St. Joseph County Commissioner Don Eaton was fined $200 on a charge of disturbing the peace, related to a July incident at the Sturgis Applebee’s.
The charge was reduced from what could have been possession of a firearm while intoxicated, as Eaton was found to have had a blood-alcohol level in excess of 0.08 percent while he was in possession of a pistol inside the Sturgis business.
The charge was the result of negotiations between Eaton’s legal representative and officials from the office of Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Victor Fitz.
Eaton, 52, appeared before District Court Judge Jeff Middleton Friday, apologized and paid the fine. He also surrendered his .357-caliber pistol.
Eaton said Middleton indicated the sentence was consistent with what was given to other defendants in past cases of disturbing the peace.
Cass County Sheriff Joe Underwood Jr. said his office investigated a single-vehicle crash that took place last week in Porter Township.
Underwood said the incident occurred mid-afternoon Friday on M-217 at State Line Road.
The driver, 50-year-old Brad Martin, of Vandalia, was northbound on M-217 when he lost control of his vehicle, which left the roadway and struck the Welcome to Michigan sign on the east side of the road.
Martin was transported from the scene to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment.
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash and a seatbelt was used, Underwood said.
The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team last week uncovered a comprehensive marijuana-growing operation in Penn Township.
Investigators on Wednesday searched a barn in the 16000 block of Dutch Settlement Road and surrounding property and uncovered the operation.
Detectives located numerous marijuana plants, more than five pounds of processed marijuana and a loaded firearm.
Officials said the estimated street value of the marijuana is $30,000.
Detectives arrested George Clifford Williams, 49. He was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana and two counts of felony firearms, sheriff’s officials said.
State Reps. Matt Lori and Dave Pagel announced Oronoko Township and Cass County have been awarded grants to help offset costs associated with consolidating some services.
The money is part of $6 million in funding through the Competitive Grant Assistance Program, awarded to 17 local units of government across Michigan this year.
Oronoko Township will receive a $28,800 grant to collaborate with the village of Berrien Springs to develop a shared zoning-and-building ordinance.
Meanwhile, Cass County will receive an $84,000 state grant to collaborate with St. Joseph County for services that ensure property taxes are assessed equally.
Lori said funding will enable St. Joseph and Cass counties to incorporate best practices into making sure property appraisals and assessments are equal throughout their communities.
More than 40 applications were received by the Michigan Department of Treasury for the competitive grants.
Evidence of methamphetamine production was uncovered during a pair of raids at two residences last week in Cass County.
The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team on Aug. 13 searched a residence in the 69000 block of Cassopolis Road in Mason Township and another in the 67000 block of Calvin Center Road in Calvin Township.
A search of the properties found evidence of manufacturing meth, components to manufacture meth and meth product.
At the Cassopolis Road address, 41-year-old John Pillow and 42-year-old Bonita King were arrested on multiple meth-related charges.
At the Calvin Center Road location, Basil Rowe,45, and Kristina May,42, also were arrested on multiple meth-related charges.
All four were taken to the Cass County Jail.
A woman believed to be in her 20s staged an all-day protest Wednesday related to tree-clearing in Cass County’s Newburg Township.
After nearly 10 hours on a plywood platform about 40 feet up a tree, the woman came down around 6:30 p.m. Her descent came after lengthy negotiations that involved the Cass County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police.
The protest, which took place in Crane Pond Game Area near Marcellus, was targeted at Enbridge and its ongoing process of replacing pipeline from Indiana to Port Huron.
The woman’s identity is not being disclosed, as information regarding this case will be forwarded to the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office for review.