Factory fire in Elkhart

February 4, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A state environmental official says initial tests haven’t found noxious chemicals in the air or water near a northern Indiana fiberglass factory that caught fire over the weekend. Firefighters continued monitoring the smoldering blaze at the Lami-Plast factory in Elkhart on Monday, a day after it went up in flames and some nearby homes were evacuated. A bulldozer was brought in Monday to move metal trapping parts of the fire. Rich Hackel of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management tells The Elkhart Truth he was gathering information about what chemicals were used in the factory as monitoring of water runoff from the site continued. Osolo Township assistant fire chief Dean Rentfrow tells WNDU-TV that investigators couldn’t start work on determining what started the blaze until the fire was completely extinguished.  (AP)

New instant game introduced

February 4, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The Michigan Lottery is launching its first $30 instant game with top prizes of $2 million and more than $80 million in total prizes available for players. Tickets for the $2,000,000 Cash game go on sale Tuesday at Lottery retailers across the state. Each ticket will offer players 30 chances to win. The introduction of the $2,000,000 Cash game reflects strong player interest in $10 and $20 instant game tickets, such as the Hot Millions and Diamond Payout games now available at retailers. Both of those games offer top prizes of $1 million. The Lotterys instant games product manager Glenn Strong says $20 instant games were introduced in 2001 and player interest in those games has been growing for more than a decade.  (MRN)

Unemployment increased

February 3, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The December unemployment rate in St. Joseph County increased by one-tenth of a percent compared to a month earlier.

The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 7.3 percent December unemployment rate was more than November’s 7.2 percent.

December’s unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percent less than the same month one year earlier, when the figure was 7.6 percent.

St. Joseph County remained below the state unemployment average, which was 7.7 percent in December.

At 5.4 percent, Barry County had the region’s lowest unemployment rate in December, while VanBuren County had the highest, with 8.9 percent.

Man charged with felony

January 31, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A 39-year-old Sturgis man was charged with felony retail fraud and felon in possession of a firearm following his alleged role in a retail-theft incident earlier this month at the Three Rivers Walmart.

The arrest was made in Sturgis Township in the 25000 block of U.S. 12.

The St. Joseph County Area Narcotics unit and the St. Joseph County Special Response Team jointly conducted the raid, where additional stolen property and a loaded, unregistered handgun were seized.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending arraignment, was one of three men who allegedly broke into a locked firearms cabinet and allegedly stole three shotguns Jan. 12.

Charges against occupants inside the U.S. 12 residence are being reviewed by the county prosecutor’s office.

Meanwhile, investigators are following leads on the other two suspects in the Walmart incident.

Update – Propane energy emergency

January 30, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Governor Rick Snyder says the propane shortage in Michigan has “eased slightly,” however supplies remain tight, and the state is working to alleviate the supply problem which has surfaced with the recent arctic cold snap that has hit the state. The governor says he’s directed state agencies to reach out to consumers affected by the shortage, by offering assistance and available resources until propane levels are restored. Michigan is one of more than 30 states to declare a propane energy emergency, and Snyder says he is extending an exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil within Michigan from hours-of-service regulations and requirements until Feb. 11. The governor issued similar executive orders in December and early January to help service residents with available supply as quickly as possible. The governor says he will also request assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation for coordination of weight restriction exemptions between states during the shortage to insure that interstate transport of propane is not unnecessarily impeded and to continue to extend the waiver of the Hours of Service for truck drivers hauling propane. Record low temperatures, heavy snowfall and poor driving conditions, combined with pipeline issues and other factors have all contributed to Michigan’s propane shortage. Supplies in the Upper Peninsula have improved slightly as a facility in Rapid River went back online after supplies from Wisconsin were halted for new pump installation. However, propane inventories in the region are down 46 percent from last year’s levels, and are expected to remain tight, according to Governor Snyder.  (MRN)

SERVPRO is on the Top 10 list

January 30, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Entrepreneur magazine recently announced its annual Franchise 500 rankings1, naming

SERVPRO®, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, to its Top 10 list

for the fifth consecutive year. Of the 853 companies qualified for the

rankings, SERVPRO® earned the No. 7 spot overall and the top spot in its

own industry for the 11th consecutive year. According to Entrepreneur, the

Franchise 500 selection process2 is driven by “objective, quantifiable

measures of a franchise operation,” with some of the most important

factors being “financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of

the system.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of the SERVPRO® Brand in the

Cass and St. Joseph Counties area,” said Tony Blodgett, owner of “SERVPRO®

of Cass and St. Joseph Counties. “As a leading cleaning and restoration

Brand in America, we have a responsibility to serve each and every

customer with excellence.”

SERVPRO® specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services,

helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property

damage emergencies. From small one room home disasters, to large

commercial facilities, or statewide storm response situations, SERVPRO®

helps make property damage ‘Like it never even happened’.

“At the end of the day, every SERVPRO® Franchisee is an individual small

business owner who lives and works in the community he or she serves,”

said Blodgett. “When the unexpected happens, local home and business

owners know that they can turn to us to help them put their lives back on

track as quickly and painlessly as possible. As this year’s Entrepreneur

rankings demonstrate again, this is both a responsibility and a privilege

that each SERVPRO® Franchisee takes very seriously.”

For more information about SERVPRO® of Cass and St. Joseph Counties,

contact Tony Blodgett at (269) 273-8777 or For more

information about SERVPRO®, please visit

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