|Two Arrested on Armed Robbery Charges (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 5:08:11 PM
(CENTREVILLE) – Two men are in custody after trying to rob a Colon business.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough says just before 6 PM December 11, two men entered the Village Market Pharmacy in Colon, armed with hand guns and attempted to rob the business. A clerk was able to press a panic button and the gunmen fled the store without anyone being harmed or any property taken.
Colon Police Chief Mark Brinkert followed the suspects as they tried to get away in a van. Brinkert, with assistance from the Michigan State Police, Sturgis Police Department, Mendon Police Department and the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department, were finally able to stop the van.
Taken into custody were 22 year old David Brandys and 24 year old Benjamin Dodson, both of Nappanee, Indiana. The two are charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit armed robbery. Both are also charged with one count each of felony firearms and fleeing and eluding. The armed robbery charges carry a term of up to life in prison.
They were arraigned Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph County District Court. Bond for both men was set at $200,000 and they are scheduled to have their preliminary hearings on December 23.
|Stuff A Blue Goose Set For Saturday (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 5:05:14 PM
(WHITE PIGEON) – The Michigan State Police are asking for the public's help to make this a great Christmas for those in need.
Troopers from the White Pigeon Detachment will be holding their annual “Stuff A Blue Goose For Christmas” event this Saturday, December 14. Troopers will be manning patrol cars, or Blue Gooses, at the Sturgis and Three Rivers Wal Mart Stores, and at the White Pigeon Detachment.
They will be collecting new, unwrapped toys and non perishable food items. Everything collected will be turned over to The Salvation Army who will then distribute them to families around St. Joseph County.
There will also be collection boxes at the Dollar General Stores in Constantine and White Pigeon and at Jim Vetter Chevrolet on M-60 in Three Rivers.
The event runs from 9 AM to 5 PM.
|Suspect Arrested In Cass Co. Break Ins (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 5:00:17 PM
(DOWAGIAC) – A suspect involved in a series of break in's around the Dowagiac area is behind bars.
The Cass County Sheriff's Department has been investigating 14 break ins that have happened between December 1 and December 4 in the Twin Lakes area north of Dowagiac. The break ins were all to sheds, garages and houses and happened in the late night hours. Taken in the break ins were flat screen TV's, cans of gas and other items.
Additional Sheriff's patrols in the area have been ongoing, and while on patrol recently, deputies located an individual walking late at night. After making contact with 24 year old Eric Szymonski of Dowagiac, deputies discovered he had a felony warrant for his arrest in an unrelated incident.
Deputies interviewed Szymonski, and then charged him with burglary and two counts of second degree home invasion. He was arraigned Wednesday in Cass County District Court on the burglary charges as well as the original warrant of assault with a deadly weapon. His bond is set at $30,000.
No property has been recovered as this time and the burglaries remain under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cass County Tipline at 1-800-462-9328, or you can leave a tip at the Sheriff's Department web page, www.ccso.info.
Eric Szymonski (photo courtesy of the Cass County Sheriff's Department)
|Be Safe During Christmas (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 4:55:22 PM
(UNDATED) – Decorating during the Christmas season is one of the fun and festive parts of the holiday.
Unfortunately, some of those decorations could pose a possible threat to you and your family.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency says statistics show that 15,000 people in the United State were injured and visited the emergency room in November and December 2012.
To help keep you and your family safe, the CHA suggests you follow some of the following tips. If you decide to have a live Christmas tree, be sure to water it every day. When a tree starts to dry up the needles become brittle and dry out which causes a fire hazard.
Check all of your Christmas lights for fraying wires, loose connections and broken sockets before placing them on the tree or around the house. If you use live candles, keep them away from the edge of tables and window sills, and remember to blow them out before you leave the house or go to bed.
Live plants add an extra touch during Christmas, but some may be poisonous to children and pets, such as mistletoe berries, holly berries and Jerusalem cherry.
For more Christmas safety tips, you can visit the CHA on line at www.bhsj.org. You can also visit the CHA offices, in Three Rivers at 1110 Hill Street, or in Coldwater at 570 North Marshall Road.
|Commission Approves Auditorium Sound System (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 11:37:33 AM
(STURGIS) – A new sound system for the Sturges-Young Auditorium is another step closer to reality.
