The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has approved a travel request made by animal control director Tom Miller.
Miller has been offered a $500 travel allocation by the ASPCA to attend the Animal Care Expo May 20-23 in Florida. The grant will cover the cost of the conference registration and hotel room.
Miller said he would pay out-of-pocket any additional expenses, and plans to take his personal vehicle to the four-day event and not ask for mileage reimbursement.
He said the conference features several presentations on shelter construction and renovations, relevant matters as the county board is in the midst of debating whether to upgrade or rebuild the current animal-control facility.
Commissioner’s approved the trip and agreed Miller would still receive his salary for the week despite not being on duty in his Centreville office.
State Rep. Matt Lori has commended the Michigan House of Representatives for approving a package of bills to remove the word “retarded” and various iterations from Michigan state law.
The eight-bill package, including Lori’s House Bill 5345, puts Michigan in line with all but six other states that have removed the word from their law books.
Lori, who serves on the Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, spearheaded the legislative move to remove the offending words and replace them with people-first language that is more respectful of their developmental or intellectual disabilities.
The bills passed with unanimous support. They now go to the Senate for consideration.
Local law-enforcement agencies are looking for a red, small-size pickup truck involved in a hit-and-run incident last week in Park Township.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said a 23-year-old Portage woman was driving south on U.S. 131 Thursday when the vehicle in front of her lost control and spun out south of Michigan Avenue.
The vehicle driven by the Portage woman and the pickup in front of her collided into each other. The driver of the pickup did not stop and the vehicle was last seen heading southbound on the highway.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is reporting the third death in the tri-county area this season due to complications from influenza.
This is the second death of a St. Joseph County resident, though the death of the elderly man occurred in an out-of-county facility.
In each of the three cases, there were underlying conditions that may have been the root of the problem, and it is unknown if any of the three people had received a flu shot this season.
Health Officer Steve Todd said some years, the agency sees the peak of the flu season hit in March and April. While it has seen some decreases in flu reports, the tri-county region is not out of the woods yet.
He said the deaths serve to remind the importance of vaccination.
Details regarding the latest victim’s age were not made available.
A county parks system featuring larger parcels with greater, natural-resource-based recreational opportunities was identified as a major component of the St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department newly developed master plan.
John Pence, director of the agency, presented a summary of the five-year plan to members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. He said instead of operating numerous smaller parks that provide limited recreational attractions, the larger concept incorporating lakes and rivers appears to be in demand.
The top goals identified in the plan focus of the development and enhancement of existing parks and facilities, acquisition of additional park lands, and the development of canoeing and kayaking sites along the county’s many streams and rivers, Pence said.
Pence said other projects identified in the plan include developing indoor facilities for public use at Rawson’s King Mill and Meyer Broadway Park; installing a bridge, boardwalks and additional trails at Timm County Park; and development of the 36-acre Feek property on Olney Road in Leonidas Township.
A resolution to adopt the five-year plan was approved unanimously.
An institution in downtown Colon will open its doors Thursday following a one-year absence.
Dan and Kathy Earl, owners of Curly’s, have staged soft-openings Monday and Tuesday in advance of Thursday’s public grand opening at 11 a.m.
The Earls will continue Curly’s grand-opening celebration through the weekend.
The eatery features an interior siding adorned with the wood of a fallen barn. Meanwhile, bricks salvaged from the original Curly’s have become a part of the foundation for its successor.
The new Curly’s also includes a patio area outlined with a wrought-iron fence around its 10-by-52-foot perimeter along State Street at its north side.
Kathy Earl said she was reminded all over again Monday and Tuesday how much Curly’s means to the community.
The original Curly’s was destroyed by a faulty kitchen appliance March 8 last year.