South Bend’s new invasive plant ban includes Bradford pear

SOUTH BEND — Dozens of invasive plant species, including a commonly planted flowering tree, will be banned from being sold or planted in South Bend starting this fall under a new ordinance.

The South Bend Common Council voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of the ordinance, which takes effect on Sept. 1. The measure fills a gap of 47 plant species the state left off of a ban it created in 2019 against 44 species, the South Bend Tribune reported.

The list includes the callery pear tree, which includes a cultivar known as the Bradford pear.

Steve Sass with South Bend’s Ecological Advocacy Committee said that species native to China and southeast Asia is often planted for its bright white spring flowers, but it can cause many problems by spreading.

“In the South Bend area, it’s a problem in natural areas but it’s not yet as huge of problem as it is in central Indiana. You take a drive down US-31 around central Indiana, there are literally just seas of white trees on both sides of the road in many places,” Sass told WSBT-TV.

The ban in South Bend also covers Norway maple trees, burning bush and the groundcovers periwinkle and English ivy. All of those plants have spread aggressively into local parks there.

2 students die in crash on their way to central Indiana prom

ARCADIA — A car crash killed Indianapolis-area high school students who were on their way to prom, authorities said.

The two-vehicle crash, which also injured two other students, happened around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday. One vehicle, a Honda Accord, had four teens in it. They were on their way to Hamilton Heights High School’s prom in Kokomo when their vehicle collided with an SUV. Both vehicles ended up in a field.

The two deceased victims were identified as Lendon Byram, who was driving and Kalen Hart, who was sitting in the front seat.

Hart was a senior at Hamilton Heights in Arcadia, according to the school. Byram was a junior at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, according to the school.

Hamilton Heights School Corporation canceled all prom-related activities and say grief counselors would be available at the school.

“No one expects something like this to happen, and when it does, it leaves an entire community grieving,” Superintendent Derek Arrowood said. “Please keep these families and our students in your thoughts and prayers.”

Puerto Rican man missing in Lake Michigan after capsize

EAST CHICAGO — A Puerto Rican man was identified Monday as the boater missing in Lake Michigan after the vessel he was on capsized.

Kelvin Soto Crespo, 20, of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, has been missing since Saturday afternoon after the boat he occupied capsized in Lake Michigan near the East Chicago Marina, Indiana Conservation Officer Tyler Brock said.

An underwater sonar search was being conducted Monday morning, Brock said. The boat involved, an approximate 18-foot Bayliner runabout, has not been located.

Crespo and three other people were aboard when the Bayliner capsized around 2:15 p.m. Saturday offshore from the East Chicago Marina, authorities said.

Two of the men were rescued by the Coast Guard after being spotted by a Chicago Fire Department helicopter. A third man was picked up by a good Samaritan after spending about two hours in 50-degree water.

Two of the boaters were treated for hypothermia, and a third person was hospitalized in critical condition Saturday night, authorities said.

All three told officials they were able to put on life jackets when the boat went down, DNR said.

State police probe fatal shooting by Porter County police

SOUTH HAVEN — Indiana State Police were investigating Sunday after Porter County sheriff’s officers fatally shot a 30-year-old man at a South Haven home.

Officers responded to a “disturbance” around 6 p.m. Saturday, according to a release from Indiana State Police. Sheriff’s officers allegedly entered the home after several hours and found a man armed with a handgun in a bedroom.

The man, identified as Alexander Tuzinski, sustained a gunshot wound and was hospitalized. The Porter County coroner said he was pronounced dead at 11:50 p.m.

The names of the officers who were involved in the shooting have not been released, but “will be released at a later date,” according to state police.

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