State Rep. Matt Lori last week announced a $400,000 Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant has been awarded to the village of Cassopolis for on-the-job training for 40 new employees at Postle Operating.
Postle is a producer of aluminum products for recreational vehicles and is expanding the company’s production capabilities, which will create the jobs during the next two years.
The company says at least 21 of the jobs will be held by low- to moderate-income residents.
Lori said the news is another sign that the area is emerging from the economic recession that gripped Michigan for 10 years, the Constantine-area resident said. Lori said it is especially encouraging that people who have low incomes will be trained for good-paying jobs and will better be able to provide for their families.
Postle Operating will invest more than $12.6 million into the community during the expansion project, Lori said.
A Cass County man and his wife were arraigned last week on methamphetamine charges, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.
Blaine and Kristina Knight, ages 40 and 30 respectively, were charged with possession of meth, manufacturing math and maintaining a drug house.
The two were arrested Thursday after neighbors reported suspicious activity at their residence in the 56000 block of Forest Lane, near Cassopolis. A follow-up investigation by the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team led to a raid of their residence and seizure of meth components and equipment used to manufacture meth, officials said.
The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees adopted the college’s 2013-2014 operating budget during its June 17 meeting held on the Dowagiac campus.
The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is a balanced budget of $22,824,000.
Board Chairman Dr. Fred L. Mathews said, “Southwestern Michigan College has adopted a structurally balanced budget each and every year since the college was founded in 1964. I am very proud of the Board of Trustees and the college administration for their unwavering commitment to sound fiscal management, and for identifying creative ways to increase opportunities for students within the constraints of a balanced budget.”
SMC President Dr. David Mathews described the budget development process this year as a “zero-based” budgeting approach.
Significant highlights of the budget approved by trustees include: four new full-time faculty positions in psychology, mathematics, criminal justice, and communications; restructured student services in newly renovated spaces; a major renovation and academic program expansion at the college’s Niles Campus, and increased expenditures on college-wide security.”
Nine fire departments, including six from St. Joseph County, responded to a commercial blaze Wednesday in Cass County’s Newberg Township.
The manufacturing section of Southern Michigan Rubber Co., located on M-60 near the St. Joseph County line, was destroyed by the afternoon blaze.
Company officials indicated the fire appeared to have started near the rear of the building in a dust-collection system.
Fire crews remained on the scene well into the evening, and a portion of M-60 had to be rerouted as a result of the incident.
No injuries were reported.
The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team executed a search warrant Wednesday in the 400 block of Walnut Street in the city of Dowagiac.
During a search of the residence, detectives located a marijuana-growing operation, along with individually packaged marijuana intended for sale. Detectives also located a loaded, sawed-off shotgun and numerous other items used for the sale of illegal narcotics.
A 38-year-old male was present during the execution of the search warrant and subsequently taken into custody. He was lodged at the Cass County Jail for possession of a sawed-off shotgun, felon in possession of a firearm, felony firearm, manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to deliver and maintaining drug house.
His name was not released prior to his arraignment.
The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team seized firearms, methamphetamine, marijuana, illegally-obtained prescription drugs and meth-lab components in a search of a Porter Township residence last week.
According to Cass County officials, Blayne Wolf, 47, and Barbara Balentine, 52, were arrested following the 6:30 p.m. raid Thursday in the 13000 block of Carter Lake Street, near the community of Union.
Wolf and Balentine were arraigned in 4th District Court Friday and are being held on $60,000 bond for 10 counts of narcotics and firearms-related charges, according to investigators.