Man accused of killing former councilman

ELKHART – A judge has entered a not guilty plea for a man charged with murder in the slaying of a former northern Indiana city councilman.

Elkhart Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno also appointed a public defender to represent 22-year-old Cody Garman of Elkhart during the defendant’s initial court appearance Thursday. He scheduled Garman’s trial for Sept. 18.

Garman is accused of fatally beating former 66-yar-old David Swartley of nearby Goshen. Court documents say the two met through an online advertisement for casual encounters. When the two met in person May 25, an argument ensued.

Swartley was a businessman, former teacher, the founder of a Christian youth group and a two-term Goshen city councilman in the 1990s. <br>

<center> 3 found dead in home now publicly identified </center><br>

INDIANAPOLIS – Authorities have released the names of three people found dead in a home on Indianapolis’ far east side.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office on Friday identified the victims as 64-year-old homeowner Mark Higgins; his son, 34-year-old Keith Higgins; and 34-year-old Jessica Carte. Carte’s relationship to the Higgins men wasn’t immediately clear.

Investigators haven’t said yet how they died.

Police say the deaths were discovered Thursday morning after a relative went to check on one of the victims who failed to report for work.

Police say a car taken from the home was found later Thursday a few miles away.

Police say there was no sign of forced entry. <br>

<center> Alumni try to revive St. Joseph’s College </center><br>

RENSSELAER – Alumni want to help reopen a Catholic liberal arts school in northwest Indiana that’s suspending operations at the end of the month.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported that the Rev. Barry Fischer, the new Saint Joseph’s College rector, has written a letter to alumni saying a team of volunteers has assembled to find a way to save the Rensselaer college.

Dubbed the Saint Joseph’s Phoenix Project, the group hopes to find a way to reconstitute the college to be in a stronger financial position. They hope to reopen as early as the fall of 2018.

“I realize that the task before me is enormous and daunting. I take up the challenge with hope that Saint Joe’s will rise from the ashes,” Fischer wrote.

The school’s board of trustees decided to suspend operations after the college racked up $27 million in debt with an additional $35 million in deferred building maintenance.

In a statement, the board said that “the size of the shortfall was so large that the college would need to achieve unprecedented fundraising or enrollment results in order to continue to operate.”

The college has about 1,100 students. <br>

<center> More Hoosier ‘Living Legends” honored </center><br>

INDIANAPOLIS – Two philanthropists and a Team USA women’s basketball medalist will be among those honored this year as “Living Legends” by the Indiana Historical Society.

Tamika Catchings, a former Indiana Fever star who won Olympic gold four times, will be feted alongside philanthropic leaders John and Sarah Lechleiter. Longtime Indiana Repertory Theatre executive artistic director Janet Allen and Hulman &#38; Company President and CEO Mark Miles will also be honored.

Every year the state historical society recognizes a handful of Indiana residents for their local, statewide and national accomplishments. A committee of civic and corporate leaders picks the honorees.