During Wednesday's meeting the Sturgis City Commission approved a recommendation to purchase a new sound system for just over $87 thousand dollars.
Auditorium Director Brad Donmyer shares with the Commission that several different events such as the Pro-Am golf outing, the Sturgis Foundation Match Day and the Holiday Kaleidoscope were held over the last two years to raise the money for this system.
Commissioner Rob Sisson asked what the system would be used for. Donmyer explains that it will be just for the theater and will help cut down on the cost for renting out a sound system for certain events. Donmyer says they will still have to rent additional equipment for some of the larger shows the Auditorium hosts, but for events like the high school musical or smaller shows, this will do a fine job.
Stage Lighting and Sound LLC was awarded the bid to purchase and install the equipment. Donmyer says if the purchase can be made before the end of this year, then the equipment should be installed sometime in early 2014.
|Shoes And Boots A Success (12/12/13)|
12/12/2013 11:28:44 AM
Members of the Sturgis Kiwanis and Sturgis Elks Clubs help out with their annual "Shoes And Boots" program for Sturgis children (photo courtesy of Mike Stiles/WBET News)
(STURGIS) – Christmas came a little early for some Sturgis children.
Wednesday night, the Sturgis Kiwanis Club and the Sturgis Elks Club held their annual “Shoes And Boots” program. Children were identified by the Sturgis Public School and their names given to the two clubs.
Volunteers picked up the children and brought them to Willer's Shoes so they could pick up a free pair of shoes. Next they were taken to St. John's Episcopal Church where they were given a pizza party, a toy, a chance to get some hats and gloves and visit with Santa.
Kiwanis Club member Mike Caywood says the number of students for this year's event is about the same as it has been the last few years. Caywood says nothing beats seeing the children get items they really need, plus letting them spend some time talking to St. Nick.
|SPS eCademy Doing Well (12/11/13)|
(STURGIS) – A program designed to help Middle School and High School students in Sturgis is doing well.
During this week's meeting the Sturgis Board of Education received an update on the eCademy, which replaced the ACES program this year.
Superintendent Tom Langdon says the program is a work in progress, but it is moving forward......(LISTEN).
One of the big positives for the program is that they currently have over 130 students enrolled. Early on the goal was to have 100.
Langdon says there have been some challenges this year for the eCademy.....(LISTEN).
With the eCademy being a relatively new program Langdon says it will go through growing pains for awhile.
To emphasize that point, Langdon shared with the Board that while he was at a recent conference, he heard other educators and administrators talking about some of the struggle they are having with the program.
|Rathburn Looking Forward To Election (12/11/13)|
(THREE RIVERS) – It's not often you hear a candidate say they are looking forward to the election process.
But that's the message Roger Rathburn is sharing since he announced last week he is running for the 59th District Seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Rathburn, who is retiring in June after 13 years as the Three Rivers Schools Superintendent, says he took a year to decide if he wanted to run for a political office. He says he came to the decision after talking with some trusted friends and advisers.
One of those individuals is Rob Olsen, the former Sturgis Schools Superintendent, who is serving as Rathburn's campaign manager. Rathburn says Olsen's friendship and mentorship has helped him not only professionally but also personally.
Rathburn says he hopes that during the election process, the public will research the candidates before voting and see that he has a track record of success.
The 59th House seat is currently held by Matt Lori.
|Kids Shop With Cops (12/11/13)|
By Tim Murray
(LAGRANGE) – Twenty LaGrange County kids got to shop with police officers this week.
Members of the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department along with the LaGrange Police Department, Wolcottville Police Department, Conservation Officers and the Indiana State Police participated in the Shop With A Cop program that was held Monday night.
The officers picked up the children and took them shopping at Wal-Mart in Sturgis before meeting at The Howe School to wrap gifts and eat pizza.
Five children were chosen from each school district and five were chosen by the LaGrange County Department of Child Services.
