The first of three teens charged with the arson of the vacant Goshen Inn appeared in Elkhart Juvenile Court Monday.
The Goshen 15-year-old teen admitted to the charges against him of burglary, arson and criminal mischief in the Aug. 12 fire, the Elkhart Truth reported Tuesday.
Under questioning by his attorney, the teen admitted that he and two other 15-year-old teens broke into the Goshen Inn through a window and collected items within the hotel to start a fire.
Magistrate Deborah A. Domine ordered the teen to be placed on supervised probation with electronic monitoring, serve 100 hours of community service, delete his Facebook account and any other social media accounts and to have no contact with the other teens involved in the incident.
The teen must participate in the victim-offender reconciliation program, a fire safety program and undergo an addiction assessment.
The names of the teens were not released because they have been charged as juveniles.
Elkhart man pleads guilty to insurance fraud
Willis Fields, 47, Elkhart, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. Northern District Court in South Bend to felony unemployment insurance fraud. Fields purposefully defrauded the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits of $27,610 while working full-time. He was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to repay the $27,610 in benefits.
• Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash at C.R. 37 and C.R. 34 in Goshen at 4:27 p.m. Monday. According to Elkhart County police, Judith Becker-Rohrer, 42, Millersburg, was driving a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle and collided with the 2010 Chevy Impala driven by Elvera Miller, 47, Millersburg in the intersection. Becker-Rohrer laid the motorcycle on the ground and slid into a fence, police said. She was transported to IU Health Goshen Hospital for back pain and lacerations to arms, hips and abdomen. She was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way. A 10-year-old passenger was not taken to the hospital for treatment but left with his parents.
• Five people were injured in a four-vehicle collision at U.S. 20 near Clay Township Monday in LaGrange County. The crash occurred at 7:08 a.m. According to LaGrange County police, a 2006 Chevy Aveo driven by George F. Vanscyk, 51, was eastbound on U.S. 20 when he went left of center and hit the 2005 Buick Terra driven by Royer P. Allman Jr., 61, LaGrange. The Buick Terra landed on its top after hitting a 2008 Dodge Caravan driven by Michelle D. Dininny, 32, LaGrange. Police said The Dodge went off the road and landed in a ditch. The left front tire of the Aveo collapsed and caused it to hit a 2006 Olds driven by Erin L. Wood, 21, LaGrange.
Vanscyk was transported to Parkview LaGrange Hospital for treatment of lacerations and cuts to the face and mouth. Allman was transported to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne for chest trauma, cuts and major bleeding. A passenger, Lydia Andrews, 66, LaGrange, was treated at Parkview LaGrange Hospital for minor cut and bruises. Dininny was treated at Parkview LaGrange Hospital for treatment of an broken arm and Wood was treated at the scene for complaint of pain.
Vanscyk was cited for left of center.
• Two drivers were injured in a two-vehicle collision Sunday on Marcellus Highway, near McKenzie Street in Wayne Township, Mich. According to Cass County police, Ricky Chapman, 55, Middlebury, lost control of his vehicle and overturned in a ditch. Chapman proceeded westbound on Marcellus Highway and crossed the center line into the path of a motorcycle driven by Timothy Young, 69, Mishawaka. The footrest of the motorcycle hit the roadway and caused the motorcycle into a ditch. Both men were transported to Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac. According to a press release, the use of alcohol is believed to be a factor in these crashes. The case remains under investigation.