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County hires additional staff member

St. Joseph County has hired an additional community corrections staff member. During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners OK’d the employment of Matthew Huff. He will work 30 hours a week to cover obligations related to Community Corrections in the absence of coordinator Erin Goff. Judge Jeff Middleton, chairman of the Community Corrections Advisory Board, said Goff is on medical leave. Middleton noted …

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Budget bills go to governor for consideration

State Rep. Aaron Miller this week applauded passage of state budget plans by the Legislature, encouraged that the fiscal blueprint makes investments in areas important to Michiganders. Miller voted in favor of both the General Fund and School Aid Fund budgets. The bills now go to the governor for consideration. He said an important aspect of the School Aid Fund …

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Volunteers needed for river cleanup

Officials from the St. Joseph County Conservation District are issuing a reminder that the first of six river cleanup events takes place next week on the St. Joseph River. The agency is looking for volunteers to lend a hand for a few hours June 18, as it will work to clear litter and debris from a 2 1/2-mile stretch of …

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Authorities investigate death of woman alongside rural road

Authorities say they’re investigating the death of a woman whose body was found alongside a rural southwestern Michigan road as suspicious. The Kalamazoo County sheriff’s department says in a statement that the body of 32-year-old Gabrielle Irene Smith of Plainwell was found Tuesday afternoon in Texas Township. The cause and circumstances of her death are under investigation Thursday. Smith’s body …

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Driver of pickup charged with murder in bicyclists’ deaths

A 50-year-old driver of a pickup truck that struck a group of bicyclists killing five of them was charged Thursday with five counts of second degree murder. Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting also charged Charles Pickett Jr. of Battle Creek on Thursday with four counts of reckless driving in the crash Tuesday that injured four others in Cooper Township north …

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Movie screening to raise funds for Conservation District

The chair of the St. Joseph County Conservation District is encouraging people to learn more about the hemp plant and its diversity of uses. Carol Higgins said a great opportunity exists later this week, when the Rivieria Theatre in Three Rivers will show “Grow Our Future,” a short-feature film. Higgins said the 52-minute movie focuses on the numerous ways industrial …

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