It's the thirteenth year for the Shop With A Cop program in LaGrange County, which is funded completely by donations.
|Royer Lake Burglaries Being Investigated (12/11/13)|
12/11/2013 10:28:13 AM
(ROYER LAKE) - A call from one homeowner led to the discovery of seven residential burglaries in the Royer Lake area on Sunday.
LaGrange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a complaint at 2310 South County Road 455 East. The investigation led to the discovery of at least six additional break-ins on County Road 460 East.
Police did not know exactly how many items were taken, but some of the homes were damaged in the process.
Detective Stephanie Mickem says the burglaries occurred sometime Saturday or Sunday. Anyone with information should call Mickem at 463-0238.
|Rathburn Running For State House (12/10/13)|
(THREE RIVERS) – Roger Rathburn says he's looking forward to running for the Michigan House of Representatives.
The 51 year old announced last week that he was seeking the nomination to run for the 59th District House seat in Lansing, currently held by Matt Lori, who can't run again because of term limits.
During an interview Tuesday on the WBET Morning Show, Rathburn joked that his wife told him that just because he was retiring as Three Rivers Schools Superintendent didn't mean he could sit around all day or play golf all the time.
Rathburn says he has been considering this move for over a year, but it was not an easy decision for him to make........(LISTEN).
Rathburn says he's eager to introduce himself to the residents of St. Joseph and Cass County that make up the 59th District. He says he also wants to visit Lansing on a regular basis to start getting his name known and see some of the inner workings of the Michigan House.
|Paul Gorsuch Named To Sturgis School Board (12/10/13)|
(STURGIS) – A familiar name has been appointed to the Sturgis Board of Education.
The opening on the Board was created because of the resignation of Tom Robertson, who accepted a job with the St. Joseph County Courts.
During Monday's meeting, Board President Ann Bird shared with the audience the process they went through to find a new board member and who was recommended to the Board..........(LISTEN).
Gorsuch is a former teacher at Sturgis High School and also served as the Boys Varsity Basketball coach from 1981 to 1995. He was also Athletic Director before retiring after 38 years in the public education system.
Gorsuch says he is looking forward to the challenge of filling Robertson's spot on the Board......(LISTEN).
The Board unanimously approved the recommendation to appoint Gorsuch, who will finish Robertson's term which runs until November 2014.
In a related matter, the Board also unanimously approved a new slate of officers. Ann Bird will serve as Board President, Ray Sterling will be Vice President, Frank Kalasky will be Board Secretary and Kerri Millet will be Treasurer.
|SPS Keeping Transportation In House (12/10/13)|
(STURGIS) – The Sturgis Public Schools bus drivers received some good news during Monday's Board of Education meeting.
The Board unanimously approved a recommendation to keep the transportation in house and not hire an outside company.
Business Manager Vicki Watson explains to the Board and the audience why they were looking at possibly hiring a company to handle their transportation needs.....(LISTEN).
Watson says a mandatory pre-bid meeting was held November 4 and the bids were opened on November 25. The District received one outside bid from MV Transportation, Inc., and a proposal from the SPS Transportation Department employees.
A District committee reviewed the bid specifications and proposals as well as participated in presentations from each group.
Watson shares with the Board the recommendation of the committee..........(LISTEN).
Watson says it's estimated that by using the in house transportation instead of MV Transportation, the District will save approximately $10,000.
Following the Board's approval of this recommendation, Watson recommended the District continue ongoing discussion with the transportation employees on total compensation issued including health insurance options in an effort to contain costs.
|Police Arrest Two Men On Drug Charges (12/9/13)|
By Tim Murray
(HOWE) - Two men who allegedly were spotlight for deer near Howe were arrested on drug charges Saturday.
A LaGrange County sheriff's deputy came across the pickup truck on County Road 125 East north of County Road 700 North around 10:45 PM. They stopped the truck near 1145 East County Road 700 North and found two firearms in plain view.
The driver, 19 year old Roderick Barnell of Vicksburg, was found to possess a hypodermic needle and items used to make methamphetamine. A search of the vehicle then turned up two meth labs, about 8 grams of meth, and three firearms.
Police charged Barnell with five felony counts and a misdemeanor for use of artificial lights while possessing a firearm.
