The St. Joseph County United Way has announced its annual celebrity waiter night will take place next week in Sturgis.
United Way executive director Kelly Hostetler said Fiesta Mexicana will be the site of the 2013 event, a fundraiser usually held in December at Curly’s in Colon. Due to the rebuilding of Curly’s, however, the Sturgis Mexican eatery will host the fundraiser 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. The restaurant is located at 1040 S. Centerville Road.
More than a dozen local dignitaries will be serving food and collecting tips, with all tips benefitting the Centreville-based agency. The roster of dignitaries includes Rob Sisson, Sturgis Mayor Ken Malone, city manager Mike Hughes and a number of Sturgis municipal employees and city commission members.
A percentage of the sales will also be earmarked for the local United Way.
There are more cases of the flu being reported to the state so far this year, compared to last year at this time. But it’s too early to tell just what this flu season will be like, according to officials. Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health say there have been 47 confirmed flu cases statewide as of November 27th. By the end of November last year, there were just 26 cases reported. Despite the increase, it’s still too early for officials to tell how the rest of flu season will play out as the peak usually occurs in January or February, according to Angela Minicuci of the health department. Symptoms of the flu include high fever, cough, body aches and chills. (MRN)
Prosecutors have filed a murder charge against a man accused of beating another man with a baseball bat, then leaving him critically injured in a trash bin. Thirty-year-old Francico Veloz-Padilla died last week after being hospitalized November 5th, when he was found severely injured in a trash bin in Kalamazoo. MLive reports that Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says 25-year-old Drew Thorngate was charged Wednesday with an open count of murder. He was arrested November 7th on an attempted murder charge. Detectives say Thorngate told them he met Veloz-Padilla on November 5th after Veloz-Padilla contacted him to request services for a massage, and they argued. The county jail had no information Wednesday night on whether Thorngate has a lawyer. (AP)
At least 19 wolves have been killed during Michigan’s wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula. The state Department of Natural Resources updated the results Wednesday morning. It says five wolves were killed in the far western U.P., 11 in central counties and three in the eastern U.P. The wolf season started on November 15th and runs through December, unless 43 are killed before the end of the year. It’s the first hunt in Michigan since the wolf was placed on the endangered species list nearly 40 years ago. A total of 1,200 people are licensed to participate with firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow. Before the hunt, the DNR estimated the state’s wolf population at 658. (AP)
St. Joseph County’s 2014 fiscal-year budget was approved by the five-member St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
More than $16.7 million was set aside for county operations in 2014, an increase of more than $1.6 million from the amended 2013 fiscal year budget of $15.1 million.
Joni Smith, St. Joseph County’s director of finance, said in addition, the county has budgeted a transfer from the general-fund fund balance of $2 million to the county’s Building Improvement and Replacement fund.
The transfer, she said, is to set up a reserve to address the future facility needs in the county.
A review of the 2014 financial allocations show almost $2.3 million to the sheriff’s department, $2.2 million to the jail and turnkey, and $1 million to District Court. The allocations are increases from 2013 in all three cases.
The County’s appropriation to the road commission has increased from $70,000 to $191,000 for 2014. Smith said that is the only significant change in appropriations to outside agencies or organizations.
A variety of Christmas-related celebrations are taking place over the next three days throughout St. Joseph County.
In Constantine, the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony takes place at 6 o’clock tonight.
The village is also staging its Fourth of July fireworks fundraiser dinner tonight at Meeks Mill. Dinner settings are at 5 o’clock, 6:30 and 7:30.
Also in Constantine Saturday, downtown stores will feature a Christmas scavenger hunt 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Santa and reindeer will be at Shelby Park from 11 a.m. until 2. Prospective participants are advised to bring their own cameras.
Christmas in Colon takes place Friday, when a downtown parade starts at 6 p.m. Santa and carolers will be at the Colon Community Park at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Centreville Downtown Development Authority has announced Santa will be coming to Centreville at 7 p.m. Saturday. The village’s Christmas tree lighting will occur at the same time in the courtyard gazebo.