St Joseph County

Top local news stories of 2019

The May shooting death of a woman by her 9-year-old adopted son was voted the top local news story of 2019, as selected and ranked by editorial staff members of the Sturgis Journal. The incident occurred May 6 in Fawn River Township and resulted in the death of Pauline Randol. In September, probate court judge David Tomlinson ruled the boy …

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SJC Substance Abuse Task Force will launch campaign

St. Joseph County Substance Abuse Task Force is preparing to launch its 2020 Meth Campaign. The annual campaign will focus on recovery, hope and community healing, and conclude with the annual “Voices of Hope and Recovery” program. Task force members will begin a public-awareness effort through a series of emails, Facebook posts, radio interviews and by display messages on St. …

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COA crowdfunding effort reaches goal

A crowdfunding effort by the St. Joseph County Commission On Aging reached its $50,000 goal. COA director Tim Stoll said as a result of meeting its goal, the agency qualifies for a $50,000 match through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Stoll said the funds will help with development of a park at the newly opened Rivers Enrichment Center at the …

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Sheriff Balk announces retirement

St. Joseph County Sheriff Brad Balk announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of January. Balk, 65, said his last day will be Jan. 31, 11 months before the end of his four-year elected term. Sheriff since 2009, Balk appeared before county commission members and read a one-page letter in which he stated his plans to step down. He …

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Conservation District will host annual dinner

The St. Joseph County Conservation District has issued a reminder that its annual Local Food Dinner will be Sept. 11. An allotment of just 200 tickets will be made available for the $25-per-person event. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and dinner is served at 6 p.m., according to event organizers. The four-course meal, which will feature locally-sourced food prepared by …

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Long range plan approved for Parks & Recreation

The road map for St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department’s next half-decade was approved by county commissioners last week. The agency’s five-year plan includes one major development and a variety of minor tasks. With a portfolio of nine parks, however, the highest priority going forward will center on adhering to a consistent maintenance plan, according to department director Jaymes …

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Appointments for Animal Control Advisory Board

Seats for the St. Joseph County Animal Control Advisory Board were appointed last week. Kristina Eaton, a Burr Oak-area resident, was elected chair while Tracy Parker, from Sturgis Bank and Trust, will serve as co-chair for the year. Parker will also serve as interim secretary. Eaton said the board has two seats open: one citizen-at-large and one marketing coordinator. She …

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St. Joseph County government goals for 2019

Continued effort toward a balanced budget, development of a new Commission On Aging facility and progress toward updating the courts building are a few of the goals the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners faces in 2019. Dennis Allen, chair of the five-member board, said there is no shortage of work ahead for commissioners. Regarding the county’s finances, Allen said …

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Transportation Authority will again offer Free Ride Home

The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority has announced it will once again offer the Free Ride Home courtesy shuttle service New Year’s Eve. The service will start at 10 p.m. Monday and conclude at 4 a.m. Jan. 1. Rides will be limited to and from locations within St. Joseph County. Event organizers said rides will be given only to a …

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