Twenty-one year old David Shaffer of Howe was the passenger in the pickup and was charged with visiting a common nuisance and use of artificial lights while possessing a firearm.
Conservation Officer Kyle Buchanan assisted at the scene.
|Boil Water Advisory Lifted (12/9/13)|
(LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP) – Residents of Lockport Township in St. Joseph County can stop boiling their water.
The boil water advisory, which had been in effect since November 29, was lifted this morning, according to Jennifer Ransbottom of Michigan Operations, Inc., the company that manages the Township’s water supply.
Ransbottom says a pump failure occurred due to an electrical malfunction, resulting in a loss of pressure which could have allowed bacterial contamination into the water supply.
The Township water supply was flushed and chlorine was added to get the water quality back up the standards set by the Michigan DEQ.
|New Speed Limits Coming To Bronson (12/9/13)|
(BRONOSN) – Some changes in the speed limit through Bronson will be coming very soon.
In December 2012, Bronson City officials asked the Michigan Department of Transportation to do a speed study on U.S. 12 east of Wayne Street. However, MDOT said they would only do the study if it were for the entire length of U.S. 12 through Bronson, because they set the speed limits on all state highways, regardless of local jurisdiction.
Bronson City officials says they heard from MDOT this week that the study is done and there will be some changes coming with new speed limit signs to be posted.
MDOT says from the west city limits to Ruggles Street, the speed limit will be 40 MPH. From Ruggles to just east of Lincoln Street, it will be 35 MPH. The speed will increase back to 40 MPH from Lincoln to A&J Lane, and then from A&J Lane to the east city limits the speed will be back up to 55 MPH.
City officials say the study and the subsequent changes achieve a slower speed in some of the areas of concern.
MDOT says they set the speed at the 85th percentile and then adjust the speeds accordingly.
|Search For Man Leads To Six Arrests (12/9/13)|
(LAGRANGE) – The search for a wanted LaGrange County man led to the arrest of six other individuals over the weekend.
Acting on several tips, deputies from the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department went to a home in the east 5500 block of County Road 250 north looking for Michael Hoff.
As they approached the residence, deputies observed a screaming woman run from the house with two men chasing her into a wooded area. Before officers could reach her, the two men caught the female and dragged her back to the house.
Deputies made contact with the people on the property and called for assistance. Further investigation showed that Michael Hoff had left the residence just before the officers had arrived.
It's believed that Hoff could be in the Ligonier, LaGrange County or Sturgis, Michigan area. He is driving a gray and blue 1990's S-10 pick up with a loud exhaust.
As a result of the events at the house, deputies arrested 27 year old Matthew Yoder of LaGrange for maintaining a common nuisance, furnishing alcohol to minors and possession of paraphernalia. Deputies also arrested 24 year old Steven Smith of LaGrange for public intoxication.
Three men and a woman, ages 18 to 19, were charged with minors consuming.
|Co. Council Appropriates Money For Projects (12/9/13)|
By Tim Murray
(LAGRANGE) - The LaGrange County Council appropriated $281,500 for the acquisition of land adjacent to Dallas Lake Park Monday morning.
Major funding for the purchase of property known as “Pond Lil” is coming from grants from the state.
The council also appropriated $20,000 from sheriff's department funds in county general to pay for utilities at the county jail. Councilman Mike Strawser asked Sheriff Terry Martin if he could find more money within his budget and Martin said probably not.
The sheriff transferred $27,509 from other line items in his budget to help cover the utilities.
Council tapped the Riverboat Gambling Fund for $15,000 and the Rainy Day Fund for $2,598 to pay for roof repairs to the Commercial Building at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Among the transfers approved was $18,375 for the purchase of a pickup truck for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Council approved an amendment to the salary ordinance to allow for a part time building inspector for up to 24 hours per week at $9.27 per hour.
|Bronson City Council Meeting Canceled (12/9/13)|
(BRONSON) – Today's Bronson City Council meeting has been postponed.
City Manager Mark Heydlauff says due to three of the five Council members being sick, the meeting will not take place this afternoon.
