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Replacing the village clerk

April 16, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A week after firing its village clerk, the Centreville Village Council has discussed options for a replacement, including holding off on filling the position.

Village president Jeff Johnson suggested at last week’s village council meeting that the board takes its time in replacing Terrie Tully.

Tully was fired April 2 from office duties, in part, for a faulty financial budget, village officials said. Since then, Johnson and deputy clerk Rhea Schrader have been performing office duties.

Johnson said he and Schrader had been reviewing financial records and he recommends seeking advice from the Michigan Municipal League on the fund balance.

Trustee Gary McClain advised revamping the entire computer system, making billing and revenue reporting easier.

In the meantime, Mendon Village Manager John Hyden has offered to lend the village a hand until it gets its clerk situation in order.

Venus Foundation wants to build shelter

April 16, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The mother of a Colon-area murder victim is looking to open a domestic-violence shelter in Sturgis.

Therese McComb, mother of Venus Stewart and founder of the Venus Foundation, is seeking property on which to locate the shelter. McComb said she is in search of a donation of land or funds to construct the shelter.

McComb said the 50 percent of women seeking a place to stay are turned away because there are not enough shelters. As a result, they have to return to their abuser or go homeless, McComb said.

The Venus Foundation was inspired by the 2010 murder of Stewart, who was murdered by her estranged husband.

To find out more about The Venus Foundation or to donate, its website can be found at: thevenusfoundation.com.

Handgun stolen from restaurant

April 15, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A handgun belonging to a Battle Creek man was stolen over the weekend from a Branch County restaurant.

State police in Coldwater said the man left a .380-caliber pistol in a bathroom stall around 7 p.m. Saturday at Bill’s Steak House in Bronson. Within the hour, he realized the oversight and called the restaurant to report the situation. Employees did not find the weapon and the man also failed to locate it when he returned to the business.

The incident was reported to state police around 8 p.m.

Sheriff investigating barn fire

April 15, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Deputies from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an arson last week in Colon Township.

Authorities said a barn in the 33200 Block of East Palmer Lake Road was intentionally set on fire. The structure sustained significant damage, investigators said.

Marine Corps to be involved in Memorial events

April 15, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The St. Joseph County Marine Corps League Detachment 1401 has announced it will be involved in two Memorial Day events next month and is looking for anyone who wishes to be a part of either or both.

Lineup for the Three Rivers parade will be at 8 a.m., as the event is starting at 9 a.m., one hour earlier than usual. Guest speakers will be Becky Shank and Rick Schafer at the Riverside Cemetery.

Later in the day, participants in the Mendon parade will line up at 11 a.m., ahead of the noon start at the Mendon Library. Its guest speaker will be Pastor Bob Barton, who will make his comments before the parade begins.

For more information or to participate, Detachment 1401 chaplain Bill Stevens may be reached at 496-3695.

Man found guilty

April 14, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

An Ottawa County man was found guilty of 16 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct following a jury trial that concluded last week.

Officials from St. Joseph County Circuit Court said James Zacharko  II, 46, of Zeeland, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old St. Joseph County girl over a four-month period in 2012.

Over the course of the three-day trial that ended Thursday, Zacharko’s attorney said his client pleaded not guilty and that there was no DNA evidence, photographs or eyewitnesses to verify he and the teen had a sexual relationship.

Zacharko met the teen through a relationship he previously had with an adult related to her. Prosecutor John McDonough, however, indicated Zacharko and the victim were involved in a physical relationship from May to September 2012.

A jury found Zacharko guilty on 16 of 23 counts.

Zacharko faces up to 15 years in prison.

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