City agrees to purchase property

March 14, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The city of Sturgis has reached an agreement to purchase the Wood Motel and its property.

Located near the high-profile intersection of Chicago and Centerville roads, the parcel is being acquired in part through a community development block grant, according to city manager Mike Hughes.

The city plans to demolish the single-level motel and, according to terms of the grant, leave the property vacant for five years.

The grant will pay 70 percent of the $93,000 asking price for the property, leaving the city on the hook for the balance of $27,900.

Hughes said the city would entertain proposals from prospective businesses interested in purchasing and developing the commercially zoned property.

Repairing crumbling roads

March 13, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners was asked to consider allocating funds to help townships repair crumbling roads.

Del Martin, a Fabius Township resident, urged the five-member panel last week to dedicate money from its delinquent-tax fund and spread the wealth to all 16 townships in the county.

Martin said a modest amount of even $50,000 to each township would cost $800,000, less than 10 percent of the money the county has in its delinquent-tax fund, he said.

Martin spoke during the public comment portion, a format in which commissioners typically do not respond other than to acknowledge a speaker.

Martin is the second person to address commissioners about the condition of county roads. Twice in the past six months, Florence Township Supervisor Gordon Evilsizor urged commissioners to consider allocations to repair or rebuild Constantine Road.

Candidates running for State Rep

March 12, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The five candidates seeking to replace Matt Lori as 59th District state representative gathered during a forum at the St. Joseph County Bar Association earlier this week.

John Bippus, Aaron Miller, Mike Mroz, Roger Rathburn and Bob Still were guests of the bar association and afforded the opportunity to discuss their candidacies.

‘ The primary election is not until August, but Judge Jeff Middleton explained guests of honor have already been secured for the board’s April and May meetings, and it does not meet during the summer months.

Lori is term-limited and is in the midst of serving his sixth and final year as state representative.

Landline legislation passes the House

March 12, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Legislation that could make it easier for telephone companies to end landline service has been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill removes the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission in any effort by a phone company in abandoning a local exchange. Instead, the bill leaves the regulatory role up to the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate-approved proposal does include language that requires some sort of voice lines to be available, as well as 911-service, before a local exchange is discontinued by a phone company. The measure, which would go into effect in 2017, now goes back to the Michigan Senate for concurrence on amendments.  (MRN)

“Community Conversation” in Sturgis

March 10, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A number of local and statewide issues will be discussed Tuesday during a “Community Conversation” in Sturgis.

The 90-minute program starts at 11:30 a.m. at Sturges-Young Auditorium and is hosted by the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with The Center for Michigan.

Organizers said the event looks to offer a forum for community members to discuss pressing issues facing their state and area.

Registration is requested and may be done by phoning the Sturgis Chamber, at 651-5758.

Removing the “R” word

March 6, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

State Rep. Matt Lori has commended the Michigan House of Representatives for approving a package of bills to remove the word “retarded” and various iterations from Michigan state law.

The eight-bill package, including Lori’s House Bill 5345, puts Michigan in line with all but six other states that have removed the word from their law books.

Lori, who serves on the Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, spearheaded the legislative move to remove the offending words and replace them with people-first language that is more respectful of their developmental or intellectual disabilities.

The bills passed with unanimous support. They now go to the Senate for consideration.

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