Heydlauff says depending on how the Council members are doing tomorrow, the meeting may be rescheduled for either this Wednesday, or next Monday, December 16.
|One Person Injured In Weekend Crash (12/9/13)|
(HOWARD TOWNSHIP) – One person was injured in a one vehicle accident over the weekend.
The Cass County Sheriff's Department says 32 year old Sunshine Berkey of Niles was traveling east on Lakeshore Drive just after 12 AM on Sunday when she went off the roadway and struck a tree.
Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Howard Township Fire Department. It was not stated what condition Berkey was in.
Seatbelts were not worn at the time of the accident, which remains under investigation.
|More Storage Units Broken Into (12/9/13)|
(STURGIS TOWNSHIP) – Authorities are investigating the break in to several storage units in the Sturgis area.
Michigan State Police from the White Pigeon Detachment were called to A-1 Storage in the 68000 block of White School road where several break ins were discovered.
Troopers say the incidents happened between 5:30 PM on December 5 and 9 AM on December 6.
Anyone who may have information on these incidents are asked to call the MSP post in White Pigeon at 483-7611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP.
|Rathburn To Run For Michigan House (12/6/13)|
(THREE RIVERS) – Another person has thrown their name into the mix for a run at the Michigan House of
Long time Three Rivers Public Schools' Superintendent Roger Rathburn has announced his candidacy for the 59th District Seat in the Michigan House, currently held by Matt Lori. Lori can not run again due to term limits.
Rathburn says that after careful consideration, he's decided to run for the State House of Representatives. He says this decision was not taken lightly, and after several months of encouragement from constituents, business leaders, educators and organizations, Rathburn recognized that his style of leadership, knowledge and work ethic are what communities need and deserve.
Rathburn, who is 51, will be retiring in June, ending his 13 year position as Superintendent of Schools for Three Rivers.
He is the second person to announce a run at Lori's seat. Earlier this year, John Bippus announced he was also seeking the 59th District House position.
|Three New Canine Teams Coming To SW Michigan (12/6/13)|
(LANSING) – Three recent graduates from the Michigan State Police 2013 Basic Canine School will be coming to Southwest Michigan.
There were 12 teams that went through the 14 week training program, which covered subjects including tracking, narcotics detection, building search, area search, property search, obedience and aggression. In addition, the handlers received more than 100 hours of classroom instruction.
This graduating class brings the total number of MSP canine teams to 49, which is an all time high for the department. These new teams will join other canine unit teams placed throughout the state.
Trooper Jereme Miller will be partnered with K-9 officer Dakota at the Coldwater State Police Post. Assigned to the Fifth District Headquarters in Paw Paw will be Trooper Bryon Bierema with K-9 officer Hank and Trooper Michael Sinke with K-9 officer Murph.
A replacement K-9 officer will be heading to the Niles Post. Trooper Joel Service will be partnered with K-9 officer Pitch.
|Life Grants Awarded To Three Groups (12/6/13)|
By Tim Murray
(LAGRANGE) - Three organizations will receive grants from the LaGrange County Community Foundation’s LIFE Youth Philanthropy Group.
$2,500 goes to the American Red Cross for its Fourth Grade Safety Program. $2,107 goes to Topeka Elementary School for its Family and Community Engagement Event. LaGrange County Extension Homemakers get $500 for the First Book for Kids program.
Twenty student volunteers in grades 8 through 12 make up the LIFE Group and receive guidance from adult mentors in each of the four high schools in the county and assistance from the community foundation staff.
LIFE activities are supported by a grant from the Dekko Foundation.
|Coldwater Police Investigate Perfume Sales (12/5/13)|
12/5/2013 7:05:40 PM
(COLDWATER) – The Coldwater Police Department is looking for people who were allegedly trying to sell perfume.
Coldwater Director of Public Safety Mark Bartell says his officers were called twice Wednesday afternoon to investigate people trying to sell perfume. The first location was at 800 East Chicago Road at 3:42 PM and then they were called to 75 East Chicago Road at 4:45 PM.
When officers arrived at each location, there were no potential suspects and no reported assaults took place. Witnesses at the scene stated the people trying to sell the perfume were being rude and extremely pushy.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call the Coldwater Police Department at 517-278-4525.
|MSP Investigating House Break In (12/5/13)|
12/5/2013 6:55:43 PM
(FABIUS TOWNSHIP) – Authorities are looking for the person or persons who broke into a house.
