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Animal cruelty hearing continued

The preliminary hearing for two Mottville Township residents charged with animal torture and cruelty will continue next month. St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton began hearing testimony Tuesday in a preliminary examination for Jessica Archberger and Troy Leiby. Charges against the two were brought after exotic animals were seized Jan. 29 from a home they rented on Barker …

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Charges expected after dogs, dog fighting equipment seized

Authorities say charges are expected after they seized dogs and dog fighting paraphernalia during a raid on a Kalamazoo-area home. Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement Director Steve Lawrence tells the Kalamazoo Gazette the Oshtemo Township property searched Wednesday was home to a man who was convicted three years ago for his role in a dog fighting operation. Lawrence says …

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Driver who drowned with passenger was drunk, police say

Authorities say a driver who drowned with a passenger in southwestern Michigan had a blood-alcohol level that was above the legal limit. The Berrien County sheriff’s office says Autumn Mehl’s level was 0.14. The threshold for drunken driving is 0.08. A car was found upside down Sunday in Brandywine Creek in Niles. Mehl and Steven Rough were last seen leaving …

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Man, 75, sentenced to prison for shooting death of ex-wife

A 75-year-old man has been sentenced in the fatal shooting of his ex-wife at their western Michigan home. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that a Kalamazoo County circuit court judge ruled Tuesday that Jimmy L. Thrasher will spend 14 years to 25 years in prison for the slaying of 74-year-old Grace Thrasher. Thrasher pleaded no contest in January to second-degree murder …

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Man sentenced to prison in fatal shooting of brother-in-law

A man who authorities say pointed a gun at his brother-in-law in an apparent joke has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for second-degree murder in the man’s death. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Timothy Salo this week learned his punishment. He pleaded guilty in January and admitted that he fatally shot 29-year-old Jason Vanostran in April 2014 …

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Cass County Sheriff announces retirement

A longtime fixture in Cass County has announced he will not seek re-election later this year to another four-year term. Sheriff Joe Underwood Jr. stated in a media release he plans to retire after 40 years in law enforcement. He has served as sheriff the past 24 years. Underwood said he spent a significant amount of time weighing the decision …

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