post on Sunday in response to a critical Goshen News editorial. He said his experiences on the ranch would help him serve Elkhart County in the future should something similar happen locally.

Rogers also appeared with Bundy during a news conference on April 19, shortly after the Nevada rancher made controversial racial remarks. Roger said that he didn’t hear Bundy’s comments and wasn’t present at the moment he made them. Rogers said in a Facebook post that he considered Bundy's comments to be "unacceptable and horrendous".

Fire cancels evening activities at Memorial High School

Some American Electric Power equipment caught on fire at Memorial High School on Thursday, April 29. No one was injured and there was no damage to the school’s interior, according to Elkhart schools spokeswoman Shawn Hannon. Power appeared to be restored at the educational services center as of 6:30 p.m. and to the school around 5 a.m.

"I understand that AEP crews and ECS maintenance staff deserve a lot of credit," Hannon said, "as they worked into the early morning hours to restore electrical service to Elkhart Memorial."

EPA officials peppered with questions over contamination in Elkhart

Around 30 people attended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s public meeting at Calvary United Methodist Church to learn more about groundwater contamination in the city's near-west side and the agency’s temporary solutions to the problem.

The federal agency determined that 70 properties in the area should be connected to city water because of groundwater contamination and suggested that 200 homes needed vapor removal systems to reduce dangerous vapors that may seep through the basement's walls and foundation. The agency’s preliminary plans include paying for these measures.

The agency is still considering longterm cleanup of the contamination.

Witness says Stewart's actions suspicious days after Dunlap tattoo artist went missing

The jury trial for Todd Stewart continued on Tuesday, April 29, in Elkhart Circuit Court. Stewart is accused of murder after his business partner Mark Miller’s body was found dead in a barrel floating down the St. Joseph River in 2012. He faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted. Dawn Miller, Mark Miller’s sister, was the first person to testify during the trial. The jury also heard from Mark Miller’s attorney Ben Pfaff and Detective Jeremy Stout, the lead investigator from the moment Mark Miller was reported missing.

Local voices on the Elkhart, Concord school referendums

Many Elkhart residents have voiced their support and opposition to two upcoming school referendums that would raise local property taxes to fund Elkhart and Concord schools. Some wrote in The Elkhart Truth’s People’s Forum section and others spoke up during community meetings or in interviews. The Elkhart Truth's education reporter Lydia Sheaks compiled some of these local voices for and against the referendums in an interactive infographic, from Elkhart schools superintendent Rob Haworth to Vote No in Concord leader K.C. Clements.


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