5 things to know for your Saturday in Indiana

The Elkhart Truth revisits Elkhart’s cold cases, an Elkhart businessman is ordered to stay in jail until his trial on fraud charges and three other stories to start your day.

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 2:57 a.m.

Elkhart Police Homicide Unit works to solve cold cases

The Elkhart Police Department’s five-man homicide unit is tasked with reviewing cold cases and has solved four such cases since 2003. There are 29 other open cases that date back to 1974. Each detective chooses a specialization and receives extensive training in that field, such as infant and child deaths or unidentified remains. Before the homicide unit was formed in July, 2003, detectives from the department’s Criminal Investigations Division investigated homicides and suspicious deaths. However, there were also responsible for investigating burglaries, thefts and other crimes, which distracted them from their homicide investigations.

Elkhart businessman ordered jailed until his trial on fraud charges

An Elkhart businessman who was charged with fraud will not be freed on bond before his jury trial because of the risk that he may cause further economic harm to the community. U.S. Magistrate Christopher Nuechterlein on Thursday, May 22 ordered James P. LeDonne to remain jailed until his trial after considering oral and written arguments made by an assistant U.S. attorney. The government called LeDonne “an unrepentant con artist and serial fraudster.”

Ask the Truth: Is it safe to swim in the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers?

Elkhart city officials warn against swimming in the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers because of debris, strong water currents and high coliform levels in the water. The bottom of the river is known to have cars, broken glass, fishing lures, picnic tables, bottles and cans. One may hurt himself or herself when stepping on or getting caught in the debris. Furthermore, the water current is deceptively strong. The cleanliness of the water is also a concern, because rain will often cause the river to have high coliform levels due to runoff.

Three Concord Township FD employees suspended in drug case inquiry

Three Concord Township Fire Department employees who violated department rules related to the handling of drugs will remain suspended pending completion of a criminal inquiry into the matter. Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Jim Bradberry said there’s “insufficient evidence” at this stage to prosecute, but the case remains open. Concord Township trustee Mark Grabill said drugs carried on fire department ambulances are kept in boxes sealed with a serialized sticker. In the case of the three employees, the serialized sticker had been removed but not for any allowable reason.

Goshen mother breathes new life into her home with LaCasa's help

Goshen mother Ronda Fisel had complications during a pregnancy with her son, who was born a month early and weighed only 4.4 pounds. Also, her eyesight worsened to the point where she was legally blind. Fisel was not able to work, and she had to take care of her son at their home south of downtown Goshen. She corrected her vision after undergoing eye surgery in August, but that’s when she noticed the deterioration of her house. Fisel then started taking personal finance classes at LaCasa Inc. to learn how to rebuild her savings. She filled out applications for assistance, such as LaCasa’s Help-a-House program, which has volunteers fix Goshen homes for those who are unable to afford repairs. This year, LaCasa also agreed to help Fisel catch up on house payments and assisted her with home insurance.


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