Troopers from the White Pigeon detachment of the Michigan State Police were called Thursday to a Leonidas Township residence to investigate a telephone-fraud scam.
According to a department press release, an 80-year-old woman said she was contacted by someone claiming to be her granddaughter. The alleged granddaughter said she was arrested in Mexico City and needed $1,800 wired to her for bail money.
The victim told investigators the suspect used her granddaughter’s name and provided information that convinced her the incident was legitimate. The victim wired an additional $1,600 for alleged court fees.
Investigators said the scam and those similar to it are occurring in great frequency elsewhere. The public is advised to ask questions and involve another family member before wiring money.
St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners has agreed to allocate $10,000 toward legal fees and preliminary architectural drawings related to a proposed senior center in Sturgis.
The action came this week and marks a major step toward the potential development of such a facility.
Led by Commissioner Don Eaton, the concept has been in the discussion stages for years and is gaining momentum behind the support of Eaton and Commissioner John Dobberteen, who represents the city of Sturgis.
Architectural drawings will be overseen by an Ohio-based firm, while the legal work will be performed by Sturgis attorney Joe Haas.
The $10,000 will come from the Fairview Fund. Commissioner Allen Balog objected to the motion, as he would rather see the funds come from the county’s Commission on Aging budget.
Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners have appointed a Sturgis resident to fill one of two vacancies on the county’s Commission on Aging Board of Directors.
Stephen Boland was tapped to replace Lori Wright, who announced her resignation earlier this month due to work- and military-related commitments. Boland is a member of an ad hoc committee looking into the development of a senior center in Sturgis.
The other vacancy, created with the resignation of Tim Carmichael, has not yet been filled.
The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging’s Board of Directors has a pair of openings, following separate moves during its monthly meeting Wednesday.
Lori Wright, who was tapped in June to head the board, submitted her letter of resignation, as announced by COA Director Lynn Coursey. According to Wright’s letter, her full-time job and a training commitment to the National Guard will keep her from being able to pledge the time necessary to serve as a board member.
With Wright’s departure, Jean Skalski was voted to serve as chairperson.
In another matter Wednesday, the board voted to remove Sturgis resident Tim Carmichael for lack of attendance. He was reappointed in June as a member-at-large.
Two county millage renewal requests and an additional renewal request in White Pigeon Township were approved during Tuesday’s primary election.
The countywide votes saw the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging earn a six-year renewal of three-quarters of a mill. In addition, three-quarters of a mill renewal for six years was granted to the county E-911 central dispatch.
Both renewals, which passed with support from about 75 percent of voters, were for basic operations and will generate about $1.1 million annually for each entity.
Meanwhile, White Pigeon Township Library will continue to receive about $60,000 a year for four years starting in 2013, after voters in its jurisdiction agreed to renew three-tenths of a mill.
The request was approved by a 4-to-1 margin.
The St. Joseph County Commission on Aging (COA) has approved a new, five-year lease with the City of Three Rivers for the Three Rivers Community Center.
The Community Center, located at 103 South Douglas Avenue, has been the headquarters for the COA in recent years and that will continue until at least 2017 with authorization given last week (July 18) by the COA Board to sign the new lease agreement.
In reporting on the matter, COA Executive Director Lynn Coursey said the new lease is the same as the previous agreement, including the provision under which the COA pays $500 per month into a building maintenance fund as a lease payment to the city and is responsible for managing the building. Regarding the new agreement, Coursey said, “All of the terms are the same.”
The Three Rivers City Commission approved the lease during its meeting last week (July 17) as an item of business on the consent agenda. In a staff report on the subject in which he recommended city commission approval of the lease, City Manager Joe Bippus said, “The Commission on Aging has extensively remodeled the COA building and intends to install a new drop ceiling in the near future. In order to benefit from their investment they would like to renew/extend their lease. We are not proposing any changes except for the length of the lease.”