Some well-known names throughout St. Joseph County are preparing for a first-of-its-kind event in the name of a fundraiser for a child-welfare agency.
Eight couples are expected to take part in the inaugural Dancing With the St. Joseph County Stars event March 7 at Glen Oaks Community College’s Nora Hagen Theatre.
Organizers are trying to get word out early on, as the venue has a seating capacity of almost 300 and tickets are expected to sell out.
Linda Kline, representing the Child Abuse and Neglect agency of St. Joseph County, said the idea of a ballroom-dance competition involving local residents came from a brainstorming session.
The list of couples is subject to change, but for now participants are Deborah and Tadd Davis of Colon; Mendon attorney Christine Yancey and her husband, Charlie; Sturgis Director of Public Safety Geoff Smith and his wife, Stephanie; Constantine Township officials Mark and Marti Brown; Three Rivers City Manager Joe Bippus and his wife, Cheryl; Maria Oliveras and Jose Hernandez from Sturgis-based Centro VIDA; and Jessica and Matthew Mosher, from Three Rivers.
More details and ticket information may be found on the website dancingsjcstars.webs.com.
The number of candidates to replace Matt Lori as 59th District State Representative has grown to three, as a Sturgis-area resident announced his candidacy Tuesday.
Republican Aaron Miller, 26, will join Three Rivers-area residents Roger Rathburn and John Bippus, as they vie to replace term-limited Matt Lori.
Miller, a Sturgis High School alumnus, earned a BA in political science from Western Michigan University and is due to receive a master’s of education in school administration degree in May.
He is a math teacher at Northridge High School in Middlebury, Ind.
Miller was an executive board member of College Republicans of Western Michigan University, where he assisted local candidates in their campaigns.
Miller lives in Sherman Township with his wife, Alex, who is a nurse in Sturgis. The two also raise Jersey steers.
The cities of Three Rivers and Sturgis will pay a bit more per entity to fund the county grant-writer position.
During action earlier this month, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioner lowered its financial commitment to the three-way agreement, from 70 to 50 percent of the $64,000 cost. Three Rivers and Sturgis will now pay 25 percent each, a 10 percent increase per community.
Lindsay Oswald has served a county grant writer since January 2013.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week approved the sheriff department’s request to submit a Marine Safety Program grant application.
The request is for more than $65,000 through state and federal sources, and allows the department to continue to man its seasonal Marine Patrol division in 2014.
If approved, the grant would fund the services of one full-time and three part-time members. In addition, it would cover fuel costs, expenses related to boat repairs and equipment, training and travel, and uniforms and cleaning.
The grant will be forwarded to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The village of Centreville is less than a month from starting up its own police department.
After contracting law-enforcement service through the sheriff’s department for more than 20 years, the village has decided to run its own police force.
Village president Jeff Johnson said interviews with chief candidates took place over the weekend. The village has allocated a $40,000 annual salary for the chief, who will lend a hand in hiring two part-time patrol officers, Johnson said.
Johnson said village officials have estimated an in-house police department will cost about $112,000 a year, a savings of approximately $50,000 annually compared to Centreville’s contract with the sheriff’s department.
A new Chevy Tahoe vehicle has already been purchased and will be used as the primary police vehicle.
The department is expected to start Feb. 17.
The city of Three Rivers is looking into whether it should establish an ordinance to regulate the growing number of collection boxes scattered throughout the city.
Mayor Tom Lowry said he is concerned about the influx of containers, which seek donations ranging from books and shoes, to clothing.
Lowry, who said he is in favor of an outright ban on the boxes, raised the matter in December and it was revisited by the commission earlier this month. City attorney Pat O’Malley is expected to present a draft of an ordinance for review at the commission’s meeting tonight.