Six area football teams, including four from St. Joseph County, qualified for the 2013 state playoffs.
Pairings were announced Sunday and starting with Division 3, Sturgis managed to make the cut despite not reaching the six-win level. The 5-and-4 Trojans will play at 8-and-1 St. Joseph.
In Division 6, Constantine kept its playoff streak alive, as the 5-and-4 Falcons travel to Jackson County to face 8-and-1 Michigan Center. Also in Division 6, 8-and-1 Schoolcraft takes on 8-and-1 Niles Brandywine in Niles.
A Division 7 match-up will see St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic take its 6-and 2 record to Cassopolis to face the 6-and-3 Rangers.
In Division 8, 4-and-4 Eau Claire travels to Mendon to play the 9-and-0 and No. 2-ranked Hornets.
And in Division 9 eight-man football, Burr Oak is in the playoffs for the first time in nearly 50 years, as the 5-and-4 Bobcats will hit the road to play 8-and-2 Lawrence.
Games will be played Friday and Saturday; dates and start times will be announced today by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
A 35-year-old Three Rivers man suffered minor injuries after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident over the weekend in Cass County’s Lagrange Township.
Sheriff Joe Underwood said his office responded at 3:10 a.m. Sunday to a personal-injury crash at the intersection of Pokagon Highway and Wilberhill Road.
Demetrius Pritchard was traveling south on Wilberhill in a Pontiac minivan when he fell asleep and failed to stop at the three-way intersection on Pokagon Highway.
Pritchard’s vehicle went airborne, down an embankment, struck a utility pole and rolled his numerous times, coming to rest in a cornfield approximately 300 yards south of the roadway.
Pritchard was able to crawl from the vehicle and call for help. Injuries appeared to be minor, though Pritchard was transported to Dowagiac’s Lee Memorial Hospital for observation.
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.