The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency this week received reports of salmonella cases possibly linked to the handling of live baby chicks.
The Coldwater-based agency said the situation should serve as a reminder that people who touch ducklings or chicks should wash your hands immediately afterward.
Agency officials said live baby poultry may be put on display at stores where children are able to touch the birds. Antibacterial sanitizer or soap are the most effective measures of not picking up salmonella from such sources, agency officials said.
Officials from school districts in Three Rivers and White Pigeon saw non-homestead millage renewals pass with ease Tuesday.
In Three Rivers, nearly two-thirds of the 612 participating voters OK’d an 18-mill renewal levied to the tax bills of commercial and non-homestead properties. The millage generates nearly $3.7 million annually and represents about 15 percent of the district’s annual budget.
White Pigeon Community Schools had success with its non-homestead millage renewal Tuesday, as well. Almost three-quarters of the 460 voters who took part in the vote supported the measure.
District officials said the five-year renewal ensures the district will continue to collect about $2.8 million annually through the non-homestead millage.
A request by Marcellus Community Schools for an additional 3 mills over a 21-year period was rejected, 482 to 308.
District officials were attempting to raise $15.2 million for matters related to security, technology, transportation and building maintenance district wide.
Smoother roads will be appearing in Sturgis over the next decade, as voters Tuesday supported a 3-mill increase dedicated to street improvements and sidewalk repairs.
The 10-year millage is expected to generate about $6.7 million in all, thanks to voter support of the proposal, which passed by a 3-to-2 margin.
Mayor Ken Malone said the 3 mills will appear on the city’s summer 2013 tax bill. The increase will cost the average property owner in Sturgis about $100 a year.
Malone said roadwork from the millage money will begin before the end of the year.
Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners were asked Tuesday to consider providing financial support to help establish a new animal shelter.
Proposed as a jointly run operation between the county and the newly formed River Country Humane Society, the potential facility is being eyed at the 12-acre location previously occupied by Finnerman’s Farm and Garden Equipment site on West Burr Oak Street in Centreville.
Loralee Knepper of Mendon and Three Rivers resident Laura Barley, proponents of the new facility, asked commissioners to consider the funding request. Knepper said beyond a holding and adoption center, the operation has other potential uses, including walking trails, obedience classes and grooming facilities.
Barley said the existing facility, adjacent to the sheriff’s department, is an old building with severe drainage and ventilation problems, traumatized animals are placed next to a firing range and there is no quiet place to spend time with a potential adopted dog.
She asked commissioners to choose an experienced commercial real estate broker to help guide through what needs to be done to determine the value and potential of the Finnerman property, which is listed at $519,000.
A 65-year-old Kalamazoo woman was treated for injuries she suffered last week following a one-car crash in Flowerfield Township.
Officials from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said Donna Rees was driving west on M-216 when she said she swerved to avoid striking a small animal and drove off the roadway east of Bent Road.
Witnesses told investigators they observed her speeding and driving erratically prior to the rollover accident.
Rees was cited for failure to drive with due care, police said.
The March unemployment rate in St. Joseph County decreased by half a percent compared to a month earlier.
The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 7.3 percent March unemployment rate was less than February’s 7.8 percent.
Furthermore, the March unemployment rate was 1.9 percent less than the same month one year earlier, when the figure was 9.2 percent.
St. Joseph County remained below the state unemployment average, which was 8.8 percent in March.
The agency said seasonal job additions in the fields of construction, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services contributed to the region’s unemployment drop.
At 5.9 percent, Barry County had the region’s lowest unemployment rate in March, while Van Buren County had the highest, with 9.6 percent.