A World War Two-era steam engine is back on track in central Michigan. The Argus-Press says a crowd cheered Wednesday night as the Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive’s whistle sounded to announce its arrival at the train yard in Owosso. The 200-ton steam engine was built in 1941 and retired 16 years later. It was donated to Michigan State University in 1957 and moved in 1983 to the former Ann Arbor Railroad steam locomotive shop in Owosso. Producers of the 2004 movie “The Polar Express” used its blueprints as the prototype for the film’s digital train, and recorded its sounds for use in the film. A $345,000 grant through the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2009 got the $900,000 refurbishing project started. (AP)
Officials from Enbridge, the company installing a pipeline across the southern end of the state, said they plan to complete pressure testing a portion of the new line within the next week.
A 33-mile portion of the pipeline, from Mendon west to Niles, has been subject to pressure testing to ensure the integrity of the infrastructure. Eventually, the pipeline will carry crude oil from a refinery in Northwest Indiana to an area near Port Huron.
The so-called 6B Pipeline is replacing the original 210-mile long pipeline that is 40 years old. Fourteen miles of the pipeline are in St. Joseph County.
The task is costing Enbridge $1.3 billion.
A Florence Township official will have to look for an alternative source of financial help to address a crumbling roadway in his jurisdiction, as he was turned down for assistance by county officials Tuesday.
For the second time in two months, Florence Township Supervisor Gordon Evilsizor asked the commission for consideration to help replace Constantine Road from Dickinson north to Fairchild roads. A cost estimate he shared was $718,000 for rebuilding the roadway through Florence Township.
Evilsizor said the condition of the roadway is dangerous and motorists are forced to drive in the middle to avoid potholes and blemishes along the edges of the road.
Commission Chairman John Dobberten acknowledged the deteriorating condition of county roads in general. For local units to come in and expect the county to pick up the cost of repairs, however, is “unimaginable,” he said, as the county has hundreds of miles of roadways under its jurisdiction.
Dobberteen said he would encourage the county road commission to increase its annual assessment when it is up for renewal next year, or urge local units of government to follow the lead of the city of Sturgis and offer a millage specifically for road repairs.
The Big Lots store in Three Rivers will be closing shortly after the new year.
Company officials said the retailer, at 1326 Broadway Street, will close Jan. 15, about a month after it begins its going-out-of-business sale.
The seller of closeout and surplus merchandise moved to its current spot in 2005 from North Main Street in Three Rivers. It is the largest tenant in a strip plaza that also includes Dunham’s and Peebles. A fourth storefront remains vacant.
Severance packages will be offered to the store’s 16 employees who choose not to accept a position at Big Lots locations in Kalamazoo, Niles or Coldwater, according to assistant store manager Ursula Jiles
She declined to elaborate on the nature of the closing. Jiles noted the Three Rivers location won an annual regional contest in 2011 and again in 2013 for its cleanliness, service and customer relations.
Officials from the company’s Columbus, Ohio, headquarters were not available for comment Friday.
Troopers from the White Pigeon state police detachment are investigating separate theft incidents reported earlier this month in Fabius and Mottville townships.
In the first case, an 18-foot car-hauler trailer was stolen from a Fabius Township residence in the 14000 block of Gleason Road. The trailer was likely stolen between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1.
Troopers were called last week to the 11000 block of Riverside Drive in Mottville Township, where a utility trailer was reported stolen between Nov. 8 and 15.
The trailer is 5-by-10 feet and has a wood deck.
Four Three Rivers residents were treated for injuries they suffered in a two-vehicle accident Saturday in Fabius Township.
According to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department, a vehicle driven by 19-year-old Samantha Jo Combs attempted to turn left off U.S. 131 and onto North Main Street into the path of a vehicle driven northbound on U.S. 131 by 52-year-old Karen Heerlyn, of Richland.
Combs told investigators she did not see the oncoming vehicle. She and three passengers, Taylor Combs, 15; Pauline Mondol, 17; and Yvonne Heffner, 15, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
A 17-year-old passenger in Heerlyn’s vehicle was treated at the scene.