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St Joseph County

Long range plan approved for Parks & Recreation

The road map for St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department’s next half-decade was approved by county commissioners last week. The agency’s five-year plan includes one major development and a variety of minor tasks. With a portfolio of nine parks, however, the highest priority going forward will center on adhering to a consistent maintenance plan, according to department director Jaymes …

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Appointments for Animal Control Advisory Board

Seats for the St. Joseph County Animal Control Advisory Board were appointed last week. Kristina Eaton, a Burr Oak-area resident, was elected chair while Tracy Parker, from Sturgis Bank and Trust, will serve as co-chair for the year. Parker will also serve as interim secretary. Eaton said the board has two seats open: one citizen-at-large and one marketing coordinator. She …

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St. Joseph County government goals for 2019

Continued effort toward a balanced budget, development of a new Commission On Aging facility and progress toward updating the courts building are a few of the goals the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners faces in 2019. Dennis Allen, chair of the five-member board, said there is no shortage of work ahead for commissioners. Regarding the county’s finances, Allen said …

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Transportation Authority will again offer Free Ride Home

The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority has announced it will once again offer the Free Ride Home courtesy shuttle service New Year’s Eve. The service will start at 10 p.m. Monday and conclude at 4 a.m. Jan. 1. Rides will be limited to and from locations within St. Joseph County. Event organizers said rides will be given only to a …

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Commissioner Dobberteen ends 20-year run on board

An unprecedented run ended Tuesday, as St. Joseph County commissioner John Dobberteen attended his last meeting as an elected member of the board. His 20-year tenure on the county board is believed to be the longest in the county’s history. It will officially end Dec. 31, but Tuesday was the board’s final meeting of 2018. A 59-year-old Sturgis resident, Dobberteen …

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Update – Recreational marijuana

Michigan marked the beginning of legal, recreational marijuana last week and is the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes. Retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators, but the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office has announced it is ready to dismiss possession cases. Residents 21 years of age and older …

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News from county commissioners meeting

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners this week made an appointment to the county’s Transportation Authority Board. During Tuesday’s meeting, Sarah Beckle was added to the CTA panel. In other action, commissioners agreed to make an exception to the county hiring freeze in anticipation of a retirement within the treasurer’s office. Deputy treasurer Mary Ives is planning to retire …

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Sheriff seeking explorer program participants

St. Joseph County Sheriff Brad Balk is seeking young men and women interested in serving in the department’s explorer program. Open to people 14 to 21 years of age, the explorer program is encouraged for people who have an interest in law enforcement as a potential career. Prospective participants must have completed eighth grade at least. More information is available …

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Bats test positive for rabies

Three bats, two in St. Joseph County and one in Branch County, have tested positive for rabies, Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency Prevention Services Director Yvonne Atwood said last week. Atwood said more than a dozen bats have been tested this year. Six bats from Hillsdale County were tested, but none came back positive for the viral disease of mammals …

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