Michigan State Police were called to the 11000 block of Coon Hollow Road Wednesday afternoon. The homeowner had been out of town for several weeks and returned home to find someone had broken in and made off with several electronic items.
If you have information that could help solve this case, please call the State Police Post in White Pigeon at 483-7611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP.
|Sheriff's Department Looking For Felon (12/5/13)|
12/5/2013 6:50:15 PM
Michael Hoff (picture courtesy of The LaGrange Co. Sheriff's Department)
(LAGRANGE) – The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department is trying to locate a felon.
Sheriff Terry Martin says they are using their Facebook page and asking for the public's help in locating 39 year old Michael Hoff. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He also has a tattoo on his right arm.
Hoff is wanted for a Class D felony of maintaining a common nuisance.
If anyone has information on Hoff's location, they are asked to either call the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department at 260-463-7491, or you can send a private message to the Department's Facebook page.
|Storage Unit Break In Investigated (12/5/13)|
12/5/2013 6:44:21 PM
(STURGIS TOWNSHIP) – Michigan State Police are investigating the break in to a storage unit and the theft of several items.
Troopers from the White Pigeon Detachment were called to the 68000 block of White School Road and discovered that the suspect or suspects cut the lock on the storage container and then entered it.
A five year old XMARK, red and gray 25 HP, 60 inch cut, zero degree riding lawn mower was taken. In addition, a set of four mounted tires and a 454 cubic inch motor was taken along with several smaller items.
Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to cal the State Police Post in White Pigeon at 483-7611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-STOP.
|2013 A Banner Year For Economic Development (12/4/13)|
12/4/2013 4:54:03 PM
(CENTREVILLE) – 2013 turned out to be a positive year for St. Joseph County in terms of economic development.
That was the message delivered Tuesday to the County Commission as the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corporation presented their annual report.
EDC Board President Ken Jones shared with the Commission and the audience that in 2013, 1487 new jobs were announced in St. Joseph County. In addition, 1865 jobs were retained and $53.8 million in new investment was announced.
Jones says the investments were not only new businesses but also existing ones that were expanding. They include the new building project for Burr Oak Tool Inc., Summit Polymers, Banks Hardwoods, R&H Machine Products, Michiana Corrugated Products, Manchester Industries and American Metal Fab among several others.
Jones also told the Commission that there are 16 projects in various stages that could potentially be located in St. Joseph County. He says all of them are considered to be confidential and client information is classified until the project is officially announced.
The County EDC is in partnership with Southwest Michigan First to help with economic development projects.
|L-CAT Getting 3 Free Vans (12/4/13)|
12/4/2013 4:51:30 PM
By Tim Murray
(LAGRANGE) – The old adage “it never hurts to ask” is ringing true for a LaGrange County organization.
LaGrange County Council On Aging Executive Director Cheri Perkins told the County Commissioners during their meeting this week that LaGrange County Area Transit is getting federal funding for some new vehicles.
Because only 14 agencies around Indiana sought the grants, Perkins decided to ask for more. Instead of asking for one, she asked for three. To her surprise, the State approved all three.
Usually a 20 percent local match is required, but this time around the grant will pick up the entire cost.
The three new vehicles will replace three that are currently on the road with more than 300,000 miles on them.
|Wolcottville Revitalization Meeting (12/4/13)|
12/4/2013 4:49:20 PM
By Tim Murray
(WOLCOTTVILLE) - A community workshop is scheduled for next week to get public input on revitalizing downtown Wolcottville.
A grant is funding a study that leads to a downtown revitalization master plan that studies existing conditions and makes recommendations for improvements to Wolcottville’s downtown.
Once the study is complete, the town could become eligible for further grants to construct improvements such as sidewalks, street lights and planters.
The workshop will be Thursday, December 12th starting at 6 PM at the Wolcottville Community Center, at 601 West County Line Road.
|County Administrator's Contract Renewed (12/4/13)|
12/4/2013 10:43:56 AM
(CENTREVILLE) – Pat Yoder will remain as St. Joseph County Administrator for at least one more year.
