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Fraudulent credit card purchases

June 9, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A Chicago man was arrested last week after he was found to be using a fraudulent credit card to make purchases at the Admiral gas station in Three Rivers.

According to Three Rivers police, the 45-year-old man was arrested Wednesday following an investigation lasting several days. The case started after a citizen reported fraudulent charges on their credit card, including a one-day purchase of $8,000 worth of cigarettes.

Investigators were tipped in advance of another purchase the man was to attempt at the gas station. His efforts were thwarted, however, as police arrested him without incident.

Several credit cards not belonging to the suspect were found in his possession. He was also wanted on a warrant from Indiana for fraudulent use of a credit card, police said.

New business in Constantine

June 9, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Large crowds gathered over the weekend for the opening of a new business in downtown Constantine.

The Constantine Brewing Company staged a soft opening Friday, with a public opening Saturday.

Owner Matt Ryan said the 2,000-square-foot business was fully refurbished over the course of the past 13 months. Ryan said he brews his own product onsite and, according to terms of his contract, he can sell only what he brews.

The business offers a limited food menu, though Ryan said BBQ beef brisket will be a standing menu item.

The Constantine Brewing Company, located at 145 S. Washington St., is open 4-10 Thursdays and Fridays, and 4-11 Saturdays.

Minimum wage increase in Michigan

May 28, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law legislation that will increase Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.25 per hour by 2018. Under the compromise bill, which received bipartisan support in both chambers of the state Legislature yesterday (Tue), the minimum wage will gradually increase from $7.40 to $9.25 per hour by 2018. Meanwhile, the rate for tipped employees will be 38 percent of the regular minimum wage. The wages will rise based on a five-year rolling average of inflation, but no more than 3.5 percent. The governor says (quote) “This is something thats good for Michigan, its good for the hardworking people of Michigan, and I believe economically sound in terms of hopefully creating an environment for long-term economic success.” The legislation differs from the bill that passed a House committee earlier Tuesday that would have raised the wage to $8.50 without inflationary increases. The action came a day before the Raise Michigan Coalition is expected to submit signatures for a voter-initiated act that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. It’s now unclear where the ballot proposal stands as it attempts to amend a minimum wage law that no longer exists, due to the governor’s signing of the new law.  (MRN)

New trial is the way to proceed

May 27, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Robert and Laurie Rastovski will get a new trial for their claim against North Pointe Insurance Company after their business, Welch’s Steak and Ribs in Sturgis, was leveled in a 2009 arson.

The insurance company refused to pay on the policy after it claimed Robert Rastovski had hired an arsonist to burn the business on Fawn River Road.

During the trial in early 2012, it was divulged that Dustin Gonser admitted committing the arson with the assistance of fugitive Nathan Lumbard.

According to testimony, Lumbard claimed Rastovski and Gonser had conspired to do the arson together. Gonser, however, repeatedly denied any interaction with Rastovski and denied that Rastovski paid him to burn the restaurant.

At the end of the trial, attorneys for the Rastovskis asked Circuit Judge Paul Stutesman to issue a judgment for them despite the verdict or grant a new trial because of confusion of the jury’s decision.

Stutesman awarded the Rastovskis their claim against North Pointe, though he did not rule on the request for a new trial while North Pointe appealed.

An opinion issued Thursday by the Michigan Court of Appeals said a new trial was the proper way to proceed, not the “judgment not withstanding the verdict.”

Unemployment rate lower

May 27, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Unemployment in St. Joseph County was 1 percent lower in April compared to March.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives show the county’s April unemployment figure was 5.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March. The 5.5 percent rate was also lower than the county’s 6.9 percent unemployment compared to the same month in 2013.

The county also had a lower unemployment rate in April against the state average, which was 7.3 percent for the month.

Agency officials said seasonal hiring, specifically in construction, retail, and leisure and hospitality, contributed to the monthly decrease in joblessness.

Van Buren, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties had the highest April unemployment rate in the region, with 7.5 percent, while St. Joseph County’s was the month’s lowest in the 13-market region.

New state map is available

May 21, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The new State of Michigan map is out, featuring Belle Isle on the Detroit River as a state park for the very first time. The Michigan Department of Transportation has posted the 2014 state transportation map online while paper versions of the map will be available free of charge at all Michigan Welcome Centers and M-DOT offices. In addition to the paper map, M-DOT’s interactive mobile site, Mi Drive, features real-time traffic information, camera views, rest area locations and construction information at www.michigan.gov/drive that travelers can use to plan their routes in advance. About 750,000 maps will be printed this year, at a cost of 13 cents per copy. M-DOT has reduced the number of paper maps printed over the years from a high of 2 million maps in 2007, to 1.5 million from 2008 through 2011, to 1 million in 2012, to 750,000 in 2013 and again in 2014.  (MRN)

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