News

There’s a blood shortage

A sharp decline in national blood donations in June and early July has led the American Red Cross to issue an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types, including an urgent plea for help across Michigan. Nationwide, blood donations to the Red Cross were down 10-percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. …

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No-wake restriction lifted

St. Joseph County Sheriff Brad Balk is advising citizens that the public access at Prairie Lake in Sherman Township is open and the no-wake restriction has been lifted. According to a department press release, the lake’s water level has rescinded and, as a result, reduced the likelihood of damage to property. The restrictions had been in place since Tuesday last …

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Fundraiser for police officer

Here’s a reminder that a golf outing to benefit fundraiser for a Three Rivers police officer takes place Wednesday. Staged in honor of T.J. Baker, a past “Investigator of the Year” recipient by county prosecutor John McDonough, the event will take place at Island Hills Golf Club in Centreville. Though rosters are full for the event, organizers are asking the …

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New firefighters for department

The Constantine Fire Department has four newly certified firefighters. Three firefighters, John Hofmeister, Blake Piper and Chris Huddleston, completed the 2013 St Joseph County Fire Academy in June and were presented last week with Firefighter I and II certificates from the Michigan Firefighters Training Council. Also completing a Firefighter II course at Edwardsburg Fire Department and receiving his Firefighter II …

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Historic bridge destroyed

Authorities in rural western Michigan say an arson fire has destroyed a historic covered wooden bridge that has spanned the Flat River since the 19th century. The Ionia County sheriff’s department says the fire was reported about 5:10 a.m. Sunday on Whites Bridge It was built in 1869 in Keene Township, about 15 miles east of Grand Rapids. There’s no …

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Proposal to meet once a month

St. Joseph County Administrator Patrick Yoder has proposed the county board reduce its number of meetings from twice a month to once monthly. He is proposing the first Tuesday of the month; the current schedule calls for commissioners to meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Following last week’s commission meeting, Yoder said if the once-a-month meeting schedule …

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Agreement to purchase land

Nearly 60 landowners between Sturgis and Coldwater have agreed to purchase about 16 miles of land to prevent it from becoming a rails-to-trails recreation path. The Indiana Northeastern Railroad was informed last week that adjacent landowners to its abandoned railroad bed have agreed to pool their money and make the property purchase. A group called Friends of the Tamarack Rail …

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Vehicle found on fire

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident during which a vehicle last week was found to be on fire in the 64000 block of Burr Oak Road in Burr Oak Township. Witnesses told investigators three people July 1 were seen fleeing from the van and tossing items into a nearby ditch. Upon closer inspection, officials found a …

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Puppy abandoned in Burr Oak

The Animal Rescue Fund of St. Joseph County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identity and prosecution of the party responsible for leaving a puppy abandoned in the village of Burr Oak. ARF officials said a Sturgis resident was at Railroad Park when she noticed a box with holes in its side last Tuesday near the …

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Flotilla on Palmer Lake

The seventh annual flotilla on Palmer Lake in Colon will take place this weekend. Set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday from the Burr Oak Road boat launch, the flotilla for 2013 has adopted the theme “The Movies.” Per-entry cost is $10. Officials from Masonic Lodge No. 73 will judge the event and trophies for first-through-fourth places will be awarded. …

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