During Tuesday's meeting, the St. Joseph County Commission unanimously approved a one year contract for Yoder.
Yoder was hired by the Commission in April as the interim County Administrator, following the retirement of Judy West-Wing. Yoder was the first St. Joseph County Administrator, when the position was created back in 1990.
Commission Vice Chairman Allen Balog says that he and Chairman John Dobberteen talked with County employees and fellow Commissioners to get their thoughts of how Yoder had been doing. With that information, Balog and Dobberteen then met with Yoder and worked out the details of the contract.
Yoder's salary for 2014 will be $105,000.
Prior to coming back to St. Joseph County, Yoder had served in similar positions in other states, and was the Village Manager in Three Oaks when he heard of West-Wing's retirement and expressed interest in the position.
|Sturgis Man Arrested After Police Chase (12/4/13)|
12/4/2013 10:37:37 AM
(STURGIS) – A Sturgis man is in jail after leading police on a chase.
Michigan State Police from the White Pigeon Detachment attempted to stop a vehicle on Fawn River Road near South Nottawa for an equipment violation. The driver, a 36 year old Sturgis man, refused to stop and led police on a chase through the city before stopping on a dead end street.
The driver got out of the vehicle and tried to run away, but was apprehended by troopers.
In doing a background check, officers discovered the man had four outstanding warrants for his arrest and had a suspended and expired driver's license. He had been arrested in the past for driving on a suspended license.
The suspect is charged with fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstruction, a third offense of driving on a
suspended license, along with the outstanding warrants which were for failure to appear and misdemeanor and felony larceny in both St. Joseph and Branch Counties.
He is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail.
|New Members For Hospital Board And Foundation (12/3/13)|
(STURGIS) – Some new faces will be a part of the operation of Sturgis Hospital.
Eric Jones and Mark Heydlauff have been appointed to the Hospital Board of Directors. Both of their terms started on October 9 and will end in May 2014.
Heydlauff, a native of Sturgis, is the Bronson City Manager. Heydlauff says many of his friends and neighbors in Bronson rely on the services of Sturgis Hospital and he is interested in how the Hospital can continue to serve the surrounding population.
Jones is the President of Michiana Corrugated Products, and no stranger to the Hospital. Jones previously served on the Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, including a time as vice president.
Jones says he is looking forward to serving the Hospital and the community in this new role.
To fill Jones' spot, the Sturgis Hospital Foundation Board, appointed Tom Hamilton to his seat. His three year term will begin January 7, 2014.
Hamilton worked in the health care field for many years after earning his Bachelor's Degree in Biology and his Master Degree in Nuclear Medicine. He is now the co-owner of Hamilton Harley-Davidson in Sturgis.
Hamilton says his work in the healthcare field helps him appreciate having a community with good medical care facilities and services.
|Jobless Rates Up And Down Around SW Michigan (12/3/13)|
(JACKSON) – Jobless rates have been up and down around Southwest Michigan this fall.
According to information released by the Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, St. Joseph County went from a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in August to 7.3 percent in September then up to 7.8 percent in October.
Information shows there were 27,550 people in the civilian labor force in St. Joseph County in October, down slightly from September where there were 27,700 people.
Branch County went from an August unemployment rate of 8.6 percent to 8.3 percent in September and then up to 8.5 percent in October.
Cass County saw a steady increase in unemployment, going from 7.2 percent in August to 7.4 percent in September and then 7.5 percent in October.
Statewide, the unemployment rates have dropped. In August, the statewide unemployment rate was 8.7 percent. That dropped to 8.3 percent in both September and October.
|Man Burned In Meth Lab Explosion (12/3/13)|
(STURGIS) – A man received severe burns after a meth lab exploded Monday night.
Sturgis Police and Fire Department personnel were called to the 200 block of North Centreville Road for a report of a man on fire. When EMS arrived, they found a 53 year old man with second and third degree burns on his body.
The man was taken to Sturgis Hospital and then flown to Bronson Hospital. His condition is not known.
An investigation determined a meth lab exploded in the basement of the home while the man was holding it, causing him to catch fire.
