Man electrocuted in Cass County

July 28, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Authorities say a 43-year-old Chicago man was electrocuted while doing work at a home east of Cassopolis. The Cass County sheriff’s department says Michael Koranda was found Sunday afternoon by family members at the home on Diamond Island, which is located in Diamond Lake in Penn Township. The department says he was pronounced dead at the scene.  (AP)

Fatal crash in Cass County

July 28, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A 23-year-old Indiana woman died and four other people were injured when a speeding vehicle went out of control while passing another vehicle and flipped several times. The Cass County sheriff’s department says it happened about 9:50 p.m. Saturday in Howard Township, northeast of Niles. Sgt. Philip Esarey identifies the dead woman as backseat passenger Rayna Dobrodt of Mishawaka, Indiana. Esarey says two people were treated at Niles Lakeland Hospital and released. They include the other vehicle’s driver and one of three others in the car with Dobrodt. Two people riding with Dobrodt are being treated at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.  21-year-old passenger Janet Menting of South Bend is in critical condition and 19-year-old driver Austin Brouwer of Osceola, Indiana, is in serious condition.  (AP)

Michigan Christmas Trees are a Year Round Business

July 25, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

While you won’t see winter decorations or hear holiday carols in the local retail stores just yet, it’s time to think about Michigan Christmas trees! The Michigan Christmas Tree Association was in the holiday spirit for their annual meeting at Peterson’s Riverview Nursery in Allegan on July 25.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development works closely with the Michigan Christmas tree industry and its growers across the state. Our state proudly ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested; supplying approximately three million fresh trees to the national market each year. Michigan produces and sells more than a dozen Christmas tree varieties on a wholesale level, which are more varieties than any other state.

Additionally, our state has approximately 42,000 acres in commercial Christmas tree production, with an annual farm gate value of more than $1.3 million in sales of wreaths, cut boughs, garland, and other cut greens. For every Christmas tree harvested, Michigan Christmas tree farmers plant three new trees for future harvests.

One of our greatest assets is the diversity of our state’s food and agriculture sector. Michigan is fortunate to enjoy more than 300 food and agricultural commodities produced on nearly 52,000 farms statewide. Overall, Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses continue to grow – generating $96 billion in total economic activity.

The holiday season is still four months away, but when your family is looking to purchase their Christmas tree, be sure to make it a fresh cut Michigan Christmas tree. Purchasing a Michigan Christmas tree is good for the environment and good for your local economy.

Submitted by Jamie Clover Adams, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Virginia Harris, 80

July 25, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Virginia Ruth Harris, 80, of Centreville, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, July 23, 2014 at the Heartland Health Care Center. She was born in Elkhart, Ind., on Nov. 21, 1933 the daughter of the late Herman Glenn and Helen (Breiniger) Boyland.

Mrs. Harris enjoyed being a homemaker and raising her six children through high school, she then began work for Kirsch Company for almost 30 years before retiring. She was an avid reader and a wonderful cook.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, Harold Anders; one grandson, Steven Bingaman; and three siblings.

She leaves to cherish her loving memory, husband, Donald E. Harris of Centreville; two daughters, Virginia (Bud) Hetrick of Schoolcraft and Ruth Bingaman of Three Rivers; four sons, William (Kathy) Anders of Centreville, Richard (Vicky) Anders of Burr Oak, Russell (Gloria) Anders of Gerton, N.C., and John (Amy) Anders of Auburn, Ind.; one sister, Norma Berry of Virginia; two brothers, Richard (Janet) Boyland of Mishawaka, Ind. and James Boyland; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26 at the Hohner Funeral Home with Pastor Paul Naumann officiating.

Interment will be held in Calhoun Cemetery, Florence Township.

Memorials may be donated to the Heartland Health Care Auxiliary. Envelopes available at the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at

Central Dispatch director terminated

July 25, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Jonathan Uribe, who was hired in November 2011 to serve as director of St. Joseph County’s 911 Central Dispatch, was relieved of his duties Thursday.

Particulars about the issue were limited. County administrator Pat Yoder said he was not at liberty to elaborate on the matter, as details regarding personnel matters are proprietary.

Yoder said human resources director Elishia Arver will serve in Uribe’s place indefinitely. It will, however, be at least until the next county commission meeting, which isn’t until Aug. 19.

Uribe, a 58-year-old Portage resident, replaced 16-year director Andy Goldberger, who retired Dec. 31, 2011.

Uribe’s hire-in salary was $56,000 annually. At the time, he was captain of the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team.

Contacted Thursday evening, Uribe declined to comment.

Sheriff advised that man was found

July 25, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was advised Thursday by the White Pigeon Police Department that Charles Rusher was found in the St. Joseph County community.

White Pigeon Police advised that Rusher had broken into a residence during the nighttime hours and fell asleep on a couch. The homeowner discovered Rusher around 8:30 a.m. and notified authorities.

The homeowner is not pressing charges and Rusher, who was not injured but appeared disoriented with no knowledge of how he arrived at the residence, will be transported back to Cass County.

He was to be taken to a location to be determined by Guardianship Alternatives, the court-ordered agency that has legal guardianship of Rusher, according to Cass County officials.

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