Thursday Sept. 29, 2016
Screen grab of online Sept. 22, 2016, Elkhart Truth story about Keith Cooper.
The Indianapolis Star and Chicago Tribune have followed the case of a former Elkhart man seeking exoneration in a 1996 armed robbery here, recounting the the twists and turns that led to his unjust conviction and, ultimately, his release in 2006.
The trial and fight for his release all occurred before my time here at The Elkhart Truth and I’ve not done much crime stuff, in general, until the last year or so.
But when I learned of a new push by Cooper’s advocates to get him pardoned, I figured it was time that we, as the hometown newspaper where everything went down, look into the story. I didn’t repeat the digging done by the Indianapolis Star or Chicago Tribune — they’ve done some intense work — but I quickly got up to speed, reading their archives, talking to one of the advocates, looking into recent turns in the push.
Gov. Mike Pence also came out, saying he wasn’t prepared to pardon Cooper, who was let go from prison early based on proof pointing to his innocence but never exonerated. It turned into a pretty decent story, I think:
Friday April 8, 2016
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, center, in Middlebury on April 6, 2016, at the ceremonially signing of Kirk’s Law, a measure creating a registry of child-abuse perpetrators. It was the latest of a flurry of visits to the Elkhart County area in recent months. By Tim Vandenack
Lots of politics this week.
First there was a New York Times report datelined out of Elkhart that said President Obama may make a return visit here. The Times story, focused on the credit Obama does or doesn’t deserve for pulling the nation out of the Great Recession, spurred me to look further into the possibility of a fifth trip here by Obama (still up in the air).
Then U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, the local representative to the U.S. House, visited to meet with The Elkhart Truth editorial board (and me, a non-member) ahead of the May primary. We quizzed her on her thoughts on GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who’s shaken things up in the nation and in the Republican Party (she’s reticent to say much), and that was the focus of another story, though more will be coming from the interview. I also made a video of Walorski’s Trump comments (scroll down).
Finally, on Wednesday, Gov. Mike Pence traveled to Elkhart County, his sixth visit here since last June, to ceremonially sign a pair of bills. Why so many visits here (when he visited only two times between his inauguration in January 2013 and mid-June 2015)? That was the focus of another story.
It’s only going to get busier, I suspect, with the primary coming then the general election in November. Here are links to the stories, followed by the video of Walorski talking about the presidential race:
Filed under Elkhart, Ind.