A second subject was at the house during the event, but left before EMS got to the location.
The case will be remanded to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office for review.
|Murder Case Unsolved After 25 Years (12/2/13)|
(THREE RIVERS) – Twenty-five years ago today, a Three Rivers woman was brutally murdered. And so far, the case remains unsolved.
Cathy Swartz was found murdered in her apartment at the Riverside Townhouses on December 2, 1988 while her young daughter was in the room. Her boyfriend found her in the apartment with a knife wound to the throat.
St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton was the Chief Assistant County Prosecutor at the time of Swartz's murder. He and local law enforcement, and specifically Officer Kenny Baker, spent thousands of hours investigating this case, but were never able to find the killer.
Middleton says he spent more time on this case than any other during his time with the Prosecutor's Office.
While it has been 25 years since the murder, Middleton says he is not giving up hope that the case will be solved and someone will be brought to justice.
Detective Mike Mohney of the Three Rivers Police Department is still working leads on the case, and spent a good share of the year going through the files and re-organizing them.
Middleton is hoping that someone may have information that will break the case open and bring the killer into custody. He says this would bring a sense of closure to Swartz's daughter Courtney and everyone else involved in this case.
|Three Arrested On Drug Charges (12/2/13)|
(PARK TOWNSHIP) – Three people are facing drug charges after a traffic stop.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department stopped a pickup truck on Klines Resort Road near Silver Street in Park Township for a traffic violation. A search of the vehicle uncovered methamphetamine and items to produce meth.
The driver, a 34 year old Three Rivers man, was arrested for driving with a suspended license, providing a false name to officers, a sex offender violation charge, possession of meth and multiple warrants for his arrest.
A 27 year old Plainwell man was a passenger and taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant.
A 25 year old Galesburg woman was also a passenger and was arrested for possession of meth.
Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Michigan State Police.
|Howe Woman Injured In Crash (12/2/13)|
By Tim Murray
(GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP) - A Howe woman was seriously injured Saturday evening in a one car crash in Greenfield Township.
LaGrange County sheriff’s deputies say 22 year old Vickie Black was westbound on County Road 750 North and went straight through a 90 degree curve at Fennel Lake just before 9 PM. The car rolled over several times before coming to rest on its top.
Black suffered multiple internal injuries and was transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center by helicopter.
Police say charges are possible in the case.
Mongo firefighters, LaGrange EMS, and Indiana Conservation officers assisted deputies at the scene.
|Coldwater Man Injured In Steuben Co. Crash (12/2/13)|
12/2/2013 11:10:06 AM
By Jim Measel
(NEVADA MILLS) – Authorities say alcohol may have been a factor in a crash Sunday afternoon near Nevada Mills.
The Steuben County Sheriff's Department says the accident happened at 5380 North 450 West around 4:30 PM when a pickup driven by 34 year old Jeffrey Haupt of Coldwater went off the road, struck a large rock and overturned. The pickup then struck an REMC utility pole.
Haupt was found in the driver's seat of the pickup by emergency crews with what were described as visible face and head injuries. He was taken to Cameron Hospital for treatment.
Deputies say Haupt was wearing his seatbelt and that the crash is still under investigation.
Assisting at the scene were the Steuben County EMS, the Indiana DNR and the Orland Fire/Rescue.
|Two Injured In Centreville Accident|
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
(CENTREVILLE) – Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident Tuesday night in Centreville.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff''s Department were called to Main Street near Industrial Parkway just before 9 PM Tuesday.
Little is know about the accident except to say the driver of one vehicle was 32 year old Myron William Rustad of Shipshewana, Indiana. He was not injured, but his 10 year old passenger was taken to Sturgis Hospital for treatment.
The driver of the second vehicle was 68 year old Key Evelyn Fuelling of Three Rivers. She was taken to Three Rivers Health for treatment of her injuries.
Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Centreville and Three Rivers Fire Departments, and off duty Constantine Police Officer, and Life Care Ambulance.
|Man Arrested After Two State Chase|
A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a two state chase. Michigan State Police from the White Pigeon Post say the Middlebury Police pursued a vehicle into Mottville Township around 11:30 Wednesday morning.